I’m not much of a hipster, but last year I started to use the Tangerine money-back credit card during its trial period before it was cool. After using this card for many months I’ve decided it’s time to blog about my experience with it. Normally I don’t review consumer products, and I’m not being paid to write this post, but I genuinely think this is a great credit card that I would recommend to my personal friends. 🙂
About the Tangerine Mastercard
Let’s go over the main features of the card.
- No annual fee 😀
- Earn 2% money back on select categories, and 1% on every other purchase.
- No limit on the amount of money-back rewards you can earn.
- Interest on overdue balances and cash advances is 19.95%
- Mastercard is accepted worldwide at more than 24 million locations in over 210 countries
The best perk for me is the cash-back rewards. It’s a really simple system. There are no air miles or points to redeem. The rewards are earned automatically in cold hard cash and paid out monthly. If you choose to apply the rewards to your credit card balance then you get access to two special spending categories which will earn you 2% cash back. But if you choose to deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings account each month, like I have, then you’ll get a total of three special categories.
Here are the 10 special spending categories you can pick from to earn 2% cash-back.
So for example, the three special categories I happen to have are Restaurants, Groceries, and Recurring Bills, because I tend to spend the most in these areas. But someone else who drives around a lot could choose the “Gas” category for example, so it’s very customizable depending on the consumer’s lifestyle. You can also change your categories at any time which will take 1 billing cycle to update. So if you plan to travel in the summer, then you should probably switch to “Hotel-Motel” as one of your 2% money-back categories about 2 months before booking your trip. Plane tickets and flight related costs currently have no category so they receive 1% cash back.
To change categories for your Tangerine rewards card, just log in to Tangerine’s site and click on “Manage Rewards” on the credit card page. Then click on “Change” to choose new categories. 🙂
For a more detailed breakdown of the merchant category codes you can check out the full terms here, which is quoted from Tangerine’s money-back credit card rewards program terms & conditions page. Unfortunately for some people it appears that Costco is not included in any of the special categories because it is classified as a warehouse. So using the Tangerine Mastercard at Costco will result in a 1% cash back reward.
Simple and Intuitive
Another thing I really like about this card is how well the monthly credit card statement is presented. It shows not only what you spent money on, but also how much cash-back you received from each purchase. Here’s an example of my recent credit card statement.
As we can see, I spent $245.03 in my latest billing period and received $4.33 cash back because most of my expenses were in the chosen 2% money-back categories highlighted in orange. This represents a blended cash-back rate of 1.77%. That’s not too shabby for a credit card with no annual fee. 😉
Gentlemen, there is even a “Home Improvement” category so you can get 2% cash back on all your power tools. And ladies, if you don’t think it’s possible to be satisfied with just 3.25 inches, then I hope this card will change your mind. Tangerine has a special offer at the moment where new clients who sign up between now and June 27th, 2016 can earn 4% Money-Back Rewards (instead of the regular 2%) for the first 3 months in their chosen categories.
Best Credit Card for People Who Don’t Spend Much
As long as we use credit cards responsibly, getting free rewards each time we spend money sounds like a good deal to me. The question is which credit card out there has the best reward program? For consumers like myself who only spend a few hundred dollars a month on credit, it’s hard to beat Tangerine’s money-back Mastercard that has no annual fees and a competitive cash-back rewards system. 🙂
If you’re thinking about applying for this credit card, it’s probably worth also having a Tangerine savings account so you can take full advantage of that third special money-back category instead of the default two. If you don’t have a Tangerine bank account yet feel free to use my Orange Key 42477023S1 when you sign up for a chequing or savings account. By doing this both of us will receive a cash gift when you deposit your first $100 into the new account. I’ll receive a $50 commission for referring you, and you’ll also get $50 for trying out the online service, which is a 50% return on your investment. It’s a win-win. 🙂
Disclaimer: Tangerine is owned by the Bank of Nova Scotia and I own 40 BNS shares.
Random Useless Fact: