There are a number of options for unlimited banking in Canada. These are a few from Canada’s most popular banks. I was disappointed to hear recently that citizensbank no longer offers a personal banking option. Share with us here if you know of other Canadian banks that offer unlimited free transactions or where it’s possible to have the fee waived.

Name of Account Monthly Fees Notes
Royal Bank of Canada RBC No Limit Banking $10.95 Fees are waived with a multiproduct rebate. To qualify, an account holder must have a RBC Visa card, a mortgage or home equity loan and a qualifying investment. If the account holder is over 60 than they only need a RBC Visa card and a qualifying investment.
CIBC Unlimited Chequing $12.95
TD Canada Trust TD Infinity $12.95 Fees are waived if a minimum balance of $3000 is kept throughout the entire month.
Scotiabank Scotia One $9.95 Fees are waived if a minimum balance of $3500 is kept throughout the entire month.
Bank of Montreal Performance Plan $13.95 Fees are waived if a minimum balance of $3000 is kept throughout the entire month. Youth, students and young adults pay $5.45 monthly fee.
Vancity E-Package Chequing $7 Unlimited electronic banking. Only one free in person transaction per month. .70 cents for each additional in-branch transaction. Fees are waived if minimum of $1000 held in account.
President’s Choice Financial No Fee Chequing Account $0

I was surprised to see that CIBC is the only bank without any option to waive their fees. I even called their customer service line inquiring about this specific account. I asked if there was any way to have to fee waived, any multi-product discount or a minimum balance required. The representative apologized and said that no, it wasn’t possible to have the fee waived under any conditions with their unlimited chequing account.

What 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 put my card in, the screen on the ATM at CIBC welcomes me to President’s Choice Financial. I even deposit cheques and withdraw money at no charge from CIBC ATMs. Why is it then, that they can’t offer their own customers free banking?

I was also surprised to see how complicated eligibility is for the RBC No Limit Banking Account. I understand the idea of a multi-product rebate and agree that it encourages loyalty. I have our children’s RESP accounts at RBC and have a RBC Visa card. It makes me eligible for a multi-product rebate on their Day to Day Banking Account which would give me 15 transactions a month. In order to receive unlimited free transactions I would also have to hold a mortgage or equity line. Fifteen transactions a month is not enough for my daily banking needs.

There is so much information available easily online. I’m surprised with so many other options out there, banks can continue to charge such high fees when their competitors have other alternatives. I understand that some people like having a brick and mortar bank. Internet banking isn’t for everyone. I’ve always been happy with it but I know for the first few months using it, I was a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of virtual banking. It’s been over 10 years now, and I’ve never had an issue. I’ve even ordered bank drafts, deposited US cheques and used my debit card internationally, all without any issues.

If I were to choose a brick and mortar bank today, I would choose one where, for a minimum balance, I could have my monthly fee waived.

The types of people who read personal finance blogs are probably already pretty careful with their money. It wouldn’t surprise me if most Million Dollar Journey readers pay no fees for unlimited banking in Canada. What continues to surprise me is that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Canadians continue to pay these fees when there are other options.

If you are looking for banking options in Canada, you have a choice. If you’re unhappy with your current bank, it’s easy to switch.

Are there other Canadian banks you want to tell us about? Feel free to share in the comments.

Kathryn works in public relations and training for a non profit. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Her passions include personal finance and adult education. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).


  1. Ramona on November 26, 2009 at 9:25 am

    So true how many people continue to pay those bank fees. Like you Kathryn, I have had a PC Financial account since their inception, and it is fantastic. I’ve never had an issue either. When I present my PC debit card, I have many retailers say to me “Oh I really need to switch my account”, but most never will. Somehow, they will just continue to pay bank fees, complain, and do nothing. I’m still waiting for the PC Financial business account – then I’ll be delighted!

  2. shawn hendriks on November 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I’m not sure if my accounts at CIBC are old enough to in some way be different then new accounts but I have unlimited transactions as long as my balance stays above $1000 for the whole month.

