Canada's Best Bank Account - Premium Bank Account with Unlimited Transactions

The best bank account in Canada, for those that need an advanced banking package with a ton of features is the TD Canada Trust Select Service Account.

The Cost of the Bank Account

The usual monthly fee for this account is $24.95/month, but if you keep a minimum of $5000 deposited in the account throughout the month, this gets waived. Now, this is a lot of money for most people, but this is an advanced bank account with a tonne of services included. And the forgone interest on those $5000 isn't very much today given interest rates these days, especially when you consider that interest is rather unfavourably taxed in Canada. 

Given that ING's current savings account interest rate is 2.3% as of March 3 2008, you're losing $115/year on $5000, and if you're in a high income bracket (and I'd assume that most people that can get this account are), that's about $60/year you're really losing out on. Of course, if you feel like you can earn more with the money in the market, your own business, your mortgage, etc, then feel free to change up the numbers. 

The Benefits/Features of the Bank Account

With this account, you get unlimited transactions (in-branch or automated), free cheques, free cheque image return, annual fee waived for some of their $100+ annual fee credit cards (some of which are pretty rewarding if you don't have to pay the annual fee), free drafts+certified cheques, free small safe deposit box and US$ Bank account with Borderless* and a TD US$ Credit Card with the $25 annual fee waived. There are a few more features, but these are the most interesting. Some of the premium credit cards they offer include TD Auto Club (which is comparable to CAA, which costs how much per year on its own?), while others have decent travel insurance plans that you might otherwise have to pay for out of pocket. 

Sure BMO can give you a US$ Credit card for no annual fee, and RBC can give you a half-decent US$ Savings account, and you can usually buy convenience store money orders for less than bank ones, while some currency brokers can give you better rates than the banks, but this account nicely consolidates everything you might need in ONE PLACE. 

But the one thing that it doesn't include is a US-based US$ bank account, even though TD owns 100% of one. So, if you need such a thing, RBC is the way to go, or just open one yourself on a trip to the USA

* The Borderless banking plan lets you get about 1% extra when converting US$ to Canadians, and the other way too I think. This makes it one of the best bank retail exchange rate in Canada, take a look here for reviews on the exchange rates for other Canadian banks

Conclusion on the Best/Top Bank Account in Canada

If I had the money, I'd get this account, especially if I did a lot of travelling, US$ stuff and had a need for the free certified cheques and drafts. So far, I'm riding out the free Canadian student account deals, but I won't be able to do that for too much longer. 

Don`t Pay for an Account

One should never pay for a bank account. You are effectively allowing the bank to ``borrow`` your money, and are paying them to do so. They lend out the money you put into your account, earning interest on it and charging you for the account. Does it make sense that they are charging you, not really. Look at how much they make by taking a quick look on their financial statements. The best thing is to shop around, and try to find a bank that gives you a free account with no charge. Many smaller banks and credit unions provide much higher saving rates on your funds, and as well as provide free accounts. They are insured against failure up to a specific amount, and usually provide MUCH better customer service than the 5 big banks. NEVER pay for an account. Like ING says, Save your Money.

TD banknorth operates as a

TD banknorth operates as a virtual bank for Canadians, so you shouldn't need to visit a branch.

I didn't open mine as a banknorth account as I've had it for close to a decade. It was originally through TD Waterthouse, then renamed to TD Bank USA (same routing and account number), but when TD bought Banknorth, they killed TD Bank USA and I got a new account number with them.

Way back when I was in need of a US based account, I looked at the RBC product and TD's. They were similar and I went with TD as I held accounts with them.

Ah, that explains it. I

Ah, that explains it. I knew about the TD Waterhouse trick back in the day, but that's pre-Sept-2001 "know your client" requirements. Well, I'm not sure if the "know your client" requirements are actually PATRIOT Act related, but everyone seems to think it is. So, as of at least the past few years, you can't just open up a US Bank account without visiting an actual branch, I guess RBC Centura gets around this by letting you visit a Canadian RBC Branch. 

Having said that, TD Banknorth is actually a real bank in the USA with real branches. It was just "Banknorth", and then TD bought them out.  I don't think it operates as a virtual bank, they just lumped in your old TD Waterhouse virtual bank account with them.

It was a nice trick while it worked, now it's a PITA to open a US-based bank account without visiting the US, unless you have a corp/LLC there or are some high-net worth client that can open one through a foreign subsidiary (RBC excepted).  

Ironically, I got a notice

Ironically, I got a notice in the mail today. The account is still free, but now needs $100 to waive the fees. I didn't realize that TD Banknorth wouldn't permit new accounts without visiting. Their system is quite integrated, so it seems odd they'd go to the trouble just to accommodate grandfathered accounts from Waterhouse/BankUSA.

You can get a free account

You can get a free account at TD's us bank: TD Banknorth.

This allows easy transfers (by phone, web soon supposedly) between the US based USD account and your Canadian based USD account.

I've had select service for many years and it hasn't cost me a cent other than keeping 5K tied up.

US Bank accounts at TD Canada Trust

Thanks for the comment. That'd neat-o that they're starting to integrate the two operations.

I guess you still need to go to the US to get the TD Banknorth account, like how I opened up my own US-Based US Bank account as a Canadian?

If they'll let you open that up at a Canadian branch, then that will be some real competition for Royal Bank's offering. 

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