What Do You Need to Know About the Tim Hortons Rewards Program?

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Last updated on April 27, 2021 Comments: 108

Tim Horton’s is one of Canada’s most beloved brands. From double-double coffees to donuts and Timbits and, of course, the annual Roll Up the Rim competition, Canadians love their Tim Hortons. So, it only makes sense that there’s a Tim Horton’s rewards program.

Unveiled in 2019, Tim Hortons Rewards got off to a bit of a rocky start but most of those bumps have been smoothed out with some recent updates. So, for any Tim Horton’s lovers out there, this guide to Tim Horton’s Rewards is for you.

What are Tim Horton’s Rewards?

Tim Horton’s Rewards is a rewards program for Tim Horton’s customers. It’s a free program that anyone can join. Points are earned on per a purchase basis and you can then redeem those points towards a variety of Tim Horton’s products including coffee, donuts, bagels, soups, sandwiches, and more.

How Much are Tim’s Rewards Worth?

There is no general value for Tim Horton’s rewards points. The value depends on what you are redeeming them for. You can easily figure this out yourself by taking the cost of the item you are redeeming your points for in cents and then dividing that number by the number of points needed to get that item. Here are a few examples.

ItemCostPoints NeededCents per Point Value
Classic Donut$0.99501.98
Coffee$1.76702.51
Bagel$1.39701.99
Iced Coffee$1.991001.81
10 Timbits$2.391401.71

How Can You Earn Rewards?

ImageSource: Shutterstock

Earning rewards is easy. All you need to do is download and register in the Tim Horton’s app in order to earn and collect your rewards.

Then, when you visit your nearest Tim Horton’s location, make sure to have the staff scan your digital Tim’s Card (in the app) to collect points. Usually, they will ask if you are a member but if they forget, don’t be shy to speak up and remind them so you get your points!

For every eligible purchase you make at Tim Hortons, you will earn 10 points when you scan your card. This is a flat earn rate, it doesn’t matter how much you spend. So, whether you buy a single coffee for yourself or $250 on Tim Horton’s treats for the entire office, you will earn the same 10 points per individual transaction.

There are a couple of restrictions to be aware of. Firstly, the pre-tax total must be over $0.50 to qualify. Additionally, you must wait at least 30 minutes between transactions. So, unfortunately, you can’t buy 5 coffees for your co-workers back-to-back in an attempt to earn more points. Also, Tim Horton’s Rewards members are allowed to have up to 20,000 points maximum at a time. Chances are you will use your points before you ever reach that stage but it’s good to keep that in mind if you are a point-hoarder.

Note that at the start of the Tim Horton’s Reward’s program launch, they used physical Tim Horton’s cards, however, as of October 28, 2020, the terms changed. While you can still use your card to collect points, it needs to be linked to Tim Horton’s App if you want to use them. If it’s not linked, you can collect but you can’t actually redeem. If you already have a Tim Hortons Reward card, you can use it when you make your purchases and the points will be recorded on the app (assuming you have linked the accounts). If you don’t have a Tim’s Rewards card, don’t worry. You can collect via having the staff scan the digital card on your app.

How to Redeem Rewards

Once you start collecting points you will have 13 different reward levels across 4 categories that you can redeem them for. They are as follows:

Beverages

Points NeededProducts to Redeem For
70Brewed coffee and tea
100Hot chocolate, french vanilla, iced coffee
140Classic Iced Capp, frozen beverages and espresso drinks

Baked Goods

Points NeededProducts to Redeem For
70Classic donut, specialty donut, cookies
100Dream donuts, bagels, and baked goods
140Box of 10 Timbits

Breakfast

Points NeededProducts to Redeem For
50Hash browns
140Yogurt
180Breakfast Sandwiches
220BELT and Farmer's Breakfast Sandwiches

Lunch

Points NeededProducts to Redeem For
100Wedges
180Soups
220Lunch sandwiches or chili

Now, the tricky thing to be aware of is that your Tim’s rewards will be automatically redeemed once you earn enough points to reach your chosen rewards level and make a purchase. So, say you hit 50 points and you chose 50-point level baked goods as a reward. The next time that you go into Tim Hortons and order a donut with your coffee. Your points will be automatically used towards that donut. If that works for you, great! If you would rather save up your points for later, you will have to choose the ‘bank points’ feature within the app to turn off the automatic redemption. Remember though, you can only save up to 20,000 points at a time.

How to Join Tim Horton’s Rewards?

Joining Tim Horton’s Rewards is easy, free, and only takes about a minute of your time. The original program used a physical Tim Horton’s Rewards card. This is no longer the case as of October 2020, it’s now all done via the app. That being said, if you still have a physical card you can continue to use it- just make sure to link to the app.

Once you download the Tim Horton’s app you will be asked to specify your language and country (Canada English/French or USA English). From there you will be asked for your email address and name. Once you enter that information- that’s it! You are in.

On your screen, you will then see your digital Tim’s Rewards card. This is what you will have the Tim Horton’s staff scan when you make your purchases to collect your points. If you are new to the app, then just leave it as is and continue on. If you have a physical card already, you can link it here.

You can then choose which rewards level you would like. You can choose any of the 13 options listed above or choose ‘bank points’ to keep accumulating them without automatic redemption. You can change your rewards level at any time.

Tim Hortons Bank My Points

As a member, you will also benefit from special promotions and deals. For example, a box of 10 Timbits for $1 or $1 for any sized coffee. If you would like to activate any of these deals, you’ll need to click the red ‘activate’ button. Remember, these deals are only valid for a certain amount of time so use them before they expire.

Tim Hortons Offers

Pros and Cons

No program is perfect. Here are the main pros and cons of the Tim Horton’s Rewards program.