    I have also looked at Presidents choice. My problem is a travel a lot for work and their debit cards do not work in machines outside of Canada. I’m sure thats not a big deal for most people but it seems like a silly limitation in this day in age.

  3. Kathryn on November 26, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Ramona: Funny. I get comments from cashiers all the time too. People often ask me if “it really works”.

    Shawn: Good point. Many will have fee-free accounts that have been ‘grandfathered’. Sadly though for new Canadians and young adults, this isn’t an option.

  4. Ben on November 26, 2009 at 10:27 am

    @ Shawn: I’d never thought about it, but looking at my PC debit card, it does operate on the Interac network only, which seems to be a Canadian network, at least initially.

    Does anyone know if Interac has any penetration south of the border?

    I have 2 credit cards, one of which is Cirrus, and the other is Plus, so I’m pretty well covered for Stateside travel anyway.

    On the topic at hand, yes happy with PC and no fees. 9 years for me.

  5. This is why I signed up with ING Direct on November 26, 2009 at 10:43 am

    paying bank fees is so 1990’s. I mean come on, the bank already makes a huge amount of interest on peoples’ leftover balance.

    thanks for the comparison matrix K

  6. Mark on November 26, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for the comparison. It seems strange, though, to include Vancity as this credit union is only available to BC residents (now that they’ve closed Citizens Bank). I suggest you list all local credit unions & FIs, or none.

  7. DavidV on November 26, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I use PC and am happy (though getting a certified cheque can be a pain). But I noticed you didn’t put on ING. The seem to have a lot of commercials, which makes me think they are relatively large.

    I had never thought about the PC card in the US. What’s somewhat interesting is I’ve been called when their is fradulent activity on my card at least twice and each time it was from the US. Strange.

  8. Four Pillars on November 26, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I have a CIBC checking account and there are no fees with a minimum balance of $1500.

    I’m not sure how many checks I can write though – there probably is a limit.

  9. Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog on November 26, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I was using the multi-product rebate with RBC, but then I changed my mortgage to Scotia. I went back to PC Financial for my free chequing, I’ll probably keep it there so that I don’t need to worry about qualifying for it to be free.

  10. Kathryn on November 26, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Mark: I included Vancity because in my last post on children’s bank accounts I was criticized for not including it as a viable alternative.

    David: ING doesn’t have a chequing account in Canada yet as far as I know. Am I missing something? It’s not on their website.

  11. PD on November 26, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Shawn: I am currently in Australia for the year, but using my Canadian PC Chequing account. I have used several ATM’s in several cities and my debit card has worked every time. What’s more is PC has the lowest international fee of $3 per ATM transaction. Most other banks have $4 or $5 each transaction.

    Some of my fellow expats still using Canadian credit cards have run into issues with PIN numbers. It seems the new PIN numbers are not compatible with overseas credit machines. This has proven more of an issue than debit cards at ATM’s. Thankfully my credit cards do not require a PIN. As credit card companies strive to increase their security measures for their customers they need to do so by ensuring the PIN technology is compatible in our global village.

  12. noob on November 26, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Just last week a co-worker was considering changing her chequing account from RBC who she believed was charging her way too much. I suggested she go with PC checking and she gave me a look which seemed to suggest she would have nothing to do with a “cheap” bank and went on to indicate she was only looking at “proper” banks. She has not even made the effort to read up on the wealth of information on the internet. I suggested she go with CIBC, people like this who look at others with disdain for not banking at a “proper” bank should be subsidizing my free checking account at PC.

  13. DividendMan on November 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Sigh… I have an account with CIBC (since the university I went to had a branch in the building) and I pay monthly for it (but it’s not unlmited, so I pay around $7 per month).

    I disagree that it’s easy to move from one bank to another. My VISA cards are tied into the account, my investors edge trading account is there, my line of credit… everything. I actually think the service at CIBC is horrible, but I’m too lazy to switch, and I bet that’s how all the big banks keep their customers.

