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Savers Roundup January 2023: GIC rate inversion; RRSP and TFSA deals; EQ Bank in Quebec

Roasted vegetables

GIC rate inversion

GICs were one of the hottest personal finance topics in 2022, and for good reason. You can get at least 5.00% somewhere on any term from 1 through 5 years. Most recently, some GIC rates have been inching down; one exception is Peoples Trust, which increased its 2-year GIC rate to 5.30% alongside some decreases.

Historically, longer term GIC rates are higher than shorter term GIC rates. But several financial institutions currently offer higher GIC rates for shorter terms than for longer terms.

GIC broker rates continue to offer meaningfully higher rates, with the ones we track offering 5.50% or slightly more for 1- through 5-year terms. For those who are new to the topic, here’s a forum member’s explanation on whether there’s a catch with GIC brokers.

RRSP and TFSA deals

RRSP season is heating up, and Canadian adults got an additional $6,500 of TFSA contribution room on January 1, 2023. Cue the RRSP and TFSA deals. One is at Manulife Bank, where you can get 4.50% in a new RRSP or TFSA savings account until April 28, 2023. Tangerine Bank’s newest targeted 5-month new deposit promo for existing customers is 5.00% between January 10, 2023 and May 31, 2023, and includes registered accounts. As always, we’ll post all promos on our website as we find them.

Remember to consider what the rate will be when a promo ends, as well as potential transfer out fees.

EQ Bank and more in the news

Savers Roundup December 2022: One more rate increase; Oaken Financial and HSBC Canada have been sold

Hot chocolate

The Bank of Canada made its final key interest rate decision of 2022, which was a 50 basis points increase. 2022 has been the year of inflation and rising interest rates. Rewind back to the beginning of 2022:

  • The Bank of Canada hadn’t started raising rates yet
  • Wyth Financial had the highest savings account interest rate on our comparison chart at 1.55%
  • Hubert Financial had the top 1-year GIC on our GIC comparison chart at 2.00%, and the top 5-year GIC at 3.00%
  • The topic of brokerage investment savings accounts was barely discussed
  • We were discussing short-term promos hovering around 2.00%

In the present day:

The year is not quite done, and we’re likely to see more savings account increases (with the most recent changes at Canadian Tire Bank from 2.40% to 3.00%, Achieva Financial from 2.95% to 3.25%, and EQ Bank’s TFSA from 2.50% to 3.00%). GIC rates will also fluctuate, although potentially in the other direction, as EQ Bank and Motive Financial have recently decreased some of their GIC rates.

Acquisition news

Non-inflation / non-rate news has been trying to grab headlines recently:

TFSA reminders

Lastly, the additional TFSA contribution room coming in 2023 is $6,500. If you have existing TFSA funds that you would like to transfer to another financial institution, consider withdrawing it before the end of December and then re-contributing it in January in order to avoid direct TFSA-to-TFSA transfer fees and administration work.

Savers Roundup November 2022: It’s 5.00% somewhere

Clicking glasses over 5%

All rates trending to 5.00%

After what seemed like a brief slowdown or pause, GIC rates have been increasing again, especially for shorter terms. One month ago, Resurrection Credit Union’s (Ontario only) 5.00% 1-year GIC rate stood out. Now, the 1-year GIC rate leader on our GIC comparison chart is Peoples Trust at 5.20%, and it’s one of a few financial institutions with 1-year rates higher than their 5-year rates. EQ Bank, Oaken Financial, and Wealth One Bank of Canada all have 1- through 5-year GIC rates of at least 5.00%.

Half of the savings accounts on our comparison chart sport a 3.00% interest rate or higher, with Ontario-only Saven Financial leading at 3.75%, followed by nationally-available Oaken Financial at 3.40%. The next key interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada is scheduled for December 7.

You can get up to 3.80% in an Investment Savings Account through your brokerage. Interest rates in such accounts usually lag traditional savings account quite significantly, but have been trending upward.

What’s more, you can get interest rates that almost rival GIC rates via at least a few savings account promotions, including:

TFSA contribution limit increasing to $6,500?

The TFSA contribution limit for 2023 is all but guaranteed to be $6,500, which would be up from $6,000 in 2022. This increase is thanks to inflation, as the TFSA contribution limit is indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500 increment.

