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Anyone Have Experience With Them?
March 24, 2016
7:43 pm
dougjp
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New to the list, is it just a bank that decided to become somewhat competitive recently, or is it new as a "bank" as opposed to a credit union? In that regard, its unusual to see a credit union with CDIC insurance.

Nice to see they have joint accounts, unlike EQ who are still trying to figure that out. And an initial look at the sign in procedure suggests they will accept cancelled cheques from both individuals' accounts to open a joint account with them, which most banks do but Zag bank is incapable of doing.

Of special interest is the speed of eft transfers, will withdrawals back out to our linked chequing account be as fast as banks like Peoples, CT Financial and (now that they improved their system) Canadian Direct Financial.

Good to see some competition on rates lately. Interest rates generally aren't likely to drop now that sunny ways will be out borrowing insanely. sf-frown

March 24, 2016
9:30 pm
Norman1
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dougjp said

New to the list, is it just a bank that decided to become somewhat competitive recently, or is it new as a "bank" as opposed to a credit union? In that regard, its unusual to see a credit union with CDIC insurance.

There's two related financial institutions:

  1. CS Alterna Bank is a Schedule I bank with CDIC deposit insurance.
  2. CS Alterna Savings is an Ontario credit union with DICO deposit insurance.

There's more details in this earlier post.

March 25, 2016
7:42 am
Koogie
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FWIW, we have a GIC with Alterna (their CU, not the bank div.) Their customer service is good and their branch network is one of the better ones. Depending on their rates I would re-up with them when it expires.

March 25, 2016
8:26 am
dougjp
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Norman1 said

dougjp said

New to the list, is it just a bank that decided to become somewhat competitive recently, or is it new as a "bank" as opposed to a credit union? In that regard, its unusual to see a credit union with CDIC insurance.

There's two related financial institutions:

  1. CS Alterna Bank is a Schedule I bank with CDIC deposit insurance.
  2. CS Alterna Savings is an Ontario credit union with DICO deposit insurance.

There's more details in this earlier post.

Thanks so much for pointing out that forum post link, I never would have found it! I'll have to get my head around the difference but it appears the CDIC insured bank is the one that launched this eSavings account at 1.85%.

The forum for Alterna was empty and this is the first posting which is the link for the forum for this bank on the general rates list.

March 26, 2016
11:09 pm
Joey
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I'm wondering why nobody is saying anything about Alterna Bank.
They are offering a no fee chequing account.
They're part of the exchange network as well so that means we can withdraw money at any Exchange ATM surcharge free. They seems decent and I've been looking at opening an account with them for the past week but I'm a little bit skeptical as to why I can't really seem to find any good review or advice.

Anyone with Alterna Bank here in Quebec would recommend this bank?

March 27, 2016
9:30 am
Norman1
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There isn't much here yet because this forum for Alterna Bank is quite new.

This forum was created just over a week ago after Hoodie reported an 1.85% offering from them.

April 3, 2016
5:07 am
dentgal
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I see that there is an Alterna branch down at College and Bay in Toronto--my kids live across the street so i've noticed it--good to learn a bit about it here on the forum.

At this point in time, as far as I can determine, 1.85 is as good as it gets for a savings account--the next highest that i've seen is scotia at 1.5 (if you dont touch the money for 3 months);

Still haven't heard a thing from Tanga or PC re: promotional rates. Has anyone else received an email from them now that there last promotion ended march 31??

Don't know where to park the money!
Maxing out with EQ(3%), ZAG(2.5%), and now started with Oaken (2.1% for 2 yrs); so next best thing seems to be Alterna--unless someone recommends something else that's higher! (oh yeah--i did get a quote of 1.9% for 2 yrs at a new scotia branch recently)

April 3, 2016
8:40 am
Norman1
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For the 1.85% savings account, make sure one becomes a client of CS Alterna Bank, a Schedule I bank, and not a member of the parent CS Alterna Savings, an Ontario credit union.

