1. Decker on January 11, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I am getting a whopping 5.05% return on a saving account I got through American Express when I got their AMEX One card (which deposits 1% of everything I charge into this account). When I got the card and made my first charge they deposited $35 into the account. My year anniverary just came and they unexpectedly deposited a $25 anniversary “bonus” into my account. I am able to transfer funds directy into it from my B&M checking and savings and of course schedule automatic transfers. Seems to good to be true and I’m wondering if the return rate will lower at some point.

  2. canadian dollars on January 11, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Decker: Can you tell us more about the AMEX One card 5.05% return deal?

    FT: While the taxation on the interest portion of your savings is bad, throwing all that money into dividend paying stocks might be better but comes at a significantly higher risk. Ya, I know, again I’m preaching to the choir :)

  3. FrugalTrader on January 11, 2007 at 11:12 am

    I believe the AMEX deal is available to US residents only. Our neighbors down south get higher rates b/c their prime is higher.


  4. Decker on January 11, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Here’s the info on the One card and the high yield savings account: https://www124.americanexpress.com/cards/loyalty.do?page=one

    I am at work now, so only scanned the info, but didn’t see if this is limited to US customers only. It might be hidden in the fine print. This material says that account yields 5% interest. I thought I was getting %5.05, but either way, I like it.

  5. Canadian Money Blog Reviewers on January 12, 2007 at 8:49 am

    FT: why haven’t you moved all your banking to PCFinancial? I’ve just completed that move recently and it saves me from having to keep a minimum balance at another bank. That money is instead stored now in the 4% account at PCF :-)

  6. FrugalTrader on January 12, 2007 at 9:02 am

    Hey CMBR,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have considered that move, however, I like keeping a relationship with one of the big banks as I find that they do me “favours” for keeping business with them. For example, they give me preferential rates on LOC’s, mortgages.

    But you’re right, those minimum balances required really tick me off. I’m actually considering moving my self directed RRSP to Questrade. Lower fees and no min balance.


  7. canadian dollars on January 13, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I keep one big bank account as well. The rationale being that if I need to withdraw say 10,000 or something large, I can do so without having to go to the bank machine 10 times on 10 separate days. So like Frugal Trader stated, I do it because of the minor benefits it brings.

  8. Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer on January 13, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    canadian dollars: just to be silly, I’m tempted to ask you: what are your 10000$ doing in your regular bank account? :-)

    I understand though that sometimes it might be easier to have access to a real bank. Is it worth having to keep a minimum balance though?

  9. canadian dollars on January 13, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    I don’t actually have 10K in my regular bank account. I keep it in my PCF account. What I’m saying is if I need to withdraw large amounts of money I’ll transfer from PCF –> big bank and then withdraw from the bank when I need it :)

  10. Jon Lee on March 15, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    I opened a PCF savings account alongside my CIBC account. I think its important to have a brick and mortar bank though – there are many things that PCF cannot do like EMT and wire transfers.

    In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t gone with CIBC – so I would have access to no-free cash withdrawals at 2 different ABMs!

  11. djstef on April 6, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Is anyone here in Quebec and using the PC High Interest Savings account and/or the No Fee’s banking from PC ?

    I’m spoke to them on the phone, and the only thing seems that we can’t apply online, I must go to Cornwall (the closest branch) and apply in person.

    Has anyone done this?

  12. Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer on April 7, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    djstef: I would try to call the Cornwall branch directly. I know somebody from Quebec that was told it was ok on the phone but they did need an Ontario address when they got there in person!

  13. djstef on April 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    I called the branch in Cornwall today, and told them I want to come in and open a bank account and saving account, and I’m from Quebec. The lady said it is not a problem, you neeed some ID’s when you go, she even started to fill in the forms over the phone with my address so it’ll go quicker when I get there. So looks like it can be done now for people in QC, I’m driving out on Wednesday!

  14. djstef on April 12, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Just an update to anyone in Quebec thinking of using PC Financial, it can be done, I was there yesterday (less then an hour drive to Cornwall) and opened a no fee chq account and high interest savings account. The only limit right now in QC is that we can not have any credit products (such as line of credit or overdraft) but they’re working on that. Anyway, I’m excited cuz I have the accounts now and will be starting my no fee banking!!

  15. Roc on April 13, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Before opening up a high interest savings account, you need to consider how the interest is calculated.

    Achieva offers 4.10% interest compounded monthly, while Steinbach Credit Union offers 4.20% paid annually. Which is the better deal?

    Answer: Achieva is the better deal. Since Achieva pays interest monthly, then this interest carries forward to the next month which intern earns interest. Your essentially earning interest on top of interest. While Steinbach pays more interest, it does not pay interest on the interest earned each month.

    Therefore I’m currently earning over $1,200/month interest on my $365,000.00 savings account with Acheiva, which then earns interest on top of interest!!!

  16. FrugalTrader on April 13, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Roc: 4.1% compounded monthly on your $365,000 = 365,000(1+4.1%/12)^12= $380,249.44 after one year

    4.2% compounded annually = 365,000 x (1+4.2%)^1= $380,330 after one year

    The Steinbach Credit Union is a better deal on an annual basis. But I guess it depends if you need monthly income from your savings or not.

