I've had an account with Canadian Direct Financial for a couple of months now. Overall, the experience has been positive.
Their online interface uses the familiar MemberDirect system (which a lot of credit unions use), although there were a couple of quirks:
- I cannot create an RRSP GIC funded by an RRSP savings account. Thankfully their phone customer service has been friendly and good, although they couldn't set the maturation behavior of the GIC (i.e. whether to automatically renew at the same terms or deposit to a different account) -- they said that I have to wait to receive a letter closer to the date of maturation to be able to specify the maturation behavior.
- I cannot create a TFSA directly from the online account interface, although last week they added a generic form to their website
Account opening process took about 2 weeks. RRSP transfer process took about 3 weeks.
My chequing account does not have a monthly fee (regardless of my minimum monthly balance), and they sent me a letter to confirm the $0 monthly fee before I signed up. However, I find it a bit odd that they still haven't updated this on their website, despite the fact that this supposedly applies to everybody. (More on that in this thread.)
- If you have an existing TFSA (non-GIC) at Canadian Direct Financial and you want to add money to it, you can't use the normal "Transfer" interface because the TFSA won't show up in the list of destination accounts. Do not open another TFSA; instead, use the "Electronic Funds Transfer Authorization (External Bank Transfer)" form, choose "Transfer To CDF" and enter "Canadian Direct Financial" as the "Name of Other Financial Institution". This is not intuitive... but you don't want to end up with multiple TFSA savings accounts (non-GIC) at Canadian Direct since they all have a minimum $50 balance.
February 17, 2013
I found out about not being able to open a RSP GIC the other day when I did a dry run in preparation for the new year. Seems kind of odd to me. What funds would you want to use to open a RSP GIC other than the ones in your RSP savings account?
I did phone and ask if I could set up a RSP GIC for Jan 2 of the new year, but they said I would have to phone back on the actual day I wanted to transfer/open the plan.
I will be retiring in five years, so the GIC's I set up now will be maturing when I retire, and am not sure what I should do with the one for next year. Do they have an option to pay out interest monthly, or even yearly, to either a registered or non-registered account? I'm thinking I may have to have all the ones I have coming due over the 5 years mature in 2019 and set up anther ladder or just one big one.
Another quirky thing I don't get is setting up a future transfer to an outside institution. You get an email confirming it, but it doesn't show up in the list of scheduled transfers.
Sure hoping there are some "upgrades" in the next year to address some of the issues, and just make using them a bit more user friendly
October 27, 2013
They keep saying there is going to be substantial improvements shortly....whatever shortly means. For what it is worth, the web interface is very much like that of Peoples Trust (and perhaps others that I have no knowledge of) so I am thinking both companies are using the same website developer/contractor and it becomes a question of what the client (CDF, PT, etc) wants/is willing to pay for, how busy that developer is, etc. PT for example, provides PDF monthly statements for their savings account while CDF does not (yet).