Credit card providers and rewards programs have taken a lot of heat as of late. Some of them have devalued their points while others have reduced their signup bonuses, which annoyed a lot of consumers.
Imagine my shock last week when not one, but two companies announced changes to their credit products that would benefit consumers and quite possibly change the credit card rewards landscape. Tangerine introduced their new Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and the benefits offered instantly put the card into the best no-fee cash back card conversation.
Not to be outdone, Capital One announced major positive changes to their rewards program and will soon be offering a huge signup bonus for their Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard.
Tangerine Money-Back credit card
Many people have been asking Tangerine for a credit card for quite some time now and when they finally announced their no-fee Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card last week, fans were not disappointed.
The new card is a no-fee Mastercard where cardholders can earn 2% money-back in two categories of their choice and 1% on all other purchases. The ability to choose your categories offers maximum flexibility since you can pick which ones benefit you the most.
Here’s the list of categories:
Money-back rewards that are earned automatically and paid monthly. You have the choice of having it deposited directly to your Tangerine savings account or to have it applied directly towards your credit card balance. If you choose to have the money deposited, you’ll qualify for another 2% category.
With this new card you’ll be spending and saving, or “Spaving” as Tangerine likes to call it. There’s no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn, and as a free card it easily ranks as one of the best cash back cards available. Other benefits of the card include:
- 1.5% foreign exchange fee – one of the lowest in market
- Free cards for authorized users
- Purchase assurance and extended warranty
Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard
Earlier in the year Capital One discontinued their Aspire Travel World Mastercard which was recognized as the best travel rewards credit card on the market. In its place was born the Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard where the reward bonus miles reward miles were greatly reduced.
Old cardholders had their benefits grandfathered, but the rewards community was still upset by the changes. Well, Capital One heard the uproar and has announced that soon new applicants will receive 40,000 bonus reward miles when they spend $1,000 in the first three months. That’s a value of $400 ($250 when you factor in the fee) in travel rewards. The new card will have the following additional features:
- Two reward miles for every $1 spent
- No more tiers when claiming rewards
- Partial redemptions
- $150 annual fee
The bonus reward miles and the increase in the annual fee (up $30) are the only real changes to the card. No more tiers and partial redemptions apply to all Capital One rewards cards, and are already available to cardholders.
Understanding rewards tiers
The removal of tiers is what’s probably most appealing since it makes redemptions easier.
With the old system you would have to ask merchants to split your bills into $150, $350, and $600+ amounts to maximize your rewards. With tiers no longer existing, it doesn’t matter how much you spend. One hundred reward miles = $1 in travel, so you’ll always get full value for your claims.
With this change you can also claim partial rewards if you don’t have enough miles to cover the entire cost of your travel purchase. The combination of the new signup bonus and the recent changes to the reward redemption easily puts the Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard back into the conversation of the best travel rewards credit card in Canada.
These new changes really cement that Tangerine and Capital One are industry leaders. Hopefully other credit card providers will notice and offer more flexibility and rewards for their own respective cards.