Spring may bring beautiful weather, but it unfortunately also brings new annual banking fees. This year, increases in banking fees have been subtle and changes vary between the five main banks. It’s all too simple to miss these changes and end up paying a frustrating amount of fees. For simplicity, I’ve divided their clients into the following three categories; individuals with no discount, seniors and youth/students.
Individuals with No Discount
Many of the banks have increased their transaction costs and the minimal account balance required to waive the account fee. Many have also added more services that are considered to be a “transaction”, including same bank loan and mortgage payments. They also have increased the cost of additional services like money orders and wire transfers.
All the banks offer similar basic banking accounts that include 12 transactions for a monthly fee of $3.90 to $4.00. These basic accounts often offer a limited amount of “in-person” transactions that can be conducted with a bank teller. Unlimited transactional accounts are also similar and have fees that range from $12.95 (Scotiabank) to $14.95 (BMO).
Typically, Canadians over 60 don’t need to pay for banking but this is beginning to change. RBC has changed its senior benefits to begin at the age of 65 and TD only offers free accounts to seniors that receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The amount of transactions and benefits also vary from bank to bank.
CIBC is the clear winner for their senior bank accounts because they are the only bank that offers unlimited banking to those over 60. The rest only offer basic accounts that allow up to 12 monthly transactions.
Youth and Students have better options than every other category of bank client. CIBC and Scotiabank offer free unlimited accounts and BMO offers a free option that allows up to 30 monthly transactions. TD offers free unlimited accounts to youth and free accounts with 25 transactions to students. RBC has the weakest options as their youth accounts only allow 15 monthly transactions and student get 25 free monthly transactions.
One of the key steps of financial literacy is to under what bank offers the services that best match their needs. I hope that this article helped illuminate this concern. In the near future I will be writing about online accounts and if these apply to you.
As always thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-289-0012.
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