  17. Roc on April 17, 2007 at 9:52 pm


    I did some research on Steinbach Credit Union and was wondering if you can provide some information on their high interest savings account.

    Steinbach pays 4.20% on balances

  18. Darkman on May 8, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Not a bad deal currently offered by HSBC

    It’s not there regular one .. but a virtual one as well – HSBC Direct account:

    Paying 3.50% .. but very flexible .. unlimited withdrawals, bill payments, etc..

    No checks .. but can provide links with other banks and transfer money back and forth as well..

    PCF’s regular account is where from i pay my bills etc .. but the interest is low in it.. – i maintain around 5,000 there .. and it’s only 0.10 or 0.15% nawadays..

    3.15% sounds better.. – i think i will keep about 1,000 in PCF daily (have there savings 4.00% also, btw, as well as Achiva’s 4.10% .. as well as E-trade’s 4.15% :)) .. and other 4,000 i will give to this HSBC Direct ;)
    4,000 x 3.5% = $140 a year…
    So pretty good rate will be earned .. on a flexible account, where i can deposit / withdraw as much as i want at the ATM.. pay all my bills etc (btw – HSBC ATM machines, as well as Bank of Motreal ones, and as well as National Bank ATMs, are considered with HSBC as your “home” machines.. and no interac fees are changed if using them (as well as as mentioned Free withdrawals)

    If open bank account with them .. for limited time only (by already extended by the way) – one gets Bonus / Present of $25, deposited in account in a couple of months, if $100 balance or more is in the account on the specified future date :)

    Live CSRs are available over tall free phone numbers 24/7 (as PCF used to be in the beginning – currently PCF cut those hours down for LIVE CSRs)

    From their web site (provided above) :

    “It pays to be direct.™

    FREE, unlimited electronic deposits, withdrawals, transfers and bill payments within Canada

    High interest rate of 3.50% (1)

    24/7 ACCESS online, by phone and at 4,100 Cash machines (5)

    The HSBC account is notable because of how user-friendly it is. Though you can’t access it through HSBC branches, you can deposit cheques or make no-fee withdrawals through a network of 4,100 bank machines (HSBC, Bank of Montreal and a network called The Exchange), and you get free bill payments.

    Rob Carrick, The Globe and Mail
    March 29, 2007”

    That “The Exchange” Network. – some institutions belong to it or something.. and there is a sign at the ATM indicating this.. – That is why i mentioned National Bank, cuz was told by CSR that, in Winnipeg anyhow, National Bank is a part of that network.. and their ATM machines accordingly are a “home” machines for HSBC…

    I already applied for their account few days ago.. and now in process of getting the welcome package from them.. and ATM card :)

  19. Elizabeth on July 11, 2007 at 10:22 pm


    If I would like to open an online account in hsbc direct u.s., do i have to be the resident of U.S.?? I am a resident of Canada

    Thank you

  20. […] The Financial Post also mentioned Million Dollar Journey in another article "Good advice or just online ranting?".  Here are the snippets:  Million Dollar Journey on high-interest savings accounts: […]

  21. Chris on August 14, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Didn’t you forget EmigrantDirect.com?
    They’re currently at 5.05% for a $1 minimum savings account.
    I’m not sure if you can take advantage of it in Canada, but I know we can here in the US.

  22. […] I think that your best bet would be maximize your RRSP (for both of you), and put the rest in a PC Financial Savings account that pays 4% annual […]

  23. […] approved, write a credit card cheque to yourself and deposit it into a high interest rate savings account or a […]

  24. Austin on September 19, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I’m currently the higher {actually only}earning partner in the relationship.

    Would opening the P.C Financial account in my spouse’s name alone save me from the painful losses of my earned interest to taxes??

  25. […] Build an emergency fund in a high interest rate savings account. […]

  26. Chris on September 20, 2007 at 10:22 am

    I don’t know about a way to get around the 100% taxation on the interest in Canada.
    I do know that in the USA, if you and/or your spouse has earned interest, you have to pay your marginal tax on the amount of earned interest.

  27. […] favorite high interest rate savings account, PC Financial, has increased their payout from 4.00% to […]

  28. Austin on September 28, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Thanks Chris for ur response, I appreciate.

    I may go with the Market Indexed RRSPs offered by the proffessional body to which I belong.

    I was a bit questioning about continuing with that when I made a direct comparison b/w my ROI (3.6% over the last year) and the above 4.5% being offered by P.C Financial.

    But looking at it closer now, i think I win with the MIRRSP’s b/c my 3.6% capital gains is tax exempt and that beats 2.25% (capital gains of 4.5% after marginal tax of 50% has been applied)

  29. […] Credit card arbitrage is a fairly popular strategy in the PF blog world.  This 2 part series will explain what it is, and how to take utilize the strategy with various Canadian credit cards and savings accounts.  […]

  30. may on November 4, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    If you wanted to put 100,000 into a saving account which one would you put it in? im having trouble

  31. FrugalTrader on November 4, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    May, I currently have around $100k in my PC Financial account. The big thing to look out for is CDIC coverage. I believe all of the listed savings accounts have this coverage which insures your money up to $100k. Looking through all the savings accounts, looks like ICICI has the highest rate.

