Canadian Tire money updated to include digital loyalty rewards

Canadian Tire money updated to include digital loyalty rewards

Canadian Tire is updating its loyalty program by adding digital rewards that will work alongside the iconic chain's paper notes.

The retailer says the new program will allow customers to accrue points for any qualifying purchases in stores, online or at the chain's gas stations. The points can be redeemed in exchange for merchandise and gift cards.

The chain was quick to reassure Canadians Tuesday that it has no plans to phase out its Canadian Tire money, which has been around for decades.

"As Canada's oldest loyalty program, we know Canadian Tire money holds an extraordinary place in the hearts of Canadians," said Allan MacDonald, chief operating officer.

"We're building on it by introducing another way to reward loyal customers who prefer the ease and convenience of digital currency and rewards, further improving the Canadian Tire shopping experience and ultimately helping our customers tackle the jobs and joys of everyday life in Canada."

The points will be registered via a card or an app. But if you don't sign up for the program, you'll still get the same denominations of five-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, 50-cent or $1 or $2 bills, just as it's been since 1958 when Muriel Billes, wife of Canadian Tire's co-founder A.J. Billes, pitched the idea as a way to generate repeat customers.

"It's truly something iconic and we don't see that changing," MacDonald said in an interview.

Since then, more than $1 billion worth of bills have been in circulation, and customers earn $100 million Canadian worth of the bills every year.

The program will launch in Nova Scotia on Oct. 10, and in the rest of Canada on Oct. 28.