Which is Better ING Direct or PC Financial: Part One Moving Money, Transfers and Holds

We opened an ING Direct (now Tangerine.ca) account because they paid us $25 and because it paid a good interest rate on a savings account. Then later, we opened a PC Financial chequing account because they give you unlimited free cheques, at least for now. For both accounts, we need to transfer money in and out from our “Big 5” Canadian bank accounts. We do not directly deposit our pay, for example, to Tangerine or to PCF (although we could, for free.) So the amount of time it takes to make a transfer and how long the bank has a hold on the money after a transfer matters to us. It may matter to you, too, so this is a review of whether Tangerine or PC Financial is better for transfers and holds.

The Conclusion: Which is Better Tangerine or PC Financial for Transfers?


As you can see if you continue reading, Tangerine wins as the best of the two banks for transfers. A Tangerine transfer from one Tangerine account to another is instantaneous. A PC Financial transfer from a PCF savings account to a PCF chequing account takes a one night wait. Both banks can only transfer to or from an external bank overnight just before the start of a new business day.

Now on to the details of the tests:

Transferring Within PC Financial and Tangerine from a Savings Account to a Chequing Account

Many people have both a savings account and a chequing account at the same bank. For example, I have an Tangerine Savings account and a Tangerine chequing  account. Often, I want to transfer money from Savings to Chequing to pay a bill.

How fast can I make that transfer?

Testing a Transfer from a PC Financial Savings Account to a PC Financial Chequing Account

When you click on the Transfers link on the PC Financial site, it says “Transfers from the savings accounts or any transfers involving your account at another financial institution must be dated in the future by at least 1 business day.”

That means you cannot instantly transfer money from your PCF savings account to your PCF chequing account.

Today, Friday September 20, I requested a transfer to my No Fee chequing account from my Interest Plus Savings Account. I had to select Saturday September 21 for the transfer.
The result: Saturday 21, morning: Well this is weird! The money transfer is showing up in my Transaction History this morning, but the transaction is dated Monday September 23.

And yet the “available balance” includes this amount! So apparently I can spend it or use it to pay bills, even though it’s not officially received. Odd!

PC Financial does not put a hold on funds transferred from an Interest Plus savings account to a No Fee (chequing) bank account.

Testing a Transfer from an Tangerine Savings Account to a Tangerine Chequing Account

You can make the transfer from your Savings Account to your Chequing Account instantly.

When I requested a transfer, the money arrived in my chequing account on Friday September 20, 1 second after I requested it.

Tangerine also does not put a hold on funds transferred from aTangerine savings account to a Tangerine chequing account.

So once the money arrives in the account, you can use it.

How Fast Can You Transfer In and Use Money in PC Financial No Fee and Tangerine Chequing Accounts?

What is a “Business Day”

Both Tangerine and PC Financial do not count Saturday, Sunday or national Holidays as business days. So generally a business day is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, not including holidays.

That said, PC Financial says you must date requests “the next business day” but it will let you date the request as a Saturday, Sunday or holiday! It just won’t actually work or be transferred that day if it involves an external bank account. For details, please review the actual test results.

Transferring from an Account at Another Bank to a Chequing Account at PC Financial or Tangerine

Many people also have a bank account at a Big 5 bank or a credit union in addition to their chequing account at Tangerine or PC Financial. It’s not unusual to want to transfer money in from this external bank account to your chequing account. For instance, my husband gets his pay deposited in a Big 5 bank account. He then transfers some of that money to our joint PC Financial No Fee chequing account.

How fast can someone make that transfer?

Testing a Transfer from a Big Bank Account to a PC Financial No Fee Chequing Account

The PC Financial site warns “any transfers involving your account at another financial institution must be dated in the future by at least 1 business day.”

That means you cannot instantly transfer money from your external account to your PCF chequing account. In fact, if it’s a Friday night on a holiday weekend, the transfer might not happen until the next Tuesday.

After the transfer is complete, you still can’t use the money.

PC Financial puts a hold on funds transferred in from another bank, even CIBC. PC Financial holds and limits are unique for each customer according to their brochure.

The Tests:
(Note: these accounts have been linked together a long time ago.)

