Canadians Urged to Shop Around for Financial Services
On World Consumer Rights Day, FCAC helps consumers make their choice
Canadian consumers can take advantage of a wide range of free
resources available from the
them learn more about their rights as financial consumers. They can
also find the financial product or service that best meets their
needs, and provides the best value to them, by using FCAC's online
"Technology has brought new ways to buy items, pay bills and send
money. As more consumers use online, mobile and telephone services,
they may be writing fewer cheques or visiting a branch less often. So
they may be paying for products or services they don't use anymore,"
"In many cases consumers pay a monthly fee for their banking package
that includes a set number of transactions, products and services.
They may also be paying an annual fee for their credit card. But how
often do they go back to see if they still need what they are paying
Evaluate your needs
Check if you still require some specialized services, like
personalized cheques or overdraft protection. Do you qualify for a
special account, like one for those over 55, or for students or youth?
Do you make a lot of transactions each month? Do you use the travel or
other reward benefits you earn from your credit card?
If no-fee or low-cost
can meet your needs, making a change might help you save money. If
not, compare whether it would be less expensive for you to get a
banking package for a fixed fee that includes an unlimited or specific
number of transactions each month, or to pay for each individual
transaction. Maintaining a minimum monthly balance could be another
way to save on fees. Some financial institutions will not charge you a
monthly fee if you keep a certain amount in your account at all times.
who are looking for ways to save
might want to consider no-fee or low interest cards. Those who pay
their credit card balance in full every month and don't use the card
for cash advances or cash-like transactions don't pay any interest, so
the interest rate may not be a consideration. However, those who
usually carry a balance on their credit card may benefit from
switching to a low-interest rate card, even if it has an annual fee.
Many regular credit cards, including standard, gold and platinum
cards, have low-rate options available.
Know your rights
information on your rights as a financial consumer including the right
to open a personal bank
and cash a government cheque for
You can also learn more about the identification you need to open an
such as interest rates and fees, that federally regulated financial
institutions are required to give you.
Tips to help you make your choice
FCAC's website offers tip sheets that provide easy-to-understand
information, including Choosing the Right Savings
and Choosing the Right Chequing Account and Banking
FCAC's interactive Banking
selector tools help you compare the interest rates, service fees and
other features of the chequing and savings accounts offered by most
financial institutions across the country.
If you are looking to switch where you bank, ask the new financial
institution how they can help you make the change happen.
If you are considering changing your credit card, FCAC's Credit Card
can help you narrow down your choice. The tool allows you to compare
the features such as interest rates, fees, benefits, rewards and costs
of over 250 credit cards so you can find the one that best meets your
There is also information about payment options and money transfers,
including tips on sending money to someone in another
objective information about financial products and services to help
Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in
managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their
when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and
insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated
financial institutions, payment card network operators and external
complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry
intended to protect consumers.
You can reach us through the
toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by
visiting our website:
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|Copyright:||(c) 2012 The Associated Press|