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Tangerine: Is It Canada’s Best Online Bank?


We spend a lot of time online so it is not surprising that most Canadians prefer online banking to traditional brick and mortar financial institutions. The traditional banking system has historically characterized by long queues and high deposit and withdrawal fees. 

Today, at the tap of a button, you can do all your transactions from your couch, thanks to institutions like Tangerine which is one of Canada’s most popular online banks.

Canadians know Tangerine as the bank with one of the best no-fees, cash-back credit cards. However, is it Canada’s best online bank? Kindly let us know your answer in the comment section after you read this review.

What is Tangerine online bank?

In November 2012, Scotiabank acquired ING Bank of Canada from the Netherlands-based ING group. The new acquisition would then change its name to Tangerine. Since then, Tangerine has become an authority in virtual banking in Canada.

Its mandate is to offer Canadians a simple, safe, cheap, and innovative approach to everyday financial services.

According to the 2021 JD Power Canada Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, Tangerine is the best midsize bank in terms of customer satisfaction. The company won this award for the 10th time since its inception.

In the 2020 Ipsos Financial Service Excellence Awards, Tangerine led the rest in the value for money, mobile banking excellence, and recommend to friends and family categories.

What could make a financial corporation that outstanding? Is it Canada’s best online bank? Well, let’s look at its products.

Tangerine credit card

With Tangerine credit cards, you can save money on the things you buy daily through their money-back rewards. That means you get 2% money back when you use the card in restaurants, groceries, gas, drug stores, furniture, and other places you visit daily.

There are two credit cards:

  • World Mastercard
  • Money-back credit card

Features of Tangerine World Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 2% monthly money-back rewards in three categories of your choice
  • Interest rate 19.95%
  • Travel rewards
  • Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard
  • Rental car collision/ loss
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Mastercard travel rewards
  • Airport experiences provided by Loungekey
  • Balance transfer 1.95% for six months

Eligibility criteria

  • Either gross annual income of $60,000 or more, or
  • Gross household income of $100,000 or more, or
  • The total balance of $250,000 or more in Tangerine savings accounts or investment fund.
  • You must also be within the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Clear of bankruptcy over the last 7 years.

Features of Tangerine Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • Interest rate 19.95%
  • Up to 2% monthly money-back rewards in three categories of your choice.
  • Balance transfer 1.95% for six months

Eligibility criteria

  • Gross annual income of $12,000 or more
  • Be within the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Be clear of bankruptcy over the last 7 years.

How to sign up for the card program

  • Log-in if you have an account with them or sign up if you’re a new customer.
  • Choose your money-back categories. The 2% cash-back will either be applied either to your credit card account or your savings account.

Tangerine savings account

You don’t get to be among the best Canadian online banks if you don’t have competitive high-interest savings accounts. You have a variety to choose from, and if you’re a new client, expect to earn 2.10% interest for the first five months.

The five accounts available to you are:

  • Tax-free savings account (0.10% interest rate)
  • RRSP account (0.10%)
  • USD savings account (0.10%)
  • RRIF account (0.15%)
  • The ordinary savings account (0.10%)

Key features of these accounts

  • No minimum balance
  • No fees or service charges
  • Create a personalized savings goal

Tangerine chequing account

  • No-fee daily chequing with Visa debit
  • Visa debit is borderless.
  • No fees for unlimited daily transactions
  • The first cheque book is free.
  • No monthly fees
  • Free interface transfer
  • Free access to over 3,500 Scotia ATMs in Canada and 44,000 worldwide through Scotia’s global ATM alliance. $1 for ATMs outside the Scotia Bank network.
  • Interest rate- 0.01% for $0-49,999, 0.05% for $50,000 and 0.10% for $100,000 and above.
  • Overdraft protection
  • Make online and in-app purchases, and you can track your spending too.
  • $10 charge when you order a bank draft which will be delivered at your nearest Tangerine café

Tangerine GICs (Guaranteed Income Certificate)

  • No fees or service charge
  • Up to 1.45% GIC rate for all except USD GIC, which has a rate of 0.70%
  • RRSP, RIF, USD, and Tax-free GICs available
  • $125 fee if you transfer your GIC
GIC TermGIC Interest Rate (%)
90-day term0.50%
180-day term0.85%
270-day term0.90%
1-year term0.90%
1.5-year term0.95%
2-year term1.00%
3-year term1.10%
4-year term1.20%
5-year term1.25%

Tangerine business accounts

  • Business savings accounts earn an interest rate of up to 0.50%
  • Business USD savings account earn 0.20%
  • Business GIC earn up to 1.45%, while business USD GIC earn up to 0.70%
  • No fees or service charges for all business accounts

Tangerine investment funds

  • TFSA, RRIF, RRSP, and non-registered accounts
  • Low fees
  • You can begin with at least $25 ( except for RRIF funds)

Tangerine RRSP loan

The company offers RRSP loans at a 3.75% interest rate for a term of 9-12 months.

Tangerine investment portfolio

The bank will give you five portfolios to choose from, and each has different amounts in Canadian stocks, bonds, US and international stocks.

  • Dividend portfolio
  • Balanced growth portfolio
  • Balanced income
  • Balanced
  • Equity growth portfolio

Tangerine mortgage

The bank offers the following services in its mortgage section

  • Buying mortgage
  • Switching mortgage lender
  • Refinance
  • Home equity credit

Rules of engagement

5 YearVariable Mortgage1.45%
1 YearFixed Mortgage2.79%
2 YearFixed Mortgage1.78%
3 YearFixed Mortgage1.89%
4 YearFixed Mortgage2.04%
5 YearFixed Mortgage2.14%
7 YearFixed Mortgage2.64%
10 YearFixed Mortgage3.09%

Is Tangerine online banking safe?

Yes, Tangerine is safe and easy to use because

  • Its parent bank is Scotia Bank which is one of the blue-chip companies in Canada
  • It has won several prestigious awards in quality of service and customer satisfaction
  • You will not pay fees for most of its products.
  • Excellent 24/7 customer service
  • Easy and convenient banking at the click of a button.

The Bullish Takeaway

It’s no secret that online banking is convenient, and it saves time. Tangerine online bank is unique in its buffet of products that you can enjoy from anywhere globally, provided you have a permanent residence in Canada.

Finally, its interest rates give the bank a competitive advantage over its peers like EQ Bank and Simplii financial.

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