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Tangerine vs. PC Financial 2023: How Do They Compare?

Tangerine Bank and PC Financial are two of the best online banks in Canada.

If you are looking to save on everyday fees, a digital bank that offers no-fee chequing is a great place to start.

If it also gives you ready access to high-interest savings and a good rewards credit card, then you may have a winner.

This Tangerine vs. PC Financial comparison covers their product offerings, fee, pros, cons, and everything you need to make an informed choice.

Tangerine vs. PC Financial

Below, I discuss each bank and how they compare or differ in the everyday banking services they offer.

This includes assessing their chequing, savings, investments, borrowing, and credit card products.

This guide also looks at their fees, security, and the conveniences you can expect when you choose either bank.

Who is Tangerine?

Tangerine Bank was initially known as ING DIRECT Canada.

After it was acquired by Scotiabank in 2012, it was rebranded and has since grown to become one of the largest virtual banks in Canada.

Tangerine offers a plethora of financial products and services including a chequing account, savings, credit cards, GIC, investment funds, mortgages, Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), business banking, and more.

You can read this Tangerine review for more details.

Who is PC Financial?

President’s Choice Financial, aka PC Financial, has been around since 1998 and is a big part of Loblaws, one of Canada’s largest grocery chains.

Not too long ago, this company was associated with CIBC when its chequing account products and credit cards were managed by that bank.

After CIBC parted ways with Loblaws in 2017 and launched Simplii Financial, Loblaws retained its popular PC Financial credit cards and recently introduced PC Money, a spending account that offers chequing features.

Tangerine vs. PC Financial: Chequing Account

Both financial institutions offer a no-fee account you can use for everyday transactions while also earning interest or rewards.

These free chequing accounts can help you save up to $200 per year in bank fees.

Tangerine: Chequing Account

The Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account includes unlimited debits, bill payments, Interac e-Transfers, and pre-authorized payments.

It comes with a debit card and Tangerine customers can access 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs for free in Canada and 44,000 ATMs worldwide.

You can deposit cheques using Tangerine’s mobile app and earn up to 0.10% interest on your chequing account balance.

PC Financial: PC Money Account

The PC Money Account ties in with other PC products including their credit cards and the PC Optimum loyalty program.

You can use your PC Money Account for unlimited free debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers, plus:

  • Earn PC Optimum points on every dollar spent
  • Access your paycheque up to 2 days early
  • Access to a budgeting app

You can use the PC Money debit card for free at PC Financial ATMs, which are located in many Loblaw grocery stores.

Verdict: The Tangerine no-fee chequing account is more versatile and offers better access to ATMs (in Canada and abroad).

If you are a regular shopper at Loblaw stores, the PC Money Account maximizes your PC Optimum points and could be a better option.

Tangerine vs. PC Financial: Savings Accounts

Tangerine offers several savings accounts with competitive rates when compared to bigger banks like RBC, CIBC, TD, and Scotiabank.

Its savings products include:

  • General savings account
  • TFSA savings account
  • RRSP savings account
  • RRIF savings account
  • US$ savings account

The standard rate on its non-registered savings account is 1.00%. You can view the best high-interest savings rates in Canada here.

PC Financial does not offer savings accounts.

Verdict: Tangerine Bank is a better choice if you are looking to keep your chequing and savings accounts in the same financial institution.

Tangerine vs. PC Financial

Tangerine vs. PC Financial: Credit Cards

Both PC Financial and Tangerine offer credit cards. In fact, their credit card offerings are included on my list of the best cash back credit cards.

Read on to see how they compare.

Tangerine: Credit Cards

Tangerine offers two credit cards:

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has no annual fee and pays 2% cash back on two categories of spending, and 0.5% cash back on everything else.

If you open a free Tangerine savings account and deposit your cash back rewards there, you get an additional 2% cash back category.

Eligibility for this card is easy as you only need an annual income of $12,000 and a 600+ credit score.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

The Tangerine World Mastercard offers the same level of unlimited cash back as its entry-level counterpart, plus other perks:

  • Rental car insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary Membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by Loungekey
  • On-demand and subscription services

To qualify for the Tangerine World Mastercard, you need a personal annual income of $60,000 or $100,000 for gross household income.

Tangerine World Mastercard

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases; VIP perks.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

PC Financial: Credit Cards

PC Financial has three popular credit cards:

  • PC Mastercard
  • PC World Mastercard
  • PC World Elite Mastercard

All three cards offer PC Optimum points when you make purchases anywhere as follows:

 PC MastercardPC World MastercardPC World Elite Mastercard
Shoppers Drug Mart25 points/$135 points/$145 points/$1
Loblaw grocery stores10 points/$120 points/$130 points/$1
Esso/Mobil30 points/litre30 points/litre30 points/litre
PC Travel20 points/$120 points/$130 points/$1
Everywhere else10 points/$110 points/$110 points/$1
Income requiredN/A$60,000/year$80,000/year
Learn moreRead reviewRead reviewRead review

In addition to earning PC Optimum points you can redeem for free groceries, these cards offer other benefits:

PC Mastercard: Cardholders enjoy free purchase protection and extended warranty.

