Tangerine Review

One of Canada's first online banks, Tangerine offers a variety of banking and investing options.

WRITTEN BY
Lisa Rennie
Updated October 9, 2020


RATING

When it comes to online banking, Tangerine is likely the most well-known, and for good reason. It was one of the first online banks to be brought to Canada as an alternative to traditional banking and originally started operating under the company name ING DIRECT. It was eventually acquired by Scotiabank and became Tangerine in 2012. 

The company has certainly played a key role in the trend toward online, branchless banking, and it offers a variety of banking and investing options to consumers. The convenience of banking online and the lower fees and competitive rates it is able to offer makes it an attractive option for Canadians. 

Let’s go more in-depth with Tangerine to help you determine if you should park your capital or invest through this particular online bank. 

What Accounts Does Tangerine Offer?

Tangerine offers many different accounts and products.

Savings Accounts

  • High-interest rate 
  • No daily banking fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Earn 0.15% interest
  • New clients can earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
  • Automatic Savings Program (ASP) to help you personalize your savings goals 

Tax-Free Savings Accounts

  • Same benefits as a Tangerine Savings Account
  • Earn 0.15% interest
  • New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
  • Money earned is tax-free

RSP Savings Accounts

  • Same benefits as a Tangerine Savings Account
  • Earn 0.15% interest
  • New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
  • Tax benefits of an RSP
  • Grow your RRSP with a competitive interest rate to save for retirement

US Savings Accounts

  • No fees
  • No service charges
  • Earn 0.15% interest
  • New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
  • Exchange rates: 1.358 to buy, 1.313 to sell

RIF Savings Accounts

  • Same benefits as a Tangerine Savings Account
  • Earn 0.30% interest
  • New clients and earn 2.80% in your first savings account for 5 months
  • Interest earned is tax-sheltered

Chequing Accounts

  • No daily chequing fees
  • Earn up to 0.15% interest earned on every dollar 
  • No fees for daily transactions
  • Free Interac e-transfers
  • 50 free cheques
  • Free access to 3,500 ABMs
  • Overdraft protection 
  • Unlimited debit purchases
  • Unlimited bill payments
  • Unlimited pre-authorized payments
  • Track and categorize your spending
  • Account alerts through text or email
  • Deposit cheques from your mobile device 

Credit Cards

  • Earn cash-back rewards on all purchases with a Tangerine Credit Card
  • Personalized categories
  • Unlimited money-back monthly
  • No annual fees
Money-Back Credit Card 
  • No annual fee
  • Earn rewards (up to 2%)
  • 19.95% interest rate
World Mastercard
  • Earn travel rewards
  • On-demand and subscription services
  • Rental car collision/loss damage insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Mastercard airport experiences 

GICs

  • Competitive guaranteed interest rate 
  • Guaranteed Investment – Earn up 1.80%
  • RSP Guaranteed Investment – Earn up 1.80%
  • Tax-Free Guaranteed Investment – Earn up 1.80%
  • US$ Guaranteed Investment – Earn up 1.80%
  • RIF Guaranteed Investment – Earn up 1.20%

Business Accounts

  • Competitive interest rate on business savings
  • Business Savings Account – Earn up to 0.55%
  • Business US$ Savings Account – Earn up to 0.20%
  • Business Guaranteed Investment – Earn up to 1.50%
  • Business US$ Guaranteed Investment – Earn up to 1.20%

Investment Funds

  • Non-Registered Investment Fund – Flexible, no contribution limits, and withdraw funds whenever you need them.
  • Tax-Free Investment Fund – Unused contributions are carried forward, withdraw funds anytime, and pay no taxes on gains. 
  • RSP Investment Fund – Pay fewer taxes now, enjoy tax-deferred growth, and carry forward unused contributions each year.
  • RIF Investment Fund – Provides a minimum retirement income amount each year, can be tax-sheltered, and can be an option to convert your RRSP.

Mortgages

  • Variable and fixed terms available
  • 2.69% for 5-year fixed
  • 2.45% for 5-year variable
  • Flexible prepayment options
  • Dedicated account manager 
  • Portable

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

  • Borrow against your home equity
  • 2.35% interest rate
  • Fixed payback plan
  • 24/7 online access

RRSP Loans

  • 3.75% interest rate
  • Quick approval
  • No fees
  • No service charges
  • Flexible repayment
  • Take advantage of RRSP tax benefits

Line of Credit

  • Low-interest rate
  • No annual fee
  • Access available funds when you need it
  • Pay off the balance at your own pace 

Pros and Cons of Online Banking at Tangerine

Pros

  • No daily fees on chequing accounts. Many big banks charge a small monthly fee, especially if your balance is under the minimum. Tangerine does not charge such fees. 
  • Excellent no-fee credit card. The credit cards offered by Tangerine rival even the best cards offered by big banks.
  • Tons of banking products. Unlike most other online banks, Tangerine’s product offerings are vast and are comparable to what you’d get at a traditional bank.
  • All your banking needs are met in one place. You can do all your banking in nearly all facets right from your computer or mobile device.
  • Easy-to-use website. Tangerine’s website layout is user-friendly, making it easy even for computer novices to navigate.
  • Free cheques. The first 50 cheques you order are free.
  • Interest earned on checking accounts. Many other banks don’t offer any interest at all on chequing accounts, but Tangerine offers a small amount of at 0.15%.
  • Physical locations if you want to meet face-to-face. Unlike most other online banks, there is the opportunity to go in-person to a Tangerine “cafe,” of which there are a handful across Canada.

