Tangerine bank review – Canada’s best online bank. (2021)

There are many options for banking in Canada but one of my favorites is Tangerine Bank. Formerly ING direct, Tangerine was acquired by Scotiabank in 2012 and is now one of the best online banks in Canada. They offer their customers no fee banking accounts, competitive interest rates, mobile banking and an excellent, no annual fee cash back credit card.

So, look no further if you want a comprehensive review of the many features and highlights of Tangerine bank.

Plus, I’ll show you how to earn FREE money by signing up for one of their savings accounts and/or cash back credit card.

No-fee daily chequing account

What’s fantastic about Tangerine’s basic chequing account is that there is no monthly fee!!! This is a welcome relief compared to the big 5 Canadian banks who charge between $4 and $31 in monthly fees for a chequing account! In fact, since I’ve started using Tangerine’s no-fee daily chequing account, I’ve been able to save about roughly $452.83 in monthly fees.

Highlights of their no-fee chequing account include:

  • No fees on everyday banking. Unlimited debit purchases, bill payments and Tangerine email money transfers all for no monthly fee.
  • FREE to use Scotiabank ATMs. Deposits and withdrawals at any Scotiabank ATM are FREE (fee of $1 to use other Canadian ATMs).
  • Interac e-transfers are FREE. Send money directly to friends and family by email and pay no fee!! There used to be a $1 fee to send Interac e-transfers but Tangerine removed this fee in December 2019.
  • No fee to withdraw from ATMs part of the Global ATM Alliance. The Global ATM Alliance is a group of many international banks that allow their customers to withdraw from each other’s ATMs with no international fee. Scotiabank (and inherently Tangerine) is a member of this group, allowing you to save when withdrawing cash when traveling abroad. Learn more about the Global ATM Alliance.

  • Interest rate of 0.01%. Tangerine offers an interest rate of 0.01% for their chequing account if your balance is under $49,999. The interest rate is higher if your balance if above $50,000.
  • FREE cheques. With Tangerine, your first 50 cheques are free.
  • Mobile cheque deposit. Use the Tangerine smartphone app to deposit Canadian cheques just by taking a picture of it. Learn more about this feature here
  • Connect to mobile wallets. Connect your Tangerine debit card with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay to pay with your smartphone while on the go.
  • Track and categorize spending. Tangerine organizes your transactions in different categories so you can easily see your spending habits.

Also, Tangerine offers overdraft protection, pre-authorized payments and email alerts. Plus, your deposits with Tangerine are insured up to $100,000 with the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

High-interest savings accounts

Become a Tangerine client today!

Tangerine offers multiple different types of savings accounts. Their normal savings account and tax-free savings account (TFSA) are pretty much similar. The main difference is that the TFSA is a registered account and you pay no tax on the interest you earn up to your contribution limit.

Some features of their savings account include:

  • No fees or minimum balance required. With Tangerine, there’s no monthly fee and you earn interest no matter your balance!
  • Competitive interest rate of 0.10%*. With Tangerine, you can save more money as their interest rate is higher than most of the big banks. Plus, Tangerine will show you how much interest you’ve earned since becoming a client. 

             *Rate subject to change

  • BONUS interest rate of 2.10% for the first 5 months. When you open a new savings account with Tangerine, you’ll earn a bonus interest rate of 2.10% for the first 153 days.
  • Easily transfer between your chequing and savings accounts. It’s fast and easy to transfer between your different Tangerine accounts. Plus, you can set up automatic transfers on a specific date or on a weekly, monthly or other recurring schedule.
  • Set up savings goals. Tangerine lets you create a personalized savings goal no matter what you’re saving for. Enter the amount you wish to attain and Tangerine shows your progress towards reaching your savings goal.
Create a savings goal with Tangerine

How to open a Tangerine account (and earn a $50 sign up bonus!)

It’s quite simple and fast to open a Tangerine account online and if you use my Refer a Friend Orange Key® 53627297S1, we’ll both earn $50!!