Pros

  • Tim Horton’s Rewards is a free program
  • Low minimum purchase to earn points ($0.50 pre-tax)
  • Points earned per purchase rather than per dollar spent means it’s easy to collect points without having to spend a lot of money
  • There are always extra discounts and offers for members
  • Birthday bonus for members

Cons

  • Points do expire in 12 months
  • Points earned per purchase means less value when you make bigger purchases
  • Automatic point redemption isn’t ideal for everyone and you need to remember to change it yourself if that’s not what you want

Rev-Up Your Tims Rewards

Overall, Tims Rewards appears to be a fast-earning, uncomplicated loyalty program that ensures Timmies fans will get lots of free fare. Savvy customers can bump up their Tims Rewards earning potential by paying with a credit card that maximizes restaurant spending. If you use a credit card that earns you rewards or cash back on dining out, on your next trip to Tim Horton’s, you’re playing the rewards game the right way.

Are Tim’s Points Worth it?

If you are an avid Tim Horton’s lover, then absolutely. It’s free, easy to use and the way it’s set up for automatic redemption, you don’t even have to put in any work to redeem if you don’t want to.  You may as well get the occasional free coffee, donut, or sandwich if you are planning on buying them anyway.

 

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Author Bio

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, Forbes.com and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites.

Article comments

108 comments
P says:

Hello,
Can someone please tell me exactly which lunch sandwiches are redeemable?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi P,
According to the Terms and Conditions of the new Tims Rewards program, the Ham and Swiss, Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap, Chipotle Chicken Wrap, and Turkey Bacon Club are considered eligible menu items, redeemable for 240 points.

Joshua says:

How come when I when to tim Hortons to use my points to buy ice capp they charge me 30 cents

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Joshua,
That seems rather odd. Your best bet will be to reach out to Tim Horton’s Digital Support through https://www.timhortons.ca/support to get to the bottom of it. Good luck.

Jeff says:

I just registered my card. Typed In the number on it but now it’s showing a different number on my app than my card.is this normal?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Jeff,

Not sure if that’s expected. Your best bet will be to reach out to Tim Horton’s customer service- you can reach them toll-Free at 1-888-601-1616, 8am to midnight EST or shoot them a note at https://www.timhortons.ca/contact-us. Let us know how it works out.

Jasmine Marietti says:

My father has a rewards card and has been told he can’t redeem his points till he registers it. The problem with this, is he has no cell/smart phone and no computer/email to do this. What are his options? He has been a loyal regular customer for years and has accumulated lots of points but can’t use them. Is there someone I can talk to about this?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Jasmine,
That’s an unfortunate turn of events. Your father will have to find a way to register his card to be able to redeem his points. Would it be possible for you to set up an email on his behalf and complete the registration? Even if the email address’ sole purpose is just for Tim’s Rewards, it would get your father back enjoying his Timmies. If you’d like to speak with someone, try guest services at 1-888-601-1616. Hope this helps!

Lisa says:

So aggravating that the app offers buy one get one free donuts and I activate the offer and it never gives me the free one! No one to call and the stores don’t care. Aggravating

Daniel at GreedyRates says:

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear that this didn’t work out. Try reaching out to Tim’s Digital Support to share your feedback; there’s a form for when an Offer Wasn’t Applied to Order. Hope this helps.

Phyllis Armstrong says:

What happens if you don’t have a cell phone for this rewards app? I have been tapping my rewards card and never get a free coffee anymore. I don’t use my cell phone – onlynfor emergencies. I am a senior & not interested in new apps, etc. So I guess I might as well cut up my card. And I’ll be visiting MacDonald’s or Wendy’s more for my coffee.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Phyllis, not so fast. You can still collect points with your card and manage your account (see your point balance, order food, add money to your card) by logging in with your account information and linking the card number on your card to that account through the Timhortons.ca website, so the app isn’t necessary as long as you have a computer with a web browser that can go to TimHortons.ca

Judy says:

I dint no how this Tim Horton’s app works do u have to buy ur coffee with ur phone before u can scan to win I went to Tim and bought a coffee I went inside to ask how it worked and no one could help me I had the app on my phone but they still had no idea I also had a Tim’s card which I put the money into the app but still have no idea of what to do

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Judy,
Perhaps I can help you. If you already have money loaded on your Tim’s card, just login in with your account details into the app on the phone and it should show you your Tim’s Card balance on the app. You can either order right from the app for delivery or pickup (similar to UberEats or DoorDash) and use your Tim’s card loaded into the app to pay, or you can go to your nearest tim horton’s order through the drive-thru or at the restaurant and when you pay for your order, open the app (make sure you’re already login to your Tim’s account – you should be already if you’ve login before) and click scan at the bottom of the app. Hold the phone up to the scanner on the till and the app should automatically subtract the cost of your order from your Tim’s Card digitally. If you need help, after you press scan at the bottom of the app (with the app open) ask the customer service rep where you need to hold the phone up to to scan it and pay. Hope that helps.

Arthur Zeilstra says:

My card was issued in 2019. Is it still good? The number sequence has changed

Aaron Broverman says:

I would verify with Tim Hortons, but I don’t see why not. If it happens not to work because the account has been inactive for too long or something, they will probably send you a new card for free. Call them at 1-888-376-4835. The line is open 24/7 with an average wait time of 8 minutes. The best time to call is 9:30 am EST

Paulw says:

Tims loyalty program is a joke IMO. Guess its better than nothing. BUT much better to go to McDonalds. First free med hot beverage is after 7 med (or larger) hot beverages purchased, then each free is after 6 (the first free beverage counts towards the 7 required).
And if your like me, and buy multiple hot beverages at a time for friends and family, then each one counts towards the free one. None of the Tims 1 point per 30 min visit *bs*.
Additionally the free hot beverage can be from their fancy products (hot chocolate, latte, etc)
Lastly.. Mcdonads coffee is better (I’ve been drinking Tims for over 35 years but switched to Mcdonalds when they brought in McCafe.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Paul,
From a personal standpoint, I have to agree with all your points. Of course, there is that longstanding rumour that Tim Hortons and McDonalds switched coffee suppliers when Tim Hortons merged with Burger King under new parent company Restaurant Brands International and McDonalds coffee has been delicious while Tin Hortons coffee has declined ever since. This year I actually had the pleasure of staying at Ronald McDonald house where they served McDonalds coffee in travel cups that included the coffee loyalty card and stickers every morning, so I was able to redeem a filled card for a free coffee at a local McDonalds every week of my stay. It was quite the life hack.

