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Canadian Tire Mastercard Credit Card Review

Important update from June 15, 2017: A lot has changed since we last reviewed Canadian Tire’s MasterCard, and we have actually had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand their improved rewards program embodied in the Options® MasterCard. We invite you all to read about it here: http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/the-canadian-tire-options-mastercard/

Canadian Tire MasterCard
If you have a Canadian Tire Mastercard, chances are you could be doing a lot better. We evaluated each Canadian Tire Mastercard – the Options, Gas Advantage and Cash Advantage Mastercards – and our opinion is there are alternatives in the marketplace that offer better value.

Canadian Tire Mastercard

1. Poor Rewards Rate: While the Canadian Tire Options Mastercard advertises a rewards rate of 1%, our analysis shows is doesn’t quite turn out that way for most redemptions.

Canadian Tire rounds down your purchase to the nearest ten dollars for purchases over $10 , and pays you 1% on the rounded down amount. So if you bought an item for $49, they round your purchase down to $40 and pay you 1% on $40, which is $.40, equaling an .81% earn rate.  We find that less than transparent, allowing Canadian Tire to claim they offer a 1% reward rate, when in fact it’s much less on many transactions, because of the practice of rounding down your purchases.

Perhaps worst of all, it’s difficult to find information related to the rounding down practice BEFORE applying, making it difficult for applicants to have transparency into what they are getting before they commit to the card.

The Canadian Tire Cash Advantage Mastercard advertises a rewards rate of up to 1.5% cash back per dollar spent, but again, our calculations show that it’s difficult to get anywhere close. The Cash Advantage card offers an earn rate of 0.25% on the first $1,500 in purchases, 0.5% on purchases above $1,500 and up to $3,000, a full 1% on purchases above $3,000 and 1.5% on purchases above $24,000. You earn double that rate within Canadian Tire stores.

The bottom line: If you spend $6,000 a year on your credit card, ($1,000 in store and $5,000 elsewhere) you’re really getting around .6% cash back for every dollar spent – nowhere near the 1.5%! Our suggestion? Get a no-annual fee credit card that offers much better value. You will be sure to find at least one credit card that can do better than the Canadian Tire Mastercard will do for you. Our favourite no-fee credit card in Canada right now, offering great value, simplicity and transparency is the new American Express SimplyCash credit card. It offers a flat 1.25% cashback on ALL purchases, with no limits. In addition, during the first 6 months, it offers 5% cash back on gas, grocery and restaurant purchases, all with no annual fee.

2. Poor Interest Rate: Each Canadian Tire Mastercard has a purchase interest rate of 19.99% to 25.99%. That is a very high interest rate if you’re not paying down your credit card balance every month. We estimate the average Canadian Tire Mastercard balance to be around $2,300, which means cardholders are keeping a balance on Canadian Tire credit cards. Put another way, for every $1 spent on a Canadian Tire Mastercard, $.38 is not paid off at the end of the month. As a result, Canadian Tire Mastercard users have a big incentive to lower their credit card interest rates. In our opinion, what anyone who has a Canadian Tire Mastercard should do, is transfer their credit card debt, through a 0% balance transfer offer, to a lower rate credit card. Lowering rates from 19.99% or 24.99% to 0% for 12 months can save $100’s in interest costs, and give cardholders a chance to pay down their principle.

3. Uncertain Interest Rates: While Canadian Tire Mastercard advertises 19.99% purchase interest rates, when you read the fine print, you’ll notice that it says “if you are not approved for a card at these rates, Canadian Tire Bank may still issue you a card at an annual interest rate of — 25.99% for all charges.” We think it’s too costly for cardholders to potentially pay a 25.99% interest rate, without having ever missed a payment on their account. Each Canadian Tire cardholder should check their credit card statements to ensure their not paying 25.99% interest rates. If you are, transfer your balance to another card or pay down your Canadian Tire credit card right away and start using a different credit card with a lower rate.

The Bottom Line

From our analysis, we think there are far better Canadian credit cards in the marketplace to choose from than those from Canadian Tire, offering much better rewards rates, interest rates and transparency.


  1. Just got released from my 2nd bankruptcy 6 months ago, applied for this card was accepted @ 25.9 interest and a 500.00 limit…. WITHIN 2 MONTHS they increased my limit to 2000.00. I have found the customer service reps to speak excellent English, and are very courteous.

    This card is great as capital one does not offer any rewards for my credit rating… they did give me a “Gold” card with a similar limit, but no points… All considered, for people re-building credit I’d say they are defiantly worth it.

    • What card did you applied for?

