Saving in a high-interest savings account is Canadians common strategy for attaining financial security.
You probably know the impact of saving in a traditional savings account. Not only are the interest rates low, but the recurring monthly fees could also consume a significant part of your money.
But with a high-interest savings account, you can easily build up your savings with high-interest rates and zero monthly fees.
Unfortunately, not all high-interest savings accounts are the same. In fact, some HISAs are just slightly different from a traditional savings account. Hence, the need to look for the best HISA in Canada.
Saven is one of the providers of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada. Even as a newcomer in the industry, Saven has a competitive offering.
However, you shouldn’t make a mistake in rushing to use Saven without having comprehensive knowledge about it.
This Saven Financial review explores everything you need to know about the new fintech company in the industry.
Saven Financial Overview
|Parent Company||FirstOntario Credit Union|
|Accounts||High-Interest Savings Account and GIC|
|Deposit Insurance||Up to $250,000 by Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario|
|Account Minimum||None (but requires $25 membership fee)|
What is Saven Financial?
Saven Financial is a fintech credit union offering competitive high-interest savings and GIC accounts.
Established in January 2021, Saven is a division of one of the largest credit unions in Ontario, FirstOntario Credit Union.
Like other online-only fintech companies, Saven Financial converts the cost of building physical structures to high-interest rates savings and GIC accounts.
Thus, this fintech does not lag in the list of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada despite its new status.
With a 1.35% interest rate on its savings account, Saven is determined to overtake the existing fintech companies in Canada.
However, it’s beyond the interest rate. There are many factors you need to consider when selecting any fintech company in Canada.
As you continue reading, you will learn more about other factors to consider when selecting a fintech like Saven in Canada.
Who Owns Saven Financial?
FirstOntario Credit Union owns Saven Financial. FirstOntario Credit Union is one of the leading credit unions in Ontario, with more than 126,000 members.
Established in 1939, FirstOntario Credit Union has a wide range of financial products and services, such as:
- Chequing and savings accounts
- Business services
- Expert investment advice
Since Saven is part of FirstOntario Credit Union, its members are FirstOntario shareholders who are entitled to annual dividend payments.
Is Saven Financial Legit?
Saven Financial is legit because it’s a division of one of the trusted credit unions in Ontario, FirstOntario Credit Union.
Also, Saven has advanced security encryption and protocols that ensure your data protection on its website.
Moreover, your deposits on Saven up to $250,000 are protected by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).
Who Can Use Saven Financial?
Saven is only available for Ontario residents as of the time of writing this review. However, not all Ontario residents may be eligible for Saven.
Thus, Ontario residents must meet the following requirements to qualify for Saven membership:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a valid Social Insurance Number
- Be willing to invest a membership fee of $25
- Agree to Savens terms and conditions
Pros and Cons of Saven Financial
Like other fintech credit unions, Saven has its good and ugly sides. The following are the pros and cons of Saven as of the time of writing this review.
- Competitive interest rates: Saven is one of the leading providers of high-interest rates on savings and GICs accounts in Canada.
- Deposit protection: Your deposits up to $250,000 on Saven are protected by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).
- Fees: Saven has no monthly or transaction fees, helping your money grow like grass.
- Convenience: As an online-only credit union, Saven is easy to access by everyone that can operate a smartphone.
- Limited accounts and products: As of the time of writing this review, Saven has no registered account. Furthermore, the online-only credit union doesn’t provide loans, mortgages or credit cards.
- Limited scope: Saven is only available to Ontario residents as of the time of writing this review.
- Membership fee: Since Saven is a credit union, you must pay a $25 membership fee to use its products.
Saven Financial Accounts
Saven Financial has only two financial products as of the time of writing this review. That’s High-Interest Savings Account and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs).
1. Saven Financial High-Interest Savings Account
As the name implies, Saven High-Interest Savings Account (HISA) offers a high-interest rate of 1.35% on your savings. The interest is calculated daily, and it is subject to change anytime.
So with this account, you will receive your interest rate monthly throughout the term of your savings (1-5 years).
What I also like about this account is that there is no minimum deposit requirement, meaning you can save according to your budget.
- Interest Rate:35%
- Monthly Fees: None
- Transaction Fees: None
- Minimum Balance: None
2. Savings Financial Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
If you’re looking to save your money in a high-interest fixed account for a particular period, Saven Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) might be what you need.
With this account, your interest rate is guaranteed throughout the term you choose. This means no sudden inflation or market fluctuation can affect your interest rate.
That said, Saven GICs are non-redeemable, meaning you can’t redeem your money until the GIC term ends.
Saven GIC terms range from 1-5 years with competitive rates. The longer your term, the higher your interest rate.
But even if you’re starting with a 1-year term, you can reinvest it when the term ends.
Like the Saven HISA rates, the GIC rates are also subject to change. The following are Saven GIC Rates as of the time of writing this review.
Saven GIC Rates
The following table shows how your money will grow over time for depositing the minimum of $1,000 on your GIC account.
