Tangerine Bank Review: The Best Overall Online Bank In Canada (2020)

Tangerine Bank is one of the leading Canadian premier online banks. Founded in 1997 as a direct banking service under the name ING Direct (or ING Bank of Canada), the service offered was savings accounts with over-the-phone transactions.

In November 2012, Scotiabank purchased the fifteen-year-old banking service from ING Group NV. At the time, ING Direct serviced nearly two million Canadians. As part of the acquisition, ING Direct was required to undergo a facelift – namely, the service was forced to change its name within an eighteen-month deadline.

Nearly a year later, the company revealed that the service would be moving forward under the title Tangerine. The name, according to former Tangerine CEO Peter Aceto, pays homage to ING Direct’s “orange” history and helps potential customers know that the service stands out from the rest.

A subsidiary of Scotiabank, Tangerine bank offers free access to nearly 45,000 ABMs worldwide. And with free deposits and withdrawals available on all ABMs transactions, Tangerine bank rises above competitors.

Tangerine Bank Overview

Tangerine was established in opposition to major Canadian banks, all of which offered the same few services for exorbitant prices. With a lean, technological approach, ING Direct looked to revolutionize Canadian banking with low costs and high-interest rates.

Furthermore, the bank has established several cafes, pop-up locations, and kiosks in lieu of traditional banking branches. For these reasons, Tangerine Bank should be at the top of the list for anyone searching for a secure and convenient bank.

With flexible banking options, Tangerine has one of the most user-friendly setups of any bank in Canada.

A couple of reasons why you might be interested in banking with Tangerine: 

  • Very easy to link external accounts: To link an account at Simplii Financial, or at any other bank I’ve used, you have to send in a void cheque for the account you want to link. At Tangerine, you put in your account details and Tangerine makes a few deposits. You verify the amounts of those deposits, and the accounts are linked. Easy Peasy!

  • Instant money transfers between savings and chequing accounts. At Simplii Financial, it takes a day to transfer funds from your savings account to your chequing account. Not a huge deal, but it bugs me.

  • Tangerine Bank always has a better interest rate promo. Simplii has had some good ones, including the current 3% rate, but Tangerine’s are more consistent in my experience. Combined with Tangerine’s ease of transferring to and from external accounts, I can easily keep my emergency fund in an EQ Bank savings account and move it around when I find a better rate.

What Makes Tangerine Bank Unique?

Tangerine offers surprise-free banking.

With a name like Tangerine, it’s hard not to stand out from the competition. As a direct online banking service, Tangerine is able to cut down on the costs of banking, ultimately saving you more money. This manifests in Tangerine’s amazingly high-interest rates that allow you to collect money like nowhere else. It’s also present in all the free services that Tangerine bank offers its customers.

From free ABM transactions, free daily chequing and savings, and access to a 2% cash back rewards card with a $0 annual fee, Tangerine stands above the rest when it comes to affordable banking. 

With cafes, pop-up locations, and kiosks standing in a place of traditional branches, Tangerine offers a different way to the bank. This cost-saving ingenuity has been a part of the company’s vision since day one when ING Direct began as a telephone banking service.

Tangerine Bank’s Online Banking Services

Tangerine’s online banking offers full-scale banking services. From traditional chequing and savings accounts to credit cards and GICs, Tangerine Bank gives customers great flexibility over their finances.

How do these services compare to those offered by other popular banks? Is Tangerine competitive with other banks on the market?

