With interest yields on the rise in Canada, it’s a great time to start searching for the Best Online Bank in Canada in 2024. Online banks are currently offering interest rates as high as 5%, which is good news for those with cash to stash, especially as inflation rates are higher than they’ve been in decades. 

Of all of the online banks in Canada, Tangerine and EQ bank are among the best. Their ease of use, hearty savings yields and low fees make them stand out even among the best of the Big Banks and the top online banks. 

In this Tangerine vs. EQ comparison you’ll discover how they stack up in terms of interest rates, account charges, product offerings and more.

Tangerine vs EQ Bank Quick Comparison

Products
  • Chequing and savings accounts
  • Credit cards
  • GICs
  • Mortgages
  • TFSA
  • RSP
  • Savings accounts
  • Reloadable EQ Bank card
  • GICs
  • RRSP
  • TFSA
  • Elite currency exchange
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
    $0
Savings Account Interest Rate 1% 4%
GIC 1-Year Interest Rate 5.25% 5.50%
Sign Up Visit Tangerine Visit EQ Bank

Tangerine vs EQ Bank – Who’s The Best in Canada?

While Tangerine does offer a couple of convenient features that EQ is still working on, I just don’t like the idea of depending on teaser rates so much. 

The long-term high interest savings account rate is what Tangerine was built on, and since they have been purchased by Scotiabank, the rate has been cut more and more each year.  EQ has the better app, the more user-friendly website, and the MUCH higher long-term interest rate.  Those are what’s most important to our way of thinking about online bank accounts. 

With their shiny new TFSA and RRSP options (earn 2.5% in your TFSA) EQ Bank is a clear winner in the 2024 Tangerine vs EQ battle. 

“We’d rather build your savings than bank branches.”  Well played EQ… Well played.

Tangerine vs EQ Bank Interest Rates

When most people are comparing the best online banking options in Canada, the key number is the interest rate.  What interest rate can I get in a High Interest Savings Account (HISA)?

There is simply no comparison when it comes to the long-term interest rate.

EQ Bank = 2.50%

Tangerine – 1.00%

EQ has always prioritized their long term savings rate and made sure that it stays at the very top of the Canadian rankings or within spitting distance.  

Tangerine on the other hand used to be a market leader in this field back when they were ING Direct.  Here’s an old school ING Direct commercial that caused some serious nostalgia for me.

The claim in that commercial, “Your account pays the highest rate – always will!”

Needless to say, that has not been the case since ING was purchased by Scotiabank and became Tangerine.  The interest rate has steadily edged downwards ever since that point.  Now Tangerine relies on short-term teaser rates to try and get you in the door, and then rely on your inertia to keep you there.  It must be a profitable strategy or they wouldn’t continue to do it.  I just don’t like the whole idea of “tricking people in the door”.  

Massive Winner: EQ Bank

GIC Rates for Tangerine and EQ Bank

It’s not just the high interest savings account rates where EQ Bank beats Tangerine pretty soundly. Below is the comparison table for GICs.

EQ Bank TFSA GICs

EQ Bank GICs

Tangerine GICs

3 Months

4.00%

3.75%

1.40%

6 Months

4.75%

4.50%

4.90%

9 Months

5.25%

5.25%

5.20%

1 Year

5.35%

5.35%

5.15%

2 Years

5.00%

5.00%

4.10%

3 Years

4.80%

4.80%

4.00%

4 Years

4.55%

4.55%

3.80%

5 Years

4.45%

4.45%

3.75%

Winner: EQ Bank

Tangerine vs EQ Bank: Fees and Account Charges

Both Tangerine and EQ Bank have built their brands on cutting fees to the bone.  You won’t find any Big Bank account fees here.  Both Tangerine and EQ have slashed the business expenses associated with branch locations, and pass those savings on to their customers.  

While the Tangerine vs EQ bank fee battle is a close one, the edge again goes to EQ, as Tangerine charges an odd inactivity fee that probably won’t apply to many people – but nonetheless looks like a bit of a cash grab.  Both companies offer complete freedom from monthly account fees, free unlimited Electronic Fund and Interac Money transfers, as well as free bill payments.

EQ BankTangerine
Monthly Account FeesFreeFree
Inactivity FeeFree$10 After One Year, $20 Per Year after that.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Unlimited & FreeUnlimited &  Free
Interac Money TransfersFreeFree
Account Closing FreeFree
Bill Payments Free Free
ChequesN/AFirst 50 cheques free, $50 for cheques after that.  $45 NSF fee.

