Looking for an honest Tangerine Bank review? I’ve had a Tangerine Savings Account (back when it was called ING Direct) with Tangerine Bank for over 10 years, since at least 2009. This review will go over who owns Tangerine Bank, will review the Tangerine monthly fee, and review the Tangerine savings account.
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Tangerine bank Review (2023)
ING Direct was one of the oldest ‘online only’ savings accounts that offered higher rates with less brick and mortar banking locations. I joined and signed up for a Tangerine Savings Account because I wanted higher interest rates than the measly interest rates the big banks were offering at the time (which is like 0.01%).
Who Owns Tangerine Bank?
Who owns Tangerine now? Is Tangerine owned by Scotiabank?
In 2012, Scotiabank and Tangerine became one.
Scotiabank acquired ING Direct, and renamed it to Tangerine Bank.
So far, since the acquisition by Scotiabank, I haven’t really noticed any difference between quality of the banking despite the name change. The Tangerine logo is the only thing that’s different from ING direct, they still kept it orange.
You may be thinking: Is Tangerine a good bank? Here’s my Tangerine Bank review of the Tangerine Savings Account based on my 10+ year experience with them.
What is Tangerine Bank?
Tangerine Bank is headquartered in Toronto Ontario.
They are a mainly ‘online only’ bank that provides savings accounts within registered accounts and non-registered accounts, mortgages, and even Tangerine Investment Funds.
Related: Tangerine Investment Funds Review
Tangerine Bank also has a popular Tangerine no fee cash-back credit card that I was contemplating getting when the MBNA World Elite Mastercard changed their policy and points and fee structure. Tangerine Bank has been around since 1997, when it was called ING Direct. As mentioned, in 2012, Scotiabank acquired ING Direct and it was renamed Tangerine.
Both of these cards have offered a high 10% cash back on your purchases.
Is Tangerine Safe?
This was my first thought in 2009 when I signed up for an ING Direct account. Your Canadian deposits, up to $100,000 are safe because Tangerine is a CDIC member (Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation). Tangerine bank is insured.
Tangerine Bank Locations
Is Tangerine a real bank? Yes, it is but Tangerine bank is mainly an online bank. When I said mainly ‘online only’ bank, they really are mainly online, with the exception for a few brick and mortar Tangerine bank locations.
These locations are called Tangerine Cafes.
There are two locations in Toronto, one in Vancouver, one in Montreal, and one Tangerine Cafe in Calgary.
The Tangerine bank head office is in Toronto.
What are the Tangerine bank locations near me? The Tangerine address in Vancouver is open seven days a week and they have Cafe Associates that can help you with your banking needs. The ABM is also open 24 hours and is located at each of these Tangerine locations. From Monday to Friday, the Vancouver location is open until 7pm! Which is fantastic considering a lot of Scotiabank locations are closed at like 4:30pm or 5:00pm before I can even get there on most weekdays, lol.
Otherwise, if you want to speak to someone at Tangerine, the Tangerine contact number is open 24/7:
1-888-826-4374 or 416-756-2424
Can you deposit cash with Tangerine? Yes you can at their ABM locations. The Tangerine ABM locator page is useful to find Tangerine ATM locations near you. They are basically Scotiabank locations as well as the Tangerine Bank cafe locations.
Similarly, you can withdraw cash from a Tangerine savings account if you transfer the money you want taken out to the Tangerine chequing account. You can access your cash at any of the ABM locations. Personally I avoid bringing my Tangerine card out because I don’t want to access it, since it’s meant to be a savings account!
Tangerine Savings Account Review
There are a number of Tangerine products available, but this post focuses on the Tangerine savings account.
The Tangerine Savings Account often comes with a great promotional rate (typically the highest available in Canada) for the first six months.
For example, currently, if you open up a Tangerine Savings Account, you will get a high 6.00% rate for the first 5 months from the day you opened your first savings account. After the 5 months promotional rate, the interest rate decreases to 0.10%.
There is no penalty for taking out your money after the 5 month promotion period, a 6.00% rate is pretty darn stellar these days. That’s like higher than some dividend yields of some companies!
Also there’s a current promotion of $400 cash if you open up a Tangerine chequing account too.
Tangerine Monthly Fee
Does Tangerine have monthly fees? There are absolutely zero monthly fees.
Does Tangerine have any fees?
The unique thing that is still in existence from the ING direct days is the interesting Tangerine login.
When you login you are asked for your client number, card number, or user name, and then you are asked a secret question (the one that you have set up in your account). Finally, you have to recognize a picture that they show you. If you recognize that picture then you put in your password.
I’ve never been asked to recognize a picture with other banks, so it’s always kind of nice when I login to the Tangerine login.
Here are the features of the Tangerine Account:
Zero fees you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to keep your money with them (this is not the case for the big banks)
Zero minimum balance (you should have $0.05 or $50 in here if you wanted to and not get charged a monthly fee!)
Automatic Savings Program (ASP) where you can automatically move money into your account to achieve your savings goals (like paying yourself first)
24/7 customer service by telephone (I’ve called and they are very polite and have great customer service) and the phone number to reach Tangerine customer service is 1-888-826-4374. A real live person when you want to speak to them, how wonderful is that?
