Tangerine Previews Long-Awaited Money Back Credit Card

Rewards fans have been anticipating this one for a while. Tangerine released a preview its first credit card today – the Tangerine Money Back Credit Card – which is said to launch publicly in early 2016. Here’s what we know so far:

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money Back Credit Card will be a no-fee MasterCard where customers can earn 2 percent back on purchases in two categories of their choice and 1 percent back on all other purchases

Those categories include groceries, gas, entertainment, recurring bill payments, restaurants, home improvement, and more.

Money-Back Rewards are earned automatically and can either be applied towards the credit card balance or redeemed into a Tangerine Savings Account.

If clients choose to have their Money-Back Rewards deposited into their Tangerine Savings Account, they will get to add an additional category in which to earn 2 percent.

There will be no limit on how much you can earn in Money-Back Rewards and no annual fee.

Spending and Saving = Spaving

According to the press release from Tangerine, the unique card is designed to help Canadians be smart with their money – in short, it’s the smart, simple way to save while you spend. Tangerine has even coined a new term for this revolutionary new concept – Spaving.

“Our team has spent the past two years working hard to develop our unique Money-Back credit card that allows clients to spend and save at the same time,” says Peter Aceto, President and CEO of Tangerine. “We’re coining this revolutionary new concept as ’Spaving‘ – and we’re very excited to introduce this concept and our new credit card to the Canadian market today.”

First impressions

My initial reaction is that the card has met my expectations. It had to be a no-fee card, and rumours were that it would somehow tie-in a savings component. I like extra incentive for depositing your cash back rewards into a savings account.

Signing up for this card will be a no-brainer for existing Tangerine clients. Now, instead of using a no-fee debit account for all of your purchases, you can switch to the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and help link your spending to your savings.

With 2 percent back on up to three categories, and 1 percent back on everything else, this card will definitely be in the conversation for the top no-fee rewards credit cards on the market.

Canadians can now register to apply for a preview of the card, before it launches in early 2016. Selected Previewers who are Tangerine clients will be the first to receive applications, followed by non-clients. Approved Previewers will have the opportunity to try the card and provide feedback on the experience before everyone is invited to apply for the card in early 2016.

New Scotiabank GM Visa and Visa Infinite Card Review

I’ve been critical of vehicle rewards programs in the past. That’s because it can take years of high spending to earn anything substantial and these programs have tended to be light on earnings and overly complicated to redeem.

Scotiabank is looking to buck that trend with its new suite of vehicle rewards cards that offers some of the richest rewards in the market. Scotia has partnered with GM to launch the Scotiabank GM Visa card and Visa Infinite card. Here’s how they work:

Scotiabank GM Visa Card

The no-fee version of this card allows you to earn 5 percent in GM Earnings on the first $5,000 in annual spending and 2 percent back on purchases afterwards. There are no limits or caps on how much you can earn in a year, and your points will never expire.

Annual purchases GM Earnings (Year 1) GM Earnings (Year 3) GM Earnings (Year 5)
$5,000 $250 $750 $1,250
$10,000 $350 $1,050 $1,750
$20,000 $550 $1,650 $2,750
$30,000 $750 $2,250 $3,750

Every dollar in GM Earnings equals one dollar towards the total purchase price or lease down payment of any eligible new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac.

Customers can start redeeming points at $1 and can combine GM Earnings with any in-market offers.

Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card

The Infinite version gives customers an earnings boost with 5 percent in GM Earnings on the first $10,000 in annual spending and 2 percent back on purchases afterwards. Like the no-fee version, there are no limits or caps on how much you can earn in a year, and your points will never expire.

Annual purchases GM Earnings (Year 1) GM Earnings (Year 3) GM Earnings (Year 5)
$5,000 $250 $750 $1,250
$10,000 $500 $1,500 $2,500
$20,000 $700 $2,100 $3,500
$30,000 $900 $2,700 $4,500

Some quick math shows that you’re better off with the Infinite version when you spend at least $10,000 on your card in a year. Because it’s an Infinite card, you’ll need personal income of $60,000, or household income of $100,000 in order to qualify.

No doubt that Scotia and GM have teamed up to offer a very compelling rewards program. The question remains – is it worth waiting years to cash in on vehicle rewards?

Keep in mind that you don’t need your rewards to cover the entire vehicle purchase. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle in the short-term you can use your GM Earnings to cover a portion of your purchase.

I reached out to Jennifer Douglas, head of credit cards at Scotiabank, about the new Scotia-GM Visa cards. She said the company spoke with its customers when developing this new program.

“They told us what they were looking for in an automotive rewards card – a simple value proposition (easy to earn, easy to redeem). This card meets that need directly,” she said.

Visit www.scotiabank.com/gmcard or www.gmcard.ca for more information.