  32. Myself on November 5, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Why they heck is there a CDIC (or in the US, FDIC) insurance up to $100,000.
    Why isn’t it a little higher (say $200,000)? Especially since there are many millionaires in the world today.
    It must from from an actuary I’m guessing who worked out the numbers and that’s what they came up with?

  33. FrugalTrader on November 5, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Myself, yes, it’s a pretty low number. It’s basically what they cover in case the company that’s holding your account goes belly up. If you have any more than $100k, it would be best to put it into a brokerage account where they will insure your account up to $1 million.

  34. natalie on November 6, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    i’m living in smiths falls, is there any achieva financial in this area?

  35. 25 Ways I Save Money | Million Dollar Journey on December 3, 2007 at 5:04 am

    […] make my deposits into my high interest rate savings account and RRSP automatically on a bi-weekly basis.  Basically when I get my […]

  36. […] Some suggest to have around 3-12 months worth of expenses.  Personally, I keep enough in my savings account to cover the worst case scenario accounting for insurance/EI benefits etc.  Alternatively, you […]

  37. Nadine on December 14, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Hi there!

    I need help!

    I currently have a Canada Trust GIC (which makes pennies); It’s pointless. I also have a ING direct account, and a Canadian saving bonds account.
    I am interested in getting a Achieva account seeing how they are offering 4.35% which is amazing. Does anyone know much about this company?

    Thanks in advance.

  38. DAvid on December 16, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    A number of financial institutions are offering high interest accounts. Have a look at the financial calculators at Dinkytown.net to gain an understanding of how different interest rates would affect your income. Also remember, savings accounts should be a short term investment, as other forms of investment are taxed at more favourable rates.

    You may wish to take a walk around the financial district of your city, and see what the competition is offering. TD Bank has GIC products with interest rates of 4.2% currently. Once you are armed with the knowledge of what the competition offers, a long chat with the manager at your current bank, should gain you a better rate, else you will have learned where to move your money.

    I am a strong believer in doing business with the institution that gives me the best package of services, rather than having accounts scattered across many. One of these services includes the ability to meet with a member of their staff to discuss options to best meet my needs.

    You can learn more about Achieva at their website.


  39. Ivan on December 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    I am not excited about 4.5%. Just have a look at these rates: http://www.vtb24.ru/en/personal/savings/deposits/term-deposits/profit/
    The bank has BBB+ Fitch rating, 77.5% controlled by the government, savings are insured. Non-government (100% private but very good) banks normally offer even better rate. Not sure if they open accounts for non-residents though (I have Russian passport).

  40. Ivan on December 18, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Forgot to mention that this is Russian bank ).

  41. […] High Interest Rate Savings Accounts […]

  42. Financial Imbalance on January 7, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Achieva Financial just dropped there rate down to 4.10%. I have been using them and have been pleased with my experience thus far.

  43. FrugalTrader on January 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for the heads up. I just updated the entire list, some changes to interest rates with Citizens bank being the the only one increasing their rate.

  44. […] an emergency/vacation fund, setup a high interest savings account.  My wife and I use a combination of  a high interest savings account (@ PC Financial) […]

  45. nancy (aka money coach) on February 2, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Citizens Bank of Canada – usually one step ahead of ING, no minimum, no hidden strings etc., plus, they donate their profits back to the community since they’re owned by a credit union. It’s a virtual bank so you need to be comfortable with online banking (I can’t imagine bloggers being anything but!)

  46. Gean Oliveira on February 19, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Hi FT,

    I was checking the RBC rates and right now they’ve dropped to 3.50%.

  47. […] sure that it's accessible for a bank draft to be submitted to the lawyer.  Since I use PC Financial, I have to wait 1 day for my funds to be transferred over.  If your savings account has this […]

  48. anthony on February 27, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    I have money with ICICI bank,,,which I just moved there from ING.
    It currently pays 4.1%

    They pay the highest rate i could find..it changes from time to time,like the others do, but basically its always at the top of the list.
    I also got a 1 year gic from them at 4.65% for my mother.
    She like the safety of gic’s.

    I keep my loose money there,,,i keep some for paying bills in CIBC,

    I have a wood gundy account but am looking for the best DISCOUNT BROKER, at this time,,,any suggestions would be appreciated.

  49. James on February 28, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Any thoughts on the Bradford & Bingley savings accounts? It says that these accounts are for NON-UK members only. They have a number of them but these seem to be of interest to me: eSaver (6.25%) with only 3 transactions/yr or eIncome (5.8%.



  50. steven on April 1, 2008 at 7:05 am

    hey i have a high interest accound with scoita there money master account but the interest is only 2.75% what bank would offer me the best interest paid monthly and have access to my savings incase i need them???

