It’s never easy to choose between two banks. In this matchup, I’ll compare the fairly new and completely online Tangerine with one of the oldest credit unions in Canada – Desjardins.
Both offer similar services, but the small differences between them make one stand out. So, how did I make my decision?
I compared the following three categories and came up with a winner from each.
- Accounts and Features
After reviewing my analysis, you should be able to figure out which one works best for you.
Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank and one of Canada’s most popular online banks. With a no-fee chequing account and competitive interest rates, Tangerine helped pave the way for a new banking experience.
The company offers a wide range of financial products for all needs. In addition to chequing accounts, you can open savings accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, mortgages, lines of credit, and more.
Because Tangerine doesn’t have brick-and-mortar buildings, they save money on overhead costs. Those savings get passed down to the customer in the form of higher interest rates and no-fee accounts.
- No monthly fees for chequing accounts and free Interac e-Transfers.
- Higher interest rates than big banks.
- Access to over 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs.
- No brick and mortar branches
Desjardins is the oldest credit union in Canada. It’s popular in Quebec and Ontario but doesn’t really have a presence outside of those two areas.
Desjardins offers many financial products – chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and insurance. In addition, they have a whole online investment brokerage, Disnat, where you can trade stocks and ETFs.
One of the big advantages to Desjardins is that it’s a one-stop shop. You can have a chequing and savings account as well as your investments and insurance all in one place.
- Bilingual services since the majority of their customers live within Quebec.
- Lower fees than banks since it is a credit union.
- Have all your financial accounts in one place.
- Limited service outside of Quebec and Ontario
- Higher fees than online banks
Tangerine vs Desjardins – Benefits Comparison
Finding out which financial institution comes out on top requires comparing its account features, fee structure, and ease of access.
Both companies feature a variety of different accounts. But does either one have the edge? Let’s find out.
Most big bank accounts in Canada come with monthly account fees and low-interest rates. Tangerine changed all that – their no-fee chequing account is one of the most popular options throughout the country.
Here’s what else they have to offer.
- No monthly fees
- Unlimited debit transactions
- Interest earnings on your chequing account balance
- Cheque deposit via the mobile app
Tangerine offers a wide array of savings accounts. One is sure to fit your needs.
Tangerine offers Tax-Free Savings Accounts, and Retirement Plans that have low fees and are easy to use. You can pick from a range of different portfolios.
Whether you’re looking for ETFs or a socially responsible fund, Tangerine has something to fit your financial goals.
There are two credit card options to choose from. Both offer cashback rewards and have no annual fee. The World Mastercard has a few extra perks, including mobile device insurance, Global Wi-Fi, and car rental insurance.
Tangerine offers fixed and variable-rate mortgages, lines of credit, and home equity loans. Rates are competitive, and the whole application process starts and finishes online.
Desjardins features similar accounts, but are there any major differences? Here’s a breakdown of what they have to offer.
There are three different chequing accounts to choose from at Desjardins. The basic personal chequing account, a U.S.
Build-Up account to keep your U.S. dollar transactions in, and a High-Yield account where you can earn a higher rate of interest based on your balance.
Similar to Tangerine, Desjardins offers a regular savings account, as well as a high-yield one.
There’s also a Tax-Free Savings Account and an Enhanced Investment Account that helps grow your money through flexibility and high returns.
Desjardins has its own self-directed investment platform, Disnat, as well as a full-service brokerage for customers looking for a more hands-off approach.
Desjardins offers a slew of credit cards – many featuring cashback rewards, low to no annual fees, travel rewards, and mobile device insurance.
In addition to the standard personal loans, mortgages, and lines of credit, Desjardins also offers student financing and vehicle loans.
Desjardins also offers a whole branch of insurance services. You can get coverage for just about anything from your car and home to your life and motorcycle.
Banks always claim they have the lowest fees around, but when you actually dig into the nitty-gritty, which is the better deal? Let’s find out.
Tangerine built its brand on its no-fee chequing account and tries to make banking as affordable as possible.
There are very limited fees associated with the chequing account, mainly just NSF charges and withdrawals from ATMs not in the Scotiabank network.
The savings account is similar. There are no fees or service charges and no minimum balance required.
Both of Tangerine’s featured credit cards have no annual fees. However, to qualify for the World Mastercard, you need an income of $60,000 or more.
Desjardins offers four different fixed-rate monthly plans. Each costs a monthly fee ranging from $3.95 to $21.95. Paying this gives you access to a certain number of free transactions depending upon your chosen plan.
For example, the lowest level basic plan allows its users 12 monthly transactions for the cheapest price. Customers can save on the fee by maintaining a minimum balance of $1,500.
Going over your allotted number of transactions results in additional fees, which could end up being costly.
As for savings accounts, the High-Interest Savings Accounts is one of your best bets if you’re looking for no fees. This account includes no monthly fees and lets you earn interest on your overall balance.
The regular savings account includes monthly services charges unless it’s a transaction from another Desjardins account.
The variety of credit cards you can get through Desjardins really guarantees that there’s one right for you. While some have annual fees, there are at least four that don’t, making it easy to choose an affordable option.
The next category to compare focuses on access. How easy is it for customers to access their accounts, ATMs, and customer service?
Tangerine is a full-fledged online bank, meaning they don’t have any branches you can physically visit.
There is a Tangerine Cafe located in Toronto where staff can help you out while answering any questions, but that’s a limited option if you don’t live in the area.
Otherwise, you can fulfill all your banking needs online and even contact customer service through phone, email, or online chat.
In addition, you have access to over 3,500 ATMs through the Scotiabank network. All of those are free of charge.
With branches located throughout Quebec and Ontario, you can visit a local office in person for all your financial needs.
However, the downside to banking with Desjardins is that they’re only available in those two areas. If you move or live outside the area, access to a local office is nonexistent.
Members can use online or telephone banking, if they wish, to keep their accounts. Also, because the financial institution is part of the EXCHANGE Network, its customers can access ATMs throughout the world.
Overall Verdict – Tangerine vs Desjardins
While both offer similar services, the edge goes to Tangerine. They offer no-fee chequing and savings accounts and have ATMs located throughout the country.
Desjardins charges monthly fees for similar services, and although they have in-person branches, they’re only available throughout Quebec and Ontario.
- You’re looking for no-fee banking.
- You aren’t concerned with visiting local branches.
For more information, visit Tangerine’s website.
- You live in Quebec and value in-person service.
- You’re looking for a one-stop shop. You can have savings and chequing accounts, an investment portfolio, and all your loans and credit cards at one institution.
For more information, visit Desjardins’ website.
There are pros and cons to each bank, but Tangerine edges out Desjardins in our comparison. It’s hard to top their no-fee cost structure. Plus, customers can use any of Scotiabank’s ATMs located throughout the country.
Ultimately, the decision on where to bank will come down to what’s most important to you and how cost-effective it is.