Ideal Savings is an online bank in Canada similar to the likes of EQ Bank, Motive Financial, Achieva Financial, Hubert Financial and a couple of other digital-only banks owned by credit unions.
Generally, online banks do not own physical branches and are thus able to lower their overhead costs. This cost savings make it possible for them to offer competitive rates on savings and other deposit products.
This Ideal Savings credit union review covers the financial products they offer and how to open an account.
Who is Ideal Savings?
Ideal Savings is the direct banking arm of Carpathia Credit Union.
Carpathia Credit Union was founded in 1940 in Winnipeg as the Savings-Credit Union “Karpatiia.” The credit union has more than 10,000 members and $500 assets under management.
Ideal Savings was founded in 2016.
Unlike Carpathia Credit Union which is targeted at Manitobans of Ukrainian origin, anyone in Canada who is 18 years or older may be eligible to open an Ideal Savings account.
Ideal Savings Accounts
Ideal Savings offers general savings, TFSA, GIC, and a U.S. dollar savings account.
1. Ideal Savings Account
This high-interest savings account offers one of the best savings rates available in Canada.
- High-interest rate of 2.01%*
- No monthly account fees
- No minimum balance. Interest is calculated on the closing daily balance and is paid out each month
- 3 free automatic fund transfers per month
- 100% deposit guarantee
2. Ideal Savings TFSA Account
You can save money using a tax-free savings account and keep all your earnings tax-free.
- A high-interest savings rate of 2.01%*
- 100% deposit guarantee of deposits
3. Ideal Savings GICs
These term deposits can be held in a non-registered account or registered one e.g. TFSA.
Ideal Savings GIC Rates are often higher than what the big banks offer. For example, as of this writing, they are offering 2.30%* on a 5-year term GIC. GICs are also guaranteed without limits.
4. Ideal Savings U.S. Dollar Savings Account
This no-fee savings account earns up to 1% interest and is 100% guaranteed. You get 3 free withdrawals per month and pay a $3 fee per transaction after.
The U.S. dollar savings account earns as follows depending on your balance:
- $0 to $100: 0.00%*
- $100 to $5,000: 0.00%*
- $5,000+: 0.00%*
Ideal Savings does not offer a chequing account.
*Rates as of May 9, 2020.
How To Open an Ideal Savings Account
Ideal Savings offers both personal and joint accounts. To open a new account, you must:
- Be at least 18 years or older
- Have a valid SIN
- Provide a personalized cheque from a Canadian financial institution
- Pass a credit bureau check
You will need to fill out an application on their website, print the completed and signed form, and mail it to Ideal Savings along with your initial deposit cheque.
Their mailing address is Ideal Savings, P.O. Box 4053 RPO Redwood, Winnipeg MB R2W 5K8.
Unlike some other credit-union owned digital banks, customers of Ideal Savings do not purchase an equity share in Carpathia.
Note that as an online-only bank, customers can only conduct transactions online – there are no brick and mortar locations you can walk into. You can also direct inquiries to [email protected].
Ideal Savings Fees
While most of your banking is free of charge, some service fees may apply including:
- $3 per transfers exceeding what’s included in your banking package
- $0.65 per online transaction
- $35 NSF fee
- $10 official cheque
- $1 per Interac e-Transfer sent (fee for receiving)
- $50 to transfer out your TFSA account to another financial institution
- $5 per withdrawal from a variable TFSA account
- $15 for closing your account within 3 months of opening
Check their fees page for the full listing of service fees.
Is Ideal Savings Safe?
The money you keep at this bank is 100% guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. This coverage guarantees deposits in savings accounts, term deposits, registered account deposits, and foreign currency deposits.
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Is Ideal Savings For You?
Online banks like Ideal Savings, EQ Bank, and Tangerine offer an alternative low-fee option to traditional banks.
They come with their pros and cons. One of the main benefits that accrue from joining a digital bank is that you get much better rates on your savings accounts and other deposits. On the flip side, they often offer little to no face-to-face customer service which some people find challenging.
Also, you may not be able to access all the banking services you need in one place.
Tangerine Bank and Simplii Financial are digital banks that offer a variety of services covering what most customers need, including investments, mortgages, credit cards, and no-fee chequing accounts.
EQ Bank does not offer a chequing account, however, their savings account is a hybrid and allows mobile cheque deposits and bill payments. It’s also one of a few online banks to offer unlimited free Interac e-Transfers. Their Savings Plus account currently offers 2.00% – one of the very best in Canada
Ideal Savings consistently offers one of the best savings rates on the market, however, you should note a few of their limitations if you decide to bank with them.
Their customer service support is only available through email (2 business days response time), they do not have a debit card, and each Interac e-Transfer you send will cost you $1.00.