If you're looking for a no-fee cash back credit card that gives you the most overall cash back, you can STOP looking - you've found it!
The just-launched Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card gives you 1% cash back on all your everyday purchases with no caps or limits. Where it really leaps ahead of the pack is the 2% cash back it gives you on up to 3 bonus spending categories of your choosing. No other card on the market offers this feature, which allows you to select categories that match the places where you spend the most money.
Are you a big foodie and spend a lot at restaurants and the grocery store? Just choose Grocery and Restaurants as 2 of your bonus categories and you'll instantly double your cash back on those purchases. Have lots of medical expenses or love Shoppers Drug Mart like I do? Select Drug Store as a bonus category and you'll be rewarded handsomely.
You can even select Recurring Bill Payments as a bonus category, meaning almost any bill that gets charged automatically to your card on a monthly basis will earn double the money.
Being free to choose the categories you want is much better than being pigeon holed into the typical gas and grocery bonuses that you get with other no fee cash back cards - if you're lucky!
|Min. income||No set minimum|
|Reward type||Cash Back|
|Reward||1% on ALL purchases with no limits
2% on up to 3 bonus categories of your choosing
|HTS reward return||1.3% of spending for a typical person after annual fee deducted|
|Sign-up bonus||4% cash back on your chosen bonus categories for 3 months with no limit|
- 1% cash back on everyday purchases.
- 2% cash back on 2 bonus spending categories of your choosing - the only card on the market to offer this.
- 3rd bonus category if you choose to deposit your money back into a Tangerine savings account.
- You can switch your bonus categories once every 90 days in case your spending habits change.
- Great limited time sign up bonus of 4% cash back on your bonus categories with no caps or limits - all competing cards have caps on sign up bonuses.
- Automatic monthly cash back redemption as a statement credit or deposit into your Tangerine Savings Account.
- Low 1.5% foreign currency transaction fee - nearly all other cards charge 2.5%.
- No caps or limits to the amount of cash back you can earn.
- No annual fee for both primary and secondary cardholders.
- Poor insurance package when compared to other top no-fee cards.
- Sign up bonus isn't permanent like with some other cards - so don't miss out.
- Extended warranty - up to one year.
- Purchase protection - 90 days.
How The Bonus Categories Work
There are currently 10 bonus spending categories that you can choose from right away when you apply. Then later, you can change your categories as often as you want, but changes will only come into effect after 3 billing cycles of having used the previously selected categories. This is to prevent people from constantly adjusting their categories moment to moment as they're making purchases.
Here's what's currently available:
- Drug Store
- Recurring Bills
- Home Improvement
- Public Transportation and Parking
You automatically get 2 bonus spending categories when you sign up for the card and choose to get your money back as a monthly statement credit to your credit card account. But, if you opt to deposit it into a Tangerine Savings Account instead, you'll permanently get a 3rd bonus category.
How To Maximize Your Rewards
The first thing you're going to want to do is make sure you have a Tangerine savings account so you can get that 3rd bonus category.
Tangerine offers no-fee banking with easy electronic transfers to all other Canadian banks via online banking. You can even email money for free using their own email money transfer solution so you don't have to worry about getting your money in and out. It all works seamlessly with your current bank - I know because I'm a Tangerine client myself but use another bank for my primary chequing. Even if you don't use the account for anything else but securing the 3rd bonus category, it's still worth it.
Right now, you can get a ton of extra bonuses like 2.4% interest for 6 months, $25 bonus for setting up an Automatic Savings Plan (ASP) with a minimum $100 monthly contribution for 6 months, a $75 bonus for opening a chequing account, and an extra $25 bonus for using my Orange Key. That's $125 in bonuses just for opening free accounts.
Next, you need to figure out where you spend your money so you can decide which bonus categories to choose. The FREE Monthly Budget Planner I offer to everyone who joins my money saving tips newsletter can help you do this. Be sure to check back every now and then to see if your spending habits change so you can adjust your categories.
Combining the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card with another no-fee cash back credit card that has fixed bonus spending categories is a great way to earn more cash back. For instance, if you have another card that gives you 2% on gas and groceries already, you can choose 3 different categories on your Tangerine card for a total of 5 bonus categories as long as you split your spending properly across both cards.
Finally, be sure to maximize the no-limit 4% sign up bonus on your chosen spending categories.
One way to do this is to choose Grocery as one of your categories and then go to a grocery store that has a gift card mall where you can buy gift cards to your favourite stores and restaurants. Stock up on gift cards for stores where you regularly shop anyway and the increased 4% rate still applies.
That means you are effectively earning 4% on all those future purchases made with your gift cards that you can carry forward until well after your 4% bonus expires. Just make sure you only buy what you will spend money on anyway and that you don't lose your gift cards. Once your cash back drops to 2% again, you can still continue doing this to increase your rate at some stores from 1% to 2%.
Wrapping It Up
The new Tangerine credit card has become an instant hit.
People were buzzing about it on Reddit for months before it launched and jumping at the opportunity to sign up for the limited preview they were offering. Now that it is available to everyone and a great sign up bonus has been added, I expect it will become even more popular. You're going to start seeing these things at checkouts everywhere.
If you're a big spender, don't mind paying an annual fee, or care about more about insurance and other perks - there better cards out there. But, if you want the maximum possible cash without paying a fee, this is your card.