Tangerine vs Simplii | Which of These Two Online Banks Is Better for You?

July 21, 2021 | Editorial Team

In a world dominated by technology and the internet, it’s no surprise that more people are choosing to bank online. Traditional banking establishments are decreasing in popularity at a rapid rate. According to a survey conducted by Yahoo Canada, 68% of Canadians perform all of their banking needs online. 63% of people also said they would choose a bank that only operates online or via a mobile app.

Switching your bank to an online one is not only more convenient, but it can also save you money. Online-only banks usually offer all the perks of a traditional account, without the high monthly fees. Online-only accounts often come with higher interest rates as well, meaning you can earn more money on your existing funds.

a person using mobile banking

The two most popular online-only banks in Canada are Simplii Financial and Tangerine. Choosing between the two can very difficult. Both offer, savings and chequing accounts, no fees, unlimited transactions and a plethora of other features.

Many Canadians are looking to make the transition from traditional banking to a digital bank. To help, we have prepared a review of the most popular online options – a Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine review. We will look at the features of each bank and all the pros and cons. Let’s take a look.

Simplii vs. Tangerine: How Do They Compare?

With the increase in popularity of online-only banking in Canada, came an increase in how many digital banks are available. Even with this increased competition, Simplii Financial and Tangerine are still considered Canada’s best online banking options. So how do you choose between the two?

Both Simplii and Tangerine offer some fantastic perks to their customers. To help you make a decision, we have prepared a head-to-head of Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine.

Feature
SimpliiTangerine
Monthly Fee $0$0
Unlimited Transactions YesYes
Sign-up bonus $200$200
Number of ATMs $4,000+$3,500+
Available Branches None4
Interac e-transfer FreeFree
E-transfers FreeFree
Cheques Unlimited Free 50 Free
Auto-deposit YesYes
Mobile App YesYes
International Transfers YesNo
Foreign ATM Fees $32.5%
Overdraft Protection Yes (Free for one day)Yes (Free up to $5,000)
Balance Requirement NoNo
Real Time Notifications NoYes
Interest Rates 0.05% – Chequing0.10% – Chequing
0.10% – Savings0.10% – Savings

Battle of the (Online) Banks: Simplii Financial vs. Tangerine Review

Simplii Financial

Simplii Financial is one of Canada’s most popular online-only banks. They are owned by CIBC so customers have access to the 4,000+ CIBC ATMs. It operates exclusively online, meaning all banking must be done online, via the mobile app or by phoning customer services.

They offer a variety of financial services, including:

  • Simplii Financial no-fee chequing account.
  • Savings accounts
  • Registered accounts offered include RRSPs and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). You can also choose Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and Mutual Funds.
  • Non registered accounts, including GICs and Mutual Funds.
  • Mortgages, credit cards and lines of credit.
  • Investment options, including General Investment Certificates (GICs) and Mutual Funds.

Simplii Financial is a great option for people who make international transfers. They also offer access to foreign currency services. They are also a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This means your funds are protected, up to $100,000.

Pros

  • No monthly or annual fees.
  • No minimum balance requirement.
  • Unlimited transactions.
  • Unlimited Interac transfers.
  • They offer a sign-up bonus of $200.
  • Receive a bonus of up to $3,000 when you switch your mortgage to Simplii.
  • You can use CIBC ATMs free of charge.
  • Recommend a friend and receive a $50 bonus.
  • A low interest rate for borrowing – including loans, mortgages and credit cards.
  • Free international money transfers.
  • The Cash Back credit card has no annual fees and offers great rewards.

Cons

  • No physical branches.
  • Interest rates on some accounts, investments and Mutual Funds are lower than average.

Tangerine

Tangerine is owned by Scotiabank. It was one of the first direct banks in Canada and is still one of Canada’s most popular options for those looking to move away from in-person banking.

Tangerine offers a wide range of financial products, including:

  • Chequing accounts.
  • Savings accounts.
  • Business bank accounts.
  • Mortgages, credit cards and lines of credit.
  • Investment Funds and GICs.
  • Registered accounts offered include RRSP Savings Account and RRIFs.
  • Non-registered investments and portfolios.

Tangerine customers have access to 3,500+ Scotiabank ABMs in Canada and 44,000 ABMs worldwide. Tangerine offers safe and secure banking. This includes security technology, identity confirmation controls and strict privacy standards. There is also 24/7 real-time monitoring of transactions.

