Recently, I received notification, with my monthly Canadian Tire Gas Advantage MasterCard, that the monthly allowable limit on the discounted fuel, one receives under the program, has been lowered yet again. With that, I reviewed my options, decided to stop using my Canadian Tire Gas Advantage MasterCard and switch all my purchases over to my Costco Capital One MasterCard. I even sent out a couple of tweets to @CanadianTire to let them know.
I had forgotten about the tweets, and went about making my charges on my Costco card – until today, when I received a Twitter notification that @CanadianTire had replied to one of my tweets (you can see them here).
So, this got me thinking about the Canadian Tire Gas Advantage MasterCard again and, seeing as @CanadianTire wants to contact me, I thought I’d look through some of my old bills to gather up some facts, instead of guessing, for when they do. What I found was interesting to me and I thought it would be interesting to you as well. Ultimately, that led me to the creation of this post – Canadian Tire Gas Advantage – Then & Now. Let’s take a look at the last ten years of the program.
Canadian Tire Gas Advantage – April 2006
Without actually making a production of things, the earliest statement I have on hand is from April 2006. Here are a couple of images;
The important information is under “Gas Advantage Discount”. You can see that you need to spend $1,000.00 or greater in order to qualify for the 10 cents/litre discount. For clarification, here’s the back of the statement with the Terms and Conditions;
So, you spend $1,000 and you get 10 cents of each litre in next billing cycle, no restrictions – simple and beneficial.
Canadian Tire Gas Advantage – January 2007
Less than a year later (it could actually have been a month later, this is just the next statement I dug out), in January 2007, you can see that the Terms have changed. Now, if you spend $1,000 or greater, you will get the 10 cents/litre in fuel discounts, but you are now LIMITED TO $700 WORTH OF FUEL before your discount is reduced to 2 cents/litre. Note that there were no restrictions, in April 2006, on the amount of discounted fuel you would receive.
I will also state that I am almost 100% positive the fuel discount was first limited to 700 litres of fuel as I wrote a small program to keep track of how many litres I used, then had to modify it when it was switched to dollars worth. I imagine it would be after April 2006, before January 2007, but I didn’t dig any of these statements out.
So, now we’re spending $1,000 and getting fuel discounts limited to $700 before they are drastically reduced. Hobbled, but still beneficial.
Canadian Tire Gas Advantage – April 2009
We’re now three years since the first statement, and can see we now HAVE TO SPEND $2,000 before getting the 10 cents/litre in fuel discounts – DOUBLING THE PREVIOUS REQUIREMENTS.
So, now we’re spending $2,000 and getting fuel discounts limited to $700 before they are drastically reduced. Severely hobbled, but looked at it as still being beneficial when the price of gas was consistently higher.
Canadian Tire Gas Advantage – April 2016
The above was the status quo for the next 7 years, bringing us to the present. This will be the last statement with $700 dollars worth of discounted fuel. Starting next month, it will drop to $500.
So, now we’re spending $2,000 and getting fuel discounts limited to $500 before they are drastically reduced. Crippled, no longer able to provide adequate benefits.
The offers, promotions and discounts are there to suck you in. Once you have been acquired, you become just another number. This is the way of the corporate world. What can one do? The only real thing we can – move on. I spent at least $25K on the Canadian Tire Gas Advantage MasterCard every year for at least the past 10 years, paid my bill off in full and never acquired an interest fee (maybe they’ll be happy to get rid of me) – I will now move that to another retailer who will offer me more. (Before you comment, I understand that any other retailer will be no different in the long run… I’m just tired of complacency.)
I can understand if Canadian Tire wants to raise the requirements and lower the rewards for NEW applicants – so be it. I don’t think it’s right that a long-term customer keeps getting their rewards taken away from them. The program that I signed up for is no longer what I signed up for.
Thanks for reading!