The Frugal Canadian

A frugal spender seeks to find new ways to save money and increase her net worth.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

PC Financial launch new Interest Plus savings account

I went with a friend today to a local PC Financial kiosk to have him set up with a new bank account to earn a better interest rate on his cash savings. When we got there, the sales rep informed us of a new Interest Plus Savings Account.

The account pays 4% interest as long as there is a balance of $1000 or higher. If the balance falls below $1000, the interest earned is 1%. It has the same no fee structure and like the Interest First savings account, an individual has access to the funds at any time after one business day. A new nationwide marketing campaign is being launched July 15th to promot the new account

I immediately opened an account and transferred my cash from my existing Interest First savings account. I was just about to send in a cheque to Altamira to take advantage of the High Interest Cash Performer earning 3.75%. From what I can see the new Interest Plus Savings account has the best interest rate offered on any Canadian bank accounts and also beats 1 year GIC rates.


At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on this, it's a great account!

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the only catch is to keep a minimum of $1k in the account? And there are no fees? Money is 100% liquid (within 1 business day)Sounds too good to be true. I wonder if you can hook this up to a chequing account? Hmmm

At 5:31 PM, Blogger The Frugal Canadian said...

As far as I can see there is no catch and there are no fees. They've been losing a lot of customers to ING Direct and they're trying to gain back the competition.

You can hook it up to a chequing account. You can set it up a chequing account at PC Financial or most other financial institutions.

You just need to bring in a void cheque or you can mail one with a completed form. You can then transfer money to an external chequing account as if you are paying a bill.

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Canadian Capitalist said...

Hi FC: Thanks for the post. Seems to be a clear winner in the crowded field. Cheers!

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is talk that there might be fees introduced in the later for pcf after they win over lots of converts.

I have 2 very valid concerns about pcf:

1. given my bad experiences with their customer service (can't they speak english?) i would never give my money to pc financial.

2. all the bad press cibc has gotten with ties to ENRON and the bank machine error that caused ATMs to fail (this was a few years ago).. I wouldn't touch that bank with a 10 foot pole. I'll bank with TD canada trust and get a free IPOD Nano for my troubles thank you very much.

Harinder Takur.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above poster mentioned they may introduce fees down the road... well, the one thing they can't retroactively add is a fee to close the account, and I plan on keeping $10 in my ING account so that if I need to, I can always go back there, since ING doesn't charge any fees either.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck with this free iPod NANO!

You should get credit card and pay $120 annual fee, so in 2 years you will pay this NANO. And in 10 years it closer to 2-3 iPod 60G.

Think twice when somobody gives you something for free!!!

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with above poster, it isn't free if you're paying fees for it that the other doesn't charge.

Besides, you're better off with a Visa from one of the other banks like scotiabank that offers 1% cash back with no fees.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hold on the scotia 1% back card is tiered. you need to spend 25K in order to get even 1% back. I don't know about you guy but I don't spend that much.


At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not tiered that much (the scotiabank visa). On your first $1500 for the year you get 0.25% back, on the next $1500 you get 0.50% back, and then 1% on everything above $3000.

And if you make a point of using the Visa anywhere that they won't give you a discount but take it, it can be pretty high. Personally, over three years I have received a total of $874.12, where $35,000 of that spending was MBA tuition, so my normal spending has averaged $174.70 per year in kickbacks.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of credit card and cash back. If anyone is planning to buy a car within the next 5 years and does not hold balance, Citi Bank's Driver's Edge MC gives 2% back on your purchase and no annual fee. There is no restriction on car brand. Beware after 5 years the accumulated credit does start to expire.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just get a PC MasterCard? There are no fees, and the PC Points you get for spending equal 1% in groceries. That works out better than the tiered cash back, plus everyone buys groceries, right?

At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason I don't get a PC Mastercard is I find the Loblaws to be much more expensive than the local A&P on standard grocery items and the quality nowhere near the local italian bakery for baked goods, fruits and veggies, but you're right, if you shop at Loblaws anyway, it's better than the Scotia card.

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the above poster, you can use the points to purchase other rewards online. Also, you are not restricted to purchases at Loblaws, all of their companies accept PC points for payment including No Frills.

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there:

So, after holding your Interest Plus account with PCF for several months, can you please give us (your readership) a customer service review?

I have been scouting the web to find out how people have been liking their PCF Interest Plus accounts to decide if it is worth it for me, rather than opening an ING account.

So far, the reviews are mostly, it's a colossal hassle, not worth it.

What do you think so far?


At 10:29 PM, Blogger The Frugal Canadian said...

Meadow - I'm really happy with my PC Financial accounts. I haven't had any problems with them.

When I first set them up, I retained my chequing account at my initial bank to ensure the transition was smooth.

I find the site easy to use, customer service has always been able to answer any questions I've had promptly and the extra interest I earn really is adding up.

I have heard of a few cases where people have ordered cheques a few times before they actually received them. From what I recall, PC Financial outsources their cheque distributions which may be the problem. I've reordered cheques twice now and both times I received the cheques within a week.

At 11:27 PM, Anonymous pete said...

wow, 4%! I was just looking for the best interest. thanks

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Lilly said...

Have you checked out what has to offer? 4.15% interest on their "cash optimizer investment account". I think you have to keep a minimum of 1k to avoid $20.00 monthly fee - just like PC.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a Pres. Choice M/C for about 5 yrs. They have never charged fees. Now as am a one person household I don't buy as much as even with 2 people. I use my card everywhere they take M/C, seldom carry more than $5-10 cash. It takes me now about 2-3 mo. to get $20 free, but keep track of what I need but can wait for, and usually shop at No Frills. Only Loblaws and Independent is something I recognize and good price and can use.
When I use it for gas at Beaver, double dip with air miles on $20, just one tho, or if shopping for specials at AP, both credit card and air miles at both. Again eventually use my Air Miles for specials at A&P for free.
Double dip also on Sr's days, Zellers and Bulk barn - 10% off price to start with.
You have to know how to play the game to your best advantage, and could never save enough for a trip, which doesn't really interest me. But that would go on PC card too if decide to go somewhere.
Oh yes, forgot, take your own fabric bag shopping at Loblaws group and you get 50 points more.
Just FYI
N Lewis
Bowmanville, Ont

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been using PC banking for about 6-7 yrs, have had only the odd complaint. Sometimes there is no one in the kiosk, and once last week could not get it to deposit in my account. I seldom phone them, perhaps they farm out to India? like TD. for customer service. The few times I have called, not problem.
They seem to have the best rate, perhaps short of ING but then you have to transfer to another bank with Ing to put in or take out? Where can I get cash from ING? Asking because I really don't know the answer.
Both Loblaws PC and CIBC (their parent) so both are convenient no more then 5 min from home.. With Loblaws usually have another store or 2 to go to in the mall so do double duty.
Just a comment, no real drawbacks, love the interest, which of course will be down as of today, and don't need to access the CM machine after 9 at night (when the stores close) anyway
N Lewis


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