Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card Review
The no fee Tangerine Money Back Credit Card is an absolute steal for cash back rookies and connoisseurs alike.
The card is the richest and most consumer friendly no annual fee cash back credit card on the Canadian market right now, offering choice, convenience and unparalleled value to cardholders.
With no annual fee, a whopping 2% cash back in up to 3 merchant categories of your choice, and 0.5% everywhere else, with no limits, caps or tiers, the Tangerine Money Back credit card beats out most every other no-fee cash back card in the country – hands down.
What We Like About The Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card
- No Annual Fee: With no annual fee, you’re not paying for your cash back. It also makes it risk-free to keep in your wallet as a companion to another credit card that earns you more cash back in other categories.
- Unlimited Cash Back: Unlike many other cash back cards with bonus categories, there are no limits to how much cash back you can earn, whether it be in bonus categories or not – earn unlimited rewards.
- 2% Cash Back In Up to 3 Categories of Your Choice: After the 90 day promotional period ends, earn 2% cash back on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice. No limits, no caps. If you redeem your cash back as a statement credit you’ll get to choose any two categories. Opt to have your cash back earnings deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account and you get to add a 3rd category absolutely free.
- Receive 0.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases: Earn 0.5% cash back on all other eligible spend, both in the promo and non-promo period. Again, no earning caps or limits on non-category spend.
- You Choose The Categories: You choose 2-3 categories from any of the following 10 options:
Unlike some other cash back cards, Tangerine’s Grocery category includes ANY purchases made at Wal Mart Superstores – clothes, electronics, pharmacy, etc…
Also of note, Costco gas, is included as a merchant under the gas category for the Tangerine credit card.
Recurring bill payments are defined as any payments made on a monthly or other regular basis, and which are automatically billed by the merchant to your Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, such as your monthly phone bill. Not all merchants offer recurring payments, and not all ongoing payments will be considered “recurring payments” for purposes of this category. Please check with your merchant to see if your recurring payment qualifies.
- Change Categories: You can change your categories at any time after you activate your Credit Card. Changes will take effect on the first monthly statement date after the existing categories have been in place for 90 days. In fact, Tangerine will even suggest which categories you should switch to based on your spending patterns, to maximize your cash back earnings:
- Rewards Paid Automatically: Unlike many other cash back cards, redeeming is simple and convenient. Every month, Tangerine will either apply your cash back earned against the balance on your credit card statement, or it will direct your cash back earned into a Tangerine Savings Account. Compare that to some other cash back cards which only provide you with a statement credit at the end of each year or have $50 redemption minimums.
- 2.5% Foreign Transaction Fees: Although not as good as a no foreign transaction fee (or 1.5%, we know) credit card, 2.5% compares favourably to most Canadian cards which can charge up to 3%.
How Other Cards Compare To The Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card
The chart above compares the average annual savings of the Tangerine Money-Back credit card to Canada’s other leading no-fee cash back cards. The earnings were calculated based on monthly spend of $600 on groceries, $300 on gas, $100 on dining and $100 elsewhere. The Tangerine Money-Back card is the clear winner.
That said, a very nice pairing would be the Tangerine card with the Amex Simply Cash card. You can combine Tangerine’s 2% in up to 3 categories with Amex Simply Cash’s 1.25% on all other spend. A great no-fee pairing.
Who Should Use The Tangerine Cash Back Card
As we said before, we believe the Tangerine Money-Back credit card is Canada’s answer to value, choice & convenience. With no annual fee, we would really encourage people to add this card to their wallet. Getting to choose up to three merchant categories to receive 2% cash back gives you tons of flexibility to optimize your earnings.
- People With 1% Cash Back Cards: Why have a credit card which only gets you 1%, when Tangerine’s 2% in 3 different categories, with no fee and 0.5% on all other categories can reward you extra cash every year. Why leave money on the table, when it costs you absolutely NOTHING to get better value. If you have a 0.5% card, here’s your chance to get more at no cost.
- People Who Can Pair It With Another Card With Different Bonus Categories: Let’s say you have the Scotia Visa Infinite Momentum card which comes with a $99 annual fee, and gives you 4% cash back on gas & groceries, 2% on pharmacy & recurring billing, 1% everywhere else. Why not pair it with the Tangerine card, and get 2% in restaurants, entertainment and home improvement?
- People Who Don’t Earn $60,000: Many people will look at some of the other cash back credit cards on the market, offering 2% flat or 4% bonus categories. Unfortunately, in most cases those cards are World Elite or Infinite cards requiring a minimum personal income of $60K or household income of $120K. The Tangerine cash back card is a great alternative, only requiring $15K in personal income, that in many cases can either do as well or better than the premium alternatives.
- People Who Prefer Monthly Cash Back: Some people really don’t like having to wait for their cash back rewards once a year – especially if it’s a statement credit. The problem with that redemption method is, it forces you to keep using the card throughout the year. If you end up not using it after month 6, what good is a statement credit in month 12? Tangerine’s method makes your convenience a priority, not the bank’s.
- People Who Don’t Like Annual Fees: With no annual fee, and superb cash back rewards delivered automatically, there’s no reason no to give this card a try – especially with the 4% promo.
Tangerine Cash Back Hacks
One way to really exploit and max-out the Tangerine 2% bonus categories is through the use of gift cards. Let’s say you chose the grocery merchant category. Go to the gift card rack at the grocery store and buy your GAP, ITunes, Home Depot, Amazon, Canadian Tire, or Ikea gift card. Your gift card purchase will count as a purchase in your grocery category, giving you 2% cash back.
That’s an especially smart way to take advantage of your bonus categories and a great way to extend the value of your 2% categories to merchants not covered by your selected categories.