Personal Finance

Access Credit Union Thread

  • Last Updated:
  • May 29th, 2020 8:25 pm
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
12500 posts
9308 upvotes
Leask

Access Credit Union Thread

I think Access CU deserves its own thread.

Gonna run through the five W's...
  • Who & Where - a credit union in Southern Manitoba offering membership through online sign-up's for deposit accounts to all Canadian residents, province-agnostic
  • What & Why - top tier rates on TFSA. For non-reg, you'll get better rates doing musical chairs or sticking with Motive. They don't seem to offer uLOC's. Their USD chq account PPU fee is slightly higher than over at SCU. Can sign up for a Plan 24 non-reg savings for funds transfer (external account transfers, bill pays, link to PayTM, PayPal and the likes, etc.) so it can be a simplistic setup
  • When - you're ready to utilize their competitive TFSA no-term rates. There doesn't seem to be a welcome bonus nor referral incentive, but they'll reimburse a bank to bank TFSA to TFSA transfer fee of up to $120
  • How - will explain below...
  1. signup online. Soft pull. Choose Plan 24 only. E-transfer $105 ($100 min funding, $5 member share)
  2. Call them as soon as you can. Request: PAD form/letter with teller stamp (teller stamp only matters if you use Simplii), suppress debit card, suppress paper statements. Granted, these requests are optional, but most of us don't want paper statements or debit card for a "deep savings" outlet
  3. You won't be able to add your accounts from other FI's as external Access-side. Instead, use PAD info to link Access Plan 24 as external to Simplii, Tangerine, EQ, and your other CU's and subbies that allow external account linking. You can link to PayTM but note that because it's a 12 digit account number (greater than 10), send PAD credentials to PayTM via in-app support (they'll inject MD's and claw back later)
  4. Assuming you now have access to online banking, go back to the signup page and order the TFSA no-term. You will have the option of e-transfer, or move the $100 from Plan 24 to TFSA
  5. Now game on and feast!
  6. You may wish to bookmark their login page, was somewhat tricky to find when browsing on a phone

Be aware...
  1. withdrawals - Plan 24 has five (5) no-fee withdrawals per month, and that includes internal transfers (should be enough). TFSA has only one (1) no-fee withdrawal per month, then it's $5 PPU fee
  2. Plan 24 interest is lower than at SCU, but the flexibility of Access CU's Plan 24 keeps it simple...we're in it for the TFSA anyway, right?
  3. TFSA interest calculated on daily balance, paid out twice per year (end of June and end of December). Unlike SCU, they don't pay out a dividend each year, so you're strictly going by the daily rate
  4. Access will turn down those who have too many recent credit union inquiries, oddly enough. If you've signed up for more than one credit union in the past 3-6 months, might be better to wait a bit before joining Access

@dmehus @Shawguy friendly tags...
eBay profile| Motorola phone. Linux on 2xcomputers. Brew beer & wine @home. Hackers keep changing my location to Leask on weekends.
DUCA thread | Simplii Account Linking | Make CCTS Claim | Max on Koodo Referrals Thread
70 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 16, 2017
2538 posts
1030 upvotes
CND Brain & Hear…
Messerschmitt wrote: What's the TFSA rate? Only thing I could find is https://www.accesscu.ca/Rates/RRSPs/

What's 2.8% variable?
I think variable means no term.

Honestly I have never seen that before in Accounting or Finance myself. Maybe it's the English language in the Prairies?

IMO, best TFSA without the hassle of CU and/or the uncompetitive chequing/Savings would be
(1) 2.5% Motusbank. frankly I'm believing Motus would become bigger than Alterna and Motive.
(2) 2.4% - 2.35% Motive Alterna
Give me a J. I'm a maniac and an African expert.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 17, 2008
2592 posts
1764 upvotes
Winnipeg
dekvitaly wrote: I think variable means no term.

Honestly I have never seen that before in Accounting or Finance myself. Maybe it's the English language in the Prairies?

IMO, best TFSA without the hassle of CU and/or the uncompetitive chequing/Savings would be
(1) 2.5% Motusbank. frankly I'm believing Motus would become bigger than Alterna and Motive.
(2) 2.4% - 2.35% Motive Alterna
Yes variable refers to the day to day savings accounts... Meaning no fixed term. Many of the credit unions here is that term.
*Do you like someone's idea, post, or response? Why not consider giving them "thanks" and clicking the thumbs up to give them the credit they deserve.*
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
12500 posts
9308 upvotes
Leask
Messerschmitt wrote: What's the TFSA rate? Only thing I could find is https://www.accesscu.ca/Rates/RRSPs/

What's 2.8% variable?
You're right, just logged in and current rate is 2.80%, a recent drop from 2.85%.

