KOHO vs. Tangerine | 2022 Comparison

KOHO and Tangerine are popular for their high interest savings accounts and other financial product offerings that help Canadians save on banking fees.

I use KOHO to earn cash back on most debit purchases and like that its new savings account offers a rate that beats the big banks.

Tangerine is my go-to for a no-fee cash back credit card, and it offers a complete suite of financial products including investments, mortgages, chequing, and more.

This Tangerine vs. KOHO comparison covers what you need to know about both financial institutions.


KOHO is a fintech company established in 2017. While it is not a ‘bank’, it offers a wide array of innovative financial products that are designed to help Canadians save money and improve their financial lives.

The company offers its prepaid debit cards via a partnership with Peoples Trust and Mastercard.

KOHO Financial Products

1. Cash back Prepaid Card: KOHO’s primary offering is a reloadable prepaid card that’s one-of-a-kind in Canada.

Using the free KOHO Mastercard, you enjoy the following benefits:

  • 0.50% cash back on all purchases
  • No monthly account fees
  • Automatic savings plan using “Roundup’
  • Extra cash back at participating retailers
  • Budgeting tool mobile app with support for Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay
  • Access to joint accounts
  • 1.20% savings interest rate
  • $20 sign-up bonus using CASHBACK promo code

You can upgrade your account to the KOHO Premium Card and take advantage of all the standard benefits plus 2% cash back on transportation, groceries, and restaurant purchases.

Premium users also get free financial coaching, price matching, and no FX fees. KOHO Premium costs $84 per year or $9 per month.

2. KOHO Earn Interest: This account pays 1.20% interest on your entire balance (both spending and savings) when you set up eligible direct deposit(s) to your account. There are no extra fees to take advantage of this high interest savings account offer.

Your funds are held at a CDIC-member financial institution and are eligible for insurance up to $100,000 per depositor.

3. Credit Building: KOHO Credit Building is an optional service that helps you to improve your credit score. This subscription service is valuable on a monthly basis at $7/month.

KOHO sends reports to the credit bureaus on your behalf, and it is possible to see significant improvements to your credit score within 6 months.

Get your free credit score here if you’d like to know what your credit rating looks like.

4. Early Payroll: For a $5 fee, you can gain instant access to $100 of your payroll and access to a financial coach for 15 days.

Alternatively, you can use the ‘free’ Early Payroll feature to access $100 up to 3 days before payday after you have set up a direct deposit.

Read my review of KOHO for more details.



Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank and one of the most popular online banks in Canada.

Tangerine Bank Financial Products

1. No fee Chequing Account: Tangerine Bank’s chequing account has no monthly fees and offers:

  • Free Interac e-Transfers and debit transactions
  • Access to 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs
  • Up to 0.10% interest rate on your balance
  • Visa Debit card
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • Supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay

2. Savings Account: This free savings account pays 1.00% interest and is available for TFSA, RRSP, and RRIF plans.

3. Credit Card: The Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard is one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards in Canada. It offers an unlimited 2% cash back on up to 3 categories of spending and 0.50% on everything else. Tangerine also offers a World Mastercard.

4. Investments: Tangerine customers can invest using its Core Portfolios, Global ETF Portfolios, and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs).

5. Loans and Mortgages: Tangerine offers RSP loans, HELOC, and mortgages.

You can also compare other loan providers for personal loan rates.

KOHO Vs. Tangerine Breakdown

While Tangerine and KOHO overlap in many areas, there are significant differences you should be aware of.

Cash back: KOHO makes it possible to earn cash back when you pay cash for purchases. If you want to avoid credit cards, a free KOHO Mastercard pays 0.50% cash back on all purchases.

When you opt for KOHO Premium, you earn up to 2% cash back.

To earn cash back with Tangerine, you will need to apply for one of its two credit cards.

Savings Interest: KOHO Save currently pays a 1.20% interest rate. Tangerine Savings has a 1.00% regular interest rate. For a slightly higher rate, you can also check out EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account (1.65%).

Chequing Account: While Tangerine has a chequing account, KOHO is more of a hybrid account with a mix of chequing and savings features. KOHO does not offer cheque books.

Convenience: Both financial institutions are fully digital and do not offer physical branches you can walk into. That said, they support Interac e-Transfers, pre-authorized debits, and direct deposits.

Tangerine customers can use Scotiabank ATMs for free, however, KOHO does not own any ATMs so you may have to pay out-of-network fees ($2-$3).

Referral Program: When you sign up for a KOHO account using a valid referral link (and promo code CASHBACK), you get a $20 welcome bonus. You can refer up to 20 friends to KOHO and earn $1,000 via KOHO’s referral program.

Tangerine’s referral program pays up to $50 per referral and you can refer up to 3 people each year.

Fees: A regular KOHO account has no fees. Subscription fees apply if you upgrade to KOHO Premium or sign up for Credit Building.

Tangerine’s savings and chequing accounts have no monthly fees. Depending on the transactions you conduct, service fees may apply (e.g., NSF, cheque book, stop payments, FX fee, drafts, etc.).

Customer Support: Tangerine’s customer service is available by phone 24/7 and chat (10am – 7pm ET on weekdays only). KOHO offers support by email and via chat in-app 7 days a week.

Are they safe? Deposits in both Tangerine and KOHO Save are eligible for CDIC protection up to $100,000 per beneficiary.

 Savings AccountsKOHO SaveTangerine Savings
Monthly fee$0$0
Savings interest rate1.20%1.00%
Free Interac e-TransfersYesN/A
Free debitsYesN/A
Credit cardsN/A2 types
Mobile appYesYes
Learn moreVisit KOHORead review

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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