Aside from the necessary expenses that some people take on with business accounts and the like, it has always boggled my mind why so many people continue to pay unnecessary banking fees. They pay monthly maintenance fees. They pay transaction fees. They pay interest on credit card balances. All of these extra expenses can oftentimes be avoided with a little financial planning. And it’s even better when you get some “free” money as a result too.

I’ve been a customer of ING Direct in Canada for a number of years now, mostly because they offer among the best interest rates for high interest savings accounts. A big part of why they can do this is that their physical presence is remarkably minimal, so just about everything that you do is through their online banking portal. By and large, that works fine for me. In addition to regular savings accounts, they also offer most other services you’d expect from a bank like mutual funds, RRSPs, TFSAs, mortgages and so on.

Well, you may have heard that ING Direct (Canada) was sold to Scotiabank last year and they recently made a big transition, rebranding to Tangerine. I’m not a fan of the new name, myself, but the name doesn’t really matter all that much. We’ve been told that the new Tangerine will continue with the ING Direct philosophy of no fees and better rates. That’s good news for Canadians.

How Do I Get My Free $175?

To encourage more people to join Tangerine, they’ve launched a promotion with a bunch of bonuses. You can find more information via the offer details page, but here are the main points.

  • $50 – Open your first Tangerine Savings Account with at least $250 by June 30, 2014 and we’ll give you a $50 cash Bonus.
  • $50 – Open your first Tangerine Chequing Account with at least $250 by June 30, 2014 and we’ll give you a $50 cash Bonus.
  • $50 – Switch your pay to go directly to your Tangerine Chequing Account by July 31, 2014 and we’ll give you a $50 cash Bonus.
  • 2.50% – Enjoy a great interest rate of 2.50% on all new deposits made by June 30, 2014 to a new or existing Tangerine Savings Account, RSP Savings Account or Tax-Free Savings Account.

If you open a new savings account, open a new chequing account, and switch your payroll to your new chequing account, that’s $150 in bonuses. All of these are applicable to existing members too, as long as you don’t already have a savings or chequing account, respectively. For instance, I just opened my chequing account with them last week and I received my $50 bonus two days later. They say it pays out within 30 days.

But wait, here’s an important kicker.

If you are signing up with Tangerine for the first time, you’ll definitely want to enter Orange Key 16449274S1 when you’re going through the registration process. This will trigger an additional $25 bonus, assuming that you put in an initial deposit of at least $100. If you’re already taking advantage of the offers above, you’ll satisfy that requirement anyway.

Add up all those bonuses and you’ve got yourself $175 in “free” money. After the bonuses have been paid out, you can do whatever you want with your money. Tangerine doesn’t charge any fees for these sorts of transactions, so if you really prefer banking with another institution, there’s nothing stopping you from moving all your funds out afterward. It’s not a bad idea to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket anyhow.

So, go to tangerine.ca/referafriend and open your Tangerine account using Orange Key 16449274S1 to get the $25 bonus. Then, take advantage of the extra offers outlined above for another $150. That’s a pretty good deal, I’d say.

Full disclosure:
I don’t work for Tangerine, nor was I compensated in any way for writing this post. I am an existing member, though, and I do receive a $25 referral bonus if you sign up for a new account using my Orange Key. Win-win, right?