We the FIRE community have embraced EQ Bank as one of the best financial institutions aligned with our movement. Financial optimization is one of the cornerstone values of a FIREwalker and today I'd like to sell you on EQ Bank and why everybody around you is choosing them too.
** I've included an affiliate link with this review just above and at the bottom. If you sign up with my link, you'll score us both $20. That'll help my blog and my mission, so thank you :) **
- They have no fees - Like all good bank accounts in Canada (few as they are), no fees for an efficient Canadian is imperative. No minimums, no account fees, free bill payments, unlimited transfers, free to open/close, all that good stuff. If you bounce a payment or need to convert CAD to USD or whatever, you can expect the regular fees but FIREwalkers are efficient in those places too.
- Yes, you can have a Joint Account - It's no problem to sign up for an account now and add your spouse later if you so choose.
- It's a hybrid Chequing and Savings account - While I wholeheartedly recommend Tangerine for your conventional debit needs, EQ Bank simply merged a high-interest savings account with the utility of a chequing account. You don't have to move money back and forth anymore, it's all in one account. So your account balance is always collecting a 2% interest rate while it can pay bills, send Interac E-transfers, mobile cheque deposit, international wire transfers... you get the picture. Everything.
- The one thing here to mention is that you don't get a debit card to use at retail stores - this is a digital account only. So no cheques, no debit card, no ATM withdrawals. But those are all historical artifacts now anyways and if for some reason you need cash or cheques in your life, hold onto your Tangerine account. You can send money their instantly.
- Less is more - One of the annoying things about living in a modern society and being frugal is you tend to learn about a lot of great financial institutions and then place your money everywhere in order to be fully optimized. Rogers MasterCard for the best credit card, Tangerine for the best debit card, Wealthsimple Trade for the best brokerage, so on and so forth for mortgages, insurance, saving accounts and so many others. At some point you need to consolidate what you can, where you can. EQ Bank might not have the best interest rate (discussed below) but it does have the best account in Canada, and eliminating your old Tangerine account might be worth it (unused Tangerine chequing accounts go dormant after two years of zero activity so maybe transfer something back and forth every now and then to keep the debit card for emergencies?).
- Not the best interest rate but who cares? - For some reason Canadians are really obsessed with interest rates, down to the very cent. If this is you, I've got bad news for you - EQ Bank is never the absolute highest, they're typically always just under LBC Digital and/or Motive Financial, but those usually aren't much higher. Right now they're both at 2.05%. It's a very small difference though:
- If you're saving $20k in your EQ Bank account, you're earning $400/year in interest. With Motive/LBC, you'd earn $410/year. Do us both a favour and don't waste brain cells trying to optimize $10 over the course of a year with the additional hassle. Choose a hybrid account and enjoy the mental liberation.
- It's an insured Canadian bank - EQ Bank is insured with CDIC coverage, so if they go bust, the government guarantees your account up to $100k.
- Easy to set up - No messy paperwork, printing out forms or signing things digitally with your finger like a goof (my signature never looks the same after those). They authenticate you through your current bank, once you open the account they'll deposit a few cents into your old bank account, you verify the amounts and voila! You're set up.
- There's a referral option! - You might be thinking, I don't have a blog so this isn't applicable to me - but you'd be wrong! Not only can you suggest EQ Bank if your family talks about money ever but more importantly I think this is something you might be able to capitalize on in the workplace. If I were you, I would shamelessly copy and paste the stuff you like in this article and into an email chain or a posting on the wall next to the dude trying to sell his boat. Get approval from your boss, people will likely thank you and use your code to get $20.
- Cheap international money transfers - I've never done this myself but apparently they say its 8 times cheaper than other banks or places like Western Union. So many new and soon-to-be Canadians need to send money back home, seems like EQ Bank is a good home for this regular process.
I think that's it! I can't think of any other reason to choose EQ Bank but those powerful 9 reasons should get you started towards another great optimization strategy for your FIRE. By clicking on the link here you'll get us each $20 when you create your account and start using it. Tell me below in the comments if you can think of any other reasons for me to add.
I also have two other "Best in Canada" articles for you to check out: Best Chequing Account and Best Phone Plan. If those sound intriguing..!
Hope this has helped,
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