TD increases its fees, and we think about PC Financial

TD Canada Trust is increasing its fees on several of its personal banking accounts and services, along with its small business and commercial banking accounts, as of August 1, 2011. The BF has banked with TD since he was a child, and he has a TD chequing account, multiple savings accounts, mutual funds, and a credit card with them. We also hold our joint savings account with TD. I have my mortgage with them, too.

So. That’s a lot of products with TD. I’m not going to get into dollar amounts, since most of that is the BF’s stuff, but suffice it to say, TD has access to all of his income/savings, and the entirety of debt.

I remember being a child and banking for free. I had a TD child account, which was fee free (and still is), but I know that fees for the other accounts were never as high as they are today. As of Aug 1, BF will now have to hold a minimum of $3,500 in his bank account for the monthly fee to be waived, from $3,000. The fee for going under that figure is increasing from $12.95/month to $14.95/month. At least he can still use unlimited transactions – oh wait, he had that before.

The whole idea of needing a minimum balances irritates me, too. People think they are getting such a great deal, but when you think about what that $3,500 could do for you in any other saving vehicle, it’s really not that great. Even at 1.5% interest/year, that’s $52.50 in interest, so suddenly that $14.95/month that is being waived isn’t really $14.95 – it’s actually $10.58/month. And if you can earn something better than 1.5%, say 5%, then the net effect is 0.

I’ve been gently suggesting the idea of moving to President’s Choice Financial. It’s fee free, there are tons of CIBCs around (CIBC backs PC, so you can take money out from CIBCs for free), free cheques, decent interest rates on savings account (no worse than TD), and no minimum balances required. Plus points on items purchased at Loblaws family stores, although I do most of the grocery shopping, so this probably won’t matter. It’s not a negative, though.

I think he’s warming to the idea. He’s pretty irritated that these changes at TD are happening in the first place. He wants to meet with them before he decides what to do, to see if they are willing to cut him a break. This isn’t Rogers, though, and I don’t think TD waives/reduces fees like Rogers seems to do at a whim.

Add the fact that the last time we sat down with TD, neither he nor I were especially impressed with the customer service we received. In fact, I left the bank in tears. Not my brightest moment, but the rep (and I) could have handled the situation better. The BF was also a bit confused with all the changes that were made. And to top it off, the rep moved all the funds from one RSP into another RSP but didn’t bother to close the old account, even though it was empty.

The only thing TD has going for it is ease of use. Since all his accounts are with TD, it’s really easy to stay with them. He can log in and see everything at once. He has mutual fund payments that are deposited directly into the proper accounts. When I rolled the pig money last week, I checked with the teller (which was also the rep I cried in front of, super awkward) if mutual fund payments could be withdrawn from a non-TD account, and she indicated they could. That was my only real concern – it has to remain easy for him to save, even if he switches banks.

If he switches his chequing account to PC, then we’re moving our almost $11K to PC, too. The only reason we went with TD for our savings account was so he could use TD EasyWeb to make deposits. I’d be happier if that account was with PC, since TD will charge us $5 for every withdrawal we make from that account. I get the idea that this acts as a deterrent to taking money out needlessly, but really – not even ONE free transaction a month? Even the rep who initially set up the account for us thought it was ridiculous, and told us to go to him if we wanted to take money out so that he could waive the fee.  If even the TD rep thinks this policy is silly, what does that say about the institution?

I’ll post an update once a decision has been made. Until then, I’ll be dreaming of the day of having one (or two or three) less products/accounts with TD.

Who do you bank with? Does having multiple products with one bank cause you to think twice about switching to a less expensive alternative? 

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5 Responses to TD increases its fees, and we think about PC Financial

  1. I bank with BMO and I have to keep $2000 to make sure I still get free banking.

    I guess TD had to pay for its “extra hours” now open on Sundays somehow! LOL

    I hear a lot of people are happy with PC financial.

  2. Dee says:

    I’m lucky you posted this as I bank with TD and hadn’t realized the fees had changed this month. Unfortunately for me, the balance I need to maintain for waived fees just changed from $2,000 to $2,500 and I don’t know if I had the right amount going into the month so I may have to pay fees for a month. Sigh.

    The thing I like about maintaining the minimum balance though is that it’s an easy (for me) way of having a highly liquid emergency fund.

    • Dee says:

      Again thanks to your post, I actually contacted TDCanadatrust and asked nicely whether they would waive the fee for me for August (I had dipped under the new minimum) and they kindly agreed. So your post just saved me nearly $12 — thanks!

      • Obsessive Compulsive Daniela says:

        That’s true, the minimum balance does make a good emergency fund. Silver lining!

        Re: you saving $12 – Sweet! Glad to help! 🙂

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