As a Canadian, I know that I often feel like I’ve got the short end of the stick when it comes to credit cards. We certainly don’t have all the options for rewards credit cards that our neighbours to the south enjoy.
Things are about to change, though. I signed up for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. This is a no-fee credit card that looks like it could really be a game changer when it comes to Canadian rewards credit cards. This Tangerine credit card review will show why this card is so unique.
Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card: A Rewards Card with a Twist
You’re probably familiar with the concept of rewards credit card categories. With these types of cash back cards, you usually get 1% cash back, and then see a higher reward on certain categories, or the categories rotate depending on the quarter. The Tangerine Mastercard takes a slightly different approach. Yes, you still get 1% cash back on most purchases, and 2% cash back on certain categories. The twist is that you get to choose what those cash back categories are. The Tangerine credit card allows you to pick two categories to earn a higher percentage.
That’s not the only twist, though. You can choose to get cash back every month. You can choose to have that cash back in the form of a statement credit, or you can choose to have it automatically deposited into your Tangerine savings account. Having the option to deposit your cash back into a savings account further boosts your rewards because now you earn interest on them as they sit in your savings account.
Tangerine sweetens the deal by allowing you to pick a third category for 2% cash back if you decide to have your rewards put into a savings account. I believe Tangerine is the best bank in Canada right now, so it certainly wouldn’t hurt to signup for a free chequing and savings account there!
You can choose from the following credit card categories:
- Drug Store
- Home Improvement
- Recurring Bills
- Public Transport and Parking
Not only can you choose your own credit card categories at the outset, but you can switch them later on if you think that you can do better by changing it up a little bit. Another interesting bonus is that Tangerine will actually help you analyze which categories you spend the most on and recommend changes so that you can maximize your cash back.
One of the other interesting departures from the norm when it comes to the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is the fact that you will have more flexible category definition. Gas pumped at Costco counts as gas. Groceries bought at Walmart Supercentres are credited in that category. Many of the other category credit cards don’t provide this breadth of application, and wouldn’t award extra cash back in certain categories if a store can be placed in more than one category.
These twists make the Tangerine cash back credit card stand out as an addition to your wallet.
Key Features of the Tangerine Mastercard
On top of offering a great twist to earning cash back, the Tangerine credit card offers a number of attractive key features. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from the Tangerine credit card:
- No annual fee
- Unlimited cash back rewards
- 1.5% foreign conversion fee (many other Canadian credit cards charge 2.5%)
- 19.95% interest
- Easy to adjust your credit limits online
- Automatic payment feature that allows you to choose to pay your entire balance each month automatically, or allows you to decide to just pay the minimum each month automatically
- Purchase Assurance
- Extended Warranty
- Customizable alerts
There is also a special signing bonus. You can earn 4% cash back for the first 90 days in your chosen two credit card categories. If you choose to have your rewards deposited into your savings account, the 4% cash back bonus will apply to a third category of your choice.
It’s important to note that the insurance package with the Tangerine Mastercard as good in the travel area as some of the other credit cards available (with annual fees). When choosing this credit card, it’s important to understand the benefits. You should also consider how your Tangerine credit card will fit in with the rest of your credit cards, and your overall spending plan.
Maximize Your Tangerine Cash-Back Credit Card
This is a great credit card to have because it allows you the chance to take your cash back earnings into overdrive. The first step to maximizing your Tangerine credit card is to agree to have your cash back deposited into your savings account. You get the extra category, plus you’ll earn interest on the balance in your savings account.
Your next hack is to coordinate your Tangerine Mastercard use with other credit cards. If you have another category-based cash-back credit card, you can pay attention and make the category purchases with that other card while you choose your next highest spend categories to get the extra cash back for your Tangerine card. Pay attention and make sure that you spend on the right things with the right card. You can always re-arrange your Tangerine credit card categories to get the most benefit from it.
Buy gift cards at stores matching your categories. If you head to the grocery store and buy gift cards, they will register that you went to the grocery store, and you can get your 2% cash back on those items. Choose to stock up on gift cards for your own use, or to give to others as presents and you can get even better value. This is especially true during the 4% special promotion period.
You can also stack loyalty programs with your rewards card. If you belong to a hotel loyalty program, use your Tangerine cash back credit card to make reservations. You’ll get cash back, plus earn points at the same time. This works for any loyalty program. You can also use this strategy for sites like Swagbucks that offer you rebates. Shop through these programs, and you’ll get an extra bonus. You get your cash back from the credit card, but you will also get a rebate from the company. It’s a good way to compound your cash back rewards.
There’s no need to stick with cards that have lower cash back potential. The Tangerine credit card is something new in the Canadian landscape, and can be a potentially great card for any one.