When my husband turned 60 I was eager to have our banking switched to a seniors plan with all the accompanying benefits. When I worked at the bank that I currently deal with, customers were automatically enrolled into “Plan 60” on their 60th birthday. This meant all kinds of perks including no-fee chequing, drafts and money orders; free personalized cheques; discounts on things like safety deposit boxes; and even a bonus 0.5% interest on savings accounts.
Sadly, this service was eliminated earlier that same year. No banking freebies for Mr. and Mrs. Boomer.
And, “monkey-see, monkey-do,” other major Canadian banks soon followed suit.
Related: 5 ways to avoid monthly bank fees
Banks are required to provide a basic, low-cost account to all their customers, so there are still some options. You just need to review your current chequing account to see if it still meets your needs, or you can downgrade to a less expensive alternative if applicable. Keep in mind that you will have to ask for a seniors account – it’s not automatic anymore.
Seniors Banking Options Compared
Here’s what our five major Canadian banks offer for seniors.
|Basic Banking||Practical Plan||60 Plus Everyday||Day-to-Day||Basic Banking||Every Day for Seniors|
|# free trans||12||unlimited||12||12||25|
|Other perks||-Free PMOs and Drafts
-$5 off SDB
|Earn Scene Rewards|
|Unlimited Account||Performance Plan||N/A||No-Limit Banking||Basic Banking Plan||Unlimited Account|
|# free trans||unlimited||unlimited||25||unlimited|
|Other perks||1 non-BMO ATM w/d||Earn Scene Rewards||-free non-TD ATM w/ds
-$20 off 1st yr Credit Card annual fee
- MMB (minimum monthly balance) required to waive monthly fee
- No more free paper statements. If it is offered at all there is a charge. E-statements are free.
Each of the big banks also offers one or more ‘elite’ accounts for seniors with monthly fees ranging up to $25. These accounts come with additional benefits. Check with your bank to see if one would work for your needs.
Alternatively, you can check out no-fee banking options such as PC Financial or Tangerine.