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Caution about Luminus fees
November 30, 2018
3:41 pm
MoneyMatters
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New user here and long-time CU employee (not Luminus). Thought I would weigh in. As far as I understand it, e-transfers are Free and the Luminus site says so, as are a LOT of Luminus' other services that used to cost money. A CAFT is a service for business transfers which are generally a significantly higher amount than your regular e-transfer. Hope that helps! sf-smile

December 2, 2018
8:35 am
CHUCK21
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SORRY "MONEYMATTERS" YOU SOUND LIKE A ROOTING SECTION OR AN EMPLOYEE OF LUMINUS.
I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET OUT OF DEALING WITH THEM FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. EVERY TIME I BLINK THEY HAVE A NEW CHARGE. THE LATEST IS A $10.00 CHARGE FOR DUES. AFTER SEVERAL MINUTES TALKING I FOUND OUT THAT IT'S A CDIC CHARGE TO THEM THAT THEY ARE PASSING ALONG TO ME. AND YES, I'VE BEEN CHARGED FOR AN EFT. THEY EVEN CHARGE $7.00 TO MAIL YOU YOUR GIC AMOUNT ON THE DUE DATE.
I'VE NEVER SEEN A FINANCIAL COMPANY NICKLE AND DIME THEIR CUSTOMERS LIKE LUMINUS. CAVEAT EMPTOR
AGAIN, SORRY FOR THE CAPS.

December 2, 2018
9:33 am
canadian.100
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I have dealt with Luminus in the past. They are a strange bird. You pay for your credit union share - $25 I think - and an annual $10 fee for ??? - plus lots of service charges - there are no me-to-me transfers. You need to phone them to move money into your Luminus acct from an external acct by completing a PAD - Pre Authorized Debit). You are charged fees for any withdrawals or transfers back to an external acct. Yes - that is true - fee of $7 to have a matured GIC cheque sent to you.
Chuck21 is correct - lots of fees and service charges. Also, they are behind the times with no me-to-me transfers. Dont think Money Matters is correct that e-transfers are free - for sure e-transfers going OUT of a Luminus acct are NOT free.

December 2, 2018
11:52 am
Norman1
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Interac Direct Payments (a.k.a Interac debit) could be free under certain conditions. For example, with their FiveStar Chequing account package.

But, according to their Services: Other Services, outgoing Interac e-Transfers are $1 each. I didn't see any indication that outgoing Interac e-Transfers would be free with any of their account packages.

It is a common courtesy for a financial institution to provide the draft for the proceeds of a maturing GIC for free. I guess that courtesy escapes Luminus or the $7 fee for the draft is just too much to give up. sf-frown

December 2, 2018
12:02 pm
Norman1
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The annual $9.99 is some kind of "membership due". Details of what it is for is at Annual Membership Dues:

Please note that Membership Dues, which are $9.99, are paid annually by virtually all credit unions and credit union members on a national and provincial level as continued support and advancement of the entire Credit Union system. These dues allow Luminus Financial to provide member-owners with access to a wide range of products and services including INTERAC®, our FREE access to ATMs on THE EXCHANGE® Network, and VISA®; as well as the security of your accounts online, including regulatory reporting, anti-money laundering monitoring and much more. Your dues also support initiatives regarding government relations, research and intelligence, communications, and community building/liaison.

Are you a big supporter of Charities? So are we!

The annual Membership Dues also help to support the Ontario Credit Union Foundation (OCUF). The Ontario Credit Union Foundation’s primary activity is managing funds established by a donor to ensure disbursements go to registered charities, support charitable activity, or are moved to another foundation. …

Kind of petty. Sort of like Bell Canada's monthly "network fee" when one has a long distance plan with them.

December 2, 2018
1:10 pm
Loonie
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Spouse had an account there, which was just closed a couple of weeks ago before the next Annual Fee would kick in at the end of November. The account had been inactive for a year or so anyway, and, really, we were just waiting to get around to shutting it down in case some other great deal came along, but it never did.