  51. JohnnyCanuck on April 8, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    FYI…PC Financial recently lowered their interest rate from 4% to something like 3.8% or 3.2%. I can’t remember what the rate is now, but after my fiancee told me that the new posters are advertising a lower rate I called and they confirmed that they had lowered their rate. It’s still great to get free banking, but it ticks me off that they didn’t grandfather me or at least call or send a letter telling me.

    There may be a lot more competition now.

  52. DAvid on April 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    3.35% if you have over $1000 in the account, then a sliding scale to 3.6% if you have over $100,000 in the account. They offer 2.5% on balances less than $1000.

    As for grandfathering, I don’t understand why you’d expect that in a savings account – GIC’s would give you certainty of interest rate until renewal — savings accounts will vary from time to time as described in the fine print provided by your bank. As a matter of fact on the PC Financial site, the fact that ‘rates are subject to change’ is in normal print at the bottom of the page.


  53. Wise Saver on April 16, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    You should update the rates on here. It seems to me that ING Direct has one of the better rates all the time and I think they started it all. Some of the others increase their rates to get you in and then lower them. Not cool.

    • FrugalTrader on April 16, 2008 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks for the reminder, just updated the list. Although ING has raised from the bottom of the list of rates, it’s still in the middle of the pack. I personally lean towards PCF.

  54. DAvid on April 17, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    You might wish to link to either of these sites which are maintained regularly rather than re-visiting this post and updating your table!



  55. Susan on April 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    PC Financial regarding over draft protection. If you require overdraft protection and just started with a new company or line of work, to switch financial establishments immediately to either Royal Bank, TD, Scotia etc. As PC Financial will not set you up with overdraft protection if you are not past your 3 month probationary period. Ha! Because your also on probation with the bank too- even though you as a customer put thousands of dollars into the banks hands every year! I will be interviewing with other institutions this week regarding the same matter and or if they have exceptions for customers over 5 years with great track record.

  56. W D W on June 21, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    im lookin for the easiest way to dodge tax-man in canada… im just waitin on my 30-60k inheritance… i need a way (paid mthly of course due to bills that need attention) to make money! i was lookin at PCF but since were taxable to rat sh*t… how do i do this up?

    and on a seperate note, what would the interest rate be mthly on that aproximate amnt?

  57. FrugalTrader on June 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    WDW, if you were to place, say $50k, into a PCF account earning 3% interest, you would get approximately $125/month or $1500/yr. Depending on your marginal tax rate, say it’s 35%, you will be taxed $525 which means a net return of $975.

    Depending on your province and income level, you may want to look at dividend paying stocks for the income and tax efficiency. If you don’t need the “income”, then the most tax efficient solution would be to pay down your debt directly.

  58. Amit in Vancouver Canada on July 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I have both ING Direct and ICICI accounts, and my regular brick-and-mortar bank is TD Canada Trust (mainly because I am lazy, and like the ability to walk into the bank at 7:55PM and do my banking at that hour).

    Some more benefits of ICICI bank are they offer the best forex rates if you have to transfer money out of Canada. Too bad, they only offer this to only 3 countries right now, but I had to transfer money to India last year in an emergency situation. Compared to TD Canada Trust, I saved around $500 by using ICICI on a $6000 transfer, TDC wire transfer rates are really bad. That’s a saving of 8.33%.

    I love ING too and have been their customer since 1999. I must add that ING USA has a much better website than ING Canada. There are many features available in ING USA that are missing from ING Canada. For last 4 years since I immigrated to Canada, I still haven’t seen ING Canada adopting these.

  59. johnrigley on July 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    my wife and myself have been running a small post office village shop in the uk for the past 12 years we will be returning to canada after the shop is sold . with close to a million $ cash to purchase a home perhaps half that amount iam 69 my wife 64 the remainder will make up retirement income how should it be invested

  60. FrugalTrader on July 29, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    johnrigley, “how” your money should be invested should be consulted with a financial planner. A couple things you have to think about, after you house is paid for, will you have enough cash to live on? Do you have any other income? What kind of expenses will you face?

  61. […] little birdie has told me that PC Financial is about to have some serious competition. In the fall, Citizens Bank will be offering a no fee […]

  62. […] savings accounts are all held with PC Financial. We hold a fair bit of cash due to a cash liability coming in the near future along with the fact […]

  63. Julie on September 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Hi – thanks so much for the review of the online savings accounts – got room for one more? I work with ShoreBank – a longstanding institution that has a competitive online savings account at 3.5% interest. $1 minimum, no monthly fees, online and phone customer service… more details: http://shorebankdirect.sbk.com/ If you are interested in promoting good causes – ShoreBank is a great option. ShoreBank has a bottom line mission to invest in socially and environmentally (and sometimes both at once) responsible projects and businesses – so a good rate, a great cause. Check out the stories on the site above to learn more.

  64. chris on October 3, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Good postings,
    It seems that the new tax free savings plans in 2009 will take care of a lot of tax concerns, 10,000 pa per couple, all interest/profits tax free.
    Does anyone know if it’s retroactive for any years? How do people intend to use it?

