I’m fed up with paying bank fees! I’ve banked with TD CanadaTrust my entire life and have always been treated pretty well. Not only have I held my regular bank accounts with TD, I’ve also opened my investment portfolio and hold my mortgage there too. Now I’m exploring some no fee banking options. Here’s why:
I’ve always believed that it was beneficial to have a relationship with a full service bank, one that would benefit me as my assets built up over time. But I’m still waiting for those perks to kick-in.
Meanwhile, TD just announced changes to the monthly account fees on their different chequing account options. The following changes took effect on August 1st, 2011:
- Value account – minimum balance increases from $1,000 to $1,500
- Value plus account – monthly fee increases from $8.95 to $10.95 and minimum balance increases from $2,000 to $2,500
- Infinity account – monthly fee increases from $12.95 to $14.95 and minimum balance increases from $3,000 to $3,500
Other changes include increasing additional transaction fees from $0.65/each to $1.00/each and increasing overdraft protection fees from $3/month to $4/month.
The Case For No Fee Banking
The more I thought about it, I realized that I no longer needed this relationship. I have the Value Account with TD, and it’s a struggle trying to limit my transactions to just 10 per month.
And now their telling me I need to keep a $1,500 minimum balance to waive the account fees? Plus they’re increasing the additional transaction fees. It’s too much!
Enter ING Direct, the pioneer of no fee banking in Canada. I was already a big fan of ING, having recently opened a high interest savings account last month. A few weeks ago I came across a promotion for their new THRiVE chequing account.
If I opened the account and switched my payroll over to ING I would get a $100 bonus. As I sized up the offer I thought, why not? This was the excuse I was looking for to finally switch over completely to no fee banking.
Everything is Online
There really was no need for me to have a full service bank account anymore. I already pay for all of our monthly purchases with my PC MasterCard, getting away from the poor Canadian habit of paying for everything with a debit card.
I went from having a chequing account with unlimited debit transactions (for a high monthly fee) to rarely using my debit card except for the odd withdrawal from a cash machine.
I pay bills online using ePost, and set-up automatic monthly bill payments on my credit card whenever possible.
With ING Direct’s no fee banking account I can still do everything that I used to do with my TD account, but without having to worry about keeping a minimum account balance or limiting my transactions to 10 or fewer. They even have free email money transfers and a mobile banking app to keep track of my account on the go.
The only negative with moving to a virtual bank is that there is literally only 1 ABM in the entire city where I live. But this is easily overlooked when you consider how infrequently I withdraw cash.
No More Excuses
Finally switching over to a no fee banking account was a no-brainer for me. ING was offering the right incentive at the right time, but PC Financial offers similar benefits when it comes to no fee banking.
Related: Free Chequing Account Comparison
At the end of the day, having to monitor my chequing account every month to ensure I wasn’t paying any fees was becoming more of a hassle than it was worth. I wasn’t receiving any tangible benefits for keeping my daily banking accounts with TD, so it was an easy decision to leave.
I think I stayed with TD for so long out of some sort of feeling of loyalty. Do you have a beneficial relationship with a full service bank? Would you consider completely switching to a no fee banking account at an online bank?