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Tangerine vs. Scotiabank Review

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Tangerine and Scotiabank are two of the best banks in Canada. Yet, both are different from each other in many ways. Tangerine operates entirely online, while Scotiabank, its owner, is a traditional bank and among Canada’s biggest banks.

If you’re enticed by Scotiabank or Tangerine but are unsure of which bank to pursue, this Tangerine vs. Scotiabank comparison will guide you through the process of choosing a new bank.

Overview of Tangerine and Scotiabank

If you’re torn between Tangerine and Scotiabank, the overview of each bank below should provide a good primer and help you decide which banking institution is best suited for you.

Tangerine: Overview

Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank and has been since 2012. Before Scotiabank acquired Tangerine, it was known as ING Direct. Tangerine is an independent bank and a separate entity from Scotiabank. However, Tangerine customers can save money on withdrawals by using Scotiabank ATMs without fees. This includes access to the Global ATM Alliance.

Tangerine is an online-only bank that offers its customers all the standard bank services, including chequing accounts, registered and non-registered savings accounts, credit cards, GICs, mutual funds, mortgage borrowing options, and more.

Their business model states that they can forgo the charging of bank fees by avoiding the use of expensive brick-and-mortar branches locations. That said, Tangerine customers will have to do all of their banking online.

Scotiabank: Overview

Scotiabank is one of Canada’s “Big Five Banks” and has a presence in Canada dating back to 1832, then known as the “Bank of Nova Scotia.”

Today, Scotiabank offers all of the banking and investment products that the average Canadian needs, ranging from chequing accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards to an online brokerage, robo-advisor, and various mortgage borrowing services.

If you live in Canada, you’re likely already familiar with Scotiabank. Commonly referred to as “Canada’s most international bank”. In fact, Scotiabank pioneered the Global ATM Alliance, which allows Scotiabank customers to bank around the world without fees. Participating banking institutions include Barclay’s, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Westpac, and many more.

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: Who has the best products?

Tangerine and Scotiabank both offer similar spending, saving, investing, and borrowing products.

Let’s take a look at which bank offers the best personal finance products for Canadians.

Tangerine: Products

Tangerine offers a wide range of products, including a chequing account, various savings accounts, a business account, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), investment funds, and even two credit card options.

When Tangerine first gained popularity, the online bank was lauded for their high-interest savings accounts. Nowadays, there are many more options on the scene—but Tangerine’s offering is still notable.

Today, Tangerine Bank offers its customers other popular account types like the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

Customers also have access to mortgage options and lines of credit options.

All of this for no account minimums or monthly fees.

Scotiabank: Products

Scotiabank’s products run the gamut of what you’d expect from a traditional bank. From chequing accounts with various pricing and tiers, registered and non-registered savings accounts, and credit cards, as well as a robo-advisor and an online brokerage service.

Scotiabank also offers mortgages, loans, lines of credit, and insurance programs. This is just the personal services, too—it doesn’t even include the numerous services they offer for businesses of all sizes.

One caveat is that these all come with monthly fees and some minimum balance requirements.

The Winner

Scotiabank has to take this round due to the sheer range and versatility of its options. There is truly something for everyone, from low-fee basic accounts to wealth management options for the world’s highest earners.

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: Who has the best chequing accounts?

Tangerine and Scotiabank both offer chequing accounts that differ from each other quite significantly. Tangerine offers one chequing account, while Scotiabank offers around 6 accounts.

Learn more about which of the banks offers a chequing account that aligns best with your spending habits below.

Tangerine: Chequing Account

Tangerine’s daily chequing account offers its fair share of perks, including unlimited Interac e-transfers, unlimited debit purchases, free ATM withdrawals, and one free chequebook, all for no monthly fees or transaction limits.

Chequing account holders benefit from a hybrid account model that allows them to earn interest on their chequing account balance (up to 0.10%*, depending on their daily balance).

As of late 2020, Tangerine’s debit cards are Visa Debit cards, making Tangerine the first online bank to offer this card type.

*Rates current as of March 2023

Scotiabank: Chequing Accounts

Scotiabank offers an impressive range of chequing accounts to fit various needs and income levels, including free accounts for seniors and youth.

Regular chequing accounts range from the Basic Bank account, which comes at a low cost of $3.95* per month and comes with minimal free transactions, to the Ultimate Package with unlimited transactions and a fee of $30.95* per month (waived for daily balances over $5,000).

*Rates current as of March 2023

The Winner

Although Scotiabank does offer no shortage of bells and whistles with their chequing account options, Tangerine has to take the gold medal for this round.

