A Motusbank Review for 2021

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Motusbank is one of the (relatively) new online banks on the block. In 2016, the digital bank joined a growing trend of banks that operate entirely online. Now, more banking options are readily available to Canadian citizens from the comfort of their own homes.

For customers that want to ditch the bells and whistles that come with traditional bank accounts, Motusbank is the answer. It provides one of the most cost-effective means of everyday banking without compromising interest rates and excellent customer service.

In this Motusbank review, we’ll take a close look at one of Canada’s fastest-rising free online banks. We’ll also review products and services that the digital banking service offers, focusing primarily on various spending, saving, and investing products.

Table of Contents

Motusbank: Overview

Motusbank has it all when it comes to the online banking experience: a wide variety of products, competitive rates, immense flexibility, and a sleek online interface and mobile app that makes it all possible.

To make a sweet deal even sweeter, the digital bank comes with no monthly or annual fees, nor does it have any minimum balance requirements.

Below, we’ll provide an overview of three of Motusbank’s primary banking and investing products.

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Motusbank at a glance:
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Transactions: Free, Unlimited
  • ATM Network: The EXCHANGE Network
  • Interac e-Transfers: Free, Unlimited
  • Account types: Savings, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • Cheques: Yes (25 cheques free)
  • Mobile app: Yes
  • Available in Quebec?: Non

Motusbank: No-Fee Chequing Account

Motusbank's No-Fee Chequing Account is a chequing account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

The chequing account also offers unlimited transactions, withdrawals, deposits, and bill payments, making it one incredible daily banking product.

The Motusbank No-Fee Chequing Account also comes with a debit card and 25 free cheques, with mobile cheque deposit and direct deposit options available.

The account uniquely offers interest at a rate of 0.15%*, with no minimum balance requirements to start earning interest.

Since there are no physical Motusbank branches, customers can access over 3,700 ATMs in The EXCHANGE Network, an ATM network that unites various banks and credit unions from coast to coast and allows their members to use participating ATMs at no cost.

Some of these institutions in the EXCHANGE Network include VanCity, Manulife, National Bank, Meridian, and many more.

Unlike any other bank, Motusbank offers a unique Price Drop™ feature, allowing customers to upload receipts from participating Canadian retailers. Motusbank will match the difference if they find a more cost-effective one.

*Rates current as of July 2021

Motusbank: Savings Accounts

Motusbank has consistently provided some of the best interest rates for both registered and non-registered accounts.

Some of the accounts provided by Motusbank include the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), along with the Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Traditional savings accounts are also available with Motusbank.

Here are some of Motusbank’s current rates for eligible deposits:

  • High-Interest Savings Account - 1.00%*
  • TFSA Savings Account - 1.10%*
  • RRSP Savings Account - 1.00%*
  • RRIF Savings Account - 1.00%*

*Rates current as of July 2021

Motusbank: GICs

Motusbank offers a fruitful selection of non-registered and registered Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), with some of the best rates available in Canada.

Motusbank offers registered and non-registered investments, along with redeemable and non-redeemable investing options.

Terms for Motusbank's non-registered and registered range between one year and five years in length.

Motusbank GIC rates are:

  • TFSA GICs - 0.95%* to 1.55%*
  • RRSP GICs - 0.95%* to 1.55%*
  • RRIF GICs - 0.95%* to 1.55%*
  • RESP GICs - 0.95%* to 1.55%*
  • Non-Registered GICs - 0.95%* to 1.55%*

Rates vary depending on the GIC. its term but range from 1.20%* to 2.00%*. Motusbank also offers a variety of prebuilt GIC ladders, called Escalator GICs.

These are prebuilt investments that diversify investments over several terms.

*Rates current as of July 2021

Motusbank: Robo-Advisor

While Motusbank does not directly offer a robo-advising service, it has partnered with VirtualWealth, a wealth-management platform and robo-advising service that facilitates passive investing by providing investing options such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Motusbank: Online Brokerage

Along with VirtualWealth, Motusbank has additionally partnered with Qtrade Investor, an independent discount brokerage that operates exclusively online.

It facilitates self-directed trading options for Canadians. Hopefully, our Motusbank review helped you see how the digital bank can help up your finance game.

Motusbank: Personal Loans and Line of Credit Options

Motusbank offers personal loans and line of credit options, both of which come with rates lower than most banks and lenders.

