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Manulife Bank launches Manulife All-In Banking Package
June 10, 2019
4:43 pm
Doug
West Kelowna
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Less than a month ago, I made somewhat of a public mea culpa in favour of the Manulife Bank Advantage Account in this thread when I said that the fact you can write cheques, issue pre-authorized debits, and use The Exchange ATM network to perform surcharge-free deposits and withdrawals with no monthly fee and no transaction fees (Interac Direct Payment & e-Transfer transactions as well as online bill payments can be added without any transaction fees with only a $1,000 monthly minimum balance requirement), I said if Manulife would just remove that minimum balance requirement, while not too onerous, they could be a potential "dark horse" competitor to the likes of Motus Bank, Simplii Financial, Alterna Bank, Tangerine Bank, and the like.

Now, barely one month later, Manulife Bank is doing just that by launching the Manulife Bank All-In Banking Package (incidentally, I even used that wording when I said Manulife might decide to go "all in"). Broadly speaking, it resembles the Advantage Account in terms of what it offers except it removes the requirement to maintain a $1,000 minimum monthly balance. Officially, it's actually two accounts, which they're calling the Everyday Banking Account ("Everyday") and the High Interest Savings Account ("HISA"). The Everyday account has a $10.00 monthly fee, which they note is waived (some parts of the site refer to it as a fee rebate, but this is semantics as to whether it's waived as in the case of HSBC Advance or rebated as in the case of certain CIBC chequing accounts). In order to qualify for the fee waiver/rebate on the Everyday account, your HISA balance must be $100 larger than than the previous month's HISA balance (unclear if they use the last business day or last calendar day of the month).

A peculiarity, though, is the HISA only pays 1.20% as its regular posted rate of interest whereas the Advantage account is 1.50% (if we add the Advantage account to the comparison chart, we'll want to make sure we use the correct product naming due to the multiple high interest savings accounts).

The interest rate is not particularly compelling (would prefer to see them harmonize it with the Advantage account's rate), but what's attractive about it is it that it promotes stickiness of the deposits to the bank. As well, to many people, to whom they're targeting, they're promoting diligent, regular savings, which is essential to most of us on these forums. As well, it's somewhat more democratic in that anyone can participate in fee-free banking without having to maintain a large balance in a particular account. So, on those two bases, I think it's somewhat of a game changer.

Also to its advantage is that Manulife is aggressively streamlining its back office, account opening, and technological offerings, more so than even some large credit unions (i.e., Coast Capital Savings) and banks (i.e., HSBC). As well, unlike Motus Bank, they have fast (i.e., normal) EFT processing times whereas Motus adds fully 2-3 business days to the time that your EFTs - are posted to/from your Motus accounts. As well, they do have a "sweep" feature to automatically sweep your surplus chequing account balance to your savings account, a feature which @Briguy (and others) likes.

Also included as part of the offer: 1 year free Amazon Prime subscription (existing Amazon Prime memberships are eligible, it seems, as you need only redeem a membership code they give you) and between 2-5 months free of an Audible subscription when you make 10 purchases with either your Manulife debit card or Manulife MyMONEY Visa credit card. And, on the cross-sell and synergistic opportunities, they are including free travel insurance to Manulife All-In Banking Package clients, which is kind of neat.

Campaign promotional website: https://www.allinbanking.ca/

Product website: https://www.manulifebank.ca/personal-banking/bank-accounts/all-in-banking-package.html

NOTE: Originally, I shared this news over in this thread at RedFlagDeals.com, but wanted to keep the HighInterestSavings.ca community updated on it as well. Since I've discovered more details about the package, I've streamlined the post here to reduce the unnecessary "bulk." sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

June 10, 2019
6:09 pm
Norman1
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Doug said

…The Everyday account has a $10.00 monthly fee, which they note is waived (some parts of the site refer to it as a fee rebate, …, your HISA balance must be $100 larger than than the previous month's HISA balance (unclear if they use the last business day or last calendar day of the month).

It looks like it is the last calendar day, according to The All-In Banking Package:

You save, we waive
When you save just $100 each month, we’ll rebate the $10 monthly fee.1

1At the end of every month, if the balance in your High-Interest Savings Account is $100 higher than the balance on the last day of the previous month, we’ll rebate the monthly fee.

June 10, 2019
6:13 pm
Norman1
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Globe & Mail columnist Rob Carrick examines the Manulife Bank All-In offering in Can an insurance company do banking better? Manulife takes a stab at it

June 11, 2019
10:30 am
Peter
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Is there anything stopping you from opening an Advantage Account and then linking it to this "package" so you can do free internal transfers and get a higher savings account interest rate?

As for the monthly fee, I guess if you have $1,100, you could withdraw that once a year and then add it in $100 increments every month. That way you only pay the $10 monthly fee once per year (in the month when you withdraw the money). But that's a lot of work to maintain.

June 11, 2019
10:52 am
Doug
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Peter said
Is there anything stopping you from opening an Advantage Account and then linking it to this "package" so you can do free internal transfers and get a higher savings account interest rate?