  14. Jason on November 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I’m with BMO and it’s very easy to just keep part of the emergency fund we have in the chequing account to avoid the fee. the budget software we use helps keep track of what jobs we have assigned our money.BMO recently moved to the $3000 mark it was $2500 before November. nice to see that there really isn’t any better options for Brick and Mortar banks.



  15. Peggy on November 26, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    I currently bank with ATB Financial, formerly Alberta Treasury Branch (only available in Alberta). I do pay a monthly fee for my unlimited transaction account and I’m okay with that. I know many people that bank with PC Financial and are quite happy with it, but I am still not ready for virtual banking (and I’m an IT person and do everything online when possible). I guess I still like to have a feeling that if I get in a jam, I can walk in to that building and as a longtime good customer, they will work hard to help me out. Those few extra bucks I pay a month give me peace of mind. Naive? Maybe, but I’m okay with that for now.

  16. Gene on November 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    It is only for those that have a mortgage and qualify, but nobody mentioned Home Equity Line of Credit accounts. They are unlimited. And, you don’t have to owe on them. I carry a positive balance and everything is free. I even asked the bank if this was okay. My unlimited account used to cost 12.95 per month, but if you have a balance of $1,500 the fee is waived. That’s a savings of $155.40 either way. I’ll take that!

  17. Joon on November 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    As a person with disabilities, I was pleasantly surprised to find VanCity has a free account for us! Free cheques, free transactions…This is lovely, as PWDs are often having to spend quite a bit of personal money on disability compensations. The break is appreciated.

  18. Charles in Vancouver on November 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    If you’re going to mention Vancity, you could also mention Coast Capital which still offers their unlimited chequing account for free in BC.

  19. Kathryn on November 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Joon: Thanks for mentioning the free accounts for PWDs. In my books, that’s a huge plus!

    Charles: Can you tell us more about Coast Capital for those living in BC. FT lives in Newfoundland and I’m in Ontario so we don’t have much banking experience on the West Coast.

  20. W Wong on November 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I have CIBC chequing account with no fee for balance over $1500.00 in the account for a few years, used to be only over $1000.00 before. I just turn over 60, and now I have free chequing with no minium balance. Actually the CIBC 60 plus Advantage include
    1 Free tranactions and no monthly fee an the CIBC Everyday Chequing Account
    2 Free monthly CIBC Everyday Chequing Account statements with images of your cheques
    3 Free bank drafts money orders
    4 Comision free regular Traellers Cheques…..etc

  21. Subversive on November 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    PC Financial is the absolute best. Not only is it unlimited and free, but you can also create multiple ‘accounts’ online, which make it super easy for segementing your money. My wife and I each have a ‘fun money’ account online which is attached as the savings account on our respective cards. We each get $50 a week transfered into that account from our main shared account and have no accountability to the other on our own fun money account. I’ve enquired about this possibility with other banks, and they all charge to have more ‘accounts’.

  22. Jason on November 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    When I brought my mortgage to CIBC my banker there waived our service fees on our unlimited chequing account. Every month I see a charge followed by a reversal on the transaction history for the service charge.

  23. troyw on November 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve been a satisfied President’s Choice Financial client since day one and have used virtually all of their services at one time or another. Based on your comparison, I can’t imagine changing any time soon. I have my home equity line of credit at Royal Bank and they’ve encouraged me to move my stuff over to them claiming superior customer service. But I have to make appointments during banking hours to go see RBC when a phone call at my convenience gets me a lending officer at PCF. What could be more convenient?

  24. Mann on November 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Kathryn: I have checking account with RBC. i want to move to PC. But will that effect my credit history, this account is my oldest account.

  25. mlum on November 26, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    In the Vancouver area there is a better alternative to all of the above, or at least matches PCF and that is through Coast Capital Savings Credit Union. Link to no fee banking package here.

