Updated March 3, 2020
The Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard is a strong no-fee credit card available to just about every Canadian, no matter their financial situation. With perks that include 4% cash back at Canadian Tire and other stores, plus 5¢ per liter savings on gas, this is a great card for anyone with a daily commute or regular shoppers at Canadian Tire.
However, the changes made to the American Express Cobalt Card on February 14, 2020 make it a much stronger card than the Triangle Mastercard. We recommend any Canadian looking for an exceptional low-fee card apply for the Cobalt Card before the current promotion of up to 30,000 points disappears.
Basic Features of The Triangle Mastercard
|Annual Interest Rate||19.99 – 27.99% |
depending on your income level
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.5%|
|Cash Advance Fee||$4 charged when a transaction is posted to your account|
Yes – you read it right. The Triangle Mastercard has a $0 annual fee. However, there is a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, so you may want to leave this card at home if you’re traveling abroad to somewhere like Europe or Asia.
What Is Canadian Tire Money (CTM)?
Canadian Tire Money is the rewards currency for Canadian Tire. In the early days, CTM was made of physical paper notes, and was issued at a cashback rate of 0.4% of every purchase made at Canadian Tire stores. You could trade in the paper notes as cash for future purchases at Canadian Tire stores.
Today, CTM has gone paperless. It was first replaced with the Triangle Rewards Card, and is now known as electronic Canadian Tire Money (eCTM), but CTM and eCTM are exactly the same. Once you receive your Triangle Mastercard, your card gets linked with your CTM ‘e-money’ account so that you can accumulate points in both places.
If you don’t have a Triangle Rewards Card, not to worry – every Triangle Mastercard holder is automatically enrolled in the Triangle Rewards program so you can collect CTM. CTM never expires: it stays with you, even if you don’t use it, for as long as you like.
Your CTM can’t be transferred to other rewards programs, and it can only be redeemed at Canadian Tire stores. You can also donate your CTM to charities or community groups if you choose.
Triangle Mastercard Benefits
The biggest benefit of the Triangle Mastercard is the cashback you receive in the form of Canadian Tire Money (CTM).
|CTM Earn Rate on Purchases||• 4% at Canadian Tire & participating stores (see below) on the pre-tax purchase amount.|
• 0.8% on purchases everywhere else.
|CTM Earn Rate on Gas||• 5¢ back per liter on all fuel types at Canadian Tire Gas+ and Husky locations.|
|Equal Payment Plan||• 12-month financing with 0% interest on purchases above $200 at participating stores (see below).|
• 24-month financing with 0% interest on purchases above $500 at participating stores (see below).
|No Receipt Returns||Return products without a receipt with ease at participating stores (see below).|
|Other Benefits||• Weekly bonuses|
• Personalized offers
• Access to members-only events
The “participating stores” where you earn 4% CTM are:
- Sport Chek
- Mark’s Work Wearhouse
- Sports Experts
- Hockey Experts
- Sports Rousseau
- L’Entrepôt du Hockey
- And obviously Canadian Tire!
With such a broad network of retailers where you earn CTM, the Triangle Mastercard’s rewards system is perfect for athletes and outdoors enthusiasts.
Triangle Mastercard Earn Rate #1: 4% CTM At Participating Stores
The 4% CTM earned with the Triangle Mastercard only applies to the pre-tax purchase amount, not the total amount, which means that the cash back you’ll receive will be less than 4%.
Here’s how the math works out:
|Average Sales Tax in Canada||13%|
|Total Cost Including Tax||$113|
| Real % of CTM Earned ||3.53%|
If your purchase costs $100, you’ll earn $4 in CTM. And with an average sales tax of 13% in Canada, the total purchase comes to $113, which means the $4 in CTM you earn is 3.53% of the total purchase paid. Even though the real earn rate is 3.53%, not 4%, it’s still nearly a 10x step up from the 0.4% cashback Canadian Tire used to offer.
