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EQ Bank vs Tangerine

Compare two of Canada’s most popular digital banks, EQ Bank and Tangerine, to determine the best fit for your financial situation. 

Digital banks continue to grow in popularity among Canadian consumers due to their low monthly fees, high interest rates and streamlined mobile and online apps. As two of the most popular online banks in Canada, EQ Bank and Tangerine have a lot to offer in this domain.

Learn more about the features and financial products on offer from these reputable digital banks and delve into how they compare and contrast to decide on the best fit for your unique financial situation.

EQ Bank vs Tangerine: A quick review

EQ Bank is a popular digital banking provider in Canada that has over 60,000 clients. It acts as the online banking arm of Equitable Bank, which was founded in 1970 but began offering savings products in 2013. EQ Bank offers a range of savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates. It also works with TransferWise to save you money on international money transfers. EQ doesn’t offer products such as chequing accounts or credit cards.

Tangerine is an online-only digital bank that has nearly 2 million clients and over $38 billion in managed assets. Originally called ING Direct, Tangerine was acquired by Scotiabank in 2012 and was re-labelled as Tangerine in 2014. This bank offers a wide range of financial products such as chequing and savings accounts as well as GICs, loans and mortgages. All of its accounts come with low fees and give a decent return on interest.

Why should I choose a digital bank?

Unlike brick and mortar establishments, digital banks such as EQ Bank and Tangerine operate exclusively online. This means they don’t have to pay overhead costs for rent, office supplies, in-branch personnel or other expenses.

These savings then get passed onto customers in the form of fee-free accounts, high interest rates, unlimited withdrawals and free e-transfers (among many other benefits). The only downside is that you can’t visit a physical branch in-person to do your banking.

EQ Bank vs Tangerine

Product

EQ Bank

Tangerine

Chequing accounts

  • Not available
  • No account fees
  • No transaction fees
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Free access to 3,500 ATMs
  • Overdraft protection

Savings accounts

  • No account fees
  • No transaction fees
  • Interest rate of 1.25%
  • $200,000 maximum balance
  • No account fees
  • Free transactions
  • Interest rate of 0.1%
  • Promotional rate and welcome bonus

Guaranteed investment certificates

  • 1.25% for 1 year, up to 1.25% for 5 years
  • 0.80% for 1 year, up to 1.20% for 5 years

Other products

  • GICs
  • Credit cards, mortgages, loans, GICs, mutual funds, RRSPs, TFSAs and more

Compare EQ Bank and Tangerine Savings Accounts

Name Product Interest Rate Promotional Interest Rate Min. Bal / Min. Deposit Account Fee
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
1.25%
N/A
$0 / $0
$0
Enjoy zero everyday banking fees, free transactions and no minimum balance with a Savings Plus Account from EQ Bank.
Tangerine Savings Account
0.10%
2.1%
$0 / $0
$0
Earn 2.10% interest for 5 months (up to a maximum of $1,000,000) as a new Tangerine client when you open your first savings or chequing account and use the promo code EARNMORE. Plus, get up to a $150 bonus when payroll requirements are met. Apply online by April 30, 2021.
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EQ Bank vs Tangerine: Comparison of features

Compare some of the main features for accounts offered by EQ Bank and Tangerine. This should give you a better idea of which one might be the best fit for your financial situation.

Feature

EQ Bank

Tangerine

Monthly fees

No monthly fees

No monthly fees

Interest rates

  • Chequing accounts not available
  • 1.25% for savings
  • Up to 0.1% for chequing
  • 0.1% for savings

Welcome bonus

Not applicable

Intro offer.

Debits and withdrawals

Unlimited for free

Unlimited for free

ATM withdrawals

Not available

Free from Scotiabank ATMs

Interac e-Transfers

Unlimited for free

Unlimited for free

Automatic deposits

YesYes

Overdraft protection

Not available

Yes

Global money transfers

Yes

Not available

Mobile app

YesYes

Branches

Not available

Tangerine Cafes in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Card delivery

Not available

Yes

Free cheques

Not available

Yes (50 for free)

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EQ Bank vs Tangerine: Pros and cons

EQ Bank

EQ Bank is the digital arm of Equitable Bank, which is one of Canada’s largest independent banks. It offers high-interest savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates but has a limited selection of other financial products.

Savings accounts are fee-free and come with unlimited transactions, free Interac e-Transfers, cheap global money transfers and a 1.25% interest rate. Guaranteed investment certificates offer higher interest rates than what you would get from a similar-term GIC with Tangerine.

The downside of EQ Bank is that it doesn’t offer chequing accounts or ATM withdrawals, and you won’t get a welcome bonus when you sign up. That said, this account could be a good fit for you if you want a high interest rate on your savings or you send money overseas regularly.

ProsCons
  • No monthly fees and unlimited transactions
  • Higher interest rates on savings and GICs
  • Cheap global money transfers
  • Limited selection of financial products
  • No chequing accounts
  • No ATM withdrawals
  • No welcome bonuses

Tangerine

Tangerine is owned by Scotiabank and offers a wide range of financial products, including chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, GICs and registered investment accounts (such as RRSPs, RESPs and RRIFs).

All of Tangerine’s chequing and savings accounts come with no monthly fees, unlimited transactions, free Interac e-Transfers and a welcome bonus when you sign up. You’ll also be able to withdraw cash for free from Scotiabank ATMs.

The downside of Tangerine is that you’ll get a much lower interest rate on your savings and GICs than you would with EQ Bank. That said, this bank could be a good fit for you if you’d like to open an online chequing account or you want to get a welcome bonus for signing up.

ProsCons
  • No monthly fees and many financial products available
  • Welcome bonus of up to $200 cash for chequing and savings accounts
  • Promotional rate in first five months
  • Decent network of ATMs
  • Lower interest rates on savings and GICs
  • No money transfer or foreign currency services

Tangerine vs EQ Bank: Which one should I pick?

There are a couple of main differences between EQ Bank and Tangerine that could help you decide which one is the best fit for you. These include the following:

Feature

Winner (EQ Bank vs Tangerine)

Financial products

Tangerine offers a wide range of financial products while EQ Bank only offers savings accounts and GICs.

Interest ratesEQ Bank offers much higher interest rates for its savings accounts and GICs than Tangerine.

Promo offers

Tangerine will give you an accelerated interest rate and a bonus credit when you sign up (while there’s no promo offer with EQ Bank).

International money transfers

EQ Bank provides international money transfers for a low rate (while Tangerine doesn’t have this feature).

Physical branches

Tangerine offers a couple of physical Tangerine cafe locations in major cities while EQ Bank has no branches at all.

Network of ATMs

Tangerine offers a network of ATMs while EQ Bank doesn’t seem to facilitate ATM withdrawals as part of its service.

Bottom line: EQ Bank vs Tangerine

EQ Bank and Tangerine are quite different in terms of product offerings. As a baseline, EQ Bank could be a better fit for you if you send regular money transfers overseas or you’re interested in maximizing the interest you earn on your savings or GICs. Tangerine may be a better option if you want to open an online chequing account or if you would prefer to access multiple financial products at one time from the same institution.

Frequently asked questions

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