Previously, I’ve talked about why I wanted to leave my physical bank and switch to Tangerine, an online only bank. As people get more and more fed up paying outrageous fee’s for banking accounts that provide little to no benefits, more people are moving to online banks that offer free accounts for everyday use. Let’s look at how to switch to Tangerine Bank for your day-to-day banking needs in 5 (hopefully) simple steps.
Disclaimer: I don’t work for Tangerine. I put these guides out there because when I made the change myself, I would have appreciated a guide like this. If you want to help support this blog, you can use my referral link when signing up!
- Part 1: Preparing, becoming a client, and openings a saving account
- Part 2: Opening a chequing account, transferring incoming and outgoing payments
Step 1: Preparing to change banks
The first, very important step to make before you switch to Tangerine is to look at your current banking institution, and make a list of all automatic payments that go in and come out of your account. Look at your account activity for the last 3 – 6 months and determine which transactions are automatically made for this account and will need to be transferred over to your new account. Here is what I found for myself:
- Incoming: Bi-monthly paycheque from my employer
- Incoming: Periodic health plan reimbursements
- Outgoing: Monthly mortgage payments
- Outgoing: Monthly strata fee payment
- Outgoing: Monthly car insurance payment
Make sure you have a good understanding of your banking needs and everything that is coming in and going out of your accounts.
Step 1.5: Becoming a client
If you don’t already have a Tangerine account, you’ll need to become a client. Start the Tangerine sign-up process now. This is where they get all of your initial information and where you can input an Orange code if you have one.
I suggest starting by opening a savings account. Tangerine often adds bonuses when you open a savings account, and it is a handy first step to make. If you don’t intend to use it, you can let it sit there unused and it won’t cost you anything.
I don’t have the screenshots for the activation stage of becoming a client, but the legal section should look similar to below, and once you confirm and activate your account, you should be able to move on to the following options.
Step 2: Open a free savings account with Tangerine
In my opinion, if you are going to switch to Tangerine bank, it’s a good idea to have an easy to access savings account that is associated with your chequing account. Tangerine also provided a $25 credit for opening a savings account (*with a minimum $100 deposit) so I figured why not. You don’t need to use this account at all, but it can be handy to have. And once you earn bonus rewards, you can transfer all of that money out of savings and into your chequing.
I decided to open a Tax Free Savings Account for my type of savings account, but you can open any of the different types of savings accounts.
This is where Tangerine will collect some additional personal information to the information they collected when you first signed up as a client in the step above. When trying to provide your work information, just try to get as close as a description as you can. By law, they need to ask you for your occupation information. It will grey out any fields that you’ve already input in previous steps.
The account link section will allow you to move your money between your current institution and Tangerine. This is a very important step if you are switching from another bank, as you need a way to be able to move your money to Tangerine. Use a cheque from your current institution to find the correct info.
Once you click “Confirm Bank”, Tangerine will look up your information and confirm your current bank details and ask you to click “next”:
This is where you will need to enter the amount for your initial deposit from your current institution. Most Tangerine bonuses are contingent on an initial deposit of $100, so I suggest you transfer at least that much. Also make sure that you have enough in your current institution’s chequing account to clear the transfer. For myself, I did the minimum $100 transfer to deposit to make sure everything worked well. Once that went through, I transferred the rest of my funds (which is easy to do once you have created the account link).
I don’t like Automatic Savings Programs myself. I like to manage all aspects of my money, so I left this section blank. If this type of program works for you fill this section in. Be aware, that it will be trying to take this automatic payment from your current banking institution.
Legal stuff is always a bore! I suggest at least giving it a skim through, and fill in your intended use of this account.
Once that is complete, you’ll need to send Tangerine a void cheque to confirm the whole process. This adds an annoying wait time. It took about 2 weeks for them to receive/confirm my void cheque but it does add a layer of security.
Switch to Tangerine: On to part 2
You’ve now prepared yourself for which automatic transactions you’ll need to migrate to Tangerine, you’ve become a client, and you’ve opened your savings account that include a link to your current bank! Part 2 will show you how to open your new chequing account with Tangerine, and how to setup new direct deposits and automatic withdrawals.