SCRIMP: CHEQUING FOR $0/MONTH «OR» SPLURGE: CHEQUING FOR $10.95/MONTH (DUH!)
Is your bank charging you monthly service fees? Would you like to stop paying those evil fees? If you answered “Yes” (or “Hell, Yes!”), go to your phone book or computer now, look up the nearest Coast Capital Savings, and book an appointment to open a personal chequing account at this West Coast credit union. An absolutely FREE, no-fee chequing account.
It’s not a gimmick. It’s not a trick. I know I sound like a shill writing this, but with a Coast Capital no-fee chequing account, you won’t pay fees for deposits or withdrawals. You’ll have unlimited debits using Interac or automated teller machines in the Exchange network. Really!
I resisted the Coast Capital ads for a long time, sure the claims were “too good to be true.” When the Royal Bank (RBC) was charging me $10.95 per month each on my personal and joint chequing accounts, how was I to believe Coast Capital would give me all the same services for NOTHING?
Finally, I went to a Coast Capital branch and spoke with a teller. To open an account, I agreed to a credit check and paid a one-time $5 fee to purchase shares in the credit union. I’ll save that $5 back in no time without service fees to pay. They even gave me 10 free “starter” cheques for my new account.
As with any change in banking, it has been a little pesky to change over my automatic mortgage payment withdrawal from one institution to another; to shift Honey’s prearranged payroll deposit; and to advise ING Direct (another great banking institution I’ll blog about later) that our auto-deposit to a high-interest ING savings account is now to come from the new Coast Capital account. But for the $262.80 I’ll save annually by closing the two RBC accounts, I can handle “a little pesky.”
So far as I can see, there is only one sacrifice in switching from RBC to Coast Capital, and that is the availability of automatic banking machines. With Coast Capital, there is no banking fee if you use the Exchange network—essentially, those banking machines operated by the various credit unions. They are just not as plentiful as machines in the PLUS network of ATMs, operated by the big banks. You can make withdrawals from your Coast Capital account on the PLUS machines if you wish, but you’ll incur fees—which kind of defeats the purpose.
Okay, so that’s the downside. But how about this upside? When you deposit your money with Coast Capital (or any B.C. credit union), your savings are insured against loss automatically through the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (CUDIC). “CUDIC guarantees that all money on deposit and money invested in non-equity shares with a B.C. credit union is 100% guaranteed, including foreign currencies and accrued interest, regardless of the length of the term to maturity.” (Take note of that “non-equity shares” qualifier: that means GICs and high-interest savings are covered, while investments such as mutual funds are not.)
The big banks have a similar system, but there’s an overall limit on their insurance coverage. Up to $100,000, your savings are secured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIS). But if your savings at one institution exceed $100,000, the excess is not protected. Good to know, right?
All in all, my money’s on Coast Capital for the future. Good riddance, service fees!
- Coast Capital Savings Credit Union (www.coastcapitalsavings.com)