@dekvitaly depends on one's savings goals. If one is to contribute smaller amounts and/or for smaller durations, then Alterna, Motive or any subby bank or credit union will fit the slot. But for bigger balances that one can park until end of year, Access and SCU are still best for that. Also, this is RFD where many of us don't mind such small hassles just to get better rates.
Last edited by titaniumtux on Dec 5th, 2019 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
eBay profile| Motorola phone. Linux on 2xcomputers. Brew beer & wine @home. Hackers keep changing my location to Leask on weekends.
DUCA thread | Simplii Account Linking | Make CCTS Claim | Max on Koodo Referrals Thread
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
1106 posts
833 upvotes
Toronto
If you want to use Access credit union as your day to day bank, you could also open up an All-in-One chequing account and maintain 2000.00 in it for unlimited etransfers,withdrawals. If you do that, it's cheaper to buy cheques from somewhere like ASAP cheques than from Access.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
12500 posts
9308 upvotes
Leask
Bull Dog wrote: If you want to use Access credit union as your day to day bank, you could also open up an All-in-One chequing account and maintain 2000.00 in it for unlimited etransfers,withdrawals. If you do that, it's cheaper to buy cheques from somewhere like ASAP cheques than from Access.
+1

But, those of us who aren't in Southern Manitoba (aka most of RFD), we'd only use Access CU for their no-term TFSA, and a single Plan 24 as a non-reg node in the chain.

There are...
  1. better no-fee chequing accounts - Simplii, Tangerine, Motive, Motusbank, DUCA (for us Ontarians)...
  2. better non-reg savings accounts - too many to list here but especially true if promo hopping with musical chairs
  3. better USD chq accounts - SCU and Meridian are both cheaper on PPU fee, TD where fee is higher, offers a min balance to waive fee
  4. better signup bonuses - sure, maybe not much at Manitoban CU's but still Achieva $25/referral, SCU gives draw entries for referrals (better than nothing), Hubert occasionally has $25/referral

Keeping Access CU for TFSA purpose only.
Last edited by titaniumtux on Aug 10th, 2019 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
eBay profile| Motorola phone. Linux on 2xcomputers. Brew beer & wine @home. Hackers keep changing my location to Leask on weekends.
DUCA thread | Simplii Account Linking | Make CCTS Claim | Max on Koodo Referrals Thread
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
1106 posts
833 upvotes
Toronto
titaniumtux wrote: +1

But, those of us who aren't in Southern Manitoba (aka most of RFD), we'd only use Access CU for their no-term TFSA, and a single Plan 24 as a non-reg node in the chain.

There are...
  1. better no-fee chequing accounts - Simplii, Tangerine, Motusbank, DUCA (for us Ontarians)...
  2. better non-reg savings accounts - too many to list here but especially true if promo hopping with musical chairs
  3. better USD chq accounts - SCU and Meridian are both cheaper on PPU fee, TD where fee is higher, offers a min balance to waive fee
  4. better signup bonuses - sure, maybe not much at Manitoban CU's but still Achieva $25/referral, SCU gives draw entries for referrals (better than nothing), Hubert occasionally has $25/referral

Keeping Access CU for TFSA purpose only.
Great summary, and not too many short forms !!!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1822 posts
987 upvotes
Kelowna
@dekvitaly Yeah, "variable savings" is what banks and credit unions used to call registered plan (i.e., RRSP) savings deposits that weren't in fixed terms (i.e., GICs). It's essentially the same thing as a TFSA HISA, but is used more internally nowadays than in public marketing. Being smaller credit unions, they likely don't have the same marketing wherewithal that the larger players have. ;)

Good summary, @titaniumtux, as usual. Disagree that ACU, SCU, and RCU (what's your reason for not preferring RCU? It works the same way) should be used only for registered accounts. They're fine for non-registered accounts in which you only withdraw once per year. (See below.)

Also, disagree on DUCA, @titaniumtux. They lost me when they radically shut down Zenbanx Canada in partnership with a U.S. FDIC-insured bank and then shortly thereafter changed their bond of association back to requiring Ontario residency. They also reportedly, according to @jacnel, don't advertise their Acculink ATM network membership at their ATMs like other credit unions do. There are way better no-fee chequing account options in Ontario, including PACE Credit Union (my top pick), Comtech Fire Credit Union (my second top pick), PARAMA Credit Union, and FirstOntario Credit Union.

