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Miscellaneous Chequing Account Fees

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Many chequing account fees are related to transactions. Most accounts charge a monthly fee that covers a certain number of everyday transactions, such as cash and cheque deposits, withdrawals, and bill payments. Less common transactions are not covered by the monthly fee and cost extra, such as drafts and money orders, personalized cheques and wire transfers.

In addition to transaction-related fees, there are several miscellaneous fees associated with chequing accounts:

Record-keeping fees

In a push to get Canadians banking online, the majority of banks now charge between $2-$5 for a mailed monthly paper statement. Other record-keeping fees may include charges for interim or quarterly statements, passbook statements and ATM mini statements. The good news: going paperless is free. If you do most or all of your banking online or by telephone, it’s easy to save on record-keeping fees.

Mailed Statement Fees

Inactive account fees

An account is considered inactive (or dormant) when 12 months have passed without any customer initiated activity. After a year, your financial institution will begin charging you a monthly or annual fee, with the fee increasing the longer your account remains inactive.

Federally regulated banks and trust companies are legally obligated to send the account holder written notification of an inactive account containing a balance after two, five, and nine years of inactivity. After 10 years, the remaining balance is transferred to the Bank of Canada. The bank holds onto balances of $1,000 or more for 100 years, and balances under $1,000 for 30 years. If a balance is still unclaimed by the end of the Bank of Canada’s custody period, it is transferred to the Receiver General for Canada. At this point, the funds can no longer be claimed.

Safety deposit box fees

A safety deposit box is a rented box located in a secure area of a bank used to store important documents such as property deeds and business contracts, and other valuables such as jewelry, photos, and collectibles. It can be accessed only by the person or people named on the box’s account—bank tellers aren’t allowed to open it, even if you want them to.

Depending on the financial institution and the size of the safety deposit box, leasing one costs anywhere between $45-$425 a year. Rent is paid in advance and billed annually. However, some bank accounts may include access to a safety deposit box as part of their monthly fee.

You can store cash in a safety deposit box, but stashing your life savings in there isn’t advised—unlike the money in your bank accounts, the contents of a safety deposit box are not insured by the CDIC. So if your bank branch floods or goes up in flames, you’re out of luck.

Besides the annual fee, safety deposit box fees can include: late bill payment, replacing lost keys, or requiring your box to be drilled into because of said lost keys. Take a good look at the bank’s terms and conditions so you know your rights and responsibilities before entrusting it with your valuables.

In-person transaction fees

Some financial institutions charge a fee to perform in-person transactions at a branch. These fees are generally minimal and compare to regular transaction fees.

Account closing fees

Some banks may charge you a fee to close your account. Sometimes this fee will be waived if you’re within a specific time period (i.e. in the first 15 days after you open the account). You can sometimes also have this fee waived if you close the account in-person at a branch, or if you transfer your account to another product with the same institution.

Also read: Chequing Account Fees

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