Savers Roundup October 2019: Upgradeable-rate GIC terms; password-less Interac e-Transfers; are $31 chequing account monthly fees worth it?

B2B Bank still has a 3.30% savings account

The only change on our comparison chart over the past month is that Peoples Trust has decreased its TFSA interest rate from 2.25% to 2.10%.

Although we have not yet listed it on our chart, B2B Bank has kept its non-registered savings account interest rate of 3.30% for about 2 months now. Users on our website have reported mixed reviews on the account opening process; regardless, B2B’s 3.30% rate tops chart leader Motive Financial’s 2.80% rate.

Protection from low GIC rates

ICICI Bank of Canada made it back onto our GIC comparison chart, held the lead on 5-year GIC rates at 3.00%, and someone even reported getting an additional 0.10%. It only topped our chart for a few weeks, though, as ICICI introduced some steep rate decreases, such as a new 5-year GIC rate of 2.50%. With the Peoples Trust 3.00% 15-month GIC promo now down to 2.50%, there are no current reported GIC rates of 3.00%. Oaken Financial leads the 2- through 5-year rates, including 2.85% for a 5-year GIC, while AcceleRate Financial has the highest 1-year rate at 2.55%.

To attract savers who don’t know whether to wait for rates to go up again, Meridian Credit Union has a new type of GIC called a “Raise the Rate GIC”, available on 3- and 5-year terms, which works roughly as follows: if a similar term GIC goes up while you hold the GIC, you can match that higher rate once for a 3-year GIC and twice for a 5-year GIC. Its current rates are 2.60% for the 3-year GIC and 2.70% for the 5-year GIC.

Sign-up bonuses and whether it’s worth keeping minimum balances in chequing accounts

New on our promotions page is another iteration of National Bank’s new deposit promo: 2.75% in High Interest Savings Accounts between October 1 and December 30, 2019.

If you previously participated in one of this year’s Manulife Advantage Account interest rate promotions, the base rate has dropped again. This means that if your 6-month new deposit rate was initially 3.25%, it is now 2.95% after the latest 0.05% drop.

As was reported last month, several of the Canadian big banks have new deposit promotions on their savings accounts. Almost all of them have sign-up bonuses on their chequing accounts as well. For example, the new Scotiabank Ultimate Package chequing account has an up to $350 bonus (if you meet certain terms). It has a $30.95 monthly fee that is waived if you have $5,000 balance in account or $30,000 combined in chequing and savings accounts. Features include a maximum credit card annual fee rebate of $139, free cheques, free Interac e-Transfers, free global ATM withdrawals, free overdraft protection, and a 0.10% bonus on the savings account interest rate. Are the Scotiabank Ultimate Package features worth the forgone interest if you keep the minimum monthly balance in a 0.00% chequing account? Read our analysis.

Secure Interac e-Transfers with Autodeposit and Request Money

The security of Interac e-Transfers is lower if you choose weak transfer passwords. Two ways to eliminate the need for Interac e-Transfer passwords is to set up Autodeposits and use the Request Money feature. Motive Financial recently introduced support for both features. With Autodeposits, you can configure any Interac e-Transfers you receive at certain e-mail addresses to go immediately into a specific account. One way to describe the Request Money feature is that it’s the “Send Interac e-Transfer” feature in reverse, where the recipient starts the payment process by sending out a request. Once the sender responds to that request, the money is immediately deposited into the account the recipient originally specified. If the recipient uses an account that has free Interac e-Transfers (such as the Motive Financial Cha-Ching Chequing Account), the sender might not pay a fee.

More news: Weathsimple buys SimpleTax; Tangerine fees; and Tangerine cash back

You have plenty of time before you need to file next year’s personal income tax return. However, some recent news might affect how you prepare your return: investment management service Wealthsimple has purchased SimpleTax.

Tangerine Bank features in the remainder of our news this month:

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