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Cash Promotions
February 18, 2019
9:27 am
freakonomist
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I believe it would be great to add the following $100 Meridian promotion:

"Receive $100 and earn a market-leading rate of 1.50% when you open a Good To Grow High Interest Savings Account online or at any of our Meridian branches and make a minimum deposit of $1,000.**"

Source: https://www.meridiancu.ca/Personal/Accounts/Savings-Accounts/High-Interest-Savings-Account.aspx

February 18, 2019
10:22 am
Peter
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Thanks! I've added it to the promos page now.

February 23, 2019
9:34 am
CHUCK21
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BE CAREFUL HERE. I JUST OPENED AND CLOSED 2 ACCOUNTS. THE HIGHER INTEREST RATE IS NOT ON A REGULAR SAVINGS ACCOUNT. I WILL NEVER AGAIN DEAL WITH MERIDIAN.

February 23, 2019
4:42 pm
Loonie
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CHUCK, I THINK YOU MUST HAVE OPENED THE WRONG KIND OF SAVINGS ACCOUNT.
I've never had any problem with the bonuses from Meridian.

February 23, 2019
6:54 pm
Briguy
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I took advantage of the HISA promotion. I opened up a HISA paying 1.5% on Dec 18/18 with 1000.00, and Meridian added 100.00 to the account on Jan 23/19. The 100.00 is still listed to this day in the original HISA as "0.00 available" since you are required to hold the original 1000.00 with Meridian for a period of time before the money is released. On Feb 3/19 I transferred the 1000.00 from the HISA to an 18 month GIC paying 3.25% and the 100.00 is still in the original HISA. Hopefully that means that one can transfer from the HISA without penalty.

February 25, 2019
12:29 pm
cgouimet
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Does opening the HISA with 1000+ and immediately moving it all to a Meridian GIC qualify for the $100?

February 25, 2019
3:13 pm
Briguy
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cgouimet said
Does opening the HISA with 1000+ and immediately moving it all to a Meridian GIC qualify for the $100?  

Officially the terms and conditions now say that the 100.00 will be deposited by Meridian by April 30,2019 if the HISA for a new account holder has 1000.00 in account on March 31,2019. So I would say to be safe, ensure you do the account opening and have 1000.00 in account by March 31/19, and leave the money in the HISA until you get the 100.00 deposited. At that point you should be safe to transfer to a GIC.

March 6, 2019
7:02 pm
randy
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Chuck21, couldn't agree with you more good sir. Have tried to do business with meridian probably three times in the past year and it has bore no fruit. They needed me to go into one of their branches and listen to them try to sell me stuff that I don't need and with this promo already had my email on file when trying again to do their online acct application, and after calling again and being told to do it again with another email address. Decided to cut my losses, not for all the tea in china is it worth it to try to deal with these complete fools.

March 6, 2019
9:32 pm
Loonie
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I always open new accounts in person, wherever possible. Then everything gets dealt with at the beginning.

I joined Meridian two and a half years ago. Received $160 in new-member promotional bonuses, credited immediately. Spouse received similar. No effort was made to sell me anything at that time.

Since then, I've only had two conversations with them about other products.
The first was a question initated by me.
The second was when my advisor said he would hook me up with their Wealth Manager or whatever he's called because he thought my money should be "working harder". This suggestion was made by email. I said "no thanks" and never heard another word about it.
He also called in January to advise me of the 1% transfer-in promo. This was appropriate as I said I would be interested in any GIC promos. I was pleased that he'd understood me and had remembered, but the promo didn't suit my situation at this time. We had a nice chat, and he respected what I'd said.

I was once given some wrong information by a previous advisor there, but, in general, it's been a positive experience. Of all the FIs I've dealt with, it's the only one where somebody knows who I am and recognizes me when I walk in.

I've had several GICs there. I do all of them in person so that I know everything is correct and complete.

March 7, 2019
6:32 am
Londonguy
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Loonie said
Of all the FIs I've dealt with, it's the only one where somebody knows who I am and recognizes me when I walk in.

I think it's a credit union thing, as they seem to "get it" about the value of personalization.

