Savers Roundup September 2019: a 3.30% savings account; MAXA Financial is the new TFSA leader; avoid PayPal forex fees

Back to school means September bank account promotions

Big banks highlight the latest promotions we are tracking, as financial institutions compete for your savings account dollars this fall:

For BC residents only, Coast Capital Savings is offering $500 to new members who open a chequing account before October 6, 2019 and meet certain conditions, such as switching payroll direct deposits to them.

At motusbank, Alterna Bank, and Oaken Financial, rates are dropping

motusbank has now decreased its regular savings account interest rate from 2.25% to 2.10% and its TFSA from 2.50% to 2.35%. These are its first main account rate changes since motusbank’s end of March launch. Implicity Financial also decreased both its regular savings account and TFSA interest rates from 2.40% to 2.30%.

This leaves MAXA Financial as the highest TFSA rate on our chart at 2.45%. Motive Financial tops the regular savings account rate at 2.80%, which it has kept for almost 1 year. Our forum members have just started to discuss B2B Bank, a subsidiary of Laurentian Bank, which has an even higher regular savings account interest rate of 3.30%.

Alterna Bank recently decreased its GIC rates by as much as 0.80% and made a small decrease to its TFSA interest rate from 2.35% to 2.30%. Its regular savings account interest rate remains at 2.30%.

Oaken Financial has announced that its GIC rates are going to drop on Friday, September 20, which would remove the last remaining 3.00% rate on our GIC chart.

Is the concept of a separate chequing and savings account obsolete?

It takes work to manage cash flows between chequing and savings account, not to mention forgone interest earnings. Our latest article explores a few ways to make this easier, from EQ Bank’s single hybrid account, to automated coverdraft and overdraft features at Alterna Bank.

Other savings: USD, investment accounts, line of credit, and PayPal

Ideal Savings has a new USD savings account with a 1.00% interest rate on balances over $5000. Note that it pays little to no interest if your balance is $5000 or less.

If you have an investment account, you can look to Investment Savings Accounts for both your CAD and USD cash balances. A recent discussion also explores whether it’s worth considering savings account ETFs.

If you have a Tangerine account and are in the market for a line of credit, look in your online account to see whether you have received a 90-day 0.00% Line of Credit offer.

Lastly, whether you have a credit card that waives the foreign currency exchange transaction fee or not, make sure that you disable PayPal’s currency conversion feature when making USD and other foreign currency purchases! PayPal likely charges a higher fee than your credit card.

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