  26. crucial on November 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    TD also has Select Service account which is unlimited for $24.95 (it has other perks over the Infinity account) – required $5000 balance though to waive the fee. There’s the Plan 60 which is unlimited for over 60’s and no fee.

  27. Cam Birch on November 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    @Mann, your credit history is *only* based upon debts of various sorts, excluding your mortgage (mortgage excluded only in Canada). Closing your oldest line of credit could have a negative impact upon your credit history although that really does depend upon how good your credit is and how many other credit lines you have.

    If it is costing you nothing to maintain an old line of credit and you don’t have much credit history then just keep it around. If its costing you money to keep and you don’t need it then you are usually better taking the hit on your credit history and getting rid of a bad expense.

    RE: Interac, it is available outside of Canada, although it can be minimal. In general you shouldn’t use your debit card outside of the country except at a bank due to fraud issues (and huge fees). Heck you likely shouldn’t use your debit card in Canada except at a bank due to the same issues. Your best bet is to carry some cash and a MasterCard/Visa. Those will generally cover you for most purchases and the credit cards at least have fraud protection (provided you remember to keep your receipts [sometimes]).

  28. Kate on November 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I have 2 accounts with CIBC. One is joint with my husband who is senior and fees are waived. The other one is keep 1000 and it is free. Maybe they just do not offer it at present but they did before.

  29. Highlander on November 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    My Scotia powerchequing account has no service fees with a $1500 minimum monthly balance… It was a $2000 minimum 6 months ago or so, but they dropped it down to $1500. I’m not aware of any limitations it imposes on me.

  30. Audree on November 26, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I was sure I was not paying any fees, i just checked and I do! 4.50$/month ( in 2008 it was 3.50) That’s sucks!

  31. bandana on November 26, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I am surprised no one has mentioned SBI Canada, with whom I have my main chequing account.


    – They offer unlimited transactions
    – $10 fee waiver with a mere $1,000 balance
    – a competitive interest on deposits (currently 1.25%) to boot.
    – Online account access (although fairly basic)


    – Being an Indian state-owned enterprise, expect the associated inefficiencies. But this is not a problem as long as you, like myself, don’t need to walk into a bank branch often. In fact, I’ve never been into a branch since I opened my account as there really is no need to.
    – No debit card (yet), although they have been promising one for more than a year. But this is not a problem for me. If I want access to my cash, I just transfer a small balance to my PCF no fee chequing and/or HSBC Direct savings account.

    I have linked this account with my PC Financial free chequing account and the HY savings account at People’s Choice.


  32. Elbyron on November 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I have successfully used my PC Financial debit card to withdraw local currency in both Japan and Thailand. Prior to my trip I called customer service to ask if it would work. They said that it “should” work in any machines on the Plus network, but that they cannot make any guarantees. Because these international withdrawls only cost me $3 and I would take out over $500 at once, it turned out to be the most cost effective way to obtain foreign currency.

    Gene makes a good point about those HELOC accounts. With most banks, the HELOC account is just an unlimited chequing account that has a huge overdraft limit (and much better interest rate). You are allowed to carry a positive balance, you can pay bills online, you get an ATM card & cheques, and you can even setup direct deposits for your paycheques.
    However, to open a new HELOC there may be legal fees or appraisal fees amounting to several hundred dollars. But if you’ve got one anyway, why not use it for free unlimited chequing?

  33. Stuart on November 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    The best way to drop your banking charges is to switch banks. I find that threatening to leave doesn’t do it. You need to actually make the move. I did this recently and was offered the world. Need us to start a new line of credit, mortgage, credit card–they will waive all the fees and beat your current interest rates.

    Next step, find out how often you can make this move with out lowering your credit rating.

  34. Ryan on November 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I’m pretty sure Coast Capital also has no-fee banking.

