Scottrade Review

Aside from Scottrade, there are other brokers out there that offer you low or no fee commissions, and if you’re struggling for money or you want to lower you investing costs, you’ll probably be tempted to choose one. After all, who really has the time or the attention span to thoroughly compare each broker in every category? After looking through all the information, it can really begin to blur together. That’s why with these reviews, we want you to get all the information you need and know where other companies really fall in comparison. So how does Scottrade measure up as a discount online broker? With Scottrade its true that you aren’t getting a lot of the bells and whistles that more pricy online brokers offer, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting a bad deal.

Scottrade

Awarded “Best in Class for Customer Service, Investor Education, and Banking” in 2013, Scottrade is an online broker most known for its low commission costs known and reliable customer service (Reinkensmeyer, “Scottrade”). It also has high reviews for its easy-to-use website and platforms. In this article, we will cover how Scottrade stands out and compares to other online brokers in the following categories:

  • Costs and Fees
  • Special Offers
  • Customer Service
  • Available Trading Products
  • Trading Platforms and Trading Tools
  • Research
  • Education
  • Banking

Costs and Fees

Minimum Deposit

While not among one of the lowest, Scottrade’s minimum account deposit is less than some of its competitors. At Scottrade, you have a choice between an Individual Brokerage account or a Joint Brokerage account. In either case, the minimum deposit is $2,500. This is less than Lightspeed Trading, TradeStation, and Interactive Brokers, but more than Charles Schwab. (As seen in Table 1.)

Table 1. Minimum Account Deposit Comparison Between Online Stock Brokers
Scottrade Lightspeed Trading TradeStation Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
2,500 5,000 5,000 10,000 1,000

 

Commission Costs

Commission costs are one of Scottrade’s high points. Commission costs for Stocks are $7.00. This is less than E*TRADE, Fidelity, TradeStation, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab. Commissions also come with no Per-share fee, unlike TradeStation. (See Table 2.)

Table 2. Online Broker Stock Commission Fees Comparison
Fees Scottrade E*TRADE Fidelity TradeStation TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab
Fees

Flat-fee trade:

 

7.00

 

9.99

 

7.95

 

9.99

 

9.99

 

8.95

Per-share:

 

N/A N/A N/A 0.01 N/A N/A

 

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are another high point for Scottrade. If you’re looking to lower your risks and diversify your portfolio with Mutual Funds, Scottrade offers over 14,500 mutual funds with a commission fee of $17.00. That’s lower than OptionsHouse and E*TRADE, and drastically lower than Charles Schwab.  (See Table 3.)

Table 3. Online Brokers Broker Mutual Fund Fee Comparison
Fees Scottrade OptionsHouse E*TRADE Charles Schwab
Mutual funds $17.00 20.00 19.99 $76.00

 

Broker Assisted Trades

Scottrade broker assisted trades are $32.00 in addition to the $7.00 commission fee. This is less than TD Ameritrade and Fidelity, but higher than Trade Station and Charles Schwab, putting these costs somewhere in the middle. (See Table 4.)

Table 4. Online Brokers Broker Assisted Trades Fee Comparison
Fees Scottrade TD Ameritrade Fidelity TradeStation Charles Schwab
Broker assisted trades:

 

7.00 + 32.00= 39.00

 

9.99 +44.99= 54.98

 

7.95 +32.95= 48.85

 

9.99 + 20.00= 29.99 8. 95 + 25.00= 33.95

 

 

Options

Unfortunately, option are a low point for Scottrade. While the Options Trade Fee plus Contract fee (7.00 + 1.25) is lower priced than other online brokers, there is a big jump in price for the Options Exercise Fee (17.00) and the Options Assignment Fee (17.00).

However, Scottrade isn’t the only online broker to do a huge price jump. And in comparison to the price jumps TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE have, their Options Exercise Fee, Options Assignment Fee, and Overall Options Cost are lower. (See Table 5.)

