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My banking institution is [again...] raising their fees for the second time in 12 months starting March 1st, 2012.

I would like to find a Canadian bank or type of bank that has lower fees, of course.
Is there something like a member owned bank similar to a CO-OP or Credit Union?

I'm not familiar with the different types of banks in Canada like Credit Unions and how they operate so am looking for some advice on how to choose a bank with reasonable fees given my spending habits.

The bank does offer other types of accounts with higher monthly fees but do have higher transaction limits and can also require a minimum amount in the account at all times to waive the point-of-sale (POS) fees.

My Fees:

  • Chequing account Monthly Fee (MF) is almost doubling from $3.95 to $5.95
  • Transaction Fees (TF) are increasing from $0.65 to $1.00

The TFs are what hurt me the most because under the most basic plan I am allowed 15 POS transactions per month before the TF sets in. I have trouble working within these limits because I make at least 2 purchases/day such as gas for my 120km commute to work (then home again) plus any other expenses (pets, groceries, etc)

If I use my bank card for all my POS purchases like gas and groceries. My monthly fees can range from $30-60/month but if I instead use cash it is understandably lower @ around $6-10/month.

Recurring bills are handled online.

I try not to carry cash (over $40) due to safety concerns.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are many options for you, including talking to your current bank, as they might well negotiate if they think they are going to lose a customer. Most banks to indeed have inclusive or discounted packages of POS transactions that they offer.

That said, current Canadian offerings in the low-cost banking space will include ING Direct PC Financial and likely many more.

There are indeed also *Credit Union*s in Canada - look around your neighbourhood - you should be able to find one without much trouble.

As an aside, if you are disciplined enough to pay it off every month, and given your aversion to cash, some kind of points-gathering credit card might work for you as well.

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Indeed you should look around your neighbourhood. –  DJClayworth Feb 9 '12 at 0:57
    
+1 to credit card. There are no downsides. (At least in USA). –  user606723 Feb 9 '12 at 19:27
    
The bank was approachable and willing to negotiate a custom package to suit my needs but not until I asked to speak with a supervisor after being told that packages were non-negotiable from a teller/clerk. So it worked, thanks! –  SaultDon Feb 21 '12 at 20:28
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