The account was down to 3 figures, so we just asked for cash and ran, to avoid the $7 fee. The closing went smoothly as we had called ahead to let them know.

However, upon closing, they told us that the $25 membership fee had been paid on spouse's behalf by THEM, and thus they took it back. We were surprised by this and could not prove otherwise, especially on the spur of the moment. As it's a relatively small amount, it could easily have been paid by spouse in cash, especially as the initial depostit was an RSP transfer and did not involve writing a cheque. If they DID pay it, it's a strange way to run a business. And if they didn't,...?
In any event, since there is nothing to document that they DID pay it, and since they say your fee will be refunded, it seems to me they should refund it. Even if they did deposit the fee, wouldn't we have thought of it as a gift? There was no loan agreement. To be honest, we don't remember anything about it. However, we let it go as nobody could prove anything, they would not budge, and we just wanted to be done with them. It was just another example of why spouse was leaving them, but they don't "get it".

We did have to pay the $7 to get the bank draft proceeds from an earlier GIC, then march it several blocks to another bank where we have an account in which to deposit it. I'm not keen on using the mail for large cheques.

We were never happy with the customer service there and I could not recommend it. Of the several new accounts we've opened at alternative FIs, this is the first one we've closed. They really need to pull up their socks.

There are lots of other credit unions in Toronto to choose from. I'm glad to be rid of this one.

December 2, 2018
7:59 pm
GR
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I started this thread in Sept 2017 to warn clients and potential clients about their fees. To recover your own funds for a maturing GIC, you can pay $7 for a draft if you want to go in person to their one branch or want to wait a few days after maturity for mail delivery OR they charge $20 (yes, $20!!!) for a CAFT transfer which is equivalent to a one-time EFT. Short-form CAFT is for "Customer Automated Funds Transfer".
Buying Luminus GICs from GIC agents avoids this fee, as well as the annual $10 membership fee and all their other ridiculous fees.

December 3, 2018
3:36 pm
speedwagen
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I agree that they're not the most impressive, but they still serve a purpose at times. Nobody seems to realize that you can link Luminus externally & pull funds out N/C - I've been doing it since inception. They'll only charge you if you push funds out.

As far as the $25 membership, they credit that amount to satisfy the CU ownership requirement, as do Meridian & others, as opposed to Hubert & Northern who require you to pony-up the cash, but where they cover it for you, you can't expect to cash it in, as it was never yours to begin with.

Word of caution though, where you forked it out - if there's an inactivity/dormancy fee & you don't have enough funds to cover it, they'll pocket your shares & close your acc't.

December 3, 2018
5:05 pm
thisusernameforlease
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Hi Speedwagen: count me among those who had no idea that you could link Luminous externally and pull funds out.

Are you linking to an ISA, or a chequing account (or both)? And do you mind sharing what FIs you're using to pull funds from Luminous? I mean, are we talking online banks here only (Tang, Simplii, EQ) or can you pull funds to RBC, etc?

Thanks

December 5, 2018
8:28 am
CHUCK21
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I WAS WAITING TO HEAR A REBUKE FROM "MONEYMATTERS" BUT NOTHING YET. HE STATES "I'M A LONG TIME CU EMPLOYEE BUT NOT LUMINUS". IF SO, WHY IS HE EXTOLLING THE LIMITED PROS OF A COMPETITOR WHEN THE CONS ARE SO NUMEROUS.
HE MIGHT BE A SHILL.
AGAIN, SORRY FOR CAPS.

December 6, 2018
12:10 am
speedwagen
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TUNFL, you can link Luminus to any FI that has an online EFT platform, as well as others like Luminus that will allow you to pull funds in manually - you just need a stamped PAD form with all the acc't info on it from Luminus, which they'll gladly provide you with & you can provide to your other FI or link yourself online with the likes of EQ, Hubert, Tang etc.

As far as I know, none of the big banks allow this...they want you to pay the big bucks for wire transfers.

