The Triangle Credit Cards by Canadian Tire Kirin August 7, 2020

The Triangle Credit Cards by Canadian Tire

Sometimes, I need to pay my bills with a credit card – but without resorting to exorbitant fees through third-party services.

That’s why I use the Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) Triangle World Elite, available only at Canadian Tire.

I can’t be the only person who remembers the infamous Canadian Tire Guy

In my opinion, Canadian Tire has made a family of the hockey-playingest, beer-swillingest, toboggan-ridingest, most patriotic credit cards to ever drive a 4×4. Damn right I want to earn Canadian Tire money when I buy my government-mandated metric tonne of maple syrup every year.

Frankly, I feel that the CTFS Triangle World Elite is one of the most underrated credit cards in Canada. While it isn’t useful for transferring to airline points programs or calling a concierge for tickets to an exclusive dinner or show, it does have magnificent value due to the perks that it comes with – all at the low cost of free!

CTFS Triangle World Elite

  • Signup bonus: Free Canadian Tire Gold Roadside Assistance Plan
  • Disponible au Québec? OUI!
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earning rate:
    • 5 cents Canadian Tire Money (CTM) per litre at Canadian Tire gas stations
    • 4% CTM at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, and Atmosphere stores
    • 3% CTM at grocery stores
    • 1% CTM on all other spending
  • Perks & benefits: Priority for call centre service, free CT Gold Roadside Assistance Plan, unique Bill Pay feature with no cash advance fees, special offers and discounts
  • Insurance: Mediocre

Signup Bonus

This card is unconventional for a Prince of Travel recommendation as it doesn’t have a signup bonus expressed in large amounts of points good for things like flights. Instead, it offers something of enormous value to individuals or families who like to burn rubber instead of jet fuel during their forays.

By signing up for the Triangle World Elite, you are permitted a complimentary Canadian Tire Gold Roadside Assistance package. This package permits you:

  • 5 service calls for year
  • Tows up to 250km to the location of your choice
  • Flat tire changes, battery boosts, and car lockout services

The plan is sold as a commercial product for $99.95 annually, and needless to say becomes priceless when you’re stuck in rural Saskatchewan with a flat tire. You also aren’t obligated to use Canadian Tire automotive or repair services – whichever tow truck picks you up will take you anywhere you designate.

The roadside coverage also comes in one of two flavours: you can pick a personal plan, where you’re covered no matter what vehicle you’re driving, or a vehicle plan, where the vehicle you designate is protected by your Gold coverage at all times. This second option is great for sharing your vehicle with a significant other or close friend, and you have 30 days from card activation to choose which option you’d prefer.

Lastly, there are scattered reports that some individuals receive targeted emails for $50 in Canadian Tire Money (CTM) or even $75 CTM as an additional welcome bonus. These appear to be customers with active Triangle Rewards accounts and who do a large number of transactions within the Canadian Tire chain of stores, so don’t be discouraged if you have an active Triangle number for occasional purchases but haven’t received such solicitation.

Rewards & Benefits

The rewards of the Triangle World Elite might seem a bit pedestrian, and I think it’s important to note they’re not for everyone. But I’m a shameless cheapskate who appreciates the ability to get a good deal when I see one, and can appreciate Canadian Tire Money even if it can only be redeemed at their family of stores.

You’ll earn 4% in CTM at Canadian Tire, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Atmosphere, and Sport Chek locations, as well as 5 cents in CTM per litre of fuel at Canadian Tire-branded gas stations. It’s stored digitally on your card, so you don’t have to fidget about with the little Monopolyesque bills.

You also earn 3% back at grocery stores (up to $10,000 annually), although Wal-Mart and my perennial favourite Costco are excluded. Sadly, these multipliers don’t work when using your Triangle World Elite for online purchases with PayPal. All other purchases will garner you a 1% return in CTM.

If you’re like me and occasionally shop at their stores, you’ll also get occasional discount codes for up to 70% off. I buy my running shoes this way.

Next, you have a unique form of financing feature that doesn’t incur an additional credit check. This can be useful for larger purchases of goods at a Canadian Tire umbrella store.

The way it works is that if you buy an item totalling $150 or more, you can finance it for 12 months. The value of the good is deducted from your credit limit and you make 12 equal no-interest payments as part of your minimum payment each month until the article is paid off – at which point your credit limit is restored to its full value. For purchases over $300, this can be extended to 24 months.

This can make buying items like tents or bicycles easier to swallow (but repeat after me: “I do not need three snowboards in July”).