To answer these questions, a brief overview of the products offered by Tangerine is in order. Let’s look at the online banking services offered by Tangerine and a brief summary here: 

1. Tangerine Chequing Account

  • No Daily Transaction Fees

  • Overdraft Protection Available

  • Free Access to 3,500 ABMs (44,000 worldwide)

2. Tangerine Savings Account

  • Savings, Tax-Free Savings, RSP Savings, RIF Savings (1.25%)

  • US Dollar Savings (0.80%)

3. Tangerine Investment Funds

  • Non-Registered Investment Fund

  • RSP Investment Fund

  • Tax-Free Investment Fund

  • RIF Investment Fund

4. Tangerine Mortgages

  • Receive Your Own Personal Account Manager

  • Great Rates

  • Prepayment Options Available

5. Tangerine Home Equity Line of Credit

  • Low-Interest Rates

  • Easy Repayment Plans

6. Tangerine RRSP Loans

  • Easy Application and Approval Process

  • No Fees

  • Incredible Rates

  • Flexible Repayments

7. Tangerine Credit Cards

8. Tangerine GICs 

  • Guaranteed Investment (Up to 3.15%), RSP Guaranteed Investment (Up to 3.25%), Tax-Free

  • Guaranteed Investment (Up to 3.25%), US$ Guaranteed Investment (Up to 3.20%)

  • RIF Guaranteed Investment (Up to 3.25%)

9. Tangerine Business Accounts 

  • Business Savings Account (Up to 1.50%)

  • Business US$ Savings Account (0.80%)

  • Business Guaranteed Investment (Up to 2.85%)

  • Business US$ Investment (Up to 3.00%)

Tangerine’s wide variety of banking services are competitive in the market. Let’s break down a few key categories to see how Tangerine stacks up against some key competitors.

tangerine bank

Tangerine Bank’s Chequing and Savings Account

Tangerine Bank offers a number of unique savings features.

If you’re looking for a new bank, chances are you’re in need of a new chequing or savings account.

With this in mind, let’s take a more in-depth look at Tangerine’s chequing and savings account options. Keep the above information in mind as you look over the following details.

First, let’s examine some more of the critical information you need to know before opening a chequing account.

For starters, keep in mind that Tangerine customers are treated to daily interest rates on money in their chequing accounts. These rates are currently:

  • $0.00 – $49,999.99 – 0.15%

  • $50,000.00 – $99,999.99 – 0.55%

  • $100,000+ – 0.65%

These generous interest rates help customers get more out of their chequing accounts.

Tangerine Bank Savings Account 

Tangerine’s savings account rates of 1.25% fair favourably against competitors. BMO, for instance, may look better on the service, as they offer up to 1.600% savings interest rates.

However, a closer look reveals that customers must meet minimum balance requirements to qualify for this “bonus interest.” Actual rates for many customers often prove lower.

RBC Bank’s interest rate savings are even lower—maxing out at 0.35%, with most options only offering 0.30% interest rates.

CIBC Bank offers the closest competition with straightforward savings interest rates up to 1.20%–but even then, Tangerine comes out the winner.

Perhaps best of all, however, is the fact that Tangerine bank makes opening a savings account easier than ever before. Their streamlined online application is simple and offers fast results.

Consider Tangerine Bank to get the most out of your savings.

Tangerine Bank Chequing Account

Another strong feature of Tangerine Bank’s chequing account options is that they offer very few fees. For example, online daily banking, Tangerine Email Money Transfers, ABM deposits and withdrawals (Tangerine or Scotiabank ABMs only), and the first chequebook all come free.

Additionally, the fees they do have are quite low—for instance, it’s only $1 to use non-Scotiabank/Tangerine ABMs in Canada.

Other fees include overdraft fees ($40), Canadian drafts ($10), additional chequebooks ($20), and replacement cards ($15 starting with the second one).

What’s more, Tangerine offers several saving options for their customers. We’ll take a closer look at their GIC and housing interest rates below, but for now, we’ll keep it simple.

Tangerine’s standard savings account option boasts a variety of home-run features, including an interest rate of 1.25%, $0 fees, and a $0 minimum balance requirement.

Tangerine Bank vs. Other Canadian Banks 

Tangerine offers convenient chequing account options.

What makes Tangerine’s chequing account options stand out is that they don’t charge a fee for daily transactions.

This keeps tangerine’s chequing account affordable for customers no matter their budgets.

Even better, when opening a chequing account with Tangerine bank, customers are eligible for up to 0.65% interest rates. This interest is paid on a monthly basis based on daily calculations for every dollar in your account.

