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AcceleRate Financial Review 2023

If you want 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. That said, you can still find high-interest savings accounts in Canada that give you value for your money.

This AcceleRate Financial review covers its services, financial product offerings, rates, and how it compares to competitors such as Achieva, Oaken, and Implicitly Financial.

About AcceleRate Financial

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

Access Credit Union was founded in 1940 and is an amalgamation of several Manitoba credit unions over the years, including Crosstown Civic Credit Union.

The financial institution has more than 89,000 members and $6 billion in assets under management.

As a subsidiary of Access 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 variable interest rate. Interest is calculated daily and paid out at the end of each month.

Here’s what you can expect as of this update:

  • 2.85% 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 No-Fee Bank Accounts in Canada

AcceleRate Tax-Free Savings Accounts

A TFSA account allows one to save money and not pay taxes on the interest generated. The TFSA contribution limit for 2022 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 in Canada

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 2022 is 18% of your earned income, up to a maximum of $29,210.

An AcceleRate RRSP savings account has no minimum balance requirement or 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 October 2022 are:

  • 1-year term: 4.40%
  • 2-year term: 4.40%
  • 3-year term: 4.55%
  • 4-year term: 4.75%
  • 5-year term: 5.00%

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 accounts (savings and GIC) with AcceleRate do not have a monthly maintenance fee, transaction fees may apply including the following:

  • 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, meaning your deposits are guaranteed without limit, including interest.

Learn more about Canada’s Credit Unions.

Pros of AcceleRate Financial

  • Access to high-interest savings accounts
  • Offers competitive GIC products
  • Deposit accounts are insured against bankruptcy (100% coverage)
  • Debit card with free access to thousands of ATMs in Canada
  • Owned by an established credit union
  • Free personal cheques

Cons of AcceleRate Financial

  • Online-only financial institution
  • It does not offer regular chequing accounts
  • Limited investment products
  • Fee when sending Interac e-Transfers

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.

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 one of the best right now.

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

AcceleRate Financial Review
Overall
4.5

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
  • Competitive interest rates on deposits
  • 100% deposit insurance

Cons

  • Only one free debit per month
  • Interac e-Transfers are not free
  • Limited investment products
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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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