Tangerine Chequing Account Review

Use Orange Key 48275703S1 to receive a $50 bonus when opening a new account until January 31st, 2018. Otherwise the usual bonus of $25 applies. (more info).

Update December 2, 2017
Tangerine continues to improve their offering with new reporting tools. The insights dashboard allows a quick overview of where you are spending your money, and also allows you to customize transaction categories. Features like this are available with Mint.com, but for me this is a much tidier way of looking at my month-to-month expenses. The insights are also well categorized making it easy to use.

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While I have waffled a bit on having a second chequing account the one thing that it has proved extremely useful for is money management. I like to use debit primarily because the money you spend is gone. There's no credit card bill to pay off later and having that second account allows me to put the discretionary portion of my income somewhere that I can manage separately. 

Update January 2017
I continue to use my Tangerine account as a free secondary account in which to manage my daily spending money. Because of it's unlimited Interac debit transactions I am able to use it for as many small purchases as I want without incurring additional fees. The recent introduction of the tap payment function has also had me using this card more. I keep only a relatively small amount in the account so in the event that I lose it or it is stolen my losses would be minimal. It is also a great way to create weekly or monthly spending budgets in a separate account. This is kind of like the cash envelope strategy updated to modern times. 

Lastly, the referral program for Tangerine is excellent. Typically a referral earns both parties $25, but at certain times of the year it can be as much as $50. Just use Orange Key 48275703S1 to receive a bonus in your account upon setup. This also helps me run this blog or fund my caffeine habit. Thank you in advance!


Original Post: April 14, 2014

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.


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.


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 48275703S1 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!



  • 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 48275703S1 and make a deposit of $100 or more. Sometimes the bonus on both sides is increased to $50, so even better!