When was the last time you changed bank accounts? Probably never.
That's why for its inaugural 2017 Personal Finance Awards, financial services comparison site Ratehub.ca focussed on bank accounts and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) because they are areas "typically ignored by Canadians," CEO Alyssa Furtado told HuffPost Canada.
Furtado said our financial products are often dominated by our relationships with our existing primary bank, despite 40 per cent of Canadians feeling like there are better deals elsewhere, according to Ratehub.ca's own research.
"We really wanted to encourage people to say, once a year, you really should be shopping around and doing a financial health check and making sure you're in the best products," she said.
Watch: Making saving money as natural as breathing with these tips. Story continues below.
In naming the best chequing, savings, and investment accounts, Ratehub looked at the popularity among Ratehub.ca's users, product features, user experience, and the offering and consistency of rates.
"If you're putting your money in, you want to make sure you're getting not just a great rate for a month, you want a great rate for the longer horizon," Furtado said.
Ratehub.ca looked at offerings from credit unions and online banks in addition to the Big 5. Furtado said because smaller institutions have less brand equity, they "get more competitive" with their products.
"Definitely as younger generations grow up, you see that there is less loyalty to the banks and there isn't just this assumption that the bank is going to give me the best products."
Here are Ratehub.ca's picks for the top chequing, high-interest savings, and tax-free savings accounts, and GICs in Canada.
Personal Chequing Account
Scotia Momentum Chequing Account
Scotiabank's Momentum chequing account is the all-around best in show, and comes with a $200 sign-up bonus and 1 per cent cash back on all purchases.
Youth/Student Chequing Account
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
The best chequing account for young people and students is also the most popular. It has no monthly fees and unlimited e-transfers. The rewards program also offers SCENE points, and comes with 5,000 when you sign up.
Senior Chequing Account
Scotia Basic Banking Account for Seniors /
Although it is no longer offered to new customers, Ratehub.ca's initial pick, CIBC's 60 Plus Advantage chequing account came with unlimited transactions and no monthly fees. For 2018, the site named the Scotia Basic Banking Account for Seniors as its top pick, which also has no monthly fees. It does have 12 monthly transactions, two free monthly e-transfers, free paper statements with cheque image return, and Scotia Reward and SCENE Points.
High Interest Savings Account
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
Breaking from the Big 5, EQ Bank's Savings Plus account has kept a consistent offering of a 2.3 per cent interest rate, as well as no monthly fees, five free e-transfers and unlimited transactions.
According to Ratehub, EQ Bank's sign-up form is one of the easiest to complete, taking "about six minutes" to finish. Since a current bank account needs to be linked to the savings account, it would "pair wonderfully with Tangerine's No-Fee Chequing Account and its $100 sign-up bonus," Ratehub said.
Tax-free Savings Account
Motive Financial's Motive TFSA Savings Account
Ratehub's top TFSA is offered by Motive Financial, and boasts an interest rate of 1.8 per cent. Flexibility is also a plus here, since customers can deposit and withdraw any amount at any time.
The site also pointed to Alterna Bank's TFSA eSavings Account as a serious contender for the top TFSA of 2018, as it requires no minimum payment, has no monthly fee, and offers a 2.10 per cent interest rate.
Oaken Financial 1-Year Non-Registered GIC
Oaken Financial's 1-year non-registered GIC boasted the highest interest rate of 2017 at 2.5 per cent and an easy sign-up form online.
Oaken Financial 5-Year Non-registered GIC
Oaken Financial's 5-year non-registered GIC also had the highest interest of 2017 with 3.25 per cent.
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