It’s been almost a year since we first arrived in Canada and our free newcomer’s banking package is slowly coming to an end. With this in mind, we decided to do a bit of research to find an alternative for free banking in Canada so that we can minimize our fees!
Koho provides an online, zero-fee banking account that comes with a reloadable VISA card. It’s somewhat of a hybrid between a credit and debit card. The main difference is that unlike a credit card, you can’t borrow money. You can only use your own money and therefore there is no interest to pay. The best part, you get 0.50% cashback on all your purchases without the risk of accumulating debt. If you use the code KNOL0VLR at signup, you can earn an extra 1% cashback on all your purchases for the first 90 days of use.
Their app is user friendly and comes with some attractive features such as automating your financial saving goals. You can use their Roundup plan, where your purchases will be rounded to the nearest 1$, 2$, 5$ or 10$ (you can choose) and KOHO will keep that extra cash for you in order to reach your savings goals.
With the app, you can create custom spending categories so you know exactly how you’ve spent your money. Overall, it makes it easier to track your expenses and manage your finances.
So let’s recap all the benefits of KOHO:
- Zero annual fees
- No minimum balance
- 0.5% cash-back on all purchases
- 1% cash back bonus for 90 days with KNOL0VLR referral code
- Automated savings goals with Roundups
- Real-time spending insights
- ApplePay compatible
- Joint account option
Tangerine is a subsidiary online bank of Scotiabank. Unlike its parent bank, Tangerine offers zero-fee chequing and savings accounts with attractive high-interest rates. Zero fees mean no monthly account fees, free and unlimited debit transactions, free pre-authorized payments and free Interac e-transfers.
As a new user, you can earn up to 2,80% for the first 5 months upon the opening of your savings account. Just for a quick comparison, CIBC only offers a 0.55 % interest rate on your savings account with a minimum balance requirement of 5000$. To receive 50$ cash bonus when you sign up for Tangerine, use this code 59975031S1.
Another attractive perk of Tangerine is their Money-back credit card. You can choose up to 3 categories on which you can earn 2% cashback. All other purchases earn 0.50 % cashback. There are no annual credit card fees. In order to qualify for this credit card, you need 12 000$ annual income and to be a permanent resident in Canada. Tangerine customers can access any Scotiabank ATMs free of charge. There are few charges for certain transactions such as non-Scotiabank ATM withdrawals or overdraft fees, however, they are much lower compared to other banks.
Referral And Sign Up Bonuses
When you sign up to open your Tangerine account, you will receive an Orangekey that you can use to refer your friends and earn 50$ bonus in cash for both you and your friend. In order to earn 50$, your friend needs to sign up for an account using your Orangekey and deposit a minimum of 250$ within 60 days. Currently, there is another special bonus for opening a new account with Tangerine running until June 25, 2020, which allows you to earn an additional 200$. If you have ever thought of opening a bank account with Tangerine, now might be the best time to do that.
Besides regular chequing and savings account, Tangerine also provides retirements savings accounts such as TFSA (tax-free saving account), RSP (retirement savings plan) or RIF (retirement income fund). Similar to KOHO, Tangerine offers a joint account option too.
So let’s recap all the benefits of TANGERINE:
- No annual checking and savings account fees
- No minimum balance
- Up to 2,80% interest on funds in your Tangerine savings account (for first 5 months as a new user)
- 2% cashback on up to 3 purchase categories and 0.5% cash-back on all other purchases with Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
- 50$ bonus for opening a new account by using the Orangekey 59975031S1 at signup
- 50$ bonus for each friend referral to Tangerine
- 200$ opening account bonus until 25, June 2020. More info here.
- Mobile wallets compatible
- Online cheque deposits
- Joint account option
How do KOHO and Tangerine work?
They work exactly like any other bank account. You can add funds via Interac e-transfer or by direct deposit. Once your money is in, you can spend it on whatever you like, whether it’s paying for your bills or making purchases online or in-store. The main difference between online banks and regular brick and mortar banks is that there are no branches. This allows online banks to reduce costs which benefits clients by minimizing banking fees and offering more competitive interest rates. With this being said, Tangerine does offer the option to meet in person at selected cafes and pop-up locations in major cities across Canada. You can use any ATM for withdrawals for both KOHO and Tangerine. KOHO won’t charge you any fees, however, keep in mind that other banks might! Tangerine won’t charge you any fees when you use Scotiabank ATMs, with non-Scotiabank ATM it will cost you 1.5 $ per withdrawal + whatever the ATM provider charges. If you need any assistance with your finances, you can use their online customer support which is available 7 days a week from the comfort of your home.
Fee Structure Comparison
We have put together a quick fee comparison of KOHO, Tangerine & CIBC for your convenience.
Both KOHO and Tangerine are great free banking in Canada and are fantastic alternatives to regular brick and mortar banks. The main benefits of KOHO and Tangerine are the saving on banking fees, the high-interest saving rates, convenient customer service and bonuses for referrals.
Personally we use both KOHO and Tangerine. We use KOHO for fun personal spendings. KOHO makes it a lot easier to keep our finances in check while still enjoying cashback on our purchases. KOHO also stands out with its automatic Roundup feature which can be useful to put money aside towards specific saving goals. The downside of KOHO is they don’t offer online cheque deposits.
Tangerine satisfies most of our banking needs. The only minor setback with both KOHO and Tangerine is if you often need to deposit cash. With this being said, cash deposits nowadays are rare, so it’s not a big issue.
If you think Tangerine might be the right fit for your banking needs or as a savings account option, make sure to take advantage of a potential 250$ bonus with this Orangekey 59975031S1 at sign up. If you want to take advantage of KOHO’s 1.50% cashback for 90 days, use this referral code KNOL0VLR at sign up.
Say hello to free banking in Canada for 2020!
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