Savers Roundup April 2024: Prepaid cards for your foreign currency purchases

The mall of savings account promotions

The top rates on our savings account comparison chart are nothing to sneeze at, with Motive Financial, Neo Financial, Wealth One Bank of Canada, Wealthsimple, and Ontario-only Saven Financial all offering at least 4.00%. But there are some promos that will even beat the top GIC rates:

DUCA Credit Union’s (Ontario only) latest promo was for 6.00% on new deposits to an Earn More Savings Account between March 15 and June 30. But the promo was suddenly closed to new deposits on March 27. Needless to say, our forum users were not pleased!

Want some Coursera with your chequing account?

The Coast Capital Elevate Chequing Account is now nationally available (outside of Quebec), and for a limited time, new members can get $400 if they meet certain conditions. It comes with some familiar features for a premium chequing account, such as 50 free cheques per year and unlimited Interac e-Transfers. It also includes free access to Coursera for Business.

If you are 59 years of age or older, 25 years of age or younger, or maintain a minimum $4,000 daily balance, the Elevate Chequing Account’s monthly fee is reduced from $16.95 to $8.50. Those same conditions will get you a $0 monthly fee on the Unlimited Chequing Account, although no Coursera access, among other things.

The competitive end of Brim Financial Mastercards

Brim Financial Mastercards now charge a 1.5% foreign transaction fee, after previously being one of only two no-fee credit cards in Canada that don’t add markup on purchases made in foreign currencies. It also cut the rewards earn rate in half. Brim Financial appears to be focused on providing a credit card platform for other companies now, rather than issuing credit cards directly to consumers under its own brand.

The list of no-forex fee credit cards had already shrunk with RBC’s purchase of HSBC, and the subsequent retirement of the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. (Existing cardholders were transitioned to the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card, with a grandfathered no-forex fee feature.)

For consideration: upstarts EQ Bank and Wealthsimple both offer prepaid cards without a foreign transaction fee. Their rewards structures aren’t as competitive as credit cards, but they have a slew of other features, and don’t have annual fees.

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