Pros

  • No monthly account fees or annual fees.
  • No minimum balance requirement.
  • Earn an extra 10% cash-back on everyday purchases for the first two months. The cash-back offer is limited to $1,000 worth of purchases.
  • Welcome offer of $200 if you open a savings account and a chequing account.
  • Earn 2.10% interest on your savings account for the first five months.
  • Receive a cash bonus of $1,500 if you apply for an eligible mortgage.
  • There are Tangerine branches in four Canadian cities – Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
  • Interac e-Transfers.
  • Access to comprehensive account management.

Cons

  • No international money transfers or foreign currency services are included.
  • No personal or vehicle loans.
  • Fewer ATMs.

Should You Switch to Online Banking?

Many Canadians are making the switch to an online bank, and you may be considering following suit. But you may be wondering whether switching to an online bank such as Simplii Financial or Tangerine Bank is the best option for you. To help you decide, we have prepared a guide summarising the main features of digital banking.

  • Convenience

All transactions and banking activity can be conducted online or on your phone. This includes bill payments, depositing cheques and transferring money. You should also receive free Interac e-transfers with both chequing and savings accounts. All of your banking can be done with the click of a button, saving you the time and effort of going to your branch or calling your bank.

  • Low Fees

Online-only banks offer many of the same services that traditional institutions offer but with the added bonus of no monthly fees. There is also usually no minimum balance requirement. This allows you to save money.

  • Unlimited Transactions

Most online-only banks, including Tangerine and Simplii Financial, offer unlimited free transactions. You will also have unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

  • High-Interest Savings Account

Online-only banks usually offer a savings account with a higher interest rate. Both Simplii Financial and Tangerine offer high-interest savings accounts that regularly feature on lists of the best savings accounts in Canada.

  • Better Online Experience

Digital banks such as Simplii Financial and Tangerine are both online-only. For this reason, ensuring the quality of their online platform and mobile app are major focal points for both establishments. Online banks tend to exceed traditional financial institutions in the calibre of the online experience and the speed and ease of transactions and Interac e-Transfers.

a person using digital banking on tablet

Simplii vs. Tangerine: Which Bank Offers Better Interest Rates?

Savings Accounts -The basic interest rate offered by both Tangerine and Simplii for their savings accounts is the same, at 0.10%. Each bank may promote a welcome offer whereby new customers will receive a higher interest rate. However, this is likely to be for a short time period. For example, a Tangerine Savings Account currently offers a 2.10% interest rate for the first five months.

Chequing Accounts – Both Simplii Financial & Tangerine offer a no-fee chequing account. However, they offer different rates of interest for their customers. Simplii Financial’s interest rate for chequing account customers is currently set at 0.05% – regardless of the balance of your account. Tangerine offer tiered interest rates, with higher value accounts earning higher interest. Tangerine interest rates for their no-fee chequing account are currently set at:

  • Less than $50,000 – 0.01%
  • $50,000- $99,999 –0.05%
  • More than $10,000 –0.10%

So, the best interest rates depend on the value of your account. Chequing account customers with a balance less than $50,000 would earn more interest with Simplii Financial. Chequing account customers with a balance higher than $100,000 would earn more interest with Tangerine bank.

Overdraft – Both Simplii and Tangerine offer overdraft protection. Both establishments charge 19% interest on overdraft balances. However, their overdraft protection policies differ. Simplii Financial only offers overdraft protection for the same day that the account went overdrawn. After this, customers will be charged $45 + a $5 fee, as well as the 19% interest. Tangerine Bank customers have overdraft protection on their bank account, up to $5,000. They will be charged a $4.97 minimum NSF fee, plus the 19% interest.

Facade of Bank with Canada flag

The Bottom Line

Both Simplii Financial and Tangerine are fantastic options for those looking to make the transition to an online bank. Whether you are looking for a chequing or saving account, a credit card, a mortgage, or registered or non-registered investments both banks offer competitive rates and some attractive benefits to entice you.

Tangerine & Simplii Financial both offer excellent personal finance options. They can compete with the majority of personal finance options offered by traditional institutions but with no fees. saving you money overall.

Are you looking for more convenient, less time-consuming banking, with lower fees? If so, then opening an account with either Tangerine or Simplii Financial can help you to save money and time, while still receiving plenty of benefits.