Canadian Tire credit card review: Triangle World Elite and Triangle Mastercard

Hyder Owainati
by Hyder Owainati November 12, 2019 / No Comments

  • With any of Canadian Tire’s Triangle Mastercards, you’ll earn 4% in Canadian Tire Money when shopping at Canadian Tire and its affiliate stores versus just 0.4% as a basic Triangle Rewards Member.
  • None of Canadian Tire’s credit cards have annual fees.
  • As a Canadian Tire credit card holder, you’ll earn Canadian Tire Money everywhere you shop but can only redeem them at Canadian Tire stores and select affiliates.

At almost 100 years old, Canadian Tire is one of the oldest and largest department store brands in the country. It’s also one of the early innovators of the store-loyalty program, having launched Canadian Tire Money way back in 1958.

Six decades later, the Canadian Tire Money loyalty program has evolved for the better.

Canadian Tire Money no longer comes in paper bills (it’s all digital now, tracked on apps, cards, or key fobs), and the program went through a full rebrand in 2018 and is now called Triangle Rewards.

More importantly, for the sake of this review, new Canadian Tire credit cards were also released: the premium Triangle World Elite Mastercard and the entry-level Triangle Mastercard. Both these cards let you earn Canadian Tire Money faster on all your everyday spending – including on purchases made outside of Canadian Tire.

Below, we review Canadian Tire’s credit cards, outlining their pros and cons.

But first, some basics on the Triangle Rewards program

While the program is now called Triangle Rewards, you’ll still collect Canadian Tire Money. With Canadian Tire Money, you won’t need to waste any time calculating complicated point values because the program is easy to understand: 1% in Canadian Tire Money = 1 cent that you can redeem at Canadian Tire, or a dollar for a dollar, similar to how a traditional cash back credit card works.

As far as redemptions go, it’s also pretty straight-forward. You can redeem your Canadian Tire Money straight from the cashier at all Canadian Tire and Sports Chek stores, as well as at participating Mark’s and Atmosphere locations.

Triangle Mastercard Review


1.) Triangle World Elite

  • No annual fee
  • Get 4% in Canadian Tire Money at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, and participating Mark®/L’Équipeur and Atmosphere locations
  • Get 3% in Canadian Tire Money on groceries (on the first $12,000 per year; excludes Costco and Walmart)
  • Get 1% everywhere else
  • Earn 5¢ to 7 ¢per litre back in Canadian Tire Money at Gas+ and participating Husky locations
  • Free roadside assistance membership
  • Income requirement: $80,000

The Pros

4% at Canadian Tire

For every dollar you spend at Canadian Tire with the Triangle World Elite Mastercard, you’ll pocket 4% back in Canadian Tire Money. There’s no limit on that earn rate, so you’ll continue to get 4% throughout the year no matter how much you spend at the department store.

4% with no caps is one of the most lucrative bonus category rates for a credit card – particularly for one that doesn’t come with an annual fee.

Odds are, you’re already well aware of the thousands of products Canadian Tire stocks on its stores’ shelves. From household essentials, like mops and tools, to electronics and home decor, Canadian Tire sells almost everything and you’ll earn 4% back on it all.

One of the most ubiquitous stores in Canada, with over 500 locations from coast to coast, you’ll also never be too far from a Canadian Tire – making it easy to take advantage of the card’s high earn rate.

There is one important caveat though: the 4% earn rate is on the pre-tax amount of your purchase and not the final purchase price after the addition of the HST, which slightly dings your earn rate.

4% at Sports Chek and Mark’s

Aside from saving on household items from Canadian Tire, you can also save big when shopping for clothes, shoes, sports equipment, and camping gear with the Triangle World Elite. That’s because this card also lets you earn 4% at Sport Chek, which is one of Canada’s largest sports retailers, as well as Mark’s clothing stores and Atmosphere camping stores.

3% at almost every grocery store

While Canadian Tire sells almost everything, what it doesn’t sell is groceries. Yet, the Triangle World Elite still manages to be one of the best credit cards for groceries in Canada. That’s because this card will earn you 3% in Canadian Tire Money for every dollar you spend at grocery stores including No Frills, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, Longos, Superstores, and more.

