Personal Finance

Who has switched completely to online banks?

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  • Mar 5th, 2020 7:11 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2008
1612 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto

Who has switched completely to online banks?

Im considering closing my TD account as im sick of having 2 grand just sit there to avoid the fees. Has anyone went completely to online banks?

Im worried about instances where i need my money quickly or need a bank draft/ Money order (say buying a car or house). I know some offer bank drafts but its slower then most physical banks.

Would love to hear anyone's pros / cons experiences.
83 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
11068 posts
5443 upvotes
Brampton
I did when I was younger and switched back. For the $5k I'm getting a decent benefit in terms of the cards (coverage/ins), Checks and Sec box(offline off site back up). The benefit was greater when everyone used to charge for etrans.
But it's still worth it to get free wires.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
3571 posts
1431 upvotes
Toronto
redzone wrote: Has anyone went completely to online banks?

Im worried about instances where i need my money quickly or need a bank draft/ Money order (say buying a car or house). I know some offer bank drafts but its slower then most physical banks.
I've been using Simplii (formerly PC Financial) for probably around 15 years now. Zero complaints and zero need for a "home" physical branch in all this time. They have zero fees for any daily chequing activities, free cheques, free eTransfers, etc.

Realistically how often are you buying a home or a car? I've done both several times over this time, and the process was super easy. In my case I just ordered the bank draft by phone and then picked it up from a local CIBC later that same day.

For instances you need cash quickly, you can call them to temporarily override your ATM withdraw limit. When I was doing home renos I did this to withdraw $5K cash a few times.
Last edited by rob444 on Feb 18th, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
1509 posts
605 upvotes
Why not something in the middle. Been using Simplii for all my life, back when we first opened an account with Presidents Choice when I was like 14 or 16 or something, went all my life without needing anything it didn't offer, now 36. If you need a bank draft just call them up and they have it available in like 2 hours at any local CIBC you choose. If you need money quickly, well you have access to all the CIBC ATMs. Don't see why anyone would need a ton of cash unexpectedly unless you need to pay a ransom. In instances when you do need cash, more than ATM offers, just call them and tell them to allow temporary ATM withdrawal limit lift, and they will implement it, so next time you go, you can take out as much as you asked them for. Most of the time the machine will be limited by the amount at any one time, but you can do multiple transactions no problem. I don't really see a need to have a physical branch at all for 99.999999% of the time.
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
1509 posts
605 upvotes
rob444 wrote: I've been using Simplii (formerly PC Financial) for probably around 15 years now. Zero complaints and zero need for a "home" physical branch in all this time. They have zero fees for any daily chequing activities, free cheques, free eTransfers, etc.

Realistically how often are you buying a home or a car? I've done both several times over this time, and the process was super easy. In my case I just ordered the bank draft by phone and then picked it up from a local CIBC later that same day.

For instances you need cash quickly, you can call them to temporarily override your ATM withdraw limit. When I was doing home renos I did this to withdraw $5K cash a few times.
Haha, I wrote exact same thing pretty much, but was typing it out as you posted this, didn't see until I hit submit.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Sep 20, 2015
150 posts
159 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I switched to online banking around 2004 to Presidents choice financial and never looked back. Currently I have Simplli, Tangerine and Alterna Bank account. Alterna Bank is my main everyday bank for 2 years and I am more than happier because:
1. I get decent interest money in my account every month. No need to chase interest promos.
2. Saving and chequing in one account - helps to reduce lot of unnecessary transactions and make baking lot easier and simpler.
3. Joint account option is available at Alterna bank.
4. Multiple accounts for different purposes with cover draft (like over draft but your own money from a different account) option, in case balance goes low in one particular account.
Deal Addict
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Jul 4, 2006
3346 posts
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I have found it helpful to have an account at a traditional bank to withdraw large sums of cash quickly for vendors (i.e. wedding, renovations).
Deal Addict
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Oct 27, 2002
1347 posts
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Toronto
I learned this a decade ago or something from RFD, but I can't believe people aren't using this more often:

Open an unsecured (or secured... doesn't matter) LOC with a major bank. Doesn't matter what the limit is. This is now your free, no fee, chequeing account. You get a debit card, you can make purchases, you can deposit or take out cash. You can even do bank drafts for huge 6 figure amounts.

All you have to do is overpay the balance, and there is no interest. You can EMT yourself the cash same day (e.g. from EQ). For example, I go and take out $100 from a TD ATM at 2pm on Monday; I just need to EMT myself the $100 back into the TD account by the end of day Monday to avoid any fees.
Newbie
Aug 3, 2019
70 posts
35 upvotes
I would suggest both ? Make one of the online banks your main but keep an account on one of the big 5 ( pick a no fee account , there are some). I say both cause for ex when i bought my car i went to the bank and asked for a bank draft, i needed that super fast. Not sure if i could have get a bank draft in 10 minutes with an online bank, i may be wrong.

Other than that, i never go to a branch, only when i buy stuff on kijiji and i need cash i go to an ATM to withdraw.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9892 posts
1447 upvotes
Havent had a B&M bank since 2001 or when PC Financial came out
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2008
1612 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto
f00kie wrote: I learned this a decade ago or something from RFD, but I can't believe people aren't using this more often:

Open an unsecured (or secured... doesn't matter) LOC with a major bank. Doesn't matter what the limit is. This is now your free, no fee, chequeing account. You get a debit card, you can make purchases, you can deposit or take out cash. You can even do bank drafts for huge 6 figure amounts.

All you have to do is overpay the balance, and there is no interest. You can EMT yourself the cash same day (e.g. from EQ). For example, I go and take out $100 from a TD ATM at 2pm on Monday; I just need to EMT myself the $100 back into the TD account by the end of day Monday to avoid any fees.
this is an intriguing method to achieve the need for quick cash when required. i like the approach. will have to do more research.

I do have a Simplii account as our day to day account i just remember the last time i needed a money order / bank draft i had to pay an extra fee to get it within a week. I guess thats not a big deal as it is such a rare event.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2017
1318 posts
706 upvotes
No need for me to go to online exclusively.
Have a motus ploc and chequing
And the basic cheq with rbc
Multi-product rebate-0$
Use cc once ever 90 days, and put 25$ a month into a tfsa
Pull cash out ever 6months, rinse and repeat
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2019
149 posts
76 upvotes
redzone wrote:
Im worried about instances where i need my money quickly or need a bank draft/ Money order (say buying a car or house). I know some offer bank drafts but its slower then most physical banks.
When are you planning on too buying a house and a car? Is that just a hypothetical scenario? If it's within a year, I would keep the TD account and close it after I purchase the house and car. If it's just a hypothetical scenario, I would just close the account.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2015
756 posts
353 upvotes
Guelph, ON
redzone wrote: Im worried about instances where i need my money quickly or need a bank draft/ Money order (say buying a car or house). I know some offer bank drafts but its slower then most physical banks.
I've never understood this reasoning, if you're not working for the mob I can't think of situations where I need a big hoard of cash instantly. Same for bank drafts, I've bought a house and a couple cars with them and it was never an issue to wait a couple days. The "I may need cash quickly" argument sounds the same to me as somebody needing to be able to get gold bars or diamonds in a hurry for some "emergency".

Anyway, I've been online for nearly 20 years (I'm not going to count my TD Savings account whose sole purpose is for buying E-Series funds).

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