  35. Garth on November 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Just to clarify a point in your article… PC Financial is not really a division of CIBC. It’s owned by Loblaws and the products are provided by CIBC. So I presume that a lot of the product design and pricing comes from Loblaws, rather than from CIBC.

  36. Kathryn on November 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Quoted directly from the President’s Choice Financial Website “President’s Choice Financial services are provided by the direct banking division of CIBC.” (at the bottom of the page). I’d be curious to learn just how much is owned and designed by Loblaws, rather than CIBC.

  37. The Financial Blogger on November 27, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I know it’s a small bank, but National Bank also offer an unlimited chequing account (it’s free if you maintain $2,500 in your banking account).


  38. JFG on November 27, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Again, lots of info that misses the mark.

    For all the CIBC people, if you get your fees waived for $1500 (it only waves the first 10 transactions) it is an old account (Waive Account) that is not offered anymore. Everyday Chequing does the same for $1000 in the account.

    The Unlimited Account also has Aeroplan points associated with it. Hence, the no reduction in price.

    For all the big fans of PC, ING, etc. They are great, until you need something outside of what they can offer. Draft anyone?

    The rest of the bank, it’s very easy. Make an appointment with a Financial Rep or Account Manager or whatever they call them. Tell them you want to go over your accounts. Will they try to sell you something? You bet. Just say no, but figure out what you have and find out your fees.

  39. Ashley on November 27, 2009 at 12:49 am

    I am a client of NBC (National Bank of Canada) and live in Edmonton. I am sad that the 6th largest Canadian bank doesn’t have much market penetration in the west, but I am EXTREMELY happy with my bank.

    I use their “All-in-one-banking” account. Unlimited everything on the main account for $0.00 and $2.50 per extra account (still unlimited transactions). The is a HELOC product, but it allows you to hold a conventional mortgage inside of it.

    Because there are only two NBC ATMs in Edmonton, they eat the Interac fee for the use of other ATMs, and I can also do deposits, etc. on anything on the Exchange Network. I use the HSBC ATM next to my office to deposit cheques.

  40. Kathryn on November 27, 2009 at 12:50 am

    You can get bank drafts from PC too. We’ve ordered them several times.

  41. This is why I opened an ING account @ SaveING on November 27, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Ashley: I wonder why NBC isn’t bigger out west… they don’t have much initiative it seems!

    Kathryn: ING USA has an online chequing. I’m waiting for the day it comes to Canada :)

  42. PD on November 27, 2009 at 4:55 am

    It should be noted that (at least in Ontario) you can meet with a PC banking rep face to face. Each Loblaws (Zehrs in my area) has a kiosk within the grocery store. The representatives are extremely friendly and happy to answer any questions you may have. They are also happy to sell you their products, but if you go in with a list of questions and stick to them they will answer them all and serve you well. A few times the rep did not know the answer, but immediately called a supervisor and then was able to answer my questions.

    I cannot speak more highly about any other bank than PC. It is a shame as “Noob” has mentioned that some people frown on virtual banking and deem it beneath the so called “proper” banks. What’s so “proper” about paying fees that add up to over a hundred dollars extra each year?

  43. Used Tires on November 27, 2009 at 6:41 am

    I feel that most people wind up paying the fees, because they don’t know any better or finally they just can’t meet the minimum requirements of $3,000 as they are living mainly pay check to check, which is alot of people sadly. I wonder what the % is of people who actually do their research when they signup for a bank.

    Till then,


  44. mp on November 27, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I have TD Infinity and keep a $3,000 float at all times to avoid the monthly fee and use ING for all the savings accounts like emergency fund, house renos etc. I used to have multiple TD accounts but ditched them all but the Infinity account when they started nickel and diming me – like wanting to charge me a fee if I didn’t use my line of credit.

  45. Ben on November 27, 2009 at 10:27 am

    @ Garth: it is my understanding (although I’ve never been able to uncover the exact details, and would like to know too) that CIBC is the controlling force behind PC Financial. I have never been entirely clear on the nature of the joint venture, and what Loblaws role is. I believe CIBC effectively runs the bank, and Loblaws provides in-store real estate and use of the PC brand in return for a share of any potential profit.