Bottom line: ACU, SCU, and RCU (Rosenort Credit Union) are worthy mentions for registered and non-registered savings deposits, but treat them like 1-year prime-linked GICs that "mature" in December of each year such that you have a 1 month "window" to withdraw funds after the interest is paid in November. Don't make regular withdrawals (you shouldn't be withdrawing more than once a year in a TFSA anyway). And if you're using your TFSA for a savings account, the government is loving you all the way to the bank (pardon the pun) for under-utilizing its potential in dramatic fashion. ;)

Cheers,
Doug
Last edited by dmehus on Nov 1st, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1822 posts
987 upvotes
Kelowna
Bull Dog wrote: Great summary, and not too many short forms !!!
+10, @Bull Dog. Yes, @titaniumtux loves his abbreviations. I wonder if he talks to his spouse in abbreviations? ;)

(GGS (going grocery shopping), hon. Will use PCF WE MC to max RP (reward points). NE (need anything) in particular?)

Cheers,
Doug
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
12500 posts
9308 upvotes
Leask
dmehus wrote: +10, @Bull Dog. Yes, @titaniumtux loves his abbreviations. I wonder if he talks to his spouse in abbreviations? ;)

(GGS (going grocery shopping), hon. Will use PCF WE MC to max RP (reward points). NE (need anything) in particular?)

Cheers,
Doug
@dmehus I love acronyms more than abbreviations, mainly due to the convenience. In spoken language, they add little value and are mostly used when discussing things in some sort of secret code to prevent evesdroppers from following the conversation.
eBay profile| Motorola phone. Linux on 2xcomputers. Brew beer & wine @home. Hackers keep changing my location to Leask on weekends.
DUCA thread | Simplii Account Linking | Make CCTS Claim | Max on Koodo Referrals Thread
Sr. Member
Jul 16, 2019
506 posts
441 upvotes
dmehus wrote: And if you're using your TFSA for a savings account, the government is loving you all the way to the bank (pardon the pun) for under-utilizing its potential in dramatic fashion. ;)
Could you elaborate on this point?
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
12500 posts
9308 upvotes
Leask
dmehus wrote: @dekvitaly Yeah, "variable savings" is what banks and credit unions used to call registered plan (i.e., RRSP) savings deposits that weren't in fixed terms (i.e., GICs). It's essentially the same thing as a TFSA HISA, but is used more internally nowadays than in public marketing. Being smaller credit unions, they likely don't have the same marketing wherewithal that the larger players have. ;)

Good summary, @titaniumtux, as usual. Disagree that ACU, SCU, and RCU (what's your reason for not preferring RCU? It works the same way) should be used only for registered accounts. They're fine for non-registered accounts in which you only withdraw once per year. (See below.)

Also, disagree on DUCA, @titaniumtux. They lost me when they radically shut down Zenbanx Canada in partnership with a U.S. FDIC-insured bank and then shortly thereafter changed their bond of association back to requiring Ontario residency. They also reportedly, according to @jacnel, don't advertise their Acculink ATM network membership at their ATMs like other credit unions do. There are way better no-fee chequing account options in Ontario, including PACE Credit Union (my top pick), Comtech Fire Credit Union (my second top pick), PARAMA Credit Union, and FirstOntario Credit Union. They're like the HSBC Bank Canada of Ontario credit unions, with frequent senior executive team departures and changes in business strategy.

Bottom line: ACU, SCU, and RCU (Rosenort Credit Union) are worthy mentions for registered and non-registered savings deposits, but treat them like 1-year prime-linked GICs that "mature" in December of each year such that you have a 1 month "window" to withdraw funds after the interest is paid in November. Don't make regular withdrawals (you shouldn't be withdrawing more than once a year in a TFSA anyway). And if you're using your TFSA for a savings account, the government is loving you all the way to the bank (pardon the pun) for under-utilizing its potential in dramatic fashion. ;)

Cheers,
Doug
someweirdo wrote: Could you elaborate on this point?
@someweirdo good catch, @dmehus types long posts and I struggle to read them in full at times.

I'll tackle @dmehus's post...
  1. thank you for liking my summary. Access over Rosenort in a heartbeat. Because Rosenort has no no-fee withdrawals for Plan 24, and their HYS HISA (non-reg) requires funds parked for the full month, else earn no interest. They are not "fine" for non-reg, because you could do better at Motive. If you wanna keep massive amounts of moneys in liquid, no-term HISA's (non-reg), then consider these after you've exceeded CDIC cap at Motive. Play musical chairs with Simplii, Tangerine and the likes and do better than these B&M CU's (although they have relatively high rates). We love these CU's for their TFSA's because their rates are so good (offsets the GIC-esque recipe) and you can't really do musical chairs with TFSA anyway (well switch once per year if you've maxed out contribution room)
  2. While I'm not saying DUCA is great, they do offer no-fee chq account (unlimited withdrawals, no monthly fee or min balance) and they're a B&M CU. Not a plethora of FI's happen to fit that criteria
  3. I'd say Access and SCU are neck to neck, but Rosenort is a distant third, before you consider the next tier of no-term TFSA rates (the Manitoban credit union subbies...and Motusbank)
  4. @someweirdo i think @dmehus suggests using a TFSA with term and/or higher risk would yield better returns
eBay profile| Motorola phone. Linux on 2xcomputers. Brew beer & wine @home. Hackers keep changing my location to Leask on weekends.
DUCA thread | Simplii Account Linking | Make CCTS Claim | Max on Koodo Referrals Thread
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1822 posts
987 upvotes
Kelowna
titaniumtux wrote: @someweirdo good catch, @dmehus types long posts and I struggle to read them in full at times.