Table 5. Online Brokers Options Fee Comparisons
Fees Scottrade TD Ameritrade E*TRADE
Options Trade plus contract:

 

7.00 + 1.25 9.99 + .75 9.99 + .75
Options Exercise Fee:

 

17.00

 

19.99 19.99

 

Options Assignment Fee:

 

17.00

 

19.99 19.99
Overall Options Cost: 42.25 50.72 50.72

 

ETFs

ETFs are another low point for Scottrade, but only because they do not offer any commission-free ETFs. For what they do offer (which is a wide amount of ETFs), the commission fees are priced low. ETFs priced more than $1 dollar have a $7 dollar commission fees. That means $7 dollars to buy and $7 to sell ETFs.

No-fee Requirements

Scottrade also offers you ways save money by not charging extra account and investment fees. These no-free requirements include:

  • No inactivity fee
  • No set up fee
  • No annual fee
  • No account maintenance fee
  • No fee for Bond or CD trades

Miscellaneous Fees

However, Scottrade does have a few extra fees you need to be aware of. Miscellaneous fees for Scottrade include:

  • $0 for treasury
  • $32 IVR trade
  • $0 IRA annual fee
  • $0 IRA closure fee
  • $25 Forced margin sellout fee
  • $75 dollar returned ACH fee
  • $25 returned wire fee
  • $0 stock certificate process fee
  • $0 stock certificate delivery fee
  • $2.00 paper statement fee
  • $1.00 paper confirmation fee
  • $25 domestic wire fee
  • $40 international wire fee

Special Offers

Like other online brokers, Scottrade has special offers for customers, and they’re well known for having different offers at different times, which gives you a variety of offers to look forward to with your account. The current offers are the Up to $2,000 Cash Bonus and the $100 Transfer Fee Refunds.

Up to $2,000 Cash Bonus

Available until September 30th 2015, Scottrade is offering cash bonuses for new deposits or transfers of over 50,000 dollars. (See the specific qualifying amounts for each cash bonus below in Table 6.)

Table 6. Qualifying Amounts for Cash Bonuses
Qualifying Amount Earned Bonus
$50,000–$99.999 $100
$100,000–$199,999 $300
$200,000–$499,999 $600
$500,000–$999,999 $1,000
$1,000,000 and up $2,000

 

Specifics

Cash bonuses are not automatic. Before you deposit the required amount into a new account or transfer it into an existing account, you need to contact Scottrade and let them know about this activity. They will then contact your local branch (the Scottrade local branch office in your area) and let them know. Your local branch will then give you a code to use for your account. As long as the code is in your account, the bonus will be credited about two weeks after the deposit or transfer is made.

You can get more than one cash bonus; however, you can only get one bonus per account. For example, you could deposit $50,000 into one account and get a $100 cash bonus into one account, and you could deposit $50,000 dollars into a second account and get another $100 cash bonus—earning a $200 bonus in total. But if you only have one account, that first deposit or transfer will be your only cash bonus. The assets also have to stay with Scottrade for a year in order to keep the bonus.

$100 Transfer Fee Refunds

You can also save money with Scottrade’s $100 transfer fee refund. When you transfer an account from one broker to another, your original brokerage firm typically charges a fee for the transfer. Most firms charge between $75 and $95. However, if you’re transferring to Scottrade, and the account is at least $10,000, they’ll refund up to $100 of any transfer fees charged.

Customer Service

While not available 24/7, Scottrade still excels in customer service because its staff are readily available, extremely professional, and very knowledgeable, and the company has been rated #1 Overall Client Experience from 2012–2015. Customer service is also highly rated by critics. Blain Reinkensmeyer, the head of StockBrokers.com equity broker research and reviews, commented that Scottrade “offers the most personalized customer service out of any of the full-service brokers” he’s tested, and that Scottrade is the only broker that “completely, and successfully uses its “local branch office network.” Reinkensmeyer also added that Scottrade “shines for its email support” with quick and high quality responses to questions, ranking it as “No. 1 for email support” among online brokers (Reinkensmeyer, “Scottrade”).

