Tangerine Bank is a well-known player in the world of digital banking in Canada, offering a wide range of financial products and services to its customers.
As a subsidiary of Scotiabank, Tangerine provides its clientele with innovative online and mobile banking solutions designed to make everyday banking simple, convenient, and much more cost-effective.
Online banks in Canada are no doubt taking market share from the brick and mortar institutions. After all, you've likely landed on this page looking to switch.
In this Tangerine Bank review, we will delve deeper into the features and benefits offered by this digital bank. If you're looking for a popular comparison among digital banks, check out our Tangerine vs Simplii review.
What is Tangerine Bank?
Tangerine Bank, formerly ING Direct Canada, is a digital bank subsidiary of Scotiabank, one of Canada's largest and most established financial institutions.
As a fully online bank with no branches, Tangerine Bank provides its customers convenient banking services through its website and mobile app. The user-friendly interface of Tangerine's online and mobile app platforms makes managing my money pretty easy.
Since its inception in the mid-1990s, Tangerine Bank has continuously evolved to meet the needs of its customers while differentiating itself from traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
This approach has enabled Tangerine Bank to grow and become a reliable choice for Canadians seeking a modern banking experience.
Why a digital bank like Tangerine?
I find that digital banks can be a lot more convenient than traditional banks because they have to find ways to allow us to do our day-to-day banking without visiting a branch, which is a nice perk.
With Tangerine Bank, I can check my balances, move money, and review my transactions with just a few clicks or taps on my phone.
Often, digital banks can offer better rates as well, whether it be interest rates earned on savings or fees for accounts. This is because they don't have the overhead of physical locations, resulting in lower expenses and lower staffing requirements.
What products does Tangerine offer?
The bank offers a range of products and services for individuals and businesses, including:
- Chequing and savings accounts
- Credit cards
- Investment products
In addition to its digital platform, Tangerine Bank has physical Tangerine cafes and pop-up locations in select Canadian cities, where customers can speak with representatives or use ATMs.
However, most customers interact with the bank through its user-friendly website and mobile app, which offer essential banking services 24/7. I've personally never visited one of these pop-up locations.
What types of accounts does Tangerine Bank have?
Tangerine's bank accounts offer a variety of savings methods to suit the financial goals of different customers.
They include the:
- Tangerine Savings Account
- Tangerine US Dollar Savings Account
- Tangerine Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- Tangerine Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) savings account
- RIF savings accounts
All accounts come with no fees, competitive interest rates, and are easily accessible through online and mobile banking platforms.
Tangerine's Savings Accounts have a $0 monthly fee, no minimum balance requirements, and a 1% interest rate on savings. Their USD savings account also pays interest, much lower at 0.10%, but also no fee and no minimum balance required.
I'm earning a much better interest rate on my savings account than I used to get with traditional banks.
I'd give their savings accounts a passing grade, but nothing outstanding.
The Tangerine Chequing account provides customers with a no-fee daily banking option. It is excellent to not worry about transaction fees whenever I use my debit card, pay a bill, or send an email money transfer.
It's nice to have a bank account that doesn't nickel and dime me for every little action I take, like my old traditional bank account did.
The digital banks make things easier, too; for example, I could deposit checks simply by snapping a picture with my smartphone, thanks to Tangerine's mobile cheque deposit feature.
Some features of this account include:
- Free Interac e-Transfers
- Unlimited transactions
- Access to a vast network of ATMs
- Overdraft protection
Customers can also earn interest on their account balance, making the Tangerine Chequing account an attractive option for those seeking an accessible and cost-effective banking solution.
The rates are nothing to write home about though. In fact, you'll likely only earn 0.25% versus something like Equitable Bank which pays 3%+.
Tangerine Bank's investing accounts allow customers to build their wealth over time. They offer a range of investment options, such as Tangerine Investment Funds, which come in several portfolios to match varying risk tolerances.
Other available investment vehicles include the Tangerine Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).
I've taken advantage of Tangerine's investment options, including a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and a Tangerine RSP Savings Account.
It's convenient to manage these investments directly from the same platform where I do my everyday banking.
Tangerine business accounts
Tangerine Bank offers business accounts in CAD and USD.
With Tangerine's suite of accounts and investment options, entrepreneurs can manage both their personal and business finances with ease and affordability.
You'll unlock much better interest rates with these business accounts as well, offering rates as high as 3.25% at the time of writing.
Tangerine loan and credit products
Tangerine Bank offers a range of loan products. Their loan products include Home Equity Lines of Credit, Mortgages, and Personal Lines of Credit.
Beyond banking, I've looked into Tangerine's other financial offerings, such as mortgages and personal loans. It's convenient to have a full spectrum of financial products available from just one bank.
Although I didn't get a mortgage with them, I found their rates to be much better than a Big 6 Canadian bank.
Home Equity Lines of Credit
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a flexible borrowing option that allows customers to access the equity in their home for various purposes, such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or major purchases.
Tangerine's HELOC features:
- Competitive interest rates. Often some of the best in fact.
- Interest-only payments option
Tangerine provides mortgage solutions for homebuyers and homeowners looking to refinance. Their mortgage offerings include:
- Fixed-rate mortgages with terms ranging from 1 to 10 years
- Variable-rate mortgages
- Prepayment options allow customers to pay more toward their mortgage without penalties
- Attractive rates relative to traditional brokerages. Much better, in fact.
Personal Lines of Credit
A Personal Line of Credit can be a valuable financial tool for covering unexpected expenses, paying for large purchases, or consolidating high-interest debt. Tangerine's Personal Line of Credit offers:
- Competitive interest rates
- Access to funds when needed without applying for a new loan
- No annual fees
Tangerine World Mastercard
I like Tangerine's World Mastercard because I get 2% back on purchases in two categories of my choosing.
