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Achieva Financial is a digital bank offering one of the best high-interest savings rates in Canada.

In addition to their non-registered high-interest savings accounts, they also offer opportunities to save/invest in TFSA, RRSP, and RRIF accounts using savings and term deposits.

This Achieva Financial review covers what you need to know about their financial products and how they compare with other popular digital banks like Tangerine and EQ Bank.

Who is Achieva Financial?

Achieva Financial is a division of Cambrian Credit Union similar to some other online-only banks like Outlook Financial (Assiniboine Credit Union), Hubert Financial (Sunova Credit Union), Accelerate Financial (Crosstown Civic Credit Union) and Implicitly Financial (Entegra Credit Union).

Achieva Financial was established in 1998 as the direct banking arm of Cambrian Credit Union. Unlike the credit union which limits its membership to only residents of Manitoba, Achieva Financial services anyone who is a resident of Canada.

Achieva does not have brick-and-mortar branches that you can walk into like a traditional bank. This savings in overhead is how they are able to offer competitively high-interest rates on savings accounts.

You can conduct all your transactions online using a phone, computer, or tablet.

Related: Simplii vs Tangerine – Online Banks in Canada

Achieva Financial Review

Who is Cambrian Credit Union?

Cambrian Credit Union was founded in 1959. It is the third-largest credit union in Manitoba with over 60,000 members and more than $3.6 billion in assets under management.

When you sign up for an Achieva Financial account, you also become a member of Cambrian Credit Union and are eligible for member perks including profit-sharing, voting for the Board of Directors, and more.

Achieva Financial Accounts

They offer their customers a wide array of high-interest deposit products in both registered and non-registered accounts.

Daily Interest Savings Account: This account offers a high-interest savings rate that is calculated on your daily closing balance and is paid out monthly.

  • No minimum balance
  • Non-promotional high-interest rate (2.00%*)
  • No monthly account fee
  • 1 free cheque, direct transfer or pre-authorized debit per month
  • Get a $1 bonus every month when you sign up for e-Statement

TFSA Savings Account: Similar features to the Daily Interest Savings Account and earns a high-interest rate of 2.00%*.

RESP Savings Account (2.00%*)

RRIF Savings Account (2.00%*)

Achieva GIC: Achieva Financial offers high-interest rate Guaranteed Investment Certificates with varying terms of 1 to 5 years. The minimum investment amount is $1,000.

Rates as of May 7, 2020, are:

  • 1 year: 2.05%
  • 2-year: 2.10%
  • 3-year: 2.15%
  • 4-year: 2.25%
  • 5-year: 2.35%

Related: Best GICs in Canada

*Rates current as of May 2020.

How To Open an Achieva Financial Account

The account opening process is generally completed online through their website or via the Achieva Mobile App. You can also mail in a completed application to Achieva Financial, PO Box 2729 Stn Main, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 4B3.

To open a new Achieva account, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Have a Canadian credit file
  • Become a member of Cambrian credit union
  • Have a valid social insurance number
  • Provide a personalized cheque from another financial institution

There are currently no options to open an Achieva Financial business account.

Ways To Bank

You can use the mobile app to:

  • Check your account balance
  • Deposit cheques
  • Transfer money
  • Refer friends and family for a cash bonus
  • Check current rates
  • Find an ATM

Note that there is a $400 limit to ATM withdrawals from your Achieva Financial account through the Interac system. ATM withdrawals at any credit union ATM in Canada (Acculink Network) are surcharge-free.

You can reach their customer service by phone at 204-925-6824 (Winnipeg) or 1-877-224-4382 (outside Winnipeg) from 8am to 6pm CST Monday to Friday. You can also email them at [email protected].

Achieva has a referral program that pays out $25 to you per eligible friend or family member when they open a new account using your Referral Petal Code. Your referral also receives a $25 bonus. Members can earn up to $100 in bonus cash each year.

Related: Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada

Achieva Financial Fees

Not all your banking with Achieva is fee-free. Some of the service fees that may apply include:

  • Additional cheque, PAD or Transfer outs: $1 each
  • Non-credit union ATM withdrawals (in Canada): $2
  • Cirrus U.S. and International ATM withdrawals: $3.50
  • Interac Direct Payments: $0.60 each
  • Bill payments (online or Touchtone): $0.50
  • Stop payments: $10-$15
  • NSF Fee: $45
  • Payout assistance fee for RRSP/RRIF/TFSA accounts: $175/hour
  • Account closing within 6 months of opening: $15
  • Rejected PAD/Payroll deposit fee: $15

For a complete and updated list of the service fees, visit their website.

Is Achieva Financial Safe? 

Achieva Financial is a division of Cambrian Credit Union which is a member of the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

What this means is that your deposits are 100% guaranteed without limit should the bank fail.

Achieva Financial vs. EQ Bank and Others

Online-only banks have become more popular over the years due to the high-interest rates they offer on savings accounts. Compared to the big 5, the interest rate you earn can be significantly higher.

Some of the rates unavailable as of February 2020 are:

Is Achieva Financial For You?

Virtual banks can save you a lot in fees when you consider that the average Canadian pays more than $200 in bank account fees every year.

Achieva Financial does not offer a complete suite of banking services e.g. chequing, credit cards, in-house mutual funds/ETFs, insurance, etc. You can choose to open these separate accounts with their parent company, Cambrian Credit Union, or at another traditional bank.

The bottom line is that if all you need is a savings account to grow your money, an online bank often offers a better savings rate and lower fees.

If you require or prefer in-person support for your banking transactions or want all your accounts to be in one place, an online-only bank may not meet your needs.

Wondering whether there are ways to save money on your investments as well? Read my complete guide to Digital Investment Managers in Canada and how to invest up to $10,000 for FREE!

 

Achieva Financial Review
4.5

Summary

Achieva Financial is an online-only bank in Canada offering high-interest savings account rates and low-fee banking. It’s a division of Cambrian Credit Union.