Canadian Tire credit card review: Triangle Mastercard

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

  • With the Triangle Mastercard from Canadian Tire, you’ll earn 4% in Canadian Tire Money when shopping at Canadian Tire or its affiliate stores versus just 0.4% as a basic Triangle Rewards Member.
  • Canadian Tire’s credit card doesn’t have any 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, a new Canadian Tire credit card was released: the Triangle Mastercard. This cards let you earn Canadian Tire Money faster on all your everyday spending – including on purchases made outside of Canadian Tire.
 

 

Credit card Details 
Triangle Mastercard (Get more details)
  • Canadian Tire: 4%
  • Sport Chek: 4%
  • Participating Marks/Atmosphere locations: 4%
  • Groceries: 1.5% (on the first $12,000 spent at eligible stores each year)
  • Everything else: 0.5%
  • Eligibility: No specific income required
  • Read in-depth review

Below, we review the Triangle Mastercard from Canadian Tire, outlining its pros and cons.


But first, here’s how the Triangle Rewards program works

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

The pros

4% on Canadian Tire

For every dollar you spend at Canadian Tire with the Triangle 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 Mastercard. 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.

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

While Canadian Tire sells almost everything, what it doesn’t sell is groceries. Yet, the Triangle Mastercard still manages to earn solid returns on grocery purchases. You’ll collect 1.5% in Canadian Tire Money for every dollar you spend at virtually all grocery stores including No Frills, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, Longos, Foodbasics, and any other location categorized as a grocery or supermarket by Mastercard (based on the merchant code 5411).

It’s worth noting there are some caveats, however. First, you won’t earn 1.5% at Costco or Walmart. Second, there is an earning cap, as you’ll get 1.5% on the first $12,000 in annual grocery purchases, after which you’ll earn 0.5%. 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 0.5% when shopping there, and 2. $12,000 per calendar year is a high cap and you’ll need to spend an average of over $1,000 every month on groceries to hit it.

For all your other everyday purchases, you’ll earn a flat 0.5% back in Canadian Tire Money per dollar – which is effectively 0.5% cash back when redeemed at Canadian Tire stores. A base earn rate of 0.5% isn’t anything to boast about, but it is on par with what several other no fee credit card offer and isn’t all bad when considering the lucrative 4% rate you get when you do shop at Canadian Tire and 1.5% at grocery stores.

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.

The 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

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.

Other noteworthy perks

With the Triangle Mastercard, 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. 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 card

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

  • No annual fee
  • Get 4% in Canadian Tire Money at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, and participating Mark®/L’Équipeur and Atmosphere locations
  • 1.5% on the first $12,000 spent at eligible grocery stores each year
  • 0.5% on everything else
  • Earn 5¢ per litre back in Canadian Tire Money at Gas+ and participating Husky locations
  • Income requirement: Any amount

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