Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: A Comparison for 2021

Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: two heavyweights among Canada's most popular online-only banks. There's no wonder why, either. Both digital financial institutions are neck-and-neck for the title of the best online bank in Canada.

In this Wealth Rocket article, we'll compare Simplii vs. Tangerine, revealing all of the must-knows between both digital banks. We'll also compare the products that they offer. So sit back and watch these two banks duke it out over the title for the Best Online Bank for Financially Savvy Canadians.

Table of Contents

Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: Overview

Despite being entirely different banking institutions, Simplii Financial and Tangerine are nearly identical in how they operate and what they have to offer Canadians looking for a low-cost banking alternative.

However, the details may show that one bank is better suited than the other, with several options and perks more beneficial than others.

It’s a good move to know all of the details before signing on the (virtual) dotted line.

Below, you’ll find a review for both Simplii Financial and Tangerine, with comparisons of each bank.

Feature

Simplii Financial

Tangerine

Transactions
Free, Unlimited
Free, Unlimited
Interac e-Transfers
Free, Unlimited
Free, Unlimited
ATM Network
CIBC
Scotiabank, Global ATM Network
Savings Accounts
Traditional, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF
Traditional, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF
Investment Options
GICs, Mutual Funds
GICs, Mutual Funds
Promotions
$200 until October 31, 2020*
$250 and 2.50% interest for 182 days*
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
Available Quebec
Non
Oui
Tangerine Bank Logo

Tangerine Bank offers an exclusive $150 sign-up bonus with no monthly fess or transaction limits and up to 2.1% interest bonus

Tangerine Bank: Overview

Tangerine is one of Canada’s leading digital banks. While it stands out for its bright orange logo, its exceptional banking products, which explains why the digital bank receives so much positive attention.

Tangerine is the digital banking branch of Scotiabank, one of Canada’s Big Five banks.

Tangerine provides most (if not all) of the same services and products that commercial banks offer, including various spending, saving, and investing products.

Finally, Tangerine is a Schedule 1 bank and a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

Simplii Financial: Overview

Formerly known as PC Financial, Simplii Financial is a full-fledged financial institution that operates entirely online. While no physical branches exist, the bank offers the same products that any other bank or credit union offers.

Simplii Financial’s most popular products include their No-Fee Chequing Account, Registered and Non-Registered Savings Accounts, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), Mutual Funds, and a Visa credit card.

Other financial products offered by Simplii include personal loans and line of credit borrowing options, as well as mortgages.

Simplii Financial is the digital subsidiary of CIBC, meaning customers can access over 1,000 CIBC ATMs to withdraw cash, deposit cash or cheques, and complete basic automatic banking transactions.

Like Tangerine, Simplii Financial does not offer branches but grants customers digital banking support via their mobile app or telephone customer service.

Want to know if Simplii Financial is safe? Worry not! Simplii Financial is a Schedule 1 bank and a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: Chequing Accounts

Chequing accounts from Simplii Financial and Tangerine are among the best free chequing accounts in Canada. If you do not find yourself visiting a branch often, or have minimal banking needs, a free chequing account from these digital banks may suit your no-frills banking lifestyle.

Below, we'll look at how Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine stack up when it comes to chequing accounts.

Tangerine Bank: No-Fee Daily Chequing Account

Tangerine’s No-Fee Daily Chequing Account is everything that it claims to be: a no-fee chequing account with no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and no transaction limits. The no-fee bank account also allows customers to receive money via mobile cheque or direct deposit or by sending money for free using Interac e-Transfers.

The chequing account also offers unlimited bill payments, deposits, and withdrawals. Customers can access thousands of Scotiabank ATMs across Canada at no additional cost but can't access Scotiabank branches.

But it doesn’t stop there! Tangerine and Scotiabank are both members of the Global ATM Alliance, an ATM network that allows customers to access ATMs of participating banks worldwide at no cost. Sometimes, it comes with a lower exchange rate as well.

Some participating banks include Bank of America in the United States, Scotiabank in South America, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, and Westpac, across Africa, Europe, and Asia, and many others.