Lastly, if you thought the benefits of the Roadside Assistance were just the services, it also comes with the benefit of getting you a once-a-year coupon booklet. These old-school cutout coupons offer you $20 and $30 oil changes (performed at Canadian Tire Automotive centres), as well as Perkopolis access (which, lest you forget, still has an exclusive code for the American Express Cobalt Card with a signup bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards Select points).

Insurance Coverage

As a free card, the insurance isn’t the greatest. Its most useful option, from a travel perspective, is its standard car rental loss-damage waiver.

It also includes purchase protection against loss, damage, or theft for items you charge to the card for up to 90 days, as well as extended manufacturer’s warranty of an additional year. 

Finally, as is standard, insurance only applies if you charge the entirety of a product or car rental to your Triangle World Elite.

…But I Don’t Qualify for World Elite?

If you’re like the immortal Bob and Doug McKenzie and don’t qualify for the minimum $80,000 personal or $150,000 household income requirements to get the Triangle World Elite, don’t despair.

The other offerings from Canadian Tire Financial Services are still some of the best no-annual-fee cards available in Canada. Moreover, Canadian Tire has something of a reputation as a “second chance” credit card company, so if you’re repairing your credit they’re known to often be generous at issuing cards for those with less-than-stellar credit.

Let’s take a look at the “tombstone data” for the standard-issue CTFS Triangle Card…

CTFS Triangle Card

  • Signup bonus: Approval
  • Disponible au Québec? OUI!
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earning rate:
    • 5 cents Canadian Tire Money (CTM) per litre at Canadian Tire gas stations
    • 4% CTM at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, and Atmosphere stores
    • 1.5% CTM at grocery stores
  • Perks & benefits: Bill pay, no-interest finance, Welland call centre
  • Insurance: Hard no

 

As we can see from the data, the Triangle card isn’t the fanciest card to ever grace a Canadian’s wallet. But for me, that’s OK. It’s meant to be a more typical “store credit” card designed to incentivize you going to Canadian Tire, and given the earn rates and finance feature mentioned early, it’s not terrible for buying appliances or camping gear without interest. Not the Four Seasons, but for those of us who like the great outdoors, not a bad “travel perk.”

Now, in theory, there’s also a “World”-tier Triangle card between the Triangle Card and Triangle World Elite. However, this card isn’t as good as the World Elite and is by invitation only, so we shall gloss over it here because, to paraphrase Boromir, son of Denethor, “One does not simply walk into the Triangle World Card.”

The other Canadian Tire card you could use, which might have some interesting combinations with Canadian Tire Financial Service’s bill pay feature, is the CTFS Cash Advantage card. Much like the titular character of The Goon, this card is the “last enforcer” among tiered cash back systems in Canada.

CTFS Cash Advantage MasterCard

  • Signup bonus: Approval
  • Disponible au Québec? OUI!
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earning rate:
    • 0.25% cash back on the first $1,500 of annual spend
    • 0.5% cash back on the next $1,500 of annual spend
    • 1% cash back on the next $21,000 of annual spend
    • 1.5% cash back on any annual spend beyond $24,000
  • Perks & benefits: Bill pay, no-interest finance, Welland call centre
  • Insurance: Hard no

 

As one can see, this card has a somewhat byzantine cash back structure that requires you to spend $24,000 a year to hit the highest tier. Whether that’s in your best interest is up to you, but the cash back is redeemed either as a statement credit on renewal or can be requested for release by calling the number on the back of the card.

One benefit every Canadian Tire Financial Services cardholder gets to share in is the call centre in Welland, which is very fast and has excellently-trained staff. Let’s face it, a lot of companies subcontract their call centres overseas with hit-or-miss results, but the folks at the Welland call centre are just fantastic.

A note on credit limits: Canadian Tire Financial Services, despite their high willingness to give out credit, are not known for handing it to one in large quantities initially. If you have a lot of credit available, or are repairing your credit, expect comically small credit limits to start with.

The present author started with $500, but there are reports of some cardholders getting as low as $200 on the basic Triangle card.

Don’t despair, however. If you’re using your card regularly, you’ll receive free pre-approved credit limit increases either via your Triangle app (which doubles as its banking app) or on the Canadian Tire Financial Services website.

With the virus which shall not be named raging, there are some reports of people being unable to get credit limit increases, but in normal times one can easily request a new increase without initiating a hard pull once every 3–6 months.

Pay Your Bills, With Canadian Tire!

