Motive Financial Review 2024

Motive Financial Review
  • High Interest Savings Rate
  • Bank Fees
  • Ease of Use and Customer Service
  • Mobile App
  • Free Interac eTransfers
  • Account Options
3.8

Motive Financial Review Summary:

Over the past few years, with interest rates at their highest in decades, banks are fiercely competing to attract customers with increasingly attractive rates.

Motive Financial, and other online banks, are offering a variety of financial products, including high interest savings accounts as well as registered and non-registered brokerage accounts, GICs, mortgages, and more.

While Motive Financial has made significant strides to close the gap between itself and our top rated online bank, EQ Bank still holds the top spot in our rankings. Read this Motive Financial review to discover why, as well as learn about the services and account types Motive Financial offers, their current interest rates, and how to sign up.

Pros

  • Variety of account options
  • No fee accounts
  • Chequing accounts will earn you interest as well
  • Solid interest rates

Cons

  • Motive Savvy savings accounts only allow 2 monthly withdrawals
  • Clunky platform & app
  • No free Interac eTransfers in the main savings or chequing account
  • No free Interac eTransfers in the main savings account

What Is Motive Financial?

Motive Financial, which is under the Canadian Western Bank, is one of Canada’s best known online banks. They offer chequing, savings, RRSP, TFSA, and GIC accounts.

Since Motive Financial has no brick and mortar physical locations, they are able to cut down on overhead costs and offer clients some pretty great deals including allowing clients to earn interest on their chequing accounts. 

Is Motive Financial Safe & Legit?

Safety is always a concern when it comes to finances. The idea of online banking, even though it is becoming increasingly popular among Canadians, it still causes some individuals to be a bit wary. However, you don’t have to worry. Motive Financial has plenty of security in place.

Motive Bank Canada is a division of Canadian Western Bank, which is a member of the CDIC. This membership ensures that your deposits are insured for up to $100,000 per account.

Of course, you also need to remember to be diligent online and protect your own information.

Motive Financial Chequing Accounts

Motive Financial offers two different chequing accounts; the Cha-Ching Chequing account and the Motive Chequing account.

Motive Financial’s chequing accounts are both very solid but still fall a bit short of my preferred choices: EQ Bank and Scotiabank. EQ is the overall best option for a chequing account, while Scotia currently has an amazing promotion which makes it very appealing for folks who want to open a new account. Scotia also has some value-packed all-inclusive banking packages which include chequing accounts.

Motive Financial Cha-Ching Chequing 

The Motive Financial Cha-Ching Chequing account is the most popular option of the two Motive accounts. Unlimited free transactions and Interac e-transfers are a huge draw, as is the 0.15% interest rate. There is no monthly fee.

Account holders will also receive 50 personalized cheques when they open their account. Please note that non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals will incur a fee of $1.50 after your 2 free withdrawals per month. However, Motive Financial boasts the second largest ATM network in Canada, so it should be fairly easy to avoid that fee when you need to withdraw cash.

Motive Chequing

The Motive Chequing account, like the Cha-Ching account, has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement. You will also have unlimited monthly withdrawals and new clients will receive 50 personalized cheques. The difference between the two accounts comes in the interest earned, and the fees for Interac e-Transfers and non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals.

Currently, the Motive Chequing account has a $1 fee to send an Interac e-transfer (receiving is free). All non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals will incur a fee of $1.50.

*Motive Chequing account seems to be only available to existing Motive Financial customers at this time. With the low interest rate, and fees for transactions, we don’t see a reason to choose the regular account over the Cha-Ching chequing account anyway.

Motive Financial High Interest Savings Accounts

Motive Financial also offers two options for savings accounts; Motive Savvy Savings Account and basic Motive Savings Account. 

Comparing these with EQ Bank (our #1 rated bank), EQ Bank comes out with the highest interest rate of 5% in their brand new Notice Account. While Motive’s current interest rate in the Savvy Savings account is still high at 4.1%, it’s still a full 1% below EQ. Not to mention, EQ is superior in every other way. Most notably, EQ offers unlimited free transactions, which Motive doesn’t.

Motive Savvy Savings

The Motive Savvy Savings Account currently offers clients 4.1% interest (up to $5,000,000 then the rate drops to 0.50%); the highest interest rate offered by this online bank.

There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. Deposits are also free and you can make unlimited transfers between accounts, however, you only get a total of two free transactions per month (including non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals).  All additional transactions will incur a $5 fee. 

As with the Cha-Chequing Account, EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals are free, but after 2 free non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals you’ll have to pay $1.50 per transaction.

Motive Savings Account

Another option is the Motive Savings account. Again, there is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. The interest rate is lower at 1% (up to $5,000,000 then it drops to 0.50%), however, this Motive high interest savings account allows unlimited monthly withdrawals and transfers between accounts is free.

You will be on the hook to pay $1 for every Interac e-transfer you send, as well as $1.50 for every non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawal.

*Like Motive’s regular chequing account, it doesn’t seem like its savings account is currently accepting new applications. 

Motive Financial TFSA and RRSP

Motive Financial also offers both TFSA and RRSP account options. For the Motive TFSA there is no minimum balance requirement and an interest rate of 4.1%. 

For the Motive RRSP the interest rate is 0.25% on accounts up to $2,500. For accounts over $2,500 the rate bumps up to 2.60%. Both of these types of accounts also have GIC options. Interest rates for the GIC options vary depending on the term length and can be found in our table below.

