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Although it can be tempting to spend it, having some cash saved up is always a great thing, especially if you’re storing it in an affordable savings account with a good rate. Luckily, there are plenty of financial institutions that can provide you with this type of account. For example, Tangerine offers some of the best savings accounts in Canada.

Who Is Tangerine?

Formerly named ING Direct, Tangerine is a digital banking platform that was bought by Scotiabank in 2012. While they don’t have physical branches like normal banks (save for a few Tangerine Cafés and pop-up locations in major cities), they’re well known for their excellent customer service and are one of the most popular online banks in Canada. 

Types of Tangerine Savings Accounts

As a client of Tangerine, there are five different kinds of savings accounts you can open:

Savings Account

If you’re looking for simple and traditional, you can’t go wrong with the regular Tangerine Savings Account, which has zero monthly fees or minimum balance limit, as well as:

  • A standard interest rate of 0.70%
  • No extra services charges  
  • Periodic bonuses and promotions 

Tax-Free Savings Account

Like the regular savings account, a Tangerine TFSA comes with no fees or minimum balance. However, you must be at least 18 years old to sign up. Other features include:

  • Tax-free withdrawals and returns (if you stay within your contribution limit)
  • An interest rate of 0.70%
  • Yearly contribution limit of $6,000 (limits are set by the government) 
  • Total contribution limit of $81,500 (as of January 2022) 

RSP Savings Account

The Tangerine Retirement Savings Plan Account is another free account with no balance limits and a 0.70% interest rate. balance. With it, you also get these benefits:

  • Tax-sheltered contributions that can be deducted from your taxable income
  • Contributions aren’t subject to tax until you withdraw funds
  • Option to split your income with a Spousal RSP Account
  • Annual RRSP contribution limit of 18%, to a maximum of $29,210 (as of 2022)  

US$ Savings Account

Do you frequently earn US Dollars? If so, the Tangerine US$ Savings Account is also free and comes with zero minimum balance and a rate of 0.10%. Other features include:

  • No unfair services charges or fees to deposit USD
  • Similar bonus prizes and promotions as all Tangerine Savings Accounts
  • Current US exchange rates:
    • 1.301 for Buying
    • 1.256 for Selling

RIF Savings Account

When you turn 71, the government requires you to withdraw all the funds in your RRSP, transfer them to an RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund), buy an annuity (a fixed payment plan) or use a combination of those options to close out your account. 

The Tangerine RIF Savings Account allows you to store RRSP funds, as long as you make mandatory minimum withdrawals each year. You also get the following:

  • An interest rate of 1.05% 
  • Zero fees or monthly balance 
  • Funds are tax-sheltered until you make your minimum yearly withdrawal

Additional Features Of Tangerine Savings Accounts

As you can see, the best thing about all Tangerine savings accounts is that none of them involve any service fees or minimum monthly balance requirements. If you open your savings account with Tangerine, you’ll have access to these features too:

  • Automatic Savings Program (ASP) – This program allows you to set your own savings goals and transfer money between your Tangerine accounts accordingly. 
  • Financial Tools – The Tangerine platform has lots of other great features, such as a Savings Calculator, a Mortgage Amount Estimator and a Tax Support Centre.
  • Quality Service – As mentioned, Tangerine’s toll-free customer service is said to be some of the best in Canada. Plus, their everyday banking line operates 24/7.
  • Other Products – Holding a balance of at least $250,000 in a Tangerine savings or investment account will help you qualify for their exclusive World Mastercard.      

Overview Of Tangerine Savings Accounts 

Account TypeInterest Rate Main Features
Savings Account1.00No fees or monthly balance requirements 
Tax-Free Savings Account0.70%– Tax-free withdrawals and returns
– Annual contribution limit of $6,000 to a total of $69,500 (as of 2022) 
RSP Savings Account 0.70%– Tax-sheltered retirement contributions
– Split income with Spousal RSP Account
– Annual RRSP deduction limit of 18% to a total of $29,210 (as of 2022)
US$ Savings Account0.10%– Free USD deposits and returns
– USD Exchange Rates: 1.301 for buying and 1.256 for selling
RIF Savings Account1.05%Tax-sheltered retirement contributions until yearly minimum withdrawal is due

Advantages Of Choosing A Tangerine Savings Account

Let’s take a look at some of the things that make Tangerine savings accounts popular:

  • No Monthly Fees or Services Charges – Essentially, if you’re willing to do the majority of your banking and saving online, Tangerine allows you to do it for free.
  • Unlimited Transactions – Some savings accounts have a set number of monthly transactions or will charge you per action, this isn’t the case with Tangerine. 
  • Decent Interest Rates – Tangerine Savings Accounts also feature higher rates than most other bank accounts, even those offered by Canada’s Big Five banks (TD, RBC, etc.). 
  • Good Exchange Rates – Compared to other currency conversion services in North America, Tangerine US$ Savings Accounts have lower exchange rates too.
  • No Monthly Balance Limit – You can deposit any sum into your account and earn interest on it, while other banks charge fees if you don’t hold a set balance.
  • Special Offers – Various promotions may be available, like a welcome bonus of 2.1% for the first 5 months and extra cash for successfully referring new clients. 
  • ATMs – After you open your Tangerine savings account, you’ll have access to more than 3,500 ATMs across Canada through the Scotiabank ABM network.
  • Online Banking – Since Tangerine is an online bank, you can perform pretty much any transaction using your mobile device or from the comfort of home.
  • Automate Savings – Using Tangerine Recipes, you can mix and match up to 7 automatic savings options, then sit back and watch your account balance grow.

Disadvantages Of Choosing A Tangerine Savings Account

It’s equally important to understand the downsides of Tangerine savings accounts:

  • Low Rates – Although Tangerine offers decent base rates, they may not be as good as other online banks. Their rates have even gone down in recent years.  
  • Hard to Move Money – Some clients have complained about long transfer times or complications with the process. Plus, there are fewer places to withdraw cash.

How To Open A Tangerine Savings Account 

Another positive thing about Tangerine is how easy it is to open a savings account. All you have to do is go to their website, click “Sign Me Up” and follow the prompts. The whole procedure should only take a few minutes. During it, you’ll have to input your:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number(s)
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Employment Details

To confirm your identity properly, Tangerine will ask for a piece of government photo ID as well, such as your passport, driver’s license, or health insurance card.

Tangerine Savings Account FAQs

Are savings accounts at Tangerine safe?

Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest financial institutions, so they have numerous security measures, like 128-bit encryption, online PINs and DoubleSafe. They’re also a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, so all savings accounts are eligible for up to $100,000 of CDIC insurance (per category).

Are Tangerine savings accounts free?

A Tangerine savings account is basically free, as long as you use it regularly. While it doesn’t cost anything to open your account or make transactions, you may get charged an Inactivity Fee if you don’t make at least one transaction per 12 months. 

Do I need my SIN to open a Tangerine savings account?

Yes, your Social Insurance Number is one of the main elements you’ll be asked for when signing up for any type of bank account with Tangerine.  

How is interest paid out through a Tangerine savings account?

Once you start making deposits into your Tangerine savings accounts, your interest is calculated daily on your total closing balance, then paid out on a monthly basis. Watch out, as rates are per annum (APR) and may increase or decrease without notice.

Final Thoughts

Tangerine bank accounts come with a lot of conveniences and benefits that make them great for anyone who’s looking to bank (almost) exclusively online. That said, there are at least a couple of reasons why a Tangerine savings account might not be right for everyone, so make sure to speak with a customer service representative if you have any questions or inquiries.

Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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