I’m planning to open a new chequing account in the near future, and I’m contemplating bailing on RBC. I’ve been with them for a very long time, and one possible outcome is that I’ll just open a new RBC account and be done with it. That’d be… fine.

But for a variety of reasons (including my satisfaction with RBC trending steadily downward), I’m thinking about opening this new account elsewhere. I don’t have a ton of hard requirements, and I’m not really sure what to look for in a bank, but the following would be nice:

  • Good online banking experience, particularly desktop (RBC is shockingly bad at this)
  • Good credit card; easy to make payments from the new account
  • Minimal fees
  • Easy e-transfers
  • Real security (another thing RBC is terrible at)
  • Neat rewards would be cool
  • Low-fee, low-friction investing would also be cool-- I don’t really do much investing, but I’d like to be able to

Any suggestions would be great, including anti-suggestions if you happen to know of a bank that I should avoid.

  • shalafi@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    I’d inquire at your local credit unions. Unless I had specific business needs, I’d never go back to a bank.

    • SamuelRJankis@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      Credit Unions are really bad on the tangibles like locations, hours and range of products offered.

      They are great for intangibles like not hard selling you on high management fee mutual funds or people that just want drop the call as quick as possible. Really just feels like you’re talking to a real human being trying to help you.

      • thanks_shakey_snakeOP
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        3 months ago

        How about online banking? Do credit unions offer decent experiences, or is it largely an in-person experience?

        (Great username btw)

        • Pixel
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          3 months ago

          Almost all credit unions (as well as small banks like Canadian Western Bank/Motive Financial) basically all use the standard platform offered by CentralOne, so there’s no difference. I love my credit union but the lack of compatibility with Flinks and Plaid creates frustrations sometimes (for connecting to Wealthsimple, etc.).

  • Avid Amoeba
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    3 months ago

    When I had my moment of questioning the banking situation, I discovered that credit unions in Ontario are regulated to be nonprofit. I chose one of the larger ones - Meridian - and opened an account. I haven’t had a problem since. Every interaction with them has been pleasant. I also have an account with their subsidiary bank - Motusbank. I did that because I wanted to get a mortgage promo they offered. At the time of signing up with Meridian, their mortgage rates were lower than my employee mortgage rate at TD. Which makes sense. If there’s no shareholders to funnel profit to, they can offer lower interest on loans and higher interest on deposits. There are no monthly fees. E-transfers are cheap. They’re free with Motusbank. The web interface is simple and easy to use. It doesn’t have a lot of features but it does well what it can. The mobile app is pretty decent too.

    • thanks_shakey_snakeOP
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      3 months ago

      That’s an idea that I hadn’t really thought of. Do you know how credit unions work if you want to move to another province or something?

      • Mycatiskai
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        3 months ago

        Credit unions are provincial so you just open a new account in the province that you moved to and you can e-transfer between the two accounts if you have payments in your original province.

        I left my BC account open because of my car payments to the the credit union and transferred money to the BC account from my Ontario account with a different credit Union every month. When I moved back to BC, I closed the Ontario account after transferring everything back into my BC account.

        You can deposit and withdraw from any other credit union ATM without fees across the country. The rates for mortgages can be a little higher than the banks but that is because they are smaller.

  • hydration9806@lemmy.ml
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    3 months ago

    I can provide some info about TD, Simplii, Tangerine, EQ, and Wealthsimple (more of an investing service than a bank):

    Online Banking Experience:

    • TD: Webapp works but is not pretty. App is more polished.
    • Simplii: Webapp is similar to TD in lack of polish. Mobile app is similar to the other two above.
    • Tangerine: Webapp is a bit better than the above two. App is more polished.
    • EQ: Webapp is a bit more polished like Tangerine. Mobile app is a little worse than the above but still fine.
    • Wealthsimple: Probably the best webapp and mobile app experience.

    Credit Cards (Ease of Use):

    • TD: Many credit card options and can automate payments for it from any institution (I believe).
    • Simplii: They have a free card that has 4% back on restaurants which is pretty cool. Can be automated from other institutions.
    • Tangerine: They have a very cool free credit card (2% back on 2-3 user selected categories). Annoyingly though, you can’t automate payments using another institution.
    • EQ: No idea about credit cards.
    • Wealthsimple: I believe they just released a new credit card. No idea how good it is.

    Fees:

    • TD: They have an account that if you keep a minimum $5000 in it, there are no fees and you get some extra perks (free premium credit card, etc.). Other than that, the free account with no minimum is pretty limited.
    • Simplii: Free accounts and credit cards.
    • Tangerine: Free accounts and credit cards.
    • EQ: Free accounts. Not sure about credit cards.
    • Wealth simple: Free account. Not sure about credit card.

    Etransfers:

    • TD: etransfers have a fee but is waived if you hit the minimum in the account.
    • Simplii: free
    • Tangerine: free
    • EQ: free
    • Wealth simple: no idea. Don’t think they allow etransfers.

    Security:

    • TD: Security is okay. They have a standalone authenticator app, so they need to step it up, but sadly they are still one of the better ones in Canada.
    • Simplii: Meh security. Normal passwords and SMS 2FA.
    • Tangerine: Awful security. Your password can only be a 6 digit numerical pin. Thankfully they require 2FA but only using SMS.
    • EQ: Meh security. Normal passwords and SMS 2FA.
    • Wealth simple: Good security. TOTP available and I believe passkey is here or coming? Not sure about that last part, but I wouldn’t be surprised with how ahead of the curve they are in this area.