  65. Chris on October 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I know that this is an old post, but I’ve finally got to the point where my emergency savings account has grown to a decent amount. Instead of having it sitting in a checking account earning like 0.1% or something, I’ve been looking into high interest saving accounts.

    I remember the days when PC financial was giving like 4%, but I don’t see that anymore. Under $1000 balance, they give 2% and over $1000 they give 3.05%.

    I was looking at the TFSA at ING Direct. You can sign up now and they’ll pay you like double interest to make up for the tax until TFSA’s legally come into effect January 1st.

    Basically, what do you think I should go for? I currently use PC Financial for my regular checking account. I want the highest interest I can get. I’m not really concerned about where. It might be best, psychologically, to be done outside of PC financial where it isn’t easy for me to touch on my day to day banking.

    I’m also curious. Do these interest rates end up changing due to Bank of Canada’s interest rates??

  66. DAvid on October 5, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I understand savings account rates are based on bond rates, whereas lending rates are based on the Bank of Canada overnight rates. In either case, they do fluctuate.

    ING has a pretty good come-on! They are offering you an extra $37.00 (taxable in your hands) to open a TFSA with them. Cheap advertising for them in my opinion.

    You can find rates here:
    http://money.canoe.ca/rates/gics.html but some institutioons offer higher rates to new customers, so check around.


  67. Shyler on October 6, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Hey all :)

    We are debating between and ING’s high interest savings account or the promotional TFSA they are offering at the moment. It’s not alot, but we have $2000 + $500/month to set aside and seeing as our Mutual Funds are in the hole, we’re looking at other options. Our goal is to use this money towards a down-payment on a house in 2-3 years. Not all of it will come from this account, but we’d still like maximum value. I’m just not sure what the better option is a would love it if someone could break it down for me!! Thanks in advance ofr any advice :)


  68. Nic on October 8, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Hi all,

    I too need advice. I’m in my late twenties & don’t have any concept of how to save money or what I’m supposed to do with it. I just got a new job this year & am making 47K. I was told that rather than putting $ towards savings, I had to pay down my debt first (minimal credit card/OSAP – will be paid off in 3mths -woohoo!). So, now I’m looking into savings accts/GICs/RRSPs & I am completely lost. Can anyone offer a little bit of direction? I don’t want to end up like my parents with very small pension & no savings.

  69. DAvid on October 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Shyler & Nic,

    I suggest you look into the TFSA (ING or GICs) as your current savings vehicle. For Shyler, the wish to withdraw it for a house piurchase in a few years means preservation of capital is very important.

    In Nic’s instance, it will give breathing space to learn how & where he wishes to invest his money. Nic also should be considering the benefit of RRSPs, and at what stage to invest and when to claim them. If his income is likely to increase there might be value in claiming the RRSP contributions in the future when he is in a higher tax bracket.


  70. Shyler on October 8, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks David :)

    I think we’ll be going through ING for sure. I have a couple more questions if ya don’t mind :) With the economy in a steep slump, my mutual funds are worth less and less everyday. Seeing as they are a long term investment, is it wise to leave them in and have faith in the knowledge that markets always flucuate and things will turn around? Should we actually be buying more because they are low right now? Or, should we take them out, put them into an account where the principal is secured until things bottom out and then buy back into the market at a cheaper price? Like Nic, I am also in my late twenties with 3 kids and am trying to figure this all out!! It’s scary working so hard to put aside a small chunk of change and lose over 15% of it in a week and a half.

    I really wish they would teach these kinds of real money issues in high school, so young people wouldn’t have to spend the majority of their making mistakes and figuring all this out the hard way! They don’t even teach you to do basic taxes. Algebra certainly doesn’t help with budgeting lol! I just wish I knew what little I know now, when I was 19 :)

  71. Alan P on October 8, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Great article.
    I just sold my house and with the turbulent financial market (will it be recession or just keep bumbling along with the usual ups and downs?) I will be temporarily sticking the proceeds into high-interest savings accounts, like
    Presidents Choice (3.05%),
    Can Tire (3.05%)
    and maybe Peoples Trust (4%),
    all CIDC insured to $100,000 each.

  72. Nic on October 9, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Yes, thank you DAvid for narrowing down the options instead of giving us too many. I was vacillating between PC Financial, ING & ICICI. Even though ICICI has the highest rate at 3.4%, the tax free option with ING sounds like a good idea.

    However, while searching the ING Direct website, a few more questions popped up. ING has a new 1.5 yr GIC @ 4%. Can someone explain why a GIC for 1.5yrs can have such a special rate (i.e. it doesn’t follow the trend based on the other rates)? They also offer 1yr @3.65%, 2 yrs @3.80%, 4 yrs @ 3.90%, and 5 yrs @4%.

