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How to Pick a Good Chequing Account

Yesterday we took a look at banking accounts, and the number of Canadians that are sick of the banking fees they continue to pay. Today, we’ll help you out with that a bit, showing you some tips that will help you get a better deal if and when you ever decide to make the switch. Because we also found that lots of Canadians are looking to make a change. Here’s how to do it.

Look for a minimum balance

And beware of it! There are so many chequing accounts available today that don’t require any minimum balance, there’s no reason you should be forced to make one. Make sure that if you want to, you can walk into the bank and open a chequing account even if you don’t have a cent to put into it today. However, you may want to look to see if the bank will give you a break if you do happen to make a minimum deposit. Bank of Montreal for instance, will waive the monthly package fee of $13.95 if you keep a minimum of $3,000 in your bank account when you use their BMO Performance Plan.

Monthly fees

Truthfully, you can’t really get around monthly banking fees; they come with just about any package you will choose. However, beware of fees that are far too much for a simple bank account. And if the bank is offering some incentives, such as earning rewards, you have to make sure that the fees won’t eat up or outweigh any incentives you’ll be getting.

Interest

Yes it’s true. While savings accounts once got all the glory when it came to earning your interest and actually getting your money to work for you, now that has been passed on to chequing accounts as well. Ask around to see which accounts will get you interest, and if the rest of the package looks good, go with the one that will earn you the most.

Transfer fees

If you’re moving money around to different accounts with the same bank, there’s often no fee charged. However, very few banks will let you transfer money to another bank and not charge you for it. Like bank fees, while you won’t be able to get around it, do some research to make sure that you won’t be paying too much for these.

ATM and Interac

These are some of the biggest complaints among customers because they can add up to be so much – and so quickly! If you tend to use debit or ATMs a lot, your best bet is probably to go with an unlimited option; while choosing the least costly package is best for those that don’t use these services that often.

Finding the right chequing account for you is probably going to be more of a task than just wandering into the nearest local branch. The few minutes you take now though to ensure that you’re choosing the right one will go a very long way for the entire time you hold a bank account – which is probably also going to be for a long time.

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