What’s more, customers with Tangerine bank get free access to up to 3,500 ABMS (in Canada) – making withdrawing your hard-earned money convenient.

These features really stand out when compared to other popular banks. RBC bank, for instance, offers a much greater number of ABMs—but it comes with a catch.

Users can only get up to 10 free debits a month—and then are charged $1.00 for each afterwards.

CIBC charges a monthly fee based on the number of ABM transactions made. The first twelve transactions cost $4.95, while additional transactions are $1.25 each.

Customers are capped at twenty transactions without paying $14.95 a month for unlimited transactions.

Tangerine remains competitive in all other services offered as well. From better-than-average GIC rates to flexible mortgage plans, Tangerine provides industry-leading quality.

It’s perhaps for this reason that Tangerine has become Canada’s premier online banking platform. With products and services that remain competitive with other online and more traditional banks, Tangerine is a name you can trust.

I currently have bank accounts with TD, HSBC, RBC and Tangerine.

Tangerine helps me transfer amounts between banks without having to use cheques or e-transfer. I link all my bank accounts to Tangerine and use Tangerine to push/pull the funds to another bank. Technically I could use e-transfer. But e-transfer may cost money per transaction depending on the bank.

Their credit card can be set up with apple pay and has 3 categories to choose from for 2% cashback. However, there have been cases where people have been rejected from their credit cards even with good credit scores.

For basic banking tangerine is fine. I would keep RBC in addition to Tangerine. Tangerine phone banking services are not the best.

There is very minimal help especially when there are barely any branches that you can visit to help you with your banking needs. Please refer to this thread for reference.

Tangerine

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine Bank offers an unlimited money-back credit card that gives you 2% money rewards for purchases made in the following categories: gas, furniture, hotel-motel, grocery, restaurants, drug store, public transportation and parking, entertainment, home improvement, and recurring bill payments.

For all other purchases, the card offers a .50% money-back reward guarantee.

With a $0 annual fee, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers a convenient way to earn money while you shop.

How does this card stack up to the competition?

Tangerine Bank Cash Back Credit Cards Vs. Other cashback credit cards 

  • BMO CashBack Mastercard: With a 1% cash-back guarantee, this popular option falls behind Tangerine’s 2% money-back promise.

  • CIBC dividend Visa Card: This 2% cash-back reward card offered by CIBC is the bank’s only mainstream option available for no annual fee. Unfortunately, the card only offers rewards for purchases made at the grocery store.

  • RBC Cash Back Mastercard: The RBC Cash Back Mastercard is similar in that it offers 2% unlimited cash-back on your purchases. Unlike the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, however, this option is limited to the grocery store.

  • TD Cash Credit Card: With a 0% annual fee and 3% cashback on dining, 2% cashback on groceries, and 1% cashback on everything else, the TD Cash Credit Card (one of TD’s five credit card options), offers slightly more than the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.

Unlike other major Canadian banks, Tangerine Bank does not offer diverse credit card options.

With that being said, its cashback rewards card is one of the best in the nation and far outshines most of the competition. In fact, only one major card can claim to be its superior—the TD Cash Credit Card.

Tangerine Bank Guaranteed Investment Interest Rates

  • 90 Day Guaranteed Investment  0.50%

  • 180 Day Guaranteed Investment  2.40%

  • 270 Day Guaranteed Investment  2.50%

  • 1 Year Guaranteed Investment  2.60%

  • 1.5 Year Guaranteed Investment  2.80%

  • 2 Year Guaranteed Investment  2.80%

  • 3 Year Guaranteed Investment  2.85%

  • 4 Year Guaranteed Investment  2.90%   

  • 5 Year Guaranteed Investment  2.95%

Tangerine Bank Tax-Free Guaranteed Investment Interest Rates

  • 90 Day      Guaranteed Investment  0.50%

  • 180 Day    Guaranteed Investment  2.60%

  • 270 Day    Guaranteed Investment  2.70%

  • 1 Year       Guaranteed Investment  3.00%

  • 1.5 Year    Guaranteed Investment  3.05%

  • 2 Year       Guaranteed Investment  3.10%

  • 3 Year       Guaranteed Investment  3.15%

  • 4 Year       Guaranteed Investment  3.20%   

  • 5 Year       Guaranteed Investment  3.25%

With Tangerine’s Tax-Free Guaranteed Investment rates as high as 3.15% and with fees of $0, Tangerine’s GIC options are among the best in online banking.