Simplii Financial: No-Fee Chequing Account

Simplii Financial’s most popular product is the Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account.

It is one of Canada’s best and most flexible chequing accounts, as it comes with no monthly or annual fees. Period.

The account offers unlimited transfers, deposits, and withdrawals. It also offers unlimited transactions, free Interac e-transfers, and unlimited bill payments. Direct deposit is also available.

The account comes with a free debit card and chequebook and is compatible with Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay.

The Simplii Financial mobile app is where the bank shines. The state-of-the-art banking app comes with a sleek user interface that includes cutting-edge features like fingerprint recognition and mobile cheque deposit.

Simplii Financial is the digital subsidiary of CIBC, which means Simplii customers can access over 1,000 CIBC ATMs and take advantage of free cheque, cash deposits, and cash withdrawal.

Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: Savings Accounts

In their savings account offerings, Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine grant nearly identical registered and non-registered savings account options, such as Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), Registered Retirement Savings Accounts (RRSPs), and High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISAs). Keep reading to learn more about these savings accounts below.

Tangerine Bank: Savings Accounts

Tangerine offers your standard selection of registered and non-registered savings accounts.

These savings account options include:

  • Savings Account
  • High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISA)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

Simplii Financial: Savings Accounts

Simplii offers registered and non-registered savings accounts. Some of the accounts offered include:

  • Savings Account
  • High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISA)
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: Investments

Many Canadian bankers turn to virtual options because of their stellar investing options.

Generally speaking, Simplii Financial and Tangerine both offer limited investing products, currently offering registered and non-registered GICs, Mutual Funds, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Despite these offerings, third-party investing platforms, such as Wealthsimple or Questrade, offer much better investment products than Simplii or Tangerine. When it comes to GIC rates, EQ Bank offers some of the best GIC rates in Canada. Consider learning more about these digital institutions before investing with either Simplii Financial or Tangerine Bank.

Tangerine: Investments

Tangerine offers GICs, ETFs, and Mutual Funds as investment vehicles, both as registered and non-registered investments. Let's take a look below at how Tangerine serves Canadian investors.

GICs

Terms for Tangerine GICs range from 30 days to five years in length. Various registered and non-registered GIC options include:

  • Non-registered GICs
  • TFSA GICs
  • RRSP GICs
  • RRIF GICs
  • Mutual Funds

    Tangerine Mutual Funds come with various portfolio options, including, Balanced Income, Balanced, Growth Portfolio, Dividend, and Equity Growth.

    *Rates current as of July 2021

    Simplii Financial: Investments

    Simplii Financial offers investors the choice of GICs and Mutual Funds.

    GICs

    Simplii Financial offers both registered and non-registered GICs, which include:

  • Non-registered GICs
  • TFSA GICs
  • RRSP GICs
  • RRIF GICs
  • All GIC terms range between one year to five years in term deposit length.

    Mutual Funds

    Simplii Financial offers its mutual funds through CIBC, offering conservative, balanced, and growth portfolios.

    *Rates current as of July 2021

    Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine: Credit Cards

    Simplii Financial and Tangerine offer credit card options from both Visa and Mastercard. Learn more about what they have to offer below.

    Tangerine: Credit Cards

    The proof is in the (tangerine-flavoured) pudding when it comes to this online bank’s credit card offerings:

  • Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard
  • The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers cardholders the opportunity to earn up to 2%* cashback on their purchases, all with no earning limits and no annual fee. Depending on the time of application, new cardholders will often be eligible for temporary promotional rates that come with the opportunity to earn up to 10%* back in cash on first purchases.

    The categories eligible for 2%* cashback on the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card include grocery, restaurant, gas, and drug store purchases.

    Also included are other less common purchase categories like hardware and entertainment, as well as bills.

    The card also offers Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty and the opportunity to perform a balance transfer that will be subject to only 1.95%* interest for six months.

    Perhaps the strongest selling point of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is the qualifying requirements.

