Between the two of us, it’s been almost four decades.
Together, Tracey and I have been committed to one savings strategy through one bank for a very long time. And we didn’t realize it until I told her how I was re-evaluating my credit card of choice and that the new Tangerine card was the winner.
Both Tracey and I use Tangerine (formerly known as ING) to save for travel. Their Tangerine credit card is a way to actually earn money for travel. Here’s I want to share with you:
Using the Tangerine Credit Card to Save for Travel
My preferred travel credit card for earning money for travel recently changed from a cash-back system to a point system. I don’t like point systems because the value of points can be changed so easily. In a cash-back system, the value of a dollar is always the current value of a dollar.
Time to evaluate my current card against a few other cards.
I’ll save you the analysis of the four other cards I included in my little study. The upshot was that the Tangerine card will serve me best. Below is the comparison between Tangerine and my usual card. First, here are some things to note about the calculation.
- When I evaluate credit cards I compare them based on the benefits they’ll give me in the long term. I ignore special signing bonuses.
- Your spending habits affect your choice of credit card. My credit card use is slightly higher than $20,000 a year.
- I don’t choose my credit card based on the travel insurance it offers. I prefer to buy a separate travel insurance policy.
Card 1: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
Cash-back calculation: 2% on three categories of spending. 1% on all other spending. You can change your categories as you want. Have a big furniture purchase? Use that category, then change it back to one that will serve you best after the purchase.
Money earned based on 1.5% cash-back (an average for all purchases) $10,000 gives you $150, $20,000 gives you $300
Actual cash value at $10,000: $150, $20,000: $300, $30,000: $450
Card 2: TD Visa Infinite First Class Credit Card
Annual fee: $120
Points calculation: 3 points for every dollar spent, 9 points on travel dollars (Problem: Travel must be booked through Expedia. I find better deals with Flightnetwork or the airline’s site.)
Monetary value of 10,000 points: $40
Money earned per $10,000 spent is $120, per $20,000 spent is $240 and per $30,000 spent is $360
Actual cash value (money earned minus annual fee) at $10,000: 0, $20,000: $120, $30,000: $240
They have a signing bonus. They’re currently offering 4% Money-Back Rewards for the first 3 months in your chosen categories.
Please note: I use the Amazon.ca Visa card while I travel outside of Canada because it has 0% foreign transaction fee. The Tangerine card for travel outside the country stacks up well with only a 1.5% foreign transaction fee. The fee is typically 3%.
Automated Saving for Travel with Tangerine
As mentioned, I have tucked money away for travel in a Tangerine savings account since the 90s.
It’s a simple auto-withdrawal that happens every month. It comes out of my TD chequeing account like a monthly expense making it somewhat painless, then it accumulates in my Tangerine account to be spent when I want to. To access it I simply transfer the money back to my TD account. Because there is the transfer step required before making a purchase this money doesn’t slip though my hands.
What I like about the Tangerine account:
- There are no fees.
- You get a better interest rate and they’re offering new clients triple interest of 2.40% for six months. You can also get up to $50 in bonuses.
- You receive a monthly statement that shows your interest earned in the current calendar year
- You can get a debit card and cheques but I don’t have either. I like having the cash unavailable to me except by a transfer to another account.
So that’s it. It’s pretty simple but, as you can see, Tangerine is can be valuable when saving for travel. I hope the analysis above helps you travel longer, farther and more often.
And, in case you need more to convince you that Tangerine products are worthwhile:
- In November 2015, Tangerine was awarded the IVIE Silver Award for Canadian Payments Benefitting Issuers for the Tangerine MasterCard Credit Card.
- In April 2016, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card was awarded Best Loyalty Service, Program or Offering by the PX Payments Awards.
- Most recently, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit card won the 2016 Product of the Year Canada award for the Financial Services category.
Plus a reader’s note from Laura:
I’ve been reading your newsletter for a few years, it’s great. Just wanted to add another positive about Tangerine. Since they are affiliated with Barclays, you can set up a chequing account and bank card and use it for withdrawals at no charge. Great for countries where Barclays has a presence.