Tangerine Bank’s GIC interest rates are calculated based on fixed investment times and range from 0.50% for 90 days to 3.15% for five years.

These powerful GIC options help customers set aside funds at guaranteed interest rates for a predetermined time of their choosing. And because these GICs are CDIC-insured, customers can be sure their funds are secure.

Tangerine also offers competitive mortgage interest rate options. These rates vary from 3.55% to 3.99% depending on the length of the fixed mortgage. With secured rate options available, customers never have to worry about losing their hard-earned money.

Pros Of Tangerine Bank 

  • The app is nice and functional, and while there was a big uproar a few months ago after the website redesign I’m pretty used to it now.

  • No-fee banking, including cheques

  • Decent no-fee credit card

  • Quarterly promotion for 2-2.5% interest on the savings account is as good as it gets in Canada as far as I know.

  • Few times I needed it, phone support was quick (<10mins wait) and helpful.

  • Joining the Tangerine Bank process is easy: I signed up online and brought ID & proof of address to my nearest Canada Post office where the worker punched something into their computer telling Tangerine I’m legit. You choose your accounts as part of the sign-up process and can add additional products as you like once you’re a client.

  • Yes, I actually use my savings account. I’ve set up an automatic monthly transfer of $100 from chequing to savings (see incentive below) and top it up each month with the money I budget for upcoming irregular bills, trips, or big purchases.

  • I signed up because I wanted to a) stop paying monthly fees at my credit union and 2) take advantage of Tangerine’s incentive bonuses:

    • $50 for signing up with a referral code

    • $100 for setting up payroll direct deposit or pre-authorized debits

    • $25 for setting up an Automatic Savings Program. That last link mentions another $25 bonus for signing up for a savings account using a Tangerine Orange Key, but it can’t be used in combination with a friend’s Orange Key. Obviously it’s better to go with the $50 one, which also rewards the friend who refers you. 

Cons Of Tangerine Bank 

  • Scotiabank ATM’s are not as easy to find outside of major cities. They might be everywhere downtown in large cities, but it’s not like RBC where you can find a branch and a machine in EVERY city/town/village/4-corners intersection.

  • Cheques cost money. PC Financial offers them for free, other banks might have better fees.

  • eTransfers cost money. The “Free e-Transfers” offered by Tangerine are NOT the same at all and should honestly be avoided. You can get free e-Transfers at other banks.

  • The interest rates require you to play a game of find the shell constantly if you want to keep a good rate vs. the typical 0.8%. You can find better rates are other small banks/credit unions that don’t require you to play the shell game.

  • The interface is easy on the eyes, but kinda frustrating sometimes. It can be hard to find basic information at times, and I’ve been with Tangerine for YEARS now and they’re still keeping a constant banner on the page that says I should use their Switch Tool thing. With that banner combined with the massive interface buttons/other banners, the useful information starts about 3/4 down the page.

  • They don’t support Android Pay yet, for any cards.

  • The PIN login feels a lot less secure than my usual long, complex password.

  • Customer service horror stories definitely exist.

  • No tellers, but if you don’t care that is fine.

Tangerine Bank vs. PC Financial 

  1. First of all, PC Financial has free checks instead of just 50.

  2. PC Financial has kiosks where there would be people you can talk to. Tangerine has cafes as well, at the max 1 – 2 per city and significantly less than PC. If your city happens to not having a Tangerine cafe you will need to mail a check to Tangerine every single time, which is troublesome if you have never had any bank accounts or if you need to pay for a check. 