The most unique, and in my opinion best feature of all credit cards issued by Canadian Tire Financial Services is the bill pay feature. Many bills in Canada, like property tax or university tuition, either cannot be paid with credit cards, or they code with the issuer as a cash advance. Not so with cards issued by Canadian Tire. Take a look at what is listed as “university”:

And that’s just the beginning of an alphabetized list. It would certainly behoove you to take a close look through the master list of bill payees and see if you spot any eye-catching names of your own.

Now, not every payee is available via the Canadian Tire Financial Services portal – the Canada Revenue Agency, for example, is noticeably absent. But the Triangle World Elite does give you the cash flow flexibility of a credit card, while also giving you 1% rewards on your bill pay. Beats the cash advance fee any day, in my books.

Oh, and before we part, I feel I should notify you that one can also pay off the balance of any Canadian Tire card at the cash register of any stores under their umbrella. This, combined with the online bill pay feature, definitely leads to some interesting combinations when it comes to acquiring that sweet, sweet Canadian Tire Money.

Apply Now

You can apply for the Triangle card online now, but be advised it takes their credit department 3–5 days to approve you manually and there are no instant online approvals. You can also try for the Cash Advantage card here.

When the wrath of COVID-19 has been placated, you can also apply in-store with credit representatives: they’ll be able to tell you if you’re approved on the spot, and even give you a temporary barcode which acts as your new credit card so you can go shopping then and there, for double the Canadian Tire money! 

While the CTFS credit cards may not be the flashiest on the market, you’d do well not to discount them offhand, as they can be a strong fit for outdoor travellers who take frequent road trips, as well as helping you avoid the fees associated with third-party bill-payment services through a unique built-in bill pay feature.

Top Offers

HSBC World Elite MasterCard

100,000 HSBC Rewards points
20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon approval +
80,000 HSBC Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first 180 days

  • 6x points on travel purchases; 3x points on other purchases
  • Points transfer to British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Singapore KrisFlyer
  • $100 Travel Enhancement Credit
  • Total offer worth $600+

Offer lasts until December 28, 2020. Offer for non-Quebec residents only; Quebec residents are eligible for a different offer.

Signup bonus
100,000 HSBC Rewards points
Annual fee
$0 for the first year, then $149
14 Comments
  1. Avatar
    SP05

    Does anyone have the credit karma promo code to sign-up?

  2. Avatar
    BE

    Does the Gold Roadside Assistance package refresh every year you have the card or is it just for the first year?

  3. Avatar
    mitchell

    Hey, I’d like to note that the original (low-tier) Canadian Tire MC gives 0.8% back on all purchases, including bill payments. I use it to pay off my OSAP student loans and have accumulated over 100$ in CT money this way, as I don’t yet qualify for the world elite version.

  4. Avatar
    DenB®

    NOT TRUE that in-store agents provide instant approvals. What actually happens is they TELL you they’ll get you instant approve/decline. Then you agree to a HARD PULL. Then, after the hard pull, you’re told that an answert might take up to a week or more. First-hand personal experience. YMMV

  5. Avatar
    Dave

    got mine WEME with sign up bonus 75 CT dollars

  6. Avatar
    Jane

    ” One does not simply walk into the Triangle World Card ”

    Nice!

  7. Avatar
    Man

    Will any Canadian Tire credit card pay City of Toronto property tax for free with points or only cash card earns 1% on payment?

    1. Kirin
      Kirin

      So only the World Elite will earn 1% CTM on the transaction of City of Toronto property, though I think that may be one of the notable exceptions (York, Mississauga both can be paid via Bill Pay). If you don’t have the World Elite, all you’re getting is the cash flow flexibility of a credit card to pay bills. Hope that answers your question.

  8. Avatar
    Miles

    When you say “pay off the balance of any Canadian Tire card at the cash register.” I assume the sweet spot in this is that you can use any CC to pay off rather than cash/debit card like the bay?

    1. Kirin
      Kirin

      I’d say give it a try but always be wary of the potential to be burned. I’m sure there’s a plethora of other types of cards you could try, though….

  9. Avatar
    litokid

    Great details! I admit I’ve been putting off this one for a while (it just isn’t very exciting) but the Roadside Assistance alone probably justifies keeping it around.

  10. Avatar
    Mitch

    Great post – not every card has to be about flying J to the Seychelles. Having free roadside assistance in your back pocket is extraordinary for the one time you actually need it, and above-board Perkopolis is a great side advantage.

  11. Avatar
    Tong

    Credit Karma sent me an email last month, saying that I could earn $75 CT money signup bonus for this card by clicking a link in the email.

  12. Avatar
    Santiago

    This is my goto card to pay for bills as I don’t have much of MSR requirements nowadays!!

Kirin

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