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DUPED! Citizens Bank Global Chequing Account...is not FREE!
February 4, 2009
5:51 pm
Jeff
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I have used ATMs in the US. On the last three occasions the rate posted for the transaction on my Citizens Statement has been 2.5 points higher than the "buy cash" rate at other institutions.

Therefore, $100 USD would cost you $2.50 more than another bank. Citizens might have eliminated the $3.00 withdrawal fee, but if you averaged a $500 withdrawal on a vacation, Citizens would gain $12.50 and not the previous $3.00 US in fees, NOT FREE!

Just to make sure this was not a fluke..I have investigated Citizens rates vs. TD, BMO, and CIBC, Citizens are always 1.8 points higher..and average 2.5. Using your card in the Bahamas to buy cash at an ATM is a whopping 10 points over the "buy cash" rate at other institutions..However the rates posted are the same date as the other institutions and the GBP rate usually matched, eliminating any coincidences.

Although I wrote Citizens, they never responded.

Citizens also sent a press release donating $10 for every $1000 deposited to an RSP this season to help eliminate poverty overseas. The Government of Canada recently announced the RDSP to help eliminate poverty in Canada amongst the disabled, The government has had difficulty getting FI's on board. I wrote Citizens and their response was will not be offering that product! When I wrote back stating that it was to help poverty here at home, again they did not respond.

I am quickly learning this "socially responsible" institution, does not walk their talk..I will be closing my accounts with them and moving thousands of dollars to another institution.

February 4, 2009
7:58 pm
phrank
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Thank you for posting this, we were going to open an account with them tomorrow to use for our travels, but will have to rethink this and see if there are other options.

February 4, 2009
9:03 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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Ah, but banks do have to make money somewhere. If it's not in the form of monthly service charges and in-your-face "convenience fees", it has to be in the form of lower interest rates paid on deposits, higher mortgage rates or not as good foreign exchange rates. Margins are very slim with virtual banks like PC Financial and Citizens Bank, I would imagine. Everything else you get with the accounts are free so I wouldn't be complaining.

It's still a terrific product and, although I'm not a customer, if someone were looking for a product with no or minimal service charges, I would recommend it as a second choice (after HSBC's Direct Savings Account). 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

February 5, 2009
12:39 pm
Jeff
Guest
Guests

Actually, I would be complaining...One $500 withdrawal increases your free fees to $12.50...If you are a frequent traveller to the US, there are better options. Citizens marketed this as free...how many people would see that they're paying a higher exchange fee...This is not the normal fee the banks make..either 2.5/100 more or less...this is 2.5 on top of the 2.5 fees the other banks charge...Bahamas at most banks are at 1.27 or the US rate as the Bahamian dollar is par with the US..Citizens is the ONLY bank that charges 1.37 - 10 points higher...$500 US at a Bahamian ATM would cost $50!!! Hardly a "Free" plan!!!

Funny that the bank would not address this when asked....Canada's "Ethical Bank" needs to practice what they preach.

Doug said:

Ah, but banks do have to make money somewhere. If it's not in the form of monthly service charges and in-your-face "convenience fees", it has to be in the form of lower interest rates paid on deposits, higher mortgage rates or not as good foreign exchange rates. Margins are very slim with virtual banks like PC Financial and Citizens Bank, I would imagine. Everything else you get with the accounts are free so I wouldn't be complaining.


It's still a terrific product and, although I'm not a customer, if someone were looking for a product with no or minimal service charges, I would recommend it as a second choice (after HSBC's Direct Savings Account). )


Cheers,
Doug


February 5, 2009
5:36 pm
Jeff
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voodoo22 said:

Thank you for posting this, we were going to open an account with them tomorrow to use for our travels, but will have to rethink this and see if there are other options.


Nothing is free, just hate being "fooled" into believing so. I'd rather pay a $3.00 fee for a withdrawal and know about it, than to pay $12.50 and feel like a fool thinking it was "free".

Since they still have not responded, I think I have disposed their dirty little secret. Also Internet/Virtual banks have lower costs and more margin for profit due to lack of branches and combined costs in one centre. Citizens Bank also provides all Call Centre services for Citizens Bank (and on their expenses) for Vancity, Citizens VISA, and VanCity VISA...all profits go to VanCity members as Citizens is a subsidiary of VanCity - I don't buy the "boo-hoo" minimal profit line because of being a virtual bank.