To start, you’ll need the following info:

  • Personal information including address, phone number & email address
  • Social insurance number (SIN)
  • Employment information
  • Smartphone to download the Tangerine app (optional)
  • Cheque from your current bank account (optional)

Click on the Sign Me Up button in the top right corner of the Tangerine website to start the process.

  1. Enter your email address and choose a 6 digit security PIN to login into the Tangerine website.
  2. Next, enter your personal information (address, phone, SIN, etc).
  3. Earn an additional $50 if you input my referral Orange key®  53627297S1 during your application (thank you for your support)! You can also enter a friend’s Orange key if they have one.
Earn a bonus $50 by entering Orange Key 53627297S1

$50 bonus conditions

The conditions to earning the $50 bonus referral are as follows:

  1. Enroll using a valid Orange key.
  2. Successfully open your first Tangerine savings or chequing account.
  3. Make an initial deposit of at least $250 within 60 days of becoming a client.
  4. Maintain a minimum account balance of $250 for at least 60 consecutive days starting on the date the initial $250 deposit is made.
  5. Payment of the $50 bonus will be made within 30 days of completing all necessary conditions of the offer.

Confirm your identity

Next, Tangerine has to confirm your identity via 2 options:

A) Write yourself a cheque from your current bank account. You can either send it by mail to Tangerine (include your client number in the memo section). Or use the Tangerine smartphone app and the Cheque-In™ feature to take a picture of the front and back of your cheque.

Deposit cheques easily with the Tangerine mobile app

Confirming your identity by cheque is great because you already start to fund your account and you also link your current bank account with your new Tangerine account. Also, consider funding your account with $250 to earn the bonus $50 if you used an Orange key referral.

B) NOTE: Tangerine Cafés are currently closed due to the pandemic until further notice! Present yourself in person at a Tangerine Café location or at a Canada Post outlet with valid ID and reference number. If you live in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver, you can visit a Tangerine Café location with valid government ID and talk to an associate in person. Learn more about Tangerine Cafés.

Visit a Tangerine Café in select cities to verify your account

Lastly, it takes about 5-7 business days to verify your identity and receive your client card (debit card) in the mail.

You’re now ready to start saving money using your new Tangerine account!

Money-back Credit Card

Money Back Credit Card

Tangerine’s Money-Back Credit Card is one of the best no annual fee cash back credit cards in Canada. It’s highly regarded by many for the following reasons:

  • No annual fee. You don’t pay anything to hold this credit card and is an excellent choice for a first time credit card holders.
  • 2% cash back on up to 3 categories. You can earn 2% cashback on 2 Money-Back categories. These include grocery, gas, restaurants, entertainment, furniture, hotel-motel, drug store, home improvement, public transportation & parking and recurring bill payments. You can add a 3rd category if you opt to have your cash back deposited into your savings account.
Tangerine’s 2% cash back categories
  • 0.5% cash back on other categories. For all other purchases, you’ll earn 0.5% cash back. What’s great though is that you can update your choice of categories that earn 2% at anytime. Take advantage of this feature by switching to the Home Improvement category before starting a home renovation or to the Hotel-Motel category before going on vacation.
  • Monthly earning. Unlike other cash back credit cards which pay out only once a year, the Money-back Credit Card pays out every month! It can be applied to your credit card balance or redeemed into your savings account.
  • Connect to mobile wallets. Connect your Tangerine credit card with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay to pay with your smartphone while on the go.

Some other useful features with this card include free additional authorized users, purchase assurance (covers loss, theft or damage in the first 90 days) and extended warranty (doubles the period of repair services up to 1 year).

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

Tangerine World Mastercard

Apply to the Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine has recently introduced a new credit card, the Tangerine World Mastercard®. This card also has no annual fee and has all the core benefits as the Money-back credit card. But, it has some additional benefits and perks such as the following:

  • Rental Car Collision/loss Damage Insurance. Damage and theft protection for your car rental when you rent for up to 31 consecutive days and charge the full cost of your rental to your card.
  • Mobile Device Insurance. Protection on new cell phones, smartphones or tablets when you charge the full cost to your card, or when you purchase it through a plan and charge all of your wireless bill payments to your card. Covers up to $1,000 if your mobile device is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged or experiences mechanical failure.
  • Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey. Make the most of your travel with Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey. Your complimentary membership gives you exclusive dining, retail and spa offers in over 400 airports worldwide, along with access to over 1,000 lounges at $32 USD per visit. Learn more here.