Scottrade has phone support, email support, live chat, and social media customer service. The specifics are shown in Table 7.

Table 7. Scottrade Customer Support Availability
Service Monday–Friday Saturday–Sunday
Phone support 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Live chat and email 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Social media customer service (Twitter and Facebook) 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. N/A

 

Available Trading Products

Scottrade offers a large amount of trading products including Bonds, Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CDs, and Options. This gives the company a few pros and cons in comparison to its competitors.

Pros

  • Scottrade offers a lot of low-risk products (CDS, Bonds, ETFs, and Mutual Funds) than OptionsHouse, Fidelity, Interactive Brokers, E*TRADE, and Trade Station
  • Scottrade offers one of the largest selections of Mutual Funds in the brokerage industry and at a lower commission cost than its competitors

Cons

  • Options and ETFs have higher costs than competitors
  • Scottrade does not offer Future or FOREX trading

Available Trading Platforms and Trading Tools

Scottrade has two available trading platforms: Scottrader Streaming Quotes and Scottrade ELITE. Both trading platforms include:

  • Alerts
  • Automated trading
  • Conditioned orders
  • Customization (you can customize the look of your trading platform, which makes it easy to navigate)
  • Level II quotes
  • Options tools
  • Platform Advanced
  • Daily Reports
  • Quick Order Entry (you can quickly enter or cancel orders faster than normal)
  • Real-Time Charts
  • Watch List

Scottrade Streaming Quotes

Scottrader Streaming Quotes is a “Java-based application that . . . loads as a Java app through the web” and is easy to set up and use (Reinkensmeyer, “Scottrade”).

Pros

  • Streaming quotes are free to access and require no trading minimum

Con:

  • Limited third-party research. (Scottrade offers reports from only three third-party providers whereas Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade offer six.)
  • Tools for the basic platform may not be fitting for active traders who want more advanced tools.

ScottradeELITE

Scottrade ELITE is a “desktop-based platform designed for active traders seeking detailed functionality beyond what Scottrader Streaming Quotes has to offer” (Reinkensmeyer, “Scottrade”). However, a major downfall for this platform is that it requires 25,000 dollars in your account or 9 minimum trades over a three month period to gain access.

With Scottrade ELITE you get access to “Trade-Ideas (a real-time advanced screener with more than 260 filters), a “backtesting tool,” and “advanced charting” (Cheng, “Scottrade Review: One of the Top Rated Online Stock Brokers”).

Research

While not having the most extensive research, Scottrade does offer valuable research for all its trading products and useful research tools. One of the research tools Scottrade offers is SmartText.

SmartText

According to Reinkensmeyer, “SmartText is an analysis tool that is available for charts, sectors and industries, and earnings. With charts . . . Scottrade SmartText will quickly analyze any indicator you add and give you an easy-to-understand explanation of what that indicator implies for the stock you are researching (Reinkensmeyer, “Scottrade”).

Another research highpoint for Scottrade is its research available on mutual funds.

Mutual Fund Research

Reinkensmeyer commented that “Scottrade’s research is . . . [very] thorough for mutual funds” and includes features such as a quote generator, a chart displaying the fund’s performance in the past decade compared to intermediate bonds and S&P 500,” a synopsis of the fund’s strategy, the fund’s category ratings, and the fund’s expenses (Reinkensmeyer, “Scottrade”).

Education

Compared to an online broker website with more in-depth education available like Charles Schwab, Scottrade isn’t as packed with information. However, it does still offer a great deal of good information and customers find the website easy to manage. Scottrade education includes webinars, podcasts, online courses, and live seminars. Live seminars are highly praised because they’re easy to attend since customers can easily find one being presented at a local branch office in their area. Guides, articles, and videos also are available to help investors learn. Scottrade also features a monthly KnowHow ® News for customers which provides trading and platform strategies, insights, and tips from experts.

