Canadian Banks Are Raising Fees - How You Can Avoid Them | Refresh Financial

Canadian Banks Are Raising Fees – How You Can Avoid Them

Canadian Banks Are Raising Fees

Scotiabank has announced that it will raise the fees it charges for a few of its banking products. This is just one instance in the trend of rising banking costs across the globe. It’s almost impossible to avoid handing over a good chunk of your hard earned cash to a bank in today’s world. There are ways you can minimize how much you pay, though.

Choosing the right financial institution can drastically change the amount you have to pay in fees every month. Credit unions are open for business in most places across Canada. These member-focused organizations offer many no-fee banking products, without having to carry a minimum balance in your account. You will also find brands like Tangerine and President’s Choice offer no-fee banking with the only downside being no branches, no tellers and no human-based, face-to-face service. These companies are great, though, for those of us who rarely find ourselves in a branch doing our banking.

Many of Canada’s largest financial institutions also offer reduced or eliminated fees on their banking products if you carry a minimum balance in your account. While the minimums are consistently increasing over time, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have your fees waived if you save your money. It’s one more motivation not to touch that cash. For some of us, however, it may not be possible to keep the balance required for waived fees, and your best bet remains choosing a no-fee personal banking account elsewhere.

Another way that you can potentially avoid the rising fees on personal banking, is to talk to your financial institution. Explain that you really don’t want to leave, but the rising costs of banking with them is forcing you to consider it. Ask what they can do for you. Most companies will be compelled to compromise to hang on to a loyal customer, but if they’re being stubborn, don’t hesitate to leverage the no-fee offers from other institutions as a way to get the bargaining underway.

It is also possible that you have overlooked your eligibility for a specialized account. Many banks offer student accounts, which are often no-fee accounts with all the same features as a regular checking account. Some banks offer free banking for seniors, while others offer significant discounts to their older customers. Many of Canada’s major financial institutions offer great deals on all their banking products for any Canadian military or ex-military personnel. The best way to find out what sorts of discounts you might qualify for, is to speak with the bank you currently use. It is in their best interest to keep you as a client, and will likely give you all the information you need to know.

Outside of all of these strategies, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what your bank charges you for using their services. You should know how much is coming out of pocket to stick with your bank of choice. You should also know how much each transaction is potentially costing you, so you can budget your money to account for this. Be sure, as well, to pay attention to any notices that come from your bank as they may include fee hike announcements.
The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to switch where you bank to save a few dollars. It’s not as painful as it sounds, and freeing up a couple dozen bucks a month, for many of us, can be much needed relief.

Where do you bank? Are you happy with it? Let us know in the comments!

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