HSBC no fee alternatives | HSBC | Discussion forum

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
HSBC no fee alternatives
December 2, 2022
3:20 pm
Johnny2023
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
December 2, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I need a new account to replace my current HSBC no fee one as I really don't want to deal with RBC in the future (and I expect them to charge fees as soon they'll get a green light from public authorities anyway). I am still good for a few months, but I need to look to find something similar elsewhere. I don't have much choices as I like in Quebec and most options are unavailable to me.

Basically I search for a no fee /very low fee account (to pay bills and Interac retail debit) available here with access to The Exchange (or a similar machine network) debit card. Interest rates are not really a priority for that account.

LBCdigital / Laurentian Bank doesn't seem too reliable from what I read here.

People Trust and Koho do not seem too safe too (based on their data leak and privacy policy).

Oaken doesn't seem to offer a debit card and / or are not accepting Quebec residents. Same for WealthOne, Wealthsimple and Neo.

Tangerine is not an option as Scotiabank has no machine that accepts deposit in a 100 miles radius from me.

The credit unions from Manitoba don't seem to use The Exchange and I have no Acculink machines near me.

There's Manulife Advantage. They're listed on The Exchange website and they seem to offer pay per use / free over $1000 operations, but they're kind of mysterious as no one really talk about them nor list them on their site nor give reviews about them. Also, they seem to be keeping hold limits at $100 after 90 days.

So I am considering Alterna, but they seem to like freezing money for any and every reason they can find. Is that just an impression orit gets better after some months of probation or there's no hope as it is their style and no one can do anything for that? All the banks and credit unions I make business (present or past) with has given me an amount they will not freeze when I opened the account and they saw my excellent credit report (not the legal $100 they're required to allow by law, but enough to cash a paycheck or/and deposit funds and pay bills on the spot)

Any idea? Anything else I didn't thought of?

December 2, 2022
4:41 pm
Alexandre
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1129
Member Since:
November 8, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Consider Meridian CU. If you are over 60, their no monthly fee "Senior chequing account" might fit your requirements: https://www.meridiancu.ca/personal/accounts/chequing-accounts/senior-chequing
Also, if you have smartphone, you can deposit cheques with their app.

December 2, 2022
5:29 pm
mordko
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 856
Member Since:
April 27, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I vote EQ Bank. My recent experience with Meridian has been painful.

December 2, 2022
6:57 pm
here2day2
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
June 15, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

mordko said
I vote EQ Bank. My recent experience with Meridian has been painful.  

OP is in Quebec, so Meridian is not an option as they are an Ontario based Credit Union. Alterna may be your best bet and you may want to couple it with an EQ account so that if you can transfer money back and forth if you’re worried about Alterna freezing funds or long deposit holds.

Motusbank may also be an option. Their website does not mention any exclusions for Quebec residents.

December 2, 2022
7:00 pm
Johnny2023
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
December 2, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Alexandre said
Consider Meridian CU. If you are over 60, their no monthly fee "Senior chequing account" might fit your requirements: https://www.meridiancu.ca/personal/accounts/chequing-accounts/senior-chequing
Also, if you have smartphone, you can deposit cheques with their app.  

You're right. Meridian CU is another option, but not sure if they're taking Quebec residents as new members. They said anyone living or working in Canada, but I read mentions that their Motus bank doesn't seem to accept Quebec folks. Also, I heard lots of good and bad things about Meridian, but I need to have a closer look at them. Would you rather recommend Meridian itself or Motus? Unfortunately, I am no more a youngster, but still not a senior yet. 🙂

Mordko, EQ Bank has no debit card and is unavailable to Quebec residents.

December 2, 2022
7:01 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4249
Member Since:
December 12, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Johnny2023 said
I need a new account to replace my current HSBC no fee one as I really don't want to deal with RBC in the future (and I expect them to charge fees as soon they'll get a green light from public authorities anyway). I am still good for a few months, but I need to look to find something similar elsewhere. I don't have much choices as I like in Quebec and most options are unavailable to me.

Basically I search for a no fee /very low fee account (to pay bills and Interac retail debit) available here with access to The Exchange (or a similar machine network) debit card. Interest rates are not really a priority for that account.

LBCdigital / Laurentian Bank doesn't seem too reliable from what I read here.

People Trust and Koho do not seem too safe too (based on their data leak and privacy policy).

