One of the first things we do when we enter the ‘adult world’ is to open our very own bank accounts and begin to start saving. It’s like a whole new world. There are many options out there, and the question comes – should you get a savings account or a current account? or should you have no savings at all? They really don’t teach you all this in school, but I am here for you!
If you’re thinking of opening a savings account in Canada, then EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account a high-interest savings account seems to be a popular option. It is amazing because it is a hybrid of a savings and chequing account. The only HISA account offered by EQ Bank, which makes it uniquely different from the norm.
In this post, I have thoroughly analyzed the features of this account type. Read until the end of this review to find out if EQ Bank is really worth it!
What Is EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is a digital bank rather than a physical one. Like most people, I was a little skeptical of it in the beginning since I don’t have much experience with a digital bank. After all, putting my money somewhere that doesn’t have a one-to-one physical office can be scary. I have since let go of any skepticism regarding Digital banks!
EQ Bank is a trademark of Equitable Bank, which has been in the business for over four decades. The fifty years of experience that Equitable Bank has, gives EQ Bank enough credibility to earn my trust as well as the trust of a large number of Canadians.
What Makes A Good Savings Account?
Before we get into the question “why the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account?”, we need a criterion to measure it against. So, we must first know what makes a good savings account.
1. Competitive Interest Rates
You’ve probably heard the phrase “it costs money to hold money,” and that’s true. This is why you need a bank account that not just keeps your money safe but also multiplies it, which most banks do through their interest rate.
Banks will pay you money to hold your money. A bank will use your money to invest in other business opportunities, and then they’ll give you a small portion of those profits – it’s how banks make money. Most traditional banks have a very low-interest rate. Think 0.01% per annum!
2. No Fees
Some banks will charge unnecessary and high fees for basic things. For example, some banks charge you a high service fee for simply having an account. These fees may seem like small sums, but they can often add up to a lot of money.
These recurring fees can eat up your savings if you’re not careful. Some accounts will even charge you money if you don’t maintain a minimum balance or make too many withdrawals. Lucky for you, it’s not that difficult to avoid these fees given that there are so many banks in the market. The competition is high, and all you need to do is read the fine print and compare your options.
3. Automated Transfers
Life can be unexpected, which means you always need a considerable amount in your bank account. How can you ensure this? Through automatic transfers. An automatic transfer means that some amount is transferred from your checking account to your savings account every month automatically. This is very important because it builds your savings account and if your account has a high-interest rate, you’ll also be able to make more money.
In case of an emergency, you should always be able to withdraw some money from your savings account. Hence, you should make sure that the bank you choose allows you to withdraw your money in a seamless fashion.
Be mindful of the fees. Some banks will impose an exorbitant fee on withdrawal, for no reason. Ideally, your bank should have little to no withdrawal fee. Other savings accounts will not allow you to withdraw money for a certain amount of time.
5. Mobile Access
Our phones have become an essential part of our life these days. A good banking mobile app allows you to make transactions, view statements, and view your account details. An exceptional mobile app is one that lets you cash in your cheques digitally by uploading a scanned copy of your cheque. Given our hectic daily schedules, it’s a good idea to choose a bank with a great mobile app.
Many people are scared of losing all their money in case the bank fails. After all, it could leave you out on the street. Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing your bank is insurance. When selecting your bank, make sure that the bank has safety insurance that will cash you out if your bank shuts down. In Canada, most banks are insured by CDIC.
Features Of EQ Bank’s High-Interest Savings Plus Account
Now that we know what makes for a good savings account, let’s look at EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account. The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account makes it different from its competitors in a number of ways that I’ve detailed below;
1. 1.50% Everyday Interest Rate*
I have never had a bank account that has offered me an interest rate higher than 0.05% as I used to bank with one of the ‘Big 5’. EQ Bank, on the other hand, promised 1.50% and delivered. Sometimes, I don’t understand the math, but I see my money multiplying at the end of the month, and that’s what matters the most. The interest is calculated daily on closing balances and paid out monthly.
2. No Minimum Balance
What surprised me the most was that there’s no need to maintain a minimum balance to avoid being charged with hefty fees. You can even have $2 in your account, and it’ll be okay. You won’t need to pay any fees or worry about depositing more money into the account.
3. Zero Everyday Banking Fees
There are no fees on everyday banking with EQ Bank. This is highly important when it comes to savings. Your money saved should multiply and not reduce because of bank fees!
4. Free Withdrawals
Usually, bank accounts allow a limited number of free withdrawals per month. After this, they start to charge for every withdrawal you make. With EQ Bank, though, you don’t have to worry about this. The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account offers you unlimited free withdrawals, which makes it function as a daily chequing account as well. Talk about flexibility!
5. Free Interac e-transfers®
Transfer funds easily using Interac e-transfers®, it is completely free.
6. Cheap International Money Transfers
If you have family outside of Canada that you regularly send money to, this savings account is one to have. Some bank accounts charge high transfer fees to send money overseas. EQ Bank has partnered with TransferWise to ensure cheaper international transfer fees, thereby saving you some money.
7. Mobile Support
You can view or download your account statements, check your balance, and make transactions very easily with the EQ Bank mobile app.
Something I found really convenient was that I can simply scan any cheques in my name and it would be deposited into my account. This is a huge plus point.
