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This is a Maxa Financial Review, an online bank based in Manitoba but available to Canadians across all provinces.
In this review, you’ll learn about Maxa Financial’s product offerings, how to open an account, its rates and fees., and if it is right for you.
Maxa Financial At A Glance
|Minimum Opening Deposit||$5|
|Account Types||High interest savings account (HISA) and GICs|
|Registered Account Offerings||TFSA, RRSP and RRIF|
|Monthly Maintenance Fees||Free|
|Deposit Insurance||100% through DGCM|
|Parent||Westoba Credit Union|
About Maxa Financial
Maxa Financial is a Manitoba-based digital only financial institution
It is a division of Westoba Credit Union Ltd, the 8th largest credit union in Manitoba with assets of $1.37 billion and serving over 38,000 members as of Dec 2019.
Maxa Financial was launched in 2006 and it remains one of the best online banks with competitive rates.
Maxa Financial Account Types
The bank has a lean account offering. It offers just a savings account and GICs, with registered and non-registered options.
Maxa Financial HISA
The Maxa Financial High Interest Savings Account has a decent rate of 1.20%. The rate is the same irrespective of the account you choose: non-registered, TFSA, RRSP or RRIF.
These are the features of the account:
- Attractive interest rate
- Zero minimum balance
- Zero Monthly fees
- Free Maxa MemberCard for ATM and POS Transactions
But there are some fees you need to be aware of. More on that below.
Check here for more information about the Maxa Financial high interest saving account.
Related Post: Best High Interest Savings Accounts
Maxa Financial GIC Accounts
You can earn more interest on your money by investing in one of the GIC accounts. There are 4 account types: Non-registered, RRSP, RRIF and TFSA.
And like many other GIC providers in Canada, Maxa Financial offers 1 to 5-year investment terms. But you’re out of luck if you want shorter terms like 3-9 months.
Other features of the GIC accounts include:
- A minimum deposit of $500
- Investments are non-redeemable
- Option to compound the interest annually or receive it in your savings account.
Maxa Financial GIC rates across the 4 account types are currently:
- 1-year term: 1.40%
- 2-year term: 1.50%
- 3-year term: 1.50%
- 4-year term: 1.60%
- 5-year term: 1.75%
You can find more Maxa Financial rates by visiting their page here.
Check this post to see the best GIC rates in Canada and how Maxa Financial compares to the other GIC providers.
GIC Rate Guarantee
Interestingly, Maxa Financial provides a 21-day rate guarantee on its GIC rates. That is, you can lock in a favourable rate for 21 days – a good idea if you’re expecting rates to drop before you have the cash to invest.
Check here to learn more about the guarantee.
Maxa Financial Fees
A quick glance at the fees below will tell you that the Maxa Financial’s savings account is not meant for everyday use.
- Deposits- Free
- Send or Request Interac Transfers (Send or request) – $1.50
- Cancel Interac Transfers – $7.50
- Debit (Pre-authorized deposits, ATM withdrawals and so on) – 1 free per month and $1.50 per debit afterwards.
- Transfer to another Maxa Account (Online) – Free
You should check out their fee page for a full list of all the applicable fees for Maxa Financial services.
All the rates and fees above are up to date at the time of writing this post. To get the current rates for their different account offerings, please visit the website.
How to Open A Maxa Financial Account
The first step to opening an account at Maxa Financial is to complete a membership application. To become a member, you must be:
- Aged 18 and above (the age of majority in the province)
- A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Have a social security number (SIN) and email address
- Purchase a one-time membership share of $5 (deducted from your first deposit)
By purchasing the $5 membership share, you become a member of Westoba Credit Union.
Once your account is open, you can make your first deposit to start enjoying the benefits of the account.
If you have any questions during the account opening process, you can get in touch with Maxa Financial using one of the options below:
Phone: 1-866-366-MAXA (6292)
Online Chat: Orange button on the right side of the screen on their website
Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address: 220 10th Street Unit C, Brandon, MB R7A 4E8
Alternatively, you can use this online form.
You can reach Maxa Financial’s customer service from 8am to 8pm on Monday – Friday, or 8am to 4pm on Saturdays.
Is Maxa Financial Safe?
The short answer is Yes.
All your deposits are 100% guaranteed by Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM).
This is because Westoba Credit Union, Maxa Financial’s parent, is a member of DGCM.
Maxa Financial has mobile apps for both Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices.
The apps allow you perform many of the same transactions you can do through the web (online banking).
In addition, you can deposit a cheque using your mobile phone’s camera and send Interac transfers to any of the contacts on your phone.
Pros and Cons
The Pros for Maxa Financial are:
- Competitive interest rate on savings account
- Choice of non-registered and registered account for GICs and HISA
- Low minimum deposit of $500 for GIC investments
Some of the Cons of Maxa Financial include:
- Limited product offerings. No chequing accounts and limited investment options.
- Fees on debit transactions
- Only Canadian Dollar accounts are allowed
- The Maxa Financial’s high interest savings account is not suitable for bills payment
Maxa Financial Vs Other Online Banks in Canada
While Maxa Financial has been around longer than many of its online competitors and can boast of a competitive interest rate, it is clearly not for everyone.
The high interest savings account is not for everyday use. It may not have a monthly maintenance fee, but the fees for almost all debits transaction is a big con.
Check this post on the top high interest savings accounts in 2021 to see how Maxa Financial compares.
Maxa Financial Vs EQ Bank
Specifically, how does Maxa Financial compare with EQ Bank, one of the best online banks in Canada.
|Maxa Financial||EQ Bank|
|Savings Interest rate||1.20%||1.50%|
|Debits (bills payments, pre-authorized transfers etc.)||1 free per month / $1.50 afterwards||Free|
|Monthly maintenance fee||Free||Free|
From the table above, EQ Bank clearly has a better offering and more suitable for someone looking for a hybrid savings account. That is, an account that serves your savings needs and still lets you pay bills and send money.
With EQ Bank, you get the best of many worlds – a competitive savings rate, zero fees on most transactions and some flexibility with operating the account.
Related Post: EQ Bank Review: Best Savings Account in Canada
Maxa Financial Vs Tangerine
Though Tangerine offers a promotional rate for new customers (currently 2.15% for 5 months), its regular interest rate is lower than Maxa Financial’s. But it makes up for this with a cash bonus of up to $150.
You also get free Interac transfers with Tangerine, free ATM withdrawals on over 3,600 ScotiaBank ATMs and more product options like credit cards, investment accounts and so on.
Check here to learn more about Tangerine offerings.
Who is the Bank For?
Maxa Financial may be right for you if you’re just looking for a place to keep your money and have no intention of touching it for a while.
For others that may need to regularly access their savings account and still earn a decent interest on it, an account with an online bank with free unlimited transactions may be a better choice.
EQ Bank checks all these points, and you should check it out.
Related Post: EQ Bank TFSA and RSP Accounts Review
You’ll need a minimum of $5 to open an account. The $5 is for a one-time membership share purchase.
Yes. While deposits at Maxa Financial are not covered my CDIC’s $100,000 deposit insurance, they are protected 100% by Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM).
No, business accounts are not available at Maxa Financial for now. You can only open personal accounts.
Yes, there is both an android and iOS app.
My Maxa Financial review is mixed.
You’ll get higher rates than what the big banks pay. But if interest rates are the most important thing to you, you can get better rates at other online banks like EQ Bank (1.5%), Motive Financial (1.55%), Saven Financial (1.55%) or Neo Financial (1.55%)
Maxa Financial Review
Maxa Financial is a Manitoba-based digital only financial institution and one of the best online banks with competitive rates.