Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review

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. 🙂

16-04-Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

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.

Switching Categories

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:




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04/04/2016 3:13 pm

“Disclaimer: Tangerine is owned by the Bank of Nova Scotia and I own 40 BNS shares.”

But do you own MasterCard shares?

Financial Underdog
Financial Underdog
04/04/2016 7:55 pm

Right on. I recently switched to Tangerine MC, and so far it’s been experience. Granted, I don’t need much from a card – it has to be free and easy to use. If it pays a little back that’s a bonus. But I especially like how you can do everything with Tangerine MC online.

04/05/2016 7:52 am

HAHA, I have three CC that I rotate with for different spendings. I have to think about my purchase before pulling out the correct credit cards. For eating out category, I noticed some food purchases at certain places on Tangerine does not qualify as they’re categorized differently. Marble Slab Ice Cream isn’t part of eating out. Food purchased on BC Ferries is part of Transportation category. Food purchased at hotel is part of Hotel category. I’ll be keeping notes and use my other 1.5% credit card for those unrelated categories.

04/05/2016 7:38 pm

Thx for this review. I am going to check it out. Currently i have a cashback card with cibc but they recently changed it from $0 to 79 a year!

04/06/2016 6:02 am

How do you like it compared to MBNA smart cash master card? It is extremely similar and probably Tangerine has targeted it when designing the credit card.

04/27/2016 8:40 am

May I ask a stupid question? How do you transfer money between different banks and withdraw money online? If I open a Tangerine savings account, how can I take out cash when I need it?

04/29/2016 11:42 am

Thank you very much for the steps and explanation.
Have a great weekend!

05/18/2016 7:55 am
Reply to  Sandyhook

Just to let you know I got the new Tangerine CC and opened up a new saving account. Deposited my first $100 and received the bonus $50. I have provided your Orange Key #. Hope you already received your bonus too! Thanks again for this post.

06/06/2016 12:52 pm

[…] basically what $29 buys you in Metro Vancouver, B.C. I placed my Tangerine credit card in the photo as a reference for scale. Below is a breakdown of exactly what I purchased. The green […]

07/01/2016 6:38 am

I have got one last week with 10000 CAD limit. Not bad, thanks for the information.

10/02/2016 3:21 pm
Reply to  Luc

Hey Luc,
I am not being offered the card. I’m making 3k a month with credit score 725. Were you offered or did you apply? How much are you making?

08/03/2016 5:19 pm

Thanks for sharing the valuable info. on Tangerine money back card.
I find it interesting and hope it suits me too. I’m thinking of applying for it but I have two concerns
1) Do I need to visit a branch or submit paper documents physically or can it be done online? The reason Im asking is my existing bank (big one) asked me to do some paper work just to increase my credit limit. I dont have any loans or debts so Im okay with credit checks but I dont have time to visit branch to get the process done.
2) I want to just use this card – Im not interested in Tangerine’s other products – be it savings account, checking account or other products. I hope there is no catch like being forced to buy or use other products/services.


[…] thousands of dollars in passive income through the use of his credit cards. My no annual fee Tangerine Mastercard gives me 2% cash back on most of my credit card purchases. Promotional credit card rates can be used to pay down higher […]

03/28/2017 1:11 pm

Whats the grace period in this CC?

10/17/2018 5:05 pm

Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard is not a good rebate card. To be more precise, its 2% return is very misleading and using the card is more trouble than good. Its setup of what belongs to your selected 2% category is very unfair and arbitrary. Lots of recurring bills are NOT counted as recurring, so instead of getting 2% bonus you only get 0.5%. My utility bills from ATCO Gas are not counted as recurring bills. That is ridiculous! It’s also a waste of time trying to call them. First the wait time is extremely long. Second its operators are not responsive at all. They just say “nothing we can do about it”. Not worth the trouble.