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Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard 2% reward categories
November 12, 2015
9:11 pm
Norman1
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The Tangerine MasterCard's Rewards Program Terms & Conditions has the MCC codes included in each of the offered 2% Money-Back Categories:

7. Qualifying 2% Money-Back Categories: You may choose your 2% Money-Back Categories from the following list of eligible Merchant Category Codes (MCC) and transaction type. The MCCs are established using generally accepted payment logic, and industry standards. They are:

  • Drug Stores: merchants classified as “Drug Stores/Pharmacies” (MCC 5912);
  • Eating Places: merchants classified as “Eating Places, Restaurants, Bars, Lounges, Discos, Nightclub Taverns and Fast Food Restaurants” (MCC 5812 – 5814);
  • Entertainment: merchants classified as “Sports Venues, Theatres, Amusement Parks, Carnivals, Circus, Tourist Attractions and Exhibits, Movie Theatres, Zoos, Bands, Orchestras, Aquariums” (MCC 7941, 7922, 7996, 7991, 7929, 7998, 7832, 7829);
  • Furniture: merchants classified as “Home Furnishing Stores, Furniture Reupholstery” (MCC 5712, 5719, 7641);
  • Gas: merchants classified as “Service Stations” (MCC 5541/5542); 
  • Grocery: merchants classified as “Grocery Stores and Supermarkets” (MCC 5411, 5422, 5462);
  • Home Improvements: merchants classified as “Hardware Stores, Home Supply Warehouse Stores, Lawn and Garden Supply Stores, Glass/Paint/Wallpaper Stores, Florist supplies nursery stock & flowers, Floor Coverings, Drapery and Window Coverings” (MCC 5251, 5200, 5261, 5231, 5718, 5713, 5714);
  • Hotels-Motels: merchants classified as “Lodging, Hotels, Motels, Resorts or by Property name” (i.e. Fairmont, Marriott, Holiday Inn, etc.) (MCC 7011, 3500-3828);
  • Public Transportation and Parking: merchants classified as “Automobile Parking Lots and Garages, Public Transportation (including Buses, Trains, Ferries), Taxis, Road Tolls” (MCC 7523, 4111, 7524, 4121, 4784);
  • Recurring Bill Payment: Recurring bill payments are defined as payments made on a monthly or other regular basis, and which are automatically billed by the merchant to your Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, such as your monthly phone bill. Not all merchants offer recurring payments, and not all ongoing payments will be considered “recurring payments” for purposes of this category. Please check with your merchant to see if your recurring payment qualifies.
November 12, 2015
9:55 pm
Loonie
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Additional information like this is always good. They must have received a lot of questions!

Still, there are a lot of grey areas. "Window coverings" but not new windows, for Home Improvements? Would the pharmacies inside non-drug non-grocery stores qualify under Pharmacies? Do non-orchestral music concerts count as Entertainment? Would Canadian Tire count as Home Improvement? -I think it's probably not technically a hardware store but rather automotive supply. Would Bed & Breakfasts and Airbnb count as Hotels/Motels, since they are "Lodgings"? Recurring Bill Payments is the most confusing category. What is the difference between an "ongoing payment" and a "recurring payment"? And good luck on "checking with the merchant" on that...

This thread might be a good place to record people's experiences, as we can learn from each other's. I hope the Tangerine CC bill is laid out in such a way that it is clear which purchases qualified in which categories.

November 13, 2015
6:29 am
Winnie
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The Tangerine MasterCard's https://www.tangerine.ca/en/legal/credit-card-cardholder-agreement/index.html:

7. Qualifying 2% Money-Back Categories:

Tangerine is not responsible for how merchants are categorized.
Tangerine will not issue new or additional Rewards to you should the merchant from whom you made your Net Purchase not be classified in the category you expected.
Further, Tangerine will not transfer or re-categorize purchases from a 2% Money-Back Category to a 1% Money-Back Category.

So, if purchases from a 2% Money-Back Category are not categorized by merchant as 2% Money-Back Category, Tangerine will not transfer or re-categorize them to a 1% Money-Back Category and they will NOT earn any Money-Back Rewards at all?

November 13, 2015
7:59 am
Loonie
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I think that Tangerine's communication is not very clear here, Winnie.

While they have noted that they are "not responsible for how merchants are categorized", they have not told you who IS responsible.

I don't think it's the merchant who makes this choice. I think it's MasterCard who assigns them a number/category. I could be wrong about this, but that is my impression.

I think that what they are trying to say above is that if you (mistakenly) thought a merchant was 1% but it was really 2%, you would get the 2%.

November 14, 2015
10:02 am
Norman1
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Merchants are categorized by the MCC code assigned to their transactions by their acquirer. The acquirer is whom the merchant deals with to process their credit card transactions. Like cardholders, merchants don't usually deal directly the credit card associations, such as MasterCard and Visa.

The MCC seems to assigned to the credit card terminal used for the transaction. At one gas station, charges had MCC 5541 (Service Stations) when I paid for my gas at the cashier inside. When I paid at their pumps, the charges had MCC 5542 (Automated Fuel Dispensers).

November 14, 2015
10:27 am
Norman1
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Winnie said

The Tangerine MasterCard's https://www.tangerine.ca/en/legal/credit-card-cardholder-agreement/index.html:

7. Qualifying 2% Money-Back Categories:

Tangerine is not responsible for how merchants are categorized.
Tangerine will not issue new or additional Rewards to you should the merchant from whom you made your Net Purchase not be classified in the category you expected.
Further, Tangerine will not transfer or re-categorize purchases from a 2% Money-Back Category to a 1% Money-Back Category.

So, if purchases from a 2% Money-Back Category are not categorized by merchant as 2% Money-Back Category, Tangerine will not transfer or re-categorize them to a 1% Money-Back Category and they will NOT earn any Money-Back Rewards at all?

I think that means a purchase is categorized based on the MCC code on the charge. Period. Expectations of cardholder or Tangerine staff do not enter into it.

If someone buys some drinks and snacks at a gas station and the charge shows up with MCC 5541 (Service Stations), then it will be categorized in the 2% category Gas and not in the 2% category Grocery.

I think it also means that once a purchase has been classified into a 2% Money-Back Category, the determination can be considered final. Tangerine won't go back later, recategorize the purchase to a 1% category, and claw back half of the 2% money-back already given.

November 14, 2015
10:33 am
Loonie
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But isn't it MC/Visa etc who decide what these categories are in the first place?

I'm really not sure why these categories exist. I can see where Tangerine etc may be trying to take advantage of them with cash back but not why they were invented in the first place.

November 14, 2015
3:19 pm
Norman1
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I did some searching and put my findings in new topic History of credit card Merchant Category Codes (MCC).

Please write your comments in the forum.