Review: Tangerine World Mastercard and Money-back Credit Card

We’ve previously discussed the Simplii Financial Cashback Visa card as a candidate for your wallet. Another credit card that deserves consideration is one of the two Tangerine cards: the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard and the Tangerine World Mastercard

Apply Now Learn More Earn $150 in FlyerFunds upon approval.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard earns cash back and allows cardholders to choose three accelerated spending categories to increase their cash back earnings.

Check out our Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard review for more details.

BONUS
100 Cash back
MINSPEND
$1,000
NET VALUE
$100+
ANNUAL FEE
$0
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY
Apr 30, 2024
Apply Now Learn More Earn $150 in FlyerFunds upon approval.
Tangerine World Mastercard

The Tangerine World Mastercard earns cash back and allows cardholders to choose three accelerated spending categories to increase their cash back earnings. In 2024, we awarded this card as the Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Credit Card.

Check out our Tangerine World Mastercard review for more details.

BONUS
100 Cash back
MINSPEND
$1,000
NET VALUE
$100+
ANNUAL FEE
$0
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY
Apr 30, 2024

Today we review both of the Tangerine credit cards, with particular focus on the Tangerine World Mastercard.

The Main Benefit of the Tangerine Credit Cards

The unique feature of the Tangerine credit cards is their flexible bonus spending categories. You can earn an above-average 2% cash back on 2-3 categories of your choice. Tangerine is the only credit card in Canada that lets you choose your own bonus categories. This means you can align the Tangerine credit card very closely with your particular spending habits.  

From my personal experience with Tangerine, I also find the ease of use of the online dashboard to be a huge plus, as well as the customer support, particularly online chat and phone support. As an online-only bank, Tangerine takes the money saved from not having brick and mortar branches and invests it into their customer service. And it shows.

How Do the Tangerine Personalized Categories Work?

Tangerine offers the following personalized categories to choose from:

  • Groceries
  • Furniture
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel-Motel
  • Gas
  • Recurring Bill Payments
  • Drug Store
  • Home Improvement
  • Entertainment
  • Parking/Public Transit

With the Tangerine World card, you get to pick up to three 2% personalized categories, whereas with the Tangerine Money-Back card you get to pick two.

Tangerine credit card dashboard showing chosen 2% money-back categories
Your chosen categories show under ‘Rewards’ in your Tangerine credit card online dashboard.

You can swap your Tangerine 2% money back rewards categories as many times as you want, however it takes one billing cycle for the change to take effect. Therefore if you plan to change a category for an upcoming large expense, make sure you plan well ahead of time to make the change.

Tangerine credit card dashboard - change your chosen 2% money-back categories
Recurring bills is a very unique category not offered on many other credit cards in Canada or the United States!

Welcome Bonus

The Tangerine credit cards currently both come with a promotional offer in the form of an elevated cashback rate: earn 10% cashback on all purchases in the first two months, up to a total of $100. 

Furthermore, Frugal Flyer is offering cash back rebates on Tangerine credit cards. for both the Tangerine Money-Back card and the Tangerine World Mastercard.

See the Frugal Flyer Rebates program for details and the application form.

Combine Tangerine Credit Cards with a Tangerine Bank Accounts

When you sign up for a Tangerine credit card, you may also want to consider signing up for a Checkings and Savings account. These accounts are all free with no fees and provide an easier way to manage your cash and pay off your Tangerine credit card. All of your cashback from your credit card will also be deposited automatically into your savings account.

There are two other key benefits to combining a Tangerine credit card with their bank account(s). 

  1. If you are only eligible for the base Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard, this card comes with only two 2% changeable categories. However, if you also have a savings account, then you will be granted three categories, on par with the Tangerine World card.
  2. Tangerine bank accounts come with welcome bonuses of their own. Using the Tangerine Orange Key (referral code), you and your friend will both get $50 upon your opening of a checking account and making a deposit of $250 or more. There are also promotional welcome bonuses. Currently, you can use the code EARNMORE to get a $300 cash bonus and a 2.25% promotional savings rate for 5 months. Conditions apply.
Tangerine savings and checking account promotion - earn 2.25% interest and $300 bonus after adding payroll.

Other Benefits

Base Earn Rate: 0.5% Cashback 

Both Tangerine credit cards earn a base rate of 0.5% cashback on purchases that don’t fall into your selected 2% categories. While this is acceptable, it isn’t stellar by any means. You will want to minimize spending outside of your 2% categories and choose a different daily driver card for non-boosted spending, as many Canadian credit cards earn at least 1% cash (or points equivalent) these days.

(Decent) Intro Balance Transfer Offer

Both Tangerine cards come with a promotional balance transfer rate of 1.95% for 6 months. A balance transfer request fee of 1% does apply. If you’re really in need of a balance transfer, there are more competitive balance transfer offers available, with as low as a 0% rate with a 1% fee (and vice versa). Read our guide to balance transfers to learn more. 

Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard

The Tangerine World Mastercard (not the Money-Back card) comes with a Boingo Wi-Fi complimentary membership. This connects to 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world and can be used in-flight on certain airlines, like WestJet.

