Tangerine began offering a Mastercard back in 2016. I decided to get this card only last month, as I was looking for a no annual fee (AF) Mastercard that would be my go-to card, so that when I was not trying to hit a spending threshold on another card, or I was shopping somewhere that only Mastercard was accepted, I would have a card I could use at places such as No Frills or Costco. The Capital One Costco cashback Mastercard is good for gas (2%), restaurants (3%) and 1% for everything else, but what drew me towards Tangerine was being able to choose 3 different categories of 2% and still get 1% on all other purchases, making this a superior card in cashback to the Cap 1 card. It even offered only a 1.49% foreign exchange (forex) fee compared to many other out there that charge 2.5% or higher.
Well, the letter dated March 24th came right after a call I had placed to Tangerine credit card customer service, where I advised them on how to make their card even more lucrative, and instead of listening to my thoughts, they did the opposite.
Here's what the card's "changes" spell out to, effective April 29th, 2017 (one month's notice):
- No longer will you get 1% cashback on all other purchases--it will only be 0.5%.
- Their "competitive" forex fee is going up to 2.5%, a full percentage increase.
There is nothing positive that can be said about these changes--it's pure greed, and coming from Tangerine, which prides itself on no fee (or minimal fees), they should be holding their heads in shame.
There are three no annual fee cashback cards that are worth talking about comparing:
- Capital One's Mastercard with 1% cashback on all "other" purchases, 2% on gas and 3% on restaurants
- Tangerine's Mastercard (see details above)
- Chase Canada's Amazon.ca card. It offers a $20 gift card upon approval, 1% on all "other" purchases, 2% on Amazon.ca purchases, and NO foreign exchange fee.
If you don't mind carrying more than one Mastercard in your wallet, I would ONLY use the Tangerine for your three 2% categories (you get to choose from a select list of categories--only two categories to select from the list if you don't have a savings account with them). The categories are: groceries, furniture, restaurants, hotels/motels, gas, recurring bill payments, drug stores, home improvements, entertainment, and public transportation/parking.
I would use the Cap 1 card for restaurants, gas (Tangerine offers gas as a category, but don't use it up with Tangerine--save it for the Cap 1 card) and everything that is NOT from your Tangerine 3 (or 2).
Use Amazon.ca for Amazon.ca purchases (not Amazon.com for 2% cashback--it doesn't qualify though you will be saving on the forex fees) and for all other forex purchases.
For normal people, I don't believe I'm suggesting this, but unless the 2% in 2-3 categories is REALLY lucrative, get the Cap 1 Costco Mastercard and close your wallet to any other no AF Mastercards.