Winner: EQ Bank

Tangerine vs EQ Bank: Credit Cards and Cheques

When it comes to overall convenience provided by an online bank account, it used to be that Tangerine could not be beat. Their banking package allows clients to use debit cards, credit cards, and cheques.  However, in January 2023, EQ bank launched the EQ Bank Card, helping it catch up to Tangerine in the areas of convenience and making your money work for you.

The EQ Bank Card offers free withdrawals from any Canadian ATM, gives you cash back on each purchase, earns customers 2.5% interest on their balance, and perks like no foreign exchange fees. These benefits are on par with Canada’s best credit cards, which is pretty impressive for an online bank.

While these are all great offerings, it is not quite as varied as Tangerine’s offerings in terms of credit cards and cheques.

Winner: Tangerine (Visit Site)

Editor’s note: If your primary focus is finding the best checquing account, Scotiabank is currently the best option by a wide margin. For as long as they have their $350 signup promo running Ultimate Package and Preferred Package, they are clearly the best choice out there. Read Kyle’s Scotiabnak review for a deep analysis of how the current promo massively out values any other Canadian bank, including Tangerine.

Tangerine vs. EQ Bank Mobile App Review

Tangerine’s mobile app has a bright and fresh design, making it visually appealing. The Tangerine bank app includes a wide range of banking options, including digital signup, enabling you to complete account creation right from your mobile device.

You’ll also be able to set up your mobile wallet, allowing you to make payments with ease. In addition, you’ll have access to money management tools, like their Goals tool to help you stay on track when it comes to saving money.

The Tangerine mobile app currently has an impressive 4.7 star rating on the Apple App Store and a 4.5 star rating on Google Play. Users comment that the recent update has negatively impacted its functionality, but previous comments said it was easy to use and that they found the additional tools helpful in helping them manage their finances more wisely.

The EQ Bank Mobile Banking app allows you to complete all of your transactions in one convenient app. Everything from transferring funds, to paying bills, to purchasing GICs can be done on the app. 

The downsides are that the Android app appears to be buggy, and although the iOS version appears to be more functional, there are still signs of trouble. Users comment that while they love EQ bank, the app leaves much to be desired, especially as some of them can’t even seem to log in without the app crashing. Other users don’t like the fact that there isn’t an option to use biometric authentication, which makes them question the safety of the app. 

The EQ Bank mobile app rating is currently at 2.9 stars on the Google Play store and has a much higher 4.7 star rating on the Apple App Store. Hopefully the Android version will have some new updates in the near future to improve its functionality.

Winner: Tangerine

International Banking With EQ Bank or Tangerine

I was quite surprised to learn that as a “full service online bank” Tangerine does not have the ability to receive payments from abroad.  Due to the fact that Tangerine does not have a SWIFT/BIC code, it is useless to people who want to transfer money.

EQ Bank on the other hand really shines when it comes to international banking.  As the first bank in Canada to partner with Transferwise (the leading international money transfer company in the world) EQ is able to offer its members the cheapest possible way to convert currencies.  

Most people don’t really understand how much banks charge them to convert one currency for another because it’s kind of hidden in the fine print.  The basic idea is that banks take a slice on either side of the “mid-market rate” – which is the actual exchange rate you’ll see if you look it up online.  The size of those slices depends on the bank, and the currencies being exchanged, but the end result is that most customers end up paying more than 800% more when exchanging through their brokerage than they do with Transferwise!


Massive Winner: EQ Bank (with an assist from Transferwise)

FAQ

EQ Bank vs Tangerine: What’s Best for You?

In our comparison of EQ Bank vs Tangerine, we put them head to head in terms of products on offer, fees, interest yields, mobile app quality and more. 

So, which one is better, EQ Bank or Tangerine Bank? 

The Tangerine app might be better than EQ’s, yes, but is it enough to put them ahead? We don’t think so.

The clear winner in this case is EQ bank. They pony up a higher interest yield on their high interest savings account, 1.5% to be exact. With the new addition of their prepaid Mastercard bank card, they’ve become an even more attractive option.

All things considered, we recommend EQ bank as Canada’s #1 online bank. Find out why in our full EQ Bank Review.

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Kyle Prevost

Kyle Prevost is Canada's Top Personal Finance Teacher and an author/speaker/advisor when he is not in his classroom. His writing has been featured across Canada’s most-read publications. When he isn’t nerding out about P/E ratios or MERs, you can find Kyle on a basketball court or in a boxing ring trying to recapture something he isn’t sure that he had in the first place.
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