Savers Roundup October 2020: Promos for new and existing customers; answering newbie questions about transferring to online accounts

Savings account rate drops almost everywhere

Over the past month, all but 2 of the financial institutions on our savings account comparison chart have decreased their savings account interest rates, including EQ Bank (from 1.70% to 1.50%), Motive Financial (from 1.75% to 1.55%), and Bridgewater Bank (from 1.75% to 1.55%). The ones that have remained unchanged? Canadian Tire Bank (still at 1.80% since April) and Wealth One Bank of Canada (at 1.60% since August, during the last widespread decreases; Update: decreased to 1.50% on October 16!).

It’s not much of a surprise that savings account interest rates have continued to drop since the Bank of Canada’s last key interest rate change to settle at 0.25% on March 27. Throughout the summer, the difference between the Bank of Canada’s interest rate and savings account interest rates has been higher than usual.

The drop in GIC rates might be slowing down, with a cluster of very similar rates at the top of our GIC comparison chart, the highest being 2.00% for a 5-year GIC at 5 financial institutions.

Promos for new and existing customers

If you are an existing Simplii Financial and/or Tangerine Bank customer, you might have received their latest targeted new deposit promos:

This time around there are also similar offers for new customers:

Manulife Bank has a promo rate of 2.15% for the first 4 months if you open an Advantage Account before October 31, 2020, which is valid for new and existing customers.

Save money by avoiding PayPal for purchases in foreign currencies

Making a USD purchase with PayPal? PayPal’s foreign currency exchange fee is getting even more outrageous, to a minimum of 4.0%. You can avoid this by not having PayPal do the conversion every time you make a purchase. Even better: don’t use PayPal and/or use a credit card that doesn’t charge you any currency conversion fee.

Newbie questions on transfer fees and introductory rate offers

Not sure about dealing with a mostly online bank or credit union? Wondering about how to get the money in and out, and associated fees? You’re not alone, and our forum members have been very helpful in answering a newbie’s questions!

Cash back offers

We’ve got some new or increased offers on our cash back site:

Get monthly updates on bank promos and rate changes

Please write your comments in the forum.