Oaken doesn't seem to offer a debit card and / or are not accepting Quebec residents. Same for WealthOne, Wealthsimple and Neo.

Tangerine is not an option as Scotiabank has no machine that accepts deposit in a 100 miles radius from me.

The credit unions from Manitoba don't seem to use The Exchange and I have no Acculink machines near me.

There's Manulife Advantage. They're listed on The Exchange website and they seem to offer pay per use / free over $1000 operations, but they're kind of mysterious as no one really talk about them nor list them on their site nor give reviews about them. Also, they seem to be keeping hold limits at $100 after 90 days.

So I am considering Alterna, but they seem to like freezing money for any and every reason they can find. Is that just an impression orit gets better after some months of probation or there's no hope as it is their style and no one can do anything for that? All the banks and credit unions I make business (present or past) with has given me an amount they will not freeze when I opened the account and they saw my excellent credit report (not the legal $100 they're required to allow by law, but enough to cash a paycheck or/and deposit funds and pay bills on the spot)

Any idea? Anything else I didn't thought of?  

I'd suggest LBC Digital or Motive Financial, but their contact centres are only open Monday through Friday. That's a non-starter for me. EQ Bank is okay, but you will not have ATM access, or point-of-sale purchase ability.

My "top picks" would be:

1. Tangerine Bank (first book of cheques for free; largest surcharge-free ATM network)
2. Simplii Financial (includes unlimited and free cheque orders; second-largest surcharge-free ATM network)
3. Alterna Bank (third-largest surcharge-free ATM network)
4. PC Money Account (no chequing privileges; surcharge-free ATM network is the smallest, at about 500 locations being in Loblaw branded stores only)

I have not used #2-4.

Note that The Exchange ATM and Acculink ATM networks will no longer be the largest, with the loss of HSBC's 130+ locations, and Manulife Bank has also lost most, or all, of its Couche-Tarde locations. 🙁

Cheers,
Doug

December 2, 2022
7:04 pm
AltaRed
BC Interior
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2931
Member Since:
October 27, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It depends on how quickly you want an alternative. EQ has updated all of its T's and C's to its existing account holders to include Quebec. It feels like this is leading to an imminent launch, perhaps within a few weeks, or perhaps 1/1/2023.

I think EQ is a good option and if that does work out, LBC Digital might not be so bad an option. I only have a HISA with them and their website has been wonky in the past but I've not had any issue in recent months.

December 2, 2022
7:49 pm
Alexandre
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1129
Member Since:
November 8, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Johnny2023 said

You're right. Meridian CU is another option, but not sure if they're taking Quebec residents as new members. They said anyone living or working in Canada, but I read mentions that their Motus bank doesn't seem to accept Quebec folks. Also, I heard lots of good and bad things about Meridian, but I need to have a closer look at them. Would you rather recommend Meridian itself or Motus?

According to Meridian CU profile from this site, they are available in Quebec: https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/profile/meridian-credit-union/

I have accounts with both motus and Meridian, and honestly, I don't see big difference between them. Whatever one is to your liking and allows you to open account with them from Quebec. In my daily use, they aren't really different, even Web sites and smartphone apps are similarly looking.

Their Web sites and apps are fast responding, and it is a pleasure comparing to likes of Canadian Tire bank and LBC Digital.

Also, I haven't had bad experience with either of them, but my needs are similar to your and even simpler. I don't need joint accounts, I don't make calls to their customer support, I do simple online banking and occasionally send Interac or pay with debit card.
I like that I can submit cheques through their apps, this is how I initially funded my accounts with them.

December 2, 2022
8:30 pm
Norman1
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 6807
Member Since:
April 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I wouldn't have a LBC Digital chequing account for my primary chequing account.

Information about transactions is lacking both online and in monthly statements. No indication who the biller is for pre-authorized debits. Description just says "pre-authorized debit". Is that $100 pre-authorized debit the automatic payment from a credit card, the pull from another online bank, or a gym still collecting the monthly membership after one has cancelled? sf-frown

No indication who the payor is for direct deposits either. One person tried linking to a LBC Digital account at two other online banks. All the microdeposits arrived the same day. No way to tell which microdeposit was from which online bank!

The thousands separator is missing in places on the statements. In some places on the statement, ten thousand is shown as "10,000.00" while others it is shown as "10000.00". sf-surprised

I'm surprised how amateurish the LBC Digital offering is from a bank as established as Laurentian Bank.

