Mr. Wooly and I use our debit cards a lot. We try and withdraw cash, but the minute that is gone we are back putting every transaction on our debit card. After reading many financial advice books and blogs we tried using cash only, but that did not really last long.

We decided eventually that if we were going to pay off our debt, we could take some of the advice we could stick too, and leave the parts that did not work- like using only cash.

I switched a few months ago to an unlimited chequing account at CIBC (our regular bank) after our monthly service fees were $50. I was so stunned when I saw this on my statement I went in to the bank right away to talk to them. Part of the problem was that they had removed my student discount, even though I was still a student at the time. The other problem was that Mr. Wooly and I share only one account for all our regular spending and the 10 free monthly transactions on our account was being exceeded every time.

I talked with a teller and they reduced the fees by half for that month and then switched our account to an unlimited account which now costs us $12.95 a month.

I know there are free accounts out there at PC Financial and one our local credit unions. But switching all our loans and investments over to one of these institutions just seems like so much work! Now I see, thanks to Canadian Dream at 45 that one of Canada's big banks, RBC (that's Royal Bank to those of us banking before banks all switched to acronyms) is now offering FREE unlimited chequing to those clients who have multiple products at there bank. Does that not make sense?

We would qualify if only CIBC would do the same. You need to have a Visa (check!), mortgage (check!), and investment account (check!) to have the fee waived, and the best part is that there is NO MINIMUM BALANCE required!

I phoned CIBC several months ago to talk about my bank fees and the customer service rep on the phone had to listen to my tirade. I informed him that in the US all big banks have free chequing accounts, and that I was tired of having to pay so much to use my account. He informed me (right back) that it was very very unlikely that ANY of the Canadian big banks would ever offer such a service. Ha! Guess he was wrong.

So come on CIBC! Get with the 21st Century and start treating us customers with a little more dignity and waive that $12.95 a month!

Total potential savings: $155.40 a year

Wooly Woman


  1. Krystal said...
    I'm not sure if you're one of those people that likes to have all your accounts with one bank, but my chequing/savings are with PC Financial, and my line of credit, one of my Visa cards, and my mutual fund accounts (both of them) are still at TD Canada Trust.

    It's really easy to link your free chequing with PC Financial to all your other accounts with another bank. I get my mutual funds auto-deducted from my PC chequing account into my TD accounts every pay cheque.

    Just a thought!
    Wooly Woman said...
    Thanks Krystal, I will look in to this option. It may not work because my business bank account is also CIBC, which saves me $$ in cheque fees for my salary, but I am definitely going to talk with them.

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