Manulife All-In Banking Package launches
While they haven't done that specifically, what they have done done is launched a new account called the Manulife All-In Banking Package Account. It will have a monthly fee of $10.00 per month, but no minimum monthly balance. Instead, at the end of every month, Manulife Bank will check automatically as to whether your high interest savings account balance is at least $100 higher than your previous month's balance. If it is, term # 5 in the fine print notes they'll waive the $10 monthly fee (not an annoying rebate like CIBC and others do). It includes all of the features of the Advantage Account, but without the minimum monthly balance. They're throwing in 1 year free of Amazon Prime ($79 CAD value), which you'll get an Amazon Prime membership code to redeem (doesn't say existing Amazon Prime members can't use these), and/or between 2-5 months free of an Audible subscription.
They also appear to be throwing in travel insurance into the mix, which could be useful for millennials, apparently at no extra charge. Interesting cross-sell, too.
Details are here: https://www.manulifebank.ca/campaign/al ... nking.html
Or here: https://www.allinbanking.ca/
They join a competitive field, with the recent launches of Motus Bank, rebranding of Motive Financial & Simplii Financial 2-3 years ago, and Alterna Bank completing. However, at least in terms of Motus Bank, they've got at least four (4) of significant edges: (1) they've got streamlined back-office and technological operations whereas Motus, for example, takes fully 2-3 extra business days to process externally-initiated incoming/outgoing EFT transactions from a Motus account; (2) they've got a fully staffed national contact centre and a national independent financial advisor network whereby a Manulife Bank customer could, theoretically, go into to, say, perform customer maintenance like updating their address, contact information, or opening a new account; (3) they've got access to deposited funds limits, which Motus doesn't offer; and (4) they've got their own privately operated Manulife Bank ATM network at Mac's and Circle K convenience stores outside of Quebec, which they could potentially add as full service ATMs.
The method of waiving the monthly fee is innovative, though I tend to prefer HSBC's method of waiving the fee based on the collective HSBC and subsidiary account balances in HSBC Advance and HSBC Premier; however, this is arguably a more democratic method in that any one who has the capacity to save $100 per month (or $40-45 per biweekly pay period) can benefit without the need to keep a larger balance on deposit. It also adds an element of stickiness to the deposits, at least in respect of saving that amount every month and keeping those funds on deposit.
Would I use it? Probably not, at least not yet. I'd be more inclined to go with the Advantage Account and stick $1,000 there as the difference between, say, 1.50% that Manulife offers and the average of the best HISAs (2.35%) is not especially significant on only $1,000 (85 bps, or 0.85%).