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Savers Roundup October 2021: Wyth Financial coming soon; zero-fee brokerages are here

Zero percent

When will rates bottom?

This year, almost every rate change on our savings account comparison chart has been a decrease. The only rate increases in 2021 occurred in June and July at Implicity Financial and Hubert Financial. Since then, both of those financial institutions have decreased their rates, with Hubert Financial most recently decreasing its regular savings account interest rate from 1.25% to 1.10%.

Last week, Motive Financial decreased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rate from 1.25% to 1.10%, and AcceleRate Financial did the same, from 1.20% to 1.15%.

Coming soon: Concentra Bank rebrands as Wyth Financial

Wyth Financial, the new brand name for Concentra Bank, is set to launch its new online banking portal on October 25. Will we finally see the general availability of its 1.35% savings account, which is currently only available to GIC holders? And how will it compare to Neo Financial’s savings account, which is also powered by Concentra Bank / Wyth Financial, and whose CDIC coverage limit is shared with other Wyth Financial accounts?

Zero-fee online brokerage commissions: who’s next?

If you blinked, you might have missed Desjardins becoming the third online brokerage to cut its commissions rate to zero, following National Bank and Wealthsimple’s lead. Will we see similar offerings from the big banks any time soon?

The latest promos

Our promotions page includes a new savings account promo from HSBC: 1.75% on new deposits in a savings account between September 13 and December 16. It also features a GIC promo that expires next week at Wealth One Bank of Canada: 2.88% for a 5-year GIC if you use promo code GIC5Y before October 20.

Did your spouse or someone else in your household get a Tangerine new deposit promo but you didn’t? You might be able to get a matching promo if you ask.

Cash back offers

Savers Roundup September 2021: Dizzying GIC rate changes; is a savings account the best place for your savings?

Kites in the sky

The top GIC rate changes more frequently than you might think

Canadian Tire Bank currently tops our GIC comparison chart for the 5-year rate at 2.23%.

Did you know? Canadian Tire Bank has changed its 5-year GIC rate a total of 54 times over the past year; that’s on average more than once per week. No other financial institution comes close to that sort of frequency. In fact, the average financial institution on our chart changes its 5-year rate less than 3 times per year. Don’t be surprised if, by the time you’ve transferred your money over, Canadian Tire Bank has already changed its 5-year GIC rate (for better or for worse)!

Its 1- through 4-year GIC rates are far from competitive, though. Oaken Financial has the top 4-year rate at 2.00%, EQ Bank has the top 3-year and 2-year rates at 1.80% and 1.60%, and Peoples Trust and Achieva Financial share the top 1-year rate at 1.45%.

Do you use a GIC broker?

GIC brokers can often beat the best rates on our chart. The broker rates might come with additional stipulations, such as a higher minimum deposit. But, GIC rates are by nature guaranteed for the term, so it might be more worth it to rate chase with GICs than with savings accounts. Join the discussion if you are interested in having the High Interest Savings website track broker rates more officially!

Savings accounts rates aren’t a-changin’

There hasn’t been much change on our savings account comparison chart. Alterna Bank decreased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rate from 1.00% to 0.90%, making it the first rate on our chart to drop below 1.00%.

Last week, The Bank of Canada decided to keep its key interest rate unchanged, and doesn’t expect to increase it before the second half of 2022.

Promos and more news

Savers Roundup August 2021: New rate leaders, and tips for making a will

Sunflower

New to our comparison chart: Saven Financial

As requested by many of our site visitors, we have added Saven Financial to our high interest savings account comparison chart. It currently boasts a 1.55% interest rate, which tops our list for non-registered savings accounts (and would still be the top rate if a speculated drop to 1.35% turns out to be true). August 16 update: Today, the Saven Financial rate actually dropped to 1.35%.

The catch? It’s the first Ontario-only financial institution we’ve added to the chart. As a result, we’ve now added the ability to filter our comparison chart by province, so you can review only the accounts that are relevant to you.

Do you have an account with Saven Financial? Please share your experiences in our Saven Financial discussion forum.

Rate decreases, including our previous rate leader

Canadian Tire Bank had held the top interest rate on our savings account comparison chart for a whole year. However, on July 19, it decreased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rate from 1.55% to 1.25%. That dropped it into a 5-way tie for the regular savings account interest rate, behind Neo Financial at 1.30%. Wealth One Bank of Canada is still our top TFSA interest rate at 1.50%.

The past month has also seen interest rate decreases at Achieva Financial (from 1.20% to 1.10%), Peoples Trust (from 1.15% to 1.10%), and Implicity Financial (from 1.30% to 1.10%). Implicity Financial’s interest rate now matches the rate of proposed merger partner Outlook Financial.