They also have an online chat option open every day with EST hours
Withdrawal is free from Tangerine’s ABM’s (at the Tangerine Cafe and also at all the Scotiabank branches with ABMs)– there are at least 3500 ABM’s available in Canada for free withdrawal of your money
You can link up to 3 external accounts (like for example if you want to transfer money from an external account to your Tangerine account)
Mobile app with Cheque-In, where you can deposit a cheque without having to go to the bank or ABM. This is probably one of my favourite features of online banking/ banking with a banking app. Saves so much time and let’s be frank, it’s pretty magical to deposit a cheque without having to cash it in person.
It is safe and Tangerine is a CDIC (Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation) member, which means that your money is protected for Canadian currency deposits up to $100,000. You don’t need to sign up to get this feature, it is just automatic.
Related: CDIC vs CIPF coverage
If you attach/ open up a chequing account (Tangerine calls it a Spending Account), you get your first chequebook FREE (50 cheques).
If you don’t know how to write a cheque in Canada, here’s how.
Here is a link to the Tangerine fee schedule, there is a $40 10 year inactivity fee for chequing accounts and the non-registered savings account.
One of my favourite features in my Tangerine bank review about the Tangerine Savings Account is that you can add a goal– whether this be for debt repayment, an emergency fund, retirement, or just general savings. This was perfect for me when I needed to save up $5000 to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, go on a safari, and visit Zanzibar a few years ago.
Here’s what the goal page looks like:
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Another great feature of the Tangerine Savings Account is the Recipes feature. You can set up to 10 recipes at each time and customize how you would like your savings. It helps you move money from your chequing account to your designated savings account.
You can do a plethora of strategies to automatically save more money- including doing your own automatic 52 week challenge! Or rounding up purchases, or even moving $5.00 from X account to X account when the Washington Capitals win (you would have saved up a lot of money in 2018 but not so much this year)! They have a recipe to suit all tastes
This is great because personally, I believe that automation is key to growing your savings. Humans don’t have much will power (I can attest to this, I ate almost a tub of Nutella because I have no will power but if you automate it, there’s less chance for will power getting int he way. I’m a huge fan of moving my money with each paycheque so that I don’t see the growing balance in my chequing account.
Out of sight and out of mind (and temptation to spend).
Tangerine Refer a Friend Offer: Orange Key
Quite possibly one of the best things about the Tangerine Savings Account (and Tangerine bank in general) is the referral bonus. You’ll get your own Orange Key once you sign up for an account.
If you refer a friend or family member, you can get $50 when your friend or family member opens up an account and deposits $250. They also get $50 as well.
They recently changed the Refer a Friend program (before there was a lifetime referral limit of the number of referrals you could make) and now you can refer up to three friends or family per year, for a total of $150 per year.
This is probably one of the most positive aspects I have for this bank in this Tangerine Bank review.
Here are some other Tangerine promotions available.
Tangerine Savings Options
Other Tangerine Bank Savings options include:
- TFSA Tax Free Savings Account
- Tangerine Joint Account
- RSP Savings Account
- Children’s Savings Account it is a joint account for a child up to age 16 to be held with a parent (who already has a savings account or chequing account with Tangerine).
- US$ Savings Account (2.10% for the first 5 months)- there’s no minimum balance and no fees or service charges, this is perfect if you have a US Dollar credit card and if you like to travel to the US frequently (e.g. snowbirds) and don’t want to deal with currency conversion for everything that you buy
- RIF Savings Account
As mentioned earlier, if you open up a Tangerine Savings Account, you will get a high 6.00% rate for the first 5 months from the day you opened your first savings account. This is if you sign up for a Tangerine savings account. If your’e wondering whether you could just take out money, there is no penalty for taking out your money after the 5 month promotion period, a 2.10% rate is pretty darn stellar for a US$ bank account (it has been 3.00% previously).
The amazing thing about this is that US$ Savings Account and RIF Savings Accounts are now eligible for this promotional temporary rate. It is pretty unheard of to earn high interest on US dollar savings accounts! You have to not ever have had a savings account with Tangerine Bank to be eligible for this offer though.
Tangerine Bank Review
Overall, my review of Tangerine Bank is positive. Although I’m not too much of a fan of the somewhat gimmicky 5 month promotional rate, I enjoy the interface of the Tangerine bank login and the savings goals features.
0.10% interest rate as month six is not very appealing but it’s not a bad rate for a chequing account.
Personally I would put an emergency fund elsewhere for a higher interest rate though.
It really is innovative and encourages you to save (in a fun way). It was useful to have multiple bank accounts so that I could hide money away from myself in order to save for future goals, like my expensive Africa trip. I would say Tangerine is one of the better offerers of no fee banking in Canada.
Of course, not every bank will jive with each potential customer. If Tangerine does not appeal to you for whatever reason, be it that you don’t like promotional rate, or that you would rather go with someone else like another big bank, here are some other high interest savings accounts in Canada for your to peruse.
Some examples of high interest savings accounts in Canada are:
- Canadian Tire High Interest Savings
- Motive Savvy Savings Account
- EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account
- Laurentian Bank LBC Digital Savings Account Review
- Scotiabank Preferred Package Review
- Scotiabank Ultimate Package Review
- High Interest Savings ETFs in Canada
EQ Bank Vs tangerine
The EQ Bank interest rate is not a promotional rate and they have consistently had one of the highest interest rates in Canada.
The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is also a hybrid account similar to Tangerine’s and they both can act as a chequing account where you can pay bills and transfer funds.
The downside is that the EQ Bank Savings Plus account does not come with personal cheques and really does not have any brick and mortar places for you to see someone in person.
Do you bank with Tangerine Bank?
What is your Tangerine bank review?
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GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.