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If you are looking to get a competitive interest rate on your savings or GICs, an online bank such as AcceleRate Financial could meet your needs.

Interest rates on savings accounts have been on the extremely low side for longer than a decade. With that being said, you can still find high-interest savings accounts in Canada that beat the inflation rate and give you value for your money.

This AcceleRate Financial review covers their services, financial product offerings, rates, and how they compare to competitors such as Achieva, Oaken, and Implicitly Financial.

About AcceleRate Financial

AcceleRate Financial is the virtual banking arm of Crosstown Civic Credit Union, a Manitoba-based credit union. AcceleRate was launched in 2010 and is available to residents of Canada, including Quebec.

Civic Credit Union was founded in 1943 and became Crosstown Civic Credit Union in 2007 after merging with Crosstown Credit Union.

The financial institution has more than 32,000 members and $2.58 billion in assets under management.

As a subsidiary of Crosstown Civic Credit Union, deposits at AcceleRate Financial are 100% protected by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

AcceleRate Financial Accounts

AcceleRate Financial offers a suite of deposit and investment products including a high-interest savings account, guaranteed investment certificates, tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), registered retirement savings accounts (RRSP), and Retirement Income Funds (RIF).

AcceleRate High-Interest Savings Account

This AcceleRate savings account offers a 1.75% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated daily and paid out at the end of each month.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • 1.75% interest rate
  • Mobile app with cheque deposits via Deposit Anywhere
  • Free personal cheques
  • AcceleRate debit card with access to thousands of ACCULINK ATMs
  • No monthly account maintenance fees; transaction fees apply to debits (1 free debit included); free unlimited deposits
  • Automatic savings plans starting at $25

Related: Best Apps To Save Money

AcceleRate Tax-Free Savings Accounts

A TFSA account provides an opportunity to save money and not pay taxes on the interest generated. The TFSA contribution limit for 2020 is $6,000.

AcceleRate’s TFSA account has no monthly account fees and you can either set it up as a savings or GIC account.

For the TFSA savings account, there’s no minimum balance and you can withdraw funds at any time.

For their TFSA GIC investment account, there is a minimum deposit requirement of $1,000, interest is compounded annually and the GIC is non-redeemable before maturity.

Related: Best TFSA Savings Accounts

AcceleRate Registered Retirement Savings Plan

AcceleRate offers RRSP savings accounts and GICs.

An RRSP is a government-registered account that defers taxes on returns until you start making withdrawals. Monies contributed to your RRSP are eligible for tax deduction resulting in a lower taxable income and tax savings during your contribution years.

The RRSP contribution limit for 2020 is 18% of your earned income up to a maximum of $27,230.

An AcceleRate RRSP savings account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly account fees.

An AcceleRate GIC account requires a $500 minimum deposit and you can choose a term ranging from 1-7 years.

Cash withdrawals from your RRSP deposit account are subject to a withholding tax. To set up automatic deposits into your RRSP, you need a minimum deposit of $25 for each transfer.

Related: Best RRSP Savings Accounts in Canada

AcceleRate Guaranteed Investment Certificates

They offer GICs with terms ranging from 1-7 years. A $100 minimum deposit is required to open a non-registered GIC account.

The GICs are non-redeemable until maturity and there are no monthly service fees.

GIC rates as of this update in June 2020 are:

  • 1-year term: 2.00%
  • 2-year term: 2.05%
  • 3-year term: 2.10%
  • 4-year term: 2.15%
  • 5-year term: 2.20%

How To Open an AcceleRate Financial Account

To open an account with AcceleRate, you must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid social insurance number
  • Be a resident of Canada
  • Have a chequing account at another financial institution in Canada

AcceleRate Financial is an online bank so there is no physical branch you can walk into. You can download and complete the applicable application form from their website and mail it to AcceleRate Financial, P O Box 1860 Stn Main, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3R1.

You can reach AcceleRate’s customer support by phone at 1-888-954-9543 (toll-free) or 204-954-9543; email at [email protected], and fax at 204-954-9805.

AcceleRate Financial Fees

While your deposit account (savings and GIC) with AcceleRate do not have a monthly maintenance fee, transaction fees may apply including:

  • Debits (cheque, Interac, EFT): $1.00 each (one free debit per month)
  • Credit union ATM withdrawals and transfers: $2.00 each
  • Bill payments: $1.00
  • Interac e-Transfers (send): $1.00
  • Account closures within 3 months of opening: $10
  • Interac and out-of-province ATM withdrawals (not on ACCULINK): $2.00 each

For other applicable fees, visit their website.

Is AcceleRate Financial Safe?

AcceleRate Financial’s parent, Crosstown Civic Credit Union is a member of the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba and your deposits are guaranteed without limit, including interest.

Learn more about Canada’s Credit Unions.

AcceleRate Financial vs Competitors

Competitors of AcceleRate Financial include other online banks such as Implicitly Financial, EQ Bank, Alterna Bank, Outlook Financial, Achieva Financial, and Tangerine.

Here are some of the rates being offered on their high-interest savings accounts:

Overall, AcceleRate Financial compares well to its peers.

If you are looking for a no-fee savings/chequing hybrid account that offers free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers, bill payments, electronic fund transfers, and mobile cheque deposit functionality, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is worth checking out.

Those who prefer to keep all their bank accounts in one place i.e. investments, mortgages, savings, HELOC, loans, and credit cards, while paying low/no fees, can take a look at this Tangerine Bank review.

AcceleRate Financial Review
4.7

Summary

AcceleRate Financial is an online financial institution in Canada offering high-interest rates on savings accounts and GICs. This AcceleRate Financial review covers what you need to know.

Pros

  • No monthly account maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free personal cheques

Cons

  • Only one free debit per month
  • Interac e-Transfers are not free