How to Compare Service Charges Between Canadian Banks

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    • 1). Read through a copy of your most recent bank statements from the past three months. Highlight any service fees or charges you incurred each month. Be sure to look at what classification of account(s) you may have such as a checking or savings account. Most banks have specific names for each account and have associated fees with each account and its services.

    • 2). Make a list of services you desire for an account. For example: unlimited debit transactions, overdraft protection, monthly statements, ATM transactions, online banking, etc. Some banking institutions will offer you certain services for free and others come with a price tag attached. Prioritize your top three services for comparison, based upon what you already receive.

    • 3). Research different financial institutions in Canada. Visit the larger institution's websites or make appointments in person. Search Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, and Scotiabank. Learn about different accounts from their charts available online, print off copies and compare rates. Provincial institutions and regional banks will offer the same information as well. Make sure to take note of the services for each type of account and whether the account will meet your needs.

    • 4). Search online for free banking accounts in Canada with no service fees. Searching with this specific criteria may generate more sites or information than a generic financial institution search. The Government of Canada provides a site dedicated to consumer inquiries about financial institutions and services.

    • 5). Ask friends and family members for information. Friends and family members most likely will bank with a variety of different financial institutions and have different accounts. Specifically ask about their bank service charges and what they get in return for their payment of fees.

    • 6). Set up an appointment with your current banking institution. Bring a copy of your statement with you to discuss the fees and service charges you are being billed each month. Be sure to have questions ready for your appointment. Bring other comparison charts along as well as a negotiation tool.

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