Tangerine Bank Review 2023
Tangerine Bank Review
- Initial Savings Account Teaser Rate
- High Interest Savings Rate
- No Fee Credit Card
- GIC Interest Rate
- Low Bank Fees
- Ease of Use and Customer Service
- Mobile App
- Account Options
Tangerine Bank Review Summary:
Tangerine Bank is a jack of all banking trades, but master of none. If you’re looking for a single place to have your paycheque deposited, and then to run your life from – while pairing with a better-than-big-banks interest rate – then this is the best option for you.
Tangerine offers the highest interest rate in Canada for a savings account at 2.25% – but only as a teaser rate for the first 5 months after you open an account. After that, it falls quite dramatically to 1% instead.
It comes down to do you NEED access to Tangerine’s excellent credit card options, mortgages, loans, and RSPs – or are you simply looking for the perfect savings options alongside your current full-service chequing account?
- Very good interest rate for first 5 months
- Great fees for both credit card and banking
- Excellent online platform and mobile app
- Best all-in-one choice for online banks
- Much lower interest rates after the teaser period
- TFSA and RRSP investment is better at online brokers
It shouldn’t come as a shock that more and more Canadians from all generations are taking the time to look into online banking and high interest savings accounts these days. We’ve gotten over two-dozen emails in the last few weeks asking about our recommendations, as people look for an attractive place to park cash during uncertain times.
While our EQ Bank Review details why it is our top pick for Canada’s best online bank and high interest savings account, the Canadian online banking scene really boils down to a two-horse race between EQ and Tangerine. Check out our full Tangerine review to see which of the two options is the best fit for you.
About Tangerine Bank
Tangerine used to be a branch of world banking conglomerate ING Direct; however, in 2012 it was bought by Scotiabank. Despite the changes in both name and ownership, the end goal has remained the same: provide Canadians with a ‘one-stop-shop’ type of online bank with great products and friendly customer service.
As mentioned above, Tangerine Bank aims to be an all-in-one type of bank that seeks to completely replace your previous brick-and-mortar bank while offering a wide variety of products. That being said, their most popular products are their credit cards and high interest savings account. Here’s what makes these products stand out and puts Tangerine as one of the best online banks in Canada.
Tangerine Savings Account
The Tangerine Savings account allows account holders to earn 1% interest as a regular rate. Occasionally, Tangerine bank offers some enticing promotional offers with a much higher rate. Right now, new clients can earn 2.25% interest for the first 5 months.
While 1% definitely isn’t the highest interest rate out there, it’s important to keep in mind that Tangerine Bank has no fees, no service charges, and no minimum balance requirement. In all honesty though, this is what has moved Tangerine from my #1 most recommended online bank, to the second position behind EQ.
Tangerine Credit Cards
Tangerine Money Back Credit Card
When it comes to free credit cards in Canada, the Tangerine Money Back Credit Card is consistently considered to be the best option on the market.
So, what makes it such a great pick? Well, customers get to choose two of Tangerine’s money-back categories to earn 2% cash back from. That cash back will then be deposited back to the credit card statement, or, you can choose to deposit it into your Tangerine Savings Account. If you choose the second option, you will get to choose a bonus 3rd money-back category at 2%.
It’s a no-brainer really. You get to customize your credit card rewards to fit your personal spending profile (and can switch whenever you want), and for making it as quick-and-easy as possible (by connecting it to your Tangerine Savings Account) you get to max out three separate categories!
These categories are:
- Recurring Bill Payments
- Drug Store
- Home Improvement
- Public transportation and parking
As for all those other purchases? Don’t worry, you’ll still earn 0.5% cash back.
Sure, it might not be the highest rate for cash back credit cards in Canada, but remember this card is free. Cards with higher rates often come with annual fees of $99 or more. All you need to qualify for this card is a personal annual income of $12,00 or more. It’s interest rate clocks in at the standard 19.95%.
Read more about it in Tangerine Money Cash Back Credit Card review.
Tangerine World Mastercard
The Tangerine World Mastercard offers the same earning rates as the Tangerine Money-Back Credit card, but it also has a few more perks and benefits including Mastercard Travel Rewards, Mastercard Airport Experiences province by LoungeKey, Mobile Device Insurance, Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance and More.
Like the Money-Back Credit Card, the Tangerine World Mastercard is also free. However, you do need to have an annual income of $60,000 (or household income of $100,000) to apply for this credit card. It’s a nice perk for Tangerine’s higher household income customers.
Read more about it in Tangerine World Mastercard review.
Other Tangerine Products
While the products listed above are what Tangerine Bank is best known for, they also offer the following at rates competitive to those across Canada:
- Chequing account
- Business Accounts
- Investment Funds
- Home Equity Line of Credit
- RSP Loan
- Line of Credit
One of the aspects that make Tangerine stand out from other banks is the fees. Or rather, the lack thereof. Tangerine’s no-fee chequing and savings accounts (both of which have great interest rates) make this online bank a stand-out on the Canadian market.
That being said, Tangerine isn’t completely fee-free. Some transactions do have a cost. However, when compared to the fees charged by traditional Canadian banking institutions, Tangerine’s fees are much lower.
Tangerine Customer Service
As an online bank, it’s easy to assume that customer service is probably lacking in comparison to a typical brick-and-mortar type of institution. However, Tangerine has a reputation for going above and beyond with their customer service. In fact, Tangerine has consistently received the highest ranking in customer satisfaction for mid-sized banks for several years.
It’s also really easy to get in touch with the Tangerine customer service team. You can open an online chat, call a 24/7 customer service line, and even reach out online via social media. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to visit one of the Tangerine Cafes to speak to an associate in person.
Is Tangerine Online Banking Safe?
The idea of online banking makes some people nervous. After all, this is your money and the internet does have a reputation for fraud and scams. However, Tangerine prioritizes customer safety with state of the art security features plus, they are a member of CDIC which means your deposits are insured up to $100,000.
Tangerine Bank Review: Our Take
Tangerine really shines as the best all-in-one option when it comes to Canada’s online banks – but it’s not really the best in any one category (aside from their free money-back credit card).
They have TFSA and RRSP investment options (and years ago, they were market leaders in this category) – BUT they’re not nearly as good as what Wealthsimple or Questrade bring to the table.
They have mortgage and loan options similar to traditional banks – but not the lowest in the field.
Finally, the most disappointing aspect of Tangerine’s evolution has been watching their daily interest rate dwindle from being a market leader when the company was first established, to a miniscule 0.10% in 2023. Sure, interest rates are down across the board, but there’s just no comparison to the GIC and high interest savings rates that EQ is offering.
If you prefer to conduct most of your financial interactions in a traditional face-to-face manner, then I recommend pairing your corner-bank’s chequing account with EQ’s long-term attractive interest rate.
If you want to go purely online, I think the best overall strategy is to open an account at both EQ and Tangerine – then use Tangerine for your day-to-day banking + credit card needs, while using free transfers to send your savings over to your EQ account to take advantage of their much higher interest rates.