Access to banks is essential to almost everyone. Not to mention, we need bank accounts for our salary, emergency funds, savings, investment accounts, borrowing money (loans), mortgages, and etc.
At the minimum, we have checking or savings accounts and own a plastic card (debit card) to have access to depositing money in or withdrawing money out from an ATM or use the debit card to purchase items.
It must be remembered, just like any businesses, banks need to make money. In fact, It is a very simple business concept. Banks acquire funds deposited by their clients or account holders either as cash, check deposits, and salary paid to employees from businesses or corporations.
While mainstream banks hold your money in checking or savings accounts, generally they pay zero or minimal interest. Furthermore, the same money is then made available to be borrowed as loans to individuals and businesses. Eventually, banks and financial institutions then add interest to the borrowed capital. Quite a very simple business concept, right?
Traditionally, many small and big banks require account holders to put a minimum deposit and maintain a certain balance for the benefit of having a NO fee account and owning a debit card.
Shouldn’t the bank rewards it’s clients by giving better returns on their money? Unfortunately, the simple answer is NO!
Quite understandably, it will cost banks or financial institutions to keep cash in their possession. Not to mention, producing and giving away those plastic debit cards, sending those bank statements through traditional mail are additional expenses to the business.
However, with the advancement of technology and a highly competitive market, a few online banks are able to cut costs and are now capable of offering free banking services to their customers with No minimum deposit and No maintaining balance requirement. Is there any catch? For the most part – there is none.
What am I looking for in checking and savings accounts?
- $0 monthly fees
- No minimum balance
- Unlimited free transactions which includes debits, transfers and bill payments
- Easy access to free ATM
- Excellent customer service either by phone, email and chat
- Mobile app and user-friendly website for online banking
- Mobile cheque deposits
- Free electronic statement
- Free cheque book
- Pays interest on account balance
Best Checking Account: Tangerine
Tangerine checking account offers:
- Zero minimum balance and No monthly fee
- Pays Interest up to 0.10%
- Free unlimited transactions including debit purchases and pre-authorized bill payments
- Shop with confidence with Interac and Visa Debit Zero liability protection
- Free unlimited email transfer and Interac e-transfers
- First cheque book free (50 checks) additional $20 each
- User-friendly website and versatile app
- Mobile cheque deposit capability
- Free access to Tangerine and Scotia bank ATM and worldwide that is part of the Global ATM Alliance
If you open a Tangerine account with my orange key 33895231S1 you will get a bonus of $50. Take a look at this link for more details.
Best for High Interest Savings Account (HISA): EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is a hybrid account that functions like a checking account. Here’s its key features:
- Allows you to set up bill payments and transfer money to other banks instantly
- Pays 1.25% in interest. It is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly.
- No minimum balance or monthly fees
- Free bill payments
- Free Interac e-Transfers
Important Consideration with EQB Savings Plus Account
EQB Savings Plus Account is mainly an online bank where you keep your money and earn a consistent high interest. In contrast, other banks will entice you to open one for an introductory high interest for a few months only to drop to a miniscule interest after the promotional period.
First thing to remember, EQ Bank does not offer debit cards that you can use to deposit or withdraw money in a cash machine. However, it should not be a problem, as with all the features mentioned above, you can instantly transfer money to yourself using the free Interac e-transfers to your Tangerine checking account.
If you sign up using this link and make a deposit of $100 to your account within 30 days of signing up with the EQ Bank you and I will get $20 each and start earning interest on any funds deposited.
Are these Banks Safe and Secured?
If you’re not familiar with both banks, don’t be alarmed as both Canadian banks are CDIC insured. Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) is a federal crown corporation which is part of the government of Canada – that protects eligible deposits up to a maximum of $100,000, per separately insured category, in the event there is a failure to banks and other financial institutions. If there is a failure – your deposits are insured. When such unfortunate event occur you don’t have even have to apply, CDIC coverage is free and will pay you automatically.
My Final Thoughts
There are now a handful of banks that offer their services for free with no strings attached. I love free stuff and who doesn’t? It is a No brainer to have a free bank account. Equally, these two banks Tangerine and EQ Bank are the perfect combination for my daily banking and a very satisfied customer.
For this reason, you can make good use of those minimum or maintaining balance funds that most mainstream banks require by either leaving it in my EQB Savings Plus Account or adding to your investment portfolio.
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