As I admitted in my shame-faced conclusion in How to Apply Online, at the last minute, I decided to apply for our PC Financial Chequing Account in person. Here’s what we did and how it went.
Before You Trek Off to Loblaws to Apply for Your No Fee Chequing Account
You can phone to make an appointment at most locations. We just risked it with a walk in visit.
You will need to be
- an adult
- a resident of Canada
You may need to know your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
(Strangely although we needed to enter our SIN to apply online, we were not asked for our SINs when we applied in person.)
You will need to bring
- a photo id like a driver’s license
- a major credit card (not a credit card for a department store)
- a cheque if you want to link the account electronically to a chequing account at another bank
How Long Does It Take to Set Up a Chequing Account in Person
It took us about 45 minutes. We had a very competent cheerful employee to help us.
When Will I Get my Debit Card?
Generally, they will give you your debit card while you are there. In our case they made us login and set the PIN for the debit cards while they stood nearby.
When Will I Get my Cheques?
The first batch of cheques is ordered automatically after the account is set up. It is supposed to take 1-2 weeks for them to arrive by mail.
Will I Get Paid Good Interest on the PC Chequing Account Balance?/
Not really. Until July 15, 2013 PC Financial has a special interest rate of 2.6% on any money deposited in any type of account that takes your total amount on deposit higher than your total balance across all your accounts on April 14, 2013. But generally speaking, the account pays a very low rate of interest.
On April 23, 2013, the regular (non bonus) rates were between 0.05% and 0.5% depending on how much you had deposited in your chequing account. As an example, if you had $3,500 deposited for an entire year at those rates, you would earn $3.
So the interest isn’t likely the reason you want this no fee chequing account.
You can check the rates and how they are applied at: http://www.banking.pcfinancial.ca/a/rates/allRates.page?region=ON&language=en&signinop=
Are There Any Fees for this “No Fee” Account?
Actually, yes, there are. You don’t pay for some things.
- For instance, you can use debit as much as you want for no fee.
- There is no required minimum balance.
- You can make withdrawals or deposits at CIBC or PC Financial ABMs for no fee.
- You can write cheques and provided you have enough money in your account to cover them, there is no fee either for using the cheque or for buying the cheque. (That’s different than Tangerine, formerly ING Direct, where you get 50 cheques for free but you have to pay to order more paper cheques when you run out.)
You do pay
- If you overdraw your account. You will have to pay an overdraft fine.
- If you want paper statements mailed to you there is a fee.
- There is a fee for money orders and bank drafts.
- There is a fee for wire transfers.
- There is a fee for stopping a cheque from being cashed.
I can’t find a link to a simple list, so if you find something else that charges a fee, please post a comment at the end of this article. Thanks!
Will PC Financial Run a Credit Check on Me?
Usually they do run a credit check. They will ask you to sign a form granting permission for the check. If you are not willing to allow the check, they do have another method to set up the account. You will be limited on how large a withdrawal you can make, etc, however.
Credit checks can have an affect on your credit rating.
What to Expect
You will be asked for basically the same information as if you applied online. This will include
- what do you intend to use the account for?
- how long you’ve been at your current home address
- what is your current employment status
- how long you’ve worked for your current employer
- What is your co-applicant’s current employment status?
- How long have they been working for same employer?
- What is your Email Address?
- They will ask to see your photo id and a major credit card.
- whether the account will be used for the benefit of anyone other than the named account holders. (This is a requirement around the legalities of “laundering” money from illegal activities.)
- Do you want to purchase overdraft protection?
- Do you have a mortgage?
They will give you a booklet with the legal stuff and other information to take home and read.
Holds and Delays
You can set up a Savings Account at the same time. Be aware that you cannot withdraw money directly from a PC Financial Savings account. Instead, you have to transfer the money to your PC Financial chequing account and then withdraw it. I’m not clear whether you have to wait 4 days for a hold before you can then withdraw it or not. I’ll try to check into this later.
If you deposit money (other than a direct deposit government cheque or direct deposit pay cheque) into your chequing account, you cannot immediately withdraw it. You can withdraw $100 but then you must wait for 4 business days before you can use the rest of the money. This is a fairly standard “hold” period at most banks. You may be able to phone and discuss releasing the hold earlier, in an emergency.
- How to Open a PC Financial No Fee Joint Chequing Account Online
- How to Open an ING Direct THRIVE No Fee Chequing Account
Do you have a bank account at PC Financial? Has it worked well for you? Did you save enough PC Points to get an amazing amount of lobster? Please share your experiences with a comment.