Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Saving tip for this week
Do you know that in other countries, you have to pay to do banking?,it was a shock to me that I had to pay to the bank. In my mind I was giving the bank business,so why should i pay?
I learned early on that different big banks have different fees for checking and savings account. In the Philippines, chequing account means to literally have a check account where you get physical checks to pay for things. In Canada, for example, chequing account is tied to a debit account where apart from checks, a debit card is issued to you for you to pay for a number of things. The credit card machines also act as debit machines.Withdrawals from a chequing account can by made by: cheque, debit card, ABM (cash withdrawal), teller, moving money from one account to another, paying bills online, setting up automatic payments for regular monthly bills.
In most basic bank accounts here, you pay for withdrawing money from your debit. In some banks, you get a monthly withdrawal of only 10 transactions and the rest you have to pay for. The price varies from a dollar (php44) upwards. I found this very weird. Why do i have to pay when I withdraw my own money?
Anyway, as i discovered along the way, most banks will charge you from $14.95 monthly just to bank with them and get limited withdrawals . Bad news. The good news is, when you are an immigrant, you have access to several bank products that offer savings and banking options with free credit cards with no fees. These are usually good for only a year.
Scotia bank, for example, as a new immigrant account that will give you a free credit card( which is very very important in establishing a credit history in any country) Credit history is what will help you get a mortgage later if you wish to get a house, a loan for a car, or even a school loan. The program is called StartRight
Royal Bank of Canada, another big bank here is offering a newcomer to Canada bank product too that gives you savings, checking, and credit card, too for no fees. I really cannot imagine paying $15a month just to be able to bank. I hope this never happens to the Philippines. So, I took advantage of the immigrant banking options available to save on monthly fees.
I suggest asking your banks what you can do so you dont have to pay monthly fees. I researched about this and I got free banking accounts for a year.
That's total savings of $360 for a year for 2 bank accounts!$360 is already a plane ticket to San Francisco, or a short course on creative writing, entrepreneurship, or a short cooking class here.
Even if you dont live in Canada or in a country where you have to pay banking fees, I suggest you ask your bank on how to get their services for free.