Canadian Tire Money Finally Comes Out Of The Dark Ages

Canadian Tire money finally comes out of The Dark AgesCanadian Tire ‘Money’ has been in the dark ages as a rewards program for many years forcing you to carry around stacks of worthless bills that were easily lost or left behind.

Things were slightly better if you were a Canadian Tire Options Mastercard holder because you could accumulate the stuff on your credit card but unfortunately that card has a dubious system for paying out rewards and doesn’t give great value anyway. The only exceptions being bonus gas multipliers and in-store offers available exclusively to cardholders that are occasionally worthwhile.

Enter the new My Canadian Tire ‘Money’ program. It has all the features of a modern rewards program making it much more usable and useful. This is still a big step forward for the program even though the return on spending it offers has diminished greatly from a high of 5%, when CT Money first started in 1958, to the meagre 0.4% it is today.

The up side to the low regular rate of return is that it allows them to offer big bonus multipliers, similar to what you see with other programs like Shoppers Optimum and Air Miles, along with individual product bonuses and offers customized specifically for you.

Related: The Best Cash Back Websites For Canadians

Great New My Canadian Tire Money Features

They’ve added a lot of great new features with this overhaul to the program that they first began dabbling with in 2012. After a couple of years of testing, they have finalized how the program works and it is now up and running nationwide.

Here are some of my favourites:

  • Never lose your Canadian Tire Money again because it is all tracked electronically.
  • Choose to earn rewards in 1 of 4 convenient ways:
    • The new plastic rewards card that comes complete with 2 small additional key chain cards for sharing with family and so you never forget your card.
    • The mobile app available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Blackberry.
    • With the Canadian Tire Options Mastercard.
    • You can still stick with the old paper Canadian Tire Money if you so desire.
  • You can now earn CT Money on credit card purchases as well so you can stack it with the best credit card rewards out there.
  • Gas reward multipliers are now rewarded automatically when you swipe your card, no coupon required.
  • Lost receipts are no longer a problem because they can pull up any old receipt for returns or price adjustments using your account.
  • Easy redemption of your rewards right at the checkout or pick up a Canadian Tire gift card online with free shipping.
  • Great new website for:
    • Checking balance and CT Money transactions.
    • Reviewing your in-store order history.
    • Check your personalized bonus offers that give you up to 20x the points.
    • Setting alerts to be notified when specific products go on sale.
    • Creating a shopping list to take with you to the store.
    • Browsing the eFlyer to quickly see what’s on sale.
    • Manage communication preferences if you want to start or stop email notifications.
    • Check out the site.

Tips For Maximizing Your Savings And Rewards

Like any rewards program, you’re going to want to maximize your rewards to make participating in the program worthwhile. If you just go along earning the standard reward all the time it will take forever to accumulate enough for a substantial reward.

Related: Saving Money Using Credit Cards

Only Buy Stuff On Sale

Canadian Tire is one store where I can confidently say you really only want to buy stuff there on sale. There are exceptions to this rule of course, but most of their products are extremely over-priced. How else can they routinely offer 60-90% discounts on most of their products? If you’re paying full price, you’re paying WAY too much.

Take Advantage Of The Flyer

The Canadian Tire Flyer is one of my favourite flyers to browse because they always have interesting stuff and it is well laid out. I must admit, seeing those big 70%+ discounts is very appealing, which is obviously why they do it.

If you don’t get the flyer delivered to your home, you have a lot of options. You can view it online at their site, use the Canadian Tire App, use a flyer browsing app like Flipp, or sign up to receive eFlyer email notifications.

Set Price Alerts

In the same vein of never paying full price, you should use the price alerts feature of the site liberally. If you are ever tempted by a product in-store or when browsing the flyer, set yourself a price alert and watch it for a few months to make sure you get the lowest price.

With Canadian Tire’s generous 90 day return policy you can always buy the product today, set a price alert, and then return and rebuy the product when it goes on sale. Since your receipts are now tracked on your rewards card you don’t even have to worry about saving the receipt for the return. To avoid going back to the store, you might also be able to use credit card price protection, if your card has that feature, to get the price difference refunded.

Watch For Big Rewards Bonuses

Keep your eye on your email box, your app, or the My Offers tab in your CT account to see what personalized offers you have on a weekly basis. If you score a 20x bonus on a product you actually use, that works out to an 8% reward that you can hopefully stack with a sale or coupon on top of your credit card rewards.

