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Peoples Trust Review: Higher Interest on Savings and GICs, and More

Peoples Trust Review: Higher Interest on Savings and GICs, and More

With so many online banks in Canada offering savings accounts with high-interest and no-fees, it’s hard to keep track. Peoples Trust Bank, a division of Peoples Group, is one of many you can choose from. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Peoples Trust, and I’ll let you know how they compare to other top online banks.

What Is Peoples Trust?

Peoples Trust has been around since 1985. They offer a wide range of products and services to meet Canadians financial needs, including residential mortgages, loans, savings accounts, GICs, RRSPs, and TFSAs. They also serve commercial clients with mortgages and merchant payment solutions. With offices in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver, they take pride in their competitive interest rates on products such as GICs.

Peoples Trust Personal Accounts

The Peoples Trust account offering is similar to many of Canada’s digital banks. They offer an online, high-interest savings account, along with a TFSA version and a range of competitively priced GICs. Let’s take a closer look at each:

Peoples Trust E-Savings

If you deal with one of the Big 6 Banks, and you’re looking for a better rate on your day-to-day savings, look no further than the Peoples Trust e-Savings account. Not only does it offer a superior interest rate, but there are no monthly fees or minimum deposit amounts. Here is a full list of account features:

  • Competitive interest rate (currently 1.30%)
  • No minimum deposit amount
  • No monthly fees
  • Balances are protected through Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC)
  • Access your account online
  • Free transfers between your Peoples Trust accounts
  • Transfer funds to and from your accounts at other banks.

Peoples Trust TFSA Savings

You can opt to save inside a Peoples Trust TFSA Savings account, which has many of the same features as the e-savings, along with the following TFSA benefits:

  • Tax-sheltered growth
  • Withdraw funds at any time without penalty
  • All income earned is tax-sheltered.
  • Unused contribution room is carried forward to the following year.
  • No fees to set-up or transfer funds
  • Designate a beneficiary

Peoples Trust GICs

Peoples Trust has long been known for the consistently high rates it offers on Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). You can hold a Peoples Trust GIC in a non-registered account, a TFSA, or an RRSP. Terms are available between 1 and 5 years, with short term durations between 30 and 270 days also available in a non-registered account. As is standard with most GIC products, funds are non-redeemable before maturity.

Here’s a look at the current GIC rates being offered (as of December 27, 2020):

Short Term GIC Rates (non-registered only)

  • 30 day 1.00%
  • 60 day 1.05%
  • 90 day 1.10%
  • 120 day 1.15%
  • 180 day 1.20%
  • 270 day 1.25%

Long Term GIC Rates (non-registered, TFSA, RRSP)

  • 15 month 1.45% (non-registered only)
  • 1 Year 1.45%
  • 2 year 1.55%
  • 3 Year 1.65%
  • 4 year 1.70%
  • 5 year 1.85%

How to Open a Peoples Trust Account

According to their website, Peoples Trust has made changes to their account opening process in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the current instructions:

  1. Open an account online from the Peoples Trust website.
  2. You will receive an auto-reply email upon completing your application, but the instructions tell you to ignore this email.
  3. Peoples Trust will send you a secure email containing the reference number you will have obtained when you opened the account.
  4. In this email, you’ll receive details on what ID you must provide and how to make your first deposit.
  5. Once Peoples Trust has processed your application, you’ll receive another email with your online banking password and other information, and when you log in, they will activate your account.

If you have any questions regarding the account opening process, a Peoples Trust representative will assist you by phone during business hours. They can be reached at (604) 331-3465 or toll-free at (800) 663-0324, between 8 AM and 4:30 PM PST.

Peoples Trust mailing address is:

Suite 100-888 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6C 3K4

Peoples Trust Rates – Mortgages

Peoples Trust offers residential mortgages to Canadians buying their first home, upgrading, downsizing, or just moving their mortgage over from another lender. They offer 1-5 year fixed rate mortgages with flexible prepayment features.

Mortgage Features:

  • Current Promotional rate of 1.69% (5-year fixed with a 90-day close)
  • 1-5 year fixed rate mortgages
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Fixed-rate mortgages are portable
  • Prepayments as high as 20%
  • Increase payments up to 20%

Peoples Trust Mortgage Rates

The following is a list of current Peoples Trust mortgage rates (as of December 17, 2020). Rates published do not apply for rental or investment properties (owner-occupied and second home properties only).

Peoples Trust Prime Rate

  • 2.45%

5-year Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Prime minus .90% (currently 1.55%)

Fixed Mortgage Rates

Current Promotional Rate (5 Year Fixed) 1.69% (conditions apply)

1 Year          1.84%
2 Year          1.74%
3 Year          1.74%
4 Year          1.74%
5 Year          1.79%

How Does Peoples Trust Stack Up to Other Online Banks?

High-Interest Savings accounts? No-fee online banking? You may be wondering how Peoples Trust compares with Canada’s other digital banks, like Tangerine or EQ.

When you open a savings account with Tangerine, you’ll receive bonus interest of 2.10% for the first five months, but their standard rate is only .10%, a far cry from the Peoples Trust rate of 1.30%. EQ Bank, meanwhile, has a slight edge, with a standard savings rate of 1.50%.

At the time of this writing, Peoples Trust GIC rates are higher than both Tangerine and EQ Bank, which top out at 1.20% and 1.70%, respectively, in a 5-year term.

When it comes to the overall product offering, Tangerine stands out with its suite of investment funds and cash-back credit cards, not to mention access to ScotiaBank’s massive network of ATMs (Tangerine is the online banking arm of Scotiabank).

Final Thoughts on Peoples Trust

If your primary goal is to find a competitive rate on a savings or GIC product, you can’t go wrong with Peoples Trust. They’ve been around since 1985, staking their reputation on having some of the best rates in the business, which is unlikely to change. Also, their mortgage rates are competitive with the big banks, and they offer flexible repayment options.

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