Personal Finance

Best No fee bank account

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  • Nov 28th, 2014 12:32 pm
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ItemFinder wrote:
May 1st, 2014 8:43 pm
Your use of the Amazon.ca Visa does avoid the foreign exchange fee, but still incurs a cash advance fee, which ends up being a total of 1% of the amount withdrawn. Using Tangerine as I listed, you're only paying $2 CAD on top of the amount withdrawing: no forex fee/commission and no cash advance fee. https://www.tangerine.ca/en/chequing/ch ... x.html#fee
Tangerine is lying, or dancing around the truth.

I can confirm, from dozens of overseas withdrawals from a Thrive account, that the actual forex rate (which btw they do not show on your statement) is about 2.5% over the mid-rate. They (or someone else) do charge that surcharge, even though their CSR avoid mentioning it.
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Another vote for PC financial. Been with them for 15+ years and never paid any fees. Easy to get access to the funds with CIBC and PC Financial machines at Loblaws stores.
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laptop-tech wrote:
May 2nd, 2014 2:34 pm
Another vote for PC financial. Been with them for 15+ years and never paid any fees. Easy to get access to the funds with CIBC and PC Financial machines at Loblaws stores.
Indeed, the CIBC access is very convenient. I live in Quebec where there are no PC Financial outlets in any of Loblaws' stores, and I do just fine thanks to this.

Also PC Financial is very stable and is a known quantity, as proven by its 18 years of existence or so. Tangerine has already removed important features like the Exchange network, and will probably do other changes down the line at some point. I prefer the option that is without frills and actually reliable.
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adrian2 wrote:
May 2nd, 2014 2:27 pm
Tangerine is lying, or dancing around the truth.

I can confirm, from dozens of overseas withdrawals from a Thrive account, that the actual forex rate (which btw they do not show on your statement) is about 2.5% over the mid-rate. They (or someone else) do charge that surcharge, even though their CSR avoid mentioning it.
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Poutinesauce wrote:
May 2nd, 2014 3:07 pm
Indeed, the CIBC access is very convenient. I live in Quebec where there are no PC Financial outlets in any of Loblaws' stores, and I do just fine thanks to this.

Also PC Financial is very stable and is a known quantity, as proven by its 18 years of existence or so. Tangerine has already removed important features like the Exchange network, and will probably do other changes down the line at some point. I prefer the option that is without frills and actually reliable.
I like PC Financial (but don't bank with them). The sad truth is their (and CIBC's) proprietary ABM network is shrinking. Scotiabank/Tangerine will have roughly no fee 4,000 full-service and cash dispensing ABMs in the Scotiabank ABM Network in Canada, thanks to Shell, Couche-Tard, Quickie, 7-Eleven (serviced by Cardtronics under a multi-year agreement with Scotiabank) and Cineplex locations. We are seeing, or have seen, CIBC also lose their ABMs in every Sobeys & Safeway grocery store in Canada (that is now gone/going to BMO, which has a banking & credit card partnership with Sobeys and Empire Company). They've had a few, smaller gains like the Pharmasave franchise drug store chain and, depending on what Loblaw does with their RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart partnership, could see unstaffed brochure racks/PC Financial or CIBC ABMs replace RBC in Shoppers Drug Mart. That said, I fully expect Scotiabank to expand their Alimentation Couche Tard alliance by replacing CIBC in the Mac's Convenience Stores in central and western Canada. :)

When all is said and done, CIBC/PC Financial should end up with about 3500-3700 ABMs (they're down to about 3500 now).

As far as a "known quantity", Tangerine's been in business for 18 years as well now. Imagine that! They're tied. ;)

Cheers,
Doug
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dmehus wrote:
May 1st, 2014 8:51 pm
Oh, if you just added your HSBC Premier chequing account yesterday, I'll take your word for it then and I might just call them on their inaccurate information and reference your post. Thanks, angel_wing0! ;)

Too bad they don't accept anything other than a preprinted VOID cheque, even for additional linked external bank accounts. Tangerine is kind of sticky about this in terms of requiring "Direct Deposit Forms" to be original (i.e., not printed in colour from a PDF) and have to have certain, specific information (i.e., branch domicile stamp, your name & address, Tangerine client number and your signature, to name most of it) but, at least they'll accept alternate forms of information. I watched a Scotiabank Canadian Banking Investor Day presentation and, in the archived webcast that originally took place April 24th, Tangerine's CEO Peter Aceto confirm a couple of tidbits: (a) they're looking at alternate, streamlined forms of account verification/authentication, which may mean the small (less than $1.00) EFT debits/credits like PayPal, Ally and Hubert Financial currently or formerly, in the case of Ally, used and (b) Tangerine is planning a series of mobile "pop-up kiosks" to, presumably, market Tangerine outside the major centres where they have Cafes & assist in account opening - no idea when they'll start "popping up", where or for how long in each location

One other quick question (just to confirm the rest of the information PC Financial gave me isn't "bunk" as well):

(1) The PC Financial reps were reluctant to specify what their "hold release" or "access to deposited funds" limit ranges were, despite their Social Media Team stating they'd be able to tell me that via e-mail, but I finally got it out of them that they range from no limit (first $100 on the next business day) up to $5000. They said some older customers may have limits above $5000 but that's grandfathered in; the "new" maximum, and for most people, is $5000. Can you confirm if that is the case and, also, is that a daily limit or cumulative weekly limit like Tangerine?