  46. noob on November 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    @JFG – If you ask nicely PC will even allow you to pick up your draft from a local CIBC branch. I was surprised to learn of this non- advertised service and all one has to do is to ask nicely and explain that the draft is needed the same day. I have paid for two cars this way.

  47. dusen on November 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve been a satisfied customer of PC financial since 2001 – never had any issue whatsoever with them – I would recommend without hesitation to anybody.

    On another note, has anybody tried My brother-in-law forwarded it to me last week. 2% high interest savings (which certainly beats the 1% I’m getting at PC). Thinking of holding some money in my TFSA there. Anybody have any first hand experience?

  48. Greg on November 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    This post is very timely. I’ve been a very happy Citizens Bank customer since the mid 1990’s and now that they are closing, I need to find an alternative.

    I have a PC Financial account which I like, but their website sucks. They also seem to have kiosks in all the Real Canadian Superstores around Vancouver.

    Like @Ashley, my mortgage and HELOC are with National Bank of Canada (“All In One” account). This is a great account and any money I put in there beyond the mortgage requirements offsets the mortgage principle and therefore lowers my interest payments, so my savings are effectively paying me 2.25%.
    Unfortunately their website also sucks, but given the other benefits, I’m thinking of just making this my main account. NBC only have one branch in Vancouver and it is downtown and not open on Saturdays, which makes is effectively useless. I can use any Exchange ATM (credit unions and HSBC) and there are no shortage of those. There are no fees on the main account, but if you want to open sub accounts, they cost $2.50 per month.

  49. Nicole on November 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    One nice thing about BMO is you can have up to 20 accounts linked to one plan, which in this case, if you go with the performance plan, and have 4 other accounts(chequing or saving), all the accounts enjoy unlimited banking. Plus if you have 3000 in the lead account(you specify, needs to be chequeing), it`s free for all other accounts as well!! I had a personal TD account, a joint account, and they charged me plan fees for every single chequeing accounts! With BMO now.

  50. Bash on November 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Kathryn – I think Coast Capital Credit Union beats all. Unlimited no fee chequing + unlimited no fee savings. No strings attached. Actually I’m a new immigrant (4 yrs) from India. In India I had never heard of the term “Banking Fees”. We grew up under the impression we were doing a favor by choosing the bank we do to park our money. Not until I moved here did I realize that there was something called banking fees. I was a long term HSBC customer in India (no fees ever) & when I told them I was moving they offered to set me up with all my banking needs through HSBC Canada. The relationship was very nice until I saw my first statement. I told them they must be kidding. Apparently not. Since month #2 in Canada I’ve been with Coast Capital & do strongly recommend same to all.

  51. Jayson on November 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I live in BC and have been very happy with Coast Capital’s “free chequing account”. The best part is I can withdrawal AND deposit at any credit union in Canada for free (free debit too). This enables me access to a much greater supply of banking machines than being stuck with just one major bank. On top of that HSBC is part of than network and they have banks all over the world. It sure was nice withdrawing money in Mexico for free!!

  52. Aaron on November 28, 2009 at 7:53 am


    Just stumbled on your site, via another financial blog.

    I bank with Scotia Bank. I was trying to transfer money to another bank (online) and was told that Scotia Bank does not support such service. Is that true?

    Just read all the good stuff about PC Superstore Bank, as a customer of this bank, can I transfer to another bank, without going to the store?

    Also hear lots of good stuff about ING. Question: how do I transfer money into an ING account, if my (Scotia) Bank does not do transfers?

    Yes, I just signed up for yout blog. Good Stuff


  53. Melanie Samson on November 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    PC Banking is not a good option for rural Newfoundland. I live two and a half hours from the nearest PC ATM (nope, no CIBC either). I was with them for a month, but I found getting access to my money very difficult and the customer service (over the phone) mediocre. In the end, it just wasn’t worth it for me and I decided to stay with RBC. They are far from perfect, but I’m enjoying the multi-product discount.