December 2, 2022
8:30 pm
Loonie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 9278
Member Since:
October 21, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have accounts at Meridian, motus and Alterna Bank as well as a few others that have been mentioned.

I am not up on what is available to Quebec but I think you'd be OK with any of these three if available.

The main advantage of Meridian over motus is that it has branches, but those are no use to you anyway. motus tends to have slightly higher rates than
Meridian most of the time. motus has CDIC insurance, as does Alterna Bank, whereas Meridian has provincial CU insurance, if that matters to you.
Hold periods of 2 weeks should be expected for cheque deposits at most FIs. I have the impression that FIs are becoming increasingly picky about Holds (and worried about fraud).

As far as I know, Alterna Bank still has a unique feature called Coverdraft which may be of use to you, considering your needs. I haven't used it, but I believe it allows for automatic transfers from Savings to Chequing if you run short in paying a bill etc., and it's free. If they will accept your application, you should ask about it.

I haven't used LBC or Simplii but haven't been impressed with reviews overall.

You might look at Wealth One Bank or Motive Financial. I'm not sure if they meet your needs or if they are available to QC. I use them both and have no complaints.

I don't have anything else to recommend for someone in QC.

If none of these work for you, maybe you should look locally - Desjardins or a Caisse Populaire?? I have no experience with these.

December 2, 2022
9:54 pm
Johnny2023
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
December 2, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Caisse populaire Desjardins is not recommended at all. They like to play the "co-operative" card, but they long lost their credit union spirit and run it as a crappy bank. Also, they're currently entangled with several security and data breaches. They used to be the first option to a lot of people here, but now quite a few folks are running away from them.

December 2, 2022
11:45 pm
Loonie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 9278
Member Since:
October 21, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I find that as CUs get big, they tend to develop a corporate attitude, putting the organization ahead of the members.

For that and other reasons, I prefer the smaller ones in ON, but those are not available to QC. The ones with just one or two branches have been great for me. They give me substantially better service, light years from that of the big banks etc. But one always has to pick carefully, regardless.

December 3, 2022
12:12 am
iotama
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 60
Member Since:
March 3, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

A small thing, but it is always on the top of my list of preferences when getting new accounts: The method used to link external accounts. A big NO if it's a "Flinks" system (you give your external bank's username and password to a 3rd party, violating your ext bank's TOS, nevermind all the security implications.)

It's one of the things I find folks often take lightly.

Just my 2 cents.

December 3, 2022
6:47 am
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4249
Member Since:
December 12, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

AltaRed said
It depends on how quickly you want an alternative. EQ has updated all of its T's and C's to its existing account holders to include Quebec. It feels like this is leading to an imminent launch, perhaps within a few weeks, or perhaps 1/1/2023.

I think EQ is a good option and if that does work out, LBC Digital might not be so bad an option. I only have a HISA with them and their website has been wonky in the past but I've not had any issue in recent months.  

Tangerine is already available in Quebec. sf-cool

As for EQ Bank, I don't have an exact launch date in Quebec, but in their most recent quarterly earnings conference call, EQ Bank indicated launching in Quebec was one of their top, near-term priorities, and their outdoor marketing was gearing up. They are also piloting a client debit card, but unless they join The Exchange ATM Network, which, as I say, will be about 130-300 ATM locations fewer than a few years ago with the loss of HSBC Bank Canada branch ATM and Manulife Bank standalone/kiosk ATM locations, is less compelling than, say, Tangerine or even Simplii Financial.

I suspect EQ Bank will launch in Quebec in Q1 2023, probably January to be quite honest.

The debit card will likely fully launch within the next 12 months.

EQ Bank does have significant other negatives, though, being their product focus (i.e., less on digital banking innovations now) and significant lack of customer transaction narrative detail on e-Statements and in transaction histories. They also have no tiered access to deposited funds limit, whereas Tangerine has recently boosted their cashback limit up to $99,999.99 (from $5,000-$10,000) for clients in good standing and credit history with the bank.

I always respect AltaRed's opinion, but that last point, particularly for the OP, to me is the "nail in the coffin," so to speak, on EQ. In other words, you will be disappointed. They're fine for parking money in a HISA or as a banking hub (if you push money, that is), but I wouldn't use them where I require no holds access to funds. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

December 3, 2022
6:54 am
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4249
Member Since:
December 12, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

iotama said
A small thing, but it is always on the top of my list of preferences when getting new accounts: The method used to link external accounts. A big NO if it's a "Flinks" system (you give your external bank's username and password to a 3rd party, violating your ext bank's TOS, nevermind all the security implications.)