Take Advantage of Generous Price Matching

Canadian Tire is one of the few stores in Canada that doesn’t give an additional discount equal to a small percentage of the difference between their price and their competitor’s price. Instead they give you 10% of the lowest price in Canadian Tire Money. That means if you find a product even 1 penny cheaper somewhere else, you will save a full 10%. Your CTM balance will really add up quickly if you do this often!

Buy Gas On Big Multiplier Days

I used to buy all my gas at CT because of the big gas multiplier coupons that they regularly offered in their flyer. It was a hassle, but after stacking all the various gas discounts together I was able to achieve a consistent 10% savings on gas. For a couple of years I was even able to get that discount up to 25-30% by using discounted gift cards.

I would probably still buy my gas there if I still had one of their gas bars close by especially now that you don’t need a coupon to take advantage of the multiplier. You’re going to want at least a 10x multiplier if you’re going out of your way at all to pump the gas, which gives you a 3.2% reward on 50 liters of gas. As I type this, they are offering a 12x bonus, which works out to a 3.8% reward. The maximum multiplier is 15x, equating to a 4.8% return.

Related: Choose The Right Credit Card For Buying Gas

Unfortunately bonuses on gas only apply to debit or cash transactions but you can get around this rule by using your credit card to buy a Canadian Tire gift card first to collect rewards that way. The gift card is then treated like cash at the gas station and you will still qualify for your CT Money reward with multiplier. Then use the CT Money you earn to buy a gift card and use that to buy more gas.

Are You A Fan Of CT Money?

I’d like to know if you’ve been a fan of collecting the paper CT money over the years or do you find it more of a nuisance than anything else?

What do you think about the new electronic rewards system they’ve implemented? Do you think it’s a big improvement over the old paper money or would you rather they just left well enough alone?

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Comments

Daniel (SaveWithDan.ca)'s picture

Hi, Stephen! Great post!
At first I saw the 0.4% number and thought "why would anyone want to participate in such a program?" but your post is so well written and full of information that this feeling was quickly dismissed.
Since my arrival to Canada I was intrigued by CT money and how "nostalgic" -- let's say -- it was. I am glad they finally decided to move forward. Now I have a nice reason to pay attention to CT flyers;)
Keep up the amazing job you are doing here!

April 14, 2015 @ 8:35 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The 0.4% is certainly disappointing, but now that it can be stacked with credit card rewards makes it at least worthwhile for me. Before I would avoid CT Money, except at the gas bar, because of that restriction. Of course, you could always use the gift card loophole to get both before but that was a hassle to do for anything but gas because I shop at Canadian Tire so infrequently these days. I like this new system much better.

Also, it isn't like they dropped the value recently either I don't think. I believe they've only been paying out 0.4% for quite some time even when they were only giving away the bills. The multiplier bonuses help make it a little more worthwhile. The 10x bonus for being an Options MasterCard holder is also nice, too bad the card pretty much sucks otherwise.

April 15, 2015 @ 10:22 am
John
John's picture

A lot of people put down the paper version of CT money but it *does* have cash value at CT stores, especially when you make significant purchases and the cashier hands you $1.00, $0.50 or even $0.25 bills.
Yeah you have to add them up, but they are just as valuable as cash.

April 14, 2015 @ 4:42 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Nothing wrong with CT Money. I always found it kind of neat that you got actual funny money bills. I used to keep them tucked inside my car's center console. I would then dig them out when I had a stack of them to buy a gift card which I would use to pay for gas (because for some stupid reason you couldn't use CT Money to pay for gas). The loopholes are just hilarious.

I'm actually glad they haven't gone and eliminated the paper money altogether because it is almost a part of the Canadian tradition.

April 15, 2015 @ 10:25 am
Charlon Dorey
Charlon Dorey's picture

As far as gas rewards programs are concerned, the Esso Extra rewards program is the best one going in my opinion. We have a Dodge Ram, and the points I accumulate by filling it up with premium every two weeks I use to get my husbands Coca Cola for free. There are many other rewards as well that the Esso program offers. Check it out! :)

April 14, 2015 @ 7:07 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

You're right Charlon, Esso is pretty near the top when it comes to gas station rewards programs. I actually did an in-depth article comparing the percentage returns of all the gas rewards programs on another blog (Million Dollar Journey). Esso was ranked #3. If you're interested, you can read that article here.

