Canadian Tire money

Canadian Tire money

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local = argent Canadian Tire fr icon
image_1 =Canadian tire money.png image_title_1 = the 5c and 10c cash bonus coupons (banknotes)
iso_code = None, it is a pseudo-currency
using_countries = Canadian Tire, and other businesses in Canada
symbol = $
used_banknotes = 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, $1 & $2
issuing_authority = Canadian Tire
printer = Canadian Bank Note Company & British American Banknote Company.

Canadian Tire "money" (CTM) is a loyalty program by Canadian Tire. It consists of coupons, issued by the company, which resemble real currency (although the coupons are considerably smaller than Bank of Canada notes), and can be used as scrip in Canadian Tire stores, but is not considered a private currency. The notes are printed on paper similar to real Canadian currency, and were jointly produced by two of the country’s long established security printers, British American Banknote Company (BABN) and Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN)."Canadian Tire Scrip", Numismatist Magazine, Harold Don Allen, p.64, Volume 119, Number 12, December 2006] In fact, some privately owned businesses (in Canada) accept CTM as payment (see history below), since the owners of many such businesses shop at Canadian Tire.

History and dynamics

CTM was introduced in 1958, and was inspired by Muriel Billes, the wife of Canadian Tire's co-founder and first president, A.J. Billes, as a response to the promotional giveaways that many gas companies offered at the time. It was only available at Canadian Tire gas bars, but was so successful that in 1961 it was extended to the retail stores as well, and has become the most successful loyalty program in Canadian retail history. The print on the 'notes' officially refers to them as cash bonus coupons.

Canadian Tire money is given out for purchases paid for by cash or debit, based on the pre-tax total, excluding labour and shop supplies costs. The amount given is 0.5% of the pre-tax total. The payout rate was last changed August 2008. Customers can use Canadian Tire money to buy anything in the store. (Older CTM coupons state that they are redeemable at Canadian Tire stores and gas stations; however, CTM coupons produced during at least the last 15 years lack this wording and are therefore redeemable in the stores only.)

The "money" can also be used to cover the sales tax on the purchases, since it is accepted as cash after the taxes are calculated. Also, even if a purchase was made entirely in CTM, it is also considered as a cash purchase and more CTM will be calculated and paid out.

In Ontario the Retail Sales Tax law and Bulletins stated that the "Coupon must be reimbursed by the franchisee". By submitting them to other merchants, the merchants were in essence breaking Ontario law when they failed to include the discount in the value of the goods being calculated for being taxed. Some merchants were accepting CTM as a discount, but then were not calculating and remitting the sales taxes, as required by law, and then were getting fined for the practice.

For this reason, among others, another loyalty programme provided in the 1960s, S&H Green Stamps, was terminated within the province.


In 1958, five different denominations (composed of 5-cents, 10-cents, 25-cents, 50-cents, and $1) were issued. The revision of 1962 included the introduction of four lower values (1 to 4 cents), and 12 higher denominations, including 35 and 60 cents. A sequence of six denominations was introduced in 1985 including the 3-cents, 5-cents, 10-cents, 25-cents, 40-cents, 50-cents, and $1.A $2 note was added in 1989, and the 3 cents was dropped in 1991. ["Canadian Tire Scrip", Numismatist Magazine, Harold Don Allen, p.65, Volume 119, Number 12, December 2006]

CTM coupons are currently produced in 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, 50-cent, one-dollar, and two-dollar denominations. In addition, Canadian Tire money can now be earned electronically on Canadian Tire credit cards and the Canadian Tire Options MasterCard. The latter can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted and earns Canadian Tire money no matter where it is used to make a purchase at a rate of 1%. As of July 12th 2006 Cardholders no longer receive a bonus for using the Canadian Tire Card or Canadian Tire Options MasterCard at Canadian Tire Associate Stores. Before this change cardholders would receive 20% more CTM than they would by paying cash, now they earn the same amount as if it were cash or debit, however there are now many more incentives for card members. Many customers find this to be a more convenient means of storing Canadian Tire money. CTM is treated as real currency by the franchise and can not be directly exchanged for real Canadian currency for customers. If an item bought with Canadian Tire Money is returned the customer receives either Canadian Tire Money back or is given the amount on a Gift Card.

Facts and Figures

*In late 2004 in Moncton, New Brunswick, several customers at a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ATM were dispensed a total of 11 bills of Canadian Tire money instead of real bills. They were compensated by the bank. [cite news | publisher= CBC News | date=2004-12-02 | url= | title= ATM gives customers Canadian Tire money | accessdate=2007-06-14]
*Contrary to popular belief, the man on the "money" is not Canada's first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald; he is actually a fictional creation named Sandy McTire.
*Canadian Tire money is the main topic of the song "La Chute du huard" (Loonie's fall) by Quebec singer Mononc' Serge, the lyrics claiming it is more stable and a better investment than the Canadian dollar.
*Culturally, Canadian Tire money is sometimes referenced by comedians: perhaps as a national version of "Monopoly money", perhaps invoking a pejorative comparison of the value of Canadian dollars against U.S. dollars (currency of a dominant Canadian trading partner), or perhaps as a misunderstood exotic element of Canadian society (cf. Ron James' comedic reference to the person depicted on the bill as "our king").
*Canadian Tire money is one of 12 forms of payment explicitly listed as allowed for use by sellers on the Canadian version of the online auction site eBay. [cite web | author= eBay Canada | url= | title= Accepted Payments Policy | accessdate=2007-06-14]
*In the mid 1990s, a man in Germany was caught with up to $11,000,000 in counterfeit Canadian Tire money. It was recovered before he left for Canada to redeem it. [cite web | author= Shannon Montgomery | date=2006-12-21 | url= | title= Liquor store rakes in Canadian Tire Money | accessdate=2007-06-14]


Canadian Tire's return policy states you must return the issued CTM along with your returned product. If not the store will deduct the amount off your bill. The CTM is considered to be a coupon and not redeemable for cash, yet on returns patrons are charged for the money in real Canadian dollars [ [ CBC Marketplace "Funny Money?"] ] .


ee also

*Canadian Tire Financial Services
*Loyalty program

External links

* [ Canadian Tire 'Money'] — History, on the Canadian Tire website.
* [ Canadian Tire Currency] — Canadian Tire Currency Picture Catalogue Index, 1958–2003 Issues
* [ Ontario Retail Sales Tax Guide 511]
* [ The official website of the Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors Club]
* [ Alberta liquor store accepts Canadian Tire money]
* [ Canadian Tire money Millionaire] — Individual trying to become a Canadian Tire money millionaire

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