Back in the day I used to have account managers assigned to my accounts at the various BigBanks, but somewhere along the way they all seem to have decided they weren't making enough fees off of me as a self-directed investor and I was dropped back into the generic client pool. So now whenever I have to call in for something, I get randomly assigned to the next available agent who may or may not know what they're talking about (usually not, unfortunately). It also doesn't seem to matter that I may have $2MM in their institution either, as under their automated queuing systems I don't get any faster or better service than someone with 50 bucks. In their quest for cost efficiency, BigBanks have depersonalized their service into a "lowest common denominator" customer experience that's no different than dealing with the phone or cable company. The front line people are pleasant enough, but I definitely do not enjoy having to call into or enter a BigBank branch.

Enter a smaller institution (in my own case most recently it was Meridian) that actually appreciates your business, and it's like turning back the clock 30 years in terms of having a specific individual to contact when you need something. And I actually have the option of emailing that real person instead of queuing up on the generic inbound phone line, wow, what a concept! A specific person familiar with my account to take ownership of my problem and solve it, as opposed to having to re-explain something 3 times to 3 different people at BigBank who probably still can't adequately deal with it until you've drilled down to at least the supervisor level.

You can't build customer loyalty by treating your customers like cattle

March 7, 2019
6:08 pm
Loonie
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I couldn't agree more, Londonguy.

March 7, 2019
10:53 pm
Norman1
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Londonguy said

Back in the day I used to have account managers assigned to my accounts at the various BigBanks, but somewhere along the way they all seem to have decided they weren't making enough fees off of me as a self-directed investor and I was dropped back into the generic client pool. So now whenever I have to call in for something, I get randomly assigned to the next available agent who may or may not know what they're talking about (usually not, unfortunately). It also doesn't seem to matter that I may have $2MM in their institution either, as under their automated queuing systems I don't get any faster or better service than someone with 50 bucks.…

$2 million is not much to the BigBanks. They can raise $1 billion in less than a week if they need to. I've seen CIBC raise $1.5 billion in less than one day.

With their technology, the BigBanks are not as dazzled by account balances. They can quickly bring up a screen showing one's total business with them and the profitability to the bank.

Someone with $50 in their account may be immensely more profitable if the person also has a $500,000 mortgage, $20,000 drawn on their line of credit, and $25,000 in mutual funds. In contrast, a self-directed investor with a $1 million discount brokerage account in stocks and EFT's, who does 10 trades a year, would generate less than $100 a year, less than the management fees on $25,000 of mutual funds.

March 8, 2019
4:14 am
Loonie
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Norman has clearly demonstrated why they may not think we matter much as individuals.
We only matter if we, in great numbers, flock somewhere else. That can easily add up to billions.

A while ago, something was posted here that showed that the potential market for alternative FIs was deemed to be about 3% of the Cdn market. Unless we can move that needle, they still won't care too much about losing our business.

March 8, 2019
10:25 am
Londonguy
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Norman1 said

Londonguy said

Back in the day I used to have account managers assigned to my accounts at the various BigBanks, but somewhere along the way they all seem to have decided they weren't making enough fees off of me as a self-directed investor and I was dropped back into the generic client pool. So now whenever I have to call in for something, I get randomly assigned to the next available agent who may or may not know what they're talking about (usually not, unfortunately). It also doesn't seem to matter that I may have $2MM in their institution either, as under their automated queuing systems I don't get any faster or better service than someone with 50 bucks.…

$2 million is not much to the BigBanks. They can raise $1 billion in less than a week if they need to. I've seen CIBC raise $1.5 billion in less than one day.

With their technology, the BigBanks are not as dazzled by account balances. They can quickly bring up a screen showing one's total business with them and the profitability to the bank.

Someone with $50 in their account may be immensely more profitable if the person also has a $500,000 mortgage, $20,000 drawn on their line of credit, and $25,000 in mutual funds. In contrast, a self-directed investor with a $1 million discount brokerage account in stocks and EFT's, who does 10 trades a year, would generate less than $100 a year, less than the management fees on $25,000 of mutual funds.  

I get what you're saying about my not appearing (on the surface maybe) to be as profitable to them as the guy that they're charging for their "advice", but OTOH they ARE making a killing off my accounts, not the least of which is because they diminish your ability to obtain decent interest rate returns by restricting your access to higher yielding and/or competitive products. It actually costs me thousands in foregone interest alone staying at BigBank under those circumstances.

Which has a lot to do with why I'm currently in the midst of a long term campaign to redistribute and spread my assets around elsewhere, over and above my gripes about BigBank's inferior service

March 8, 2019
2:14 pm
Koogie
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Had my first ever dealing with Meridian today. It was difficult to get accurate information out of them on the telephone but relatively easy to get an appointment at a branch.

