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Tangerine Visa Debit vs. EQ Bank Card 2023: Which is Better?

The EQ Bank Card is the latest prepaid card in Canada. Its features are similar to a debit card, giving users access to ATMs, free transactions online and in-store, and unlimited reloads from the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.

The Tangerine Debit card is a must-have if you have a Tangerine Chequing Account. Like the EQ Bank Card, this debit card offers access to ATMs and unlimited transactions.

However, it does not provide cash-back rewards or waive foreign currency transaction fees when you spend abroad. These are areas where the EQ Bank Mastercard shines.

This Tangerine Debit Visa vs. EQ Bank Card comparison looks at how they work, their cash back offerings, savings rates, fees, perks, and downsides.

Tangerine vs. EQ Bank Overview


Tangerine Bank is an online bank owned by Scotiabank. It has a no-fee chequing account that’s accessible through its Visa debit card. This bank also offers savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards, and investments like GICs.

Tangerine has more than 2 million clients and over $40 billion in assets.

EQ Bank

EQ Bank is an online bank owned by Equitable Bank, the seventh-largest bank in Canada. It has over $7 billion in deposits and serves more than 290,000 customers.

EQ Bank offers various accounts, including savings accounts, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), international money transfers, and mortgages.

Tangerine Visa Debit vs. EQ Bank Card

FeaturesEQ Bank CardTangerine Visa Debit
Monthly fee$0$0
Sign up bonusNoneNone
# of transactionsUnlimitedUnlimited
Cash back rewards0.50% cash back on all purchasesNone
Savings interest rate2.50%Up to 0.10%
ATM fees in CanadaNone (reimburses fees charged by other ATM operators)$1.50 at non-Scotiabank ATMs
FX fees0%2.5%
Credit buildingNoNo
Learn moreApply

Tangerine Visa Debit Explained

Tangerine Chequing Account

Tangerine logo transparent-img

No monthly account fees

Unlimited free transactions

Up to 0.10% interest on balance

Access to a no-annual-fee credit card

The Tangerine Visa Debit was launched in 2020 and offers these benefits:

No monthly fee: This debit card is tied to your Tangerine Chequing Account, which has no monthly maintenance fees.

Free ATM Withdrawals: You can use the card to make free withdrawals at over 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs in Canada and make payments wherever the Visa network is accepted. For out-of-network ATMs, fees apply as follows:

  • Non-Scotiabank ATM in Canada: $1.50
  • Non-Global ATM Alliance ATM abroad: $3

Mobile Wallets: You can use your Tangerine Card to easily make payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Other benefits of the Tangerine Chequing Account and Visa Debit are:

  • Visa Debit Zero Liability protection against unauthorized use
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • Free Interac e-Transfers and debit transactions
  • Access to overdraft protection for a fee
  • Earn up to 0.10% interest on your balance
  • Available in Quebec

EQ Bank Card Explained

EQ Bank Card

eq bank card-img

Earn 2.50%* interest on your balance

0.50% cash back on purchases

No monthly account or FX fees

Free ATM withdrawals

The EQ Bank Mastercard was recently launched and offers these benefits:

No monthly fee: There is no account maintenance fee, and you can sign up for a free card by opening an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. If you already have an eligible EQ Bank account, you can order a card from your account dashboard.

Earn Interest: Your card balance earns interest at a rate of 2.50%, which is one of the highest savings rates in Canada. This interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

Earn Cashback: The EQ Bank Card pays 0.50% cash back on all purchases. This makes it a top no-fee cash back card.

Free ATM Withdrawals: You can make withdrawals at any ATM in Canada. If the ATM provider charges a fee, EQ Bank will reimburse you within ten (10) business days.

No foreign Currency Conversion fee: The foreign currency conversion charge that costs up to 3% is waived when you make payments in a different currency. You also earn cash back on foreign currency purchases.

Unlimited reloads: This reloadable prepaid card can be used indefinitely. To load funds, simply transfer cash from your savings account.

Note: This card is not available in Quebec.

Tangerine Visa Debit vs EQ Bank Card Application

To apply for the Tangerine Visa Debit Card, you must first open a Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account. You must also be at least 16 years old and be a resident of Canada.

To apply for the EQ Bank Card, you must first open a free EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and be the age of the majority in your province of residence, i.e. at least 18 or 19 years old.

Tangerine vs EQ Bank Fees

EQ Bank and Tangerine do not charge monthly or annual fees. That said, you may incur these charges as a Tangerine Bank client if you conduct some transactions:

  • Canadian drafts: $10 each
  • Non-sufficient funds: $45
  • Non-Scotiabank ATM transactions: $1.50 to $3
  • 1-year inactivity fee: $10
  • Foreign currency conversion fee: 2.50%
  • Overdraft fee: $5 per use (up to a maximum of once monthly); 19% overdraft interest
  • 2-9 year dormancy fee: $20 per year

EQ Bank Card vs. Tangerine Visa Debit: Which is Better?

For a very competitive savings rate, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account does better than the equivalent Tangerine Savings Account. And if you have this EQ Bank account, getting the EQ Bank Card makes perfect sense.

The EQ Bank Card wins this comparison overall with no maintenance fees, 0.50% cash back on all purchases, high-interest savings rates on balances, no ATM fees, and no FX fees when spending abroad.

If you want a chequing account to replace your traditional bank account, the Tangerine Chequing Account is an excellent choice, with its unlimited free transactions and Interac e-Transfers. That said, EQ Bank’s hybrid savings account offers these same features, except for issuing paper cheques.

If you reside in Quebec, the EQ Bank Card is not yet available there, whereas Tangerine is present.

So, which is better? It depends on your needs. In my opinion, the EQ Bank Card offers better value.

Related: Bridgewater Bank Review.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

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 is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

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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