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New high-interest savings account for Quebec resident (Tangerine alternative)
April 21, 2022
6:03 pm
SavingsQs
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Hi All,

I saw an old thread on a similar topic dating back to 2016, and of course the landscape has changed a lot since then, so I thought I would repost the question to get new advice and feedback.

I've spent time bouncing around various sub-forums, and I'm still having trouble getting a really clear picture beyond just the current rates in the HISA chart.

I'm looking for recommendations from people with actual experience for an alternative to Tangerine that is available to Quebec residents now with the following:
- decent history of competitive interest rates
- easy online account opening (preferably from start to finish without needing to mail or fax things to complete the process)
- easy online ability to link external accounts and push/pull directly from the new account (e.g. EFT) without fees or major limits (without needing to rely on a pull or push from another institution)
- secure (I read some concerns over EQ banks new processes being of concern, not that EQ is available in QC)
- decent online interface
- reasonable level of phone support, if needed (I think I read somewhere that some places are only reachable during core business hours and not in evenings and weekends - I would prefer phone support in evenings and weekends).
- overall reliability and trustworthiness (please warn me if you've had a bad experience or why you *wouldn't* recommend one of the institutions on the HISA chart that offer services to Quebec.)

I don't know if it's unreasonable to expect all the above, or if some sacrifices have to be made.

Any helpful experience/stories/recommendations based on the current landscape would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much!

April 21, 2022
9:15 pm
Loonie
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Peoples Bank/Trust are pretty good but I doubt they offer weekend support. I've had accounts there for years but don't use them much as I can usually do a bit better somewhere else since I live in Ontario. There is or was a francophone guy on their customer support line who is very good to deal with.

Honestly, I don't think you have a lot of choice and you may not be able to get all the features you want.

I suggest you just look up the posts relevant to the FIs you are interested in.

April 22, 2022
5:22 am
hwyc
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Pretty sure Peter already added all that met your criteria to the HISA chart. Just look there. There's a filter for Québec.

April 22, 2022
5:22 am
Righand
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Have you looked at Oaken ? I believe that their service may be available to Quebec residents.

April 22, 2022
8:16 am
BlueSky
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The choices for Quebec residents are not abundant, to say the least. Oaken is available to Quebec residents, and for the 2 years I've dealt with them, they're pretty decent. All operations related to account setup, online registration, access, linkage of external accounts—smooth sailing. Mind you, due to promotional rates in the past, I haven't kept much money with them, however, they're very aggressive right now in their rates, they're looking to expand their customer base and the dough that comes with it. All in all, I recommend Oaken as a good FI alternative, and easy to deal with online. I have never had to phone them for any issue, but one email inquiry for which I got a timely response. Hope this helps.

June 7, 2022
9:01 pm
SavingsQs
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Hi, thanks for all the replies. I somehow missed the email notifications of new posts earlier.

Just to clarify, I am aware of the QC filter on the HISA chart, but unless I'm missing something, the general criteria for inclusion there for the 8 or so institutions that show up is broader than my ideal wishlist criteria, so that's why I asked my more specific Q in these posts.

Info on experience like the post from Blue Sky is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping to get, in order to help me narrow down/prioritize which of the 8 options to look into further.

Thanks very much!

June 8, 2022
6:03 am
RetirEd
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I like Peoples Trust and have been happy with their services save the phone hours. Those are sort of messy... the web site says

Monday - Friday 5:00am - 4:30pm PT

But the phone line message says their customer service centre closes at 3pm; I think they mean their Vancouver storefront, which was closed for most of COVID-19 but must have reopened now.

The outfit originated in Calgary but is legally found in Vancouver. The hours seem set up to give more time to Easterners and less to West Coasters; Calgary gets the most "normal" hours.

Sure miss the 24/7 phone service at ING, and at Tangerine until a 45-minute wait became the norm.

RetirEd

June 8, 2022
5:59 pm
BlueSky
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RetirEd said
I like Peoples Trust and have been happy with their services  

Back in 2020, I contemplated dealing with Peoples, however, I wasn't a fan of their requirement to mail in documents and whatnot. I believe they still operate in this manner in order to open an account.

June 9, 2022
3:22 am
RetirEd
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As you probably guessed, BlueSky, the ability to do everything with PT by mail, phone or in person - with hardcopy documentation - was a deciding factor when I first joined PT a decade ago. They didn't have on-line banking, so I was confident they wouldn't abuse me for being old-school.

Of course, they added it within a few months, and right after that had their first big data breach, but they haven't tried to squeeze out phone and branch banking like Tangerine.

Tangerine has always had one branch in Vancouver, but a few years back they changed it to just be a place to use web terminals. You can't do ANY transactions or get ANY documents from the staff - they're just there to manage the people using terminals. They steer questions to the web, and won't accept deposits other than by a big mailbox - which is DAYS slower than a local deposit! And of course their phone line always says they're having an "unusually busy" time at the boiler room - even when by chance the phone is answered immediately on ringing through! They want to discourage phone access, and usually let the waits go to about 45 minutes or more.

Or has any of that changed since?
RetirEd

June 9, 2022
6:01 pm
BlueSky
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RetirEd said

Or has any of that changed since?
RetirEd  

No, you are right, RetirEd, about Tang. I personally, like to bank online without having to mail in documents. Tang is not the best in rates, or customer service, but from past experiences, at times, they came through with higher HISA rates than their competitors. With all their shortcomings, I consider Tang to be a solid FI and a reliable bank. Above all, for Quebec residents, the playing field is rather narrow than for those in the rest of Canada.

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