Author Topic: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?  (Read 198 times)

okits

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[CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« on: October 11, 2017, 10:35:54 PM »
I have a chequing account that's almost 20 years old.  Traditional bank.

For a long while, if I maintained a minimum balance of $1k there were no fees.  About 18 months ago they upped the minimum to $2k, which annoyed me but I kept the higher balance and just lived with it.

Well, the bank has changed the terms again, so I'm paying $3.90 in monthly fees, and there's no option to avoid it by keeping a minimum balance.  (A different type of chequing account will allow you to avoid fees but the minimum balance is $3k and you need an automatic monthly income deposit or two automatic monthly bill payments, and I have no regular income ATM and do not pay bills from my bank account.)

So!  Is $3.90/month a trivial amount to worry about?  I'd rather not pay it, but maybe it's not a big deal.  I do have a personal line of credit attached to it, but being Mustachian, neither use it nor really need it.

I could get a no-fee Tangerine chequing account (I already have other accounts with them).  You can use Scotiabank ATMs, I think.  (The sign up incentive gives you $100 if you have your payroll deposited there.  Too bad I'm unemployed and don't know when I'll land a job.  Whomp whomp.)

I could get added as a joint user on my DH's chequing account.  He's at a different bank and holding a minimum balance to avoid fees.  I've kept my own chequing account, though, because one of our tax optimization strategies is to pay our expenses from his more highly taxed income, and to invest all mine (so the investment income all gets taxed at my lower rate.  Americans - in Canada, spouses are still taxed as individuals.) Having a separate account where all my income goes makes income attribution easy to prove, in case of an audit. 

I realize I could try to negotiate with my bank, but if that yields no fruit I'd like a
Plan B.

Thoughts about what I should do?  TIA.

Step37

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 11:14:25 PM »
I detest paying bank fees . . . So I donít. I have a Tangerine chequing account and itís been great. I love that I can deposit Cheques through my phone app (I donít think all of the major bricks and mortar banks have this yet ó CIBC does). I know itís ďonlyĒ $50ish a year to save the inconvenience of switching over, but if you saw $50 on the sidewalk, would you throw it in the garbage?

You can still keep the LOC and write yourself a cheque from it if the need ever arose. Tangerine gives free overdraft as well (free if you cover it by dayís end) - not a feature I normally use, but has come in handy recently when my chequing account didnít have enough to cover something I couldnít put on credit card. I just transferred from the savings account right away after and no charge.

They also offer free Tangerine e-transfers (takes a day or so more than an Interac etransfer, which costs $1, which is still not too bad). And yes, you can use Scotiabank ATMs for no charge cash withdrawals (can also use for depositing if needed).
"Not wanting something is as good as possessing it." ~Donald Horban

Canadian Ben

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 07:30:10 AM »
I have a chequing account that's almost 20 years old.  Traditional bank.

For a long while, if I maintained a minimum balance of $1k there were no fees.  About 18 months ago they upped the minimum to $2k, which annoyed me but I kept the higher balance and just lived with it.

Well, the bank has changed the terms again, so I'm paying $3.90 in monthly fees, and there's no option to avoid it by keeping a minimum balance.  (A different type of chequing account will allow you to avoid fees but the minimum balance is $3k and you need an automatic monthly income deposit or two automatic monthly bill payments, and I have no regular income ATM and do not pay bills from my bank account.)

So!  Is $3.90/month a trivial amount to worry about?  I'd rather not pay it, but maybe it's not a big deal.  I do have a personal line of credit attached to it, but being Mustachian, neither use it nor really need it.

I could get a no-fee Tangerine chequing account (I already have other accounts with them).  You can use Scotiabank ATMs, I think.  (The sign up incentive gives you $100 if you have your payroll deposited there.  Too bad I'm unemployed and don't know when I'll land a job.  Whomp whomp.)

I could get added as a joint user on my DH's chequing account.  He's at a different bank and holding a minimum balance to avoid fees.  I've kept my own chequing account, though, because one of our tax optimization strategies is to pay our expenses from his more highly taxed income, and to invest all mine (so the investment income all gets taxed at my lower rate.  Americans - in Canada, spouses are still taxed as individuals.) Having a separate account where all my income goes makes income attribution easy to prove, in case of an audit. 

I realize I could try to negotiate with my bank, but if that yields no fruit I'd like a
Plan B.

Thoughts about what I should do?  TIA.

I have a BMO account because it's free with the military, but if it wasn't free, I'd only keep my tangerine accounts.

I second the tangerine option, you can use the referral system to get 50$, and the other person also gets 50$, and the 100$ is still available in the future if you get a payroll deposit, it's not necessarily Right Away. (I had an account for 5 years, then transfered my payroll for the bonus)
I'd be willing to send you my referral (since I'd get 50$ too!) or you could check in your friends/social circle, since someone probably has an account. I've never had any issues with tangerine, usually quick and simple to use.

stimepy

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 07:55:50 AM »
Make that a 3rd for getting out.  If a bank wants to charge you for the "privilege" of storing your money there and not have a simple option to get out of it, they can go fuck themselves.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. - Walter Bagehot

Sun Hat

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 08:22:30 AM »
I have a TD minimum chequing account. They waive the $3.95 fee if you keep a minimum balance of $2k. It only includes 12 transactions a month, above which they charge $1.50 each. I've since switched to making all of my purchases on my credit card, earning 1% cash back, and using the 12 transactions for automated payments, transfers and the like.

Tangerine certainly sounds great, but I love the ease of a one-stop shop.

ElleFiji

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 08:30:24 AM »
I don't think you can give any of us referral bonuses since you have other accounts. I switched to just tangerine/ING when I got divorced. At that point it was a pain. But now that they are on Scotia atms and they have a cafe/brick and mortar location in Toronto it's great. I know where all my Scotia banks are (my phone camera isn't good enough for the app).

But, sometimes things come up that tangerine can't do, like accept a non CAD cheque.

If DH belongs to a brick and mortar bank, I'd switch to tangerine. If not, I'd see what other banks are offering. I think that Meridian is about $3-4 without a minimum balance (as of...a year ish ago). I'd also book in with your bank person to discuss options and question the rates/see what can get waived.

frugaliknowit

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 08:40:33 AM »
If the Canadian market is similar to the U.S. market, it's easy enough to research banks to find one whose fee structure is optimal for you.  Changing checking accounts is a fair amount of work if you use what we commonly call "Bill Pay" as you will need to re-enter that into your new account.

okits

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Re: [CAN] Chequing account - fees, having my own, e-bank?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 08:00:43 PM »
Thanks everyone, good encouragement to find a free option.  I'll think on if I need a real bricks-and-mortar presence (we have a neighbourhood Meridian) or if Tangerine is the way to go.  I didn't know they did intra-Tangerine transfers; that's helpful.

Thank you for all the helpful replies!!