Personal Finance

Please recommend a new daily banking account/institution

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 5th, 2020 3:52 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1387 upvotes
Toronto

Please recommend a new daily banking account/institution

Over the last few years, we've been moving all of our services away from CIBC; beginning with our investments, and most recently our mortgage.... next and final service will be our daily banking (chequing/debit) account.

I know the RFD folks are pretty savvy gravitating towards the banks (either physical brick and mortar or virtual) to get the best bang for their money.... ie: no banking/transaction fees, etc. CIBC is brutal for monthly fees on the chequing account.

We rarely (if ever) go into the bank, maybe just to take cash out at an ATM for buying something on Kijiji. But we definitely need some kind of access to getting hard cash every now and then. Debit cards are used in the rare chance one of our credit cards aren't accepted somewhere, and we'd definitely need access to an e-transfer payment service. This would be a shared chequing account between my wife and I where our bi-weekly pays are automatically deposited by our employers.

We may be interested in using a savings account as well, if the interest rates are any good... we typically never bothered with savings accounts and kept all of our non-invested money in our chequing account.

So, RFD, please bless me with your knowledge/recommendation... what banks are great these days, especially for a new client? Tangerine? PC Financial? Others?

Thanks for your help!
23 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 14, 2003
4636 posts
2905 upvotes
LaLaLand
I bank with CIBC but only have a mortgage, lines of credit and credit cards with them. I use a line of credit like a chequing account and there are no fees except when I have to borrow from it. I also use a simplii chequing account but opened it for the sign up bonus. I find it pretty good so I've kept it open. Simplii is operated by CIBC so I assume one can access their ATM network.
Member
Jan 24, 2004
491 posts
77 upvotes
I use most of my banking through Tangerine and have been happy with them. Just regular banking with no transaction limits and free e-transfer. Like another poster mentioned, you can withdraw through the Scotiabank network.

I do suggest getting an account at a brick and mortar bank just in case. There are some things that you need to do at a brick and mortar like getting a certified cheque/bank draft right away.. Tangerine has this but takes time for them to send out.

If you don't want an account with one of the Big5, you could look at a credit union (I don't use one. I have an account at a Big5)
Deal Addict
Sep 14, 2012
1590 posts
1124 upvotes
Montreal, QC
I would recommend Tangerine as well (unlimited transactions, no minimum balances, and able to use the Scotiabank ATM network free of charge).

In terms of one of the Big 5, even though my main Big5 bank is with TD Canada Trust, I also have accounts with RBC and I find RBC's account fee structure to be more favourable than TD Canada Trusts' fee structure. What I mean by this is that RBC has something called a multiproduct rebate and for me, just having a credit card and an investment account with RBC grants me a chequing account where I get 12 free transactions per month (I don't do that many since most of my transactions are done on Tangerine) and I don't have to maintain a minimum balance in the chequing account unlike at TD Canada Trust. Information on the the multiproduct rebate that I'm getting can be found on http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/de ... ebate.html with what is included in my plan can be found on https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/accounts/d ... nking.html (where the normal monthly fee is $4/month)

Even though there are some people who only deal with online banks, I think it is a good idea to have at least an account in a brick & mortar bank (perhaps one of the Big 5) as well as an online only bank.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 18, 2003
5882 posts
1661 upvotes
Mississauga
if you like using apps.... then join simplii... it's way better than Tangerine...

Tangerine app sucks...buggy... and the slowest bank app i have ever used...
Sr. Member
Dec 22, 2007
782 posts
407 upvotes
Mississauga
Repooc wrote: Over the last few years, we've been moving all of our services away from CIBC; beginning with our investments, and most recently our mortgage.... next and final service will be our daily banking (chequing/debit) account.

I know the RFD folks are pretty savvy gravitating towards the banks (either physical brick and mortar or virtual) to get the best bang for their money.... ie: no banking/transaction fees, etc. CIBC is brutal for monthly fees on the chequing account.

We rarely (if ever) go into the bank, maybe just to take cash out at an ATM for buying something on Kijiji. But we definitely need some kind of access to getting hard cash every now and then. Debit cards are used in the rare chance one of our credit cards aren't accepted somewhere, and we'd definitely need access to an e-transfer payment service. This would be a shared chequing account between my wife and I where our bi-weekly pays are automatically deposited by our employers.

We may be interested in using a savings account as well, if the interest rates are any good... we typically never bothered with savings accounts and kept all of our non-invested money in our chequing account.

So, RFD, please bless me with your knowledge/recommendation... what banks are great these days, especially for a new client? Tangerine? PC Financial? Others?

Thanks for your help!
depends what your financial situation is some banks have $300 sign up bonus if you keep a balance.
HSBC had $1000 bonus in total with 100k in assets kept there to waive fees, not sure if still exists. This could be investments.

for savings you'll probably need to keep it separate from your main chequing to get anything out them them. SImplii has a promo of 2.3% if you can get that for a few months then move to where ever is next.

i have a cibc account and its no different then the bmo, rbc, nationalbank that i have. There is something to be said to have a branch to walk into and talk to someone face to face. I don't see much difference in the banks just like cell phone companies.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35645 posts
21730 upvotes
Center of Universe
+1 for Simplii
Free etransfers and cheques.
From time to time, they offer promo HISA rates, in which it is currently at 2.3% until the end of March.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2015
958 posts
560 upvotes
Guelph, ON
Simplii or Tangerine or both. They are both no-fee with chequing and savings accounts. Simplii you use CIBC ATMs, with Tangerine you use Scotia's.

