When it comes to choosing who to bank with, in Canada there are only a handful of options. Unless you’re banking with a credit union, which there is also a limited number of those, what bank do you bank with and why? There are the big five: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Scotiabank, or Bank of Montreal. Or are you banking with one of the smaller banks owned by one of the big five like Tangerine or President’s Choice (PC) Financial?
No matter who you bank with, every bank claims to be different in the services that they offer. And this can be very beneficial to you as a consumer when it comes to your finances. Because these banks often compete with one another, you will find a majority of these offerings to be very similar, as U.S. banking regulations are much more intrusive than the Canadian system. The small number of major players in Canada has resulted in major coordination and always watching each other for changes.
As a consumer, there are many things you should be looking out for, including bank fees. These are the little things with banks that start to add up. You don’t want to be spending more money on fees than what you should be making with a high-interest savings account. And we’ve already talked about the top ten money wasters we hear about at GoDay, and ATM fees and how you’re paying (a lot) to take out your own money. So making sure you’re with a bank that has optimal locations to get money out when you need to help with those charges.
But along with taking out your money, you need to take into consideration if your bank charges you per transaction? Because yes, that is a thing banks do. Are you limited in the number of transactions you can make in a month? Or what about costs associated with your chequing and savings accounts. These are all ways banks make their money off of you, with these small fees that eventually add up. That’s why you need to do your research when it comes to your bank and make sure that your bank offers the right things for all your spending needs.
If you’re finding that your current bank isn’t the best fit for you and your saving or spending habits, make sure to look into what promotional offers are available. These different offers or promotional services specific to how you manage your money can actually save you money in the long run. Not to mention these banks compete with one another to attract customers with promotional items such as tablets or even money to get you to switch to their bank as new customer incentives. You want a bank that’s going to work hard for you, and your financial needs so don’t be swayed by these promotions either.
So if you are finding your bank is constantly charging you, it may be time to look at alternatives. But if you’re finding your bank is working for your, let us know what your favourite feature about your current bank is.