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.
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.
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?