- High-interest rate: Saven offers competitive GIC rates to help your money grow fast.
- Flexible terms: Choose from the five ranges of terms that suit your financial goals and budget.
- Minimum investment: Start investing with as low as $1,000 and upgrade as your money grows.
- Safe and secure: Your deposits up to $250,000 are insured by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).
Saven Financial Fees
As mentioned previously, Saven has no monthly fees and transaction fees. The only fees Saven charges are on NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) and overdraft fees as shown below:
|$50 per item||NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds)|
|$10||NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) Handling|
Saven Financial Review: My 5-Star Rating
Here’s how I arrived at the 4.6/5 rating of this Saven review:
How to Open Saven Financial Account
Unlike other credit unions, opening a Saven account only takes a few minutes.
But as mentioned previously, you must be an Ontario resident, 18 years old, have a valid Social Insurance Number, willing to pay a $25 membership fee and accept Saven’s terms and conditions before opening an account.
However, you don’t need to pay the $25 membership fee if you’re already a FirstOntario member.
Once you meet the requirements, you should click here to become a Saven member.
To complete the registration, you will be required to provide your personal details, social insurance number and phone number.
Upon completing your registration and your application is approved, you will have an automatic special membership account.
This means you’re now a shareholder of FirstOntario Credit Union and will be entitled to annual dividend payments.
Now that you have a Saven account, you can link your existing bank account to start transactions or use the cheque deposit features on the Saven mobile app.
How to Contact Saven Financial?
Even though Saven has no physical presence, you can contact them online when you encounter any problem. Thus, you can contact Saven on Live Chat or phone at 1-877-98SAVEN (987-2836).
However, you can only contact Saven on the following days:
- Monday – Friday: 8am and 8pm
- Saturday – 8am to 5pm
Saven Financial Mobile App
Saven makes it easy to bank on the go using its mobile app.
So if you’re using an Android phone, you can download the Saven app on Google Playstore. But if you’re using an iOS device, you can download the app on the App Store.
With the Saven mobile app, you can deposit up to $25,000 using deposit cheques.
Saven Financial vs EQ Bank: Which to Choose?
|Accounts||High-Interest Savings Account and GIC||Savings Plus Account, Joint Savings Plus Account, GICs, TFSA, RSP|
|Savings Account Interest Rate||1.35%||1.25%|
|GIC Rates||Starts at 1.55% for 1 year||Starts at 1.50% for 3months|
|Account Minimum||None (but requires a $25 membership fee)||None|
|Deposit Protection||FSRA insured||CDIC insured|
|Interac e-Transfers® Fees||Free||Free|
EQ Bank is one of the top competitors of Saven with competitive offers. This online-only bank was established in 2016 by the Equitable Bank, the popular Canadian federally regulated Schedule I bank.
Since it’s also an online-only fintech, EQ Bank offers high interest rates on registered and unregistered accounts through operational savings.
So the question is: which should you choose? Saven or EQ Bank?
As you can see from the above table, EQ Bank has many differences from Saven Financial. While it also has competitive interest rates on savings (1.25%), Saven HISA is slightly higher (1.35%).
On the other hand, EQ Bank has more accounts than Saven Financial. Since Saven has only HISA and GICs, it may not be suitable for you if you’re looking to invest in registered accounts such as TFSA and RRSP.
Furthermore, you need to consider availability when comparing the two. While EQ Bank is available to all Canadians, Saven is only available to Ontario residents.
Moreover, since Saven is a credit union, you must be its member before opening an account with it. This cost a minimum investment of $25. But you don’t have to pay anything to open an EQ Bank account since it’s a bank.
Overall, you can’t make a wrong choice with Saven or EQ Bank since they all have competitive interest rates, deposit protection, zero account minimum and monthly fees.
However, you may want to read this EQ Bank review before deciding.
Verdict on Saven Financial Review
Choosing a high-interest savings account may seem complicated, but now you know what to consider.
From the above Saven review, you can see that credit unions have pros and cons. This also applies to other fintech companies such as EQ Bank.
As a result, it’s essential to consider high-interest savings account with more benefits and few drawbacks.
Consequently, you must look beyond the interest rate and consider other factors before deciding which HISA to open.
For example, even though Saven has higher interest rates on savings accounts than EQ Bank, you can’t use Saven unless you’re in Ontario.
But if you also intend to open a registered account in the future, you can’t achieve that through Saven.
So the takeaway here is that you should consider your current situation, financial goals and even location before choosing any fintech company in Canada.
Overall, my Saven Financial review is positive!
If you need help deciding which fintech company to choose or need more clarification, don’t hesitate to contact me or drop your concerns in the comment section.
Hi, I'm Adeola Adegoke. I am a licensed Insurance Broker in Manitoba, and I hold a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (with a major in Financial Modeling) from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Tanzania.
Also, I have a second master's degree in Statistics from the University of Regina, and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Manitoba.
The primary purpose of Money Reverie is to help everyday Canadians make better financial decisions by providing up-to-date financial news and information, reports, product reviews, and government programs.