When it comes to choosing a bank, it’s important to carefully consider the best fit for your situation. The right bank will not only provide you with a place to store your money, but fill other needs as well, such as saving for retirement or getting a mortgage.
One of my favourite players in the Canadian banking space has been Tangerine. If you’re a fan of no-fee banking, competitive yields on savings and low borrowing rates, it makes sense to consider Tangerine.
Here’s what you can expect:
High Interest Savings and Free Chequing
Savings accounts at Tangerine come in a variety of flavours, including a “regular” non-registered savings account, as well as RRSP and TFSA versions. There is also a US dollar account, and for those drawing retirement income, a RIF savings.
Not only are all of these accounts void of monthly fees, but the interest rates offered are very competitive across the Canadian banking landscape.
Tangerine Savings Account Rates
For example, the current rate of interest is 1.10% across all types of savings accounts, with the exception of the Tangerine US account, which is currently at .15%.
This compares favourably to most traditional bank offerings, and is competitive with savings account rates at other online banks, such as Simplii Financial.
While their standard savings rate is attractive, Tangerine has even more to offer new account holders.
Want to earn rates as high as 2.50%, not to mention cash back bonuses when you open a new account? With Tangerine you can, through a number of introductory offers being targeted at new clients.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the current promotions Tangerine has available:
Tangerine Savings Account Promotion
This spring, Tangerine is sweetening the pot with a number of promotional offers. For starters, anyone who opens a new savings account by October 31, 2018, can earn up to 2.75% interest during the first 6 months of account opening. This offer applies to all non-registered, RSP and TFSA accounts.
In addition to the bonus interest offer, clients can unlock up to $50 in cash bonuses on the same applicable account types. To qualify for the initial $25 bonus, you must deposit a minimum of $100 when the account is opened, and before October 31st.
If you contribute at least $100/month to an Automatic Savings Plan (ASP) for 6 consecutive months, you will qualify for the additional $25 cash bonus.
There are no fees and no minimum balances.
Opening A Tangerine Account
If you want to take Tangerine up on their new account offer, you can begin the account opening process anytime using the link below.
I will offer one note of caution. Make sure you read the fine print, and understand the criteria required to qualify for both the interest and cash bonuses. It would be a shame to miss a step and be disqualified from either of these promotions.
Here are a few reasons why:
Tangerine Chequing Account Overview
Chequing accounts at Tangerine also pay interest on every dollar you earn. You don’t have to worry about fees or minimums with a chequing account either. You earn interest as soon as the first dollar is deposited into your account.
You have the option of adding overdraft protection to your account (there is a fee for that), and Tangerine provides your first 50 cheques free of charge.
You can also send money via Interac e-Transfer for a low fee of $1.00, and receive the transfers for free.
A Note About Tangerine e-Transfers
As I mentioned above, Tangerine charges $1.00 for Interac e-Transfers. Many other financial institutions are now providing free e-Transfers, including Simplii Financial.
Tangerine does offer a separate, free email money transfer service, but it’s outside of the Interac system, and not as convenient. It generally takes a couple of days before funds appear in the recipient’s account.
My expectation is that at some point Tangerine will join other FI’s in the move to free Interac e-Transfers, but for now, it’s important to make this distinction.
The Tangerine Cheque-In feature is available on the mobile app, and allows you to deposit cheques into your Tangerine account with ease by snapping a picture of them with your phone.
Just think of the convenience. There’s no need to stop by an ABM, or wait in line at a bank branch.
The Cheque-In feature also makes it possible to complete the account opening process online, without visiting a physical location.
While several banks now offer a mobile cheque deposits service, the technology has levelled the playing field for online banks such as Tangerine, that lack the brick and mortar locations.
Protecting Your Deposits
Similar to traditional banks, your deposits at Tangerine are covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. CDIC protects your deposits up to $100,000 per registration.
One knock against Tangerine has been that they don’t offer free cheque orders. Your initial order of 50 cheques is free of charge, but all subsequent orders cost $20.
While some online competitors offer unlimited free cheques, Tangerine’s fee seems very reasonable when compared to traditional banks, where cheque orders often begin north of $50.
Many people only require cheques for the purpose of setting up a payroll deposit through their employer, or to link an automated bill payment to their account.
For those situations, Tangerine allows clients to print a “direct deposit/debit form” from their website, which can be used in place of a void cheque.
You would simply provide your employer or bill provider with the form, and they would enter the relevant account information into their system.
Tangerine Chequing Account Promotion
Tangerine’s introductory offers are not limited to savings accounts.
When you open a Tangerine chequing account by July 2nd, 2018, you could be eligible to receive a $100 cash bonus.
To qualify, Tangerine will want you to link either your payroll direct deposit to the account, or two separate pre-authorized bill payments of at least $50.
These transactions would need to take place prior to August 3rd, 2018, and continue for a minimum of three consecutive months to qualify for the $100 bonus.
If this interests you, you can begin the account opening process using the link below. As I mentioned above, make sure you read the fine print to understand the qualifying criteria. Full details are available at Tangerine online.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Tangerine’s credit card offers a unique way to earn cash back.
