Personal Finance

Want to leave big bank | Considering local Alterna | any advice?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 25th, 2017 11:55 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 3, 2011
154 posts
27 upvotes
Toronto

Want to leave big bank | Considering local Alterna | any advice?

Hello,

Live near the Canada government building at Yonge and Sheppard in Toronto.
Went the other day to run an errand and saw the Alterna Credit Union.
Been considering leaving my regular big bank (TD) for a while.
Reading up on things about credit unions and they do sound appealing.
Any thoughts? I don't have a mortgage and I don't have a car.

Just looking at some regular banking.....
15 replies
Jr. Member
Dec 12, 2016
103 posts
31 upvotes
yyztoronto416 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 5:41 pm
Hello,

Live near the Canada government building at Yonge and Sheppard in Toronto.
Went the other day to run an errand and saw the Alterna Credit Union.
Been considering leaving my regular big bank (TD) for a while.
Reading up on things about credit unions and they do sound appealing.
Any thoughts? I don't have a mortgage and I don't have a car.

Just looking at some regular banking.....
Do you need teller services? If not, consider Alterna Bank, subsidiary of Alterna CU. free daily banking. If you really want a credit union, Duca offers somewhat of free banking ($5 yearly membership fee).
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2015
1854 posts
971 upvotes
yyztoronto416 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 5:41 pm
Hello,

Live near the Canada government building at Yonge and Sheppard in Toronto.
Went the other day to run an errand and saw the Alterna Credit Union.
Been considering leaving my regular big bank (TD) for a while.
Reading up on things about credit unions and they do sound appealing.
Any thoughts? I don't have a mortgage and I don't have a car.

Just looking at some regular banking.....
Downtown Toronto is ripe with CIBC and PCF bank machines. I'd consider PC Financial for convenient access to their ATM network and free cheques. Alterna Bank or Credit Union should do you just fine.
Deal Addict
Jul 22, 2015
1164 posts
351 upvotes
Saint-Hubert, QC
I use Alterna Bank and I like it. Highest TFSA rate (non-promo) in Canada, free banking online and 4 free interact e-transert per month (if you open the eSaving and eChequing accounts). The only bad thing so far is you need to call them to move money from your TFSA to other accounts.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
2613 posts
569 upvotes
Ottawa
I use Alterna Savings for day-to-day banking, and Alterna Bank for my TFSA. Both are good, and since I'm now 60+, there are no fees.

My mother uses CIBC and has been given bad advice and high pressure sales. Never had that at Alterna. (Edited to fix typos)
Last edited by OttawaGardener on Apr 21st, 2017 8:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
Newbie
Jul 12, 2015
94 posts
12 upvotes
Brampton, ON
I don't think I understand what high pressure sales is.

Whenever they start to rant about something, I just say no and they just stop. If they don't, I interrupt them once more and say no. They usually get the point by then...do they bother you on a regular basis or something?

I just have a everyday chequeing with CIBC and a trading account. I get mail for credit cards and stuff, but they don't seem to be constantly selling me stuff.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
2613 posts
569 upvotes
Ottawa
Purplenim wrote:
Apr 21st, 2017 8:20 am
I don't think I understand what high pressure sales is. Whenever they start to rant about something, I just say no and they just stop. If they don't, I interrupt them once more and say no. They usually get the point by then...do they bother you on a regular basis or something?
...
High pressure sales is talking someone into a credit card they don't need, then refusing to cancel it -- had to listen to 5+ minutes of reasons why it should be kept and couldn't hang up because I wanted to cancel the card. High pressure is convincing an elderly person (my mother) to renew at 6.95% interest without giving other options. (Someone down-voted my post, odd thing to do)
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 11, 2014
1441 posts
550 upvotes
Iqaluit, NT
Alterna Bank is a good "alternative." ;)

There are also some other smaller credit unions in Toronto. Even ones that are community specific such as Latvian or Ukrainian Credit Union often offer free banking and are open to anyone. Their branch networks are much smaller, but they usually all have Exchange network access so shouldn't be a huge issue.

Depending on your future borrowing needs, these places might be better as they often have interest rebates or profit sharing. While Alterna provides great interest rates, they do not have profit sharing.
Support your local Credit Union! PM for different options available!
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1364 posts
497 upvotes
It's pretty tough to offer much advice if we don't know OP's motivation for wanting to leave his existing big bank or the nature of OP's interest in credit unions. I do business with both banks and credit unions, and each institution has its own advantages and disadvantages. But, for most people, I'd say that PC Financial or Tangerine probably offer an attractive combination of services and cost.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 3, 2011
154 posts
27 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for all your feedback.

There are a few reasons I am considering this.
Mainly recent news about big bank's bad behaviour with customers and their staff.
I've been with TD for over 40 years. They have not treated me unfairly, but I am attracted to the idea of supporting a credit union.
More of an emotional choice, and the satisfaction of supporting a credit union.

I have my RRSP and stocks tied up with TD Waterhouse.
Maybe I will start off with a chequing account for daily banking with Alterna.
I have reservations about diving completely in with everything.
I am looking at Alterna because it is the closest to my home and they open early on weekdays.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 6, 2010
1261 posts
413 upvotes
Toronto
I don't know much about Alterna. But I just joined Meridian (another credit union). Everything seems fine so far. Only dislike is I deposit money I can't touch it for 10 days.. The holding period is 10days! Apparently after 6 months I have to call in and theyll change it to like 3days. Just a heads up since I had no idea haha
I love Witcher 3!!
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 11, 2014
1441 posts
550 upvotes
Iqaluit, NT
yyztoronto416 wrote:
Apr 22nd, 2017 6:29 am
Thanks for all your feedback.

There are a few reasons I am considering this.
Mainly recent news about big bank's bad behaviour with customers and their staff.
I've been with TD for over 40 years. They have not treated me unfairly, but I am attracted to the idea of supporting a credit union.
More of an emotional choice, and the satisfaction of supporting a credit union.

I have my RRSP and stocks tied up with TD Waterhouse.
Maybe I will start off with a chequing account for daily banking with Alterna.
I have reservations about diving completely in with everything.
I am looking at Alterna because it is the closest to my home and they open early on weekdays.
One thing I will say is the credit unions don't have very good brokerage/investment arms. I am a big cheerleader for credit unions, but this is an area they need to work on. Qtrade is decent if the credit union offers partnership through here, but Credential Direct has a lot to be desired, and most of their mutual fund partners are expensive and even more expensive than the banks.

Lending/Borrowing arms are great; Many offer cash back, dividend, profit sharing which means getting a portion of your interest you paid back. Some credit unions can give a bit more flexibility in their lending and are generally more willing to work with you. Mind you, some of the smaller ones may charge more in interest as this is the effect of being a small player, but some are very competitive and cheaper than the banks, especially after profit sharing is accounted for.
Support your local Credit Union! PM for different options available!
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1364 posts
497 upvotes
The one observation that I would make is that this is a business relationship -- if you want a friend, buy a dog. If you want to be a do-gooder, then go to church. You're only objective in this exercise should be to obtain the best collection to financial services that you can, at the lowest cost. If you want to do something good for society, you can always tally up your savings from having chosen the most cost effective financial institution and donate them to charity.

Top