    Also, DAvid, please excuse my next very basic question, but as Shyler mentioned no one taught us about taxes! Which income bracket am I in and what bracket do I have to be in to claim RRSP contributions? Alternatively, I’m assuming the money that I put in the TFSA will lower the income for which I’m taxed at the end of the year. Based on the bracket that I’m in currently, how much would I have to put in by the end of the year to drop me down into a lower bracket? I guess I started this too late. I am ashamed to say that my mother has always done my taxes. So I don’t even know how it works, although I never made nearly as much as I do now.

    Shyler – WORD. I feel like I am paying the price for not majoring in business or finance.

    Nic (She hopes everyone keeps posting comments b/c they are so informative!)

  73. DAvid on October 9, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Shyler asks: ” With the economy in a steep slump, my mutual funds are worth less and less everyday. Seeing as they are a long term investment, is it wise to leave them in and have faith in the knowledge that markets always flucuate and things will turn around? Should we actually be buying more because they are low right now? Or, should we take them out, put them into an account where the principal is secured until things bottom out and then buy back into the market at a cheaper price?”

    I can’t offer you advice on this. Some would say “Buy up the bargains”; others, “Hold the course’; and yet others, “The sky is falling….”. My Financial Advisor reminded me that even in the 1930’s, those who stayed invested did far better than those who pulled out of the market! On a personal note, I am currently taking a wait and see approach as to further investing, having watched much of the RRSP top-up I made in August disappear.

    and: “I really wish they would teach these kinds of real money issues in high school, so young people wouldn’t have to spend the majority of their making mistakes and figuring all this out the hard way!”

    We all learn from the school of Hard Knocks, few accept learning for others without empirical testing. I call this the “Wet Paint” school of learning.

    Nic asks: “Can someone explain why a GIC for 1.5yrs can have such a special rate (i.e. it doesn’t follow the trend based on the other rates)? “

    To loan money, the bank must have deposits. Just now that bank likely has insufficient deposits to cover expected loans in that 1.5 year window. Thus they offer a premium rate to attract customers to that period rather than others. In that fashion they maintain liquidity.

    and: “Which income bracket am I in and what bracket do I have to be in to claim RRSP contributions? Alternatively, I’m assuming the money that I put in the TFSA will lower the income for which I’m taxed at the end of the year. “

    You can find out your tax bracket at: http://www.walterharder.ca/MarginalTaxRateCalculator.html as well as the effect of buying RRSP. An RRSP is equal to reducing your income by the amount of the RRSP, i.e. a $5000 purchase comes off the top of your income. You can purchase an RRSP at any time, and at any income, however, if you buy it today, but wait and claim it in future years, you gain the benefit of growth, and may see a benefit from claiming the tax refund when you have a higher taxable income. Of course, if you also invest your refund, instead of waiting you would likely come out furthest ahead.

    The TFSA does not lower income; you pay no taxes on the income the deposits produce.

    I appreciate your response, but please remember I am not a financial planner (I actually work in the health field), so please take my comments accordingly.


  74. Shyler on October 10, 2008 at 2:11 am

    No worries Dave :)

    I’m just looking for an opinion and enjoy hearing other peoples perpectives and experiences! Despite how helpful you have been….rest assured I will not be basing my future money making endeavours solely on your wealth of knowledge ;) I appreciate that you, and others on here, are willing to share what you do know with everyone else. I find searching for info online super frustrating sometimes and have gained lots of useful knowledge and insight from this thread. For instance the Walter Harder tax calculator…LOVE IT!! I’ve been looking for something like that for a while. Obviously my web-surfing skills are something to be desired :)

    I’ve just come to a place in my life when suddenly all that is going on politcally and econmically is very important to me. I know i’m not the only one at that stage right and this collective brain sharing is a wonderful thing!

  75. DAvid on October 10, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Discussions like this are a form of knowledge transfer. In the not-to-distant future, I hope to see your contributions helping this community.

    I can only hope my contributions get the gears turning, and the smoke rising.


  76. Joe on October 15, 2008 at 12:49 am

    FInally the Tsunami is hit. All the Financial institutions hit the ground like roller coaster. In stead of blaming Federal Reserve for failing to forecast and control the private Financial sectors, it is better to concentrate on owns future. It is evident from the history that assets cannot be made using Credit. The money hungry Institutions have ignored fundamental principles thats the credit to be balanced in the form assets. Granting Credits with out validation, raising house values when there is a slump in Manufacturing sector, slump in IT sector, outsourcing service Industry, increase in unemployment rate, spending trillions on Iraq war show the gross misconduct of the Financial Institutions.
    The only way to overcome this is wise spending and building assets by every American, reducing expenditure at every possible way. Then it should not be too long before the econonmy rises. This applies to Federal Govt. also. Unfortunately people who doesnot have money sense will not visit websites like this and will never know. I felt very sad to see the vanishing of hard earned dollars by sheer labor. I hope Americans will learn this lesson and teach the lesson to Govt.

  77. nait on October 28, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Hi everyone, all the comments are very interesting. Could someone tell me more about ICICI. Is there a office I could visit?

  78. Mike K on October 28, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    People’s Trust looks interesting with their 4% savings account. I’d love to hear from anyone who has their money there. Any catches?


