Bank Accounts

Q.1. How do I choose a bank? Is there a difference?

There are commonalities among banks but there are also differences. The terms and conditions of the account types vary from bank to bank. There are also differences in services offered and hours of operation. You need to consider what you need from a bank before you select one.

Q.2. What types of bank accounts are there?

There are a number of specific types of bank accounts. For example there is a low cost bank account that costs a maximum of four dollars a month with specific services and limitations. There are personal banks accounts which can be held with a financial institution that enables you to do your daily financial transactions such as pay bills, etc. These can be savings, chequing or combination accounts. Make certain that you research the right type of account for you and pick a financial institution that suits your needs.

Q.3. How do I know what one is right for me?

Examine the features of the account and get only the services that you need. Check the fees that are charged and the banking hours. Confirm the interest rates being offered. Having done these things you will have a good idea of the type and location of the account that would be best for you. There are some tools to help you select the account which is right for you.

Q.4. Should I have more than one bank account?

Some people have as many as five bank accounts. They most likely maintain a chequing account where their money is deposited and then allocate their money to other accounts such as a savings account, an emergency savings account, an RRSP and an account for holidays and gifts etc. The number of accounts you have is dependent upon your needs and situation.

Q.5. How can I save on bank fees?

Keep track of how many transactions you make so you don’t go over the set limit. Often, you can get lower rates if you only use bank machines and do not deal directly with bank staff. Only use the services you need. For example, do not pay for receiving copies of the cashed cheques you wrote unless you need this as there will likely be a service charge. Watch your account balance. In many cases if you maintain a minimum balance the bank will not charge a monthly administrative fee.