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Savers Roundup May 2023: Motive Financial widens its lead

Two players facing off in hockey

Motive Financial already had the top regular savings account interest rate on our comparison chart but widened its lead even further on April 17 with an increase from 3.80% to 4.10%.

Elsewhere, we’ve seen only decreases, which marks a definite trend:

  • MAXA Financial from 3.35% to 2.95%
  • Saven Financial from 3.75% to 3.50%
  • AcceleRate Financial and Hubert Financial from 3.35% to 3.30% (and from 3.45% to 3.35% for their TFSAs)
  • Ideal Savings TFSA from 3.75% to 3.55%, although that’s still the highest TFSA interest rate on our chart

Promo rates are still holding up, where the usual two-some of Simplii Financial and Tangerine Financial continue to offer 5.00% or more to a select group of Canadians.

DUCA Credit Union (Ontario-only) is offering a 4.75% new deposit promo on its Earn More Savings Account until August 31.

On our GIC comparison chart the shorter terms are still offering a higher rate than the longer terms. The highest 1-year GIC rate is currently 5.15% at Wealth One Bank of Canada or 5.50% through a GIC broker. The highest 5-year GIC rate is currently 4.72% at Motive Financial or 5.32% through a GIC broker.

Lastly, the personal income tax filing deadline has passed, but are you still waiting on your CRA refund? You’re not alone!

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

White water rafting going down

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.

Savers Roundup March 2023: Rate hike pause in Canada; US bank failures

Waves crashing

After saying in January that it was going to “pause and assess”, the Bank of Canada followed through with its first interest rate pause (on March 8) since it started increasing rates in March 2022. This signaled a divergence from the interest rate policy in the US. One of the effects has been a sizeable strengthening of the US dollar against the Canadian dollar.

The dramatic collapse of the 16th largest bank in the US just a few days ago has caught the attention of many, and has affected Canadian firms both directly and indirectly. A main contributor to Silicon Valley Bank’s failure was the rapid increase in interest rates. There is much debate over how this will affect further central bank interest rate decisions.

It’s worth noting that deposit insurance in the US is $250,000 USD per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category (versus $100,000 CAD in Canada). US regulators announced over the weekend that all deposits at Silicon Valley Bank, even those above the insurance limit, would be made whole.

Motive Financial is back in the lead

In the less dramatic land of savings accounts, Motive Financial has the highest interest rate of any savings account on our chart. Motive Financial doesn’t change its savings account rates as much as its competitors, but decided to bring its regular savings account interest rate up from 3.00% to 3.80% on February 14. Its TFSA usually offers the same rate, but has so far remained at 3.00%. Ideal Savings remains the TFSA interest rate leader after increasing its rate from 3.60% to 3.75% (and curiously leaving its regular savings account interest rate at 1.01%).

Fines, reviews, and bonuses

Savers Roundup February 2023: High interest savings, inflation and recession or not

Kids pause

Twice in two weeks, Ideal Savings increased its TFSA interest rate, settling on a chart-topping 3.60%, although its regular savings account interest rate is stuck in the year 2020, refusing to budge at 1.01%.

Many financial institutions have made some modest savings account interest rate increases, albeit less than the Bank of Canada’s 0.25% key interest rate hike in January. Five of the financial institutions we track now offer a 3.40% savings account, bested only by Outlook Financial at 3.50% and Ontario-only Saven Financial at 3.75%.

The Bank of Canada said it’s going to pause and assess whether further rate hikes are warranted. Canada added 10 times more jobs in January than economists expected. Whether we have a robust economy, a looming recession, disinflation, or all of the above, we’re back to “high interest savings” in the absolute sense.

Brokerage investment savings accounts continue their surprising ascension, with most rates above 4.00%.

And savings account promotions are still hot, with some recent offers including:

The highest GIC rate is 5.40% for a 2-year GIC

GIC rate inversion is the current trend, where shorter-term rates generally beat longer-term rates. The highest nationally available rate is actually Peoples Trust’s 5.40% 2-year GIC, while Wealth One Bank of Canada has a 5.28% 1-year GIC. At the moment, the top 5-year GIC rates hover around 5.00%, even at a GIC broker.

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