  79. Mike K on October 28, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    For those interested, there is a decent threat about them on RedFlag:


    Main gotchas seem to be 9 day $ hold, 1 external account can be linked, and no online banking (though this can be done from another bank that allows push/pull of funds, like ING)

    They currently don’t have plans for a TFSA, but if they go down that path, I’m signing up.


  80. Vance on November 14, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    ING just dropped their rate from 3% to 2.7%, which also means the introductory rate for their tfsa goes from 6% to 5.4%. BOOO.

  81. Alan P on November 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Maybe good time to lock in those rates? with a GIC?

  82. Online Savings Account on November 15, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Right now in the States you can get a 4.00% APY on an online savings account through CNB Bank Direct.

  83. Scott on November 15, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I would be careful about opening an American account right now, especially if you have to convert to $US. You will “pay” 20% to deposit your cash down South, but when their dollar starts dropping in 2009… Why risk loosing 20% in the long term just to gain a measly 1% in the short term? Especially if it’s concerning your ‘Emergency Fund’!

  84. Chris on November 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    For those able to save in US banks, venturebankdirect.com has been a good find for me. They are offering 3.8% APY with no minimum balance. Unlike a lot of other online savings accounts I looked at, there was no delay in crediting funds to my acccount. I was earning interest in 1 day.

  85. kabloona on November 17, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    The INGDirect rate on the Investment Savings Account is now 2.7%.

    Ouch….switched most of my money out until it goes back up….

  86. Mike on November 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I bank at a large bank and at Citizens Bank. Was just on citizens website and they will give you $50 if you open an account with them. Have to be a new customer though so doesn’t help me but may help others on this blog. You may want to read the small type. I didnt pay that much attention since I cant take up the offer.

  87. Alan P on November 25, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the head’s up about Citizens Bank. I checked it out.
    Receive $50 for a minimum $100 deposit!
    They have savings and free chequing, and online, phone, or ATM (mostly through Credit Unions) transfers.
    It will take a few days to join up, so don’t delay. Here is the info:
    https://www.citizensbank.ca/Personal/Products/BankAccounts/50GiftPromo/ and here is the nitty gritty:
    The $50 Bonus is eligible to any new Citizens Bank member that applies for their first Citizens Bank Global Chequing Account and/or Ultimate Savings Account between November 24, 2008 and December 22, 2008. To qualify for the $50 Bonus, a minimum initial cheque deposit of $100 into the account is required by December 22, 2008 and the initial deposit is maintained in the account for a period of three months from the date of the deposit. One $50 Bonus per member but for joint accounts, only one $50 Bonus will be deposited into the joint account.

  88. Alan P on November 25, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    So the important thing with this account is to keep the first investment low. (QUOTE
    the initial deposit is maintained in the account for a period of three months from the date of the deposit
    That way, if you put in more in a second deposit, and want to remove just a part of it within 3 months, you won’t loose the $50 bonus.
    It pays to read the fine print!

  89. Carol on December 8, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    HSBC Direct are offering a rate of 3.75% for a promotion on new money. I think it lasts into the new year. As far as I can tell you can also apply for the 2009 tax free savings account through the direct savings account login.

  90. Pinkmel on December 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I have 2 pc financial cheq accounts and a saving. Love it, except in recent months, they have introduced bounced cheq fee of $7 – still lower than BMO charging $35.

    I would love to have another pc cheq acct to track expenses according but they won’t let me.

    Anyone had experience getting more than 2 pc cheq accounts with them?

  91. Alan P on December 16, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Million Dollar Journey, that last post may be a troller/linker, it’s for USA markets – lets keep this Canadian, it’s hard enough trying to sort through all the numbers in one country.

    And the interest rates on high-interest rates (and GICs) seem to be dropping, so the lat update at the top of this page may be getting a little old (Ocotober) But maybe you like the dust to settle a little first….

    Nevetheless, I appreciate this site!

  92. DAvid on December 16, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Alan P,
    Up to date rates can be found here: http://money.canoe.ca/rates/


  93. Sky on December 31, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Outlook Financial.ca High Interest Savings 3.05 % & checking
    Citizens Bank Checking 0.05 %

    0.05% = 0.0005 = 5 thousandths of a % ….”so don’t delay”..big bank philanthropy??

    on $20 000 for a year Outlook = $610 Citizens = $10

    I use Outlook as a checking & savings account = one free debit a month and I manage with 2 or 3 debits / month. Hey– for the extra $600 at Outlook, depending on your needs, that’s a lot of banking.

  94. […] was due to selling a few loser stock positions for a capital loss and transferring the cash to my savings account. Thus the large drop in non-registered assets. Truth be told, I should have sold off these […]

  95. Alan P on December 31, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    what would their website be, Sky?

  96. blue sky on January 27, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Hi Alan P
    Couldn’t re-find this site till now. The websit for Outlook is
    http://www.outlookfinancial.com although I’m sure you got it by now.

    Their parent company is Assiniboine Credit Union, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From outside Wpg. their number is 1-877-958-7333 & in Wpg is 958-7333.

