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1% transfer in promo
January 20, 2019
6:52 am
Canadianbull
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JustMe2016 said
8 days ago I called a Meridian branch located near me and I asked them if I were to open a brand new TFSA account (2 actually 😉 ) and deposited $63,500 would I get the 1% bonus? After being put on hold I was told that yes they would 'bend' the rule and give it to me.

Actually to me it is not bending the rule but being logical as the purpose of the campaign is to attract new money. That I do a direct TFSA transfer, or write a cheque from another FI it is new money. But enough about the semantics.

I was also told that the 1% would not be added to the TFSA account but would be deposited in a regular saving account. I believe they call it 'Advantage' account.

Yesterday the accounts were open and I was surprised to being told that the 1% would actually be added to the $63,500 instead of being deposited in a separate account as I was told 8 days prior. And it would be added in a few days.

Therefore this change the calculation.

So if you invest into a 18 months GIC at 3.25% and get the 1% bonus added a few days later and with the interest compounded annually it will give you an average of 3.98% over the 18 months.  

Well, I also open 5 years tfsa account for myself and for my wife. They gave me %3.75 rate on both accounts 10 days ago. I moved $110K to meridian. I will call them tomorrow to find out if they give me 1% bonus. So Just to be clear if they agree to it they will only pay upto total $750 per account right?

January 20, 2019
8:34 am
JustMe2016
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Canadianbull said

Well, I also open 5 years tfsa account for myself and for my wife. They gave me %3.75 rate on both accounts 10 days ago. I moved $110K to meridian. I will call them tomorrow to find out if they give me 1% bonus. So Just to be clear if they agree to it they will only pay upto total $750 per account right?  

Yes the 1% is a max of $750 per account and per type (TFSA and RRSP) based on a transfer of $75K. Any amount transferred above that on a per account and per type basis will not benefit from the 1% bonus.

January 20, 2019
11:16 am
Canadianbull
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JustMe2016 said

Yes the 1% is a max of $750 per account and per type (TFSA and RRSP) based on a transfer of $75K. Any amount transferred above that on a per account and per type basis will not benefit from the 1% bonus.  

Thanks justMe2016. I open 2 separate TFSA accounts.
63500 for my wife and the rest went into my account. I sent email to my Meridian financial advisor. Most likely he'll get back to me tomorrow.

January 20, 2019
1:14 pm
Loonie
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The T&C make it clear that it's max 750 per member, not per account. They also make clear that the bonus will be deposited into the qualifying account - i.e. the TFSA , RSP or RIF.
Anyone who wants to take advantage of any offer should read the T & C first, to avoid surprises.

January 20, 2019
4:36 pm
Norman1
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JustMe2016 said
8 days ago I called a Meridian branch located near me and I asked them if I were to open a brand new TFSA account (2 actually 😉 ) and deposited $63,500 would I get the 1% bonus? After being put on hold I was told that yes they would 'bend' the rule and give it to me.

Actually to me it is not bending the rule but being logical as the purpose of the campaign is to attract new money. That I do a direct TFSA transfer, or write a cheque from another FI it is new money. But enough about the semantics.

That just makes too much sense! sf-laugh

Unfortunately, that much common sense can be too much to carry and some will be lost on the way to the actual execution of the campaign.

Instead of bending the terms and conditions of the offer, it would have been better to amend the fine print. "New Assets" could also include unregistered funds at another financial institution that are deposited as a new contribution to a TFSA or RRSP at Meridian.

It didn't occur to anyone in marketing at Meridian that someone could have enough unused TFSA or RRSP contribution room to make a $10,000+ contribution?

January 20, 2019
4:41 pm
semi-retired
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Loonie said
The T&C make it clear that it's max 750 per member, not per account. They also make clear that the bonus will be deposited into the qualifying account - i.e. the TFSA , RSP or RIF.
Anyone who wants to take advantage of any offer should read the T & C first, to avoid surprises.  

The wife & I are transferring both our TFSA's into here for the 18 month term.They are both maxed out.I asked what the bonus is counted as, when it goes in the account.Adviser wasn't sure but if it was going to be classified as a deposit(no room,( penalty ) it would be deposited into reg savings account.Will update this situation later in the week.

January 20, 2019
8:42 pm
Norman1
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semi-retired said

The wife & I are transferring both our TFSA's into here for the 18 month term.
They are both maxed out. I asked what the bonus is counted as, when it goes in the account. Adviser wasn't sure but if it was going to be classified as a deposit(no room,( penalty ) it would be deposited into reg savings account. Will update this situation later in the week.