(2) They also stated that, after asking them at least two or three times, the "access to deposited funds" limit does apply to both ABM deposits as well as EFT bank-to-bank transfer deposits that you "pull" money in from your external bank account. Is that also true?

(3) They mentioned the maximum transfer amount of $50,000 per debit and $100,000 per credit, via online banking. I asked them to confirm that applies only to PC Financial online banking-initiated transactions and not externally-initiated transactions? For instance, if one "pulled" money out of PC Financial's savings account from within their Tangerine online banking of, say, $250,000, PC Financial would not refuse what would be a pre-authorized payment transaction. They misunderstood my question three times but finally said that would be correct. Would you say they got it right?

Thanks again for your help in answering these questions! :)

Cheers,
Doug

P.S. I note that you don't like to pay service charges...just curious, I note you have a TD Canada Trust account. How do you avoid monthly fees on that account? Do you keep a minimum monthly balance, keep a credit balance on your personal line of credit account that offers cheques or is it a savings account? What's the strategy behind keeping a TD Canada Trust account since, presumably having PC Financial/Tangerine/BMO Club Sobeys/RBC/HSBC Premier chequing accounts allows you surcharge-free access to CIBC/Scotiabank/BMO/RBC/HSBC/The Exchange Network of ATMs. ;)
angel_wing0, I'd wondered if you'd had a chance to reply to my question(s) above? ;)

Would love your answers! :)

Cheers,
Doug
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dmehus wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 1:48 am
I like PC Financial (but don't bank with them). The sad truth is their (and CIBC's) proprietary ABM network is shrinking. Scotiabank/Tangerine will have roughly no fee 4,000 full-service and cash dispensing ABMs in the Scotiabank ABM Network in Canada, thanks to Shell, Couche-Tard, Quickie, 7-Eleven (serviced by Cardtronics under a multi-year agreement with Scotiabank) and Cineplex locations. We are seeing, or have seen, CIBC also lose their ABMs in every Sobeys & Safeway grocery store in Canada (that is now gone/going to BMO, which has a banking & credit card partnership with Sobeys and Empire Company). They've had a few, smaller gains like the Pharmasave franchise drug store chain and, depending on what Loblaw does with their RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart partnership, could see unstaffed brochure racks/PC Financial or CIBC ABMs replace RBC in Shoppers Drug Mart. That said, I fully expect Scotiabank to expand their Alimentation Couche Tard alliance by replacing CIBC in the Mac's Convenience Stores in central and western Canada. :)

When all is said and done, CIBC/PC Financial should end up with about 3500-3700 ABMs (they're down to about 3500 now).

As far as a "known quantity", Tangerine's been in business for 18 years as well now. Imagine that! They're tied. ;)

Cheers,
Doug
I am in Ontario, so CIBC bank machines are everywhere, btw I went to PC Financial, since there is a CIBC across the street where I live, and theres a CIBC Atm @ work as well :)

I have also decided to open a tangerine account to get my free $150.... and just use it as a back up.
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chickenfoot wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 9:49 am
I am in Ontario, so CIBC bank machines are everywhere, btw I went to PC Financial, since there is a CIBC across the street where I live, and theres a CIBC Atm @ work as well :)

I have also decided to open a tangerine account to get my free $150.... and just use it as a back up.
I have the similar setup and take advantage of both worlds.
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dmehus wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 1:41 am
...
On a regular credit card you do not pay the retail forex spread of about 2 cents either side of the "mid rate". You pay the Visa/MasterCard corporate rate (about 0.1 ... 0.15% surcharge from the mid-rate), plus 2.5% on top of that. You are not paying 4.5% on every transaction, that's total BS.

I was talking about the actual forex on foreign ATM withdrawals from a Thrive account. The rate is about 2.5% ... 2.6% above the mid rate.
On a regular credit card forex transaction, the rate is also about 2.5% (maybe 2.6%) above the mid rate.
On an Amazon.ca credit card, the rate is the Visa corporate rate, about 0.1% above the mid rate.

Therefore:
(1) Tangerine is dancing around the truth saying a foreign ATM withdrawal would involve only a $2 charge; the rate itself is very comparable with the rate charged by a regular credit card (2.6% above the mid rate)
(2) An Amazon.ca card is, by far, the best deal.

[edited to remove the quoted text]
Last edited by adrian2 on Nov 2nd, 2019 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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adrian2 wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 10:25 am
On a regular credit card you do not pay the retail forex spread that you mention. You pay the Visa/MasterCard corporate rate (about 0.1 ... 0.15% surcharge from the mid-rate), plus 2.5% on top of that. You are not paying 4.5% on every transaction, that's total BS.