Stephen says:

It’s not a rumour when Tim Horton’s was bought out by burger in 2016 they revamped and changed the coffee to a less expensive brand that didn’t taste as good. At the Same time, McDonald’s did a rebrand into a more coffee shop style with better seating and restaurant look so customers would linger around more like they do at a coffee shop. As part of this they purchased a different coffee blend from the Tim Hortons old supplier, so it’s not the same coffee but it is the same supplier with a different blend. So no they didn’t buy Tim Horton’s contract. Tim Horton’s dropped their contract and McDonald’s got their own contract with that supplier. https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-McDonalds-bought-out-Tim-Horton-s-coffee-bean-suppliers

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Stephen,
I definitely believe personally, but even the source you cite here comes right out and treats this story as a rumour and says it’s an urban legend. Not that Quora can be considered a reputable source, especially since it’s just people sharing their takes and opinions. No, no one from Tim Hortons or McDonalds has actually confirmed the story, so a rumour it shall stay.

Darrell McLaughlin says:

I have 810 points a tims hortons ,I have registered my card by following steps ,but when I come to get a free coffee they say I have to register my card but it is registered ,now I would like to know is it a new kimmick to not get Notting but still say we are your friend ,pretty soon I will throw away the card and forget it ,,,,Darrell

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Darrell,
This is a case where I think you need to get in touch with them and tell them what is happening and maybe they can determine what is going wrong. Apparently their customer service line is 1-888-376-4835. Good luck and let us know if you get anywhere.

Nancy says:

I had almost 600 points and finally linked my card online. Suddenly I only have 70 points. I only redeemed 2 coffees. What a disappointment.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Nancy,
Yeah Tim Horton’s reward points do expire rather quickly if you don’t use them fast enough. The window is expiration happens 12 months after you earn them. If you feel they’ve expired or disappeared in error call 1-888-476-4835.

Kriss says:

I have downloaded the app (which I was not told by any employee) and it gave me a card number. When I tried to link my physical card to get approximately a month worth of points, it’s stating my card is already registered.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Kriss,
I think you need a new card or redownload the app to get a new number and start again. You can call 1-888-376-4835 to explain the situation to Tim Horton’s customer service. There’s apparently no wait time. Let me know how you make out.

Jaqui says:

I didn’t scan my Tim’s reward card before I bought hockey cards, I got a redemption card but it doesn’t recognize the code. What can I do

Aaron Broverman says:

I would log in to your Tim’s account and call customer service and ask them. Login to Tim Horton’s and go from there.

Jim Le drew says:

OK, I dont drink tea or coffee and very rarely eat donuts. So how do I get any rewards from buing the hockey cards. By the time the cards are sold out, I would have bought over 100 packs & there is no reward cods in them like there was in previous years & the fact that I dont drink Tea/Coffee or even much pop for that matter & very rarely eat the donuts seams kind of unfair for those of us that will be spending a few hundred dollars this month at tims while everyone else gets rewards.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Jim,
If you don’t drink coffee or eat donuts, why would you want a Tim Hortons Rewards card? The best way to maximize rewards on any credit card is to choose one that aligns with your spending and lifestyle.

Jeanette Bucek says:

I need to talk to someone about my Tim Rewards card. Not on line. What phone number do I call?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Jeanette,
The phone number is 1‑888‑601‑1616.

Jeanette Bucek says:

I was told this morning that altho I have 120 points I can not use them because I am not signed in. I tried to do that on the web site but could not get anywhere. I have the rewards card and she said it is not usable. What does she mean?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Jeanette,
With the Tin’s Card, your points are automatically redeemed once you hit the right number of points for a certain item which can make it feel like your points are just randomly disappearing. To bank your points, you actually have to select bank my points within the app. You can only bank up to 20,000 points at one time. You also have to register your card in the app before it can be used. Perhaps it hasn’t been registered or you don’t actually have the points you thought you had because you didn’t bank them or redeem them in time.

Gloria says:

I purchase 2 to 3 coffees per day, without fail and always received a free coffee after buying 7. For the past little while I noticed that I am purchasing almost double the amount before getting a free one. I do not eat donuts and never buy Tim’s food so I am not interested in receiving free food. A lot of people are switching to McDonald’s as you only have to buy 6 coffees to be eligible for a free one, and the coffee is cheaper. I did not change my card to allow for free food so why do I have to buy 12 or more coffees to get a free one?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Gloria,
In order for your Tim’s Card to work it has to be registered with the app. If it is not registered on the app it will not work. Also, if you get to a free coffee but you do not choose to redeem for a free coffee on your next order, your points will disappear unless you select bank my points within the app. Even then, you can only bank 20,000 points at one time. If you’re still having trouble, call Tim Horton’s customer service line at 1-888-601-1616.

Darlene says:

I spen 10.42 didn’t get my 10 tidbits free cause she scanned my card got a free coffee but thats not fair i should have got them maybe i shouldnt have used my card very dissapointed i spend lots there

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Darlene, I’m sorry this happened to you. For clarification, you received a free a coffee, but not the free timbits you were entitled to? I’d have to better understand the situation so I can better advise you as to what may have happened, so it potentially doesn’t happen again.

KBH says:

With the old rewards program a few times i wasn’t paying attention on when i was due for a free one and gave the guy my money for my morning drive through coffee. Come to find out later by checking the online app purchase history it should hve been free. Something to be aware off. I assume it becomes tip $ for them. The new rewards program has a bank your points option which i applied to my acct. Much easier to track my points.

Judy Stoyanovich says:

I also felt I was cheated out of my free coffee twice . I had to remind the fellow once that it was free. I felt they were pocketing my money.

Aaron Broverman says:

Keep them honest Judy,
As a customer you always have to advocate for yourself because no one will advocate for you. Capitalist businesses want one thing: your money. If you want a free coffee, it’s your job to keep track because they won’t.

