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 notable for being good at lots of things, without leading the pack in any single area. In other words, it’s a jack of all banking trades, but a master of none. If you’re looking for a single place for all your banking needs with a better-than-big-banks interest rate – then it’s a great option. Tangerine’s offerings are solid – but they’re not the absolute best.
If you’re starting from scratch and you NEED access to excellent credit card options, mortgages, loans, and RSPs, then Tangerine is a good choice. But if you’re you simply looking for the perfect savings options alongside your current full-service chequing account, then you’re better off choosing a high interest savings account from EQ Bank.
- Very good interest rate for first 5 months
- No-fee credit cards and banking
- Excellent online platform and mobile app
- Best all-in-one choice for online banks
- Solid debit and credit card options
- Much lower interest rates after the promo period
- TFSA and RRSP investment is better at online brokers
EQ Bank is just as safe and trusted as Tangerine and offers better rates across the board with $0 account fees.Visit EQ Bank - Best Online Bank in Canada
While our EQ Bank Review details why it is our top pick for Canada’s best online bank and high interest savings account, Tangerine is our runner-up in more than one category. The Canadian online banking scene really boils down to a two-horse race between EQ and Tangerine. And seeing as Tangerine is our former top-recommended bank in Canada, we’re clearly fans of both.
In this review we’ll give you the full details about Tangerine’s most popular offerings. We’ll also show you how they compare to EQ Bank, our top-rated bank in Canada. We’ll also give you our take on when Tangerine is the better choice (because in some cases it is).
What is Tangerine Bank
Tangerine started out as ING Direct, a pioneer in the world of “direct” (branchless) banking. In the late 90s, ING Direct offered savings accounts only, but by the time it was acquired by Scotiabank in 2012, it also offered chequing accounts, mortgages, and a range of investment products and accounts.
When Scotiabank took over, ING Direct was renamed Tangerine, and became Scotiabank’s digital-only, lower-fee banking subsidiary. Tangerine continues to offer bank accounts, investment options, and mortgages, as well as two no-fee credit cards.
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.
Is Tangerine Online Banking Safe?
In a word, Yes. Tangerine prioritizes customer safety with SSL encryption and 2-factor authentication, plus, they are a member of CDIC which means your deposits are insured up to $100,000.
While Tangerine’s bank accounts offer unlimited free transactions and their credit cards have no annual fees, the bank does charge some fees—and they’re open about it.
Tangerine prides themselves on charging Fair Fees, which means that they’re disclosed and agreed upon in advance and that they’re reasonable based on the value clients receive. You won’t find any hidden fees or price jacking here.
A look at Tangerine’s list of Fair Fees reveals amounts that are close to industry standards, such as:
- Canadian bank drafts $10 (big banks charge $9.50-$9.95)
- NSF fee $45 (other banks charge $35-48)
- Non-Scotiabank ATM withdrawals in Canada $1.50 (big bank standard is $2)
Considering that you pay those fees on top of a monthly fee with many big banks, Tangerine is offering valuable savings in comparison.
Tangerine Savings Account
The Tangerine Savings account is a no-fee savings account with a standard interest rate of 1%. With no hidden fees or service charges, Tangerine’s savings account is on our list of the Best High Interest Savings Accounts in Canada, just behind EQ Bank and Scotiabank (both of which offer higher interest).
Tangerine is currently offering new clients a promotional 6% interest rate for the first 5 months.
Tangerine Chequing Account
The Tangerine No-fee Daily Chequing Account gives clients unlimited free transactions, including Interac purchases, e-transfers, and ATM withdrawals using Scotiabank’s network. And this year, Tangerine boosted the interest rates on their chequing account to a minimum of 0.5% and up to 2% for balances between $100,000 and $500,000. Considering that the interest rate on their chequing accounts was 0.1% at the start of the year, it’s no wonder that. The account ranks high on our list and is our runner up for the Best Joint Bank Account in Canada.
Tangerine is currently offering new accountholders 10% cashback on debit purchases made in the first 60 days (up to $400 cash back), plus a $100 bonus if you open two kinds of accounts and set up automatic transfers.
Tangerine offers GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates) with no fees and a 1-year rate of 5.50%. This rate puts Tangerine’s GICs solidly on our list of the Best GIC Rates in Canada for 2023. Tangerine clients can open a GIC online in minutes and start earning higher interest on their savings with these no-risk investment options.