The 1.85% High Interest eSavings Account is from CS Alterna Bank (not CS Alterna Savings).

I've heard nothing new from PC Financial. For Tangerine, I'm still on that 2%-for-180-days offer from earlier in the year.

April 3, 2016
9:00 am
Norman1
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If one is willing to commit for two years, Peoples Trust is currently offering 2-year GIC's for 2.2%:

90 day - 1.450
120 day - 1.450
180 day - 1.450
270 day - 1.500
1 year - 1.950
15 month - 2.050
2 year - 2.200
3 year - 2.250
4 year - 2.300
5 year - 2.450

April 4, 2016
11:46 am
meghan88
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Just signed up with them on Friday. So far, so good - they are very responsive and easy to deal with. I was happy with Hubert but I might as well earn the extra $150 / year. I was considering EQ but I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle if it's just a promo rate.

April 4, 2016
12:08 pm
NorthernRaven
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Norman1 said

If one is willing to commit for two years, Peoples Trust is currently offering 2-year GIC's for 2.2%:

90 day - 1.450
120 day - 1.450
180 day - 1.450
270 day - 1.500
1 year - 1.950
15 month - 2.050
2 year - 2.200
3 year - 2.250
4 year - 2.300
5 year - 2.450

Actually, if one is willing to commit to 2 years, Zag is currently offering 2.5% ... :)

April 4, 2016
6:37 pm
Loonie
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meghan88 said

Just signed up with them on Friday. So far, so good - they are very responsive and easy to deal with. I was happy with Hubert but I might as well earn the extra $150 / year. I was considering EQ but I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle if it's just a promo rate.

this one is also likely a promo rate of some sort, even though they don't say so. However, take it while you can!

April 9, 2016
4:30 am
Keith1
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Created a joint account on-line, easy process. However I have just learned that me to me transfers will not be available till May. As I have no branch near me the option of push and pull from another institution is a must. I will keep the account open and see what happens in May.

April 9, 2016
5:21 am
Bill
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Keith1, good to know about May. I tried to open an account online this week, no go because of Equifax flag due to Peoples Trust data breach some time ago, so I was going to have to mail extra stuff to them - now I'll wait.

April 9, 2016
5:27 am
dougjp
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Bill said

Keith1, good to know about May. I tried to open an account online this week, no go because of Equifax flag due to Peoples Trust data breach some time ago, so I was going to have to mail extra stuff to them - now I'll wait.

I was wondering why I got declined when I tried to open an account! I'm in the middle of waiting for Equifax to reply to my mailed information. However, if that was the reason, I wonder why that didn't matter when opening accounts at other banks. I will post here about what happens in future.

I wish someone from Alterna could chime in about this, as with many new customers will have/had dealings with (now less than competitive) People's Trust in terms of savings accounts. It could really affect Alterna's business, as only a minority will put up with what I'm going through.

April 9, 2016
9:14 am
xxxx
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dougjp said

I wish someone from Alterna could chime in about this, as with many new customers will have/had dealings with (now less than competitive) People's Trust in terms of savings accounts. It could really affect Alterna's business, as only a minority will put up with what I'm going through.

dougjp - actually, I think more than a minority will put up with it - the rate-chasers will go for this promo and of course complain about the bank/institution - bottom line is they want "the rate".

(error corrected)

April 9, 2016
9:33 am
Bill
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Brian, Bill didn't say that, dougjp did. I, Bill, consider it unmanly to complain, so I don't.

I tried about 4 times, thought it was a problem with my computer so I phoned Alterna. The girl on the phone was surprised, looked into it, and later got back to me and said that the Equifax flag was the reason it wasn't going through. I have my doubts that in the split second it took for the "Oops, it didn't work" message to appear that Alterna's system would have had time to check my credit background but that's what she said. All they need is a couple of more documents via snail mail, she said, and the account can be opened. I'm in no hurry, I'll think about it and get around to it if and when I feel like it.

