Comparing Tangerine Visa Debit and EQ Bank Card for 2024: Which One is Better?

In the world of online banking, Canada boasts two prominent names: Tangerine and EQ Bank. Both offer enticing features, including chequing and savings accounts, debit cards, and other financial products. But when it comes to choosing the right debit card, you might be wondering: Tangerine Visa Debit or EQ Bank Card?

This comprehensive comparison dives into the key features, fees, and benefits of both cards to help you make an informed decision.

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Understanding Tangerine and EQ Bank

Tangerine is an established online bank owned by Scotiabank, a major Canadian financial institution. It offers a comprehensive suite of banking products, including a popular no-fee chequing account with an accompanying Visa debit card.

EQ Bank, a subsidiary of Equitable Bank, is a fast-growing online bank known for its high-interest savings accounts. It recently launched the EQ Bank Card, a prepaid Mastercard designed to complement their existing accounts.

Tangerine Visa Debit Explained

The Tangerine Visa Debit Card is a solid choice for those seeking a no-fee debit card linked to a chequing account. Here’s a breakdown of its key features:

  • No Monthly Fee: Tied to the Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account, the Visa Debit card avoids monthly account maintenance charges.
  • Free Transactions: Enjoy unlimited debit transactions and Interac e-transfers, making it convenient for everyday banking needs.
  • ATM Network: Make free withdrawals at over 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs across Canada. However, withdrawals at non-Scotiabank ATMs incur fees ($1.50 within Canada and $3 abroad).
  • Mobile Wallets: The card seamlessly integrates with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay for contactless payments.
  • Limited Rewards: While the card offers standard Visa debit security features, it doesn’t provide cash-back rewards or waive foreign currency transaction fees.
  • Quebec Availability: The Tangerine Visa Debit Card is available in all Canadian provinces, including Quebec.

Additional Benefits of Tangerine Chequing Account:

  • Overdraft Protection (for a fee): Provides peace of mind in case of accidental overdrafts.
  • Mobile Cheque Deposit: Deposit cheques conveniently using the Tangerine app.
  • Interest on Your Balance: Earn a modest interest rate (up to 0.10%) on your chequing account balance.

EQ Bank Card Explained

The EQ Bank Card, a recent entrant, offers a unique combination of features, making it a strong contender for value-conscious users. Let’s explore its key offerings:

  • No Monthly Fee: Similar to the Tangerine card, the EQ Bank Card boasts no monthly account maintenance charges.
  • High-Interest Savings: Your card balance earns interest at a rate of up to 4.00%, which is among the highest savings rates offered in Canada. This interest is calculated daily and deposited monthly into your linked EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
  • Cash Back Rewards: The EQ Bank Card stands out with a 0.50% cash back on all purchases, making it an attractive option for everyday spending that rewards you with money back.
Comparing Tangerine Visa Debit and EQ Bank Card for 2024: Which One is Better?
  • Free ATM Withdrawals: Make free withdrawals at any ATM in Canada. Unlike Tangerine, EQ Bank reimburses any ATM fees charged by other providers within ten business days.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee Waiver: The EQ Bank Card waives the foreign currency conversion fee (typically up to 3%), allowing you to spend abroad without hidden charges. You even earn cash back on foreign currency purchases.
  • Unlimited Reloads: This reloadable prepaid card allows you to top up your balance conveniently from your linked EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
  • Quebec Restriction: Currently, the EQ Bank Card is not available in Quebec.

Key Considerations: Choosing Between Tangerine Visa Debit and EQ Bank Card

Here’s a breakdown of key factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Chequing Account Needs: If you require a traditional chequing account for features like bill payments and cheque deposits, the Tangerine Visa Debit Card with its linked chequing account might be a better fit. EQ Bank offers a hybrid savings account with debit-like features but doesn’t provide cheque-writing capabilities.
  • Savings Rate: For maximizing your savings potential, the EQ Bank Card wins hands down with its high-interest rate on your card balance.
  • Rewards: If cash-back rewards are important, the EQ Bank Card offers a clear advantage with its 0.50% cash back on all purchases.
  • Foreign Transactions: For frequent travelers, the EQ Bank Card eliminates foreign transaction fees and even rewards you with cash back on foreign purchases.
  • ATM Usage: Consider your ATM usage patterns. If you primarily use Scotiabank ATMs, the Tangerine Visa Debit offers free withdrawals. However, for broader ATM access and fee reimbursements, the EQ Bank Card is a better option.
  • Quebec Residence: If you live in Quebec, the Tangerine Visa Debit remains your only choice as the EQ Bank Card is currently unavailable in the province.

Overall Recommendation

While both cards offer distinct advantages, the EQ Bank Card emerges as the stronger contender for most users in 2024. Here’s why:

  • Superior Value: The combination of a high interest rate on your card balance, cash-back rewards, and waived foreign transaction fees makes the EQ Bank Card a compelling choice for maximizing your money’s worth.
  • Flexibility: Free ATM withdrawals with fee reimbursements and the ability to reload from your savings account offer greater flexibility in managing your finances.
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However, the Tangerine Visa Debit remains a good option for those who:

  • Need a Traditional Chequing Account: If features like bill payments and cheque deposits are essential, the Tangerine chequing account linked to the Visa Debit card fulfills those needs.
  • Live in Quebec: For Quebec residents, the Tangerine Visa Debit is currently the only option between the two cards.

Ultimately, the best card for you depends on your individual banking needs and priorities. Consider the factors mentioned above to make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.

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