End of an Era: Canadian Tire Money Going Digital

5c_aSandy McTire’s days may be numbered.

The tam-wearing Scotsman, with his bushy moustache and toothy grin, is featured as a mascot on some of Canada’s most beloved currency – Canadian Tire money.  Since 1958, shoppers at Canadian Tire stores have received Canadian Tire money as a form of cash back (.4 percent per dollar spent) on their purchases.  The distinctive paper bills come in a variety of denominations – from five cents to $2 – and can be redeemed at Canadian Tire stores.

But after 56 years, Canadian Tire money is finally going digital.  

Photo credit: Whpq | Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Whpq | Wikimedia Commons

The retailer, which sells everything from tires to hockey equipment, barbecues and housewares and has multiple Vancouver locations, is set to roll out a a brand new card-based rewards program in October.  Like almost all rewards programs these days – from Starbucks to Shoppers Drug Mart – the new program will track customer purchases digitally.  Customers will be able to collect and redeem their rewards using a card or an app, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

For Canadian Tire, this means easier record keeping and a way to collect detailed data on exactly what individual customers are buying.  This can, in turn, be used for targeted promotions.  Individuals who buy lots of gardening equipment, for example, might get special notices or coupons when those items go on sale.

Photo credit: Chimro | Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Chimro | Wikimedia Commons

But for loyal Canadian Tire customers, it signals the end of an era.  While paper Canadian Tire money will still be honoured, the days of stockpiling shoeboxes full of bills would seem to be nearing an end.  Over the years, hardcore shoppers have amassed some impressive treasure troves of Canadian Tire money.  In 2011, for instance, an Edmonton man cashed in $1,053 in Canadian Tire funds to buy a new riding lawn mower.  A little math reveals that he would have had to spend $236,250 at Canadian Tire over the years to accumulate that many Sandy McTires.

In other cases, Canadian Tire money has been accepted as currency at other establishments.  In 2003, a bar called Pete’s Peanut Pub featured a weeklong promotion wherein customers could pay their tabs with Canadian Tire money.  And in 2013, a Toronto folksinger used $7,333.75 in donated Canadian Tire money to produce an album at a studio that accepts the currency.

Do you have a shoebox full of Canadian Tire money at home? Let us know below. 

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One Response to End of an Era: Canadian Tire Money Going Digital

  1. Neil

    I just counted my CT money. The shoebox is near $700 (693.50).