Tangerine Bank Review: The Best Online Bank

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Tangerine Bank is one of the best no-fee online banking options available to Canadians. They provide chequing & saving accounts, credit cards and more! If you’re looking for a no-fee daily banking option, look no further. In this Tangerine Bank review, we’ll go over all the features and products they currently offer.

Tangerine Bank Review

Tangerine Bank might seem new to you, but they’ve been operating in Canada for over a decade! Previously known as ING Direct, Tangerine Bank is a no-fee, entirely online bank.

Become a Tangerine client today

Is Tangerine a good bank?

Tangerine is an excellent bank for Canadians, if not the very best out there! In terms of products offered and ease of use, Tangerine Bank leads other digital banks even if it’s less competitive on interest rates. 

If your main goals are high functionality and no fees, then Tangerine Bank is an excellent choice. They offer everything you need for day-to-day banking, and then some!

Is online banking safe?

Yes! Online banking is safe and secure, and also much more convenient than visiting a traditional brick & mortar bank.

Tangerine is one of the few banks that’s completely digital. They have no physical locations. However, some Canadian cities have Tangerine Cafes that you can visit for simple things like accessing your account or getting information about Tangerine Bank’s different products. 

Who owns Tangerine Bank?

Tangerine Bank was purchased by Scotiabank in 2012. Before that, it was called ING Direct Canada. ING was renamed Tangerine after the acquisition by Scotiabank.

Over the years, there have been a few changes to Tangerine under ownership of Scotiabank. While they kept most of Tangerine’s best features, they lowered interest rates and added some fees, like additional overdraft charges, where there were none before. 

Types of accounts available at Tangerine Bank

Tangerine offers all the accounts you would need for day-to-day banking and saving, as well as some options for simple investing. Hands down the best offers from Tangerine Bank are their chequing account and money back credit card. 

Chequing Account 

The Tangerine chequing account is still one of the best in Canadian banking because it charges no monthly fees with unlimited transactions, and even pays you a small amount of interest on your balance. 

Recently they added a spending tracking feature, which will track and categorize all your spending so you can see where your money is going. 

Features of the Tangerine Chequing Account

  • Interest earned on balance: 0.05%
  • Overdraft fee: $5 charged after 24 hours
  • Overdraft interest rate: 19%
  • Interac eTransfer: free
  • Transactions: unlimited
  • Bill pay: unlimited
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Spending tracking & categorization

Tangerine Bank does offer overdraft protection on your chequing account if you qualify. If your account goes into overdraft and stays negative for more than 24 hours, you will be charged a $5 overdraft charge. You will only be charged the $5 overdraft fee once per month, even if you go in and out of overdraft multiple times. Your overdraft balance will accrue interest at 19.99% until you bring your account back into the green. 

Savings Account

Tangerine offers unregistered, TFSA, and RRSP savings accounts. If you’re looking for a place to park spare change as a small Emergency Fund or just to have a buffer for your spending, a savings account is a great addition alongside your chequing account. However, if you’re saving for the long-term or a big purchase, you’ll want to put your money elsewhere.

Features of the Tangerine Savings Account

    • No fees!
    • Interest rate: 0.25% (up to 2.80% promotional rate for 5 months)
    • RRSP and TFSA accounts available
    • Minimum balance: $0
    • Goal setting and tracking

Become a Tangerine client today

The Tangerine Savings Account used to boast competitive interest rates, but they’ve really fallen in recent years. If you’re looking for high-interest savings accounts, you’re better off with EQ Bank who is currently offering 2.00% everyday interest on the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. Hey, this wouldn’t be an honest Tangerine Bank review if we didn’t discuss the downsides!

However, if you get the Tangerine Money-Back Card, it’s worth it to open a Tangerine Savings Account to catch the cash back you earn on your spending. Having a Tangerine Savings Account will let you choose one additional category on your Money-Back Card to earn 2% cash back on.

GICs

Tangerine offers unregistered, TFSA, and RRSP Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). GICs are traditionally a great way to set aside savings in a super safe place to earn a higher interest rate. However, Tangerine’s current rates lag behind competitors. Again, you’re better off choosing EQ Bank for GICs.

Investment Funds

For years Tangerine’s mutual funds were market leaders as low-cost ways for investors to get started in the stock market. The Tangerine portfolios still offer one of the lowest MERs in the mutual fund industry at only 1.07% (most mutual funds charge 3% to 5% in MER fees). 

However, now that low-fee robo-advisors like Wealthsimple and low-commission brokerages like Questrade have entered the market, the Tangerine funds can’t compete with these cheaper options for investors. 

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

In addition to their no-fee chequing and savings option, Tangerine also offers an incredible no-fee, cash back rewards credit card. This credit card has two tiers: the Tangerine Money-Back Card and the Tangerine World Mastercard. They offer all the same base features, with the World Mastercard providing some additional travel perks like airport lounge access and rental car collision insurance, still with no annual fee!

Features of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • No fees
  • 2% cash back on select categories
  • 0.50% cash back on all other purchases
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Minimum income required: $12,000 for Money Back Card and $60,000 for the World Mastercard

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Is it worth switching to Tangerine Bank?

If you’re banking with any of the Big 5 and want an easy no-fee chequing account, Tangerine Bank is one of the best out there. This combined with their simple savings accounts and an excellent cash back credit card make them a great all-around bank for Canadians. 

We recommend the Tangerine Chequing Account, Savings Account, and the Cash Back or World Mastercard! We hope you enjoyed this Tangerine Bank Review and have found a great option for your banking needs.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Very curious to know where you are finding “most” mutual funds with a >3% MER as stated in the article and related tweet. Fairly standard / comparable mutual funds from the big 5 banks to tangerine are generally not higher than 2.8% on this high end, and almost never over 3%, let alone 5%.

    While I understand support for tangerine and a relatively low 1.07%, I think the difference is being vastly overstated to the point of being misleading.

    Reply

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