Banking

To give you a less costly and easier banking experience, Scottrade offers banking service through Scottrade Bank. Bank features include:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Debit cards
  • Online bill pay
  • ATM fee reimbursement (Scottrade bank does not issue a charge for cash withdrawals made at any domestic ATM. They will refund all reasonable cash withdrawal fees at the end of each statement cycle.)
  • No monthly maintenance, withdrawal, or transfer fees
  • Overdraft protection

Scottrade Bank Debit Card

With the Scottrade Bank debit card, you get unlimited withdrawals from your checking account and the ability to access cash anytime, anywhere nationwide. The only downfall to this is that it doesn’t offer worldwide access like its competitor Charles Schwab.

Bottom line for Scottrade

As far as an online broker, Scottrade falls somewhere in the middle. It provides low commission costs, top-of-the-line customer service, and useful trading products and tools, but it doesn’t offer as many advanced features or special offers as its competitors.

 

Capital One Credit Cards Review

When deciding on a credit card, there are always a few things to take into consideration to ensure you are getting the very card that you want. What types of credit cards are available? Are there benefits of being a card member? What are the rates and fees? Does it offer any type of reward?

Capital One offers a total of 12 credit cards, either for personal use or for businesses. Depending on your needs, you could use one or both types of credit cards.

Capital One Credit Cards for Personal Use

Card Member Benefits: Available to Capital One card members are some unique benefits, which differentiates Capital One from other credit card companies.

  • Manage and access your account via email or text reminders, online banking, mobile and tablet apps, 24/7 customer service, and annual summaries
  • Secured protection, fraud coverage against unauthorized attempts or activities, and extended warranty protection
  • Access your credit score, use a simulator as guidance on improving your score, and see what your credit profile looks like through the Capital One Credit Tracker
  • Travel at ease when purchases made outside of the United States are not subject to transaction fees, travel accidents are insured, auto rentals have coverage, and emergency card replacement or cash advances are available to you

Rates and Fees: Capital One’s rates and fees are dependent on your credit rating. Higher credit ratings means that the likelihood of you paying off most or all of the balance in a timely manner is higher, and therefore subject to lower variable Annual Percentage Rates (APR). Some may carry an annual fee, which is the trade off of better rewards.

Below are various credit cards grouped by credit rating.

Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Credit Card Name Variable APR Variable APR Rewards
VentureOne® Rewards 0% until Aug 2016; 11.9%-21.9% afterwards 0 unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases; earn 20,000 bonus miles once $1,000 is spent on purchases within first 3 months
Quicksilver® Rewards 0% until May 2016; 12.9%-22.9% afterwards 0 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases; earn $100 bonus once $500 is spent on purchases within first 3 months
Venture® Rewards 12.9%-22.9% $0 first year;
$59 afterwards
unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase; earn 40,000 bonus miles once $3,000 spent on purchases within first 3 months

If traveling isn’t high on your priority list, then Quicksilver® Rewards is a card worth considering. You can transfer the balance of a credit card with higher interest rate to the Quicksilver® Rewards, lowering the interest to 3% until May 2016. Earn 1.5% cash back on any purchases made on the card. Who doesn’t love to travel? The thrill and excitement of experiencing something new is tempting to anyone. However, traveling expenses can add up quickly into the thousands. With VentureOne® Rewards or Venture® Rewards, you can earn some bonus miles towards future traveling plans, making traveling budgets easier to manage. For those that travel often, Venture® Rewards would be a better choice since bonus miles would easily cover for the annual fee. If you’re not sure if Venture® Rewards is the right card for you, the first year is free of fees for you to try out.

