There are a number of options for unlimited banking in Canada. These are a few from Canada’s most popular banks. I was disappointed to hear recently that citizensbank no longer offers a personal banking option. Share with us here if you know of other Canadian banks that offer unlimited free transactions or where it’s possible to have the fee waived.
|Name of Account||Monthly Fees||Notes|
|Royal Bank of Canada||RBC No Limit Banking||$10.95||Fees are waived with a multiproduct rebate. To qualify, an account holder must have a RBC Visa card, a mortgage or home equity loan and a qualifying investment. If the account holder is over 60 than they only need a RBC Visa card and a qualifying investment.|
|TD Canada Trust||TD Infinity||$12.95||Fees are waived if a minimum balance of $3000 is kept throughout the entire month.|
|Scotiabank||Scotia One||$9.95||Fees are waived if a minimum balance of $3500 is kept throughout the entire month.|
|Bank of Montreal||Performance Plan||$13.95||Fees are waived if a minimum balance of $3000 is kept throughout the entire month. Youth, students and young adults pay $5.45 monthly fee.|
|Vancity||E-Package Chequing||$7||Unlimited electronic banking. Only one free in person transaction per month. .70 cents for each additional in-branch transaction. Fees are waived if minimum of $1000 held in account.|
|President’s Choice Financial||No Fee Chequing Account||$0|
I was surprised to see that CIBC is the only bank without any option to waive their fees. I even called their customer service line inquiring about this specific account. I asked if there was any way to have to fee waived, any multi-product discount or a minimum balance required. The representative apologized and said that no, it wasn’t possible to have the fee waived under any conditions with their unlimited chequing account.
What is even more surprising is that President’s Choice Financial is a division of CIBC. I bank with PC Financial and regularly use CIBC machines at no cost. When I put my card in, the screen on the ATM at CIBC welcomes me to President’s Choice Financial. I even deposit cheques and withdraw money at no charge from CIBC ATMs. Why is it then, that they can’t offer their own customers free banking?
I was also surprised to see how complicated eligibility is for the RBC No Limit Banking Account. I understand the idea of a multi-product rebate and agree that it encourages loyalty. I have our children’s RESP accounts at RBC and have a RBC Visa card. It makes me eligible for a multi-product rebate on their Day to Day Banking Account which would give me 15 transactions a month. In order to receive unlimited free transactions I would also have to hold a mortgage or equity line. Fifteen transactions a month is not enough for my daily banking needs.
There is so much information available easily online. I’m surprised with so many other options out there, banks can continue to charge such high fees when their competitors have other alternatives. I understand that some people like having a brick and mortar bank. Internet banking isn’t for everyone. I’ve always been happy with it but I know for the first few months using it, I was a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of virtual banking. It’s been over 10 years now, and I’ve never had an issue. I’ve even ordered bank drafts, deposited US cheques and used my debit card internationally, all without any issues.
If I were to choose a brick and mortar bank today, I would choose one where, for a minimum balance, I could have my monthly fee waived.
The types of people who read personal finance blogs are probably already pretty careful with their money. It wouldn’t surprise me if most Million Dollar Journey readers pay no fees for unlimited banking in Canada. What continues to surprise me is that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Canadians continue to pay these fees when there are other options.
If you are looking for banking options in Canada, you have a choice. If you’re unhappy with your current bank, it’s easy to switch.
Are there other Canadian banks you want to tell us about? Feel free to share in the comments.
Kathryn works in public relations and training for a non profit. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Her passions include personal finance and adult education. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.