Cons

  • Interest rate on savings is not the highest.
  • No personal or car loans are available.

Overview of Accounts

Tangerine Savings Accounts

FeatureSavings AccountTax-Free Savings AccountRSP Savings AccountUS$ Savings AccountRIF Savings Account
Monthly Fee$0$0$0$0$0
Minimum BalanceNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Interest Rate0.15%0.15%0.15%0.20%0.30%
Mobile App Available?YesYesYesYesYes
Special Features– New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
– Automatic Savings Program (ASP)
– New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
– Automatic Savings Program (ASP)
– New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
-Automatic Savings Program (ASP)
– New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
– Automatic Savings Program (ASP)
– New clients and earn 2.15% in your first savings account for 5 months
– Automatic Savings Program (ASP)

Tangerine Chequing Accounts

FeatureDetails
Daily Fees$0
Interest RateUp to 0.15%
Overdraft Protection Available?Yes
Debit PurchasesUnlimited
Bill PaymentsUnlimited
Pre-Authorized PaymentsUnlimited
Interac e-TransfersUnlimited
ChequesFirst 50 free

Tangerine Credit Cards

FeatureMoney-Back Credit CardWorld MasterCard
Annual Fee$0$0
RewardsUp to 2%Up to 2%
Interest Rate19.95%19.95%
Special Features– Travel rewards
– On-demand and subscription services-Rental car collision/loss damage insurance
– Mobile device insurance
– Mastercard airport experiences 

Tangerine GICs

FeatureGuaranteed InvestmentRSP Guaranteed InvestmentTax-Free Guaranteed InvestmentUS$ Guaranteed InvestmentRIF Guaranteed Investment
Interest Rate1.80% years1.80%1.80%1.80%1.80%

Tangerine Business Accounts

FeatureBusiness Savings AccountBusiness US$ Savings AccountBusiness Guaranteed InvestmentGuaranteed Investment
Interest RateUp to 0.55%0.20%Up to 1.50%Up to 1.20%

Tangerine Mortgages

TypeRate


5 Year Variable Mortgage2.45%
1 Year Fixed Mortgage3.19%
2 Year Fixed Mortgage2.69%
3Year Fixed Mortgage2.69%
4 Year Fixed Mortgage2.89%
5 Year Fixed Mortgage2.69%
7 Year Fixed Mortgage2.99%
10 Year Fixed Mortgage3.09%

Tangerine HELOC

FeatureDetails
Interest Rate2.35%
Special Perks– 24/7 online access
– Regular fixed payments help you pay off the principal sooner

Tangerine RSP Loans

FeatureDetails
Interest Rate3.75%
Special Perks– Flexible repayment
– Quick approval-No fees or services charges

Tangerine Line of Credit

FeatureDetails
Interest RateBased on Tangerine’s Prime Rate
Special Perks– No annual fee
– Accessible when needed-Quick apply

What Customer Support Does Tangerine Have Available?

Live support at Tangerine is accessible via the following channels:

  • By phone: 1-888-826-4374
  • Online chat: Weekdays 8 am-8 pm (EST), Weekends 9 am-5 pm (EST) for savings and checking inquiries, and Weekdays 8 am-8 pm (EST) for investment inquiries.
  • In-person at a Tangerine cafe located in Downtown Toronto, North Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal, and Calgary.
  • By mail:

3389 Steeles Avenue East

Toronto, Ontario, M2H 0A1

How to Open an Account With Tangerine

Signing up with Tangerine and opening an account is easy. Simply choose the account type that you want to open, and click on the “enroll now” button. You’ll be taken to a standard form page that you’ll have to fill out and include information such as the following:

  • Your Name
  • SIN
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Your occupation

You will have to confirm your identity, which you can do in one of three ways: 

  • By visiting a Canada Post outlet
  • By visiting a Tangerine Cafe
  • By sending a cheque

Is It Safe to Bank With Tangerine?

Yes, banking with Tangerine is safe. Your funds and investments are secure. Plus, Tangerine has to comply with privacy standards when it comes to online banking, just like all other major financial institutions in Canada and goes the extra step by ensuring secure online PIN reset, encryption, and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection.

The online bank also uses DoubleSafe, a technology that requires you to choose a photo and phrase that you will have to type in every time you log in. This adds an extra layer of identification to ensure that imposters don’t try to hack your account. Lastly, Tangerine’s credit cards have SecureChip technology that is less vulnerable to theft compared to magnetic strips.

Who is Best Suited For Banking Online With Tangerine?

Tangerine may be best suited for those who like the idea of taking their banking completely online, even though there are a couple of physical locations in Canada. It’s also great for people who appreciate the low fees (and sometimes no fees) associated with their banking products and like the variety of products that the online bank has to offer. 

If you’re technologically savvy and are comfortable with managing your banking and financial products on your computer or mobile device, then you might find Tangerine the perfect financial partner for all your banking needs.