In fact, you’ll earn 3% with the Triangle World Elite at every store categorized as a grocery or supermarket by Mastercard (based on the merchant code 5411). 3% is one of the best returns for grocery spending in the credit card market, especially for a no fee card.

There are some caveats, however. First, you won’t earn 3% at Costco or Walmart but a standard 1% instead. Second, there is an earning cap, as you’ll get 3% on the first $12,000 in annual grocery purchases, after which you’ll earn 1%. While these are drawbacks, it’s not too bad in our eyes because 1.) since it’s a Mastercard, this card is still accepted at Costco even though you’ll earn just 1% when shopping there, and 2.) $12,000 is a high cap and you’ll need to spend an average of over $1,000 every month on groceries to hit it.

Rewards on gas and roadside assistance coverage

If you spend any amount of time commuting behind the wheel, the Triangle World Elite can help to boost your savings in two big ways.

First, it’ll earn you between 7 and 5 cents per litre in Canadian Tire Money at eligible Husky and Gas+/Essense+ stations, depending on whether you’re filling up on premium or standard fuel.

Second, the card also comes with free roadside assistance coverage (specifically, the Gold Plan from Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance services), which on its own carries a value of upwards of $99, and will cover you for: emergency towing, battery boosts, flat tire changes, trip accident insurance, and more.

Earn rewards everywhere

You’ll earn Canadian Tire Money whenever you swipe the card.

For all your purchases not made at Canadian Tire affiliated stores, groceries, or gas stations, you’ll earn a flat 1% back in Canadian Tire Money. That means you’ll never lose out on the opportunity to rack up rewards.

No annual fee

For all the benefits the Tangerine World Elite offers, as we mentioned throughout this review, this credit card doesn’t have an annual fee.

Cons

Rewards can’t be redeemed everywhere

While the Triangle program is easy to understand, it’s a store loyalty program, and, naturally, that means you can only redeem your rewards at select stores. Specifically, the following four retail chains: Canadian Tire, Sports Chek, and eligible Mark’s and Atmosphere locations. While you can earn Canadian Tire Money at participating Husky and Gas+ stations, you can’t redeem them for fuel. You also can’t redeem them as cash or statement credits to pay off your balance like you can with most other rewards credit cards.

That being said, this isn’t too big of a con considering 1.) Canadian Tire and its affiliate store sell almost everything under the sun, and 2.) if you’re eyeing a Canadian Tire credit card, it’s fair to assume you shop from Canadian Tire quite a fair bit, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to redeem your rewards.

4% earn rate is based on pre-tax prices

As we mentioned earlier, the 4% in Canadian Tire Money you earn when shopping at Canadian Tire (and its affiliate stores) is calculated based on the pre-tax price of your purchases. So, the 4% rewards rate doesn’t factor in the HST of the products you buy. Tax or no tax though, 4% is an undeniably strong earn rate, especially for a no fee card.

Income requirement

You’ll need to earn an annual income of $80,000 (or $150,000 as a household) in order to be eligible for the Triangle World Elite Mastercard, which is Canadian Tire’s premium credit card that we reviewed above.

Rest assured though, if you don’t meet the World Elite’s income requirement, you’ll still be eligible for the Triangle Mastercard outlined below.

2.) Triangle Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • Get 4% in Canadian Tire Money at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, and participating Mark®/L’Équipeur and Atmosphere locations
  • Get 0.8% in Canadian Tire Money everywhere else
  • Earn 5¢ per litre back in Canadian Tire Money at Gas+ and participating Husky locations
  • Income requirement: Any amount

The Triangle Mastercard is Canadian Tire’s entry level credit card. It has no specific income requirements, no annual fee, and still offers an impressive set of rewards and perks.

Pros

4% on Canadian Tire and affiliate stores

Similar to its premium alternative, the entry-level Triangle Mastercard offers the same 4% back in Canadian Tire Money for every dollar you spend on the card at Canadian Tire, Sports Chek, and eligible Atmosphere and Mark’s stores.

