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Anyone Have Experience With Them?
July 23, 2016
11:48 am
Loonie
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Bill, can you clarify, was this from the HISA or from chequing? Thx.

July 23, 2016
5:25 pm
threeoakwest
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I don't have any problems with them at all. I also transferred from Alterna to one of the big 5 an it went through the next day.

July 23, 2016
5:38 pm
Bill
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Initiated me-2-me from my Alterna HISA morning of July 22, appeared in my TD account today dated July 22 (maybe it was already there last night, didn't check until today).

July 23, 2016
8:01 pm
Loonie
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Sounds very good. thanks.

January 11, 2019
11:33 am
picassocat
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Norman1 said

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.  

I just opened an e-savings account with Alterna Bank and I asked them for a debit card that I should receive soon, I guess the debit card must be linked to e-savings account, so I expect to be able to withdraw/deposit to/from e-savings. That POS are not allowed with e-savings, it's ok with me, I never use it, but if you do, you may want to go for a checking account. By far, I prefer linking e-savings with an ATM, that way I leave next to nothing in my checking account, an account that receives hardly any interest. That ATM is handy for emergency funds.

January 17, 2019
5:20 pm
Briguy
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picassocat said
I just opened an e-savings account with Alterna Bank and I asked them for a debit card that I should receive soon, I guess the debit card must be linked to e-savings account, so I expect to be able to withdraw/deposit to/from e-savings. That POS are not allowed with e-savings, it's ok with me, I never use it, but if you do, you may want to go for a checking account. By far, I prefer linking e-savings with an ATM, that way I leave next to nothing in my checking account, an account that receives hardly any interest. That ATM is handy for emergency funds.  

I think they might allow automatic transfer from their esavings to chequing account, so you could write cheques from your chequing account and Alterna would transfer the money from your esavings, allowing you to earn high interest rates. I read that on another post, but haven't personally verified this.

January 18, 2019
5:41 pm
Norman1
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Briguy said

I think they might allow automatic transfer from their esavings to chequing account, so you could write cheques from your chequing account and Alterna would transfer the money from your esavings, allowing you to earn high interest rates. I read that on another post, but haven't personally verified this.

I don't think that's guaranteed to be the case with Alterna Bank. The cheque could be returned as NSF if one hasn't previously arranged for overdraft protection on the chequing account.

Perhaps, you're thinking of Meridian's Sweep service. A cheque could still bounce with that if it is for more than the target set for the chequing account:

Each night, Sweep automatically transfers funds between your Meridian Chequing Account and your Good To Grow High Interest Savings Account, based on the limits you set. By linking these two accounts, you ensure there’s always money on hand for your day-to-day expenses and any idle money in your chequing is moved to your savings account to ensure it’s earning interest. Sweep does that for you. Automatically.

For added protection, combine Sweep with our Overdraft or Coverdraft protection and avoid any fees you would pay by having insufficient funds in your account. Plus, there aren't any monthly or transaction fees on your Good To Grow High Interest Savings Account. No surprises; just savings.

January 21, 2019
1:57 pm
Briguy
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I phone Alterna today, and they said they don't guarantee they will catch a cheque that exceeds the amount in your chequing account. ie. they may catch it and draw the amount needed from your savings account, or they may not catch it and the cheque may bounce with the charges associated with a nsf cheque. So I guess the person on the other thread that mentioned they do that got lucky in one instance, but it's not a good idea to rely on that.

January 21, 2019
7:02 pm
Norman1
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Briguy said

… So I guess the person on the other thread that mentioned they do that got lucky in one instance, but it's not a good idea to rely on that.

That's probably the case.

It sounds like a manual process to locate funds in other accounts to possibly cover the shortfall. At the same time, clearing rules require an NSF bounce to be done by next business day after the branch receives the cheque.

Should there be not enough available staff time that day, the branch may have to bounce all the remaining NSF cheques that it is unable to do funds searches for. sf-frown

March 6, 2019
3:07 am
Loonie
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Haven't been able to access their website for over an hour.
Not happy.sf-frown

March 6, 2019
4:49 am
threeoakwest
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They're online now. 7:45 EST

March 6, 2019
5:19 am
Loonie
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thx.
I wonder how long it was down.
It would be nice if they'd give us notice.

