Savers Roundup August 2020: Fully online account registrations; a CRA security breach; where to consistently get the highest rates

Which financial institutions offer the steadiest savings account interest rate?

Glass half empty: Our savings account comparison chart has seen 20 rate drops since the beginning of July.

Glass half full: even if you are getting the lowest current rate on our chart (1.40%), that’s still 28x higher than the 0.05% you might get at one of the big banks.

Since July, the only financial institutions that have not decreased their savings account interest rates are Canadian Tire Bank (whose last change was a surprise increase on April 21) and MAXA Financial (who decreased their rates on June 20). They now share the lead at 1.80% for both a regular savings account and TFSA. All other rates on our chart are somewhere between 1.40% and 1.75%.

How long will it be before the next interest rate decreases at Canadian Tire Bank and MAXA Financial? Some forum members are speculating that the next Canadian Tire Bank decrease is imminent.

We likely have at least a few years of stagnant interest rates ahead. If you’re someone who wants a consistently high interest rate at a single financial institution, you might be surprised to see lots of fluctuations at the top of our chart:

  • August 17, 2019 (1 year ago today) top rates: Motive Financial (2.80%), MAXA Financial (2.45%), Ideal Savings, Implicity Financial, Outlook Financial (2.40%)
  • August 17, 2018 (2 years ago today) top rates: Hubert Financial (2.35%), EQ Bank (2.30%), AcceleRate Financial and MAXA Financial (2.25%)
  • August 17, 2017 (3 years ago today) top rates: EQ Bank (2.30%), Alterna Bank (1.90%), Bridgewater Bank, Ideal Savings, Oaken Financial (1.75%)

To help in your analysis, our website has a new feature where you can graph the historical interest rates of the financial institutions that we track, some going back 10 years.

Motive Financial vs Achieva Financial interest rate graph

Read carefully when chasing promos

The highest current offer on our promotions page is still 2.50% for the first 5 months in a new Tangerine savings account.

Always read the terms of promotions carefully. BC-only credit union GFFG has marketing language for a GIC stating “earn up to 2.75%* in 18 months”, which is a misleading headline given that the fine print says “earn 1.25% on the first 9 months and 2.75% on the next 9 months, for an effective rate of 2.00% for the full 18 months.”

GIC rates have continued their general decline, although for now LBC Digital’s rates are unchanged from when we checked in last month and it is now the outright leader or joint leader for the 1- through 5-year terms, with the 5-year term sitting at 2.30%. Its 1-year GIC rate of 2.10% easily beats the GFFG promo above.

Update: the day after this article was published, LBC Digital decreased their GIC rates!

Fully online account registrations

During the current pandemic, online banking is more important than ever, but so are fully online account registrations. You have at least 3 options, including EQ Bank and LBC Digital, and with a newly revamped registration process, Motive Financial.

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