Last updated: March 20, 2019
If you're looking for a credit card that thinks outside the box when it comes to earning cash back rewards, you've come to the right place.
The no-fee Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is a top contender. It lets you choose up to 3 categories to earn unlimited 2% cash back rewards, from a choice of 10 categories.
No other credit card in the market will let you do that. Plus, if your spending patterns change, you can adjust which categories earn 2% rewards accordingly.
And while it only earns (unlimited) 0.5% on everything else, it still ranks as one of the top 10 best no fee cash back cards in Canada right now.
This 0.5% earn rate may make this card less attractive, but all you need to get around it is to be creative and combine it with another credit card to maximize your rewards. Check out the maximize your rewards section below to find out how.
All-in-all, Tangerine has a winning card here and should be seriously considered as an addition to anyone's wallet.
|Min. income||No set minimum|
|Reward type||Cash Back|
|Reward||0.5% unlimited cash back on regular purchases 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 bonus categories you choose|
|HTS reward return||1.1% of spending for a typical person|
Plus a travel bonus worth another $150.
Quantities are limited.
Let's take a look at some of the best parts of this card.
- 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.
- Automatic monthly cash back redemption as a statement credit or deposit into your Tangerine Savings Account.
- No caps or limits to the amount of cash back you can earn.
- No annual fee for both primary and secondary cardholders.
But what about the places where it comes a bit short of the mark?
- 0.5% cash back on regular purchases is lower than many other cash back credit cards.
- Poor insurance package when compared to other top no-fee cards.
- No sign up bonus like some other top cards have.
- Standard 2.5% foreign currency transaction fee
This card gives you the following insurance coverage:
- 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 so people don't constantly adjust their categories as they make 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
This card has some great potential, so here are a couple tips to help you get the most out of it.
Use a second top card for everyday spending
With the regular spending rate dropping to 0.5%, the first thing you should do is only use your Tangerine card for stores that give you the increased cash back rate.
So what do you do for the rest of your purchases?
I suggest applying for the
If you prefer a card with no foreign currency transaction fees, then the
Pair with another credit card that has categories
If you already have a credit card that has bonus earn rates on select categories, you can still consider adding the Tangerine Money-Back card to your wallet for max rewards.
Make your customized 2% categories different from what your other credit card offers you. This way, you can earn more bonus cash back on more categories, increasing your overall rewards.
Plus, since the Tangerine card has no annual fee, you aren't cutting into your total rewards either.
Get your 3rd bonus spending category
Another thing you could do is make sure you have a Tangerine savings account, giving you that precious 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.
And right now, you can get a ton of extra bonuses.
For setting up a new Tangerine Savings Account, you get 2.75% interest for 6 months.
You can get up to $200 in cash bonuses if you set up a Tangerine No Fee Chequing Account:
- A $50 bonus for using the Orange Key "Orange50" while creating a new account and making an initial deposit of at least $100, AND
- an extra $150 bonus when you switch 2 pre-authorized payments of $50 or more for 3 consecutive months, OR
- set up a payroll direct deposit for 3 consecutive months.
That's $200 in bonuses just for opening a free account.
Open A Tangerine Account: Click Here
Use This Orange Key: Orange50
Choose your bonus spending categories wisely
After that, you need to figure out where you spend your money so you can decide which 2% bonus categories to select so you can maximize your cash.
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.
Maximize your bonuses
Finally, be sure to maximize your 2% bonus spending.
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 2% rate still applies.
That means you're effectively earning 2% on all those future purchases made with your gift cards that would normally only qualify for the 0.5% rate. Just make sure you only buy what you'll spend money on anyway (and don't lose your gift cards).
Wrapping it up
Tangerine offers an innovative card that lets you choose your own bonus categories. It lets you be in control of how you want to earn your rewards – a rare feature in the Canadian credit card market.
And while it only earns a meager 0.5% cash back on your other purchases, you can bypass that negative by combining it with either the
Or, combine it with another credit card that has bonus categories, and use the Tangerine Card to get even more bonus categories, and watch your rewards add up at lightning speed.