Saven Financial is a new online bank that is offering Canadians access to high interest savings accounts and Guaranteed Interest Investment Certificates (GICs).
When looking for competitive rates to grow your deposits in Canada, digital banks and credit unions are some of the best places to start your search.
This Saven Financial review covers its products (HISA and GIC), fees, pros, cons, competitors like EQ Bank, and how to open an account.
What is Saven Financial?
Saven Financial is owned by FirstOntario Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Ontario and Canada.
It was established in 2021 as an online banking arm of this financial institution and is available to Ontarians only.
The FirstOntario Credit Union has over 126,000 members.
Saven Financial Products and Services
Saven Financial offers two main products:
- High Interest Savings Account (HISA)
- Guaranteed Investment Certificates
Both products have interest rates that beat what you will find at many of Canada’s top traditional banks.
Your deposits are also insured by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) up to specified limits.
Saven Financial High Interest Savings Account
The high interest savings account from Saven Financial offers a very competitive 2.85% interest rate for today’s low-interest environment.
This account has no monthly fees, and you can easily transfer funds between your linked accounts at other banks.
Interest is paid out every month, and there is no minimum account balance.
Saven Financial GICs
The GICs from Saven Financial are excellent for short-to long-term savings.
You earn a fixed interest rate, and your principal and interest income are guaranteed.
Saven Financial GICs are available with terms ranging from one to five years.
The current rates are:
- 1 year: 4.30%
- 2 year: 4.75%
- 3 year: 4.80%
- 4 year: 4.80%
- 5 year: 5.05%
These GIC rates are easily some of the best in Canada.
The minimum investment for a GIC at Saven is $1,000, and you can choose to have the interest earned paid to a HISA or reinvested in your GIC account.
How To Open a Saven Financial Account
It is fairly easy to open a Saven Financial account online. You will need to be a resident of Ontario, at least 18 years old, and have $25 to invest in a membership share.
The $25 membership share is held for you at FirstOntario, and this gives you the right to participate in dividend payments and to vote for the Board of Directors of the credit union.
If you close your account, the value of your membership shares and outstanding dividends are paid out.
Because the HISA account is the default transactional account at Saven Financial, it is also opened for you at the same time, even if all you need is a GIC product.
After your account has been opened, you will need to link it to an external bank account in order to fund or transfer assets.
If you have questions during the account opening process, you can reach Saven at 1-877-987-2836.
Is Saven Financial Safe?
Yes, Saven Financial is safe. It is owned by a reputable credit union, FirstOntario, that has been around since 1939.
Your accounts at this financial institution are guaranteed by the FSRA up to $250,000 (combined with any deposits you have at FirstOntario).
It also uses encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect your personal information.
Saven Financial Fees
While the Saven Financial HISA and GIC products do not have monthly account fees, you should take note of the following fees:
- Non-sufficient funds fee (handling):$10
- Non-sufficient funds: $50 per item
- Overdraft: 21%
There are no fees for depositing cheques, electronic funds transfers, and Interac e-Transfers.
Pros and Cons of Saven Financial
The benefits of a Saven Financial account are:
- High interest rates on savings and deposits
- No monthly account fees
- Free transactions including Interac e-Transfers
- Access to dividends and voting rights as a member
- Deposit guaranteed via FSRA
The downsides of banking with Saven include:
- Online banking with no in-person support
- Does not offer registered products like TFSA or RRSP
- Only available to Ontario residents
- Limited product offering (no cheques or debit cards)
Saven Financial Alternatives
Saven Financial has several competitors in the online banking space. The top ones include:
- EQ Bank
- Simplii Financial
Saven Financial vs. EQ Bank
EQ Bank is an online banking platform owned by Equitable Bank.
It offers one of the best savings accounts in Canada with a 1.65% interest rate.
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is more like a hybrid bank account since you can deposit mobile cheques and get:
- Unlimited free bill payments and debit transactions
- Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers
- No monthly account fees
- CDIC deposit guarantee
EQ Bank also provides GICs, and you can open savings and GIC accounts for registered (TFSA and RSP) and non-registered accounts.
In addition, you can use EQ Bank for international money transfers, U.S. dollar savings, and mortgages.
Learn more in this EQ Bank review.
Saven Financial vs. KOHO
KOHO is not a bank. It is a financial technology company that offers one of the best savings rates in Canada, as well as cash back on every purchase you make.
The savings rate for KOHO is 1.20%, and you get 0.50% cash back on all purchases or up to 2% cash back if you upgrade your free account.
In addition, the standard KOHO account includes:
- Free bill payments, debits, and Interac e-Transfers
- Access to early payroll
- Joint accounts
- Access to a credit-building product
Saven Financial vs. Simplii Financial
Simplii Financial is an online bank owned by CIBC.
Its high interest savings account pays a regular 0.40% interest rate; however, new clients get a promotional interest rate for a limited time.
In addition to its HISA, Simplii Financial also offers these products:
- US Dollar savings account
- No-fee chequing account
- Mortgages and personal loans
- TFSA and RRSP savings
Saven Financial vs. Tangerine
Tangerine is an online bank owned by Scotiabank. Its savings account pays 0.40%.
This bank offers several other products, including chequing, investments, loans, and business accounts.
Other Saven Financial competitors that are owned by credit unions are:
- AcceleRate Financial
- Achieva Financial
- Hubert Financial
- Implicitly Financial, and
- Outlook Financial
Saven Financial Review FAQs
Is Saven Financial legit?
Yes, Saven Financial is a legitimate financial institution owned by FirstOntario Credit Union.
What is Saven Financial’s phone number?
You can reach Saven Financial at its 1-877-987-2836 phone number from 8am to 8pm (Monday – Friday), and 8am to 5pm on Saturday.
Does Saven Financial offer TFSAs?
No, Saven Financial does not offer TFSA or RRPS accounts at this time.
Does Saven Financial have a branch?
No, Saven Financial does not have a branch you can walk into. All banking transactions are completed online.
What is the bank institution number for Saven Financial?
The institution number for Saven Financial is 828.
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