Tangerine Mastercard Review

Read our Tangerine Credit Card review and find out why it's one of the best cash back, no fee credit cards in Canada.

Tangerine Credit Card: At a Glance
Sign-up bonus points: N/AQualifying annual income:  $15,000
Annual fee: $0Recommended credit score: 670 - 739
Purchase interest rate: 19.95%Cash back: 2% Money-Back Categories; 0.5% on everything else
tangerine mastercardLet's face it: points and rewards are great, but cash is king. Tangerine is one of Canada’s best banks offering low-fees and high interest rate savings accounts, and with their no annual fee Tangerine Money Back credit card, they’re—dare we say it?—disrupting the market (in a good way). With a flexible program that allows cardholders to select their cash-back categories, options to increase earnings, and an accessible income threshold, there’s not much to prevent people from signing up for this no fee credit card. The fact that this Tangerine credit card costs cardholders nothing to use makes it an absolute no-brainer.

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card Review

The Mastercard Tangerine cash back program is, as the name promises, a way to earn back a percentage of your monthly spend in cash. At sign-up, applicants choose two of Tangerine’s money-back categories on which they want to earn 2%. The categories are broad, and include the following:

  • Groceries (includes any purchases made at Walmart Superstores, like clothes, electronics, pharmacy, etc.)
  • Gas (includes Costco gas as a merchant under the gas category for the Tangerine credit card)
  • Recurring bill payments (any payments made on a regular basis that are automatically billed by the merchant to your Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, such as your monthly utility or mobile phone bill)
  • Furniture
  • Restaurants
  • Drug store
  • Home improvement
  • Entertainment (merchants classified as Sports Venues, Theatres, Amusement Parks, Carnivals, Circus, Tourist Attractions and Exhibits, Movie Theatres, Zoos, Bands, Orchestras, Aquariums)
  • Hotel-Motel
  • Public Transportation and parking (includes Buses, Trains, Ferries, Taxis, Road Tolls)

When cardholders spend in these categories, they earn 2% back in cash—an automatic monthly reimbursement that is applied directly to either their credit card account or deposited into their Tangerine savings. With the latter choice, users get a bonus third spend category at 2%—and users can change their categories as their needs changes. All other purchases earn 0.5% cash back.

This program is a winner based on its simplicity. Unlike many points, hotel-, or travel-based rewards cards, cardholders aren’t only earning on certain brands or types of purchases. Applicants choose what serves them best, and the redemption is monthly, automatic, and without caps.

  • 2% cash back on two Tangerine spending categories
  • 2% cash back on an additional spending category when you automatically have credit applied to your Tangerine savings account
  • 5% cash back on everything else
  • Automatic, monthly reimbursement to your credit card balance or savings account

Pro-tip: With a little bit of planning and strategy, you can extend Tangerine’s 2% cash-back categories into unlikely territory. If, for example, you choose the grocery category, you can also get 2% back on purchases at The Gap, iTunes, IKEA, and more. Just buy gift cards for these retailers at your grocery store. It all qualifies.

Other Perks of the Tangerine Credit Card

In keeping with the stripped-down ethos of the parent bank, the Tangerine Money Back credit card is simple. It does what it does without a lot of extras. However, card carriers do receive the following additional perks:

  • No annual fee: Signing up for this card is virtually risk-free, because it costs $0 to keep it in your wallet.  You're essentially earning money by having it.
  • Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty: Applicable to most new purchases made with this card, with a lifetime maximum of $60,000. Purchase Assurance may cover loss, damage, or theft, in excess of insurance, for 90 day. Extended Warranty can double the period for repairs up to an additional year.
  • Free additional cards for up to 5 authorized users.
  • This is a MasterCard product, so is widely accepted worldwide.
  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.
  • You can change your categories any time after you activate your card — you're never locked in!

Pros and Cons of the Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

Unlike points or other rewards, cash can be used for anything—including paying down your tangerine credit card or building a savings account. Sweetening the pot, if you choose the latter you’ll get an additional rebate category. Just as attractive is the fully automatic, monthly reimbursement. This means cardholders have no points to keep track of, no extra paperwork or planning to do—their monthly earnings are simply applied to their Tangerine account. No annual fee and no earning caps make this a terrifically attractive card.

To be honest, there aren’t a lot of drawbacks to the Tangerine Money-Back credit card, unless you count a lack of extras like travel insurance or partnership points. There’s also no sign up bonus, and the 2.5% foreign transaction fees aren’t as good as some other credit cards that charge 1.5%. But if you don’t care about those things, it’s not a deal breaker.

The Verdict: Is the Tangerine Money Back Credit Card Worth It?

The Tangerine Money-Back credit card costs you nothing, earns you money on all spends with no caps, and automatically reimburses you. This card is a clearly a winner, and you're actually earning a few bucks by putting this plastic in your wallet.

tangerine mastercard review

3 Comments

  1. Ron on January 22, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Do you know which category COSTCO fits in for the Tangerine card. Is it considered grocery or other? 2% or .5 % cash back from purchases at Costco?



  2. Kyle on January 24, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Not sure Ron. I would think groceries, but you’ll have to ask!



  3. Glenn on February 13, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Ron, Costco does not fit into any of the 2% categories. One great tangerine bonus hack is Walmart. It goes under groceries. Big ticket purchases there can add up



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