With the transition to Tangerine from ING Direct now complete, it's time for me to revisit some of the pros and cons to no-fee banking that I posted in my original ING Thrive Chequing review, as things have changed in the Canadian banking landscape since I wrote the post. From here on out, let's just call it Tangerine to avoid confusion.
First of all, I have to say that I have been very happy with the service I have received from Tangerine since I started. I can deposit money at any credit union, they allow me up to $100 in advance of the deposit clearing, I can now also deposit cheques by smart phone (the first bank to allow this in Canada), and I can transfer money easily between Tangerine accounts, but also via Interac email transfer, which I find extremely handy. Some of these features did not exist when I originally enrolled, but have been added over time, thus increasing my overall satisfaction with the virtual bank.
Are there really no fees?
More-or-less, there are no fees with a Tangerine account. The only time I have encountered fees have been interest charged on overdraft over 30 days, and fees for email transfers. The first 50 cheques are free, and otherwise you pay like a normal bank. You also pay for bank drafts if you need them. Otherwise, I have received timely deposits in my accounts for interest earned.
How do you use your Tangerine Chequing account?
Well, with no fees for interac transactions or cheques, I primarily use the account to do my discretionary spending. I use it as a way to rearrange and organize my money, and then only carry the Tangerine debit card. This allows me to only access money I have allocated for spending, without having to pay fees to use it. I can debit my money away at cafes, or wherever, to my hearts content. My other money is tucked away in a Vancity Credit Union account for longer haul savings, and I can't touch it, or impulse spend it. I could use a credit card for this, but I only use that really for business purchases and big ticket items. I know I could be earning points, but I would rather spend money I actually have. Points can be a trap that get you to spend more money if you're too focused on them.
Anyway, see my pros and cons list below, and if you’re convinced sign up for the Tangerine Chequing account using my Orange Key 41678202S1 to receive $25 in your new chequing account (sometimes there are bonuses of $50, this Orange Key still applies). I know that’s a bit blatant, but Tangerine really does have a good bonus offer, and I write this blog for free, so it’s a small way of contributing to the cause. You really can’t go wrong. After all, it’s free!
Pros and Cons
- No fees for daily banking and interac purchases
- Withdraw money without fees via any Exchange Network (mostly credit unions) or Scotiabank ATM
- Worldwide free ATM withdrawals at any Global ATM Alliance machine in 40 different countries
- Even the fees for non-network international withdrawals are totally reasonable ($2.50 per transaction last I checked)
- Automatic overdraft protection up to $250 with no fees if you pay back within 30 days (Whoops! Protection)
- Deposit cheques by smart phone by taking a picture
- Bank drafts available by online order
- No traditional branch support (phone, online, or Tangerine Cafe locations only)
- Deposits are held for 5 days until you have had a minimum of 9 successful deposits over $100. Then you get a $500 automatic exemption, and sometime after that $1000. Because it is an entirely web and machine based system, there is no way around this, and no teller discretion. Basically you can’t have a relationship with a website.
- I'm struggling to come up with any big cons...even if you don't use the account it's basically free
Thank you also to those who read this and used my Orange Key to open an account. It’s much appreciated and helps to fuel my coffee habit! Not only do I receive a bonus, but you also receive a bonus of $25 if you use my Orange Key 41678202S1 and make a deposit of $100 or more. Sometimes the bonus on both sides is increased to $50, so even better!
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.