PC World Mastercard: Cardholders enjoy free purchase protection, extended warranty, and access to 24/7 concierge services.

PC World Elite Mastercard: This card includes purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, travel emergency medical insurance, car rental insurance, identity theft assistance, and concierge services.

Verdict: Tangerine Bank = PC Financial.

For unlimited real cash back on all purchases, the Tangerine credit cards shine.

If you routinely shop at Loblaw-banner stores, having a PC credit card helps you maximize your PC Optimum points.

Tangerine vs. PC Financial: Investments

Tangerine customers can invest using Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and investment funds. GIC terms range from 90 days to 5 years.

The investment portfolios include:

  • Core portfolios
  • Global ETF portfolios
  • Socially responsible global portfolios

These products can be held in both registered and non-registered investment accounts.

PC Financial does not offer investments.

Verdict: Tangerine Bank wins this round if you need access to investment products.

Tangerine vs. PC Financial: Borrowing

Tangerine offers several loan products:

Mortgage: You can apply for a Tangerine mortgage and access fixed and variable mortgage loans.

HELOC: They offer a line of credit using your home as collateral. A general line of credit is also available.

PC Financial does not offer personal loans or mortgages.

Verdict: Tangerine is the better option if you need a mortgage or line of credit.

Other Factors To Consider

Convenience

Tangerine Bank gives you access to thousands of Scotiabank ATMs for free. While it has no branches, you can reach support via email, phone, or chat.

PC Financial gives you free access to ATMs in many of its stores. You can also chat with customer reps in-store or contact them via email, phone, and chat.

Verdict: Tangerine Bank = PC Financial.

Fees

Service fees apply when you conduct some transactions on Tangerine and PC Financial.

For Tangerine:

  • Canadian drafts: $10
  • NSF fee: $45
  • ATM withdrawal in Canada (non-Scotiabank): $1.50
  • ATM withdrawal abroad (not part of Global ATM Alliance): $3
  • Inactivity fee (after 1 year): $10
  • Overdraft protection: $5
  • RRSP, TFSA, RIF transfer to another bank: $50
  • Paper statement: $2

For the PC Money Accounts, the fees are:

  • Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee: $40
  • ATM withdrawal in Canada (not PC Financial): $1.50
  • ATM withdrawal abroad: $3
  • Foreign currency conversion fee: 2.50%
  • Cancel Interac e-Transfer: $3.50
  • Overdraft protection: $5
  • Inactivity fee: $20/year

Promotions

Tangerine often has a cash bonus offer when you open a new chequing account and complete some requirements. Promotional interest rates and offers are also available for savings accounts and credit cards.

Tangerine customers can earn up to $150 annually by referring others to the bank using their Orange Key code.

PC Financial also gives new customers free PC Optimum points when they open a new PC Money Account.

And their customers earn up to $150 worth of points by referring friends.

Verdict: Tangerine = PC Financial.

Security

Both Tangerine and PC Financial are reputable financial institutions.

They are also members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), and your deposits are protected up to $100,000 per insured category.

Pros and Cons of Tangerine

Pros:

  • No-fee chequing account
  • Multiple financial products
  • No-fee credit cards
  • Free access to thousands of ATMs

Cons:

  • No in-person branch support
  • Promotional savings rates are short-lived

Pros and Cons of PC Financial

Pros:

  • No-fee spending account
  • Top loyalty program in Canada
  • Excellent suite of credit card products
  • Access to free ATMs in-store

Cons:

  • Limited financial products (no savings, loans, or investments)
  • No cheques for spending account
  • Limited in-person support

PC Financial vs. Tangerine: Summary

PC Financial and Tangerine are great choices if you want to switch banks.

Tangerine offers a more robust banking package, and you can use it as a standalone bank in many cases.

PC Financial is limited to only a spending account and credit cards, and you will need another bank to access other products.

A combination of both could also work. For example, you can open a Tangerine chequing, savings, and credit card account while using a PC Financial credit card when you shop at Loblaw stores.

This is a winning combo on many fronts. You don’t pay chequing fees and get the most PC Optimum points possible and lots of free groceries.

Related:

Top Banking Offers in February

Get a top-rated chequing account and up to a $400 bonus

Unlimited debits and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

Monthly account fee is waived if eligible (and 5 ATM fees rebated/mo.).

Get up to $400 cash bonus when you meet minimum requirements.

Access a high-interest savings account.

Get a free chequing account and a $350 cash bonus

Unlimited debits, online bill payments and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly account or transaction fees.

$350 cash bonus when you deposit $100 for 3 months.

Get a high-interest rate on your savings (5.25% limited-time interest rate offer).

Best no-fee cashback credit card with a $100 bonus

Earn 2% unlimited cash back in three spending categories - no annual fees!

Get a $100 welcome bonus with $1,000 spending in first 2 months.

0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

1.95% low-interest balance transfer rate and insurance coverage benefits.

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Author

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 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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