Between those stores, you can buy (and earn 4% back) on everything from sponges and vacuum cleaners, to sneakers and camp gear – plus so much more. There’s no limit or caps to the earn rate, but as mentioned earlier, the 4% is calculated based on pre-tax prices.

Gas rewards

You’ll get 5 cents per litre in Canadian Tire Money whenever you refuel at eligible Husky and Gas+/Essense+ stations and foot the bill with this card.

Earn rewards everywhere

For all your purchases made outside of Canadian Tire’s network of stores, you’ll earn a flat 0.8% back in Canadian Tire Money per dollar – which is effectively 0.8% cash back when redeemed at Canadian Tire stores. That’s not a bad base earn rate for a no fee card, especially considering the lucrative bonuses you get when you do shop at Canadian Tire.

It’s easy to get

You won’t need to earn a specific income or pay an annual fee to carry this card. Those two factors alone make this card super accessible.

Cons

It doesn’t offer too many perks

As you’d expect from an entry-level card, the basic Triangle Mastercard doesn’t boast as impressive of a perks offering when compared to its more premium alternative.

With the basic Triangle Mastercard, you won’t earn bonus Canadian Tire Money at grocery stores or get roadside assistance coverage like you can with the Triangle World Elite.

The card’s earn rate of 0.8% for purchases made outside of Canadian Tire’s network of stores is also a notch lower than the standard 1% base earn rate typically offered by other no fee rewards cards. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, you can only redeem Canadian Tire Money at four retail chains: Canadian Tire, Sports Chek, and at select Mark’s and Atmosphere stores – which again, isn’t so much a con since Canadian Tire and its affiliates have an infinitely large catalogue of products.

Other noteworthy perks

Whether you’re approved for the entry level Triangle Mastercard or the premium Triangle World Elite, you can take advantage of additional benefits offered through Canadian Tire Bank (that’s right, the retailer has its own bank division).

First, there’s no fee financing. Here’s how it works: If you make a large purchase (at least $200) on your Canadian Tire credit card, you have the option to pay back what you owe in monthly instalments without additional interest or fees. For instance, if you make a $300 purchase, you can pay $25 every month over the course of one year instead of all at once and not owe interest. For purchases $500 or more, you can pay monthly over a two-year period. This is a big advantage, as it lets you make a big ticket-purchase and pay back what you owe more gradually over time without the typical repercussions.

It’s important to note though, if you miss a monthly payment, you’ll be charged interest. Additionally, you can only use no-fee financing on “eligible” purchases at Canadian Tire or its affiliated stores that give you the “Equal Payments” option at check out.

Second, there’s the ability to use a Canadian Tire Mastercard to pay significant bills that you usually can’t pay with a credit card. For example, you can use a Triangle Mastercard to pay for everything from hydro bills and property taxes to tuition expenses and even insurance premiums. By using your card, you’ll earn Canadian Tire Money back on those bills (either 0.8% or 1% depending on your card). Keep in mind, you’ll want to be cautious and only opt for this option if you know you can pay off what you owe in full every month – otherwise you could get hit with hefty interest charges if you do end up carrying a balance.

Final word on Canadian Tire’s credit cards

If you regularly shop from Canadian Tire, carrying either one of these credit cards can help you rack up Canadian Tire Money much faster, and that means more free stuff from the department store’s huge product catalogue.

The Triangle World Elite, in particular, is a great card for offering 3% back on groceries at almost all grocery stores and its free roadside assistance coverage. In fact, it’s arguably one of the best no fee credit cards in Canada.

The basic Triangle Mastercard is a good option too since it gives you the same 4% when shopping at Canadian Tire stores, as well as 5 cents per litre at Husky and Gas+ stations. Though, the fact it doesn’t offer 3% on groceries like the Triangle World Elite combined with its earn rate of just 0.8% on purchases at non-Canadian Tire affiliates means it’s considerably less enticing unless you really do most of your shopping at Canadian Tire.

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