Catch up on more news and discussions

Savers Roundup July 2021: Summer of promos

Woman blowing confetti

Savings account interest rate increases!

There has been some moderately good news for savers recently, with a couple of savings account interest rate increases. Hubert Financial increased its regular savings account interest rate from 1.00% to 1.25% (although its TFSA/RRSP/RRIF savings accounts remain at 1.00%). Implicity Financial increased its regular savings account and TFSA interest rate from 1.10% to 1.20%.

The leaders on our comparison chart have remained unchanged since last month, although remember to look beyond the rate if needed and consider other account features. There are pros and cons with all accounts. For example:

  • Canadian Tire Bank has the highest rate on our chart at 1.55%, but there have been lots of reports about how long it takes to open an account
  • Neo Financial is next at 1.30%, but does not currently have an online banking interface or a TFSA
  • EQ Bank is tied for third at 1.25%, but does not offer cheques
  • Tangerine Bank has one of the highest new client offers with a 2.10% promo rate for 5 months, but after that, its regular savings account interest rate is a paltry 0.10%

GIC leaders beyond our comparison chart

The rate leaders on our GIC comparison chart are unchanged from last month:

  • Oaken Financial has the highest 5-year (2.20%), 4-year (2.00%), and 3-year (1.70%) rates
  • Achieva Financial and Wealth One Bank of Canada have the highest 2-year rate at 1.55%
  • Achieva Financial has the highest 1-year GIC rate at 1.50%

Although these are not technically promotions, you can find even higher rates elsewhere, such as through the broker GIC Wealth Management Inc. (up to a 2.30% 5-year GIC) and through Ontario-only Tandia Credit Union (up to a 2.50% 5-year GIC).

Another summer of promos

If you are looking for a low-risk place to park cash for a short term, such as in advance of a down payment, or if you’re looking to try a new bank account, there are plenty of promos available.

We have a dedicated page to track promotions.

Credit card promos too

If you’re planning to make a lot of purchases this summer, you might also want to check out one of many credit card sign-up promotions, including:

Credit card changes

There has been a significant change to the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard: you previously earned 2 points per dollar on all purchases; now, you will earn 5 points per dollar on groceries, restaurants, and recurring bills; and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

The American Express Cobalt credit card monthly fee is going up by $2.99 per month (about $36 per year) in exchange for some new features: mobile device insurance, 3x points on streaming service purchases, and the ability to transfer directly to certain airline frequent flyer programs, such as 1:1 to Aeroplan.

Savers Roundup June 2021: EQ’s USD account; GIC rates on the rise

US dollar bills

EQ Bank’s new US dollar account

EQ Bank has launched a USD account with a 1.00% interest rate. By comparison, Tangerine Bank’s USD account interest rate is 0.10%, and Hubert Financial’s USD account interest rate is 0.25%. (USD balances are typically included in Tangerine Bank’s promos for new and existing customers, so you might be able to get a much higher rate from them.)

There’s no telling how long the 1.00% interest rate will last, although EQ Bank’s splashy 2.30% TFSA and RRSP account interest rates lasted a full 6 months.

The new USD account does not currently support joint accounts or GICs. But you can transfer funds to and from other USD accounts in Canada, as well as internationally through its partnership with Wise (formerly TransferWise). You can also convert currency at a competitive rate — EQ Bank’s spread against the mid-rate appears to be about 1.5%.

Savings account interest rates down; GIC rates up

Our savings account comparison chart has seen a few rate drops over the past month, at Bridgewater Bank (from 1.45% to 1.20%), LBC Digital (from 1.20% to 1.15%), and MAXA Financial (from 1.10% to 1.00%). 1.00% remains the floor for the financial institutions that we track. At the top of the list is Canadian Tire Bank, with a regular savings account and TFSA interest rate of 1.55%.

By contrast, our GIC rates comparison chart has seen a few increases lately. Several of Oaken Financial’s GIC rates have increased, including its 5-year GIC rate to 2.20%. Motive Financial and EQ Bank’s GIC rates have also ticked up. While Oaken Financial has the highest 5-year, 4-year (2.00%), and 3-year (1.70%) GIC rates on our chart, it’s Achieva Financial and Wealth One Bank of Canada with the highest 2-year GIC rate at 1.55%, and Achieva Financial with the highest 1-year GIC rate at 1.50%. See the next section for some promotional GIC rates, especially at Wealth One Bank of Canada.

Promos promos everywhere

Some of the newest listings on our promotions page include the following: