Savers Roundup March 2018: GIC rate comparison table, EQ Bank GICs, and Brim Financial and Scotiabank launch no-forex fee credit cards

New GIC rate comparison table

Over the last month, none of the financial institutions that we track have changed their regular savings account interest rates. However, GICs are dominating the discussions in our forum.

As a result, we’ve launched a GIC rate comparison table that tracks all of the financial institutions that are on our main comparison chart. The new GIC chart is updated daily.

The chart does not track special terms or promotions from other banks, but we try to track them on the promotions page. GIC promos represent about half of our list of promotions, and we’ve seen continued rate increases to several financial institutions’ standard GIC rates over the past couple of weeks as well.

Ganaraska Credit Union (Ontario only) with the latest 4.00% GIC

We told you in the last Savers Roundup about a BC-only offer of a 4.00% annual return for a 33-month GIC at Coast Capital Savings, which is still valid until March 20, 2018. Now, Ganaraska Credit Union is offering a 4.00% 5-year GIC in Ontario only.

That’s much higher than the highest current 5-year GIC that we track at 3.26% from…

EQ Bank now offers GICs

2 years after the launch of its high interest savings account, EQ Bank now offers GICs with very impressive rates, including the aforementioned leading nationally-available (outside of Quebec) 5-year GIC. Its other rates rank in the top 3 on our GIC chart.

Brim Financial and Scotiabank launch no-forex fee credit cards

A not-so-niche category of credit cards is those that do not charge a 2.50% fee for foreign currency (such as US-dollar) charges. We’ve covered this quite a bit lately, and listed the options that remained since the Amazon and Marriott Visas from Chase were cancelled.

It didn’t take long for 2 new cards to fill the void: one from a completely new player and another that is the first of the big banks to eschew the foreign exchange fee. Both are surprising.

The previously unknown Brim Financial has started to accept — but not yet process — applications for 3 no-forex fee Mastercards, including one that doesn’t have an annual fee. Its rewards system and set of included insurance are unique, although Brim is of course unproven so far.

Scotiabank just added a Visa Infinite version of its “Passport” credit cards that has a $139 annual fee but no 2.50% foreign currency exchange fee. Among its other features is a set of 6 airport lounge passes to appeal to frequent travelers. It was long-speculated that all of the big bank credit cards would continue to charge the foreign currency exchange fee because they simply make so much money from that hidden charge; the landscape has now started to shift!

The new Brim Financial and Scotiabank cards are especially welcome news given that the Rogers and Fido Mastercards are getting worse starting on May 23, 2018. The rewards rate is going down from 4.00% to 3.00% on foreign currency purchases, making it effectively 0.50%. The earn rates on Canadian dollar purchases are both now 1.25%, down from 1.75% for the Rogers Mastercard and 1.50% for the Fido Mastercard. Note that there is also no more $29 annual fee for the Rogers Mastercard.

Simplii Financial promo extended for some, and at different rates

The Simplii Financial 3.00% new deposit promo expired at the end of February, but some savers got an extension of the offer through June 30, 2018. This time, however, it was not only targeted but the offer was also different rates: 1.75% for some, 2.50% for others, and no extension for everybody else.

Get monthly updates on bank promos and rate changes

Please write your comments in the forum.