  54. Kathryn on November 29, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Great to hear such good things about Coast Capital for those living on the west coast.

    Melanie: You make a good point about rural areas. Happy to hear about your multi-product discount.

    Aaron: I regularly transfer money online from PC to ING. I would go in and talk with a Scotiabank rep about whether it’s true that you can’t transfer money online. It seems odd that you can’t. They may be able to help you more than someone on the phone could.

  55. mini laptop on November 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Kathryn,
    One quick question. I am a guy who travels often to Canada for business trips. I have been longing to have an account in Canada. I am a citizen of United States and will it be possible for me to have an checking account in Canada that I can operate from home country and US. Please reply and this would be of great help. Thanks.

  56. Willow on November 29, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    “I guess I still like to have a feeling that if I get in a jam, I can walk in to that building and as a longtime good customer, they will work hard to help me out. Those few extra bucks I pay a month give me peace of mind. Naive?”

    I don’t think it’s naive at all. I had switched to PC Financial but was very frustrated at the limitations on the account. I had made a transfer from my PC account to another, only to realize after the fact that I had transferred the wrong amount (yes, my fault.) I called them in a panic as this was going to cause my rent cheque to bounce. They were not able to cancel the transfer since it was after hours. I couldn’t make a deposit at the ATM as they held my deposits for TEN business days (even cash deposits — ridiculous), I couldn’t do an Interac transfer from another account as they don’t do those, and I couldn’t make the deposit in a bank since they don’t have any. That’s a lot of “can’t” for a bank, when all I wanted to do was put money in my account.

    I also found the PC Financial interface clunky, and hated that when you made a transfer, it did not reflect in your balance immediately nor could you see any record of it until it had cleared.

    For me, it was worth it to switch to unlimited banking with RBC and pay the fee. They provide a level of service and peace of mind I am willing to pay for.

  57. walk on November 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Just to be clear, PC Financial is NOT owned by CIBC. CIBC only provides the banking infrastructure for PC Financial, which is a completely separate company (Loblaws, Inc.). In other words, PC Financial outsourced some of their banking stuff to CIBC (and CIBC outsourced a lot of the IT to Hewlett Packard Canada).

    Although I still use PCF for day-to-day banking, I canceled my PCF MasterCard recently due to poor service and the constant lowering of my credit limit.

  58. walk on November 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Forgot to mention – this is a useful article as I am considering switching from PCF to TD Bank or something similar for day-to-day banking. Thanks for posting.

  59. Matt on November 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Paying fees for banking? But why? I bank with Buduchnist Credit Union here in Ottawa. It’s a ukrainian-canadian credit union. I have never payed fees for anything, ever. Cheques are free, unlimited transactions, a no-cost (but online-only) “high-interest” savings account. Also, the ability to make deposits and withdrawals at any ABMs on the Exchange Network of which Alterna is the largest member. This is no special, time-limited deal. This is and has always been their business model. However, as with other commenters, I’m just amazed that I haven’t been able to convince a single lonely sole to switch!

  60. Kathryn on November 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    mini laptop: I called today to inquire about your question. The answer I received was yes as a non-Canadian, you can set up a Canadian account in person (not over the phone). You need to bring 2 pieces of ID, one of which is a photo ID and you may be offered only “minimal banking” (200 ABM, limit $500 Interact Limit and a 7 day hold on your deposits).

    If you travel to Canada a lot for business you may find it advantageous to set up a bank account here.

    Hope that helps.

  61. cannon_fodder on November 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Matt mentions something that should be of interest to those looking at Credit Unions. There are, I believe, two CU networks that allow members (i.e. cardholders) to use ATMs from any CU in that network for free. This can greatly expand one’s ability to access their account if in suburban or rural areas. I don’t find that Toronto lends itself well to accessing CU ATMs – they are much harder to find than the big banks (or even foreign banks) when downtown. If you are in one of Toronto’s many ethnic communities, you will see a greater representation of CU branches and ATMs.

