Personal Finance

Switching to PC Financial Questions

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 12th, 2017 9:13 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 6, 2007
960 posts
128 upvotes
Toronto

Switching to PC Financial Questions

I'm pretty sure I'm going to switch over my main bank account from CIBC to PC Financial. I don't like how CIBC is forcing me to switch to the Smart Account when I have that grandfathered MenuPlus plan. I just have some questions for people who are already with PCF if you'd be nice enough to answer them for me:

1) Is the main difference between the chequing and savings the free daily banking vs. interest rate? I don't use my debit card much but I will use this account to link up other accounts to pay bills and it will receive my work direct deposits to this account. The Savings Account has the higher interest rate so I'd like to keep my money in there but I want to be not be charged for moving money around. So if that's the case then I'd sign up for the chequing account.

2) I see there are the PC Points sign-up bonuses for opening an account - are there any other promotions going on? Like are there any referral bonuses for existing PC Financial customers.

3) I know there are PC Pavillions at places like Loblaws. Do they actually help with banking stuff if I need to see someone in person or are they there to just sign-up and close accounts?

4) Can I actually make cash deposits and withdrawals from ANY CIBC ATM and not be charged?


Thanks to anyone who can help me. . .
16 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 16, 2016
644 posts
268 upvotes
Hamilton, ON
TigerLilly wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 1:14 pm
I'm pretty sure I'm going to switch over my main bank account from CIBC to PC Financial. I don't like how CIBC is forcing me to switch to the Smart Account when I have that grandfathered MenuPlus plan. I just have some questions for people who are already with PCF if you'd be nice enough to answer them for me:

1) Is the main difference between the chequing and savings the free daily banking vs. interest rate? I don't use my debit card much but I will use this account to link up other accounts to pay bills and it will receive my work direct deposits to this account. The Savings Account has the higher interest rate so I'd like to keep my money in there but I want to be not be charged for moving money around. So if that's the case then I'd sign up for the chequing account.

2) I see there are the PC Points sign-up bonuses for opening an account - are there any other promotions going on? Like are there any referral bonuses for existing PC Financial customers.

3) I know there are PC Pavillions at places like Loblaws. Do they actually help with banking stuff if I need to see someone in person or are they there to just sign-up and close accounts?

4) Can I actually make cash deposits and withdrawals from ANY CIBC ATM and not be charged?


Thanks to anyone who can help me. . .
1 - Not too sure about this one, I'll let someone else chime in.
2 - Just PC Pts sign up bonuses afaik. Never seen anything else. Definitely no referral bonuses.
3 - Just for sign up and close. If you have account issues or need products like a bank draft you have to call PCF, the Pavilion won't be able to help you.
4 - Yes.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
7141 posts
429 upvotes
1. Get the chequeing and savings. Both are free. No fees to transfer between them. Keep what you need on hand in your chequeing and extras in savings if that is how you want to keep your money. There are interest promotions from PCF and Tangerine. I suggest opening both savings account and move money between each of them when promotions occur so you can maximize interest earned for them.
2. I don't believe there are referral bonuses
3. They don't help too much except how to open/close and some ATM stuff. Otherwise call in, they are pretty helpful on the phone.
4. Yes. I go to any CIBC or Loblaws chains ATMs to withdraw/deposit money.
Member
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Aug 28, 2005
294 posts
47 upvotes
Regarding their chequing vs savings account, one difference we experienced was that while we could make deposits into the savings account from an ATM, my spouse couldn't seem to receive Interac E-Transfers directly into a savings account. Apparently it needed to be deposited into a chequing account.

With PCF, many daily banking tasks you would often do with a teller at a brick-and-mortar bank, you do online or through an ATM. This is fine, but it sometimes requires a bit of planning ahead, because lack of a full-service branch you can just walk into can limit your ability to do large transactions in a short period of time. For example, if you want a bank draft, you need to order one online, giving yourself enough lead time to wait for the draft to arrive in the mail. Or if you need to make a large cash purchase, you may quickly hit your daily ATM withdrawal limit if you didn't plan ahead. I've personally run into issues where I didn't plan ahead, and it made things a little more stressful for me than it needed to be.
Deal Addict
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Dec 17, 2008
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Winnipeg
Transfers from Savings to Chequing take 1 business day. Chequing to Savings is instant.

All bill payments, etc have to be done on Chequing account
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Deal Addict
Aug 29, 2012
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I am fully satisfied after a few years of use and would never look back.
As we all know, the Greater Toronto Area is the center of the universe!
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 6, 2007
960 posts
128 upvotes
Toronto
Shawguy wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 2:55 pm
Transfers from Savings to Chequing take 1 business day. Chequing to Savings is instant.

All bill payments, etc have to be done on Chequing account
Ah ok. That is a big difference. So I'll definitely need the chequing account. My HISA is with EQ Bank so I don't think I need the PCF Savings account, do I? That'd just be yet another account. I got the Hubert and Zag Savings too when they had better interest rates but I haven't used them in a bit so I think I should close them.
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Dec 17, 2008
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TigerLilly wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 9:20 pm
Ah ok. That is a big difference. So I'll definitely need the chequing account. My HISA is with EQ Bank so I don't think I need the PCF Savings account, do I? That'd just be yet another account. I got the Hubert and Zag Savings too when they had better interest rates but I haven't used them in a bit so I think I should close them.
I personally don't have a PCF Savings Account anymore, I got rid of it in 2012. I know there are others here who will say "keep it for promos" but myself I have never found a need for it. I just have the chequing account. If you are doing most of your banking at EQ, then yes you only need the chequing account.
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Member
Nov 6, 2015
446 posts
140 upvotes
Guelph, ON
The one thing I've used the pavilions for is to get a new debit card - they have them on stock and can set them up for you.

