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This post covers some of the best personal finance products and tools for Canadians looking to get ahead and take better control of their finances.
From the best savings accounts, to the best tools to monitor your credit, there is something for everyone.
Let’s get started…
Best Savings Account Providers in Canada
With interest rates falling and inflation rates at 2% over the past couple of years in Canada, your money is losing value if you just keep them in a savings account – especially at one of the big banks.
Why earn 0.05% on your hard-earned cash when you can do way better with an account at one of the online banks in Canada?
Here are 3 of the best online-only banks in Canada.
EQ Bank is a trademark of Equitable Bank, one of the largest domestic banks in Canada. Launched in 2018, it has grown to be one of the best online banks in Canada, offering some of the highest interest rate on savings account.
At the moment, you can get a 1.5% rate on the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account, with zero fees on everyday banking transactions.
Read my detailed EQ Bank review here.
Motive Financial offers a competitive interest rate of 1.25% on its Savvy Savings Account. While this is higher than EQ Bank, you should be aware of the additional charges.
For example, Interac® e-Transfer costs $1 and you’ll be charged $5 after the second withdrawal in a month. Withdrawals include bill payments, atm withdrawals, Interac® e-Transfers and so on.
Also, I don’t like the fact that they do a hard credit check as part of the account opening process. So if you’re worried about the hit to your credit score, you may want to go with EQ Bank.
Tangerine, owned by ScotiaBank, is another online bank that is worth mentioning. While it’s savings interest rate at 0.10% is not as attractive as the other online banks, it tries to woo new customers with an introductory rate.
The promotional rate is currently 2.10% for the first 150 days. You will need to ask yourself if the extra interest you’ll earn during the promotional period is worth the stress of opening another account and moving your funds later.
Use this code: 56013830S1 to earn $50 welcome bonus when you sign up and deposit a minimum of $250 within the first 60 days.
You may not beat inflation with the savings account rates at these online banks, but you’ll be better off than if you kept your cash at a big bank.
And if you want to earn more and you’re willing to lock in your money for longer periods, a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) may be better. You can learn more about the best GIC rates in Canada here.
Best Investment Brokerages and Robo-advisors in Canada
When you’re ready to start investing and letting your money work hard for you, here are some of the best options available to Canadians.
Questrade is the best online brokerage in Canada. It offers a low-cost way for Canadians to start investing with little money.
You can go with one of their managed portfolios, called QuestWealth Portfolios, where all the investment decisions are made for you at a fraction of what you would pay for bank’s mutual funds.
Alternatively, you can open a self-directed account and make all your trades for a low commission or buy ETFs for zero commissions.
Questrade offers both registered (RESP, TFSA, RRSP, etc.) and non-registered accounts.
With assets under management of over $5 billion, Wealthsimple is another popular robo-advisor in Canada.
It offers different products to help you invest and save. Wealthsimple Invest is its robo-advisor offering, while Cash is a hybrid account that lets you save and spend from one account.
Wealthsimple Trade is a commission-free stock trading app. There is no account minimum and you can open a TFSA, RRSP or personal (non-registered) account.
Use this link to get a $10 bonus when you open an account and trade your first $100.
Recently, it also launched Wealthsimple Crypto to make cryptocurrency trading simple and accessible to Canadians.
Best Products for Spending
These services help you earn cash-back on your everyday purchases with little effort. And the good part is, the cashback is in addition to your existing credit card cashback or points.
You can earn up to 40% cashback on your purchases using Rakuten Canada or Rakuten US.
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a service that gives shoppers some cash back for their purchases at partner stores – as long as they complete the purchase through a Rakuten link.
Since its launch in 1997 in U.S., Rakuten has helped over 12 million members (and another 6 million in Canada) earn more than $1 billion in cash.
With over 2,500 merchants in the U.S. and 750+ in Canada, there is a wide variety of stores to shop from and earn cash back.
Getting started is easy and straightforward.
Other cashback apps available to Canadians include:
Best Tools To Monitor and Protect Your Credit
Your credit scores and credit reports are an important part of your financial well-being. Whether you need to get a mortgage or rent a new apartment, a good credit report can be the difference between getting approved and getting your application rejected.
So it is very important that you monitor and check your credit reports regularly.
Fortunately, Canadians now have many options to get them for free.
Mogo provides Canadians with powerful tools to help them improve their finances and stay on top of their financial health.
When you create an account on Mogo, you get the following:
- Free Credit Score
- Free Fraud Identity Protection (MogoProtect)
- Visa Platinum prepaid card to control your spending (MogoSpend)
You can open an account in less than 3 minutes online.
Borrowell provides tools that help you better understand, manage, and master your credit.
You can set up a new account in a few minutes to get access to your Equifax credit score and credit report. The scores are automatically updated weekly, and you get access to Molly, Borrowell’s AI-powered credit coach, that provides tips that may help you improve your credit score.
Credit Karma is another alternative if you want your TransUnion credit report and credit score.
Check here for a detailed post on the ways to get your credit score and credit report for free in Canada.