Tangerine Money Back Credit Card
When it comes to free credit cards in Canada, the Tangerine Money Back Credit Card is one of the best options on the market. And that’s because of the flexibility they’ve built into the card.
Instead of having assigned categories for bonus cashback earnings, customers get to choose up to 3 bonus categories out of a selection of 10. These categories earn 2% cashback (or 4 times the base rate of 0.5%). For full details, check out our Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review or see how it compares to other no fee cashback cards.
Tangerine is currently offering a bonus 10% cashback on up to $1000 in eligible purchases made in the first 2 months if you sign up by October 31, 2023.
Tangerine World Mastercard
The No-Fee 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 airport lounge access provided by DragonPass, Mobile Device Insurance, Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance and more.
While the Tangerine World Mastercard is also free, you do need an annual income of $60,000 (or household income of $100,000) to apply. You can read more about it in our Tangerine World Mastercard review.
The Tangerine World Mastercard is currently offering the same bonus 10% cashback on eligible purchases up to $1000 made in the first 2 months if you sign up by October 31, 2023.
In addition to mortgages, Tangerine offers two borrowing options to cover a range of goals.
A home equity line of credit allows clients to use the equity they’ve built up in their home without breaking their mortgage. Tangerine gives clients an interest rate of 6.95% (Tangerine Prime plus 0.5%) and a fixed repayment plan, with no additional fees.
A regular line of credit allows clients to borrow what they need, when they need it. Tangerine offers a variable interest rate (Tangerine Prime plus “an adjustment factor”) and a flexible repayment schedule that lets clients pay off their credit at their own pace.
In the past Tangerine has also offered RSP loans, which allow clients to borrow money specifically to contribute to their RSPs. Tangerine suspended RSP loan applications in January 2023 in order to “make some changes,” but as of October 2023, they’re still not available. We’re keeping an eye out for news on this front, and we’ll update this review if/when there’s a change.
How to Apply for a Tangerine Loan
Eligibility: In order to apply for any kind of loan from Tangerine, you must be the age of majority in your province of residence, a permanent resident of Canada, and free of bankruptcy for the past 7 years.
Provide Personal Information: Your first step is to complete an application form, either online or over the phone. Tangerine will request your date of birth, SIN, contact information, address, and occupation.
Wait for approval: According to Tangerine’s website, you will receive a response to your application within 1-2 business days.
In the case of a mortgage, you will be assigned a Mortgage Account Manager who will facilitate the process from start to finish.
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
Tangerine has a reputation for going above and beyond with their customer service. In fact, Tangerine has consistently received the highest ranking in the J.D. Power 2022 Canada Retail Banking Satisfaction Study for the past 11 years straight.
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.
How Does Tangerine Compare To EQ Bank?
So how does Tangerine stack up against our top-recommended bank? We’ve laid it out for easy reference:
|ATM/Interac transactions?||Yes, for free at POS and from Scotiabank ATMs.||Yes, with the reloadable EQ Bank card. Free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada, plus cashback on every purchase.|
|Account transaction fees||$0|| |
|Savings Account Interest Rate||1%||3%|
|GIC 1-Year Interest Rate||5.50%||5.45%|
|Sign Up||Visit Tangerine||Visit EQ Bank|
While EQ Bank offers better interest rates and no NSF fees, and their new EQ Bank Card makes purchasing easy, Tangerine is currently the better choice for no-fee credit cards. That said, using EQ Bank in tandem with an elite Canadian credit card is still the best way to get bang for your bucks.
Tangerine Bank Review – FAQ
Tangerine Bank Review: Our Take
Tangerine is the best low-fee, all-in-one option when it comes to Canada’s online banks – but it’s not really the best in any one category (although their free money-back credit card comes close).
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 Qtrade bring to the table.
They have mortgage and loan options similar to traditional banks – but not the best in the field.
And while Tangerine was a market leader in daily interest rates when the company was first established, their rates dropped to rock bottom over the years and haven’t fully recovered yet. Tangerine’s chequing account interest for balances under $100,000 currently ranges from 0.5% to 1.0%. That’s not bad compared to some of the big banks, but there’s just no comparison to the high interest savings rates that EQ is offering.
If you prefer to conduct most of your financial interactions face-to-face, then I recommend pairing your corner-bank’s chequing account with EQ’s high interest savings account, which offers up to 250% more interest than big banks do.
But if big banks aren’t your style (and we don’t blame you), you could also consider opening 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.