You shouldn’t have to pay for your bank account

This week I finally went into the bank I’ve been with for almost 10 years to close one of my accounts there. My first bank accounts in Canada were with BMO and I’ve remained loyal to them so far. (Mainly because of the massive amounts of Airmiles I collect on personal and business credit cards) I did have a little affair with Bank of Nova Scotia on the side but found the customer service at my local branch sucked, so I stuck it out with BMO. I love the people at my branch, they’ll bend over backwards for me… but, it’s time I face the facts: I shouldn’t have to pay for a bank account. Period.

Dear bank, this is what you make me do.

Without getting into the economics of things too much it’s really pretty simple; a bank is a business that exists to make money and to maximize profit for its shareholders. When I deposit my money, they promise to keep it safe (sort of, there’s still that ‘insured up to $100,000’-thing) and build their business with it. I shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege of lending them my hard-earned money!

Now, there are many many BAD banks out there, Citi and B of A, I’m talking to you – but there are also good, honest banks who know how to do business, I tend to view BMO as one of the latter. But I’m done with paying fees for everything so a little while ago I opened a Thrive Checking account with ING Direct, things got kind of complicated when Capital One ended up buying ING Direct recently… I’m hoping they won’t screw up ING too bad as I’ve decided to stick around for the awesome perks.

Hello 50 free cheques, free transactions, automatic transfers and interest on my dollars instead of fees. FREE! Why can’t you do that BMO? Sure you do it for students (which I still am) but er…. us adults are cheapskates too, you know. After closing one of my accounts with them they sent me a message on online banking that my auto-transfers were cancelled, for free, but that there is a $4.50 per transfer to set them up. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? $4.50 to set up an automatic transfer that takes like… 5 seconds to complete?

I better whip out my ING card to get my blood-pressure back down from boiling point.

PS: If you would also like free banking with ING, use my orange key to get some free bucks; 16984337S1
PS: IMG Source here.

Edit: In the comments it’s pointed out that Capital One was involved with the ING Direct buyout, not Citi, as I had mistakenly written. For some reason I was under the impression that Capital One was an affiliate of Citi, thus my mistake. Oops! Hate to misinform people!

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11 Comments

  1. I still have a bank account with a local bank in Colorado even though I live in California now. Only because they don’t charge for anything! They reimburse my ATM fees and have excellent customer service. Good luck with ING – curious to see the results of the Citi takeover.

    • You know, I’ve heard of the reimbursed ATM fees before but I don’t think any bank around here does that? And yeah, Citi better not screw up a good thing!

  2. I agree – I shouldn’t have to PAY a bank to give them MY business!

  3. I totally agree! In the States I use USAA, which offers just about everything free! Free checks, free ATM withdraws, the list keeps going! I am always in shock when people pay for bank fees!

  4. Yay for you. Yes ING rocks. I have been a customer for years and I plan to continue with that. They are one of the few banks that have no fees. One other bank here in Canada that is good for that is PC Financial. I have an account with them as well.

  5. Nice work! I just did the same thing, left TD Bank after 20+ years and opened a Thrive chequing account (with a $100 bonus for switching my payroll deposit).

    PS – I think it was Capital One, not Citi, who bought ING.

    • Ahhhh I was looking at that $100 but I can’t get direct deposit 🙁 big bummer!
      Thank you for pointing out my mistake, for some reason I had been under the impression that Capital One and Citi were somehow related. OOps! Made the change in the article and added a note on the bottom.

      Good thing is that to me the both are pretty well interchangeable, I share a distaste for both companies. If Capital One sends me one more CC offer… ARGH!

  6. Do you have credit unions in Canada? It’s a member owned bank so the fees on everything are lower, and there is no fee to have an account at my local CU. Might be worth looking into if Capital One screws with ING.

    • Yes there are credit unions here…. however I haven’t found a large enough difference in the fees where I live to make the switch from BMO, especially considering that I would lose on Airmiles. I will keep my eyes peeled though, and I will be cautious with ING.

  7. Check account fees are waived on most banks only if you also adhere to the other requirements such as opening a savings account and making a direct deposit of a minimum of $25 from the checking, having direct deposits from your paycheck, etc., etc.
    I guess it’s either you buy more financial products or make their life easier such as using the direct deposit method

    • I still have another account with BMO that I intend to keep (for now) I think it has a $3000 minimum to waive the fees… but no interest on that, although I’m nowhere near the point in my financial journey that I can just have $3000 sitting in an account doing nothing! Perhaps in the future

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