Insurance Benefits

The Tangerine World and Money-Back Mastercards both come with Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty on purchases charged to the cards (to a maximum of $60,000 lifetime):

  • Purchase assurance: automatically covers loss, theft or damage on most new insured items for 90 days from the date of purchase
  • Extended warranty: double the period of repair services to a maximum of one year

In addition, the Tangerine World card comes with additional insurance coverage:

  • Collision, loss and damage insurance on rental cars, up to a maximum of 31 days. Must charge the full cost of rental to your card.
  • Mobile device insurance on new cell phones, smartphones or tablets. Covers up to $1,000 if your mobile device is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged or experiences mechanical failure. Must charge full phone cost to your card, or charge all wireless bill payments to your card if purchased through a plan.

Fees

Both Tangerine World Mastercard and the Tangerine Money-Back card have no annual fee. They both do have foreign transaction fees of 2.50%, which is standard for most Canadian credit cards (aside from the few no-FX fee cards available).

There are of course administrative fees like cash advance fees ($3.50) and over-limit fees ($25).  But even with these, I find Tangerine to be very generous. For example, I recently had a pending transaction on my credit card that put me over my card limit.

Tangerine credit card over limit warning notice

Before I was charged the fee, I was actually sent a notice from Tangerine that I had gone over my limit and given a chance to pay down the card to avoid the fee. Many other cards will either charge you the fee or just decline the transaction outright.

Should I Get the Tangerine Money-Back Card or the Tangerine World Mastercard?

In general, you should apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard, as it has no annual fee and a few extra benefits over the Money-Back card. However, if you make less than the minimum income requirements ($60,000 personal income or $100,000 household income), you will only be eligible for the Tangerine Money-Back card. Of course, as with almost all of the Canadian banks, income verification is sparsely conducted but ensure you have the necessary documents should you need to verify your income.

See the table below for a comparison of the key features and differences between the two cards.

Tangerine Money-Back CardTangerine World Mastercard
No. of 2% Categories23
Base Earn Rate0.5%0.5%
Annual Fee$0$0
Purchase Assurance + Extended WarrantyYesYes
Collision, loss and damage insuranceNoYes
Mobile device insuranceNoYes
Boingo Wi-FiNoYes

Downsides to the Card

The base cash back rate for everyday purchases on both of the Tangerine cards is 0.5%. This is not anything to write home about. Heck even the Wealthsimple Cash card, a prepaid, earns more than that. The card, particularly the World card, could also have better insurance cover such as travel insurance. 

Furthermore, for some spending categories, you can get a much better rate than 2%. For example, if you spend a lot on groceries you are much better to put those purchases on the American Express Cobalt Card or the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which both earn effectively 5% in points or cash back, respectively. 

On the other hand, if you spend a lot at restaurants, the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa card earns 4% there.

Conclusion

With their flexible and changeable 2% cash back categories, both the Tangerine World Mastercard and Money-Back Mastercard provide a solid option for a daily driver credit card in Canada. They are particularly useful if you have spending patterns that fluctuate in a predictable way from month to month, or if you have a large amount of spending in categories that aren’t well covered by available credit card options in Canada such as groceries, restaurants, or travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tangerine Orange Key is a referral code that you can share with your friends and family (or the internet). For each referral, you and the referee get $50. The orange key is valid for Tangerine Chequing and Tangerine Savings accounts.

Tangerine cash-back is automatically calculated and applied to either your card balance or redeemed directly into your Tangerine Savings Account if you have one. You can choose which option you want in your Tangerine account dashboard.

Tangerine cash back is deposited automatically once per month, the day after your billing cycle ends.

No, Tangerine credit cards have no cap on spending or cash back you can earn from purchases.

Reed Sutton

Reed Sutton

Founder at Frugal Flyer
Reed is addicted to the art of earning and redeeming travel points, and frequently pairs his trips with his other hobby: photography. Through Frugal Flyer, Reed aims to distill some of the complex and esoteric points strategies into digestible information. Furthermore, he hopes to use his technical expertise to develop invaluable applications and tools for the travel community.

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2 comments on “Review: Tangerine World Mastercard and Money-back Credit Card

  1. I am considering tangerine accounts to bill pay from PayPower mastercard, as part of MS. So it would go:
    1. Amex Cobalt groceries and Paypower reload
    2. Bill pay from Paypower to Tangerine Mastercard
    3. Recurring Bill-pay Tangerine Mastercard to Hydro/Gas providers for 2% back
    4. Additional cash transfers from Tangerine mastercard to Tangerine chequing.

    Is this workable, or is there a better way?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Jim,

      Yes that will work. Really its a personal choice, whatever credit card/bank you’re comfortable with. I was doing my PayPower to Tangerine for a long time, and then transferring the balance to my Tangerine checking account. Others send it to their LoC with the bank and transfer that to checking or spend it out. You can also bill pay to PC Financial and etransfer the money from there. Lots of options!

      Reply