I’m not quick to make changes in my life. I’ve known for a while that I should move away from my BMO chequing account, but momentum has kept me there. But I finally opened a Tangerine chequing account. The process was less painful than I expected. (Disclosure: Tangerine did not pay me to write this article. I made a choice based on my banking needs. However, I may benefit from this article as described in the final paragraph.)
I’m a happy customer of BMO InvestorLine. Among other great features, their non-registered accounts treat the cash holdings like a regular chequing account. You can get a debit card for it and make cash withdrawals from bank machines. I’ve run my personal transactions through such an account for years. However, they only give 2 free withdrawals per month.
This limitation isn’t too bad for me because I don’t make many transactions. Until a little over a year ago, I paid 60 cents per excess withdrawal. Then it went up to a dollar. While at a cash machine recently I saw an announcement that this would soon rise to $1.25 per withdrawal. This was enough to make me do the work to open a new account and get free transactions from Tangerine. Another bonus is Tangerine will pay me a tiny amount of interest on my balance.
The process of opening a Tangerine chequing account is surprisingly easy. The longest part was writing a cheque to start up the account. But even then I was able to download a Tangerine application to my tablet to take pictures of cheques for deposit. So, I didn’t even have to send anything by snail mail. I did all this on a Friday afternoon and my Tangerine account was open with my money in it by the following Monday morning.
My Tangerine online account even provided a pdf file of a VOID cheque to make it easier for me to have my pay sent to the new account. I’m sure many of us have gone through the payroll ritual at a new job of saying “but I have the chequing account number” and getting the reply, “I’m sorry, but you have to bring us a cheque.”
Once this is fully set up, the biggest change for me will be going to Scotiabank cash machines rather than BMO cash machines, but both are convenient for me.
Now we get to the self-serving part of all this. If you’re a new Tangerine customer and you open an account, you can type in an “Orange Key” code to get a small cash bonus. This code actually belongs to another Tangerine customer. My Orange Key is 43337422S1. If I understand how this all works correctly, if you use it, both you and I get small cash bonuses. But suit yourself. I didn’t open this account to go for bonus money. But I won’t turn it away either.