Banking account services/product bundle rebates

Many banks feature premium, all-in-one bank accounts with a variety of features and products for a set monthly fee that is at a much lower price point than what it would cost if you were to pay for all your transactions individually.

For example, a bank might offer a premium bank account that charges a monthly $30 fee but features a plethora of products and services that would be much more expensive if paid for individually.

Possible products and services include things like:

  • A free premium credit card (a savings of $120 yearly)
  • Unlimited daily transactions for things like withdrawals and Interac e-transfers, which often cost at least $1 each
  • A set amount of free bank drafts (which can average $8 or more each)
  • A free safe deposit box (that can cost $60 a year)
  • Overdraft protection (which can cost around $5 a month)
  • Paper chequebooks (approx. $20)

Just from the above items and services, depending on how often you make withdraws and send Interact e-transfers, you would easily make back the $360 a year that you would pay in monthly fees. Better yet, many banks in Canada will even waive the monthly fee as long as you keep a minimum balance (often ranging between $3000 to $6000) in your account for the full month.

Lower fee product bundles

Not all financial institutions offer clients the option of keeping a set minimum amount in an account to avoid monthly fees altogether. Rather, some banks give clients a complete or partial monthly fee rebate based on how many other banking products they have at the bank.

So, for example, if you pay a monthly account fee of $30, some banks will offer a 30% (or more) fee reduction if you also have a credit card, a mortgage and/or an investment account with them, saving you over $100 a year. (If you are considering getting a mortgage with your bank to enjoy a bundle perk, remember that a long-term relationship with your bank can also get you a better mortgage rate) .

Family bundles

Another package that some banks offer is a family bundle. This kind of bonus package allows clients with a specific kind of premium account to invite family members (who live in the same household) to each open their very own separate chequing account and not pay a monthly fee. Given all the fees that checking accounts are usually subject to at traditional financial institutions, family bundles could save client’s loved ones hundreds of dollars yearly.

Cash/high-interest rate bonuses

Some banks know that nothing speaks louder (or encourages brand loyalty more) than a straightforward chunk of money and a high interest rate. That’s why to attract new clients, some financial institutions feature a one-off amount of bonus money and a generous promotional interest rate for opening an account. Some banks also require that clients “bundle up”: open an account and apply for a bank branded credit card to be eligible for a cash/interest rate bonus.

Not all bundles are created equal

While a bundle can be a smart way to save on bank fees and enjoy a few nice extras, it’s vital to do your research because not all of them are good deals. Not all banking packages offer unlimited transactions or feature a good interest rate. Generally, for a bundle to be a decent value you need to keep all your money and accounts with one bank (such as savings, chequing, credit cards, etc), which means you can’t shop around with other banks to take advantage of things like better interest rates or bonus promotions.

Furthermore, keeping several thousand dollars in a bank account to ensure your monthly fees are waived isn’t as attractive as it looks when you consider that your money could be earning anywhere from 2% to 6% (or more!) if you invested it in a no-fee or low-fee GIC or investment account.

It’s hard to overlook these bundling downsides when there are so many safe and user-friendly online banks that don’t charge any fees at all and still offer unlimited transactions and outstanding interest rates on savings and/or checking accounts. So, before you bundle up, be a greedy consumer and consider all your banking options and how much they really save you. Personally, I’ve found that banking/investing packages from alternative or online banks tend to offer more value than with traditional banks.

Final word

Though terms and conditions vary from bank to bank, doing your research on bundles could end up saving you money and headaches. The convenience of your finances being managed in one place offers peace of mind, but also knowing that you made the smartest choice by bundling because it saves you money, or gets you better rates for other products from your bank, is a satisfaction you cannot beat.

Ask your bank, or friends who bank at other places, and see if there is a bundle package, similar to those mentioned in this article, that could be relevant to you, but make sure you check the true value of any bundle, to make sure it’s worth putting all your Easter eggs in one basket.

About the Author

Sandra MacGregor

Sandra MacGregor

Freelance Contributor

Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, and the Toronto Star.

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