Savers Roundup April 2023: When a rate pause means a rate decrease

Back down we go

Yesterday, the Bank of Canada announced its second straight interest rate pause. There is much debate about where rates will go for the rest of the year, but they’re already decreasing for savers.

At the end of March, Outlook Financial made a modest decrease to both its regular savings account and TFSA interest rates, from 3.50% to 3.45%. And yesterday, merger partners AcceleRate Financial and Hubert Financial decreased both their regular savings account interest rates (from 3.40% to 3.35%) and TFSA interest rates (from 3.55% to 3.45%). These were the first decreases for any of the financial institutions on our savings account comparison chart in over a year.

Motive Financial remains the regular savings account interest rate leader at 3.80%. Ideal Savings leads the TFSA chart at 3.75%.

You can still get 5.00% or higher in your savings account via several promotions, or over 4.00% via brokerage investment savings accounts.

Over in GIC land, you can no longer get 5.00% for 3- through 5-year rates at any of the financial institutions we track, although you can still get over 5.00% for all terms at a GIC broker.

Tax time

As always, personal income taxes are due on April 30 (technically May 1 this year since April 30 is a Sunday). If the pattern holds from our Canadian income tax survey from a few years ago, more than half of readers have filed their taxes already. So far, about 94% of those who have filed their returns in 2023 have filed electronically.

Our forum has plenty of income tax related discussions, including:

The demise of a prepaid credit card

Back in November, the STACK Prepaid Mastercard got significantly worse by adding a monthly fee (if you don’t spent at least $350 in a month) and reinstating foreign currency exchange fees. Now another prepaid credit card is shutting down altogether: the Mogo Prepaid Visa is closing on June 6.

National Bank chequing accounts for students and newcomers

If you’re a student or new to Canada, National Bank’s chequing accounts are worth investigating. If you’re 24 or younger, you’ll pay no monthly fees for their chequing accounts; if you’re a newcomer, you’ll pay no monthly fees for at least 1 year.

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