I was talking about the actual forex on foreign ATM withdrawals from a Thrive account. The rate is about 2.5% ... 2.6% above the mid rate.
On a regular credit card forex transaction, the rate is also about 2.5% (maybe 2.6%) above the mid rate.
On an Amazon.ca credit card, the rate is the Visa corporate rate, about 0.1% above the mid rate.

Therefore:
(1) Tangerine is dancing around the truth saying a foreign ATM withdrawal would involve only a $2 charge; the rate itself is very comparable with the rate charged by a regular credit card (2.6% above the mid rate)
(2) An Amazon.ca card is, by far, the best deal.
You're still comparing apples to well, tangerines. One is a debit card used for ATM withdrawals. The second is a credit card designed for purchases. You cannot simply say one is better than the other because the use cases are different.
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chickenfoot wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 9:49 am
I am in Ontario, so CIBC bank machines are everywhere, btw I went to PC Financial, since there is a CIBC across the street where I live, and theres a CIBC Atm @ work as well :)

I have also decided to open a tangerine account to get my free $150.... and just use it as a back up.
Another vote for PC Financial from me. I have been with them since the year they've opened, and relatively few complaints. The post complaining about fewer CIBC ATMs does not impact me either since I live in Ontario, and never shop at Safeway or Mac's. Rarely shop at Sobey's too. There is a CIBC everywhere, and I also had few issues using my PC Financial bank card to withdraw funds at ATMs in Europe. The $3 service charge to do so was very reasonable.
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ItemFinder wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 11:29 am
You're still comparing apples to well, tangerines. One is a debit card used for ATM withdrawals. The second is a credit card designed for purchases. You cannot simply say one is better than the other because the use cases are different.
What I can say is that you were wrong here, in the second paragraph quoted below, paraphrasing Tangerine reps and URL:
ItemFinder wrote:
May 1st, 2014 8:43 pm
Your use of the Amazon.ca Visa does avoid the foreign exchange fee, but still incurs a cash advance fee, which ends up being a total of 1% of the amount withdrawn.

Using Tangerine as I listed, you're only paying $2 CAD on top of the amount withdrawing: no forex fee/commission and no cash advance fee. https://www.tangerine.ca/en/chequing/ch ... x.html#fee
Using Tangerine for a cash withdrawal means, in real life, that you're not only paying $2 CAD on top of the amount withdrawn, but also a forex fee comparable to a regular credit card.

Can you be a man and admit you were wrong?
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adrian2 wrote:
May 3rd, 2014 10:25 am
On a regular credit card you do not pay the retail forex spread that you mention. You pay the Visa/MasterCard corporate rate (about 0.1 ... 0.15% surcharge from the mid-rate), plus 2.5% on top of that. You are not paying 4.5% on every transaction, that's total BS.

I was talking about the actual forex on foreign ATM withdrawals from a Thrive account. The rate is about 2.5% ... 2.6% above the mid rate.
On a regular credit card forex transaction, the rate is also about 2.5% (maybe 2.6%) above the mid rate.
On an Amazon.ca credit card, the rate is the Visa corporate rate, about 0.1% above the mid rate.

Therefore:
(1) Tangerine is dancing around the truth saying a foreign ATM withdrawal would involve only a $2 charge; the rate itself is very comparable with the rate charged by a regular credit card (2.6% above the mid rate)
(2) An Amazon.ca card is, by far, the best deal.
That may be true (about regular credit cards and FX spreads). I only assumed there was an additional 2.5% FX charge on top of what would likely be a roughly 2% FX spread built into Visa International's rates. That's interesting because, if true, then the credit card FX spreads are actually far more transparent than the debit card FX spreads. :)

That said, Tangerine is still the better deal, FX spread and all, considering the transaction is: (a) free from surcharges and (b) in the cash of ABM cash withdrawals, it definitely is because you're not making a true comparison. Even on an Amazon.ca Rewards transaction, you're paying 19.99% interest calculated daily from the transaction/posting date, plus the standard service charge & ABM owner surcharge, plus a 1% charge for cash advance transactions.

For overseas purchases, Amazon.ca Rewards is unquestionably the best deal. (So, too, is the Sears Financial MasterCard, though, since it offers 1% cash back in Sears Rewards - Amazon.ca offers the same but in Amazon.ca Rewards.)

For overseas ABM transactions, Tangerine is still the best deal. :)

Cheers,
Doug
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I think the best deal is to take cash with you and convert it to local currency from local exchange which can give alot better rates.
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MehtabS wrote:
May 4th, 2014 2:38 pm
I think the best deal is to take cash with you and convert it to local currency from local exchange which can give alot better rates.
You're still paying the same spread as if you used your debit card. For the "Big 5" banks and HSBC, yes it makes sense to take cash ahead of time because you're not paying extra transaction fees. With Tangerine, you're not paying any transaction fees so the only thing you're paying is about 1.6% FX spread (on USD transactions), which is the lowest FX spread among the Canadian banks I've seen. :)

Cheers,
Doug

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