Diana says:

What do I do if I don’t want to use my reward at a certain time. I want to save if for another time

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Diana,
Great question. You can save your rewards for a different time, but you can only bank up to five rewards at one time. Rewards above five at a time will not be saved until you claim at least one banked reward in your account. Also, any banked reward expires after 120 days without being redeemed.

Rhonda Mayne says:

Well today I was told that the reward card is not good for anything but tea, coffee and French vanilla. So been wasting my money and time going here for nothing when all I drink is hot chocolate and donuts!!
Also had 3 super bad experiences at Tim’s so I think this is the straw that broke the camels back.
Rather give my money to a small mom n pop business anyways ✌🏻

Janet Thompson says:

Tim Hortons has a new Digital Rewards in January , well looks like I will have to Look for somewhere else to go for my Coffee and Muffin, as I have a “flip phone ” as well as about 24 others and more that won’t be able to get their rewards. It is toooo bad as I have been a customer for Tim Hortons for the last 4 1/2 years, so now I will have to go somewhere else. Looks like Tim Hortons will be loosing some customers.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Janet,

Thanks for coming to GreedyRates, and for leaving your comment. We’ll use it to help warn other Tims Rewards Program members that changes are coming. January 1st, 2020 will see the popular program go all-digital in Canada. It’s likely that this is to help consolidate and control the program, which is one of the more unorganized in terms of customer experience. Though it will indeed cut out users like yourself, who don’t have the ability to access the application and provide bar codes to scan in the store, Tims may grandfather in those who already have the Tims Rewards card. It could be worth your while to find a location that hasn’t stopped printing cards and pick one up. Otherwise, you may be out of luck, but don’t quote us! We won’t know for sure until the updated program drops in a week or so. Thanks again.

GreedyRates

Marie D. says:

My Tim’s card has been scanned 2x this month and I redeemed my points yesterday. Muffins are also free, not just regular drinks.

Aaron Broverman says:

Awesome, thanks Marie. I’m sure all the Timmies fans who read Greedyrates will rejoice at this news.

Katherine says:

Hi Janet,
I don’t have the app on my phone, and they just scan my rewards card when I go, same as last year. I got a free coffee yesterday. Keep scanning your Tim’s card 🙂

Jim Mackenzie says:

I stopped at a Tim Horton’s at an En Route location on 401 tonight and when I presented my rewards card
before payment, I was told that it was not accepted at that location. What is up with that and what other locations do not accept the card?

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Jim!

Good to hear from you. Unfortunately, you discovered one of the many nuances of this new Tims rewards program, which is not accepted in every Tims location. Some locations choose not to participate at all, which is confusing, but then it also seems as if points accumulate on a per-location basis in places where the program is operational. Very strange, and ultimately not worthwhile for those who aren’t regularly ordering the redeemable food and drink items. Thanks again for the comment!

GreedyRates

Émilie Roy says:

Hi,
I almost always take combos, and I noticed that I often passed my seventh time without getting anything. I get mochas, which aren’t redeemable, and usually breakfast, so none of the food items are redeemable either. Are my items still there? Can I still get them or have I just been losing them every time? I go to different Tim’s and they never say where I’m at with my card or if I’m eligible for an item.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Emilie,

Thanks for commenting about the Tims rewards program. You should be getting points for all your purchases and seeing them automatically redeemed when you buy an eligible item, otherwise it seems as if they’ll be saved up in the location where the purchase was made. The more precise nuances of the program are still a mystery, but the next time you’re at your favorite Tims branch, go inside and ask the cashier or closely inspect your receipt to see if your progress towards the reward is tangible. Ultimately, we’re not sure the program is worth this much leg work in the first place, given some of the feedback we’ve received.

GreedyRates

Dean Paul says:

Is there any prizes that you can win from cause 17 hours ago I received information on saying I had won $ 500 dollars and I went to Tim Hortons and they said it was a scam and I don’t know if it is true cause it had a Tim Hortons crest on it and it said go to the nearest Tim Hortons and claim your prize

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Dean,

Good question. As far as we know, Tims doesn’t have any similar promotions running currently, so you may have encountered a scam. We’re not sure what the point of it is, however, as the only detriment it seems to have is that it makes people waste gas trying to claim a nonexistent prize. If the Tims employee didn’t recognize it then it’s not real anyway because franchise employees are told far ahead of time, and on a national basis, of running promotions that will impact their daily interactions with customers. Delete and ignore!

GreedyRates

Brandy says:

I ordered a combo that included a muffin. The muffin being my free item. I’ve done this many times before and this particular Tim’s just threw a plain donut at me instead of my muffin. When I said this is not what I ordered they snarly said “its your free item”. After I explained I ordered the muffin the switched it. This made me curious how many times they just throw a stale plain donut at ppl rather than asking them what they want. Rock bottom Tim Horton’s at this location

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Brandy!

That’s disappointing. Why not shout out the name of the Tims location you’re having an issue with, so other readers can avoid it? Remember that Tims employees are still getting used to this free program, and it’s honestly not very well organized, so be patient the next time you’re redeeming your free item. We doubt that there’s a conspiracy to sneakily give people the stale donuts from the back of the store instead of their eligible item, but will be on the lookout for other reports from this location. Stay strong!

GreedyRates

Alan Clou says:

I already commented but wanted to mention that I don’t use the app but am still able to bank rewards. This is because I just eat sandwiches which aren’t eligible to apply a reward to so the rewards get banked on my card. I’m curious now if maybe I can bank more than 5 rewards on the card even though wouldn’t be able to with the app.

Alan Clou says:

I was happy to find that I could get a free donut instead of a coffee. I’ve got three so far. It’s a bit of a game scanning my card as there is a narrow window after I order to scan the card which is actually kind of fun to me but could easily irritate someone. Thanks for letting me know it maxes out at 5 rewards. I’m happy enough as it’s free but there are certain difficulties with it and I may stop bothering with the card as it is a little bit inconvenient carrying it around and pulling it out just to get a donut every 7 visits. I feel sorry for the staff really as people will get angry about the things that have been mentioned in the other comments. The only disappointment I felt was when I bought a sandwich, scanned my card, ate my sandwich and wanted a donut for dessert but had to wait 30 minutes so I just left without dessert. 🙁 I’m a big boy though so I didn’t lose any sleep over it (Or take it out on the staff as I’m sure many do). In summary I’d have to say that it has too many rules to really satisfy the majority of patrons.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Alan!

