Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review: Is It Worth It?

When I was looking for another no-fee cash back credit card because my beloved MBNA World Elite Mastercard was no longer attractive anymore, I was very close to getting the Tangerine Money-Back credit card and it was considered in one of the 5 alternatives I looked at.  I did a thorough Tangerine Money-Back credit card review, and I instead ended up getting the Rogers World Elite Mastercard because I’m not very good at remembering which categories I would have signed up for to have the increased rate in.

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card Review

Updated October 2023

I felt it was a better idea for me at least, to opt for the lower rate consistently (1.75%) so I know the rate I was getting on my credit card purchases.  This way I didn’t have to second guess on purchases (whether they were considered a 2% category or just a regular 0.5% category).  In any case, I looked into the Tangerine Money-Back credit card so thought I’d share my thoughts with you. Here’s my Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review.

Tangerine Credit Card Review

Is Tangerine a good credit card?  I would say so- it’s one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada (especially because it is free).

I have a Tangerine savings account and have had one for over 10 years (before Tangerine was bought out by Scotiabank, when it was named ING Direct).  It’s been a great experience with Tangerine savings, here’s my review of Tangerine Bank.  So I wouldn’t expect anything less with their Tangerine credit card.

In this Tangerine credit card review we will go over the:

  • Tangerine credit card features
  • The income requirements for this credit card
  • The Tangerine credit card cash back categories
  • How the Tangerine credit card works
  • Tangerine credit card annual fee
  • Current Tangerine credit card offers

Tangerine 10% Cash Back

Right now until January 31, 2024 there is a welcome bonus of 10% cash back on your first $1000 in purchases for the first two months.  In any category.

This is effectively $100 cash back.

Here’s more on some of the 10% cash back credit cards in Canada.

Tangerine Credit Card Features

The first burning question you probably have about the Tangerine Money-Back credit card is— Is Tangerine a Visa or Mastercard?  The Tangerine credit card is a Mastercard branded card.

The main draw with this card is that you get 2% cash back on two categories of your choice.  The amount you claim for cash back is unlimited, unlike other credit cards offering cash back, but with a ceiling amount, usually to around until you reach $200 in cash back.

For all other purchases outside of the 2 categories you choose, you get 0.5% cash back.

The credit card also has Purchase Assurance (basically purchase insurance), so for items that you buy within 90 days that gets lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get your money back.  There is also Extended Warranty on items you buy on the card with warranty, they will extend it for one more year.

With the Cash Back amount you get, you can apply it as a statement credit or move it into your Tangerine savings account.  If you choose to get your cash back rewards into your Tangerine Savings Account, they will give you an EXTRA 2% category, making a total of 3 categories.

Finally, their foreign currency rate is the standard 2.5% charge.

You can convert this into aTangerine joint credit card by adding an authorized user (e.g. your spouse), however, the cash back categories will be the same.  This would be helpful if you have a Tangerine joint account.

Tangerine Money back Credit Card Review

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.

Here are the Tangerine credit card categories choices:

Tangerine Credit Card Categories

How does the Tangerine credit card work? 

As mentioned, you can pick two categories for the 2-4% cash back.  The categories  of The Tangerine credit card Money-Back categories include:

  • Groceries
  • Furniture
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel-Motel
  • Gas
  • Recurring bill payments
  • Drug store
  • Home improvement
  • Public transportation and parking
  • Entertainment
Tangerine Cash Back Categories
Source: Tangerine

Now, let’s say you’re happy with your three choices of restaurants, groceries, and gas, and things are going tickety-boo, but then you have an existential crisis about switching your categories are worry that you aren’t able to.

Yeah, so what about if you want to switch your cash back categories?  Life happens, things change.

How do I change the category on my Tangerine credit card?  Let’s say you decide that you don’t eat out as much anymore and want to use that money towards movies and watching concerts, and other fun things (that parents with young children don’t get to do anymore- ahem, speaking from own personal experience).  Let’s say you want to change out of your restaurant category for the entertainment category instead

Yes, you’re allowed.  Breathe a sigh of relief!

If you want to change your Tangerine cash back categories you can.  These are the conditions how you can change your Tangerine cash back categories, according to the Cardholder Agreement:

“You can make one (1) 2% Money-Back Category change request at any time after the Credit Card Account opening. Any further 2% Money-Back Category change requests will take effect on the first billing date following a 90-day hold period after the previous 2% Money-Back Category change took effect. During the 90-day period, you may request a change to your 2% Money-Back Category selection at any time”

Tangerine Credit Card Annual Fee

The Tangerine credit card annual fee is a whopping zero dollars.

The annual fee for the Tangerine Money-Back credit card is zero dollars ($0), just like the annual fee for their savings account.  Additional supplemental cards for additional users are free.

Therefore this is considered a true blue No Fee Cash Back Credit Card!

What is the interest rate on a Tangerine credit card?  The Tangerine interest rate is 19.95%.

The Tangerine money back credit card has a promotional balance transfer rate of 1.95% interest for the first 6 months and 19.95% charged after that.

Related: Tangerine Investment Funds Review

Tangerine Credit Card Requirements

The annual income required for the Tangerine credit card is $12,000.  The card is for personal use only and not for businesses or corporations.  This is a very low annual income requirement compared to other cards out there for a no fee cash back credit card.

The Tangerine credit card limit will be determined once you apply and it will be written on your monthly statement.

Related: Transunion vs Equifax- Why the Difference Between Scores?

They also recently lowered the credit score requirement from good to fair.  This means that if your credit score is not ideal, you can still qualify for this card.

Tangerine Credit Card Contact

There is a 24/7 phone number to contact Tangerine service representatives for assistance.

For the Tangerine credit card services, the number is 1-888-826-4374.

Genymoney.ca’s Verdict

This credit card is pretty good for cash back if you don’t shop very much with different categories.  I looked into this card but found out that certain shops don’t automatically get considered to be a cash back category (for example, we spent like $80,000 at Dick’s Lumber, a division of Rona yet that wasn’t considered a Home Improvement category).

The insurance on the Tangerine Money-Back credit card is not that great, there is no out of province medical insurance, no rental car insurance, no trip interruption or cancellation, but if you don’t travel this is not a big deal.

The great thing about the Tangerine credit card is that it doesn’t appear to require a very high minimum income to get this card- just $12,000 annually.

So if you are a student working part-time or just starting out in the working world (and not making the $60,000 to $80,000 minimum personal income that some of the other cash back credit cards in Canada require) this is a great card.  Or, if you are low income because you are retired (!) and not travelling much to require the travel insurance benefits of other cards, this would also a good card for you.

Also, Tangerine accounts are available as high interest savings joint bank accounts, so this would make a good ‘household spending’ card for joint expenses such as groceries, dining out, or other categories.

If you make the minimum and are deciding between this card and something else, you can always calculate your previous year’s spending to check the categories and see if the bonus rewards for 2-3 categories and 0.5% elsewhere are better than a standard cash back card.

Here are some other Tangerine promotions and Tangerine referrals available.

I calculated this and for my own credit card spending (which involved gas, property taxes, lots of eating out at restaurants) and with my calculations, it didn’t work out to be as advantageous as a straight 1.75% cash back card.  However, what works for me might not work for you, so I would recommend that you do the calculations to see if the Tangerine credit card would work well for your personal finance spending.

If you’re interested in applying for this credit card click here.

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