CanTire launches loyalty program

Fed up with watching rival credit cards exploit loyalty programs to gain market share in its stores, Canadian Tire has launched two frequent buyer card programs, one for gas bar purchases and the other for in-store purchases.The programs went into test...

Fed up with watching rival credit cards exploit loyalty programs to gain market share in its stores, Canadian Tire has launched two frequent buyer card programs, one for gas bar purchases and the other for in-store purchases.

The programs went into test in several cities last year and were officially launched in Western Canada in January.

Ontario followed on Feb. 14, with Quebec and the Maritimes joining in towards the end of the month.

The gas bar program, called GasAdvantage, offers Canadian Tire credit cardholders instant discounts. The amount of the discount is based on the cardholder’s previous month’s gas purchases.

Options, the in-store program, enables users to collect points redeemable on regularly stocked merchandise. Point holders can redeem their points for a specific amount of cash or for a percentage discount off the regular price.

Tom Gauld, vice-president of marketing and new business development for Canadian Tire Acceptance, the firm’s credit card arm, says the loyalty program was launched in response to the success competing credit cards have been having with their loyalty programs.

Gauld says Visa and Mastercard have been experiencing ‘double-digit sales increases’ in Canadian Tire stores since they began offering various loyalty programs in the past couple of years.

Canadian Tire will continue to operate its long-running coupon program for cash purchases.

Gauld say legal hitches prevent the company from offering bonus coupons on credit card purchases, so it was forced to launch a credit card loyalty program.