It's one of the things I find folks often take lightly.

Just my 2 cents.  

That ToS language is outdated and likely unenforceable in the courts. Most or all of the Big Five banks now give you the ability to add third-party apps, websites, or other banking providers in your online/mobile banking. As long as the third-party systems use enterprise grade encryption and industry standard security practices, you should be fine. As well, I'd note you're not giving anyone your username and password. That data exchange is done via enterprise grade, industry standard encryption using some sort of tokens. If a bank were passing usernames and passwords in plain text, that would be such a huge red flag in own rights. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

December 3, 2022
9:53 am
AltaRed
BC Interior
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2931
Member Since:
October 27, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Norman1 said
I'm surprised how amateurish the LBC Digital offering is from a bank as established as Laurentian Bank.  

I agree based on your observations. I only have an HISA there so was not aware.

What might work best depends on how one needs to use a chequing (or operations) account, i.e. volume of transactions and types of transactions. While I know Scotia is not an option for the OP but, for example, we have a daily interest chequing account that has zero service charges with a senior's discount. It allows 10 (maybe 12) free withdrawals per month. We have never reached that limit since everything we can is on credit cards and the 2 cards are pre-authorized monthly debits on the chequing account. It is basically utility bills that are on direct pre-authorized debits, tax payments, 1-2 Interac no fee e-transfers, a very rare Bill Payment, a very rare cheque, and a very rare ATM cash withdrawal.

It might be helpful if the OP provided more clarity on the number and type of withdrawal transactions done per month.

December 3, 2022
10:10 am
Johnny2023
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
December 2, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

In a perfect world, I would like to get unlimited operations and no hold to use that account card for daily POS payments, but if I can get a card with no hold and 2-4 bill payments, I would probably be a happy camper.

December 3, 2022
2:47 pm
Johnny2023
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
December 2, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well, I was about to open an account at Manulife, Alterna, Motus and Meridian (and maybe EQ Bank later this winter) to get a test drive at each and choose the one(s) I like the most, but I'll decided to go with Meridian for now.

The first one I tried was Motus. I went through all their annoying picture/video process, then the full registration and just to learn at the very end that they finally declined my application.

I continued down my list and tried at Meridian. It is funny, because Motus and Meridian are basically the same organization and the application is way simpler at Meridian and it worked fine. I was able to test immediately Interac transfers and bill payments and it went smoothly. For now, I need to wait for my ATM card, but it looks promising.

December 3, 2022
3:50 pm
Loonie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 9278
Member Since:
October 21, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I just checked the chart on this forum. It indicates that neither Motive nor motus are available to QC. This may account for your rejection by motus.

Alerna Bank has or used to have a branch in Gatineau, so I think it's likely they will accept QC residents. Be careful not to confuse Alterna Bank with Alterna Savings credit union. The CU owns the bank, like Meridian/motus. I spoke to an Alterna Bank rep recently. He said he was in Ottawa, and he had a French accent. Sorry i didn't mention this earlier; i forgot.

December 3, 2022
4:26 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 4249
Member Since:
December 12, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Johnny2023 said
Well, I was about to open an account at Manulife, Alterna, Motus and Meridian (and maybe EQ Bank later this winter) to get a test drive at each and choose the one(s) I like the most, but I'll decided to go with Meridian for now.

The first one I tried was Motus. I went through all their annoying picture/video process, then the full registration and just to learn at the very end that they finally declined my application.

I continued down my list and tried at Meridian. It is funny, because Motus and Meridian are basically the same organization and the application is way simpler at Meridian and it worked fine. I was able to test immediately Interac transfers and bill payments and it went smoothly. For now, I need to wait for my ATM card, but it looks promising.  

Thanks for sharing your Motus account opening experience, Johnny. You should ask them for more details on the reason. Was it a technical reason in terms of your ID validation, or was it a creditworthiness reason? (The latter isn't technically a valid reason for declining to open an account. A bank has to give you a bank account, even if they hold all deposits per their Hold Funds Policy and notwithstanding access to the first $100.) You can also ask for a letter, in writing, and then forward that letter together with your complaint to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Motus Bank could then be subject to an administrative monetary penalty by the commissioner.

Cheers,
Doug

No permission to create posts

Please write your comments in the forum.