Typed in Transfer Request on Transfer Request Dated When I Received the Money
Friday September 20 Saturday September 21 (the earliest possible date to enter) No sign of it Saturday or Sunday. The money arrived in the PC Financial account on Monday, September 23.
Saturday September 21 Sunday September 22 (the earliest possible date to enter) No sign of it on Sunday. The money arrived in the PC Financial account on Monday, September 23.
Sunday September 22 Monday September 23 (the earliest possible date I could enter) The money arrived in the PC Financial account on Monday, September 23.

After the money arrives it may still be placed on hold. The length of the hold depends on each customer. It is not standardized. According to PC Financial: the details are in your Welcome package from when you joined PC Financial. Note: The agents have some discretion about how many $ will be available immediately while the balance is on hold.

Testing a Transfer from a Big Bank Account to an ING Direct Tangerine Thrive Chequing Account

Tangerine lets you request the transfer from the Big Bank account immediately. However, the request is only sent to the other bank or financial institution the night before the next business day. As with PC Financial, you will have to wait till the morning of the next business day to receive the money.

Tangerine also puts a hold on funds transferred in from another bank, even RBC. Again the length of the hold varies from client to client. In general funds may be held 5 business days after receiving them.

The Tests:
(Note: these accounts have been linked together a long time ago.)

Typed in Transfer Request on When I Received the Money
Friday September 20 No sign of it Saturday or Sunday. The money arrived in the Tangerine account on Monday, September 23.
Saturday September 21 No sign of it on Sunday. The money arrived in the Tangerine account on Monday, September 23.
Sunday September 22 The money arrived in the Tangerine account on Monday, September 23.

Transferring to an Account at Another Bank from an Account at PC Financial or ING Direct Tangerine

When I transfer money from our Tangerine Savings Account or our chequing account to our Big 5 bank, the transfer happens overnight if it is a business day. Then I just have to wait till the Big Bank hold is over to use the money.

PC Financial is particularly bad if you are trying to transfer OUT from your PCF Interest Plus Savings account to your account at another bank, credit union or financial institution. (It’s the same for their Interest First Savings account and Tax-Free Interest Plus savings accounts.) From their own brochure: “To withdraw funds from these accounts, you must first transfer funds into another account such as the no fee bank account. Transfers out of your savings account into another President’s Choice Financial account will take 1 business day. Transfers to another financial institution require between 1 and 6 business days, depending on the institution.”

In other words, it could take 7 days just to get your money from a PCF savings account to another bank. It does not say that includes the “hold” time the other bank will put on the incoming transfer. So it could be even longer than that!

PC Financial holds and limits are unique for each customer according to their brochure.

The Tests:
For Tangerine to our Big 5 Bank Account
(Note: these accounts have been linked together a long time ago.)

Typed in Transfer Request on When the Money Left My Account When I Received the Money
Friday September 20 Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23.
Saturday September 21 Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23.
Sunday September 22 Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23.

For PC Financial to our Big 5 Bank Account
(Note: these accounts have been linked together a long time ago.)

Typed in Transfer Request on Transfer Request Dated When the Money Left My Account When I Received the Money
Friday September 20 Saturday September 21 Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23.
Saturday September 21 Sunday September 22 Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23.
Sunday September 22 Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23. Monday, September 23.

Hold Amounts and Times are Negotiable at PC Financial and ING Direct Tangerine

Both PC Financial and Tangerine will let you vary the terms of your Holds. You may be able to arrange to have the first $100 or $500 or more of every transfer available immediately with no hold. The balance of the transfer would be held for the usual length of time.

How much they will allow you to access immediately will usually depend on your bank balances at their bank, your past banking history with that bank, and possibly your credit rating. It will not usually have anything to do with your bank balance at the sending bank as they do not have any means to verify that amount.


Related Reading

  • How to Transfer Cash ING Direct Tangerine.ca
  • How to Transfer Cash PC Financial

Join In
Have you ever got caught in a transfer nightmare where you have the money but can’t get it in place to pay a bill before it’s due? What was the delay? Please share your experiences with a comment.
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Yes, we bank with Tangerine.ca among other places. If you open your first account ever with Tangerine (or ING Direct) using our Orange Key below, and deposit $100 before January 31, 2018, you and we will both get a cash bonus of $50 each. (Yes, they did extend the promotion for another few months!) All you have to do is enter the Orange Key 46470587S1 when you are opening your Account, and you’re set to go.

Just copy our Orange Key, then click on this Tangerine link to see the details and apply for an account. (Note: it only applies to people with no existing or previous accounts with Tangerine or ING Direct.)
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