Here’s the unique part. Unlike most credit cards, this Mastercard product allows you to customize how you will collect points, by enabling you to pick two different categories that will offer you 2% cash back.
Your credit card categories include:
- Eating places
- Drug store
- Recurring bill payments
- Home improvement
- Public transportation and parking
The key here is to select the two categories where you’ll spend the most money.
For example, if you know that your biggest expenditures are groceries and gas, it’s a good idea to make those your 2% categories, and then pay for as much as possible with your Tangerine credit card.
For even more flexibility, you can switch your 2% cash back categories at a later date to adjust to changes in spending.
Multiplying The Rewards
Not only that, when you choose to have your rewards deposited to a Tangerine Savings Account rather than applied to your credit card balance, you unlock a third 2% category.
I really like the rewards boost, not to mention the added incentive to save. For all remaining spending categories, you earn .50% cashback.
Rates & Fees
The interest rate is a very standard 19.95% APR and there is no annual fee. Additional cards for authorized users are free of charge.
Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Protection
In my eyes, this is an underrated benefit found on many credit cards.
Purchase assurance may cover loss, damage or theft of products purchased with your Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, within 90 days.
The extended warranty coverage can often double the original manufacturer’s warranty of products purchased with the card, up to a maximum of one additional year.
If you consider the amount of money people spend purchasing extended warranties on a wide variety of products, this benefit can provide cardholder’s with a similar peace of mind, without the added expense.
If you want more information on this card, check out our in-depth Tangerine credit card review.
Mortgage or Line of Credit Options
You have a number of choices when selecting a Tangerine mortgage. You can choose from fixed and variable rates, and there are flexible prepayment options available.
While mortgage interest rates fluctuate regularly, the current advertised rate for a five-year variable mortgage with Tangerine is 3.05%.
Tangerine Mortgage Prepayment Options
Let’s take a closer look at the prepayment options available with the Tangerine mortgage. For starters, you can increase your regular payments by up to 25% of your original payment amount.
In addition, each year you can make lump sum payments of up to 25% of the original mortgage amount. The payment can be applied on any regular payment date.
This is a great way to help you save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your mortgage.
Home Equity Line Of Credit
A Tangerine Home Equity Line of Credit provides yet another mortgage financing option. You’ll need to have at least 35% equity in your home, but if you do, you can apply a fixed payback plan to work on paying it off as quickly as possible. The current rate on the line of credit is 4.10%.
Tangerine offers a wide variety of investment options. They have several mutual funds which are relatively low cost, compared to many of the funds available on the Canadian market.
Tangerine relies on an indexing strategy, which I prefer with my own investments. You end up with a lower cost in those cases. Tangerine also offers income and growth portfolios.
They make purchasing investments easy, allowing for an automatic investment plan so that you can take advantage of dollar cost averaging to help you reach your savings goals.
Here are some other ways that you can invest with Tangerine:
- TFSA Investment Fund: You can get a TFSA account that makes use of investments, rather than only relying on savings. This can be a way to take advantage of the tax breaks offered by these accounts.
- TFSA GIC: You can earn up to 1.90% on a tax-free GIC through Tangerine. You don’t have to worry about paying taxes, and there are no fees or service charges.
- RSPs: Use an investment fund account for a higher potential return, or opt for safety with the GIC version of the RSP or the savings account.
- RIF: Retirees can also take advantage of investment accounts designed for growing wealth while at the same time withdrawing what you need. In addition to fund investments, GIC and savings account versions of the RIF are also available.
Tangerine RSP Loans
If your retirement strategy includes an RSP loan, Tangerine bank has you covered. The interest rate is a paltry 3.75%, providing you invest the funds borrowed into a Tangerine RSP (the rate is much higher if you move the money to an account at another financial institution).
An RSP loan enables you to accelerate your retirement savings while reducing your income tax burden during the year in which you contribute. I should note, there are no restrictions on prepaying a Tangerine RSP loan.
Bank The Way You Want
With Tangerine, online and mobile banking offers the greatest flexibility. But Tangerine understands that their clients want the flexibility to bank in a way that works for them.
Because of this, Tangerine offers a number of great ways to bank.
You can walk into Tangerine Café locations in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary, and talk with Associates who can advise you on a number of Tangerine products and services.
Here you can open an account on the spot without having to deposit a cheque from another bank, or apply for a credit card.
Tangerine Pop-ups and Kiosks
If your preference is to set up an account in person, but you don’t live near a physical location, keep an eye out for pop-up locations as Tangerine tours around Canada. Tangerine also offers telephone banking, 24/7.
You can access your money for free through more than 3,500 ABMs all over the country using the Scotiabank ABM network. Pay attention to where these are located so you can avoid paying ABM fees when you access your own money.
By using the previously mentioned Cheque-In feature, you can open an account online within minutes, and connect that to your mobile device.
Once you are set up this way, you can manage all of your accounts, pay bills, transfer money, and even access mortgage tools.
In summary, Tangerine offers everything you need in a bank, and does so at a low price. It’s true that you will find similar free chequing accounts at other institutions, and savings accounts with higher interest rates.
But if you are looking for a bank that combines some of the best rates, offers free accounts, along with an abundance of banking options, I think Tangerine is the best overall online bank, and just might be the right choice for you.