Credit Cards for Average Credit

Credit Card Name Variable APR Annual Fee Rewards
Journey® Student Rewards 19.80% 0 1% cash back on all purchases, plus 25% bonus on cash back earned each month for timely payment
Journey® Student Rewards
QuicksilverOne® Rewards
0% until May 2016; 22.9% afterwards $39 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Platinum 24.90% 0 n/a

 For all students, if you do not have any prior credit history and you’re trying to establish credit for the first time, the Journey® Student Rewards card may be a great choice for you. The variable APR is set lower than any of the Capital One credit cards for those with average credit. Not only do you get 1% cash back on any purchase made, you can get an additional 25% on the earned cash back making timely payments, which can total to 1.25% cash back.

QuicksilverOne® Rewards is a great choice if you plan on using the card for the majority of your purchases. The annual fee of $39 allows you to enjoy the rewards of 1.5% cash back, which can easily cover for the annual fee.

Not sure if you’d use a credit card often? Platinum might be a great choice to have on hand. Despite the higher variable APR and not having any rewards for purchases made, you can enjoy the card member benefits without additional fees.

Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit

Credit Card Name Variable APR Annual Fee Rewards
Secured MasterCard® 24.90% 0 n/a

Have you been turned down for lower than average credit? Capital One has a card that allows you to rebuild your credit. Depending on your credit worthiness, you can get a $200 – $3,000 credit line by depositing a refundable amount of $49, $99 or $200. $49 is the minimum required security deposit for a $200 initial credit line. If you deposit more than your minimum required security deposit before your account opens, you can get a higher initial credit line, up to $3,000.

Capital One Credit Cards for Businesses

Card Member Benefits: Available to Capital One card members for businesses are some unique benefits, which differentiates Capital One from other credit card companies.

  • Manage and access your account via email or text reminders, online banking, mobile and tablet apps, 24/7 business customer service, quarterly and year-end summaries, and downloadable purchase records for easy accounting
  • Secured protection on purchased eligible item, fraud coverage against unauthorized attempts or activities, and warranty protection
  • Travel at ease when purchases made outside of the United States are not subject to transaction fees, travel accidents are insured, auto rentals have coverage, ticket replacement, and legal or medical referrals available to you
  • No minimum to redeem rewards, and add employee cards at no cost so that their purchases can go towards rewards earned

Rates and Fees: Capital One’s rates and fees are dependent on your credit rating. Higher credit ratings means that the likelihood of you paying off most or all of the balance in a timely manner is higher, and therefore subject to lower variable Annual Percentage Rates (APR). Some may carry an annual fee, which is the trade off of better rewards.

Below are various credit cards grouped by credit rating.

Business Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Credit Card Name Variable APR Annual Fee Rewards
Spark® Cash for Business 16.90% $0 first year;
$59 afterwards
unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases; one-time $500 cash bonus if $4,500 spent on purchases within first 3 months
Spark® Cash for Business 0% until May 2016; 12.9%-20.9% afterwards 0 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases; one-time $200 cash bonus once $3,000 spent on purchases within first 3 months
Spark® Miles for Business 16.90% $0 first year;
$59 afterwards
unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, no blackouts or seat restrictions; one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if $4,500 spent on purchases within first 3 months
Spark® Miles Select for Business 0% until May 2016; 12.9%-20.9% afterwards 0 unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, no blackouts or seat restrictions; one-time bonus of 20,000 miles if $3,000 spent on purchases within first 3 months

 Capital One offers two types of rewards for businesses, either in the form of cash back earned with Spark® Cash for Business and Spark® Cash Select for Business or bonus miles accumulated with Spark® Miles for Business and Spark® Miles Select for Business.

If your business has a lot of operating expenses, earning unlimited 1.5% cash back with the Spark® Cash Select for Business could help reduce overall expenses. You can maximize the rewards by earning unlimited 2% cash back with the Spark® Cash for Business, which has an annual fee. Also, 2% unlimited cash back is the highest compared to other major cash back credit cards. Spend enough, and the earned cash back can cover for the annual cost easily. If you’re not sure if Spark® Cash for Business is the right card for you, the first year is free of fees for you to try out.