    Rewards:

    • TD: Rewards depend on the credit card here.
    • Simplii: Rewards are just in credit card.
    • Tangerine: They have various rewards throughout the year. Usually temporary boosts to the interest on their savings account.
    • EQ: Nope.
    • Wealth simple: Nope.

    Investing:

    • TD: No idea.
    • Simplii: no idea
    • Tangerine: no idea
    • EQ: Can buy GICs here but no idea otherwise.
    • Wealth simple: The best since it’s an investing service.

    Misc:

    • TD: Great customer support and very established. Has lots of options for accounts, cards, etc.
    • Simplii: No in person access.
    • Tangerine: No in persona access. Security is abysmal but the other services are pretty good.
    • EQ: Typically has the highest interest rate of all Canadian banks for the savings account. No in person access.
    • Wealth simple: Great for investing and a good service!

    What I do: I have my everyday banking with TD, savings with EQ, and investing with Wealthsimple. When Tangerine gives a promo, I move my savings there until the promo expires, then I move it back to EQ. I have credit cards with a bunch, but the one I’m considering ditching is the Tangerine one since payments cannot be automated through another institution.

    • cheerytext1981
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      3 months ago

      Wealthsimple Cash covers most of what one might be looking for in a chequing account.

      • 4.5% interest if you deposit your paycheque into it. 3% otherwise I think? It’s quite high
      • you can send e-transfers from a Cash account, or you send money using WS Cash to other Cash users. Both workflows are easy

      The Cash card also has 0.5% cash back on purchases IIRC and is essentially a prepaid credit card / debit card. I love WS Cash, the only reason I don’t use it more often is that I have an Amex.

      • deege
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        3 months ago

        4% before any direct deposit bonuses.

        It’s pretty decent for a cash / emergency / short term savings account.

        It lacks features though (recurring transfers in/out from other institutions is the main one for me).

      • thanks_shakey_snakeOP
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        3 months ago

        That’s a pretty good deal actually. I wouldn’t have thought to look there, but now I’m going to.

    • thanks_shakey_snakeOP
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      3 months ago

      Wow, this is stunningly thorough, thank you! I will be looking into each of these. If you were going to pick just one institution to work with, would you steer away from any of the options you mentioned? I would consider working with multiple, but the short-term move will just be a new account for my paycheque direct deposit and general daily banking.

      I’m also curious about moving money between Tangerine and EQ: Is that like based on interest rates?

      • hydration9806@lemmy.ml
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        3 months ago

        Happy to help! If I had to pick just one it would probably be TD or Wealthsimple (with Tangerine as the runner up). TD because of the All Inclusive account that has no fees with a minimum balance of $5000 and a bunch of extra perks like a pretty great premium credit card. Wealthsimple because it’s the hands down best investing option (highly recommend visiting this website for guidance). Tangerine is close but I just can’t fully stomach their security and how they don’t implement some ease or use features (most other banks I’ve experienced have them all so they have no excuse).

        Moving money between EQ and Tangerine really only nets an extra few hundred per year at most, so it’s not super worth it honestly. I do it because I like the little bit extra. You’re correct there, I move it only when Tangerine offers a promotional interest rate for their HISA that is higher than the HISA at EQ.

  • Rose56
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    3 months ago

    Check the online ones like desjardins, eqbank etc. they have more positives stuff. Also check redflagdeals. they have a lot of discussions regarding bank acounts.
    AFAIK the big banks will charge for almost everything.

    I’m with RBC, and apart from 1 time not sending a replacement card, which I requested, everything worked fine so far.

  • nbailey
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    3 months ago

    My advice would be to weight your decision on which bank has a branch within walking distance. I know that sounds like boomer advice, but it’s genuinely saved my butt a few times. I was with RBC for a while, but they’re generally terrible so I agree with that decision.

    In my opinion, all a bank does is hold onto my paycheque until it can go to rent/mortgage, credit card autopay, or into the TFSA/RRSP accounts. If I look at the records for my chequeing account there’s usually 4-5 transactions per month.

    The important decision, to me, is which credit card and investing account to get. These are the ones that actually matter.

    For posterity, here’s what I use at the moment:

    • chequing/savings accounts at Libro credit union (3 minute walk away) and TD (backup, 15 minute walk away). Lowest account “tier” and bare minimum in each to get the fees waived.
    • credit card: some visa with a high limit and cash back because I don’t like “points”
    • investing: TFSA and RRSP at wealthsimple because there aren’t any fees on ETFs.

    The nice thing is that these can all be decoupled. If I change any component, it’s just adjusting the autopay info on its dependants.

    • Rose56
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      3 months ago

      My advice would be to weight your decision on which bank has a branch within walking distance. I know that sounds like boomer advice

      It does not, because while online banking and support sounds good, there will be always a time where people will need in person help. And I believe this what most of the people are looking for.

  • DarkSirrush
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    3 months ago

    I have only had good experiences with tangerine, the only time I have been hit with a fee was when a preauth transaction bounced - which was my fault, PayPal defaulted to the wrong card.

    App/web app has 2FO, app can be set to use fingerprint/faceid instead of PIN, credit cards and lines of credit accounts are integrated and available credit is updated instantly. They even recently got credit score checking integrated into the app.

    Debit cards are debit-visas, credit cards are MasterCard.

    You are forced to use a 6 digit numeric pin for signing in however.