    All deposits are guaranteed without limit. But like everyone else they have dropped their interest rates drastically…high interest savings is now 2.80%. They have also dropped the GIC rates…..[1yr cashable…2.85%]–[2yr…3.20%]—-[3yr…..3.45%]—-[4yr…3.60%]—-[5 yr…..3.85%]

  97. Carole on February 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Check out PCF now as they slashed their interest rate on TFSA from 3.5% to 2.55 as soon as people signed in to the new account within two weeks.
    Also cut their highest interest plus account from 3.05% to 2.25 I have moved every penny out fast…sounds like bait and switch to me!

  98. DAvid on February 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    So where did you move your money? All the time it sits outside the TFSA the interest earned attracts taxes, giving you an even poorer return…..


  99. kevinw on February 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    check out maxa financial 4.55 gic rates up to 7 yrs…its the best around that I can find

  100. Helpplease on February 27, 2009 at 12:29 am

    I am wondeirng if anyone has heard of Primerica, their dealings, and what they offer. An associate at work is a representative of the company who would like to come over present his company. I have looked online and cannot find any hard information on who they are and what they offer. Can anyone offer up advice?
    Also, I am looking to begin investing for the short term (another home) and the long term (retirement). Where would my money be best invested? I am also looking to invest for my child education. I was considering the standard family RESP, though have heard that it is sometimes better to invest in a high interest savings account. I do not see the advantage to this, as I am sure I would be taxed on the interest earned. Any advice?
    Thank you.

  101. […] Mark is looking for some ideas on what to do with the money.  To start, lets look at his goal.  In 5 years, he plans to purchase a property which means his $5,000 could go towards a portion of the down payment.  With this in mind, he could either continue maxing out his RRSP (1-2k room) and put the remainder in a 5 year GIC.  Even with today’s low interest rate environment, if you look hard enough, you can find rates in the mid 3% range.  It’s not much after taxes, but better than current high interest rate savings accounts. […]

  102. […] 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 […]

  103. […] direct is an online bank (covered by CDIC)  similar to the PC Financial high interest savings account.  That is, you do all your basic banking elsewhere, but you can transfer money back to forth to […]

  104. […] to purchase CSBs, I don’t see any real advantage of this product over a conventional GIC or high interest rate savings account.  In fact, a high interest savings account has the same/or higher interest (currently), but with […]

  105. Alastair on August 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the info. $25 should be headed your way!

  106. Steve on September 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Why are the interest rates being offered getting slashed so much? I was just logged into ING and it’s now 1.05%. A year ago it was over 3%! A year ago with BMO I was getting 0.75% on my savings and now it’s 0.25%. And the GIC rates have plunged too. It’s a joke.

    I know the economy hasn’t been doing well but while the all banks have lowered the interest rates on savings accounts, they sure haven’t lowered the amount of fees that they charge users*. You would think with today’s economy, that encouraging people to save would be good for the banks.

    – Steve

    * I am well aware that some of the above banks have no fee accounts.

  107. […] savings accounts are held with PC Financial and ING Direct. We usually hold a fair bit of cash in case “something” comes up. The […]

  108. […] is even more surprising is that President’s Choice Financial is a division of CIBC. I bank with PC Financial and regularly use CIBC machines at no cost. When I […]

  109. Financial Pet Peeves | Million Dollar Journey on December 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

    […] you pay bank fees, ask your bank how you can get them removed. If they won’t, there is always PC Financial. I’ve been banking with them for 10 years and I’ve never paid a bank fee, my cheques are free […]

  110. […] experience, the bank that comes to mind that offers essential chequing account services for free is PC Financial.  They offer unlimited transactions and cheques for free with no minimum balance.  The […]

  111. BCGray on December 31, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I would check out Canadian Tire Financial Services rates are much higher than either ING or PC, and it is a Canadian Corporation

  112. ITGUY on March 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    “I would check out Canadian Tire Financial Services rates are much higher than either ING or PC, and it is a Canadian Corporation”

    That may be true, though they’re moving everything they can to India.
    Just ask the poor saps who had train their Indian replacements.

  113. Robyn on February 23, 2011 at 2:38 am

    You get taxed on money that sits in your bank account? Im new at this (and totally confused) and always lived paycheque to paycheque so i have never had to worry before but I am coming into some money in the next few weeks and I am trying to figure out the best way to save and also make some money on it, yet I still need some access to it as monthly withdrawls for rent will be needed. I currently have a scotia money master saving account but I think its one of the lowest interest paying….. help!!!!


  114. UltimateSmartMoney on October 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I have been very satisfied with ING account. I highly recommend it just like this post states. It really beats the bank rates.

  115. Argos on January 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I opened a PCF savings account alongside my CIBC account. I think its important to have a brick and mortar bank though, any thought?

  116. Melanie on October 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Can someone time stamp this blog? The rates etc become irrelevant if this content is out of date. I don’t see any indicator here.

  117. FrugalTrader on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    @Melanie, the rates are time stamped “Rates updated as of July 28, 2009
    , but yes you are right, they are way out of date.

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