Note that to apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard, it’s necessary to have a minimum income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 with a good/excellent credit score. If you don’t qualify for this card, then it’s still possible to apply for the Tangerine Money-back credit card which has a lower income requirement of $12,000.

**Important notice** applying for this credit card will result in hard inquiry by Tangerine on your credit report.

Other accounts

Tangerine also offers many other types of accounts including:

  • US dollar savings account
  • RSP Savings account
  • Various types of Guaranteed Investment Certificates- GICs (RSP, tax-free, US$, RIF)
  • Line of credit and mortgage
  • Investment funds

You can easily link these other accounts with your Tangerine chequing or savings account. But also, Tangerine allows you to link their accounts with other 3rd party bank accounts making it easy to transfer money between all your bank accounts.

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

Email money transfers and Interac e-transfers

So, there’s 2 ways of transferring money for FREE from Tangerine to an external bank account.

The first is by email money transfer (EMT). In this option, the recipient receives the email usually 2 hours after it’s sent and they must enter their bank account info to receive the funds. Afterwards, it usually takes 2-3 business days for the money to be transferred over. (I’ve read elsewhere online that transfers to other Tangerine customers arrive in a few hours).

The second option is by Interac e-Transfers® where you only need the email address of your recipient to send money. The recipient opens the email, logs into their bank account, answers the security question (if applicable) and voila, the money is deposited!

This option is faster (usually takes less than a few hours) and now there are no fees for each transfer you send.  Note that to send an Interac e-Transfer, there’s a daily limit of $3,000, a weekly limit of $10,000 and a monthly limit of $20,000.

Mobile app

Tangerine offers a mobile app for iOS and Android. It’s straightforward to use, has a clear interface and allows you to do almost all your transactions from your phone. For example, you can check your account balance, transfer money between accounts, pay bills and send email money transfers.

Cheque-In® to deposit cheques

Deposit cheques easily with the Tangerine mobile app

One of the unique features of the Tangerine app (which you can’t do online) is their Cheque-In® feature which is one the fastest and easiest ways to deposit a cheque. Simply snap a picture of the front and back of the cheque, enter a few details and the money is deposited straight away into your account. Keep in mind that this only applies to cheques in Canadian funds and cheques that are post dated or missing the signature won’t be accepted. I haven’t personally used this feature so I can’t attest to it’s reliability.

Pros & Cons of Tangerine bank

  • NO monthly fees
  • FREE ATM withdrawals with Scotiabank and Global ATM partners
  • Interac eTransfers are FREE
  • Free cheques
  • Mobile cheque deposit with the Tangerine app
  • Connect accounts to mobile wallets
  • BONUS interest rate of 2.10% for the first 5 months for savings accounts.
  • Credit cards with no annual fee that offers 2% cash back on up to 3 categories.
  • In person banking limited to Tangerine Cafés in select cities
  • No certified cheques
  • International wire transfers aren’t supported

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card


When it comes to online banks in Canada, Tangerine is definitely one the best. They offer no monthly fees for their accounts, free withdrawals with Scotiabank ATMs, competitive interest rates for savings accounts and allows you to deposit cheques via their smartphone app. Plus, they have a highly rated, no annual fee cash back credit card that lets you earn between 0.5%-2% cash back depending on the category.

I’ve personally used Tangerine bank for over three years now and I’m quite happy with them. I’m able to save on monthly fees, withdraw cash abroad from Global ATM partners, and grow my savings in their high interest savings account. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to others who do all their banking online and don’t need to visit a bank branch for their day to day transactions.

Interested in opening a new Tangerine chequing or savings account? Don’t forget to add Orange key 53627297S1 during your application to earn a bonus $50.*

*Terms and conditions apply

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Affiliate disclaimer: This review is based on my own personal experience with Tangerine and is not sponsored by them. My blog contains referral or affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.

Tangerine is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, please visit the Tangerine website. 

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