Great comment, thanks for posting. If your Tims experience is going well, then it’s likely because you know not to expect anything magical from the Rewards program and have simply seen it as a free benefit rather than something that costs you time, energy, or money as most rewards programs do. There are definitely some kinks to work out, such as the “swiping race” idea that you describe, as well as the struggle in determining how many rewards you have and where. We also feel for the staff, because these issues probably contribute some stress to their workday and they certainly aren’t getting paid extra to deal with them. Thanks for being a kind patron and a GreedyRates reader as well – we appreciate the perspective.

GreedyRates

Dave says:

I cant drink coffie. You say a hot beverage why isnt hot chocolate a reward item

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dave,

As much as we’d like to give feedback to Tim’s directly and even have a say in what is and what isn’t an eligible reward item, we can’t! All we can do is publish your feedback here and help them realize that customers like you are not satisfied with the program, which is what we’re doing right now. Hopefully it reaches their ears (or eyes, rather) soon!

GreedyRates

Matt Johnston says:

Out of any coffee shop that’s done a loyalty program for their customers, Tim Hortons has failed the worst. It’s not so much of a loyalty program as it is a contest to see if you can remember your card before they cash you out. Rather than go with something simple, like McDonald’s, they’ve instead created a complicated app that has more safeguards to prevent “abuse” than it does features. I find it incredibly disappointing.

I came upon your article because I noticed that the app hasn’t banked my last few rewards…oh, that’s because you can only accumulate 5 max? THAT would’ve been nice to know!

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Matt,

There are a few key takeaways from your comment that we’d like to point out. First, we agree with you on all counts. Tims has done a relatively poor job making a rewards program that people actually like to use, and it honestly seems like an afterthought rather than a project that they put effort into. However, remember that the program is free. You don’t need to pay anything ever, and so this automatically limits the amount of value that corporate will grant users. We’re willing to bet that if the Tims Rewards Program cost $5 to enter then it would be five times more beneficial.

Second, while it’s true that you can bank a maximum number of rewards, the free food or drink item is supposed to be automatically credited a) when you have the max rewards and b) when you purchase this basic food or drink item. It’s supposed to be convenient, but rarely do people know how many rewards they have at any given time, remember to take out their card (or the employee forgets to ask), or they simply don’t purchase an eligible complimentary item so the rewards are just “stuck” on the card until then. All in all, it’s pretty decent but overall remarkably forgettable.

GreedyRates

Gloria Johnston says:

I don’t keep track of how many times I go to Tim Horton’s. How do I know how many points I have on my loyalty card? The cashiers never mention the rewards, nor do I ever get a receipt. How do I collect my reward? Do I just ask at the window? I do not have a cell phone. It appears that the Tim Horton’s roll-out has been badly planned and badly mismanaged.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Gloria,

If you’d like to sign up for the Tim Hortons Rewards Program then you should ask at your local Tims, and they’ll sign you up on the spot! You need a Tims card to get the rewards so they’ll give you that, and then you can start collecting. You won’t need to use the card to get the rewards, however, as they’ll be applied to your purchases once you qualify for a free item. You can also sign up for the program online at the Tims website. Enjoy!

GreedyRates

Marie D. says:

I have been given the run around by one location, repeatedly. Inside the Tim’s, a clerk said I had my 7 visits and then next time I should ask for a free coffee. So the next time was through the drive through and a different clerk asked for money…I said I asked for the free coffee as I am redeeming my reward. She looked at the machine and said you only have 6 visits…so I told her that the week before another worker said I already had 7. So she handed me my French vanilla and said OK you can have this for no charge.

Tonight I went through the drive though at the same location, and specifically asked how many visits were on my card and the reply was 2 when I know dam well it should have been 5 at the minimum…when I questioned the worker, he asked another worker and she said well our machines only count plain coffee and food, not French vanilla or any other fancy blend or hot chocolate etc!!! No other location has said my visit and purchase were not valid and my card is scanned every time I visit a Tim’s while traveling in Southwestern Ontario. Feeless benefit or not, is no excuse as to why seven previous visits with purchases of $2.40 and over are not being honoured. I order a medium French vanilla, so I would know if that drink was free or not without having to look at a receipt! So what is up with these visits not being registered on the card.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Marie,

Wow, that’s a new one among a slew of not-so-great comments about the Tim Horton’s Rewards program. Obviously by now we know that the administration of the program has encountered a few obstacles as employees are trained and the system works out its kinks, but it sounds like you’re vigilant and have confirmed the problems personally. Try to continue keeping an eye on the continuity of your rewards and report back at any time, we’re interested. Also try to remember that it’s a free rewards program, so Tim’s is taking flack for this misjudged venture on two fronts!

Best,
GreedyRates Staff

Debbie Becking says:

I have made over 15 purchases I asked the girl how many rewards do I have and she said three THREE what the heck this is such a rip

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Debbie!

Thanks for your commentary on the often-criticized Tim Hortons Rewards program. We’ve had some other readers express their frustration with the program as well, and specifically with how their rewards are collected, redeemed, and counted. One of the major confusions has been that Tims will automatically credit your reward whenever it’s available, and sometimes they won’t tell you expressly that you have your reward or that it’s being used. This is annoying but it doesn’t mean you’re not getting the rewards, or having them stolen from you in some way.

We’re venturing a guess that you already earned two rewards and had them automatically applied—and this would make sense given the numbers you’ve posted. If you earn a reward after seven visits and then it’ automatically applied to the eighth, then over fifteen purchases would’ve resulted in two rewards and a handful of ‘visits’ towards your next reward. If you still have the receipts then you should check them and note where the discount was added. It’s really not much (often $1 or a bit more taken off) so it’s easy to miss.

