Personal Finance

Review: Coast Capital Free Chequing Account

Apologies to all my readers outside of BC—this account is currently only available to BC residents.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All views presented here are honest and my own. However, some of the links in this review are referral links. That means you and I could each receive a $50 referral bonus if you open a Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account through my link.

Coast Capital: Worth the switch?

My current chequing account is at a big bank (who shall remain unnamed!) While this account does the job, it’s got one major flaw—there’s a monthly fee! And I HATE bank fees! 

I considered switching to a no-fee chequing account from Tangerine or Motive, but they don’t offer access to tellers. Call me old-fashioned, but I still need to see tellers for things like:

  • Same-day bank drafts.
  • Crisp new bills for gift-giving.
  • Stamped and signed forms for pre-authorized deposits (some institutions require this).

In short: I still need the in-person services that big banks offer, but I want the zero fees of online banks! Unfortunately, none of the banks I’ve looked into offered an account that met both those requirements… until now!

The Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account

When I recently heard about the Coast Capital Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account, I couldn’t believe what a great offering they had. (And I wondered why it took me so long to discover them!)

This account has just about everything I’m looking for in a chequing account:

  • No monthly fee.
  • No minimum monthly balance.
  • Unlimited transactions.
  • Free withdrawals and deposits at over 4,000 ATMs across Canada.
  • Over 50 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

For a no-fee account with no minimum monthly balance, that’s a fantastic list of features! It’s got me seriously considering making the switch away from my big bank. So what’s holding me back?

Two minor downsides

While I love all the features of the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account, there are two minor downsides that I’m not so enthused about:

  1. There’s a $1.50 fee per Interac e-transfer (most banks include at least two free per month).
  2. Coast Capital doesn’t offer free cheques (Tangerine and Motive both offer the first 50 cheques free).

My workarounds

The Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account is just too good to pass up—I can’t let two tiny issues get in the way! I gave it some thought, and came up with a couple of easy solutions:

  1. Use one of my other accounts to send Interac e-transfers for free.
  2. Order low-cost cheques through a non-bank supplier ($25/100 cheques with free shipping).

What about the math?

It looks like the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account will work logistically. But how does the math stack up? Let’s take a look:

  • $0: The account is totally free, so there’s no cost there.
  • $0: My big bank chequing account is free to close, so there’s also no cost there.
  • -$25: I’ll have to forfeit the 50-ish cheques I still have left from my big bank chequing account. I paid around $25 for those.
  • -$25: I’ll need to spend $25 for new cheques.
  • +$3.95/month: I’ll save $3.95 per month in fees for my big bank chequing account.
  • Based on these numbers, it’ll take me about a year to make back the cost of forfeiting my old cheques and ordering new ones. 
  • After that, I’ll be saving $3.95/month in account fees—amounting to an annual savings of $47.40.

While that’s not a lot of money, this is meant to be a long-term move. Saving $3.95 per month wll  compound to $690.80 after ten years (if invested at a 7% rate of return). After 20 years, $3.95 per month grows to $2,074! It’s tough to ignore that!

One extra perk

Finally, there’s another important advantage that I can’t overlook: through the Exchange Network, I’ll end up with a much larger network of no-fee ATMs at my disposal. 

Currently, my big bank only has four ATMs in my area. With the Exchange Network, I’ll have 12 to choose from! This will make banking a lot more convenient for me.

My mind’s made up!

Through writing this review, I’ve realized my big bank just can’t match what Coast Capital’s offering with the Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account. It’s time to make the switch!

Wait, there’s more…

Until October 6, 2019, Coast Capital Savings is offering $500 when you open a new Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account! (Offer no longer available.)

In addition, if you use my referral linkwe’ll both receive $50 and Coast Capital will donate $50 to the Youth Futures Education Fund. 

Finally, once your new account is open, you can refer your friends and family—earning each of you $50. That’s pretty awesome.


Let’s close off this review with a tidy little summary. Here’s everything you need to know when opening your Free Chequing, Debit, and More Account:

The features

  • No monthly fee.
  • No minimum monthly balance.
  • Unlimited transactions.
  • Free withdrawals and deposits at over 4,000 ATMs across Canada.
  • Over 50 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

The bonuses

  • $50: For using my link to apply for an account.
  • $50: For each referral you make (there’s no limit to how many people you can refer).
  • $500: For opening a Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account. (Offer no longer available.)

What you need to do

  1. Sign up for your referral bonus through my referral link.
  2. Open a Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account
  3. Transfer $100 into the account within 30 days.
  4. Set up an automatic payroll deposit or pre-authorized bill payment of at least $50. (The payroll deposit must be in your account within 90 days of account opening; the first two bill payment withdrawals must be withdrawn within 90 days of account opening.)
  5. Register for the Refer a Friend program so you can send your own referrals.
  6. To ensure that you receive all your bonuses, be sure to thoroughly read all the details on Coast Capital Saving’s website (see the links below). 

All the links

Will you make the switch?

The Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account sounds pretty amazing to me! Are you thinking of making the switch as well? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, feel free to comment with any questions you have—I’m happy to help.

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As always, however you show your support for this blog—THANK YOU!

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  • Reply
    September 25, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I’ve been using Coast Capital my entire banking life and for the most part I love it (for all of the reasons above). I also received my first 10 cheques free (granted this was many years ago). One major issue I’m having with them right now – their accounts stopped linking to YNAB! They updated their security system recently and third-party logins no longer work, which is very frustrating. YNAB says they’re working on a fix but who when that will happen.

    • Reply
      September 25, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Oh no! That’s a shame about the YNAB connection. I’m still using the classic version of YNAB, so I have to manually import the transactions using a QIF file. Is that an option with the new version? That may be a way around having to manually type in all the transactions.

      And thanks for sharing your thoughts on Coast Capital. I’m now noticing that there are branches EVERYWHERE! I think it’ll be way more convenient for me to bank with them than with my big bank. Good to know there longtime happy customers out there!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Great deal, $500 is a big bonus! Man, if it was just to deposit $100 that would be easy, but I hate transferring my preauthorized banking or payroll deposit. I’ll think about it, still have a few days right? 🙂

    • Reply
      September 30, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      But you’re a self-confessed bank account hoarder GYM! You have to live up to your title! It is a bit of work, but really, it takes less than an hour. It’s worth it for $500!

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