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EQ Bank vs. Tangerine 2023

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Comparing EQ Bank and Tangerine isn’t ideal; some might say it’s the same as comparing apples to, well, tangerines.

But if anything, EQ Bank and Tangerine work better in tandem. After all, one offers incredible rates, while the other offers limitless flexibility. In any case, both provide exceptional personal banking products.

So, EQ Bank or Tangerine? In this WealthRocket article, we’ll look closely at EQ Bank vs. Tangerine and see which of the two online banks works better for Canadians.

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine Bank: Overview

EQ Bank and Tangerine are two online banks with a myriad of benefits to offer Canadians, both available with no monthly costs, limits, or minimum balance requirements.

But before you rush to open an account with either EQ Bank or Tangerine, let’s take a look at who these banks are and where they come from.

Feature EQ Bank Tangerine
Transactions Free, Unlimited Free, Unlimited
Interac e-Transfers Free, Unlimited Free, Unlimited
ATM Network N/A Scotiabank, Global ATM Network
Savings Accounts Non-registered Traditional, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF
Investment Options GICs GICs, Mutual Funds
Promotions None $250 and 2.50% interest for 182 days*
Mobile App iOS and Android Yes
Available Quebec Non Oui

EQ Bank: Overview

EQ Bank is the digital banking arm of Equitable Bank, Canada’s 9th largest independent bank.

Since its launch in 2016, EQ Bank has served Canadians with two personal finance products: a hybrid high-interest savings account and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), both notable for their consistently high interest rates.

Recently, EQ Bank introduced International Money Transfers powered by Transferwise, which allows Canadians to transfer money around the world at a rate touted eight times cheaper than traditional wire transfers.

It has also introduced registered savings accounts, such as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), mortgage borrowing options, and a USD savings accounts.

EQ Bank is a Schedule 1 bank and insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), making it just as safe as any major Canadian bank.

Finally, EQ Bank is an account that operates entirely online. There are no branches available.

EQ Bank provides the best high-interest savings accounts rates and GIC investments in Canada, with flexibility and no fees.

EQ Bank at a glance:

  • Monthly fee: None
  • Debit transactions: N/A
  • Branches: N/A
  • Interac e-Transfer: Free, Unlimited
  • Account types: Registered and Non-Registered Savings Accounts and GICs
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A
  • Cheques / Debit Card: N/A
  • Mobile apps: iOS and Android
  • International Money Transfers: Yes
  • Available in Quebec?: Non

*Rates current as of June 2021
*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

Tangerine Bank: Overview

Tangerine Bank is an online-only bank owned and operated by Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest and most reputable banks.

Despite its affiliation with Scotiabank, Tangerine does not have any physical branches, though customers can use Scotiabank and Global ATM Network ATMs at no additional cost.

However, Tangerine offers almost every product that any major bank offers, without the high fees that come with traditional banking.

Additionally, there is no minimum balance required, no transaction limits, and no monthly or annual fees to open an account. Customers can open one via telephone or online at their convenience.

Tangerine at a glance:

  • Monthly Fee: None
  • Debit Transactions: Unlimited
  • Monthly Fee: None
  • Branches: None
  • Interac e-Transfer: Free, Unlimited
  • Account Types: Chequing, savings (registered and non-registered)
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $250* & 2.50% interest on savings accounts for 182 days
  • Cheques / Debit: Yes
  • Mobile Apps: iOS and Android
  • International Money Transfers: Yes
  • Available in Quebec?: Oui

*Rates current as of June 2021

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine: Savings Accounts

While EQ Bank does not offer a chequing account, its Savings Plus Account holds many of the features of a chequing account.

Tangerine offers both a chequing account and various savings account options, which we’ll look at individually below.

EQ Bank: Savings Plus Account

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is a hybrid savings account, meaning it combines the best features of a chequing and savings account in one neat little package.

This online bank’s savings account does not come with a debit card or chequebook, nor is it compatible with mobile payment options. The account permits unlimited transactions, Interac e-transfers, bank-to-bank transfers, and (automated) bill payments.

This savings account also offers direct deposit and mobile cheque deposits for clients who receive their employment earnings through either payment method.

Plus, customers can open a joint account with the online bank, allowing up to three people to manage an account. There is a maximum account deposit limit of $200,000.<

The account offers a 1.25%* interest on deposits, which is among Canada’s best savings account rates.

Finally, there are no fees or minimum balance requirements to use the account.

*Rates current as of June 2021 *Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

Tangerine: Savings Accounts

Tangerine offers an abundance of registered and non-registered savings accounts that help customers maximize their potential to save money and earn interest.

Some non-registered savings account options with Tangerine include the traditional savings account and high-interest savings account.

Registered savings account options with Tangerine are the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) with Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) also available.

At this time, interest rates on all Tangerine savings accounts sit at 0.25%*.

The Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account is one of the best chequing accounts in Canada. It comes with no fees, transaction limits, and no minimum balance requirements.

While there are no Tangerine branches in Canada, except Tangerine “Cafes” in select Canadian cities, Tangerine customers can access Scotiabank ATMs and Global ATM Network ATMs.

*Rates current as of June 2021
*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine: Winner

When it comes to savings accounts, both EQ and Tangerine provide excellent products, despite the drawbacks that come with each account.

EQ Bank offers some of the best high-interest savings account rates in Canada, while Tangerine’s savings account rates are extremely low, despite promotional rates.

On the other hand, Tangerine offers an incredibly flexible chequing account. While the EQ Bank Savings Plus account is flexible, it does not facilitate point-of-sale transactions or come with any branch access.

Both banks offer similar advantages and drawbacks, which is why the winner of this section goes to both digital banks.

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine: Investing

EQ Bank and Tangerine Bank both offer investment products such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), mutual funds, and more. Learn about the investing products each online bank offers below.