July 5, 2019
7:39 am
GR
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As if Luminus didn't already have such an extensive range of high service fees, they are increasing all fees and adding new ones on Oct 1, 2019!! They will even start charging a service fee for in-branch deposits to a savings or chequing account!
Potential new members/clients should first carefully review all their charts of service charges and annual dues.

July 5, 2019
8:03 am
canadian.100
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Could someone tell me why anyone would deal with Luminus?
Must be some fans of Luminus in this blog.
These service charges likely eat up any advantage of their promos.

I suspect reality is they may be having financial challenges and need to raise their fees to remain viable. The 9.99 annual fee they assessed on clients certainly is not a common charge, and now increases to a long list of fees for even making deposits seems strange.

The downside of constantly raising fees likely will not attract new clients; in fact they may lose current clients. They are not competitive from what I see.

July 6, 2019
10:40 am
Norman1
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The increasing fees likely don't affect most of their clients.

Those who would be affected by the new in-branch deposit fee can still do the deposit free at one of their ATM's. So, it is more of a prod to do transactions through an ATM rather than through a teller.

Clients who fully direct deposit their paycheque get their FiveStar Chequing Account Package that waives a many of the day-to-day fees. Same with those who pay $12.95/month for their Three Star Chequing Account Package or those 59 years and older with their Golden Chequing Account.

Those seems to be their target clientele. Those who don't deposit their pay with them, who are not 59+ years old, and who aren't paying $12.95/month in fees are likely not of much interest to them.

July 8, 2019
12:44 am
Loonie
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It's not a CU for Seniors!

Judging by location, history, and the fact that they offer deals on money transfers to the Philippines (or did recently), I would say the target is working people.
On the other hand, given how disorganized I have found Luminus to be, they may not be focused on anyone.

July 10, 2019
7:12 am
gicjunkie
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canadian.100 said
Could someone tell me why anyone would deal with Luminus?
Must be some fans of Luminus in this blog.
These service charges likely eat up any advantage of their promos.

I suspect reality is they may be having financial challenges and need to raise their fees to remain viable. The 9.99 annual fee they assessed on clients certainly is not a common charge, and now increases to a long list of fees for even making deposits seems strange.

The downside of constantly raising fees likely will not attract new clients; in fact they may lose current clients. They are not competitive from what I see.  

I use Luminus for GICs only. I have a free chequing account to transfer money out. I pay the $9.99 annual charge and I pay for cheques. That's it. The interest I am earning on their GICs makes it more than worth it for my purposes.

July 10, 2019
8:11 am
Briguy
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Service fees were just announced to be increasing again on Oct. 1/19 https://www.luminusfinancial.com/Personal/News/Articles/2019/ServiceFeeChangesOctober2019/

I don't think annual membership dues are going up. GIC rate special is 3.25% for 5 years at Luminus, vs 3.1 % for Hubert. You would need roughly 700.00 invested to make up the 10.00 membership due based on the 0.15% increase in interest rate over Hubert. So for the 5 yr duration, you would need roughly 3500.00 invested to make a membership pay at Luminus vs no yearly fee at Hubert.

July 10, 2019
9:10 am
canadian.100
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gicjunkie said

I use Luminus for GICs only. I have a free chequing account to transfer money out. I pay the $9.99 annual charge and I pay for cheques. That's it. The interest I am earning on their GICs makes it more than worth it for my purposes.  

Sounds reasonable. Luminus' GIC rates are a bit better than others.
If you are over age 59, you do not pay for cheque clearing but if you are under 59 you will pay 0.70 (to be raised to 0.85 Oct 1) for cheque clearing of your redemption proceeds which you withdraw by cheque from your chequing acct.
I don't know what blank cheques cost - did not see in the list of charges, but assume it is around $40 for 50 blanks.

July 10, 2019
8:06 pm
gicjunkie
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Personal Cheques Fees
4 $8.00
12 $10.00
24 $12.00
48 $18.00
100 $20.00
144 $22.50

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