Triangle Mastercard Earn Rate #2: 5¢ Per Liter Savings On Gas
When you use your Triangle Mastercard at Canadian Tire Gas+ or Husky gas stations, you save an incredible 5¢ per liter on gas. As of late 2019, there are more than 300 Canadian Tire Gas+ and more than 500 Husky gas stations across Canada.
So with gas prices averaging around $1.22 for the second half of 2019, those 5¢ per liter savings are equivalent to another 4% savings on your spending.
Important Note: The Cobalt Card also offers 2x the points on gas purchases at all gas stations across Canada, which is a return of about 2-4% depending on how you use your points. So if you don’t have a Canadian Tire Gas+ or Husky location near your house, it’s just one more reason to opt for the Cobalt Card instead.
Triangle Mastercard Earn Rate #3: 0.8% CTM Everywhere Else
On top of earning 4% cash back on pre-tax purchases at Canadian Tire and participating stores AND 5¢ per liter savings on gas, you also earn 0.8% CTM on all other purchases on the Triangle Mastercard. This includes any travel purchases you make, bills you pay with your card, or anything else. There’s no limit to the amount of CTM you can earn.
Other Ways To Earn CTM
On top of these earning rates, Canadian Tire offers CTM bonuses as well. They send exclusive e-mail offers to members with special discounts, and also make offers available in the Canadian Tire app.
Canadian Tire also puts on Triangle Rewards Days, a multi-day event where bonuses range from 10x-50x the CTM on your purchases at Canadian Tire and participating stores in addition to what you already earn.
Additional Perks Of The Triangle Mastercard
Equal Payment Plan
The Equal Payment Plan allows you to pay for purchases over a much longer period than the traditional 30-day payment period on credit cards.
For purchases between $200-$499, you can pay across 12 monthly payments, and for purchases of $500 or more, you can pay across 24 monthly payments.
The Equal Payment Plan doesn’t charge any interest, so as long as you pay your monthly bill, you won’t pay a dime more than you would otherwise. The Equal Payment Plan can be used in-store or online.
No Receipt Refund
As long as you used your Triangle Mastercard to pay for the purchase, no receipt is required to return an item. This is an extremely convenient benefit for those of us who aren’t great at keeping track of all the paperwork in our lives. Of course, the CTM you earned on that purchase will automatically be deducted when you return the item.
Triangle Mastercard vs. American Express Cobalt
The Triangle Mastercard is a great free card, but if you’re willing to spend just $10/month, you can get a whole lot more with the American Express Cobalt Card. The Cobalt Card has a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, which you can redeem for rewards worth $600 or more.
Here are a few more features of the Cobalt Card:
- $100 USD annual hotel credit for spa, restaurants and other amenities at The Hotel Collection participating properties
- Complimentary room upgrades at The Hotel Collection participating properties
- 5X the points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery
- 2X the points on eligible travel & transit purchases, including gas
- An exceptional travel medical insurance plan
- Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
- Purchase Protection Plan
- Up to 9 free additional cards
- And even more…
If you’re looking for a low-fee card that gives you way more than the Triangle Mastercard, the American Express Cobalt Card is the card for you.
How To Get A Triangle Mastercard
Getting a Triangle Mastercard is dead simple, since Canadian Tire does not have strict requirements for approving applicants. There’s no minimum annual income or minimum credit score to apply for the card, so if you want to save 5¢ per liter on gas and get all of the other benefits of the card, it could be a good card for you.
The Triangle Mastercard is a valuable card to have in your wallet, especially since there are no annual fees or costs involved. And since your CTM never expires, you can accumulate it for years before splurging on that new snowblower, bicycle or thoughtful Christmas gift.
However, with the exceptional offer currently available on the American Express Cobalt Card, we highly recommend getting a Cobalt Card instead. It offers you far more bang for your buck than the Triangle MasterCard, and we’re certain you’ll be glad you applied.