If you’re uninterested in figuring it out, then no worries—as a free program Tims Rewards isn’t meant to give the same kind of value that a credit card rewards program might. Thanks for the comment!

GreedyRates

Igor says:

Cashier never reminded costumer if they have the points card.then aftervivoaid i remember my points card .cashier told me after transaction you cannot use your points card.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Igor,

Thanks for your feedback on the Tim Hortons Rewards program. If you forget to use your Tims Rewards card before making a purchase, then you won’t be able to go back and get those points retroactively, because the register needs to record your purchase and add the points to your account. Unfortunate for you that the employee on the cashier didn’t remember to remind you to use the card by asking if you were a member of the Rewards program, as they’re trained to do. Oh well, next time!

GreedyRates

Huron County customer says:

I rate this programme as poor. According to the TimHortonRewards site, I have earned and received two free products. However, I have neither received any such free reward and further paid the full price during these visits, yet the site states the reduced price was paid when these rewards were allegedly received.
I can only infer from the above that store employees have either taken these rewards or taken the cash equivalent. I have opted out of the programme rather than unintentionally promoting theft.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Huron County Customer,

It’s logical to be disappointed with the new Tims Rewards program, but you need to keep in mind that it’s a free program offered to all Tims customers. You weren’t required to pay anything to sign up, and there are no extra fees or really any downsides, except for the fact that the “reward” they give you isn’t as valuable as they make it out to be. This is the origin of most of the complaints we’ve had posted by loyal Tims customers such as yourself: it’s difficult to determine how many rewards you have, where you have them, when they’re applied, and how much they’re really worth. These are absolutely legitimate complaints, but by no means are Tims employees somehow stealing the digital rewards racked up on your account.

You may have just missed when the reward was applied to your purchase, as it does automatically and may only have represented a discount of $1.00 or less. Check your receipts and let us know. Don’t throw the card away, though, as it has virtually zero downside. Thanks for commenting.

GreedyRates

Christie says:

I absolutely agree with Huron. I downloaded the app as I was so sure my rewards were being miscalculated (for lack of better phrasing) and yesterday morning I had a reward banked. Bought a tea yesterday afternoon and gave the cashier a two-nie instead of using my reward and I see this am that my banked reward is no longer showing in my app. So yes, it could be theft. Free tea registered in the cash and 2 bucks for the employee.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Christie,

It’s true that the Tim Hortons Reward Program isn’t as good as we’d like it to be, but it’s unlikely that employees are pocketing cash, so perhaps it was just a mistake this time. Often, we’ve heard reports that the automatic application of accumulated rewards happens unexpectedly. Our advice would simply to be let it happen without paying too much attention to whether or not you’re getting all the value you expect—it is free after all. Let the rewards apply automatically and wait for the program’s inevitable cancellation, or upgrade.

GreedyRates

Shasha says:

I have 3 rewards bank up but when I tried to use it the cashier told me that I only have 6 purchases but it’s clearly showed in my app that I have 3 rewards. I tried to use the app to order thinking that maybe there’s an option to redeem the rewards but nope there is none so I ended up not using it. Their reward program is so disappointing. I’ll probably keep my starbucks.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Shasha!

Thanks for the feedback on Tims’ Rewards program. We understand that it may be a bit disappointing, but you must keep in mind that the program is 100% free for people to use. There are zero fees, zero signup costs, and it automatically rewards you when you’ve accrued 7 visits (by discounting the price of a relevant item on your eighth visit). That said, it should be no great feat to keep the Tims Rewards program active, or the card in your wallet. It doesn’t require any input or thought from you whatsoever, and merely represents Tims’ way of “giving back” to customers who are loyal to the brand. Trust us, it would be much more robust if it came with a price tag, but it doesn’t, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not it is worth your time and effort! Ultimately, the choice rests with you.

GreedyRates

T.Brant says:

I keep reading how you brush off all the issues by saying “it’s free, so just go with it” basically. Well Starbucks reward cards are fee as well, and not only do they offer substantial rewards they have a great customer service that helps their card holders figure out where things may have gone wrong and try to resolve them best they can. There are some obvious flaws with this card system Tim Horton’s has. I appreciate the free coffee here and there, but just because this is a free ‘perk’ (pun intended) doesn’t make complaints invalid. There needs to be some kinks ironed out, such as…. better consistent training. I have been told different things at different locations on what constitutes an eligible reward and what you can redeem for them. I was due a free reward but at the time didnt know cold drinks don’t apply for a reward on your 8th visit, but the worker didnt tell me that, she just said it showed as my already having received my reward and I was back to 1 out of 7 now. Another location told me they stack the rewards if you don’t order an eligible item on your 8th visit. One time. One worker told me that visits only add up if you buy a hot drink or donut, another location said it goes by visit and not items ordered etc…

Nate Siegel says:

Hey T,

You’re absolutely correct. Just because it’s a free program doesn’t mean it’s worth joining, or that its immune from criticism. We simply offer this platitude to people who have already joined and are disappointed with the program: it’s free, so no financial harm done. That’s all that our message is about. Your feedback is valid, and we happen to agree that some training on the Tims program for employees would help a lot, considering that nearly all the comments here have aligned on one idea: the difficulty in learning how many rewards you actually have! Keep on reading and commenting, we love it. Have a great day!

GreedyRates

Darryl Flint says:

…AND what about the Tim Horton’s locations that choose not to participate in the rewards program. Can they do that? I’ve been trying to find a way to contact someone in charge but not had any luck so far!

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Darryl!

Appreciate the inquiry. The Tim Hortons Rewards program is available at participating Tim Hortons locations, which is the majority of those in Canada, but it doesn’t include Tim Hortons branches that are in airports or hospitals. These locations have different sale systems and can’t support the program. Tims doesn’t make it easy to understand which locations exactly are participating in the program, and “majority” clearly doesn’t mean that all locations are participants. Essentially, you’ll need to go into the locations that you most frequent and ask them if you can sign up.

Remember, that despite all the complaints we’ve heard about the Tims program: it’s free. Tims considers the program a gift to their loyal customers—and for literally nothing in return they’re offering a discount to those who merely sign up. Enjoy!