My guess is the 1% bonus would be an advantage that is exempt by one of the exceptions listed in paragraph 3.7 of Income Tax Folio S3-F10-C3 (Advantages – RRSPs, RESPs, RRIFs, RDSPs and TFSAs):

3.7 The following list details exceptions to the type of advantage described in ¶3.6:

  1. administrative or investment services provided in connection with the plan
  2. a loan or other debt (including the use of a TFSA as security for the debt) that reflects arm’s-length terms and conditions
  3. a distribution from the plan in satisfaction of all or part of the controlling individual’s or beneficiary’s interest in the plan
  4. a payment or allocation to the plan by the issuer, carrier or promoter
  5. a promotional incentive under a program offered to a broad class of persons in a normal commercial or investment context and not established mainly for tax purposes
  6. a government grant or bond payment to an RESP or RDSP

Example 6 in paragraph 3.12 appears to confirm the exemption of the 1% bonus advantage. As well, the example indicates CRA doesn't see the bonus as a contribution:

Promotional incentives

3.12 It is common practice for financial institutions and other firms in the investment industry to offer fee waivers, preferential pricing, bonus interest and other promotional incentives. … Where a customer’s registered plan is taken into account in determining eligibility, the incentive could be viewed as conditional on the existence of the plan. However, most conventional incentives are accommodated by one or more of the exceptions described in ¶3.7(a), (d) or (e). Examples 2 to 6 demonstrate common situations that are covered by these exceptions.

Example 6

A financial institution offers $100 cash back to new customers who open an RRSP, RRIF or TFSA and maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 for at least one year. The cash payment is made directly into the qualifying plan. In addition to the payment not being treated as an advantage, it is the CRA’s view that the payment does not constitute a premium, gift or contribution to the plan. This ensures that such payments will not affect contribution limits or the registered status of the plan.

January 20, 2019
9:06 pm
Loonie
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T&C #13. "The 1.0% Cash Bonus Offer will be deposited into the same Qualifying Account as the New Assets, and will be made in the
depositing currency."
Based on my past experience with bonuses at Meridian, they will consider this as a bonus to the interest, not to the principal (even though it's calculated based on the principal). Thus, contribution room is not an issue.
I would insist on this, because that's what the T&C promise you and you want that extra bit of money to also receive the TFSA rate and be tax-exempt.

I think some of their advisors, perhaps all, were not trained adequately on this deal - and they themselves have not read the T&C and don't seem to have the wits to go look it up when they don't know the answer. sf-frown
I can appreciate that it may SEEM to them that it would be a contribution, but it isn't. If Meridian is going to call them "advisors", they ought to make sure they can give accurate advice, but there are no legal standards for "advisors", only for "advisers".

January 20, 2019
9:17 pm
Canadianbull
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semi-retired said

The wife & I are transferring both our TFSA's into here for the 18 month term.They are both maxed out.I asked what the bonus is counted as, when it goes in the account.Adviser wasn't sure but if it was going to be classified as a deposit(no room,( penalty ) it would be deposited into reg savings account.Will update this situation later in the week.  

Good point!

January 21, 2019
6:28 am
semi-retired
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Norman1 I will bring this point up at tomorrows appointment with Meridian.I will insist the 1% bonus goes into our accounts.The fellow we are dealing with at the brand new branch in Barrhaven,Ont.had just come from a TD branch nearby seems very raw in the business.I showed him this website during our initial meeting last week & he was amazed at the available information.I will update tomorrow night.Thanks for the above article.

January 21, 2019
11:21 am
freakonomist
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JustMe2016 said
8 days ago I called a Meridian branch located near me and I asked them if I were to open a brand new TFSA account (2 actually 😉 ) and deposited $63,500 would I get the 1% bonus? After being put on hold I was told that yes they would 'bend' the rule and give it to me.

Actually to me it is not bending the rule but being logical as the purpose of the campaign is to attract new money. That I do a direct TFSA transfer, or write a cheque from another FI it is new money. But enough about the semantics.

I was also told that the 1% would not be added to the TFSA account but would be deposited in a regular saving account. I believe they call it 'Advantage' account.

Yesterday the accounts were open and I was surprised to being told that the 1% would actually be added to the $63,500 instead of being deposited in a separate account as I was told 8 days prior. And it would be added in a few days.

Therefore this change the calculation.

So if you invest into a 18 months GIC at 3.25% and get the 1% bonus added a few days later and with the interest compounded annually it will give you an average of 3.98% over the 18 months.  

Happy new year 2019 !

Would it be please possible to obtain the contact information or email of a Meridian adviser that would be willing to open a new TFSA instead of going through a full TFSA transfer request to be eligible for the 1% promotion ?

Thank you very much in advance for your input.

January 21, 2019
11:55 am
Loonie
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freakonomist, I haven't raised the question with Meridian, but, in the absence of a specific recommendation (which may not be convenient to you anyway), just talk to whoever you deal with at Meridian. If you don't get what you want, then speak to the manager of that branch. It would be more difficult if you don't live near a branch. I think face-to-face contact will make a difference, especially if you are already a member. The manager will be the one who has discretion, if any is to be had.

I would like to know if anyone has asked for this offer on a non-registered deposit. Why not? It's a lot less complicated! But if they have strict targets to increase their registered deposits, then they may not be interested. They may, for example, have data that show them that registered deposits are moved out less frequently or something like that and therefore more desirable. (just guessing)

semi-retired, I somehow doubt that the fellow you will be dealing with is the one who is in charge of making the bonus deposit. That is probably a back room measure. I anticipate it will go where it is supposed to go, regardless of what he says, in accordance with the T & C.