    While many money-back cards often come with unattainably high application standards, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card provides a refreshingly short list of qualifiers that provides an excellent opportunity for modest earners.

    Applicants must make an income of $12,000 at minimum, be of the age of majority, and be free of bankruptcies from the past seven years.

    *Rates current as of July 2021

  • Tangerine World Mastercard
  • Tangerine's other flagship credit card is the World Mastercard. This card is similar to the Money-Back Credit Card at first glance, offering up to 2%* cashback on a widely encompassing array of categories, also for an annual rate of <$0*.

    However, the card’s perks are where it shines, offering many services that are usually only reserved for cards with expensive annual fees, including Mastercard Travel Rewards, rental car collision and loss insurance, mobile device insurance, and access to coveted Mastercard airport experiences.

    This card gives customers the option to choose two favourite categories to earn 2%* cash (three if they are depositing their rewards into a Tangerine savings account).

    New cardholders also can do a balance transfer and with 1.95%* interest for the first six months. However, to enjoy this card, applicants must have an annual income level of at least $60,000.

    *Rates current as of July 2021

    Simplii Financial: Credit Cards

    One of the biggest perks of an online-only bank is a low fee or no-fee credit card. Unlike large banks, which have to charge annual credit card fees to supplement operational costs, online-only banks benefit from low overhead costs thanks to a lack of brick and mortar stores. This attempt to pass savings onto the customer is very apparent in Simplii Financial’s offerings:

  • Simplii Financial No-Fee Visa
  • Simplii Financial’s Cash-Back Visa is a rare instance of a reward card without an annual fee and it’s not just free in the first year as a promotion.

    There’s never an annual fee for both the primary card user and three additional cardholders, a deal almost unheard of in the cashback credit card world.

    The Simplii Financial No-Fee Visa offers a market-high 4%* cashback rate on all restaurant, bar, and coffee shop purchases (with a fair maximum earning ceiling of $5,000 per year).

    The current signing bonus allows users to make 9.99%* interest on the first $500 of their purchases within the first four months.

    These high rates don’t apply to any other categories. Still, cardholders can also enjoy a cashback rate of 1.5%* on any purchases made at a gas station, pharmacy, or grocery store, with an earning maximum of $15,000 annually.

    All other purchases will come with 0.5%* cashback, but there is no yearly maximum applied to this spending category.

    This card also comes with purchase security and extended protection insurance, which doubles a manufacturer’s warranty for up to one year. Cardholders also have the option of opting for CIBC payment protector insurance and CIBC travel medical insurance.

    The qualifying requirements for the No-Fee Visa include a minimum income of $15,000 and no history of bankruptcies within the past seven years. Applicants must also be of the age of majority and a resident of Canada.

    Our Final Thoughts

    Simplii Financial and Tangerine are both equally exceptional options for online banking, which is why we’re calling this spar a tie.

    And since they’re both entirely free to use, there’s no reason you can’t get both.

    You can use both accounts for a different reason: one for daily banking and one for long saving and investing.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, both Simplii Financial and Tangerine are digital banks and completely operate online.

    There are no physical branches, which allows both banks to provide low-cost services to their customers through online and telephone banking.

    Without the overhead of physical branches, online banks like Simplii and Tangerine can provide their services at no cost, unlike major banks, whose overhead and expenses are much higher.

    Yes! Both Tangerine and Simplii offer registered accounts, including the Registered Retirement Savings Plan.

    Some additional RRSP options include RRSP mutual funds and RRSP GICs, both offered by Simplii and Tangerine.

    Registered accounts like RRSPs and TFSAs allow Canadians to maximize their earning potential while minimizing their tax burden.

    The Tangerine World Mastercard is a no-brainer choice for travel. Not only is it accepted in over 210 countries, but it also comes with great travel perks such as access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots, rental car collision and loss damage insurance, and access to Mastercard Airport Experiences. Still, it also comes packed with fantastic perks that will stick with you as you galavant around the globe, making it the best credit card for international travel among both Tangerine and Simplii Financial (it’s in the name, after all).

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