Thursday, November 22, 2007

PC Financial

A couple of commenters have asked why I haven't included PC Financial in my comparison of online savings accounts. There are a couple of reasons, so I thought I'd clarify my rationale.

Here's a summary of the relevant PC Financial product offering:
  • No fee bank account - As the name suggests, this is a chequing account with no monthly fees, that provides free online/telephone banking (including bill payments), unlimited chequing, free ABM transactions at PC and CIBC machines, and free Interac® Direct Payments.

  • Interest First™ savings account - This is their "no minimum" savings account, which currently offers a 3.05% APR and no banking fees.

  • Interest Plus™ savings account - This is their "premium" savings account, which offers a 4.10% APR if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,000.01, and a 1.00% APR if your balance is $1,000 or less. As with the Interest First™ account, there are no fees.
When I set out to do this comparison, I was looking for savings accounts that offer competitive rates, and have no minimum balance and no monthly or transactional fees. Technically, the Interest First™ account meets these criteria, although its rate is significantly lower than the four accounts that I used for my comparison. The Interest Plus™ account has a competitive rate, but the minimum balance is a requirement that none of the other accounts have.

If you're in the market for a chequing account as well as a high-interest savings account, then a PC Financial chequing/savings mix is certainly an attractive option. The penetration of PC/CIBC ABMs is comparable to that of HSBC/BMO, so you can expect easy access when you need your money. However, HSBC provides most of the "chequing-like" functionality (with the exception of actual cheques) under the umbrella of a single savings account, so you don't have to open multiple new accounts to get what you need (especially if you're happy with your existing chequing account). When you consider that HSBC has a higher rate and no minimum balance, there's no reason to choose PC on the merits of its savings accounts alone.

Basically, although PC Financial has some great products, I don't really feel that they fit with the options that I included in my analysis.

Just my $0.02...

1 comment:

Darren said...

PC Financial saved my life!!! They fixed my whole financial rut I had created. Never ever step into a bank again unless you like suffering!