I will be moving to a new place at the end of the month and I’m re-evaluating my banking needs because of it. Currently I’m with CIBC and the only real reason why I’m with them is because they had a branch in the town where I grew up.
Like many of you, I have to pay my landlord with cheques. When I blew the dust off my old cheque book I noticed that they have an old Saskatchewan address, but the bank branch listed is still the one from my hometown! The only accurate item on it is my name. Instead of ordering new ones from CIBC, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at Tangerine.
AccessibilityI currently have a savings account with Tangerine, formerly known as ING Direct, and I left it dormant with very little money. I had plans on switching all of my banking over but I was hesitant because of the lack of ATMs (I think they had only 4 in Winnipeg at the time). Now that Tangerine is owned by Scotiabank, customers will be able to utilize their ATM network starting in June.
They don’t have any branches which concerned me at first, but looking back at my history with CIBC I realized that I only went into a branch to reset the PIN on my debit card. This can be done over the phone or online with Tangerine.
No-Fee Banking At Its Finest
This is something that Tangerine always brags about and when you think about it they have the right.
I can’t find a list of the fees for CIBC but I know there is no such thing as a free account unless you are a student or over 60 years old. Right now I’m being charged anywhere from $3.90-$6.00/month if I don’t have $1,000 in my chequing account. I am also limited to 10 free transactions per month. I’m getting better at keeping the minimum balance over $1,000 but it’s annoying to remember to do, especially when you have multiple automated bills coming out of that account.
Tangerine has a great mobile app. I do 99% of my banking online (hence the dusty cheque book) and there its possible to do just about anything from your phone these days. I love the feature where you can deposit cheques with your phone. Personally, I never remember to get to an ATM to make deposits so it saves me lot of time.
Not only is there an App, but it is an app that works well. I currently have the app for CIBC, BMO, RBC, and Tangerine. Tangerine’s app runs more smoothly and is less clunky than the others.
Tangerine has a few features that the other banks either don’t have or don’t run as well.
- Email Money to Anyone? – Tangerine has the option to email money to anyone. It takes 2-3 days as opposed to the E-Interac payment which is instant but costs $1 to do.
- Whoops! Protection – This is a nice feature that allows you to overdraw on your bank account (up to $250) for free for the first 30 days. This is much cheaper than getting nailed with a NSF fee. After 30, days they will charge you a $2.50 late fee every 30 days.
- First 50 Cheques Are Free – This allows me to pay my rent for 50 months because I don’t use cheques for anything else. Hopefully I’ll stop renting in this time. Additional cheque books can be ordered for $12.50 each.
- Email Alerts – Tangerine has email alerts for everything and they also can go right to your phone. If you want to set a minimum amount for your account an alert will let you know if you ever drop below that. Very handy if you have a joint bank account with a fiancée who likes to spend money…
- Interest – Not a huge deal breaker for me, but it is nice that Tangerine is able to pay interest on any amount of money that you have in your chequing account. It’s .25%, now but considering my CIBC “Savings Account” is only 1.05% that’s pretty good.
What I Will Use It For
Since this account is free, I’ll be using it as a chequing account to pay for all of my bills that I can’t put on my credit card such as rent or utilities. Eventually I will switch my payroll over to this account and keep $1000 in my CIBC bank account and let it sit. I have over 20 years of history with CIBC, so I am still hesitant to cancel the account at this point.
Want To Try It Out?
If you want to try it out, I encourage you to sign up! They currently have an offer where if you sign up before their deadline and deposit $250, they will pay you $50. If you use my orange key (35074375S1) we will both get $25 once you deposit $100 in your account.
What are your thoughts? Who do you bank with and why? Ever thought of dropping the big bank for an online alternative?