Motive Financial GIC Rates

Motive Financial also offers Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) for those who don’t need their funds right away. They have non-registered GICs as well as GICs that you can hold in your RRSP or TFSA accounts. You can see that like Motive’s Savvy Savings interest rate, the GIC rates are pretty competitive. The current Motive Financial GIC rates (as of June 2024) are as follows:

  • 1 year: 5.40%
  • 2 years: 5.20%
  • 3 years: 4.90%
  • 4 or 5 years: 4.65%
  • 6 years: 4.50%
  • 7, 8, 9, or 10 years: 4.60%

In addition to the above long term GICS, they have a short term GIC with an annual interest rate of 4.15%. It currently has a special offer of 5.50% for eligible new money deposits. You can see how these compare to the best GIC rates in Canada.

Motive Financial Fees

While Motive Financial does not charge you monthly fees, there are still some costs to be aware of. This includes services such as printed monthly statements mailed to you ($2.00/month), RRSP/TFSA closure or transfer to another financial institution ($50), and inactive account charges (starting at $20 after being inactive for 2 years). NSF cheques and loan payments come with a charge of $45. 

It’s always important to look at all the fees when researching for a new bank account. Please visit Motive Financial Service fees to find the full list of fees/rates.

AccountMonthly FeeMinimum Balance RequiredTransactionsATM Withdrawals
Cha-Ching Chequing$0NoneFree Interac e-transfers$1.50 per non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawal (after 2 free)
Motive Chequing $0None$1 per Interac e-transfer sent$1.50 per non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawal
Savvy Savings $0None$5 per transaction (after 2 free: online bill payments, ATM withdrawals, e-transfers, EFT transfers to other financial institution)$1.50 per non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawal (after 2 free)
Motive Savings$0None$1 per Interac e-transfer sent$1.50 per non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawal

Platform & Mobile App

Motive is unfortunately lagging behind other online banks when it comes to providing an easy-to-use, modern online platform and mobile app. 

The website interface appears outdated, and users report that it has limited functionality.

As for the Motive Financial Mobile App, it has a 3.2 star rating on the Apple Store (with around 200 reviews), and a 2.5 star rating on the Play Store (with around 100 reviews). One of the main complaints is the lack of biometrics login, and frustration with having to use 2 Factor Authentication for every single login. The app also has very limited utility compared to many other online banks.

We hope to see webpage and mobile app improvements from Motive in the coming years.

Motive Financial Customer Service Review

When it comes to your money, you want to be able to access it whenever you want. If there ever is an issue with your account, you need to be able to reach someone right away to help you sort it out.

While online banks may offer great interest yields and a wide range of products, they do not always offer the best customer service. Unfortunately, that holds true for Motive Financial.

Complaints about Motive Financial’s customer service range from having to fill out cumbersome paperwork, enduring long waiting periods for processing deposits, and that not everything can be done from the mobile platform. 

So, when it comes to the area of customer service, Motive Financial has a lot of work to do.

How to Sign Up For Motive Financial

Ready to sign up for an account with Motive Financial? It’s easy and can be done online in a matter of minutes.

Visit the Motive Financial website here and choose what type of account you are looking to open. You can find the options for chequing and savings accounts under the “Everyday banking” tab and the TFSAs, RRSPs, and GICs under the “Investments” tab.

Once you have navigated to the page for the account you want to open, click the “apply now” button. 

You will be asked some pre-qualifying questions as well as be asked to provide your personal information. It should only take about ten minutes.

Please note that if you are wanting to set up an RRSP or TFSA you will have to complete some additional forms available online and mail them in to the Motive Financial office. 

Once you have signed up make sure to download the Motive Financial app so you can keep track of your banking needs from your phone or tablet as well as from your desktop or laptop.

Motive Financial Vs. EQ Bank Comparison

Motive FinancialEQ Bank
Million Dollar Journey Star Ranking3.8 stars4.9 stars
Monthly Feesnonenone
High Interest Savings Account Interest Rate4.10%5% with the new EQ Notice Account 
Mobile App Functionality & Customer Servicepoorgreat
Fees $1-$5 per transaction for most accounts$45 NSF fee$5 overdraft fee$20-$40 dormant account fee (annual)Unlimited free Interac e-transfers, EFTs, bill payments, etc. No NSF feeNo overdraft feesNo dormant account fees
Cardsbasic debit cardEQ Bank Card (prepaid card with cashback, can be added to your mobile wallet)
Other Accounts AvailableHybrid Chequing & SavingsFHSA & USD accounts Business account coming soon
VisitMotive FinancialEQ Bank

Is Motive Financial The Best Online Bank in Canada?

With savings and GIC interest rates higher than they have been in decades, placing some of your money in one of these accounts is a wise financial move. Motive Financial had significantly increased its rates to match and even surpass other financial institutions. While they are currently offering very attractive rates, these rates could change at any time.

Despite its competitive rates, Motive Financial’s platform and mobile app is lacking. Its customer service reviews are also not favourable, especially when compared to EQ Bank. 

EQ Bank, our top-rated online bank, also offers high interest rates, but comes with a superior platform, excellent customer service and additional account options. They are the first bank in Canada to offer a Notice Account which we predict will be a popular option. Additionally, EQ Bank provides unlimited free transactions, whereas Motive Financial limits you to two per month.

While this article laid out our 2024 Motive Financial Review, check out our comprehensive EQ Bank Review to discover why we so highly recommend it.

Jordan

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