Finally went and set up a PC Financial account last Sunday. This involved finding the nearest Great Canadian Superstore (equivalent of Loblaws/Zehrs for those of you in Ontario) which isn’t so nearby to where we are. It was all pretty painless. We did it on a Sunday at 5:30pm and the lady who helped us out was really nice, and even stayed a bit after their closing time of 6pm to help finish everything up. I really like the fact that they are open on weekends at all the locations in the Vancouver area that I looked at. They are also open late on Thursday and Friday night. I don’t expect to go into the PC Financial “Pavilion” much, but at least the hours are a lot better than the big banks. We set up two no-fee chequing accounts (I’ll describe in a future post why I like 2 chequing accounts). This gives us unlimited Interac transactions, transfers, bill payments, direct deposits, and withdrawals at any CIBC or PC Financial ATM. We are getting free cheques mailed to us for both accounts. I’ve called the 1-866 number twice so far and both times the people I talked to were very friendly and I never waited more than 2 minutes to get through to someone. We don’t need the PC high-interest savings accounts because we use ING Direct (my wife and I can each have up to 4 Canadian dollar accounts at ING making it easy to save up for many different “things” at once) and we can shift money between our ING Direct accounts and either PC Financial chequing account as much as we want now. As soon as we get the new PC cheques in the mail, we just have to send them both off to ING and the chequing accounts will be linked to ING.
The only thing left for us to do is to switch our direct deposits and pre-authorized bill payments to PC from BMO. I’ll most likely arrange this to all happen around the same time, keeping at least some money in each of BMO and PC, just in case the timing is off a bit on the switch.