Chequing is for my day-to-day banking, while I use the savings account for promotions - I regularly move my savings between PCF and Tangerine, depending on who has the best promotion rate.
Deal Guru
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Aug 8, 2012
10198 posts
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BC
TigerLilly wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 9:20 pm
Ah ok. That is a big difference. So I'll definitely need the chequing account. My HISA is with EQ Bank so I don't think I need the PCF Savings account, do I? That'd just be yet another account. I got the Hubert and Zag Savings too when they had better interest rates but I haven't used them in a bit so I think I should close them.
Why not deposit paycheque directly to EQ and pay all bills and PADs from EQ?
POLL: How frequent is your RRSP-matching?
Plastiq: Pay any bill with credit card for 0-2.5% fee (help meet min spending and keep old cards active!)
Rewards program transfer times (e.g. SPG->Aeroplan, Marriott->SPG, Amex MR->SPG...)
Deal Guru
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Aug 8, 2012
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TigerLilly wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 1:14 pm
1) Is the main difference between the chequing and savings the free daily banking vs. interest rate? I don't use my debit card much [0] but I will use this account to link up other accounts [1] to pay bills [2] and it will receive my work direct deposits [3] to this account. The Savings Account has the higher interest rate so I'd like to keep my money in there [4] but I want to be not be charged for moving money around. So if that's the case then I'd sign up for the chequing account.
So ya, like above reply by me, seeing as how you said you already have EQ, why not use EQ for all above items.
  1. EQ can link to 10 external accounts EASILY via microdeposits (vs PCF with a paper form!)
  2. You can pay bills directly from a 2.3% savings account at EQ instead of a near 0% chequing account at PCF that takes a day(!) to transfer to from their own 0.8% savings account (meanwhile you could Interac e-Transfer form EQ in 30 minutes :))
  3. You can direct deposit to EQ
  4. EQ has higher interest so you should want to keep your money there. Not at PCF.

Circling back to #0 ... not using debit card much ... do you happen to have an LOC with CIBC. You can use that as debit and Interac yourself from EQ same-day to avoid any interest costs.
Or you could use a Tangerine chequing account with free overdraft til midnight ET and never pay any fees or interest by Interac-ing yourself money from EQ after you spend it.

I use EQ for 99% of my banking and for rare ATM use from my PCF LOC or Tangerine chequing account free overdraft which I bring back to positive same-day with a free Interac e-Transfer from EQ.

Rare ATM use or rare debit purchase are the only things I don't do with EQ since they have no debit card :)
  • My pay is direct deposits to EQ.
  • PADs like mortgage come direct from EQ.
  • Bill payments are made from EQ.
  • Cheques can be deposited to EQ via app.
  • EQ has links to all my other accounts (10! Much better than just 3 at Tangerine).
POLL: How frequent is your RRSP-matching?
Plastiq: Pay any bill with credit card for 0-2.5% fee (help meet min spending and keep old cards active!)
Rewards program transfer times (e.g. SPG->Aeroplan, Marriott->SPG, Amex MR->SPG...)
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 6, 2007
960 posts
128 upvotes
Toronto
ace604 wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 4:21 am
Why not deposit paycheque directly to EQ and pay all bills and PADs from EQ?
I need it to link to a bank where I can deposit or withdraw cash if I need to. But I do have a LOC with CIBC so I can link those up, use that to deposit/withdraw cash and do the rest from EQ. I normally just leave the LOC for emergencies but I could use it just as a physical link.

I guess the only issue now would be cheques because I have to pay my rent with those. Can I link cheques back to my EQ Account?
Deal Addict
Jan 18, 2003
4203 posts
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Mississauga
I'm in the same situation as you... i ended up closing my cibc and using tangerine chequeing and savings...

transfers between savings and chequeing is instant for tangerine... no 1 business day...

you can use tangerine debit card at any scotia atm if you need cash...
Deal Guru
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Aug 8, 2012
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TigerLilly wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 10:23 am
I need it to link to a bank where I can deposit or withdraw cash if I need to. But I do have a LOC with CIBC so I can link those up, use that to deposit/withdraw cash and do the rest from EQ. I normally just leave the LOC for emergencies but I could use it just as a physical link.

I guess the only issue now would be cheques because I have to pay my rent with those. Can I link cheques back to my EQ Account?
The CIBC LOC has free Interac e-Transfers and free cheques.
EQ has 2.3% and 5 free Interac e-Transfers.

You already have the perfect setup IMO.

I have in the back of my mind to switch to that setup from my current one actually.

All you need to do is close the chequing account or convert it to a free savings account. Then ask for some free cheques on the LOC and switch your LOC into the "chequing" slot on your debt card.

Done. No fees. No interest as long as you replenish your LOC "overdraft" from EQ same day.
POLL: How frequent is your RRSP-matching?
Plastiq: Pay any bill with credit card for 0-2.5% fee (help meet min spending and keep old cards active!)
Rewards program transfer times (e.g. SPG->Aeroplan, Marriott->SPG, Amex MR->SPG...)
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 6, 2007
960 posts
128 upvotes
Toronto
ace604 wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 2:06 pm
The CIBC LOC has free Interac e-Transfers and free cheques.
EQ has 2.3% and 5 free Interac e-Transfers.

You already have the perfect setup IMO.

I have in the back of my mind to switch to that setup from my current one actually.

All you need to do is close the chequing account or convert it to a free savings account. Then ask for some free cheques on the LOC and switch your LOC into the "chequing" slot on your debt card.

Done. No fees. No interest as long as you replenish your LOC "overdraft" from EQ same day.
Thanks! That was great advice!!!

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