I thought of that, but I think that the HISA has to be the High Interest Savings Account. You could still open up an Advantage Account and earn the higher rate of interest, but would still have to contribute $100 per month to the High Interest Savings account, from my interpretation of the specific terms.

As for the monthly fee, I guess if you have $1,100, you could withdraw that once a year and then add it in $100 increments every month. That way you only pay the $10 monthly fee once per year (in the month when you withdraw the money). But that's a lot of work to maintain. 

That's an interesting workaround and would likely work. Effectively, you'd pay a $10 fee once a year (some credit unions, like Luminus Financial, appear to charge an annual membership fee anyway) in order to "reset" your High Interest Savings balance to a lower value. Agree that it's a lot of work.

What I like about this product is that it's useful for instilling in people a regular pattern of good savings behaviour and, on small amounts of savings, the difference between 1.2-1.5% is not especially significant. For most of us on these forums, I think the Advantage account makes more sense, either to take advantage of occasional net new money promos or as a day-to-day account (with minimum balance of $1,000). I just wish Manulife had adopted the HSBC approach with respect to HSBC Advance and HSBC Premier whereby they could have multiple ways to waive (or rebate) the monthly fee for all client segments (i.e., holding a $5,000 GIC, $1,000 in an account with the same beneficial ownership, a Manulife mortgage, or the current $100/month savings plan). If they had and had the rate been at least somewhat higher (say 2%), I think they'd have themselves a real potential Tangerine or EQ Bank "killer" product.

Also, on a related note, while they have GICs issued by Manulife Bank and Manulife Trust, Manulife Trust GICs are only issued in book entry, nominee form through deposit brokers. As well, while you can open a GIC with Manulife Bank as a direct-to-consumer client, you currently need to phone Manulife to book a GIC. Again, had this been seamless and all capable of being done online, I think they'd have a really powerful, all-inclusive competitor.

Cheers,
Doug

June 11, 2019
11:19 am
canadian.100
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Seems strange to me for Manulife to have just launched and promoted the "updated" Advantage Account (combined chequing and savings and related features) and now shortly after, launch and promote another All-in Banking Package with its related features. Not sure this makes things easier for clients who will need to compare pluses and minuses of each to see which is better for them. Perhaps the plan is to phase out the Advantage Acct in due course and have those clients move over to the All-in Account.
I like when financial institutions make things clearer and simpler for clients and not make things more complex - e.g. the need to add $100 each month to waive the $10 fee - does anyone really want to check every month end that they have $100 more balance and if not then deposit/move in the extras $100 needed? I would not want to be bothered with that.

June 11, 2019
12:06 pm
Londonguy
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canadian.100 said
Seems strange to me for Manulife to have just launched and promoted the "updated" Advantage Account (combined chequing and savings and related features) and now shortly after, launch and promote another All-in Banking Package with its related features. Not sure this makes things easier for clients who will need to compare pluses and minuses of each to see which is better for them. Perhaps the plan is to phase out the Advantage Acct in due course and have those clients move over to the All-in Account.
I like when financial institutions make things clearer and simpler for clients and not make things more complex - e.g. the need to add $100 each month to waive the $10 fee - does anyone really want to check every month end that they have $100 more balance and if not then deposit/move in the extras $100 needed? I would not want to be bothered with that.  

Not trying to discourage ML from being creative, but let's do the math.

To avoid any mistakes, you put things on autopilot by setting up an automatic debit for $100 per month from one of your other bank accounts. That will suck $1,200 a year out of your better-paying account at a lost opportunity cost to you (based upon ML's inferior 1.2% savings rate) of say, an extra 1% that you could have earned elsewhere, or $12 in the first year, and so on.

Compare that to a hypothetical BigSix account that currently requires a $3,000 minimum balance to obtain free services at a lost opportunity cost to you of $66 annually ($3,000 x 2.20%). So at the end of Year 1 you would be $54 ahead at ML, the end of next year by another $42, and so on until it finally begins to work against you (I'm ignoring compounding effects for the sake of simplifying the illustration).

Bottom line, it may take several years before you're net-net-net worse off at ML than your BigSix deal, but you'll absolutely end up worse off in the end because ML becomes progressively less attractive over time

June 11, 2019
8:30 pm
Norman1
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Londonguy said

To avoid any mistakes, you put things on autopilot by setting up an automatic debit for $100 per month from one of your other bank accounts. That will suck $1,200 a year out of your better-paying account at a lost opportunity cost to you (based upon ML's inferior 1.2% savings rate) of say, an extra 1% that you could have earned elsewhere, or $12 in the first year, and so on.

Actually, the opportunity cost is lower, about $6.50 in the first year. sf-smile

$1,200 in twelve months, but $100, $200, $300, …, and $1,200 at the end of each month. Lower interest earned works out to be

1%/12 x $100 + 1%/12 x $200 + … + 1%/12 x $1,200
= 1%/12 x ($100 + $200 + … + $1,200)
= 1% x ($100 + $200 + … + $1,200) /12
= 1% x $650
= $6.50

So about 11 years until it reaches the BigSix account cost of $66 annually.

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