2-star brokerage rating

Tangerine Investing Review

Tangerine Investments review, brokerage rating for 2020. Is it good firm? Stock trading fees. Tangerine RRSP, RRIF, TFSA account investment cost, minimums, and ETFs.

Tangerine Bank Investment Accounts Overview

Tangerine ( is an online Canadian bank providing a range of financial services including banking, credit cards, mortgages, borrowing and investments. Tangerine was launched in 1997 as ING DIRECT Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Netherlands-based ING Group. In 2012 ING DIRECT Canada was acquired by Scotiabank and one year later was renamed to Tangerine.

The focus of this review will be on the Investment Accounts offered by Tangerine but it's worth highlighting some of the key features of their other service offerings:

Bank accounts: Tangerine, unlike its closest competitor President's Choice Financial, offers both personal and business banking options. In terms of personal accounts, Tangerine offers a fee-free interest-bearing Chequing Account and a high-interest Savings Account. Savings Accounts are available for both Canadian and US dollar deposits. In terms of business accounts, Tangerine currently only offers a fee-free Business Savings Account. Business chequing, it is assumed, would be carried out at another bank, with the linked Tangerine Business Savings Account used for excess funds (so that they can accrue interest while not in use). Business Savings accounts are also available for both Canadian and US dollar deposits. Savings rates at Tangerine tend to be quite attractive relative to its nearest competitors. This, combined with no-fee daily banking makes Tangerine a prime choice for online banking in Canada.

Credit card: Tangerine offers a Money-Back MasterCard® credit card, with no annual fee. The card offers 2% unlimited cash back on selected items, 1% on others. Money-Back Rewards can be be applied towards your credit card balance or deposited directly to your Tangerine Savings Account. The card has a 1.5% foreign conversion fee (lower than the 2 - 2.5% that's typical of most Canadian credit cards) and can be registered in your Apple® Wallet app for use with Apple Pay.

Mortgages: Tangerine offers a range of portable Fixed and Variable Rate mortgages. Fixed Rate mortgage terms on offer range from 1 to 10 years, with correspondingly different interest rates, all of which are clearly published on their website. In terms of Variable Rate mortgages, Tangerine currently only offers a 5-year variable product. One interesting feature associated with all of these mortgages is Tangerine's so-called 25/25 prepayment option: the ability to increase your mortgage payments each year by up to 25% of the original payment amount and to make lump sum payments of up to 25% of the original mortgage amount – at any time and with no penalty.

Borrowing: Tangerine offers a Home Equity Line of Credit at an interest rate equal to Tangerine Prime + 0.65%, with actual rates clearly displayed on their website. They also offer a flexible repayment RSP Loan product, which is offered at a very attractive interest rate – if you're borrowing to invest in a Tangerine-based RSP. (A much higher, unsecured rate applies otherwise.)

Tangerine Investment Account Types

Tangerine offers three types of investment accounts. The first of these covers their registered accounts, which include Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) and Retirement Income Fund (RIF) accounts. The second type covers their tax-free accounts; namely, their Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). The third type covers non-registered investment accounts. In each case – registered, tax-free or non-registered – the customer may hold one of three types of instruments: cash, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and Tangerine Investment Funds.

Tangerine Investing Review

In each of these account types cash (Canadian dollars only) is held in a Savings Account which earns interest at a rate comparable to a typical high-interest savings account. GICs are available in term lengths from 90 days to 5 years, with correspondingly different interest rates (all clearly advertised on the website). The Tangerine Investment Funds on offer include 6 index-based portfolio funds which provide different allocations across Canadian Bonds, Canadian Stocks, Canadian Dividend Equity, US Stocks, US Dividend Equity, International Stocks and International Dividend Equity. Portfolio profiles range from Balanced Income to Equity Growth. Tangerine provides access to a Portfolio selector tool (which helps one select a particular portfolio based on risk tolerance, investment objectives and investment time horizon) and a Mutual Fund benchmarking tool to help you decide which portfolio best suits your needs.

Tangerine Investing Pricing and Fees

TFSA, RSP and RIF Savings Accounts are all free of fees and service charges and require no minimum balances. Each of these accounts also provides an Automatic Savings Program for making regular payments. With TFSA accounts, maximum dollar deposit limits are defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and, for 2020, is set at $5,500. As a qualifying TFSA, any interest earned is tax-free and no tax is due upon withdrawal of any balance from the account. Contributions are not tax-deductible, so the amount invested is after-tax income. Money may be withdrawn at any time without penalty and re-contributed in the following or future years, up to one's personal contribution limit (as determined by the CRA). Standard and any special/bonus interest rates offered on any of Tangerine's investment Savings Accounts are clearly advertised on the website and continually updated. GIC investment accounts (registered, tax-free or non-registered) are also free of fees or service charges.

Each of the Tangerine Funds that are available for purchase has an associated annual Management Expense Ratio (MER). At present the MER fee for each of the 6 available funds is 1.07% - regardless of whether they're in a registered, tax-free or non-registered account. This rate is competitive relative to most other mutual funds in Canada. Regular automatic payments can also be set up for ongoing contributions to RSP, TFSA and non-registered Investment Fund accounts.

Tangerine's 1.07% rate and few mutual funds choices compares poorly to Canada's top robo-investing service, WealthSimple, that charges 0% for first $5,000 and 0.5% thereafter fee.

Tangerine Funds Investing

Platforms and Account Access

Tangerine provides both a website ( and a mobile app called Tangerine Mobile Banking (App Store and Blackberry World), Tangerine Banking (Google Play) or Tangerine (Microsoft Store). The user interface of the website is very clean, modern, well laid out, easy to navigate and highly usable. Information about all accounts held is readily available – be they banking, mortgage, borrowing or investment accounts. Fund transfers between any accounts held (subject to the usual constraints in terms of what is legally permitted) is straightforward. Deposits – to all account types, including investment accounts – can be made directly via the mobile app (using the device's built-in camera to take pictures of the cheques to be deposited). The website is also fully responsive – i.e. mobile-device friendly – so one can access the site from any mobile device without installing the app. All core features for viewing, managing and opening accounts, as well as making deposits and transfers and paying bills are available via the mobile app.

Registration and initial account set up is very straightforward. The process starts online (basic online form filling steps) and is followed by a short phone call with a Tangerine Customer Support agent to confirm some of the application details.

Tangerine Brokerage Review

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Customer Service

Contact with Customer Service can be carried out via online chat, 24/7 toll-free phone, email, mail or in person at a Tangerine Café, Pop-Up Location or Kiosk. Response times are very fast and the level of service provided is very professional and helpful.

Tangerine Brokerage Review Summary

Tangerine is one of the top two online banking institutions in Canada. This coveted position is largely down to their offering so many attractive products, e.g. interest-bearing chequing accounts, fee-free business savings accounts, unlimited monthly transactions on both chequing and savings accounts, free and unlimited withdrawals from Scotiabank ATMs (and from Bank of America ATMs when withdrawing US dollars), and various other no-fee products and services. In terms of competition it provides substantially more products and services than either EQ Bank (which offers no investment accounts at present) and Zag Bank (which only offers basic cash-based GIC, RRSP and TFSA accounts). Indeed, its only true competition, with which it compares very favorably, comes from President's Choice Financial. In an online investing area low priced Questrade and WealthSimple are the major rivals.