With a Visa Debit card, consumers can pay for purchases they make online and over the phone directly through their bank account, rather than using a credit card. A Visa Debit card is also handy while travelling internationally, as it can be used anywhere a standard Visa credit card is accepted.
In the email, Tangerine assured customers that its fee schedule will remain largely unchanged, with “no fees for daily transactions like debit purchases, bill payments and Interac e‑Transfer transactions.”
The only difference is the introduction of a 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee — now that the company’s debit cards can, in fact, be used internationally — which is still lower than the fees charged by some of the big banks.
Why use an online bank?
“Direct” banks like Tangerine offer most of the same services that traditional banks provide. However, without hundreds of brick-and-mortar branches to maintain — Tangerine does run five in-person “cafés” — they’re able to offer lower fees and far better rates on their high-interest savings accounts.
For example, Tangerine’s savings accounts come with no monthly fees and pay 0.25% interest, which is 25 times the rate you’ll get with some savings accounts at traditional banks. New customers even get to enjoy a promotional 2.5% interest rate for five months.
More than three-quarters of Canadians already do most of their banking digitally, according to the Canadian Bankers Association, so using an online bank wouldn’t be a big switch.