This is a Saven Financial Review. The online bank joins a growing list of online banks with competitive interest rates for Canadians looking to earn more on their money.
It is no secret that you can make your money work harder by opening an high-interest savings account (HISA) at one of the online banks. You’ll probably not beat inflation, but you’ll earn more than if you’d kept your money at one of the big banks
In this Saven financial review, you’ll learn about
- its current offerings,
- the rates and fees,
- how it compares to other online banks; and more importantly
- whether it’s a good fit for you or not
Saven Financial: Key Facts
|Credit Check||Yes – Soft Inquiry|
|Minimum Opening Deposit||$0 but $25 membership fee required|
|Account Types||High interest savings account (HISA) and GICs|
|Registered Account Offerings||Not Available|
|Monthly Maintenance Fees||Free|
|Deposit Insurance||Up to $250,000 through FSRA Ontario|
|Parent||FirstOntario Credit Union|
About Saven Financial
Saven financial is a division of FirstOntario Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Ontario with assets of $4.6 billion as at 2019.
FirstOntario traces its root back to 1939 and has been serving its members, currently over 126,000, for over 80 years.
Saven Financial was launched in early 2021, and the bank is billing itself as a smart option for serious savers.
Saven Financial High Interest Saving Accounts
With an interest rate of 1.35% on its HISA, Saven Financial is positioning itself as a serious contender and competitor for the more established online banks.
These are some of the other key features of the account.
- Competitive savings rate of 1.35%
- No monthly fees or transactions charges
- No minimum balance to get started
- Link the account to multiple financial institutions
- Deposit protection up to $250,000
If you’re looking to stash some of your money in a registered account like TFSA or RRSP, you’re out of luck. Registered accounts are not available for now.
Saven Financial High Rate GICs
The second account offering from Saven Financial is the High Rate Non-redeemable GICs. The GIC rates compare favourably with other banks across all the different terms.
The current GIC rates are:
- 1-year term: 1.55%
- 2-year term: 1.60%
- 3-year term: 1.75%
- 4-year term: 2.05%
- 5-year term: 2.25%
These rates puts it among the best GIC rates in Canada. So if you’re able to lock in your funds for longer, you can get a slightly higher rate from Saven Financial GICs.
Unfortunately, there are no registered GICs offerings like the Saven Financial HISA. The bank plans to add more products over time based on feedback from customers.
Other features include:
- Minimum investment of $1,000
- Interest paid annually or compounded
- Not redeemable prior to maturity
- Eligible for FSRAO protection up to $250,000
All the rates are current as of the time of this Saven Financial Review. You can check their website for the latest GIC rates.
How to Open An Account at Saven Financial
You can open a new account by completing an online application if you’re:
- A resident of Ontario
- 18 of age or above (the age of majority in Ontario)
- Have a valid social insurance number (SIN)
Saven Financial will pull your credit report to confirm your identity. It’s a soft inquiry so it won’t affect your credit score.
Unfortunately, Saven Financial currently serves only Ontario residents. Hopefully, this will change in the future as they expand their services.
There is no minimum account opening balance, but you’ll need to pay a $25 membership fee to become shareholder of FirstOntario. If you’re an existing member of FirstOntario, the $25 will be refunded.
If you have any questions during the account opening process, you can reach Saven Financial by phone at 1-877-98SAVEN (987-2836), chat with them or use the contact form on their website.
The hours of operation are between 8am and 8pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 8am to 5pm on Saturdays.
Saven Financial Fees
There are no monthly maintenance or transaction fees on the Saven Financial accounts.
With no fees, the account can be used for everyday transactions. The only fees at the bank are for Non-sufficient funds (NSF) or overdraft.
Both fees can be easily avoided. In fact, Saven Financial calls them “OOPS” charges.
You can check here for more details about Saven Financial Fees.
Pros and Cons of Saven
Pros of Saven Financial
- One of the best interest rates on both savings accounts and GICs
- Deposits are protected by FSRA (Ontario) up to $250,000
- No monthly or transactions fees
Cons of Saven Financial
- Registered accounts are not available
- Only available to Ontario residents
- No U.S. Dollar accounts
- Limited product offerings: No credit cards, loans or mortgages
- Hold period of up to 7 days for deposits
Saven Financial Mobile Apps
The mobile app lets you carry out your banking transactions and deposit cheques up to a maximum of $25,000.
Is Saven Financial Safe
All deposit taking financial institutions in Canada are required to be members of either CDIC or the provincial deposit insurer.
Saven Financial is not an exception.
Deposits at the bank are insured up to $250,000 by Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario.
Also, your personal information is protected using industry standard security protocols and encryptions.
Saven Financial vs Competitors
How does Saven Financial compare to existing online banks?
Going by savings rate only, Saven Financial outshines many of its competitors including EQ Bank.
- EQ Bank: 1.25%
- Neo Financial: 1.30%
- Tangerine: ( Promotional rate of 2.10% for the first 5 months; 0.10% afterwards + $150 Cash Bonus)
- Motive Financial: 1.25%
- Maxa Financial: 1.00%
- Hubert Financial: 1.25%
However, with fewer financial products, you may want to consider other banks if you need to open a registered account or get credit cards.
Saven Financial Vs EQ Bank
When you open an account with EQ Bank, you get one of the highest interest rates available to Canadian savers. Even better, there no fees on everyday transactions including bill payments, transfers and many more.
As a more established brand, EQ Bank has more product offerings including joint accounts, RRSP and TFSA savings and GICs.
So if you’re looking for an account with more features, EQ Bank is the better choice between the 2 banks.
Also, the interest rate on the EQ Bank TFSA and RRSP accounts is currently 2.30% (drops to 1.25% by May 26, 2021).
Is Saven Financial Right For You?
The financial products are currently limited, but the bank should expand its offering over time.
If you’re looking for a place to keep your idle cash, emergency fund or savings for other short-term goals, you should definitely take a look at Saven Financial.
Unfortunately, you currently have to be a resident of Ontario to open an account with Saven.
Some Saven FAQs
Saven is a digital bank and a division of FirstOntario Credit Union. Through its online platform, it offers Canadians competitive interest rate on savings account and GIC investments.
At the moment, Saven only offers high-interest savings account (HISA) and GICs.
No, there are no monthly or transactions to maintain the Saven Financial HISA
Saven Financial may be new but it’s starting on a positive note. As the bank adds more features and products, it may end up as a big challenger to the other established online banks.
But time will tell if it’ll drop its savings rate or not.
In conclusion, my Saven Financial review is positive. You can check my review of other online banks through the links below or a ranking of the best high interest savings accounts in Canada.
Saven Financial Review
Saven Financial is an online bank offering from FirstOntario Credit Union providing competitive savings rate for smart savers.