MSN Money has an interesting piece entitled “10 things your bank won’t tell you.” Though this concerns American banks, much if not most of the information applies to Canadian banks as well.
One of the best strategies is exploring other options. One that I will certainly turn to in the coming year will be online banking courtesy of ING Direct. Once I have caught up with all my debt and have set aside an emergency reserve fund, I will open an account with ING Direct and keep some money there in a savings account.
Another good option is a credit union. These institutions offer most of what a bank offers, but it is a cooperative. It’s goal is not profits, but service to its members. My wife is a member of a credit union and the service is exceptional. I plan on gradually moving my banking there next year. As always, Liz Pulliam Weston has a nice piece explaining why credit unions are better for consumers.
This will leave me with a credit union account for my day-to-day banking and an ING Direct account so I can squirrel away money so it is not as easily accessible (i.e. harder to spend) that is earning a bit of interest.