As a frugalist, I’m all about the free chequing accounts. Whether it’s completely free, like what PC Financial offers, or free after keeping a minimum balance. However, I was doing some surfing on available chequing accounts from the big banks and noticed a big variation in their high end accounts. The fees varied from $12.95/month to $30 /month some of which can be avoided by keeping a high balance. But $30/month for a bank account? Really!?
So what else do these expensive chequing accounts offer besides unlimited transactions and free cheques. From my wanderings, it seems that some of the high end chequing accounts do provide some extra value like free safety deposit boxes, email money transfers, US chequing accounts, or even waiving the annual fee on an expensive credit card.
So lets down to it, who offers the best high end chequing account?.
|Monthly Fee:||$24.95||$25.00||$30.00||$24.50||$12.95 (50 trans)|
|Min Monthly Balance:||$5,000.00||$4,500.00||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|EMT:||$1.50/trans||2 free/month||2 free/month||$1.50/trans||$1.50/trans|
|Safety Deposit Box:||free||$12 off / year||$40 off/year||n/a||$5 off/year|
|Visa Fee Waived:||$120/year select||n/a||$120/year select||$120/year select||$110/year select|
|Online Broker discount:||$25/year||n/a||Fee Waived||RRSP only||RRSP only|
|Non Bank Interac Trans:||Unlimited||10/month||Unlimited||4/month||$1.50/trans|
|International Interac Trans:||Unlimited||5/month||Unlimited||$3-$5/trans||$3-$5/trans|
There are some details not included in the table above. To start, the credit card annual fee discounts that they offer with these accounts vary. The best offerings are from TD and CIBC. They both offer to waive the fee on their Visa Infinite cards which are their top of the line travel credit cards. Whereas Royal Bank is the only account to offer exclusive travel savings for clients of the VIP package.
Personally, I would only consider one of these accounts if they would waive the fee after a certain balance. Having said that, it seems that TD bank has the most competitive product. With a $5,000 balance, you get a small safety deposit box, free Visa Infinite credit card, a discount off TD waterhouse along with unlimited Interac withdrawals while traveling abroad. For good measure, they throw in their U.S dollar bank account for free. Caution though, if you drop $1 below the $5,000 threshold at any time, the monthly fee applies.
What do you think of these accounts? Do you pay a monthly fee for your chequing account?
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