Taking a look at Tangerine credit cards is worth doing as there is some flexibility for people to see which categories will allow them to save the most money, whether that be grocery or home improvement, among several other categories. The card also has a:
- $0 annual fee
- Get a third 2% cash back category if you deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account
As someone who uses a credit card regularly, I find the cash back and no annual fee of the Tangerine money back credit card is a handy way to earn money back on my purchases.
Foreign currency conversions
Tangerine Bank offers competitive exchange rates for foreign currency conversions. When converting currencies, a 2.50% fee is applied to the transaction amount.
Tangerine does not charge inactivity fees for their accounts. This is a significant advantage for clients who may not have regular account transactions.
However, it's essential to keep your contact information up to date and review any account changes or notices from the bank.
Tangerine customers have free access to over 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs in Canada and 44,000 ATMs worldwide.
Withdrawals from non-Scotiabank ATMs in Canada may be subject to a $1.50 fee. This is where I feel Tangerine is at a bit of a disadvantage to a bank like Equitable Bank, which refunds you your ATM fees anywhere in Canada.
International withdrawals carry a $3.00 fee and any fees charged by the foreign ATM provider.
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Overall though, Tangerine's account fees are pretty low compared to other Canadian banks, making it an attractive option for those looking to minimize banking costs.
Tangerine Bank Pros
Tangerine Bank offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for Canadians. Some notable benefits are no-fee chequing accounts, no-fee credit cards, and high interest savings accounts.
- I have access to Scotiabank's extensive network of ATMs across Canada without any fees. This makes it quick and easy for me to withdraw cash whenever I need it without paying extra.
- With the 'Automatic Savings Program' (ASP), I can set up automatic transfers into my savings account. This feature helps me stick to my saving goals without having to remember to transfer funds manually.
- Another advantage of Tangerine Bank is its competitive interest rates. Clients can enjoy high-interest savings accounts, which often outperform those offered by the big five Canadian banks.
- The bank's user-friendly online and mobile platforms are also a considerable selling point.
- Tangerine Bank has invested in creating a seamless digital experience for its customers, providing intuitive tools and features that make managing one's finances simple and efficient.
- Their mobile app allows users to deposit cheques using their smartphone camera. It offers a robust suite of capabilities for budgeting, bill payments, and account monitoring.
Tangerine Bank cons
Tangerine Bank offers many advantages, but it is also important to know its potential drawbacks. No bank is perfect.
- One limitation often mentioned by customers is the absence of physical branches. Since Tangerine is an online-only bank, some users may miss the in-person interactions with bank representatives, which can be essential for handling more complex banking issues.
- Lastly, be aware of Tangerine's foreign transaction fees. Using a Tangerine debit or credit card for transactions in foreign currencies will result in a 2.5% fee on top of the converted amount. For frequent internationally travelling customers or those who often make purchases online in foreign currencies, this fee can add up.
- They don't offer refunds on ATM withdrawals outside of Scotiabank's network. This puts it at a significant disadvantage to Equitable Bank, which will do this for you to compensate for a lack of physical branches.
Is Tangerine Bank safe?
Tangerine Bank, a subsidiary of Scotiabank, is considered a safe and secure financial institution in Canada. As a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), Tangerine Bank ensures that its customers' deposits are protected up to $100,000 per insured category.
The bank employs advanced security measures to safeguard its clients' personal and financial information. These measures include:
- Two-step verification: As an additional layer of security, Tangerine Bank offers its customers two-step verification during the login process. Customers must enter a unique verification code sent to their registered mobile number or email address before accessing their account.
- Account alerts: Tangerine Bank allows customers to set up custom alerts for account activities, such as when a transaction is made or if the account balance goes below a certain threshold. These alerts can be sent via email, text message, or push notification and can help customers quickly detect unauthorized activity on their accounts.
Knowing that Tangerine takes security seriously should give clients piece of mind. In fact, security is one of the main reasons people are hesitant to swap from a major bank to an online bank.
The bank's secure login process and real-time transaction alerts protect my account from unauthorized access and fraud.
Who is Tangerine bank right for?
One group that might find Tangerine an attractive option is tech-savvy individuals who are comfortable managing their banking exclusively online or through a mobile app.
Whenever I have a question or need assistance regarding Tangerine's bank accounts or other services, I can reach out to Tangerine customer service via phone, chat, or email at any time.
Their 24/7 availability means I'm never left waiting long for help. Tangerine would be worth considering for those who gravitate towards the benefits of digital banking, such as not having to go to a physical branch to do their banking.
As Tangerine doesn't have physical branches, customers can access their accounts 24/7 through the bank's platforms, making it a convenient option for those who prefer digital solutions.
Tangerine vs EQ Bank
Comparing these two digital bank behemoths
Tangerine and Equitable Bank both offer a variety of accounts to cater to different needs.
The banks offer pretty much every account most Canadians would need. In my opinion, the comparison simply comes down to the details. Which interest rate do I like better? Are there perks more applicable to my lifestyle with one bank over the other?
Both Tangerine and EQ Bank provide no-fee chequing accounts. However, EQ Bank offers up to 3% interest on your balance, while Tangerine offers up to 1%.
Tangerine offers business accounts, while Equitable doesn't (they're currently in the works).
These are both digital banks in Canada, which is why we find more no-fee options and higher interest rates on savings compared to the traditional big banks that have massive overhead costs.
Both of these banks are well worth looking into, and the one that comes out on top in terms of one vs the other would just be whichever is most applicable to one's lifestyle and needs.
I personally bank 100% with Equitable Bank and am very happy. I do view the bank as a better option than Tangerine. However, make no mistake about it, I view both of these banks as superior to any traditional brick and mortar bank. It's about time Canadians started getting paid to bank, and not paying the bank.