While a limited number of people would likely still prefer to pay to have access to a physical bank, a no-fee online account is the way to go for most people.

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: Who has the best savings accounts?

No bank could seriously call itself a bank without at least one savings account option. Fortunately, Tangerine and Scotiabank both offer a wide variety of registered and non-registered savings account options.

Tangerine: Savings account

Tangerine is famous for its high-interest savings account that offers a standard interest rate of 1.00%*. Tangerine RRSP and TFSA savings account also offer the same interest rate.

As mentioned, this is lower than some online options but higher than what the big banks offer. Of course, in true Tangerine fashion, it comes with $0* in monthly account fees as well as a no minimum balance.

Scotiabank: Savings account

Scotiabank offers five different types of savings accounts. The most robust of these offerings is the Momentum Plus Savings account, which offers up to 5.00%* in promotional interest rates at the time of writing and regular 1.50%* interest. However, to take advantage of these rates, you’ll have to keep the money in your account for a set period of time.

The Winner

For this one, we’ll have to hand it over to Scotiabank. With a promotional rate of up to 5.00% and base regular earn rate of 1.50%, users can earn more on their savings with Scotiabank.

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: Who has the best credit cards?

Tangerine and Scotiabank offer their respective credit card options. In both cases, their offerings are among the best credit cards in Canada.

Learn more at Tangerine and Scotiabank’s credit cards below.

Tangerine: Credit cards

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rated 3.7/5 stars.

Our Review

Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

Rated 3.7/5 stars.

Our Review

Tangerine offers two credit cards: the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and the Tangerine World Mastercard. Both cards offer no annual fees and up to 2% cash back on two categories and a third category if you open a Tangerine Savings Account. All remaining purchases earn 0.5% cash back. Money-Back categories you can choose from include groceries, furniture, restaurants, and more. Where the cards differ include the minimum annual income requirement and the Mastercard benefits.

Scotiabank: Credit cards

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Rated 4.7/5 stars.

Our Review

  • Welcome Offer 10% cash-back on first 3 months (up to $2000)
  • Annual Fee $120
  • Interest Rates Purchases: 20.99%, Cash Advances: 22.99%
  • Recommended Credit 725 - 759
Scotia Momentum Mastercard

Scotia Momentum Mastercard

Rated 4.5/5 stars.

Our Review

  • Welcome Offer 7.99% on purchases for first 6 months
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Interest Rates Purchases: 20.99%, Cash Advances: 22.99%
  • Recommended Credit 760 - 900
Scotiabank AMEX

Scotiabank American Express Card

Rated 4.8/5 stars.

Our Review

  • Welcome Offer $100 (10,000 points)
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Regular APR 19.99%
  • Recommended Credit 725 - 759

The Money-Back Credit Card has a $12,000 minimum income requirement where as the World Mastercard has an $80,000 minimum income requirement. The World Mastercard also offers a variety of bonus benefits such as Mastercard Travel Rewards, a Mastercard Travel Pass, and Boingo Wi-fi.

The Winner

Scotiabank wins this round on variety alone. While many of their credit cards carry annual fees, there is no competing with the vast offerings this bank has, with a credit card for just about everyone.

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: Who should I invest with?

Tangerine and Scotiabank offers investment options for new and experienced investors. Learn more about investing options below.

Tangerine: Investing

Tangerine customers can choose from a series of balanced mutual fund portfolios made up of a blend of bonds and stocks from Canada, the United States, and the world.

Tangerine customers must invest through these portfolios and cannot purchase individual stocks or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Tangerine offers registered and non-registered investment options.

Scotiabank: Investing

Scotiabank offers standard investing account options like RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, and RDSPs. Customers can also invest with the bank through ETFs, GICs, and mutual funds.

Scotiabank offers a direct investing option called Scotia iTRADE. Scotia iTRADE is a self-directed investing program that offers a trading price of either $4.99* or 9.99$* per trade on stock, ETFs, or options. The price per trade depends on how many trades are made per month. ScotiaFunds Portfolio Solutions offer a mixture of single investments and mutual funds.

The Winner

Although we appreciate Tangerine’s simplicity, Scotiabank offers more investment options as well as piles of helpful resources for bankers who are looking to educate themselves.

Our final thoughts

There is no doubt that Scotiabank and Tangerine are both advanced banking options for Canadians. The one you choose will just depend on your values and the place you are in your life.

If you can get by with no-frills banking, no branches, and no fees, Tangerine is your choice.

If you want credit card options and suitable means of investing with great interest rates for a monthly fee, Scotiabank will be happy to serve you.

*Rates current as of April 2023

Frequently asked questions

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