January 22, 2019
5:07 am
Jim Sherat
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Yesterday, I walked into the Meridian Waterloo branch, and got instant access to the Branch Mgr... a nice lady, but said she absolutely could not "bend the rules", and that a T2033 direct transfer was absolutely the only way to get the 1% bonus.

I mentioned that I was aware of others, who had been told they could open a new TFSA, and put in (temporarily) unregistered funds and get the 1%, but she didn't bite; however, she was willing to absorb (up to) $50 in Transfer-Out fees from the other FI.

So for my wife and I to take advantage of this great 18month rate, looks like I'll have to go through the song-and-dance, of re-depositing funds taken out of Simplii TFSA in 2018 to take advantage of the RBC 3.15% eSavings promo, do our 2019 contributions, $6K each, then go back to Meridian branch, open TFSAs, and do the T2033s, to get it all transferred over. Oh well ... may be worth it, especially if we stay with, and add to, Meridian TFSAs down the road ?

I still find it hard to believe that Simplii Financial refuses to offer GICs as an Investment option within a TFSA ... unless they've recently changed their policy? It's the reason we bailed on them in the first place, and I told them so.

January 22, 2019
5:30 am
Loonie
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I'm not sure that anyone has reported being able to just do a direct deposit at Meridian, but maybe I missed it.
If they are intransigent on this, perhaps they are trying to track where they are getting new money from, seeing which FIs they are outwitting. It would be marketing research.
It could also be that they have their computers programmed for this in such a way that it would be difficult to override. and manager doesn't want to get into it, or can't.
The roundabout route may be the only route. Try not to get caught with early closing fees at the FI you are passing through although I must say, they have every right to charge them if they are just being "used" to satisfy a Meridian requirement.

January 22, 2019
7:21 am
Ed
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JustMe2016 said
8 days ago I called a Meridian branch located near me and I asked them if I were to open a brand new TFSA account (2 actually 😉 ) and deposited $63,500 would I get the 1% bonus? After being put on hold I was told that yes they would 'bend' the rule and give it to me.

Actually to me it is not bending the rule but being logical as the purpose of the campaign is to attract new money. That I do a direct TFSA transfer, or write a cheque from another FI it is new money. But enough about the semantics.

I was also told that the 1% would not be added to the TFSA account but would be deposited in a regular saving account. I believe they call it 'Advantage' account.

Yesterday the accounts were open and I was surprised to being told that the 1% would actually be added to the $63,500 instead of being deposited in a separate account as I was told 8 days prior. And it would be added in a few days.

Therefore this change the calculation.

So if you invest into a 18 months GIC at 3.25% and get the 1% bonus added a few days later and with the interest compounded annually it will give you an average of 3.98% over the 18 months.  

So, it seems that some are better at "bending the rules" than others. Interesting...

January 22, 2019
8:22 am
Londonguy
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I'm trying to anticipate any hidden fees here that might claw back some of the benefit -- since this 1% bonus promo is only for registered money, does anyone know if Meridian charges an annual administrative fee to maintain an RSP account with them? If so, are there any minimum balance thresholds where the fee is waived? I can't find anything on their website about the subject

January 22, 2019
12:47 pm
JustMe2016
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Loonie said
I'm not sure that anyone has reported being able to just do a direct deposit at Meridian, but maybe I missed it.

If by direct deposit you mean to write a cheque for $127,002 to open two TFSA accounts, then yes we did.

($63,500 X 2) + $2 for membership.

January 22, 2019
12:50 pm
JustMe2016
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Ed said

So, it seems that some are better at "bending the rules" than others. Interesting...  

It's nothing more than using logic. One way or the other I will get 1%. It is just a matter if a branch is clever enough to not waste $90 ($45 X 2 - transfer fees) for two TFSA accounts.

$45 per TFSA account isn't much but multiply this a 1,000 times and it ain't chump change for Meridian 😉

January 22, 2019
4:32 pm
Canadianbull
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Canadianbull said

Thanks justMe2016. I open 2 separate TFSA accounts.
63500 for my wife and the rest went into my account. I sent email to my Meridian financial advisor. Most likely he'll get back to me tomorrow.  

They told me I do not qualify for 1% bonus because I open a new tfsa account. sf-wink

January 22, 2019
6:20 pm
JustMe2016
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Canadianbull said

They told me I do not qualify for 1% bonus because I open a new tfsa account. sf-wink  

Assuming you have more than one Meridian location in your town you should have called each branch and ask if you would get the 1% on opening a new TFSA account. Since each branch is individually managed, some Meridian employees are more smart/flexible than others.

That's exactly what I did. I don't know if the amount involved and the way it is invested matters?

I was upfront and told them on the phone my plan was 18 months GIC and you know the amount involved in my case.

Too bad you didn't open it elsewhere and then had it transferred to Meridian to get the 1%. I'm sorry for you.

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