Bye bye Wyth Financial

Just over a year ago, Concentra Bank renamed itself to Wyth Financial and made its savings account generally available. Now that Equitable Bank has completed its acquisition of Concentra Bank, Wyth Financial is being retired. No new Wyth Financial accounts can be opened, existing savings accounts will be closed, and GIC accounts will be serviced until they mature. On the Wyth Financial website, new customers are being directed to explore EQ Bank.

Credit card news

The STACK Prepaid Mastercard’s recent changes are not good: first, it reinstated its previously waived foreign currency exchange fee, and now it will start charging a monthly fee if you don’t spend at least $350 per month.

We’ve published a new comparison of some promising small business card solutions: Float and Caary. They both allow you to create employee cards with no annual fee, but there are quite a few meaningful differences between them.

Savers Roundup October 2022: Wealth One GIC specials; credit card surcharges loom

Pay Here sign

Continuing a recent trend, there has been very little action in GIC rates. One of the exceptions is Wealth One Bank of Canada, with some standout rates until October 30: 1-year at 4.68%, 2-year at 4.88%, 3-year at 5.08%, 4-year at 5.08%, and 5-year at 5.18%. Its 1-year GIC rate of 4.68% trails Peoples Trust (at 4.80%) as well as Oaken Financial and Tangerine Bank (both at 4.70%), but the rest of its rates top our GIC comparison chart.

Savings account interest rates have still been increasing, but slower than previously. Since the Bank of Canada’s September 7th key interest rate hike of 75 basis points, only about half of the financial institutions on our savings account comparison chart have increased their savings account interest rates. The average increase is 33 basis points, or 44% of Bank of Canada’s increase. This is a far cry from what happened in the month following the Bank of Canada’s 100 basis points rate hike on July 13th, where the vast majority of savings accounts that we track went up, and by an average 61 basis points increase, or 61% of the Bank of Canada’s increase.

There are now 4 savings accounts offering at least 3.00%, and 3 of them are nationally available at Motive Financial, Oaken Financial, and Wealth One Bank of Canada.

Here is a list of new deposit promos to consider this fall:

Mergers, credit card surcharges, and more deals

Savers Roundup August 2022: Your savings account interest rate should have increased over the past month

Lake in Alberta

1.00% Bank of Canada increase leads to average 0.61% increase in savings accounts

It’s now been 1 month since the Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by a whopping (by recent standards) 100 basis points to 2.50%. What has happened to savings account interest rates since then?

The largest absolute increase was at Canadian Tire Bank from 1.45% to 2.40%, but 1.45% had drifted to almost the bottom of our savings account comparison chart. Motive Financial increased its savings account and TFSA interest rate from 2.20% to 3.00%, which makes it the clear leader at the moment.

14 of 19 savings accounts on our chart have seen their interest rates increase since July 13, and by an average of 0.61% or 61 basis points. That’s a large average increase, although far from the full 1.00% increase by the Bank of Canada.

Some promo rates are going up too

With savings account interest rates continuing to increase, what happens if you were locked into a promo rate? In at least a few cases, those rates have continued to increase:

By contrast, Tangerine Bank’s recent promos for both new and existing customers have fixed promo rates that don’t change if the base interest rate changes (at least so far).

There is a 4.70% savings account promo

Is a 4.70% savings account for real? Mostly. It is linked to the prime rate, but only in Alberta and only until October 10.

So many choices, too little time

As “high interest savings accounts” start to live up to their name again, how do you choose from amongst all the options? Chime in on a recent forum thread that asked which 3 or 4 online banks you would get.

Are GIC rates peaking?

GIC rates were the star in the first half of 2022, increasing by up to 3.00% for 1-year through 5-year rates for the leaders on our GIC comparison chart. While on average we have seen some modest increases (0.05% to 0.30%) over the past month, the pace of increases has definitely slowed down. EQ Bank’s GIC rates have actually started to decrease. For now, EQ Bank appears to be an outlier in that respect, which may be related to a decreased need for funds (and/or a reduced dependency on deposits) on its mortgage side.

Speaking of outliers, Tangerine Bank is currently tied (with Peoples Trust) for the top 1-year GIC rate on our chart at 4.50%. Tangerine’s 1-year rate is weirdly above its 5-year rate of 4.45%. So shop around depending on the term you’re looking for; as an example, MAXA Financial is currently offering the highest 5-year GIC rate on our GIC chart at 5.10%.

Cash back credit card sign-up offers

Looking for a new credit card? Check out our cash back website where you can currently get up to an additional $200 Interac e-Transfer or a $275 Amazon.ca gift card for successfully signing up for a credit card through our site.