As a long-time user of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, I’d like to provide a comprehensive review of this credit card to help you decide if this Canadian no-fee cash back credit card is the right option for you.
When it comes to no-fee credit cards in Canada, the Tangerine Money-Back credit card is certainly one of the top options to choose from. Its low income threshold requirement (a gross annual income of $12,000 or more), lack of annual fees, and excellent cash-back options (three spending categories that allow you to earn 2% cash back) make it the perfect card for me, and hopefully for you as well.
Without further ado, here is my Tangerine Money-Back Credit card review.
Who is Tangerine Bank?
Tangerine Bank is probably one of the most popular online banks in Canada. Operating as Tangerine, it is a Canadian direct bank and a subsidiary of Scotiabank. It offers no-fee chequing and savings accounts, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), mortgages, mutual funds, credit cards, and more. Most of its products are eligible for TFSA, RRSP and RRIF.
Tangerine Bank was founded by ING Group on April 27, 1997 as ING Direct Canada. The bank was acquired by Scotiabank in November 2012 and has since been renamed Tangerine.
What is special about Tangerine is that this is a digital bank operating almost 100% online (though it does have a Café on the ground floor of their head office at 3389 Steeles Avenue East, Toronto, ON). Because they don’t need to incur costs such as office rental for bank branches, they can pass on the savings to their customers, who can then enjoy excellent rates on any of their products, including the star of this review: the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review: What features does it offer?
The Tangerine credit card offers an excellent range of features. Below are short descriptions for each of them.
Zero annual fees
The Tangerine money-back card allows you to earn unlimited money-back rewards on everyday purchases without an annual fee. If you are like me and don’t like to pay any annual fees for a credit card, this cash back card is right up your alley.
Personalized credit card categories (three categories are eligible for a 2% cash back)
Tangerine buckets all of our expenses into the following categories:
- Recurring bill payments
- Drug store
- Home improvement
You can choose from two of the categories and receive 2% cash-back on every purchase. If you open a Tangerine savings account and deposit your cash back rewards in there, you can select a third bonus category of your choice. Of course, you should select the categories based on how you spend: I personally pick groceries, recurring bills and gas, because these three are the top categories that I spend the most money on.
Cash back on every purchase
For other categories of spending, you can still have a cash back rate of 0.5%. Although it is not a ton of money, you can still save some money on every purchase.
Monthly unlimited money-back rewards
Unlike many other credit cards that may have a cap on the monthly rewards, this credit card has no limit on the cash back you can earn through the Tangerine money-back rewards program. Each month, the money-back rewards get paid out to either your Tangerine savings account or deduct against the balance of your credit card. There is no payment threshold required.
Low balance transfer rate
If you are looking to consolidate your credit card debts, this can be a very attractive feature for you.
If you have a balance you owe on another credit card with a higher interest rate, transfer it to your new Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card within 30 days after opening and pay the low promotional interest rate of only 1.95% (plus 1% of balance transfer fee) for 6 months.
This is much much more cost-effective than the regular 20% credit card interest that you may have to pay on your other outstanding credit card balances. Note that any unpaid balances after 6 months will be subject to the regular 19.95% rate, so make sure you pay off as much as possible.
Purchase assurance and extended warranty
For most new purchases made anywhere in the world using your Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, you may receive a lifetime maximum of up to $60,000 for the following insurance coverage:
- Purchase Assurance to automatically cover loss, theft or damage on most new insured items for 90 days from the date of purchase
- Extended Warranty which may double the period of repair services to a maximum of one year
Free cards for other authorized users
You have the option to add additional authorized users onto your card, and they can receive their copies of the credit card free of charge!
Tangerine cash back credit card: Key numbers
Here are the key numbers about this card that you should be aware of:
- Number of cash-back categories earning 2% cash-back: 3 if cash-back goes to your Tangerine savings account, and 2 if it goes to your credit card
- Cash-back on everything else: 0.5%
- Gross income threshold: $12,000
- Intro balance transfer rate: 1.95% (1% Balance Transfer Fee). To take advantage of this offer, you must complete the balance transfer request within 30 days of account approval. The reduced rate will remain in effect for 6 statement periods from the date the last such balance transfer was posted to the account (the “Promotional Rate Period”).
- Balance transfer fee: 3% of the balance transferred, or $5 minimum
- Foreign currency conversion: 2.5%. Note that this is in addition to the converted transaction amount.
