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Choosing the right deposit account

Choosing the right deposit account

October 25, 2013

There’s nothing cookie cutter about today’s selection of deposit accounts. Interest rates, service fees, access options – they’re all variables that can significantly influence your decision. The important part is taking the time to review your options and to choose wisely. Here’s what you need to know:

Interest rates. 

Interest rates on savings accounts can vary significantly and there’s plenty of competition out there so be sure to shop around. But that’s not all. While some accounts will reward you with more interest as your balance grows, it’s not uncommon for others to require a minimum balance in order to earn interest. The bottom line: always look beyond percentage points when making a selection. 

Fees.

Some savings accounts come with monthly plans and fees, while others will charge you for transactions, such as branch withdrawals and bill payments. Determine your banking patterns and compare monthly plans to decide which one offer the best value, based on your needs and usage. 

Access.

Do you need to make an appointment to manage your account? Or is online banking an option? Find out what kind of access you’ll have to your account and if online and mobile banking are options. Another question worth asking: is it necessary to transfer money from your savings to a chequing account before you can withdraw the money? If that’s the case, expect a longer withdrawal process.

Monthly activity.

Just because a savings account is in your name doesn’t mean you can withdraw your money in any way you see fit. In fact, some accounts limit the number of monthly transactions allowed, and may even charge for going over that limit. Reading the fine print of an account agreement should give you a good idea of what you’re allowed – and not allowed – to do with your savings. 

Add-ons. 

It’s not uncommon for savings accounts to offer add-ons – special features that aim to enhance your banking experience. These might include text message alerts that keep you up-to-date on your balance, money transfer services and pre-authorized contribution plans.