While there is healthy competition with many players offering high-interest savings accounts at attractive interest rates and features, President’s Choice Financial is pretty much the only game in town if you want a no-fee chequing account. Not for much longer. Nancy Zimmerman, who is a Bank Evangelist at Citizens Bank (and a money coach and blogger), broke the news that as of mid-September, her employer (an online, national bank formed by Vancity, which already offers a competitive high-interest savings account), will be dropping the $8 monthly fee on their current chequing account, and offer the following features:
- Free personal cheques.
- Unlimited Interac transactions and unlimited cheques and bill payments.
- Online access and online bill payments.
- Unlimited free ATM transactions throught the Exchange network run by most credit unions, National Bank, HSBC etc.
- No international ATM charges by Citizens Bank (there may be a charge by the bank running the ATM network).
While the international ATM transactions are a nice bonus and will be very attractive to frequent travelers, the other features make Citizens Bank account equivalent to PC Financial’s. Still, I’ll be sticking with PC Financial because it is convenient to withdraw cash while shopping for groceries. However, it is nice to know that there is a strong alternative now.