April 9, 2016
11:15 am
Norman1
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Keith1 said

Created a joint account on-line, easy process. However I have just learned that me to me transfers will not be available till May. As I have no branch near me the option of push and pull from another institution is a must. I will keep the account open and see what happens in May.

That is a significant limitation! sf-surprised

According to their Personal Service Fee Listing, cheques and point-of-sale debits are not permitted on the High Interest eSavings Account (with the 1.85% rate).

Sounds like one also needs to open an eChequing account for moving money in and out by direct deposit and pre-authorized debits (pushes and pulls) initiated from an external account.

April 12, 2016
8:42 am
Alterna
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Hi everyone,

Your friendly neighbourhood Alterna marketing rep here again! I'd just like to jump in and help clear up some info:

Loonie said
this one is also likely a promo rate of some sort, even though they don't say so. However, take it while you can!

Not a promo rate! It's our posted rate and applies to all money deposited, with no specified deadline attached. That said, rates at all financial institutions (ours included) are subject to change without notice, but we're confident that our rates will continue to be a very compelling offer.

Keith1 said
Created a joint account on-line, easy process. However I have just learned that me to me transfers will not be available till May. As I have no branch near me the option of push and pull from another institution is a must. I will keep the account open and see what happens in May.

We are indeed targeting May to release this feature! Getting our Me to Me online funds transfers up and running is just as important to us as it is to you. In the meantime, you can still transfer money into your No Fee eChequing and High Interest eSavings accounts by using Interac eTransfers or using the DepositAnywhere feature on our mobile app. You can also call us and we'll help you set up a one-time or recurring pull from another institution.

dougjp said
I wish someone from Alterna could chime in about this, as with many new customers will have/had dealings with (now less than competitive) People's Trust in terms of savings accounts. It could really affect Alterna's business, as only a minority will put up with what I'm going through.

We have indeed seen this issue crop up over the past few days. We are taking steps to ensure that anyone who might be affected by this (or any other) data breach will have little to no impact in getting your Alterna Bank account(s) open. If you have been impacted by this issue, you should be able to open your account online with hassle within the next day or two.

Norman1 said
That is a significant limitation! sf-surprised

According to their Personal Service Fee Listing, cheques and point-of-sale debits are not permitted on the High Interest eSavings Account (with the 1.85% rate).

Sounds like one also needs to open an eChequing account for moving money in and out by direct deposit and pre-authorized debits (pushes and pulls) initiated from an external account.

The info in the service fee listing covers outgoing money only. If you’re looking to transfer money in, the easiest way to do so at the moment is is to deposit cheques to your High Interest eSavings account by using the DepositAnywhere feature on our mobile app. As mentioned earlier, you can also call us and we'll help you set up a one-time or recurring pull from another institution.

April 12, 2016
8:18 pm
Atlas
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I attempted to make direct contact with an Ottawa-based branch representative two days ago re: their RESP account offering but, ended up leaving a pleasant voice mail outlining why I contacted them.

Today a representative from that same branch touched base - a rather informal conversation. I could hear 2 to 3 other voices in the background laughing, giggling, and chuckling, all on top of the rep talking out loud to himself as he searched for information. I didn't mind - must be a slow day at the office. I can attest to that!

In the end, he directed me QTrade for my RESP inquires, as they, amongst some other Ontario-based CUs seem to partner with QTrade for investments matters and/or certain (?)registered accounts. The rep. did state that he could not provide a lot of detail because of the arrangement/partnership/handlings of RESP accounts by QTrade. At the very least, I got some information, and a new starting point.

This experience with Alterna, compared to dealings with my BMO branch, was delightful. My inquires were not a pressing matter, but to me they replied within a very reasonable time frame. With BMO I've attempted to contact my branch directly twice in two weeks, leaving voice mail both times. Still no call back.

I wonder why? Maybe it is that I'm a "millennial" and represent all associated stigmatisms? BMO must have been confused by me contacting them via [gasp] landline telephone, and not their online chat feature? sf-wink

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