Savers Roundup September 2020: Canadian Tire has the highest rate; PC Financial is back with PC Money

Canadian Tire Bank has the highest savings account interest rate on our chart

For those who have followed our website over the years, this headline is a surprise. Since MAXA Financial decreased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rate from 1.80% to 1.60% on August 21, that left Canadian Tire Bank all alone at the top of our chart. Canadian Tire Bank’s regular savings account and TFSA interest rate is 1.80%. Looking at Canadian Tire Bank’s rate history, its TFSA interest rate is unchanged since December 2017, and its last savings account interest rate change was on April 21 of this year, when it actually increased its rate.

A non-promo rate of 1.80% is especially shocking when you consider that promo-master Tangerine Bank has reportedly been offering a subset of its clients somewhere between 1.50% to 1.80% for 3 to 6 months. Tangerine Bank’s new customer offer is still 2.50% for the first 5 months. Not on a promo? Tangerine Bank’s standard rate is 0.15%.

Since last month’s Savers Roundup, we’ve seen interest rate drops at no fewer than 6 of the financial institutions we track, most recently at LBC Digital, with a decrease from 1.65% to 1.50%.

Unlikely leader Canadian Tire Bank is far from a leader on our GIC comparison chart, where it brings up the rear with rates such as 0.65% for a 1-year GIC.

LBC Digital has the top 1-2 year GIC rates at 1.85% and 1.95%, respectively. The highest rates for 3- to 5-year terms are 1.85% for a 3-year GIC, 1.95% for a 4-year GIC, and 2.10% for a 5-year GIC, all of which you can at least get at MAXA Financial.

PC Financial is back with a deposit account

Back in 2017, PC Financial chequing and savings account customers transitioned to the Simplii Financial brand. PC Financial kept its credit cards, but is now back with a no-fee banking account called PC Money.

They appear to be purposely avoiding the term “chequing account”, as you cannot write or deposit cheques with the account. However, you can deposit money into the 0% interest account via electronic funds transfers, pay bills, and send unlimited Interac e-Transfers. Deposits into this account are CDIC protected.

With the PC Money account, you don’t use a traditional Interac debit card; instead, you use a Mastercard that directly debits your bank account and earns you PC Optimum points on purchases. Attaching a Visa or Mastercard to a bank account might become a trend (and it’s debatable whether this would be a good trend); we saw Tangerine Bank recently introduce a Visa Debit card. This could partially be the response of traditional financial institutions to Prepaid Visa and Mastercards such as from STACK and Wealthsimple.

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