  3. Tangerine’s external account system makes more sense. Its online banking should be one of the best in Canada. PC Financial system is as bad as CIBC and BMO.

  4. Receiving wire for PC Financial costs nothing. That’s a pro for you. 

Current Offers At The Tangerine Bank

Currently, Tangerine bank offers a variety of benefits for customers who sign up within the next few days. Let’s take a look:

  • Chequing Account: If you switch your pre-authorized payments or payroll in the first 90 days of opening your chequing account, you are eligible for a $150 cash bonus. As of the time of this writing, there are 102 days left on this offer.

  • Savings Account: Tangerine advertises potential 3.00% interest in your initial Tangerine Savings Account for the first six months if you sign up within the next 72 days (as of the time of this writing).

Take advantage of these special offers to enjoy even more savings with your Tangerine banking account!

Conclusion 

Tangerine bank ranks among the best and most flexible in Canada. This powerful online banking service offers full-scale products to meet a variety of consumer needs.

From industry-leading chequing and savings account options to CDIC-insured GICs, Tangerine remains competitive with any bank in Canada. Additionally, its secure online application forms can be completed in a matter of minutes—giving qualified customers quick and convenient access to their funds.

Those looking for more information about Tangerine Bank can check out their official website. See why Tangerine bank has become the choice of millions throughout Canada by chequing out its industry-leading products and services today.

Tangerine Bank Review

4.95

Value For Money

4.9/5

Benefits

5.0/5

Rewards

5.0/5

Pros

  • Tangerine bank ranks among the best and most flexible in Canada
  • Offers industry-leading chequing and savings account options to CDIC-insured GICs, Tangerine remains competitive with any bank in Canada
  • With Tangerine's Tax Free Guaranteed Investment rates as high as 3.15% and with fees of $0, Tangerine’s GIC options are among the best in online banking.

Cons

  • Lack of traditional banking branches
  • Closer look reveals that customers must meet minimum balance requirements to qualify for this “bonus interest"

11 thoughts on “Tangerine Bank Review: The Best Overall Online Bank In Canada (2020)”

  1. I am not sure that Tangerine is in my area but I am going to check. I love the idea of better online banking since I am an online business person. I have been looking for a new bank. I want all the benefits of a strong online bank with the added bonus of a physical branch/building in my area if I need it. Thanks for the information!

    Reply
  2. TANGERINE Bank – More like a Lemon

    Do NOT use this dishonest, iNCONVENIENT Bank!!!

    Since this bank ‘bought’ my business with promises of high interest (for a limited time) and promises of up to 4% in cash back on some purchase categories, I’ve had nothing but grief since I keep discovering far too much fine print; ways they can legally deceive customers.
    Besides being the most inconvenient to communicate with, “due to a higher than average call volume” which seems to be anytime I call, even late at night. (Usually an hour + on hold- even if you request a call back, they call you back then place you in the endless loop!)
    Whats even worse is their intentional deception, even if you read “the fine print” in the conditions! You’d need a lawyer at 4-$500 an hour to truly make sense of it.
    One of my “bonus” categories for the 4% cash back was Pharmacy. I use Costco PHARMACY for all my purchases, which are considerable. But guess what? Costco Pharmacy is NOT classified as a Pharmacy?!?!? It’s wholesale, so I get .5%. What kind of SCAM is that? And, you “can change your bonus categories anytime”, that is, really (1st agent) ‘when your next billing cycle starts’ (2nd agent) ‘after 90 days’ – conveniently when the bonus program expires!
    I thought that this so-called Bank being affiiated with ScotiaBank, they would have some credibility, but sadly this is NOT true.
    When my bonus intrest time pries I will be cancelling ALL accounts with them, even though it will cost me, with their “new fees” $100 per certain accounts in the “NO fee online bank”
    Don’t waste your time OR money here. They are a terrible Bank and they really don’t care about their clients, even if you have a substantial amount of monies with them!

    Reply

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