Credit Cards

Review: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

By: Miranda Marquit on July 18, 2016

Update: We updated this post on July 18, 2018 to reflect Tangerine's new balance transfer promotion, as well as the new cash-back earn rate on certain purchases, which changed from 1% to 0.5%.

One of the best ways to earn valuable rewards is to use a money-back credit card. With the right Canadian credit card, you can make the most out of your spending by getting some of it back.

If you're looking for a straightforward rewards card, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card can be a great option. It has no annual fee and offers the chance to earn extra cash back.

Features of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The most attractive feature of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is the fact that you can get extra cash back in specific categories. You receive 0.5% cash back on most of your eligible purchases with this rewards credit card, but you can also choose certain categories to receive 2% cash back instead. You have the option to choose categories that you're likely to spend more in so that you can maximize your rewards and get the greatest amount of cash back possible.

You also have the option to have your rewards deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account, or you can automatically apply your cash back to your credit card statement balance. You'll get a bigger benefit out of your money-back rewards if you decide to deposit money into a Tangerine Savings Account, though. If you choose that option, you can pick three money-back categories for the 2% cash back rewards. When you decide to accept the money for a balance credit, you only get to choose two money-back categories.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card allows you to change your 2% money-back categories to match your spending. So if you choose categories and discover later that you spend more in different categories, it’s possible to switch things up. This is a nice variation on the rotating category credit card. However, instead of needing to worry about changing categories, you can pick categories that work best for you, and you don’t have to stress out about them changing. You're in control of which categories provide you with extra rewards.

Your rewards are paid monthly, so you don’t have to wait for them. The cash is automatically deposited in your designated area, whether you choose cash in your savings account or a balance credit.

Not only is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card a rewards card, it's a low-balance transfer card, too. Tangerine has a promtion that gives new cardholders the option of transferring an existing balance onto the Money-Back Credit Card and pay only 1.95% interest on it for the first six months. A one-time fee, which amounts to 1% of the total balance being transferred, applies. 

Other features of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card include:

  • No annual fee
  • No limit to the money-back rewards you can earn
  • 1.5% foreign conversion fee (this is one of the lower rates on the market)
  • Get free cards for authorized users on your account
  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty

It’s also worth noting that this is a MasterCard, so it’s accepted in more than 210 countries. The relatively low transaction fee means that it’s not as expensive as it could be. You also have access to Zero Liability from MasterCard and other perks associated with the brand. This is a card that comes with major protections, as well as a solid cash back rewards program.

Who the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is right for

If you're looking for a no-hassle cash back card, this Canadian credit card might be the right choice for you. The 0.5% cash back isn’t much to write home about, but the fact that you can boost cash back to 2% in up to three categories of your choosing can super-charge your efforts.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is best for disciplined consumers who can put all of their spending on a credit card and pay it off in full each month. To use this card effectively, you have to carefully track your spending so that you don’t go overboard. If you carry a balance and pay interest, it will overwhelm the value of your cash back rewards. This card can also be ideal for someone looking to give a savings account a little extra boost. Choose the savings account option for more 2% cash back categories and earn interest on top of getting the rewards.

As long as you use your Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card for planned purchases and are careful to pay the balance each month, this can be an ideal card to boost your savings account.

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