Personal Finance FI

Coast Capital Free Chequing Account Review

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All views presented here are honest and my own. However, some of the links in this review are referral links. That means I may receive a commission if you open a Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account through my link.

Coast Capital: Worth the switch?

Previously, I had a chequing account at a big bank (who shall remain unnamed). And, while that account did the job, it had one major flaw—there was a monthly fee. I HATE banking fees! 😤

I considered switching to a no-fee chequing account from Tangerine or Motive, but they don’t offer in-person service. Call me old-fashioned, but I still need to go into the branch for things like:

  • Same-day bank drafts.
  • Large cash withdrawals (larger than is allowed from ATMs).
  • Crisp, new bills for gift-giving.
  • Stamped and signed forms for pre-authorized deposits (some institutions require this).

In short: I still need the in-person services that big banks offer, but I want the zero fees of online banks! Unfortunately, none of the accounts I looked into met both those requirements… until I found the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account.

The Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account

When I heard about the Coast Capital Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account, I couldn’t believe what a great offering they had. (And I wondered why it took me so long to discover them!)

This account has just about everything I’m looking for in a chequing account:

  • No monthly fee.
  • No minimum daily closing balance amount to waive monthly fee.
  • Unlimited day-to-day transactions*.
  • Free withdrawals and deposits at over 4,000 ATMs across Canada.
  • Over 50 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

*Transactions include cheques, Coast Capital Savings® and THE EXCHANGE® Network ATM withdrawals, Interac Direct Payment, pre-authorized payments, bill payments, transfers (between Coast Capital Savings accounts), and withdrawals. Other conditions apply. Please see details here.

For a no-fee account with no minimum daily balance, that’s a fantastic list of features! It was enough that, nearly three years ago, I finally made the switch away from my big bank. 

However, my review wouldn’t be complete without also revealing the downsides of the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account

Two minor downsides

While I love all the features of the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account, there are two minor downsides that I’m not so enthused about:

  1. There’s a $1.50 fee per Interac e-transfer (most banks include at least two free per month).
  2. Coast Capital doesn’t offer free cheques (Tangerine and Motive both offer the first 50 cheques free).

My workarounds

The Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account is just too good to pass up—I can’t let two tiny issues get in the way. I gave it some thought, and came up with some easy workarounds:

  1. Use one of my other accounts to send Interac e-transfers for free.
  2. Order low-cost cheques through a non-bank supplier ($25/100 cheques with free shipping).

Note: there’s one more downside—Coast Capital branches are only located in BC. 😕 But if you don’t need in-person services, you can still open an account from any other province.

My experience so far

It’s been almost three years since I opened my Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account… and I couldn’t be happier. But it’s not just the account I’m happy with—I’m also thrilled with Coast Capital.

Banking with them has been such a breath of fresh air. Whether in-person or on the phone, I always receive nothing short of exemplary, friendly service. Each time I walk out of the branch or hang up the phone, I do it with a smile (really)!

Also, the digital banking experience at Coast Capital is top-notch. I’ve used many big bank websites and apps, and most leave a lot to be desired. That’s not the case at Coast Capital—their website and mobile app are well-designed and easy and enjoyable to use.

Finally, there’s another huge advantage that can’t be overlooked: through the Exchange Network, I get a much larger network of no-fee ATMs at my disposal. In my area, there are 12 ATMs to choose from! (In comparison, my big bank only offered four ATMs near me.)

In summary, I’ve been very pleased with the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account and my banking experience at Coast Capital. After nearly three years of using this account and working with Coast Capital, I can confidently and happily recommend them. 👍

Will you make the switch?

I’ve been using my Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account for close to three years and couldn’t be happier. If you’re thinking of making the switch from your big bank, feel free to comment with any questions you have—I’m happy to help.

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