Motusbank's Personal Loans allow Canadians to borrow starting at 5.15%*. Loan terms range from one month to five years in length, allowing them to borrow up to $35,000. A Motusbank Line of Credit starts at a lending rate of 5.2%*. In both cases, whether you choose to open a personal loan or a line of credit, you'll have to open an account with Motusbank.

*Rates current as of July 2021

Motusbank: Mortgages

When it comes to mortgage borrowing options, Motusbank offers two types of mortgages and a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).

For mortgage options, Motusbank offers Fixed Rate and Variable Mortgage options.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages from Motusbank come with terms that are available between 6-months to 5 years in length. Rates range from 2.09%* to 6%*.

Variable-Rate Mortgages available through Motusbank come exclusively in 5-year terms, with rates ranging from 1.55%* to 4.55%*.

Finally, a Motusbank HELOC comes with an interest rate of 2.75%* which is an outstanding rate among Canadian HELOC options.

*Rates current as of July 2021

What is Motusbank?

Motusbank is a digital bank owned and operated by Meridian Credit Union. According to the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA), Meridian Credit Union was Canada’s second on the CCUA's list of Canada's 100 Largest Credit Unions.

Even though Meridian, a credit union, owns Motusbank, the online bank is still considered a Schedule 1 bank, meaning money in a Motusbank account comes with insurance provided by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). That means funds in their chequing, savings, and GICs come with insurance of $100,000 per account.

How Does Motusbank Work?

Motusbank works like any regular online bank. Customers can sign-up online or over the phone.

In fact, since there are no physical branches, all banking is done online or via telephone. Once you’ve signed up, you can access your money, savings, and investments through the Motusbank mobile app or online interface.

Customers can withdraw cash from ATMs in the EXCHANGE Network. In brief details, most credit unions, and some banks (National Bank and HSBC), allow customers to access their ATMs for free.

If you choose to do your banking with Motusbank, you’ll be able to withdraw, deposit, or do basic banking transactions at no cost.

Motusbank Pros & Cons

Not all banks have something to offer Canadians, but motusbank does. Here are some of the online bank's advantages and drawbacks.

Pros: The Good Stuff

Logo Great rates: In lieu of branches, motusbank makes up for it with the one thing that matters: great interest rates. At the end of the day, savings accounts are only as useful as their rates are, and motusbank has offered consistently high rates for their entire existence.

LogoNo fee banking: In addition to great rates, there are no fees or minimum balance requirements when using a motusbank account

Logo Great variety of saving, spending, and borrowing products: Great variety of saving, spending, and borrowing products: For an online bank, motusbank is a great option for people who like keeping all of their investments under one hood.

Cons: The Not So Good Stuff

Logo Lack of credit card options: motusbank does not currently offer any credit card options right now, but may introduce them in the future..

Logo Lack of branches: Depending on your outlook, motusbank does not have physical branches. While this is not a detriment for many customers, it’s something that could be a deal-breaker for some.

Our Final Thoughts

As far as no-fee banking options go, Motusbank is an underdog in Canada's financial landscape.

While Motusbank typically offers fewer products than Simplii Financial or Tangerine Bank, it makes up for it by offering rates that greatly eclipse either digital bank.

While Motusbank offers great interest rates, there is no credit card option available, which may defer those who prefer to keep all of their finances under one hood.

Additionally, the lack of branches may not be the most suitable option for many Canadians. However, Motusbank can provide exceptional banking products because of its lack of branches.

All things considered, Motusbank is an excellent online bank, with products suitable for every financially savvy Canadian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Motusbank is owned and operated by Meridian Credit Union. As of 2019, Meridian Credit Union is Canada’s second-largest credit union. Not too bad at all.

Yes. Motusbank is a Schedule 1 bank and a member of the CDIC. Chequing, savings, and some types of investments are insured up to $100,000 per investment.

Motusbank is also owned by Meridian Bank, Canada's second-largest credit union. As of 2019, the credit union held $26 billion in assets under management.

Yes! Motusbank is an entirely digital bank and is truly ideal for tech-savvy Canadians or people who don’t need branch access and prefer cheaper banking alternatives.

While no dedicated branches for Motusbank exist, customers can do banking online and access over 3,700 ATMs across Canada that are in the EXCHANGE Network, an ATM network that unites credit unions across the country and allows members of said unions to access their ATMs free of charge.

Some big banks affiliated with the EXCHANGE Network include HSBC, National Bank, and Manulife. Credit unions affiliated with the EXCHANGE Network include Alterna Savings, Desjardins, Vancity, and much more.

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