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CIBC launches new Smart™ Account offering flexible banking

Note: this post was sponsored by CIBC, however the views and opinions expressed are my own.

CIBCOver the last few years, my banking habits have changed from writing personal cheques to switching to Interac e-Transfers. It just makes sense – the money comes out of my bank and into the other person’s bank instantly – no more waiting around for cheques to clear. I send e-Transfers to pay my rent, monthly parking (when I had it), and RD and I frequently settle up our bigger expenses through e-Transfer.

My only issue is that my everyday bank charges $1 per e-Transfer – which isn’t much, but can definitely add up if you’re transferring cash on a regular basis. In fact, I’d send more e-Transfers every month if it weren’t for the cost … meaning RD and I settle up our expenses less frequently than I’d like. :)

That’s why I was interested in CIBC’s new Smart Account. What’s interesting about this bank account is that it offers flexible fees (which are capped monthly) – and automatically adjusts based on each person’s banking needs during that month.

Here’s how it works:

With the CIBC Smart Account, you will pay $4.95 per month for up to 12 transactions. Each additional transaction costs $1.25 to a cap of $14.95 per month for unlimited transactions. What I like about this is the flexibility – my current chequing account merely acts as a way to pay off my credit card balance on a weekly basis. I don’t make any purchases, so I can see myself staying within 10-12 transactions per month. But even better – Interac e-Transfers are included as everyday transactions, instead of as a separate charge. I bet with the amount of e-Transfers I make per month, it’d come pretty close to the $4.95 basic fee for this account.

As a side note, the monthly $4.95 fee is waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $3,000, and have a recurring direct deposit, or two pre-authorized payments each month. AND you can actually open up a Smart Account without going into the branch – it can all be done through the CIBC mobile banking app. That’s my kind of feature! :)

Check out this cute video of Percy explaining how this bank account worked for him:

I love how there are more and more banking options becoming available to Canadians. It’s not just about free chequing accounts anymore, it’s about finding a product that works best with what you need. And the CIBC Smart Account could definitely work for someone whose banking needs change from month to month, or someone who wants to take advantage of frequent Interac e-Transfers.

For more information on the CIBC Smart Account, please visit CIBC.com

How often do you send Interac e-Transfers per month?
Do you think the CIBC Smart Account would fit your current banking needs?

Maximize your savings with Meridian’s Sweep feature

Meridian_DebitCardNote: this post was sponsored by Meridian, however the views and opinions expressed are my own.

I’m always looking for new ways to improve my monthly budgeting and find different ways to save money. I also love learning about new and innovative ways that companies are helping consumers managing their finances (because not everyone is as involved with their money as I am!).

One of these companies is the credit union, Meridian. They’ve introduced a feature that currently doesn’t exist in Canada – the ability to link your chequing account with your high interest savings account through something called their Sweep feature.

Let me explain why this could be a valuable tool for you:
This Sweep feature lets you set a minimum and maximum account balance to your chequing account. What this means is that funds will be automatically transferred between your chequing and savings accounts to keep your balance within the target you’ve set.

For example, let’s say you’ve set your minimum account balance as $100 and your maximum at $300. If your chequing account exceeds $300, the Sweep feature will automatically transfer the extra funds into your savings account. And if you fall below your minimum of $100, it will transfer money from your savings account back into your chequing.

This benefits you in two ways:

  1. You will always be maximizing your saving potential by having the majority of your cash in Meridian’s high interest savings account (currently at 1.50%).
  1. You will never go into overdraft or be short on funds for a bill (as long as you have the money in savings to cover your expenses), because the Sweep feature transfers cash into your chequing account automatically.

Personally I transfer money between my chequing and savings account manually because I like logging into online banking every day and being involved with my money. But not everyone is like that (I think PF bloggers are a special breed), and I certainly couldn’t be logging in all the time if I were on an extended vacation where internet is spotty (like my upcoming 3-week trip to Northern BC and Yukon!).

Overall, I’m impressed with this offering, and am surprised that it hasn’t existed previously in Canada, because it just makes sense. I love that for people who aren’t actively engaged in online banking on a daily basis, they can still maximize their savings potential with this feature without fear of incurring a dreaded overdraft charge (as long as they have the funds in their savings account)!

Please check out the Meridian website for more information on the credit union, as well as the Sweep feature!

How likely are you to use the Meridian Sweep feature?

The new Tangerine credit card could be a game-changer

Note: this post was sponsored by Tangerine Bank, however the views and opinions expressed are my own.

You all know how I feel about credit cards. I love them for all the amazing rewards programs, and as long as you are using them responsibly, getting something for nothing is pretty great in my book.

But the thing about credit card rewards programs is that the rewards are almost always applied towards current or future purchases. For example, my travel rewards card helps me redeem purchases I’ve already made. And many cashback rewards cards just put the cash rewards back onto your credit card. This is why I was so excited when I heard about Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.

What makes the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card so unique is that cardholders are able to choose two categories where you can earn 2% cashback (you’ll get 1% on all the rest of your purchases). And as an added bonus, you will earn 4% cashback for the first three months in two categories (as well as 1% on all the rest of your purchases) for the first three months.

The categories look like this:

tangerine

However, there’s an even bigger bonus. If you decide you want your Money-Back Rewards deposited into your Tangerine Savings Account (instead of being applied directly to your credit card balance), you’ll be able to choose a third category to earn 2% cashback.

The Money-Back Rewards are earned automatically, and paid out monthly. And perhaps best of all – not only are there’s no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn, but you can change your 2% Money-Back categories to suit your spending when you need to. This is so empowering because you get to decide where you get rewarded.

I love the option of being able to save your savings by putting your earned rewards into a savings account – instead of onto your credit card where you’d just spend that money on something else. And when you spend your savings, you haven’t really saved anything at all!

Not only will this credit card instantly become one of the better no annual fee cashback credit cards, but for me, it could be a game changer in the credit card industry because of the ability to save your savings. I like that.

Aside from the Money-Back Rewards, Tangerine’s cashback card also offers a few other great features, such as:

  • 1.5% Foreign exchange fee (one of the lowest in the market)
  • Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty

Would you ever consider using the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card?

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