    • Very good points. I am a new Canadian and they gave me a card with a 300.00 limit. I got a cool filson carry on airline bag at their store 24 months same as cash no interest . My payment is 12.50 a month. if you go to the US Filson website the price for my carry on airline bag is $395. I paid that same amount in Canada at Canadian tire. I’m very happy

  2. ctm sold me insurance than when i was waiting g for a doctors appointment to fill out the insurance paper work, an impatient employee said that it takes too long to kick in and I would have to pay no matter what, previously I had informed her I was in a car wreak and had been off work for a year. I did make as many payments as i could before I realized i was paying for insurance that ctm sold me under there name and under my info from my file with ctm. The employee insisted forcefully that I pa now no matter what and said that the insurance sold to me under there name was 3rd party and not only does it take to long but ctm has nothing to do with it(they didn’t say that when i bought the insurance).This is fraud and I am in the process of dealing with it but stay away from ctm at all costs

  3. The CTF Mastercard is my least favorite credit card due to their lack of electronic notification i.e your bill is due in 3 days, etc. All my other credit cards send me “payment is due” notification except for Canadian Tire. I also hate the CTFS Website which is very poorly designed and difficult to navigate. If it were not for the ability to collect CT Money electronically I would not have this card.

  4. canadian tire credit card seems hard to get. i have a clean credit and they still dont accept to provide me a credit card. what is funny is that a bank agreed to give me a 7000$ loan while i cant get this credit card from canadian tire which is at a much higher interest rate. also , i saw that sometimes they do charge even more interest at 25% interest or such. this is ridiculous. do yourself a favor and get a credit card from somewhere else.

  5. I am trying to determine how I can get ctfs to reduce my interest rate or help me .. My last statement almost gave me a heart attack.. 2300+ over my limit which I never authorized .. In that I did not authorize any limit increases or use. I am screwed and I have no way to pay this back. They won’t help me and I am now going have damaged credit because of it. Is there anything I can do?

    • Hi JD,

      That’s really unfortunate. It is one of the oddities of credit cards that credit limits, aren’t in fact limits at all. That said, if you can’t afford what you purchased in the first place, is there any chance you can return it? If not, and you’re stuck with the bill, you have one of two options:

      1. Call CTFS, explain your situation, and ask them if you can get a reduction of your interest rate
      2. Do a balance transfer for 0% for 12 months and try to pay down as much of the principle as you can, while it’s not earning interest

      Hope that’s somewhat helpful,

      GreedyRates Staff

    • I wanted to get a better rate so I applied for and got another company’s Mastercard. I then called CTFS and asked what they would offer me to stay with CTFS or I would transfer the balance to the other card at 0% for 6 months. They gave me three month no interest, and after that my interest rate was permanently reduced by More than 3% to 13.9%. I also dropped the life insurance that was very expensive at 1% of the balance. I had the balance paid off in 1 year. If however the balance owing was high enough to justify a bank loan I would have borrowed from the bank to further reduce the interest rate. One must learn to live within their means and remember you are you are paying for credit. I hope this helps.

  6. Only reason why I still have this card is Ctfs bill payment. I put my property taxes of all my houses on it and get 1% back in the form of ctc money. That’s about $120 a year. Most of the time, I use my aventura card for travel perks.

  7. same thing ,they said hubby signed for the charge have been fighting them for months and they just keep adding the interest to the bill ,my hubby passed away first week in march and now they want his estate [[which is none ]] to pay the bill and from $5.00 it is up to 30.00 still not paying ,next I.m going to the store and make a scene being as we had no intention to use this cardmary

  8. Wil, you clearly work for Canadian Tire with all your super stats, yes! Thats right! Super stats.
    Speaking as someone who has been with Canadian tire since I walked into the store to purchase a hockey jersey when I was a broke freshman in college trying to maintain a social life. I can tell you it’s the worst company to start your credit journey with.

    It’s officially been a decade since I signed up in store, tempted by money back offers and “low interest rate” lol, what a joke. If only I could go back in time. Seeing as how there are people paying 16.99 percent interest and I’m still at 19.99 after 10 years of loyalty. I’m left with no ‘Options’ but to introduce a scissor to this card.

    Thanks Wil, for letting me know they pick and choose who receives great interest rate and all the hoops one must jump through.

    First time credit card hunters, Be Ware.

    And good luck.

  9. I have been very happy with my CT Options card for years now. Use it all the time. Pay the bill within a day or two when it arrives in the mail. No problems at all. Until………………………..the January2015 bill arrived. As per usual I paid it the same day. however when I paid it, I selected the wrong payee. as a result my telephone company received a 3000.00 + payment, and my CT Options card account remained unpaid, and became overdue. It irks me that the phone company did not have the decency to give me a call and say, are you sure you want to pay 3400 plus dollars to your account, your monthly bill is only 45.00. What irked me even more is that my Feb CT Options Card bill had a 75.00 interest charge for being 2 days late with my Jan payment. Years and years of paying 15 to 25 days early before the due date each and every month means nothing to them. 2 days late, and you pay BIG time. I know, no one other then me is to blame here, but trust me if this ever happens again, That account will close, and i will find another Master Card. You ( CT Options Card people) got me once. You will never get me gain.