    I have had a TD account for so long I only need to maintain a minimum of $1,000 or maybe its $1,500 in order to avoid any typical fees. International ATM withdrawals are $5 – I don’t know how much it costs to W/D money from a non-TD ATM in Canada since I never do that.

    Our joint account with BMO also rebates the monthly $4.95 fee as long as we maintain a minimum balance of $2,000.

    Of course, it has been a long time since I saw any interest being paid in either account so it is definitely a give and take (… and take, and take).

    That’s why it is not a bad idea to own bank shares. I profit when they profit!

  62. Laptop Briefcases on December 1, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I personally take advantage of the unlimited RBC chequing account. Due to a multi-product rebate, I also get my fees waived. You don’t have to have a mortgage to qualify for this. I qualified just by having a car loan and a RBC Visa.

  63. somaie on December 15, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Small Business owners are largely forgotten. Thats why I only focus on them. I have experience several members of my family file bankruptcy due to small business failures. I also I suffered through 2 destroyed businesses due to failure however, in my failings I have learned some of the secrets to success. (Who can say they know it all?)
    What I like about small business owners is that they are not afraid to take huge risks and lay it all on the line. But, I agree they do need a lot of help with their marketing. I think having them go the social media and email route is not only the least expensive but its also the most effective. Thanks for the stats!

  64. R. Murthy on December 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I was able to negotiate a waive account with CIBC (Toronto Main Branch) back in 2002. I still have it even though CIBC does not have these anymore. All it took me to continue having this was a simple response letter to their VP. It is surprising that no one fires back to the banks when the service charges are raised or account policies are changed. Appears the banks do go back to whatever you negotiated earlier to keep you a happy customer.

  65. davidbaer on January 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

    6. Anyone experience anything about the easy google profit kit? I discovered a lot of advertisements around it. I also found a site that is supposedly a review of the program, but the whole thing seems kind of sketchy to me. However, the cost is low so I’m going to go ahead and try it out, unless any of you have experience with this system first hand?


  66. coetsee on February 3, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Affiliate Marketing is a performance based sales technique used by companies to expand their reach into the internet at low costs. This commission based program allows affiliate marketers to place ads on their websites or other advertising efforts such as email distribution in exchange for payment of a small commission when a sale results.

  67. Walter Cohen on August 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Off topic – someone sent me a ‘proof of funds’ statement from CIBC (actually, it is just the first page of a CIBC Unlimited Chequing Account Statement).
    I’m a bit skeptical on the authenticity of this document as I’m thinking it might have been doctored.

    Does anyone have a CIBC Unlimited Chequing Account Statement they could view and respond to this thread.

    The transaction period on the statement top states ‘For April to July 28, 2011’.
    I’ve never seen statements like that before showing just the start date as a month. I’ve only ever seen bank statements from any bank being something like ‘For Period April 30 thru July 28, 2011’ always showing a specific from and to date.

    Also, the transactions on the statement are out of the date range. I see a Feb 3 balance and a Feb 20 deposit but the statement date range is ‘April to July 28, 2011’.

  68. Tim Mahoney on August 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Walter, you didn’t say if you received it by email or on paper. In any case, your best bet is to call CIBC. You’re right that it looks fishy! A bank statement doesn’t prove that the funds are available. The account holder could borrow $10k from an LOC, drop it into a savings account long enough to print the statement, and then spend the money. If the person wants to do business with you, insist on a certified cheque or bank draft.

    I am not a professional in the field, just a slightly savvy customer.

  69. Wayne on May 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    These people at pc financial really do suck. They will take your money from your account and give it to a third party without your knowledge and consent and without a court order. That’s a criminal offense with jail time and a fine. AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE!

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