Hopefully it won't matter to you that Simplii is owned by CIBC. It would probably be the most practical for you since you presumably know where the ATMs already are. And I've heard the websites are similar.
Sr. Member
Mar 14, 2014
895 posts
1143 upvotes
I'll second what @batcave mentioned about a uLOC with CIBC. As you already have a relationship with them, open one but don't tell them that's your intended use. It's a free chequing account with your credit limit being your overdraft. As for savings accounts, start with both Simplii and Tangerine. It's a great way to learn how to play the HISA game.
Member
Apr 16, 2015
361 posts
488 upvotes
I've been using Simplii (formerly PC Financial) as my only bank account for over 20 years. Free access to CIBC atms when you need it, good website (similar to CIBC), free cheques. Unless you have some complicated banking needs, it should be all you need.
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2005
947 posts
288 upvotes
I bank with RBC, Simplii and just started with PC money. RBC is for mortgage mainly. But I do require the odd services like certified Checks and that is more convenient than the e-banks. The app is pretty good. Simplii does have a snappier app. I’ve had no issues with Simplii. You can get money out at real Canadian Superstore or any CIBC branch without fees. PC money I got just to collect PC points to replace my PayTM set up. It’s ok too. Integration with the PC MasterCard is great. Almost all banks give you free etransfers - none of mines charge me for them. I think it comes down to personal preference...ie navigation of the interface, the ATM network, etc. Simplii and Tangerine sound almost identical
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 6, 2018
1679 posts
2006 upvotes
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Simplii (CIBC) or Tangerine (Scotiabank) for ATM access, Interac auto-deposit, and maybe a handful of other things you may need depending on the individual.

Simplii has the better (IMO,) cleaner app (same app as used by owner CIBC) and better LOC product features (has all the same features as their chequing account,) and Tangerine has Visa Debit (if you really need this...), the better no-fee Mastercard (my opinion!) and technically offers more digital banking features overall, including recipes and better alerts than Simplii.

If you write a ton of cheques then Simplii chequing may win out here since they offer unlimited free cheques where Tangerine offers only 1 book for free.

Both offer sporadic savings interest promos so grab one if you can but always watch for better options and move your savings around as necessary. A great many RFDers hold both+++.

https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/chart/

That point brings me to... EQ Bank as a push-pull conduit for any additional savings accounts you may pick up from other FIs (can link up to 10,) I also use EQ for monthly float/bill pay/emergency fund when better interest elsewhere is not available. I prefer EQ as my "conduit account" because it's a hybrid chequing-savings account where my dollars earn interest while they sit there waiting for their next move.

There are a few other no-fee digital banks that have a following but as a daily chequing account you would be restricted to Exchange network ATMs if any ATM access at all. Other combos exist but I recommend this set-up as a starting point to friends and family looking to go digital.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1387 upvotes
Toronto
I knew RFD would pull through on this request!

Sincere thanks to all of your who responded with your opinions and suggestions... certainly a lot for me to read through and digest.

At first pass, it seems to be a toss up between Simplii and Tangerine; and the true RFDers seem to have both, if not more, to funnel cash between different accounts to take advantage of various promos as they arise... SMART!!!

Please do keep the suggestions coming, I'll be sure to monitor this thread, and hopefully other considering the same will find some value in the thoughts posted here.

Cheers!
Deal Fanatic
Dec 24, 2005
5653 posts
1415 upvotes
anything but the free banks

RBC/TD > Scotia/BMO/CIBC > a warm turd > Tangerine.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 6, 2018
1679 posts
2006 upvotes
Halifax, Nova Scotia
milolai wrote: anything but the free banks

RBC/TD > Scotia/BMO/CIBC > a warm turd > Tangerine.
I'd swap a few of those list items, but to each their own lol...
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2015
958 posts
560 upvotes
Guelph, ON
milolai wrote: anything but the free banks

RBC/TD > Scotia/BMO/CIBC > a warm turd > Tangerine.
Enjoy throwing away money?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35645 posts
21730 upvotes
Center of Universe
JoeBlack23 wrote: Enjoy throwing away money?
I still have active accounts with RBC and TD without paying any fees, by holding multiple products and keeping a min balance.

While I'm now using Simplii for day to day banking, I wasn't able to move my investments, RESP, HELOC and mortgage over.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2015
958 posts
560 upvotes
Guelph, ON
vkizzle wrote: I still have active accounts with RBC and TD without paying any fees, by holding multiple products and keeping a min balance.

While I'm now using Simplii for day to day banking, I wasn't able to move my investments, RESP, HELOC and mortgage over.
I prefer a chequing account without conditions and locking up money that I can't use. AFAIK I don't think you need a chequing account for investments, RESP, HELOC and mortgage. I have TD e-series RRSP acounts but no chequing account with them.
Member
User avatar
Sep 20, 2015
209 posts
222 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I prefer Alterna Bank compared to Tangerine or Simplii and here is why:
1. You can have both Chequing and savings account but keep the chequing account empty with 'cover draft' enabled with savings account as backup.
2. You earn better interest on money parked for day to day transactions keeping it in savings account. No need to keep any money in Chequing account.
3. You can have multiple accounts.
4. No limit to link external accounts.
5. Debit card is available.

Cons:
1. Cheques are not free but their usage is very limited these days anyway.
2. Interest rate went down on savings account (1.20% at present) but still it is better compared to Tangerine and Simplii where you are forced to keep money in Chequing account.

Every use case is different but AlternaBank (www.alternabank.ca) worked out very well for me.
No offence to anyone, just my 2 cents.

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