In the past, finding a bank that didn't charge a variety of junk fees could be difficult. Thankfully, more and more banks today have joined the "low fee" bandwagon.
Online banks have really led the way in offering affordable banking solutions. And the pressure they've created in the marketplace has even influenced some full-service banks to lower their maintenance fees (or the minimum balances required to waive them).
If you live in Canada, you have a few good no-fee banking options and Tangerine Bank is one of them. It’s a no-frills online bank that doesn’t charge fees on savings and chequing products. In this article, we’ll look at what Tangerine offers.
- Canadian online bank with "cafés" in select cities
- Zero maintenance fees and unlimited free transactions on chequing
- Low yields on savings accounts
Tangerine Bank Details
Chequing, Savings, GICs, Business, Investment
Earn 2.5% on Tangerine Savings for 5 months
Who Is Tangerine Bank?
Tangerine is a full-service, online Canadian-based bank. It originally started as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In November 2012, Scotiabank completed its acquisition of ING Bank of Canada.
At that time, the bank changed the ING name to Tangerine Bank. Since then, Tangerine Bank has continued to operate independently and to offer low-fee accounts with award-winning customer service.
What Do They Offer?
Tangerine Bank is a full-service bank that offers savings, chequing, business services, borrowing, credit cards, investing, and retirement products. Tangerine Bank is an online bank with Cafés for in-person banking. We're going to review Tangerine’s savings and chequing products.
Tangerine’s savings account pays a rather unimpressive 0.20% interest rate. On the plus side, there are no fees or minimum requirements. However, that isn’t a differentiator since most savings account products don't have fees.
It should be noted that Tangerine Bank is currently offering new customers five months of 2.50% APY on its Tangerine Savings accounts. Also, it offers Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) which offer more competitive rates up to 1.25%.
Tangerine Bank has a no-fee chequing account product. Your first chequebook is free and includes 50 cheques. You can buy another chequebook for $20. You also get Free Interac e-Transfers.
Chequing accounts include overdraft protection. The first incident is $5 and there is a $5 maximum fee per month. That’s a good deal on overdraft fees compared to other banks.
Your Chequing account also comes with a Tangerine Client Card, which is your debit card. This card can be connected to mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. These are our favorite free checking accounts.
With most online banks, lower customer service is often the necessary tradeoff for lower fees. But Tangerine Bank bucks that trend by promising both low fees and strong customer service. In fact, J.D. Power's Canada Retail Banking Satisfaction Study has ranked it Highest in Overall Customer Satifcation in the midsize bank segment for nine years in a row.
Tangerine Bank offers multiple points of contact to its customers. First, it offers 24/7 phone support and daily online chat sessions. And while it doesn’t have any branches, it does have "locations" at cafés, where customers can meet face-to-face with a banker. You can find Tangerine Cafés in the following locations:
- Downtown Toronto Café
- Toronto North Café
- Vancouver Café
- Montréal Café
- Calgary Café
There are over 3,000 ABMs (automated banking machines) available to Tangerine customers, including Scotiabank ABMs. Internationally, you’ll have access to 44,000 ABMs through Scotiabank’s Global ATM Alliance. These are all in-network ABMs and won’t cost anything to use. Out-of-network ABMs within Canada charge $1.50 and internationally charge $3.
The Tangerine mobile app is available for iOS and Android. The iOS app has a 4.2 out of 5 rating from 5.2K people on the Apple App Store. On the Google Play Store, it also has a 4.2 out of 5 rating from 6.1k people.
It has everything you’d expect from a major bank, including the abilit to make photo cheque deposits, pay bills, send money to someone via email transfers, transfer money between accounts, and more.
Are There Any Fees?
While no bank is completely fee-free, Tangerine Bank comes close. A fee-free bank means one that doesn’t charge fees on everyday banking tasks. So then, what fees might you be charged by Tangerine? Below is a list of the less common tasks that you can be charged for:
- Stop payment on cheques — one free per year and $12.50 thereafter.
- Replacement Client Card — one free per year and $15 thereafter.
- Canadian drafts (includes courier) — $10
- NSF (Non-sufficient funds) — $45
- Returned items — $7.50
- Other ABM withdrawals (not a Scotiabank ABM) in Canada — $1.50
- Other ABM withdrawals (not part of Global ATM Alliance) in the US/Worldwide — $3
- 1 year inactivity fee — $10
- Overdraft fee — $5 per incident and maximum of $5/mo
- Overdraft interest — 19% (per annum)
As you can see, there are a number of fees there. But that really isn’t different from any other bank. As mentioned, none of the above are related to common, everyday banking tasks.
How Do I Open An Account?
You can visit the Tangerine Bank website to open an account. You’ll need the following information:
- Contact information
- Social Insurance Number
- Employment information
Is My Money Safe?
Yes. Tangerine bank uses high-grade encryption on its website and mobile app. Additionally, up to $100,000 in each of your accounts is CDIC-protected.
Is It Worth It?
If you want a no-fee online Canadian bank with strong customer service, Tangerine Bank is a great option. It’s a well-rounded online/offline hybrid bank that enables customers to save money without sacrificing convenience or service.
If high-yield savings is a priority, however, EQ Bank may be the better Canadian bank for you. But if you're not a Canadian resident, you won't be able to open an account with either of these banks. Thankfully, non-Canadians have plenty of no-fee and high-yield options as well. For starters, check out our favorite free checking and high-yield savings accounts of 2020.
Tangerine Bank Features
3,500 free ABMs
Customer Service Number
Service in English: 1‑888‑826‑4374 or 416‑756‑2424
Customer Service Hours
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Earn 2.5% on Tangerine Savings for 5 months
Tangerine Bank Review
- Interest Rates
- Fees and Charges
- Customer Service
- Ease of Use
- Tools and Resources
Tangerine Bank is an online bank that offers low fees and award-winning customer service to Canadian residents.
- No maintenance or transaction fees on chequing accounts
- Face-to-face meetings available at Tangerine Cafés
- Free access to over 3,500 ABMs
- No high-yield savings accounts
- Only available to Canadian residents
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.