If your business has a lot of traveling expenses, you could consider the Spark® Miles Select for Business, where you can earn unlimited 2X bonus miles on all purchases towards future traveling plans, making traveling budgets easier to manage. For those that travel often, Spark® Miles for Business would be a better choice since it has a higher one-time bonus if you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months and a lower variable APR, which is offset by the annual fee. If you’re not sure if Spark® Miles for Business is the right card for you, the first year is free of fees for you to try out.

Business Credit Card for Average Credit

Credit Card Name Variable APR Annual Fee Rewards
Spark® Classic for Business 22.90% 0 unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases

Capital One offers businesses the Spark® Classic for Business. With an average credit, the variable APR is 22.90%. However, you can enjoy unlimited 1% cash back on any purchases made without an annual fee.

That was a lot of information, right? Luckily you can go onto the Capital One site and easily compare side by side which card is perfect for you. Who knows? Maybe more than one card fits your needs, so fill up your wallet with cards that have rewards that you can get the most out of.

Capital One offers businesses the Spark® Classic for Business. With an average credit, the variable APR is 22.90%. However, you can enjoy unlimited 1% cash back on any purchases made without an annual fee.

That was a lot of information, right? Luckily you can go onto the Capital One site and easily compare side by side which card is perfect for you. Who knows? Maybe more than one card fits your needs, so fill up your wallet with cards that have rewards that you can get the most out of.

 

Click Here for Capital One Credit Cards

 

TD Bank Review

Debit Card(s) at TD Bank

TD Bank offers one basic debit card. This debit card offers a rewards program, which is pretty typical of most debit cards. However, this rewards program offers few redemption options and the supporting vendors are pretty obscure. Examples include Gemvara and eBags.

Credit Cards at TD Bank

TD Easy Rewards Visa Credit Card: The TD Bank Easy Rewards card is their basic credit card. It utilizes a points redemption program to incentivize your purchases. As with most credit cards, it offers a sign-up bonus. This particular card has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points (roughly $200) upon spending $1500 in the first 90 days. This is a ho-hum rewards bonus. While it is a decent value,  it is nowhere near as lucrative as some of the rewards bonuses of competing cards. However, an additional sign-up bonus makes it slightly more attractive.

In the first 6 billing cycles (6 months) you can 5x the points on eligible purchases. Eligible purchases include dining, groceries, gas, and cable, utility, and phone bills. You can earn up to 45,000 points during this period. Unfortunately, to rack up 45,000 points you would still need to spend about $9,000 during that 6 month purchase. For the standard spender, that is a very steep price to pay for a $450 value, but for a big spender it’s an easy payout. At the end of the 6 months you revert to earning 1 point per $1 spent, which means the value of this credit card drops significantly. Their rewards redemption options are fairly impressive, with over 400 rewards including some nifty electronics and gift cards for popular franchises. You can also redeem your points for cashback. As most banks do, it brags 0% APR during the first year. After that, your APR jumps to 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% depending on your credit score. As always, you are hopefully paying off your balance in full each month – so the APR of a card shouldn’t be a big part of your decision – unless it’s over 22.99%, which is a good indicator of a bank that’s trying to rip you off.

TD Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card: This credit card is nearly identical to the Easy Rewards card, the only difference is that it focuses on cash back rewards. It offers the same rewards bonuses and APR Rates. Strangely enough, you can still redeem your points for rewards, so it really is interchangeable to the Easy Rewards Card.