- How Credit Scores Are Calculated and How To Interpret Them
- 7 Surefire Ways to Improve your Credit Score fast!
Best Services to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones
Thinking of our mortality isn’t fun, so it’s unsurprising that we often avoid discussing getting a Life insurance or creating a Will.
But if your sudden death will leave your family in a dire state financially, then taking steps to protect them is the responsible thing to do.
With Term Life Insurance, protecting your loved ones with life insurance is probably cheaper than you think.
You may have some life insurance coverage through your employer, but it is almost never enough. The coverage is usually a multiple of your annual salary, 2-3x for most people.
Unless you have substantial savings and investment to take care of your loved ones, 2 times of your annual salary is no where enough to cushion the financial impact of your passing.
Start today by calculating how much coverage you need versus any existing life insurance you have. The 2 services below will let you do just that. In addition, you will be able to compare life insurance quotes from some of the biggest insurance providers in Canada at one go.
PolicyAdvisor.com is an innovative digital life insurance brokerage that uses the latest technology and real-world expertise to make life insurance simple and quick for Canadians.
Through its platform, Canadians can compare and apply for life insurance, mortgage protection, disability insurance and critical illness insurance at over 20 of Canada’s largest insurers.
PolicyMe is an online life insurance provider in Canada. It provides a simple and easy way to get advice on how much life insurance you need and buy a policy completely online from the comfort of your home.
PolicyMe provides a user-friendly alternative to the sometimes biased and inconsistent advice from traditional life insurance providers.
To read more about why you need life insurance, how much coverage you need and how to get started, check out the posts below:
- Protecting your Loved Ones with Life Insurance
- 7 Reasons Why You Need Life Insurance To Protect Your Loved Ones
Wills / Last Testament & Powers of Attorney
If you die without a Will, called dying intestate, your assets will be distributed according to the estate laws of the province where you reside. Usually, this won’t be in line with your wishes.
In addition, your family will have to deal with extra administrative and legal stress to sort out your estate.
A legal Will avoids this problem and guarantees that your wishes will be respected when you’re gone.
Fortunately, with the online Will writing services available to Canadians, creating a legal Will is stress-free and cheaper than you may think.
Here are 2 options to consider if you’re interested in protecting the people who matter the most to you.
LegalWills is a pioneer online Wills provider in Canada. Since 2000, it has helped thousands of Canadians to create legal Wills and powers of attorney.
You can get a legal Will starting at $39.99, and a 40% discount on a second Will for your spouse. Get 20% off using this discount code WALLET20 of clicking the link below.
Check this post for a detailed review of LegalWills Canada offerings.
Epilogue is a relatively new entrant to the online Will space in Canada. Through its platform, you can create a legally binding Will in less than 20 minutes by following its easy-to-understand and simple steps
If you’re young and just starting to build a family, and think you’ll need to update your Will to reflect the changes, Epilogue Wills offers a better value. It lets you update your Will anytime for free.
Read my full Epilogue Wills review and get $20 off the price of your legal Will using this Epilogue promo code: WALLETBLISS20.
Best Tools and Services for Taxes
Whether you like it or not, taxes are unavoidable. But you can make the process a little less stressful by using a tax software that guides you through the process.
Below are two of the best tax software available to Canadian tax-filers
If you need some help with your taxes and want to maximize your tax refund, TurboTax is for you.
TurboTax is brought to you by Intuit, the same company behind QuickBooks, the most popular accounting software for small businesses.
It has various paid options depending on your needs and a free version called TurboTax Free. The paid option costs $19.99 and comes with better support, guides you through the tax preparation and automatically checks if you qualify for over 400 credits and deductions.
SimpleTax operates using a pay-what-you-want model. That means, you can use the service completely free, but there’s an option to pay if you liked the service.
There are no income limits or restrictions on the type of return you can file, so its complete features are available to everyone.
If your tax situation isn’t complicated and you know what you’re doing, then it is a good option.
Other Services and Tools for Canadians
If you’re thinking of starting a business or want to formalize your side hustle, you should know that the process can be daunting and stressful.
While you can do it yourself through the government website, you’ll have to do a lot of research to ensure you’re not making an error.
Ownr makes the process stress-free. With it’s innovative platform, you can register a business in as little as one business day. And with its partnership with RBC, you can even get all or part of the registration fees refunded to you.
Your home is likely your largest asset, so whether you’re thinking of selling soon or not, it’s a good idea to know how much it is worth and track it over time. And that’s where ProperPrice™ Report comes in.
ProperPrice™ is your home’s predicted selling price calculated using Properly’s in-house model.
It is calculated based on 200,000+ actual sold homes, and 50+ data sources. Your home info, neighbourhood features, and overall market trends are all factored in.
The good thing is: it’s instant, always up-to-date and free
I hope you find some of these personal finance apps, services and products useful. If you’re not using them already, give them a try.
Remember that finance is personal. The best personal finance apps for me are not necessarily going to be the right fit for you.
So, before you sign up for any service, you should check if it’ll meet your individual goals and needs.