February 7, 2009
1:42 am
Jeff
Guest
Guests

20090206 15:03 Message from Bank...Appreciate the time to resolve and restore confidence...thanks CitizensBank.

Letter from Bank as follows.

Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXX

First and foremost we would like to thank you for your valuable feedback. While we never want to hear we have failed to provide the level of service our membership deserves, it is important for us to know where we have fallen short so that we can learn and grow from our mistakes.

This issue you brought forward regarding the US rates is a valid one. While we do want to ensure we remain competitive, especially within the US markets, we chosse to take a more conservative approach with our US pricing model during this very turbulent time within the FX markets. As a smaller institution we set our rates in the morning and keep it at that level. Only in exceptional market circumstances do we move rates during the day. The bigger banks will often move rates throughout the day impacting you in one of two ways.

We have reassessed the level of volatility in the marketplace and adjusted our rates to reflect a more closer alignment to the big banks. Please note that Citizens Bank currently only manage rates on the ATM withdrawals for USD, EUR and GBP. For all other currencies, like the Bahamas you mention, we are at the mercy of the ATM service provider and the rate they use. We do not aim to make a return on these transactions, merely to cover our costs. However I will continue to look at why the rates is not as advantageous to our members as it should be. We offer Global Chequing Accounts because we've consistently heard from our members that they want a no-fee chequing account. We've decided to go one step further and not only offer no-fee day-to-day chequing but also not charge ATM withdrawal fees worldwide. It was never our intention to recoup the loss fee income through exchange rates.

Again, thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We take your feedback seriously. Should you require any further clarification regarding the above or any other matter, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Citizens Bank of Canada

Tel: 1-888-708-7800

February 7, 2009
6:14 pm
phrank
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We opened a couple global checking accounts with Citizens bank anyways as we will use this as a way to not have to carry around so much cash we "may" need. Also, we were able to get a $100 bonus for opening each account and putting a $500 term deposit in for 1 year, so that made the decision easier. Pretty good promotion at our local Citizens Bank and I think we made the right choice.

June 17, 2009
6:33 pm
mike
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if you travel to Argentina with Citizens Bank of Canada ATM you will notice that it's cheaper to withdraw from any visalink ATM (320 peso limit in all argentina), than carrying US dollars and then exchanging to argentinian pesos. CAD->US(vancouver bullion)->pesos(banco nacion).

For South America it seems your are better off using Citizens ATM, better exchange rate, no fee too.

July 5, 2009
10:54 pm
Pete
Guest
Guests

There is a quite in-depth real world comparison of exchange rates charged by Citizens Bank and other mainstream banks on Red Flag Deals. It shows that the rates now charged by Citizens are about the same, often slightly better, sometimes slightly higher, than those of other banks.

August 22, 2009
12:42 pm
basil
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Guests

Banks should charge no fees. Period. When did banks forget that they were paying us interest for the *PRIVILEGE* of holding our money, which they could in turn loan out and earn a higher interest.

Yes, banks have to make money somewhere. It's called interest. Everything else is a scam and I'm starting to think that keeping my money in my mattress is better than a daily chequing account.

Doug said:

Ah, but banks do have to make money somewhere. If it's not in the form of monthly service charges and in-your-face "convenience fees", it has to be in the form of lower interest rates paid on deposits, higher mortgage rates or not as good foreign exchange rates. Margins are very slim with virtual banks like PC Financial and Citizens Bank, I would imagine. Everything else you get with the accounts are free so I wouldn't be complaining.

It's still a terrific product and, although I'm not a customer, if someone were looking for a product with no or minimal service charges, I would recommend it as a second choice (after HSBC's Direct Savings Account). )

Cheers,
Doug


August 23, 2009
8:27 pm
Hornswoggler
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July 30, 2009
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Banks should charge no fees. Period. When did banks forget that they were paying us interest for the *PRIVILEGE* of holding our money, which they could in turn loan out and earn a higher interest.

You have obviously been duped into thinking banks need your money. They don't! They get money handed out for free from the central bank of canada. Their fractional reserve system is a joke upon all those who work hard for paper money.

Printed pieces of paper are inevitably subject to all manners of manipulation and fraud and ultimate worthlessness.

Just because you worked hard to earn your money does not mean you get to control its value or your economic future according to the current fiat monetary system. You are just a serf so stop deluding yourself.

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