The app can be unlocked by FaceID and fingerprint, which makes it very accessible and secure. The built-in bill-paying system is extremely helpful too.
See below a screenshot of the features of EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account;
How To Open An EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
- Click here to go to EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account sign up page
- On that page, click ‘set up an account’
- Follow the instructions and enter in your Email address, choose a password and re-enter the password for confirmation
- Proceed with the next steps as required
Here is an infographic display for easier understanding;
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account Terms
Like every bank, when you sign up for an account with EQ Bank, there are a few terms and conditions you agree to. To save you from the hassle of going through the fine print. I am listing down the important things here.
· Personal Account
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is an account for personal use only. If the bank notices or is informed that the account is being used for commercial purposes, it may be terminated without any prior notice.
The safety of your account is with you. EQ Bank will never ask for your personal information on call or via SMS. Do not give out any information regarding your password or OTPs to a caller. You are required to remember your own passwords. Misuse of your account due to lost passwords is not the responsibility of the bank.
However, this does not mean that the bank does not try to prevent any losses. Your account may get suspended if the bank finds a transaction suspicious. In the event that your password or account data is leaked, contacting EQ Bank’s customer care may save your precious funds.
Government regulation dictates that every account holder has to be verified by the bank. This also means using false information can result in your account being terminated.
· Use of Account
Using this account for illegal activities or purchasing illegal/stolen items or services can result in your account being banned or even launch a police investigation.
EQ Bank Joint Savings Plus Account
Recently, EQ Bank has launched its Joint Savings Plus Account which allows you to open a shared account with up to 3 people. You still get to enjoy the same high-interest rate of 1.50% as is with the Savings Plus Account with your friends and loved ones. It takes just about 5 minutes to open up this account and it follows the same procedure as is with the Savings Plus Account.
EQ Bank RSP Savings Account & TFSA
To open any of these high-interest savings accounts with EQ Bank, you need to start by opening the Savings Plus Account, after which you get the option to open the other available account types
Pros And Cons Of EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account
In this article, I have given a lot of information about EQ bank. If you’re feeling a bit lost, here’s everything summed up:
· Fully Digital
Traditional banks have high running costs. They bear the cost of running a branch and paying the essential staff for every branch. This can add up and potentially cost the bank thousands of dollars every month. That money comes out of your pocket! Primarily, in the form of fees or slacking off on profits. A completely digital bank doesn’t have branches, so lower costs equal less money charged from you.
· High-Interest Rate
As mentioned before, the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account offers one of the best competitive interest rates at a 1.50% per annum non-promo rate. A huge upgrade from traditional banks and even higher than many digital banks! A high-interest rate means your money grows at a faster pace.
The convenience that comes with an all-digital bank is terrific. Paying your bills has never been easier. You can schedule your bills to be paid every month and forget about missing a payment. You also get to avoid unnecessary physical contact as well as long bank queues.
Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC and your funds are eligible for deposit insurance.
· No Account Closure Fees
There is no fee attached to closing your account if you so desire.
· EQ Bank Customer Service
EQ Bank’s customer service is truly outstanding. You never have to wait more than 2-3 minutes before getting a representative on the line. Their customer care team is well trained. They always explain everything in detail and try to compensate for the lack of a physical branch.
· Lack of other types of Accounts EQ Bank offers only 2 types of accounts; the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account and GIC accounts. They do not offer RRSPs or TFSA. You will have to open an account with a different bank for these other account types.
· No Debit Card
EQ Bank offers no debit card. However, this is a minimal issue since you can freely transfer money to other banks you bank with and have debit cards for.
· Possibility Of Service Interruption
You’re in an emergency and you need cash fast! But the app is under scheduled maintenance, and you can’t access your money. What do you do? A completely online platform means a glitch or a problem can happen at any time, and this service interruption is a considerable drawback.
· No Personal Banker Interaction
If you’ve had a traditional bank account, you’d know that once you get to know the staff at your bank, things get much easier. They give you one-on-one financial advice and know your bank account inside out. With a digital bank, you may miss out on these interactions.
· Shopping Gets Too Easy
When all your money is accessible on your phone, it can be really easy to spend it. This means that online shopping is easier and more convenient, which is great! But for those who spend a bit too much, this may mean you start splurging.
· Savings Account Cap
The deposit amount for the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is capped at $200,000. While this is a huge sum of money, it’s still lesser than what other banks have to offer. If you want a savings account to save for far into the future, this may not be the best option.
Who Should Choose EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is definitely not for post-retirement funds or people with career-long savings. However, it’s perfect for people trying to save for a small-term investment, or for people who just want to keep some money aside for a rainy day. It is a good choice of a ‘parking’ account to save your emergency fund. Its flexibility and accessibility make it ideal for those just starting out in their careers. It provides excellent financial stability as well as an opportunity for growth.
Whether it’s physical or digital, choosing a bank can be difficult. I have given a detailed review of EQ Bank to help you make a better decision! Remember that the perfect bank for you depends on what your aim is. If the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account meets your personal requirements, then it is worth giving it a shot!
With no-monthly fees, a non-promo everyday high interest, free Interac e-Transfers® and lots more, EQ Bank is certainly one of the best fully online banks in Canada!