Term Length Non-Registered GIC Rates TFSA and RRSP GIC Rates
3 Months 1.50% 2.30%
6 Months 1.30% 1.80%
9 Months 1.25% 1.65%
1 Year 1.30% 1.50%
15 Months 1.30% 1.30%
2 Years 1.30% 1.30%
27 Months 1.30% 1.30%
3 Years 1.40% 1.40%
4 Years 1.60% 1.60%
5 Years 1.80% 1.80%
6 Years 1.85% 1.85%
7 Years 1.95% 1.95%
10 Years 2.25% 2.25%

*Rates Current as of June 2021

Term Length Non-Registered GIC Rates TFSA and RRSP GIC Rates
3 Months 1.50% 2.30%
6 Months 1.30% 1.80%
9 Months 1.25% 1.65%
1 Year 1.30% 1.50%
15 Months 1.30% 1.30%
2 Years 1.30% 1.30%
27 Months 1.30% 1.30%
3 Years 1.40% 1.40%
4 Years 1.60% 1.60%
5 Years 1.80% 1.80%
6 Years 1.85% 1.85%
7 Years 1.95% 1.95%
10 Years 2.25% 2.25%

*Rates Current as of June 2021

Tangerine: Investing

Tangerine’s most traditional investment option, GICs, provides quite the versatility for such a rigid investment – rigid in a good way since you have the opportunity to invest with little risk.

GICs are available as non-registered and registered investments, as TFSA GICs and RRSP GICs, as well as non-registered GICs. Terms range from three months to five years, with interest rates ranging from 0.90%* to 1.25%*

Tangerine also offers mutual funds with a Management Expense Ratio (MER) of 1.06%* to 2.06%*.

*Rates current as of June 2021

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

Term Length Non-Registered GIC Rates TFSA and RRSP GIC Rates
3 Months 0.20% 0.20%
6 Months 0.45% 0.45%
9 Months 0.50% 0.50%
1 Year 0.60% 0.60%
15 Months 0.65% 0.65%
2 Years 0.75% 0.75%
27 Months 1.05% 1.05%
3 Years 1.25% 1.25%
4 Years 1.60% 1.60%
5 Years 1.50% 1.50%

*Rates current as of June 2021

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine: Winner

EQ Bank is the clear winner over Tangerine when it comes to GICs. When comparing rates, EQ Bank offers much higher rates on their term-investment options.

EQ Bank recently introduced registered GICs along with its famous non-registered GICs, making it that much more optimal over Tangerine Bank.

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine Bank: Accessibility

By now, you’ll have probably noticed that the strongest bond between EQ Bank and Tangerine Bank is that they are both online banks, and, as such, are only accessible online.

While both banks offer telephone customer service, access to these banks is primarily done online. Neither of these banks has dedicated branches, either, which means most, if not all, of your banking needs will be met online.

Let’s take a look at how EQ Bank and Tangerine stack up when it comes to accessibility.

EQ Bank: Accessibility

EQ Bank is accessible via mobile app or through their website. Customer service is available via e-mail, live chat, and telephone.

EQ Bank does not have any branches. Considering that EQ Bank does not include a physical debit card, nor is it explicitly a chequing account, you can’t withdraw cash from the account. You will require a debit card for another bank account and set up transfers to take out physical cash.

Tangerine: Accessibility

Tangerine offers live chat, telephone, and traditional mail as customer service options.

While Tangerine does not offer physical branches, customers can access Scotiabank ATMs at no cost. Customers can also access ATMs around the world at no additional cost through the Global ATM Alliance.

This means that Tangerine customers can access bank ATMs around the world at no additional cost.

For example, Tangerine customers can access Bank of America ATMs in the United States, BNP Paribas ATMs across Europe and Africa, Scotiabanks ATMs across South America, and much, much more.

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine: User Experience

Online banks should offer nothing less than an exceptional banking experience. EQ Bank and Tangerine both offer a unique experience for the patrons of online banks.

Let’s take a look at how EQ Bank and Tangerine compare when it comes to providing an excellent user experience for its customers.

EQ Bank: User Experience

EQ Bank offers a web interface through its website and a mobile app to serve its customers. The mobile app is available for iOS and Android operating systems.

Unfortunately, EQ Bank is not mobile wallet compatible, nor does it come with a dedicated card, which means you’ll need to use the unlimited Interac e-Transfer feature to a third-part account to use your funds.

Tangerine: User Experience

Tangerine offers a mobile banking app and access through their website. As far as mobile banking goes, Tangerine offers a sleek banking app available on iOS and Android, with compatibility on digital wallets including Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Additionally, Tangerine customers can use any Scotiabank ATM in Canada, or any Global ATM Network ATM around the world.

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine: Winner

Tangerine likely provides a better user experience than EQ Bank, solely because cash is much more accessible in a pinch. Otherwise, both banks stack up equally when it comes to user accessibility.

Our Final Thoughts

So, EQ Bank vs Tangerine? Well, I’m a very satisfied customer of both banks.

EQ Bank has provided consistent rates on their high-interest savings account and GICs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have remained among Canada’s highest rates. These rates beat out most major banks, which is a small price to pay for a lack of a debit card.

I’m also a huge fan of Tangerine Bank. I use their chequing account to make daily purchases and bill payments. I found the bank incredibly useful when using Scotiabank ATMs in Mexico City. Considering that many of the activities in Mexico City required cash, having access to Scotiabank ATMs at no cost really made me a happy customer.

Considering that both these banks come with no annual fees, I really can recommend them both banks enough.

And, considering that EQ Bank has no purchasing functionality, you’ll need an external bank account to use EQ Bank. Tangerine Bank is an excellent option.

Frequently Asked Questions