GreedyRates

JM says:

The Tim Hortons program is really bad. It gives you 1 entry per purchase, no matter if you buy 1 or 20 coffees. Mcdonalds gives you one coffee every 7 coffees you purchase. On top of that there is a delay of 30 minutes between purchased and then when you get to your 7 purchases you won’t have the option to choose what to get for free and I ended up with a free croissant that costs $1.69. Instead of loyalty program should be called the piss off the customer program

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey JM,

Thanks for the comment. As you can see by the horde of others in the comments section of this article, the Tim Hortons Rewards Program has not been well-received thus far (to say the least). You’ve noticed that the way it rewards points (per visit, not per item) immediately makes the program not worthwhile for those who spend more than a few dollars in Tims each visit. Like you mentioned, getting a $1.69 croissant after spending $15.00 each of 7 visits returns a value of less than 2.00%. It gets better (relatively) when you’re just stopping in a for a single coffee on the way somewhere, but even then, you’ll need to frequent the same location every visit.

Some customers are reporting that if you go to a different Tims then they won’t have your progress logged into the system, meaning that your Rewards are location-based. Poorly designed all-around, and if you’re looking for something more valuable, then any cash back card will do. Something that offers a 1.50% – 2.00% flat rate of cash back on all purchases is by default more valuable at Tims than its own rewards program. Check out the Cashback World Elite card, or the Rogers World Elite card if this sounds interesting.

GreedyRates

Paulette GELINAS says:

I picked up a Tims Reward Card two weeks ago and have tried to join up every day but keep getting a message that there is a communication problem and am unable to join up. What is the reason for this?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Paulette,

Sorry to hear about your difficulty with the Tims Reward card and program. If you’re unable to join then try all the standard things like using a different web browser, relogging into the Wi-Fi, and the rest of the low-hanging fruit before contacting a Tims representative. You can also try signing up from your work computer, but if all else fails then simply stop in to your nearest Tims and grab another card and try again. We wish we could help more than simply providing suggestions but have no administrator insight into the program or influence in these matters. Sorry and good luck!

GreedyRates

D costa says:

Thanks for this program, this is a great program for loyal customers that picks up coffee ever day!

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey D Costa,

Thanks for the comment. We’re glad to receive positive feedback on the Tims Rewards Program, since many others have seemed a bit disappointed with it. It’s even better that your comment indicates you’re one of those who stops in briefly for a cup of coffee, as this idea reinforces what we’ve been saying about the program all along. It’s great for those who limit their visits to one or two items, because the eventual rewards gain relative value.

With a single visit being the metric by which the rewards are measured, the program primarily benefits Tims fans like yourself, and if you have any other commentary on how you use it let us know! We’d specifically like to understand how you know when your Reward is being used, and also how confident you are that your visits each count towards the total. Some customers report that different Tims locations each have their own count per-customer. Thanks and looking forward to hearing back.

GreedyRates

Rick says:

Obtained my rewards card April 11 / 2019. Use it almost daily since then for a large coffee. Two days ago I asked when I get a free coffee and was told I only had 6 visits. Today would have been the 8th visit but then I was told I only had 3 visits including today. Phoned customer service and gave them the number on my prepaid Tim’s card so they could see my visit frequency. Wrong. They don’t track that. They said all they could do was notify the store. Wow! What a great relief. Totally useless and they could care less about the issue.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Rick,

Understandable why you’re frustrated with the New Tims Rewards program. We’re familiar with this because you’re definitely not alone—lots of people have come to give their perspectives on the program, and they’re mostly the same: It’s difficult to understand how many Rewards you have at any given moment, inconclusive when the Reward is actually applied automatically to the seventh receipt, and the Reward itself could have better value. The way it’s administered is also somewhat unorganized, if what you say is true about per-branch tracking of customer stats.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be a member of the program if you don’t like it, and we welcome your comment to the pile of those from other readers as well.

GreedyRates

Serge says:

Yesterday my card had 6 out of 7. Today instead of 7 I got 1 of 7 again. What a scam! Learned my mistake…

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Serge,

Thanks for the comment. The Tims reward program is working as intended for now, and though it’s raised some concern with customers, we think you probably did receive your reward. We encourage you to check the receipt or login to the account if possible, because on the Frequently Asked Questions page for the Tims program it says, “after seven (7) eligible purchases, a Reward will be loaded onto your account.” That means one potential solution is that the Reward is still in your account! You can “bank” up to 5 Rewards, so do check and let us know.

Another idea we had is that perhaps the Reward was automatically spent already, so you received it and just didn’t notice your receipt total was less than normal. In the fine print it says, “…the next time you go into a Tims and purchase a coffee or tea (any size) or a baked good, except bagels or Timbits, your Reward will be applied to that transaction.” It may be possible to check the account online to see if your Reward was applied. Best of luck!

GreedyRates

Lorraine Saulnier says:

Tearing up my rewards card. I have had it and used it since a week after it came out. Yesterday I asked, isn’t it about time I got a free coffee. The girl checked and she said I only have 2 out of 7. Just this week, I have been to the same one and have had the soup deal. plus lots of coffee since. and had the soup deal last week. plus my husband had a meal. This was on different days. Your rewards stink, just like your roll up the rim. we had two coffees every day during roll up the rim and never got even a free coffee.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Lorraine,

Appreciate you voicing your opinion. You’re not alone, either, with many others coming to GreedyRates to enlighten us on what they’ve discovered about Tim’s new rewards program. The per-visit model seems to be a common point of contention, given that a single visit is often $10 or more for a single person, making the drip coffee or hot tea reward seem relatively insignificant. The inability to get a cold drink was also mentioned as a downside by another reader. Others have spoken highly of the program—mostly those who stop in once daily for a coffee or snack on the way to work or to pick up the kids. Ultimately, if you don’t like it then we encourage you not to use it, however!

