When my husband turned 60, being the cheapskate that I am, I was eager to check out what senior discounts we could expect from our TD Bank.  I wasn’t expecting a whole lot – and that’s exactly what was offered, not a whole lot.

Related: Free Chequing Account Comparison

When I worked for the bank the seniors plan – Plan 60 – offered:

  • Unlimited transactions
  • Free cheques
  • 0.5% bonus interest on savings accounts and GICs
  • No charge for money orders, drafts and travelers cheques
  • $5 discount on safe deposit boxes

To my surprise this plan was eliminated in March 2012.  The new seniors benefits are:

  • 25% discount on selected accounts that offer unlimited transactions, but with fees of $14.95 – $29.95 and minimum balance requirements of $3,500 – $5,000.
  • 0.25% bonus interest on two savings accounts, one of which calculates and pays interest (.05%) semi-annually.  Both of these accounts are no longer for sale.

I’m sure the other major banks are not far behind in eliminating their seniors’ perks.  For now, RBC and BMO offer free basic accounts to seniors and they’ll automatically apply a $4 seniors discount once you turn 60.

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CIBC and Scotiabank customers must ask for senior discounts, it won’t be automatically applied to their bank account.  Scotia offers seniors one free booklet of 50 cheques per year, however CIBC no longer offers free cheques to seniors.

It seems like we’re a lot better off staying with what we already have.

Seniors are too wealthy (?)

In a Globe and Mail article written by Rob Carrick last year he gives this quote from David McVay of McVay and Associates, a financial services consulting firm:

“Why are we discounting banking services for what turns out to be our wealthiest customers?”

In the same article TD spokesperson Barbara Timmins says:

“We have to balance (diverse situations) with the bank’s longer term needs for continued growth.” 

Considering the bank has almost all of my money, I’m quiet and cause no trouble, do the majority of my transactions on-line so I don’t require personal attention, have signed up for e-services so the bank saves on postage and envelopes, and I use my own paper if I need to print a statement, it saddens me that they think it will greatly impact their profitability and growth to give me a free chequing account.

Related: Using Epost To Manage And Organize Your Bills

There are alternatives

We also have accounts with PC Financial.  My husband likes the unlimited debit transactions as opposed to the ten I have with TD.

I’m sure he was fed up with me always stating “Let me know if you need to withdraw money because I only have one more available debit this month.”

By contrast look at what I get with them:

  • Free cheques
  • No fee chequing account with unlimited withdrawals (plus at least .05% interest)
  • High interest savings account paying 1.35% vs 1.1%
  • 5-year GIC at 2.081% vs 1.85%

Plus these accounts are available to everyone, regardless of age.

Concluding thoughts

Some of the perks of reaching our “golden years,” besides life experience and age defying wrinkle creams, have always been discounts offered to seniors.

Related: How CARP Benefits Aging Canadians

Thank goodness for the merchants that still offer them:

  • I can shop at The Bay and get a 15% discount on the 1st Tuesday of each month.
  • The last Thursday of the month saves me 20% at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • I can eat at McDonalds and Dairy Queen for 10% less.
  • Alas, I will have to wait a few more years to get the 30% discount at the Cineplex (65 years)

Otherwise I might suspect that businesses no longer have any respect for their elders.


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