OK this is getting silly but now there’s another new e-bank option that is offering a 3% per year interest rate on its savings account. That’s better, for now, than the 2.5% being offer by Zag Bank. The rate is, of course, subject to change without notice so everyone expects it to drop quite a bit fairly soon. Still, it’s a good rate while it lasts and since the money is in a savings account and not a GIC, it can be transferred out if the rate drops and a better rate is offered somewhere else.
What Is EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is the newest offering of the Equitable Group. According to their website: “EQ Bank is brought to you by Equitable Bank, a bank with over four decades of experience in the Canadian market.” Equitable Bank was founded in 1970 as The Equitable Trust Company. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. That group has been offering mortgages and GICs through various parts of the company for many years.
What Bank Accounts Is EQ Bank Offering in January 2016 And What Are the Fees and Options?
EQ Bank itself is an e-bank.
It does not have branches.
You do not get a debit card.
It may offer more options in the future but right now it only offers:
- a high rate of interest on daily savings
- interest is calculated daily and paid monthly
- You can pay bills from the account for no fee
- You can set up a bill payment to be made in the future
- Bill payment requests are processed on the next business day. So if you “pay a bill” on a Friday, it will not actually start getting paid until Monday.
- You can make 5 free transfers using the Interac transfer system per month
- No minimum balance is required
- You can talk to an agent by phone or by online chat
- There is no fee for unlimited daily transactions
- You can deposit a cheque payable to yourself into the account using a photo App on your Apple or Android device (only) just like at Tangerine, PC Financial and a few of the Big Canadian Banks
- Funds deposited in the savings account are covered by CDIC
- There are no ABMs or ATMs for this bank at this time; you have to move your money into and out of the account by electronic transfers between linked accounts, by Interac e-Transfers, or (for moving out only) by paying a bill
- There are no cheques for the account.
- There are no paper statements for the account.
- You cannot deposit cheques or transfers in foreign currency into your account. So if you get a cheque in US Dollars, for example, you can NOT deposit it into your account at EQ Bank.
- On January 19, 2016 it did not seem possible for a resident of Quebec to open an account (although there may be a way to legally do it as Tangerine and PC Financial have both figured out ways that involve visiting another province to sign up in person.)
Can I Open a Joint Savings Account at EQ Bank?
Joint accounts were not available on January 19, 2016.
What Do I Need to Open a High Interest Savings Account with EQ Bank?
You will need
- a chequing account at another Canadian financial institution
- a cheque with your name pre-printed on it, for at least one dollar, made payable to yourself, at another Canadian financial institution. EQ Bank will link your new account with the account identified on the cheque. Once the link is created you can electronically transfer money in and out of that chequing account from your EQ Bank account.
- a Social Insurance Number
How Long Will It Take to Open an Account at EQ Bank?
It will take at least 5 business days after they receive your cheque. During January 2016, they have been swamped with new applications so it has taken longer than 5 business days for some customers.
Are There Any “Hidden” Fees at EQ Bank?
They are not particularly hidden. You can check the fees on the website at https://www.eqbank.ca/personal-banking/features-rates/savings-plus-account-fees-and-features
As of January 19, 2016, the notable fees are
- $1.50 for your sixth and any further Interac e-Transfers during one month
Is An Interac e-Transfer the Same as an EFT Between EQ Bank and my Regular Bank?
EFT or Electronic Funds Transfers
An EFT or Electronic Fund Transfer is the usual way you would move money from your EQ Bank account to your bank account at another bank. The accounts must first be linked by providing a cheque from your non-EQ bank account to EQ Bank. Then you can request a transfer in to or out of your EQ Bank account by using certain commands on the EQ Bank website.
If you have an account at Tangerine, you can also use the Move My Money feature at Tangerine to move money in to and out of your EQ Bank account once you have linked the accounts.
Similarly, you can move money in or out to EQ Bank from PC Financial if you have linked the accounts.
An EFT usually takes place on the business day following when you make the request. So if you asked to transfer money from EQ Bank to BMO on Friday, January 19, it would usually not transfer until Monday, January 22, and would not usually show up in your BMO account until Tuesday or Wednesday.
An Interac e-Transfer is a way to send money to anyone’s bank account using email. You tell EQ Bank how much money you want to send out of your account and the email address of the person you want to send it to. Usually you include a security question in your email that the person receiving the email must answer correctly before they are allowed to deposit your money into their own account. They have to answer the question, then they have to type in their bank’s number, their branch’s transit number and their bank account number to complete the transfer. The transfer could take place as quickly as one hour after the receiver deposits your money.
There are limits to how much money you can move by Interac daily, weekly and monthly.
I’ll definitely be testing the Interac e-Transfer option after I get my account opened: it costs money to use this option at Tangerine and PC Financial so I’ve never tried one.
As you can tell from that comment, I will be trying to open an account at EQ Bank very soon. Wish me luck!
- How to Open a Savings Account at Oaken Financial
- How to Open a Savings Account a Zag Bank
- How to Open an Account at Tangerine
- How to Open an Account at PC Financial
- How to Send Money Using Email from Your Tangerine Account
Do you chase every new bank that opens offering a teaser interest rate? Or do you stick with one financial institution come high or low rates? Please share your views with a comment.