Tangerine Credit Card Review

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Tangerine is one of the most trusted banks in Canada. They’ve innovated and been industry over the years so there’s no surprise that their Tangerine Money-back card was built with customers in mind. It’s a straightforward cash-back card but it offers a few unique features that will likely get Canadians excited.

Read my Tangerine credit card review now to find out what other benefits are included, how the card compares to others, and how you can use the card to its full potential.

tangerine credit card review

Tangerine money-back card benefits

  • No annual fee
  • 2% money-back on up to 3 categories
  • 0.5% cash-back on all other purchases
  • Automatic monthly redemption with no minimum balance required
  • Instantly pause your card
  • Adjust your credit limit online
  • Automatic pay my balance feature
  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty

What makes the Tangerine Money-back credit card appealing is the fact that you can choose your categories where you earn 2% cash-back. By default, you get to choose two categories at the higher earn rate, but if you select to have your cash-back to deposit right to your Tangerine account, you get to choose a third category that gives you 2% cash-back.

This is a huge advantage since once big complaint with other cash back cards was the fact that multipliers may have applied to categories that clients didn’t take advantage of e.g. gas. Although I’m a bit surprised there’s no “travel” category as it would be nice to be able to earn extra money-back on big ticket items like airfare.

Admittedly, how the categories are classified can be a bit tricky at times. For example, the hotel-motel category falls under “Lodging, Hotels, Motels, Resorts or by Property name” so if you booked via Expedia or Airbnb, it’s unlikely you would get the bonus cash back if you had it as one of your chosen categories. It really comes down to how the merchant is categorized. This is probably why “travel” isn’t an available category. This really isn’t a huge deal but it’s something to be aware of. There have even been reports that Walmart Supercentres count as grocery stores but not regular Walmart’s.

You can change your categories whenever you want to, but they don’t come into effect until the start of your next billing cycle. The reason for this is to prevent abusing categories or trying to game the system. This unique feature is the main reason why the Tangerine Money-Back credit card is considered one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty are also included with a lifetime maximum of up to $60,000 that you can claim. Purchase assurance covers you in the event of loss, theft or damage for 90 days from the date of purchase while the extended warranty can double your warranty up to a maximum of one extra year. This is an often overlooked benefit and not usually offered with no-fee credit cards making it a huge bonus.

The additional features such as being able to pause your card or automatically pay your balance are clearly inspired by simple banking which is a nice touch. Oh, and don’t forget, this card has no annual fee.

How the card compares to others

As a cash-back card, the Tangerine Money-back card is comparable to other market leaders to a certain extent. For example, the American Express SimplyCash card also has no annual fee and gives you 1.25% cash-back on categories. The Tangerine card obviously gives you a higher earn rate on up to three categories so it really depends on what categories you spend the most on. That being said, since both credit cards offer no fees, you could use your Tangerine card on three categories, and then use the American Express SimplyCash card on all other categories to maximize your return.

Now let’s say you spend a lot on your credit card, you may want to consider the American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card instead. This card gives you 2% cash-back on all purchases with no limits, but comes with an annual fee of $99.

Now if you’re looking for something that allows you to earn travel rewards or gives you comprehensive travel insurance, then you should consider one of the best travel credit cards in Canada over the Tangerine card.

Final word

Overall my Tangerine credit card review is positive. The 2% cash back is easily the highest rate of return for a no-fee card. The ability to pick your merchant categories is obviously a huge advantage since you’re customizing the benefits to your advantage.

Apply Now for the Tangerine Money-Back credit card

Best Credit Cards Canada

By |2018-12-29T06:33:44+00:00March 29th, 2016|Credit cards, My Money, Personal Finance|


  1. JB March 29, 2016 at 8:56 am - Reply

    I have groceries as one of my 2% categories and everything I buy at Wal-Mart has been getting the 2%

    • Barry Choi March 29, 2016 at 9:09 am - Reply


      I believe it’s just Wal-Mart’s supercenters that people have reported don’t count as 2% groceries.

      • Adolfo Cota March 29, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

        Not true. Wal-Mart’s supercenters do count as 2%. I have the card and buy there.

        • Barry Choi March 29, 2016 at 1:52 pm - Reply

          I did some more research and it appears that in store Wal-Mart supercentres do count as 2%, but online purchases don’t. Thanks for updating me!

  2. J.R. March 29, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I’ve been with Tangerine since they were called ING Direct. I’ve compared the fine print with other cash-back cards, including Costco’s, and nothing else compares. The no-fee, no-rewards-limit has already proven itself superior for my personal finances. I’ve recommended this card to everyone I’ve discussed it with and I’m glad your review is positive as well.

    • Barry Choi March 29, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply


      Yes when the details were first announced many of us personal finance bloggers agreed that the card instantly became one of the best cash back cards available. I expected nothing else from Tangerine / ING. Even the secondary benefits are pretty generous which is surprising for a no-fee card.

  3. K April 3, 2016 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Is this a review or an advertisement..!!

    • Barry Choi April 3, 2016 at 12:36 am - Reply


      This is a review based on my own experience with the card, no money was received. Any posts that are sponsored are clearly disclosed. That being said, if you use my affiliate link when signing up, I do earn a commission.

  4. Ray July 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    I signed up a month ago and Costco doesn’t count as a grocery store so you only get 1%. I called to log a complaint and was told it was considered a wholesaler. If you have this card and shop at Costco, please log a complaint too so maybe the upper ups will eventually add them to the grocery category!

    • Carlos Canizares August 9, 2016 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Costco has never been and will never be considered a grocery because THEY ARE a wholesaler.

      Also, how merchants are categorized is done by the MCC.

  5. Vito March 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Hey Barry, not sure if you’re aware of the upcoming changes, here is the link for your review:


    Thoughts on the changes? I’m not so concerned about the Fx fee change, but the standard 1% to now 0.5%, that makes me wonder if its still worth it.

    • Barry Choi March 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Vito,

      Yup saw the changes and the best word I would use to describe it is disappointing. It still gives decent cash back and worth considering, but it’s not the leader it once was.

  6. Jill Labbe April 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Do you know what category Canadian Tire is under?

    • Barry Choi April 1, 2017 at 3:07 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately, Canadian Tire is considered a wholesale club so they don’t fall into any of the categories. From what I understand, that means you get 0% cashback there.

  7. Darren August 3, 2017 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    I know a lot of Canadians who cross the border and shop at Costco in Bellingham, WA. I wonder if they’re able to use the Citi VISA by Costco? Pretty good reward categories. Costco is my go-to for shopping and eating out. I have another one for bills that is 2.5% cash back on ALL purchases. Can’t beat that duo.

    • Barry Choi August 4, 2017 at 9:18 am - Reply


      Canadians can’t get U.S. credit cards unless they have a U.S. address so unfortunately we don’t get access to that card. At least we have free healthcare.

  8. larry October 28, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

    May I now whats the card thats 2.5% cash back on all purchases.

  9. Hi March 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Do we know if bestbuy falls under any of the 2% categories? The MCC code for Electronics stores isn’t listed in the category descriptions… thx

    • Barry Choi March 18, 2018 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I don’t know for sure, but if I had to guess, it would be under department stores.

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