GreedyRates

Cleo says:

Can I use my reward for cold drink?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Cleo,

Thanks for the post about Tim’s rewards program. If you’ve racked up seven visits you’ve therefore earned a “reward”, which can be one free hot coffee, hot tea, or baked good except for Timbits and bagels. They specify “hot” drink to exclude the option of getting a cold one instead, likely to control costs as otherwise customers would be asking for soft drinks, gourmet iced coffees and other more expensive items. It’s an unfortunate but unsurprising caveat that some readers have been frustrated with alongside yourself, as well as the per-visit rewards model, which can feel not very worthwhile when you’re spending a lot each time you stop in.

In our experience the Tim’s Reward program works best for those who stop in quickly for drip coffee, tea, or a snack on the way to work. Its benefits are peripheral at best, in other cases. Thanks again for commenting.

GreedyRates

Donna Hargreaves says:

The first time I got a reward all I ordered was an x-large steeped tea and it was free. I thought ‘great!’. The next time I got a reward I was ordering a meal. My reward was that the tea that was already discounted for ordering a meal was free. That saved me 48 cents… Woohoo? That’s not worth the time it takes scanning it 8 times

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Donna,

Thanks for your comment about the Tim Horton’s rewards program. It’s definitely going to take some time before cardholders know all the best tips and tricks for getting the most value out of the program. Per your example, the free drink or food item reward does not extend to full meals at Tim’s (they’re donuts, muffins, etc.) so you used your reward to get the drink that comes baked into your meal price anyway, thus lessening its value. You could have simply spent that 48 cents and used it to get an extra full-price drink for free, which you’d then give to a friend or relative. However, as you see this is extremely situational, so over time you’ll learn to judge when a redemption is worthwhile and when it should be saved until the next visit.

GreedyRates

Loyal Tim's customer says:

Whats the matter with these people complaining about the program – its based on your “visits” to the restaurant, not on per-coffee purchases. News flash – Tim’s didn’t have to start this program and you would have still gone there anyways. I’ll tell ya, you give a mouse a cookie….

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Loyal Tim’s Customer,

Thanks for throwing your voice into the mix. The Tim’s Rewards Program is certainly a catalyst for lots of discussion here and elsewhere, and by this point it’s apparent that the community is split on their love for or their disappointment about the program. It shouldn’t surprise people that Tim’s only rewards people per visit, because if it was per food item or drink, then they’d be giving away too much value to people who buy more per-visit. People can still optimize the value of this program by only picking up single items during their visits, but others are still caught by surprise when they go to Tim’s with the family and expect an item for free.

This would be nice, but it’s unrealistic, and you’re right that the program itself is already better than what Tim’s offered before (read: nothing). Ultimately, all we can do it make it clear what the downsides are and let people figure out for themselves if it’s worthwhile. Thanks again!

GreedyRates

Jim says:

I’m dropping my tims reward card after finding out that I had family out to a tims outlet and treated them with my money and found out that I get 1 point for 1 visit after spending a decent amount of money there. Tims is a big disappointment to me . I’m buying my coffee somewheres else in which they really apprieciate my loyalty instead of trying to bleed me of my money.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Jim,

Yes, we’ve heard a lot about the limitations on Tim’s new rewards program, and can only encourage those who don’t like it to find another program to try out. It’s unfortunate that one “visit”—which can entail a lot of money spent if you’re there with family—only gets a single point towards the free food item or drink reward. What is really means is that the Tim’s program gives the most value to customers of a certain type, who stop in on the way to work for a single coffee or donut and not much else. At the end of the week or the beginning of next, these Tim’s customers will get their free drink having only purchased single items on each visit during the previous week.

GreedyRates

Roz says:

I am disappointed that if I order 2 coffees I only get credit for one. At McDonalds if I order 2 coffee I get 2 rewards.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Roz,

Thanks for your comment about the new Tim Horton’s Rewards Program. We’re also a bit critical of how Tim’s handled their new deal and agree that if the reward for 7 visits is a free drink or food item, then points you earn towards this reward should come from purchasing items and not from single ‘visits’ which might entail multiple purchases!

McDonalds does have a different system, but you’re still getting lots of value from the Tim Horton’s program as long as you don’t buy a lot each visit. It’s also useful to know that one ‘visit’ ends as soon as 30 minutes has passed, so if you live or work near a Tim’s location it’s easy to pop in and earn multiple points each day without spending too much.

GreedyRates

Carrie Mayor says:

Is it true that if u buy 2 coffees in one purchase and use your timmies reward card u only get 1 pint when it should be 2 as u r buying 2 drinks.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Carrie,

Thanks for your question and interest in the new Tim Horton’s Rewards Program. We also love the new program and look forward to our seventh visit to the local store, so that we can grab our free drink. However, that subtle word ‘visit’ is the main caveat in the promotion and means that a single visit counts for a point rather than a single drink. You can buy nine drinks and a box of donuts and still only get one point, but one way to hack the program is by waiting 30 minutes in-between Tim’s visits.

We’re not sure why it’s like this and definitely agree that if you’re only getting one drink or food item, then the points should be earned per purchase and not per visit. Regardless, for Tim’s fans it’s still one of the most exciting deals recently and when paired with a great rewards card like the ones described above, it’s even more powerful. Hope that helps!

GreedyRates

Sandra Hamilton says:

I cannot believe all the complaints. I love the program. Easy Peasy. I show my card or scan my phone at each purchase and get a free extra large coffee almost once a week. Once I didn’t realize that I was due for the reward and ordered a medium coffee. When the cashier told me it was free, I said ahhh too bad, I would have ordered an extra large. She gave me an extra large. 🙂 Another plus is even your free purchase counts as one towards your goal so really you only need to purchase 6 times to get the reward. I also like that they give you the most expensive item for free. Thank you Timmy.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Sandra,

Appreciate the comment, and the rare win for Tim Hortons that we’ve seen regarding its new program. We’re a bit shocked to hear the complaints from others as well, though in some cases they are warranted. Ultimately the only thing to keep in mind is that the program is complimentary. That’s really it: they don’t really have any obligation unless you’re also paying for it, and so if you can look closely at receipts, download the app, and figure out how to use it then it will indeed provide value. Glad you’ve found that to be true!

GreedyRates