I'll tackle @dmehus's post...
  1. thank you for liking my summary. Access over Rosenort in a heartbeat. Because Rosenort has no no-fee withdrawals for Plan 24, and their HYS HISA (non-reg) requires funds parked for the full month, else earn no interest. They are not "fine" for non-reg, because you could do better at Motive. If you wanna keep massive amounts of moneys in liquid, no-term HISA's (non-reg), then consider these after you've exceeded CDIC cap at Motive. Play musical chairs with Simplii, Tangerine and the likes and do better than these B&M CU's (although they have relatively high rates). We love these CU's for their TFSA's because their rates are so good (offsets the GIC-esque recipe) and you can't really do musical chairs with TFSA anyway (well switch once per year if you've maxed out contribution room)
  2. While I'm not saying DUCA is great, they do offer no-fee chq account (unlimited withdrawals, no monthly fee or min balance) and they're a B&M CU. Not a plethora of FI's happen to fit that criteria
  3. I'd say Access and SCU are neck to neck, but Rosenort is a distant third, before you consider the next tier of no-term TFSA rates (the Manitoban credit union subbies...and Motusbank)
  4. @someweirdo i think @dmehus suggests using a TFSA with term and/or higher risk would yield better returns
LOL, @titaniumtux, I thought you were one of seemingly a few people that read my full postings! I've yet to find someone that reads every post of mine, word for word. ;)

But yeah, @someweirdo, @titaniumtux is right, in answer to your question. That's what I was suggesting - although the government doesn't actually make anything off one's TFSA assets (notwithstanding over-contribution penalties!), I'm suggesting that by using the TFSA for just low-yielding, ultra-conservative investments like HISAs and GICs, you're effectively submitting to the government's forecasts of lost potential tax revenue because the amount they're losing is much, much less than those who would otherwise have to pay capital gains and other taxes on investments that carry higher risk outside of their TFSA. Hope that makes sense. :)

Thanks for the explanation re: RCU, @titaniumtux, and I agree that the interest rate tiers do make the Savvy Savings Account from Motive superior for under $250,000 to that of ACU, RCU, and SCU. However, even though Rosenort requires you hold the funds in your account for the full month, I think you might be misreading what they've worded. Effectively, they have the same thing as ACU and SCU, no? If you withdraw part of the funds from the RCU HYS HISA, they still pay the interest on the lower balance for the full month - same as ACU and SCU. ACU and SCU are superior in the sense that they're larger, potentially more stable credit unions; however, RCU may be technically superior in that they may be more responsive to their members (i.e., you can literally call up their CEO or, more likely, General Manager on his or her direct office line).

Re: "motusbank" - can we resolve to refer to it by its legal name, Motus Bank? I think the combination of the two disparate words into one is asinine and I hope they fix that up. They may even be off-side with CDIC disclosure bylaws on that basis. Or better yet, admit they f**ked up on their launch strategy by not having access to deposited funds limits, too conservative of credit risk policies, and 3-5 extra processing days to post EFT DRs and CRs (ooh! two new acronyms to add to your stickied thread!) and relaunch under a rebranded name (@dekvitaly might agree). Because of those features and the fact that they're tied with Hubert for the lowest of the Manitoba CU HISA rates, I rank Motus Bank's HISA and TFSA variable savings account as being in the "third tier" in line with People Trust Company and its soon-to-launch Peoples Bank of Canada sister HISA and GIC issuer (their rate is 25 bps lower, but they offer a better online banking experience and faster EFT processing times).

Cheers,
Doug
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
1106 posts
833 upvotes
Toronto
titaniumtux wrote: +1

But, those of us who aren't in Southern Manitoba (aka most of RFD), we'd only use Access CU for their no-term TFSA, and a single Plan 24 as a non-reg node in the chain.

There are...

better no-fee chequing accounts - Simplii, Tangerine, Motusbank, DUCA (for us Ontarians)..
Don't forget Cha-Ching chequing account at Motive Financial- that's a great no fee chequing account
Monthly fee......................................................... Free
Deposits..................................................................Free
Monthly withdrawals* included....................... Unlimited
First 50 Personalized Cheques.................................Free
THE EXCHANGE® Network ATM withdrawal fee... Free
Non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawal fee......2 Free, additional withdrawals $1.50

Top