March 7, 2019
8:27 am
Doug
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Loonie said
thx.
I wonder how long it was down.
It would be nice if they'd give us notice.  

It could've been an unplanned outage. If it was scheduled maintenance, they do usually notify. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

March 7, 2019
5:57 pm
Loonie
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Doug said

It could've been an unplanned outage. If it was scheduled maintenance, they do usually notify. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug  

Really?
I've had an account there for at least a couple of years and have never received notice.

March 8, 2019
6:23 am
Nehpets
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Loonie said
Really?
I've had an account there for at least a couple of years and have never received notice.  

Agreed, Alterna has not advised of a planned outage in the past couple of years to my recollection; however, I know there are a multitude of reasons a website can become temporarily unavailable...server crashing, traffic overload etc...the most frequent being that the pilot light gets blown out...sf-frown, which might explain what happened in your most recent experience, Loonie...sf-laugh

Stephen

March 9, 2019
12:52 am
Loonie
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The "pilot light"? Is that a technical term? Or do you mean the "pilot" of the operation is asleep at the wheel/keyboard?

My gas stove is more reliable than that! lol - and it's about 50 years old, works like a charm, I daren't get a new one.

More than one hour seemed like a long time to me. Maybe I'm just impatient, but when I've finally figured out what i want to do, I want to do it before I forget what I was doing and not have to leave myself notes which, later, don't make so much sense! (Old age, no doubtsf-wink)

March 9, 2019
9:07 am
Doug
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Oh, well they should notify. I was speaking generally that most FIs notify of planned system outages, either via online banking, e-mail, and/or social media/their website.

Cheers,
Doug

April 23, 2019
4:09 pm
Briguy
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Briguy said
I phone Alterna today, and they said they don't guarantee they will catch a cheque that exceeds the amount in your chequing account. ie. they may catch it and draw the amount needed from your savings account, or they may not catch it and the cheque may bounce with the charges associated with a nsf cheque. So I guess the person on the other thread that mentioned they do that got lucky in one instance, but it's not a good idea to rely on that.  

I phoned Alterna Bank again today, because I read on redflagdeals that they do transfer money automatically for free from your savings account to your chequing account to cover a cheque if you set it up ahead of time. So I phoned them and asked for a "coverdraft" ( their proprietary name for overdraft ) to be set up between my HISA and my chequing account, and they set it up on the spot and confirmed it was no charge. So from now on I plan to keep all my money with them in a HISA and zero in chequing account since the "coverdraft" is set up.

If you have multiple non chequing accounts with them you can set up one as coverdraft 1 to be dipped into first, and another one as coverdraft 2 to be dipped into second.

April 23, 2019
9:11 pm
Doug
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Alterna said

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. 

Interesting...I thought you already had Me-to-Me Transfers, at least for the past year or two as you have mentioned them on your website? Perhaps I misunderstood...have you had them, but you're simplifying the process by which one can link their external bank accounts such that they could, after May (or so), be linked using an electronic method without the need to send in a VOID cheque? Is that what you meant, or can you clarify?

Cheers,
Doug

April 23, 2019
9:27 pm
Shawguy
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Doug said

Alterna said

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. 

Interesting...I thought you already had Me-to-Me Transfers, at least for the past year or two as you have mentioned them on your website? Perhaps I misunderstood...have you had them, but you're simplifying the process by which one can link their external bank accounts such that they could, after May (or so), be linked using an electronic method without the need to send in a VOID cheque? Is that what you meant, or can you clarify?

Cheers,
Doug  

The post quoted above is from April 2016. I joined Alterna in 2017 and they've had it at least that long maybe longer. We can't do me to me transfers via the mobile app... But there is rumoured to be a new app coming later this year which will allow you to do that.

Me to Me accounts are still linked by void cheques emailed or sent by snail mail.

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