April 15, 2015 @ 10:27 am
T Tremain
T Tremain's picture

LOL the article made me remember one particularly difficult time when we were totally broke & we ransacked the house looking for CT money - to buy toilet paper! I still remember thelook on the cashier's face when we paid entirely with CT money.

April 14, 2015 @ 7:34 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Sometimes I have my own fantasies of what I would do if I lost my job or income and was running out of money. I envision raiding all my rewards balances to try and help us stay afloat. It's nice to know there's a little bit of extra "money" lying around in those accounts if I ever needed it. Good story, thanks for sharing.

April 15, 2015 @ 10:29 am
anil
anil's picture

I usually donate my CT money. There is a container by the cashier where you can deposit your CT money.
It is for a good cause !!!!

April 14, 2015 @ 7:52 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Absolutely! I read on reddit that some dishonest store managers will actually raid those containers and use the money to buy things for themselves and only donate what they want to. I sure hope that is the exception and not the norm. I don't know how people like that can live with themselves.

April 15, 2015 @ 10:30 am
Deborah
Deborah's picture

FYI - for anyone who has a MCTM card and have it aligned with your Cdn Tire credit card....be aware... as you don't always get the most incredible savings/cdn money as they say you do when they "sell" you a credit card.
In addition, if you plan on cancelling your Cdn Tire credit card... spend what you have on your MCTM card first as you will lose this once the card has been cancelled. I learned the hard way and no one from customer service stated to me what would happen ... I cancelled my Cdn Tire credit card and also lost the $17 I had "squirrelled away" using my MCTM card - and we all know how much it takes to get it to that amount of money on a MCTM card.!!! I was pleasantly surprised when I tried to use my MCTM card this weekend and when scanned, it came up as invalid. I called customer service today and all I got was ... sorry but there is nothing we can do.... what an incredible helpful answer.... thank you Crappy Tire CUSTOMER Service... not so much service...!!!!!

September 28, 2015 @ 6:26 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Definitely avoid the options MasterCard. It isn't a very good card. Check out my credit cards section for better options (pun intended).

September 30, 2015 @ 9:25 pm
Frank Coppola
Frank Coppola's picture

Hi Stephen,

A long time ago since the original article so it's understandable if I don't get a reply. I have fond memories of the real Canadian Tire paper money and have been collecting it for many years. Like many others I would stack them up and eventually buy a big ticket item with it. My family would often make fun of me driving out of my way to a Canadian Tire gas station armed with my 10X gas coupon multiplier.

I am smart enough to realize I would be infinitely better off settling for e"money" but I still like my paper money. I know others that feel the same way so I know that I'm not the only dinosaur.

Do you know if they are still giving gas multiplier coupons for real CT money? In September I was at the Barrie Canadian Tire store and gas bar and I was told that they were no longer offering them. So I was given a choice to either "get with the program" as it were, or settle for getting the real paper money but at the base rate. Needless to say I was very disappointed!

November 24, 2016 @ 9:26 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I stopped getting my gas at Canadian Tire a few years ago Frank so I can't really help you hear. I may start again sometime soon. The only thing is that there is an ethanol free Shell station near my house now. They offer it on all grades of fuel. The CT gas bar closest to me is only ethanol free on Premium gas which means I have to spend a lot more.

November 27, 2016 @ 3:35 pm
Saver
Saver's picture

Hey Stephen. I'm not sure if you are aware of a neat feature on the Canadian Tire Mastercard. They have a bill payment option. What it does is it allows you to pay your bills similar to online banking and earn CT Money or Cashback depending on the card you have. It doesn't count as a cash advance. Now you might say that you can pay most bills with a credit card with better rewards. This is true, but their list of bill payment options include many universities, cities and town property taxes, many utility companies. I definitely think you should make an article on this feature.

May 18, 2017 @ 11:43 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I read about this a long time back on RedFlagDeals and it's definitely a great loophole. I'm very surprised that they're still allowing it. I might write about it if I ever do a review of that card specifically. Thanks for sharing!

May 20, 2017 @ 3:04 pm
Perry
Perry 's picture

I bought a Bike for over 300.00 the other day. Had the CT money put on the money card. Checked the balance and found a balance of 1.20 Big WHOOP. No more CT for me.

June 05, 2018 @ 5:50 pm

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