Savers Roundup January 2019: rates are up from last year; short-term TFSA promos; the launch of High Interest Savings Cash Back

2019 rates are up from last year

Today, the Bank of Canada decided to keep its key interest rate the same. In its statement, it revised the real GDP outlook down slightly from the last update. However, 2018 saw interest rates and savings account rates continue to rise modestly and steadily, and every financial institution on our chart begins 2019 with rates higher than at the start of 2018, with the exception of Canadian Tire Financial. Motive Financial has the top savings account interest rate at 2.80%, and Ideal Savings leads for a TFSA at 2.76%.

The highest advertised, non-promo 5-year rate on our GIC chart is 3.60% (shared by EQ Bank and Oaken Financial), whereas last January it was Oaken Financial at the top with 3.15%.

More TFSA contribution room

As we welcome 2019, remember also that adults 18 years of age and older get another $6,000 of TFSA contribution room, as well as any unused contribution room and withdrawn amounts from 2018. In addition to regular rates, there are quite a few TFSA-eligible promotions such as Ontario-only Ganaraska Credit Union’s 4.00% 4-year GIC promo and Ideal Savings’ 3.25% 150-day GIC promo.

The targeted Tangerine Bank Winter 2019 promotion on new deposits, including to TFSAs, has arrived, so if you are a current customer, check your e-mail or online account for what has been reported as a 3.00% rate.

There are also TFSA-specific short-term promos (from 2.5 to 4 months) such as at BMO (3.25%), CIBC (3.00%), and Meridian Credit Union (3.25%). Be sure to do the math, though, and factor in normal rates after the promo expires as well as TFSA transfer out fees. If you intend to leave your money deposited past the promo period, you might be better off with a financial institution that has a non-promotional rate that works out higher in the long run.

Hubert Financial rate is back up

After decreasing its regular savings account interest rate from 2.50% to 2.30% on December 5, Hubert Financial brought the rate back to 2.50% less than 3 weeks later on December 22. That makes Hubert Financial tied with Bridgewater Bank on our chart for the third highest rate for regular savings accounts, and the second highest TFSA rate.

In other news, last month Alterna Bank increased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rates from 2.25% to 2.35%.

Personal finance cash back

High Interest Savings Accounts Cash Back is now live! High Interest Savings has partnered with several financial institutions to get you money back (via e-mail money transfer) for opening an account with them. Get $40 back for opening an EQ Bank account, $60 back for a Scotiabank credit card, or $5 to check your credit score with Borrowell. You can use your normal High Interest Savings forum account to access the offers.

Get monthly updates on bank promos and rate changes

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