Chequing accounts are the most basic form of bank account we use to perform transactions each month. We have our paycheques deposited into them, pay for goods, services, and bills like credit card and utilities, with the money that's in the account. However, not all chequing accounts work the same way; some only offer a very limited number of transactions. If you're someone who performs a large number of transactions each month and consistently go over the number included in your existing account, your best bet is to switch to an unlimited chequing account. Here's how they work.
What is an unlimited chequing account?
An unlimited chequing account is exactly what it sounds like: a chequing account that includes an unlimited number of transactions for a set fee. And, like all chequing accounts, any amount you deposit up to $100,000 is protected by CDIC insurance.
What are the advantages of unlimited chequing accounts?
The advantages of using an unlimited chequing account are obvious:
- You're not restricted by how many transactions you can perform each month, so you can do your daily banking with peace of mind
- You can perform all the same transactions as outlined on our chequing account page
- Some lenders even allow you to send a few email money transfers for free
- Some lenders offer other rewards (seniors discounts, student discounts, etc.)
- They are offered by almost all lenders, including the big banks, credit unions and small lenders, and
- There is no minimum balance required.
What are the disadvantages of unlimited chequing accounts?
Of course, there is one drawback of the unlimited chequing account:
- The fixed monthly fee is more expensive than all other chequing accounts (typically $10-15/month, but can be as much as $30/month)1 . Note, however, that many lenders will waive this fee, if you maintain a minimum balance.
Case study: How an unlimited chequing account can save you money
Emma currently uses TD's Every Day Chequing Account. She pays $10.95/month, which only includes 25 transactions. For each transaction Emma goes over her limit, TD charges her an extra $1.00. After noticing the additional charges on her last few statements, she decides to look at TD's Unlimited Chequing Account, which is $14.95/month and comes with unlimited transactions.
In the past three months, Emma has made an average of 35 transactions each month, which is 10 more (35 – 25) than what's included in her package. Should she stick with using TD's Every Day Chequing Account or could she save money by switching to their Unlimited Chequing Account?
Case study: When an unlimited chequing account might not make sense
Greg uses CIBC's Everyday Chequing Account. The account is just $3.90/month and only includes 10 transactions; that may seem low, but Greg doesn't use his account often. His paycheques are deposited into it, but he pays for everything with his travel rewards credit card, so he only logs into his online banking account a couple times each month to pay off his credit card bill. At most, he uses up his 10 transactions in a month.
Would it make sense for him to switch to their unlimited chequing account instead, just for the peace of mind?
How to choose the right unlimited chequing account
If you're tired of being limited by the number of transactions you can make each month and want to make the switch to an unlimited chequing account, congratulations! You'll soon be saving money on fees. However, there are a few things to consider, when comparing unlimited chequing accounts:
- The monthly fee: You'd think all the banks would offer an unlimited chequing account for the same monthly fee, but the fee varies from lender-to-lender. If one bank charges $12.95/month and another charges $14.95/month, which would you choose? Well, it also depends on what else the account comes with and convenience.
- The minimum balance requirements to waive the monthly fee: If you're someone who likes to keep a buffer in your chequing account, you may be eligible to have your monthly fee waived and do your daily banking for free. Again, the minimum balance requirement to waive the monthly fee varies from lender-to-lender, so do your homework and find out what's being offered by each lender you're considering banking with. Some may ask for $3,000 while another may only want $1,000.
- Other transaction fees: If you send a lot of email money transfers, you may be happily surprised to discover that some lenders offer a number of free email money transfers to clients who use the unlimited chequing accounts.
- Other special offers: Finally, if you're a senior or student, some lenders may offer a discounted monthly fee on their unlimited chequing accounts.
As soon as you find the unlimited chequing that will give you the most value for its monthly fee, you can apply and start banking almost immediately.
References and Notes
- Unless you get a no fee chequing account from Tangerine, PC Financial or some credit unions, which include unlimited transactions.
- What is a Chequing Account
- How To Choose a Chequing Account
- How To Open a Chequing Account
- How To Save On Chequing Accounts
- Business Chequing Accounts
- Joint Chequing Accounts
- Unlimited Chequing Accounts
- Interest-Earning Chequing Accounts
- No Fee Chequing Accounts
- US Chequing Accounts
- Chequing Account Alternatives