Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: A Comparison for 2021

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: A Comparison for 2021

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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.

Table of Contents

Tangerine vs. Scotiabank: Overview

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: 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: 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 August 2021

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 August 2021

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: 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 0.10%*. 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.

*Rates current as of August 2021

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 1.80%* in promotional interest rates at the time of writing. However, to take advantage of these rates, you’ll have to keep a minimum balance of $5,000.

*Rates current as of August 2021

The Winner

Both Tangerine and Scotiabank offer outstanding savings accounts. Tangerine’s is better for savers working with a balance under $5,000, and Scotiabank offers more to savers looking beyond the $5,000 threshold, thanks to their promotional interest rates.

Tangerine vs.Scotiabank: 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 offers two credit card options: the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and the Tangerine World Mastercard.

Both allow cardholders to earn up to 2%* cash back on their daily purchases, with the World Mastercard also offering travel perks like airport lounge access and rental car insurance.

*Rates current as of August 2021

Scotiabank: Credit Cards

Scotiabank’s lengthy credit card offerings are what you’d expect from a traditional bank. This includes no-fuss student cards and robust cashback options with rates up to 10%* and the best travel cards on the market.

Of course, account holders also have the choice of the popular SCENE credit card, a Scotiabank exclusive.

*Rates current as of August 2021

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: Investing

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 standard trading price of $9.99* per trade. ScotiaFunds Portfolio Solutions offer a mixture of single investments and mutual funds.

*Rates current as of August 2021

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tangerine and Scotiabank are often confused as the same bank, but this is incorrect. Although Scotiabank wholly owns Tangerine, the banks offer two completely different services and customer experiences.

Tangerine is an online-only bank known for its no-fee banking products. It does not provide physical branches and can only be accessed online.

Scotiabank is a Big Five traditional bank that offers a wide range of banking services with fees.

With the increase in popularity of online banks, many are still wondering whether or not they are safe to use.

The answer to this question is yes! Online banking is extremely safe. Not only do online banks follow the highest standard of security features such as encryption and real-time transaction monitoring, but they also ensure that your deposits are insured like any other traditional bank.

Tangerine is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which insures deposits up to $100,000.

If you frequently travel internationally, both Scotiabank and Tangerine are great options for you. Not only do both banks offer travel-friendly credit card options, but they also grant you access to a wide range of ATMs. Scotiabank has a strong international presence with ATMs in over 40 countries worldwide. Tangerine customers can use Scotiabank ATMs at no cost.

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