There are some fees that really get under my skin – but none more than banking fees. Almost without fail I see people paying anywhere from $9.95 up to $50 a month for the privilege of having a chequing account at a big bank.
Let me break down the fees that most banks charge: Monthly user fee, ATM fee, overdraft protection fee, Interest charges for accessing the overdraft, fee to view cheques online, fee to order new cheques, line of credit insurance, and the list goes on.
According to Statistics Canada Canadians pay an average of $18 per month which is less than lotteries ($42), prescription drugs ($45) and cable services ($68). The problem is this: The amount is NOT low (when added up over time), and there are alternatives that can knock it down to $0.
If over 40 years you pay an average of $18 per month for bank fees, it adds up to almost $27,000. I don’t know about you, but I have better uses for my money than to help big banks be more profitable than they already are.
Without bias, I can suggest people consider Tangerine (from Scotiabank) or Simplii (from CIBC) for their Canadian chequing accounts. For no fees at all you can receive an unlimited number of cheques, access to all information online (including cheque-views), fee-free ATM transactions, no minimum balance requirements, competitive savings accounts, and even free e-transfers. Sound too good to be true? Simplii is the refreshed President’s Choice Financial chequing account that won the award for top chequing account for several years, and for good reason.
If you want to align your banking needs with the best possible package, go to RateSupermaket.ca:
Unless you are a senior or a student, guess which banks are the only ones offering fee-free Chequing accounts? Yep, Tangerine and Simplii from CIBC.
There’s a reason these two banks can afford charging no fees. They are 100% online. If you need a personal banking relationship, have a business account, or require specialized banking services (like money orders, certified cheques, a safety deposit box, etc.), or just like lining up – you’ll want to consider a standard in-branch package. But if your needs are a little simpler, and you don’t mind receiving online statements, and doing your transactions online or at ATMs you need to look at Tangerine and Simplii.
Of course you’ll want to check-out where the free ATMs are to ensure convenience. All CIBC ATMs accept Simplii financial transactions. All Scotiabank ATMs accept Tangerine transactions.
And yes, I practice what I preach. I’ve been a happy PCF/Simplii customer for the past 18 years and I have several savings accounts at Tangerine. So if you are one of the millions of Canadians who are paying anything from $9.95 upwards to $50+ for your chequing account, consider adding something to your ‘To Do List’. Your future self will thank you.