  10. I have to agree with Wil… They are great for re-establishing credit post-bankruptcy. Yes they are not a great value for cash/points-back for someone who could qualify for an Amex, but when I actually HAD what I consider good credit years ago (700+ scores) I could never even qualify for an American Express of any kind. When I applied to RBC with cash-in-hand (security deposit and everything) 2-years post bankruptcy for a Secured card they wouldn’t even look at me, but Canadian Tire approved me without any deposit down and I only wanted it for the 12 months equal payments.

  11. 4 years ago I was discharged from bankruptcy and applied for this card. I was given $2500 limit @ 25.99% with no annual fee.

    Today I have the upgraded Options World Card with a 17k limit @ 16.99% with no annual fee. I have never asked for a credit limit increase or a lower rate.

    I have carried balances, paid off balances in full, did 0% balance transfer; charged thousands of dollars some months and none other months. I have redeemed my rewards at Canadian Tire without hassle. Customer Service Reps have always been great!

    Today I have awesome credit and numerous cards and offers from various banks, but Canadian Tire gave me a chance and have treated me very well from the start! They get my business first and foremost.

    • i was like you and they refused me the credit card but after all i see here i prefer not having this card. they charge too much interest. best is to pay everything cash.





  13. I haven’t even activated my credit card and I was charged with this ” aimia – identity watch classic” when I called, the first representative I spoke with said it’s for the insurance. She then transferred me to another rep named Sue when I said I want to cancel the card. Sue said it was a mistake then tried to persuade me to keep the card, and offered me take take away the charged amount… Which I did not purchase anyway! She was also giving me a $50. store credit – for the “hard start” basically bribing me to keep the Canadian Tire MasterCard. I was very upset and no matter how much they offer me to keep the card, I wouldn’t! Because they are taking advantage of the consumers by charging something that wasn’t even purchased!!

    • Hi Aleynes,

      Sorry to hear about the rough start with CTFS and thanks for letting us know. There are so many other quality options in the marketplace. If you’re looking for simplicity and value, we’d encourage you to explore our cash back section. If you’re looking for a no annual fee card that’s simple and transparent (which it seems you may be in the mood for now), take a look at BMO’s 1% flat cash back rate card. There’s no categories, no tiers – you get 1% on all spend with no limits, no annual fee, and a $50 sign-up bonus (limited time offer).


      GreedyRates Staff

    • same things happen to me too. I didn’t activated my credit card yet but they charge me with the same things they charge you I’m going to call them tomorrow since I just got my bills to day.

  14. This article doesn’t display all the facts.

    While the thing about the rewards may possibly be true, the fact is that not everyone pays 19.99% or 25.99% interest on this card. I pay 16.99%! In fact, I didn’t even ask for the lower rate…I got a letter one day stating that my rate had been lowered.

    Not to mention, this is the go-to card for those rebuilding their credit after having a secured card. I worked my way up from a $2K limit to $10K.

    Also worth mentioning is that they have the BEST customer service hands down. 100% based in Canada and they’re actually helpful.

    Even the lady I spoke to at Capital One when I closed my Cap 1 secured card after getting approved for CT Options admitted to me that they lose a lot of business to CT.

    Of course, those with more stellar credit probably want to consider something else, the fact is that not everyone has good enough credit to qualify for those better cards.

    • I read this article and was like what…? And then I read your comment and was relieved. Because I can relate completely with what you’re saying. I began re-establishing my credit and CT has been the best of all my cards. I started with a low credit limit and in only 18 months my limit has increased 29 times it’s original amount. Yes 29 times. I used it frequently and always paid it off in full. I’ve taken advantage of 20x the points events and 12 month equal instalment plans at 0% interest. Also I’ve used the 1.5% fee balance transfers for 6 months and avoided paying super high interest rates on other cards. You can even use the balance transfer on the CT MC itself as you can write the balance transfer to yourself! And as well after my first year with the CT MC I got a letter in the mail informing me my interest rate was being lowered from 19.99% to 16.99%. I’ve cashed in over a thousand dollars in CT Money and used it on things I needed only and were on sale. As well the customer support you get get over the phone is really good.

      As long as you use the card frequently and pay it off on time you will be in good shape. But one thing about the CT mastercard is, if you are using balance transfer cheques do not use the card for other purchases. Canadian Tire deferred 12 month payment plans are not a problem as long as you spend $200 or more. But if you make purchases outside of CT deferrals or balance transfers your payments will be divided between the two and you will incur interest on the remaining amount owing of your other purchases.

      Use it right and it will be the best card in your pocket. No I don’t work for em…. lol

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