The rep. we dealt with was good, thorough and experienced. She had all the forms prefilled and ready to go and it was a short, efficient experience.

Bought their 3 year / 3.45% GIC deal. Happy with the experience. Would place them in the top of third of CU that I deal with so far.

March 8, 2019
9:56 pm
Norman1
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Londonguy said

I get what you're saying about my not appearing (on the surface maybe) to be as profitable to them as the guy that they're charging for their "advice", but OTOH they ARE making a killing off my accounts, not the least of which is because they diminish your ability to obtain decent interest rate returns by restricting your access to higher yielding and/or competitive products. It actually costs me thousands in foregone interest alone staying at BigBank under those circumstances.

I'm sure the Big Banks wish they were! sf-laugh

But, in reality they aren't getting that foregone interest. A Big Bank isn't issuing one-year GIC's to us for 1.65% (Royal Bank, 1 year GIC), putting the money into Hubert cashable one-year terms at 3.10%, and collecting the difference.

Which has a lot to do with why I'm currently in the midst of a long term campaign to redistribute and spread my assets around elsewhere, over and above my gripes about BigBank's inferior service

That's about all we can do. Find a financial institution that is a better match, that is not able to raise $1½ billion in less than a day, that would better appreciate $1 million or $2 million in deposits from one customer.

March 8, 2019
10:09 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said

A while ago, something was posted here that showed that the potential market for alternative FIs was deemed to be about 3% of the Cdn market. Unless we can move that needle, they still won't care too much about losing our business.

Market share only matters to the marketing people of the BigBanks. Profitability is more important. As shareholders realized during the dot-com bubble, a business can always gain market share by selling at or below cost.

I think what the BigBanks are looking for are more of the kind of customers they are suited for. Peter Aceto, former CEO of Tangerine Bank, mentions the theory in an interview with Canadian Business:

You’re very clear about what you are as a brand and what you aren’t. In your book, you talk about “firing customers.” Why would you do that?

We’re a business model that is for a specific group of Canadians: We call them direct-ready consumers—anyone who shops online and buys online. So if there are consumers who really need a face-to-face interaction with their bank, we’re not going to be able to make them happy. They might like our rates, they might like that we don’t charge fees, but we need to make sure we don’t accidentally get customers who need the service those fees pay for. So we have to be thoughtful, sometimes, about saying, “I just don’t think we’re going to be able to make you happy.” And if we have to, we ask them to leave.

In my book I also talk about consumers treating our people badly—being rude to them. And I don’t think that’s acceptable in any context, so in the case I wrote about in the book, I felt I had an obligation to do something about it, and I did. I shut down their account.

March 8, 2019
10:44 pm
Loonie
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Of course, Aceto is gone now from Tang, but there are numerous reports of the BigBanks closing clients' accounts, and not giving a reason. They aren't obliged to give a reason, so we don't really know their thinking. I imagine "nuisance" is a significant one, as well as any hint of illegal activity. Sure, they want to target the people they are "suited for" - compliant people who don't know there are other options or who have lots of money and are suited for "Wealth Management".
Even so, they often declare entire communities to be undesirables. Credit unions often move into their abandonned premises and seem to do fine.

They wouldn't have a Marketing Dept if it weren't there to promote profitability.. I see no distinction. In the long run, i don't see how they can grow (also essential to shareholders apparently) if they don't retain or increase market share.

What they are really concerned about is their public reputation. It's that reputation that gives them all kinds of clout. Corporate sponsorship doesn't add profitability any more than the $50 account but it makes them look good, and that is worth a whole lot of negotiating power.

March 9, 2019
3:16 pm
Londonguy
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Norman1 said

But, in reality they aren't getting that foregone interest. A Big Bank isn't issuing one-year GIC's to us for 1.65% (Royal Bank, 1 year GIC), putting the money into Hubert cashable one-year terms at 3.10%, and collecting the difference.

I realize they aren't doing that kind of operation specifically. My point was that BigBanks as a bloc are able to pay inferior returns at the retail banking level thanks largely to their preferred market position and political clout. That's not a complaint, it's just a statement of fact. Since I don't expect those circumstances to change anytime soon, if I want better returns I have to give some smaller banks and credit unions a turn to exploit me instead LOL

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