- Annual interest rate: The rate on purchases and cash advances (including balance transfers) is 19.95%
- Interest-free grace period: As long as you make payments in full every month, there is no interest. Therefore, I encourage you to always pay the balance in full instead of just doing monthly minimum payments. Note that this interest-free grace period doesn’t apply to Cash Advances.
The Signup Process
The sign-up process is very straightforward. Here are the steps:
Head to Tangerine
To open an account, click on the link in the title. It will lead you directly to the sign-up page. No need for more googling!
Click on “Apply Now”
You will be led to a page that asks you if you are already a Tangerine client or not. If you are, simply log into your account. If you are not, you will need to sign up through either their website or their mobile banking app. Note that you will need to have your Social Insurance Number (we’ll need it for tax reporting purposes) and employment information handy.
Note that here are the eligibility requirements for the Tangerine Money-Back credit card:
- Have a gross annual income of $12,000 or more
- If you have an annual personal gross income of $60,000 or a household annual income of $100,000, you may want to consider applying for the Tangerine World Mastercard instead; it offers more benefits at the same price (aka. zero)!
- Reaches the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a permanent resident of Canada
- Be clear of bankruptcies over the past 7 years
Confirm your information
You will then be led to a page where you have to confirm your personal information such as your legal name, your address, your date of birth, etc. This is to comply with government regulations.
Ready to earn cash back with Tangerine!
After your account is approved, you will be ready to start earning money back on every purchase with Tangerine!
Tangerine Money Back Credit Card Review: How do I communicate with the bank if I have any issues?
Being able to communicate with your bank is important. Although Tangerine Bank is a digital bank without a ton of physical locations, you can still communicate with their customer service department efficiently.
The agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1‑888‑826‑4374. If you are calling from outside Canada, you can call collect at 416‑758‑3139. You can also chat with them on social media.
If you’d like, you can also with their Chatbot for general information. You can also log in to ask for specific answers about your banking needs.
Finally, you can always send them a mail at Tangerine, 3389 Steeles Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2H 0A1.
For more detailed information, feel free to check out Tangerine’s contact us page.
Is Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card for me?
Here is a simple FAQ to help you decide if the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is for you:
If you prefer cash-back, then this credit card is a good choice for you. I personally prefer getting cash back, because cash is easier to spend, and it’s nice to know that I have the cash in my pocket. Since Tangerine pays you monthly and there’s no minimum threshold, you can expect some extra cash every month!
The no-annual-fee feature is one of the features that attracted me to the card initially. I personally do not like the idea of spending money on a credit card. If you are like me, then you may want to opt for this card.
Unlike a traditional bank, Tangerine bank is a digital bank. Although it does have a Cafe in Toronto, most of the transactions are done entirely online. However, keep in mind that you still have plenty of options, such as online chats and phone calls to communicate with the bank if you have any questions.
Navigating an online bank may be challenging for those who lack the technical know-how. However, Tangerine Bank has put a lot of effort into designing the system to make it as user-friendly as possible, so it shouldn’t be a problem if you are willing to spend some time learnning.
Of course, if doing anything money-related online makes you nervous, then perhaps a bank with a brick-and-mortar location may be a better option for you.
You will want to take advantage of this credit card’s feature to earn 2% cash-back on up to 3 categories, such as groceries, gas, restaurants, and so on. For other categories, you will earn 0.5% cash back. You could potentially use another credit card for the other categories, though personally I don’t find it very convenient.
If you are, you will want to take advantage of the low interest (1.95%) on balance transfers (+1% balance transfer fee) for the first six months that you own a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. Note that you should try your best to pay off the balance, because any unpaid remaining balance at the end of the six-month mark will be subject to the regular 19.95% interest.
Getting 2% cash back is great, but that is only when you don’t have to pay the 19.95% interest. You should always try your best to pay off your balance every month so you don’t need to pay a hefty interest charge.
If you think getting a credit card will get you into financial trouble, then don’t apply for one until you are confident in your discipline.
Final Words on Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
By simply taking some time and making a few clicks, you can enjoy the high cash-back that this Tangerine card has to offer. Is this credit card worth it if you want to give it a try? Definitely. You can get the most out of your money with no annual fees, cash-back on every purchase, and unlimited rewards! If you want to save with a credit card, Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is certainly a great option.
If you have a personal gross annual income of $60,000 or a household annual income of $100,000, you may want to consider applying for the Tangerine World Mastercard instead. It offers similar benefits as this Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard, with no annual fees, and more complementary services such as access to airport lounges worldwide, free Boingo global Wi-Fi, mobile device insurance, special benefits and offers from on-demand apps and subscription services, and more!