TD First Class Visa Credit Card: The focus of this card is that you can redeem your points for airlines miles. Many competing credit cards offer this option, and this card falls far behind the competition’s bonuses. Its sign-up bonus awards you with 15,000 points the first time you use this card and an additional 10,000 points upon spending $3,000 points within the first 3 months. Many airline miles cards will offer you more points for less spending. The Citi Platinum Card AAdvantage Card offers 30,000 (essentially a round-trip flight) for spending $1,000 in the first three months. However, you can also earn triple points on qualifying travel and dining purchases. While this benefit alone isn’t a big deal by itself, its lack of a cap on these earnings is worthy of note. It’s also worth noting that after the first year you will be charged $89 dollars annually. Be aware that because this card has a minimum $5,000 limit, applicants with lower credit scores may not qualify.

TD Ameritrade Client Rewards Card: The TD Ameritrade card is altogether unimpressive. While the spending requirement is low ($500), it’s $100 cash back reward is pretty meager. If you spend more than $500 in 3 months, you should probably look into alternative credit cards. You can earn 1.5% in rewards on all purchases, as well as an extra 10% when depositing your rewards into an eligible TD Ameritrade account. So, while having an Ameritrade account does increase the value of this card, the maximum of 1.65% cashback earnings doesn’t match up to the many cards that offer a rate of 2% or more.

TD Aeroplan Visa Card: The Aeroplan Visa Card utilizes a rewards program partnered with AirCanada. The 25,000 point sign-up bonus for $1,000 spent is a moderate value that is pretty similar to the sign-up bonuses offered by other airline sponsored cards. Beyond the sign-up bonus, this card is pretty boring. You earn 1x points on standard purchases and 2x points on AirCanada purchases. It’s important to be aware of your ability to transfer points from many other cards to Aeroplan. Many of these other cards have larger standard returns and offer triple or quadruple points on qualifying purchases. As with many other airline partnered cards, you can expect to see a high return in the first 3-6 months, but the savings will drop significantly after that brief ‘honeymoon’ period when your sign-up bonus has come and gone and you’re paying a $95 annual fee.

Checking Accounts at TD

TD Simple: This debit account is TD’s “basic” option. You pay a monthly $5.99 fee to maintain your account. Unfortunately, chances are that if you can’t afford to keep a minimum balance in your account you most likely cannot afford a monthly fee. Unlike most banks, this fee will not be waived if the account holders makes regular direct deposits.

TD Convenience: This card allows you to waive your monthly fee of $15 by maintaining a minimum $100 balance. This is no real issue for most of us. However, TD seems to always be just behind the offerings of competing banks. For instance, the claimed perk of this account is that you will receive a discount on your first order of checks. Many banks will gift you with you an order of checks or give you a discount for each subsequent order of checks.

TD Premier: TD’s Premier option is an interest-bearing checking account. It requires a $2500 minimum balance to waive the $25 monthly fee, which is a bit rich for many of us. It’s always nice to rake in some savings, though!

TD Relationship: This checking account is slightly strange. The idea behind it is that you and your partner bundle your accounts to up your balance to enjoy discounts and benefits. Amazingly, it requires a minimum balance of $20,000 to avoid paying the monthly fee. This minimum balance is extremely high and makes this account inaccessible to many couples.

The only appeal is that you don’t have to pay any ATM fees (TD and non-TD) when you minimum balance stays about $2,500.

TD 60+: Geared towards seniors, this account requires a minimum balance of $250 to avoid the monthly fee – which is admittedly low compared to TD’s other offerings. The nicest perks are the free checks and money orders. This account is a decent option for someone looking for a simple, no-yield account.

TD Student: This account is perfect for a young student looking for something basic. Full-time students under the age of 24 do not have to pay any monthly balances on this account or on connected TD Student Savings accounts. Not bad!

Savings Accounts at TD

Even the top savings accounts at TD have APYs that fall quite a bit below the national average. pursuing a savings account at TD is not recommended unless you are very attached to the bank or do not qualify for other accounts. The following list briefly describes the differing benefits for each of their accounts.

TD Simple Savings: This base savings account has a .05% APY and requires a minimum balance of $300 to waive the monthly fee.

TD Growth Money Market: With this higher end card your APY goes up as your savings increase. These APY rates range from .05% to .35%. It also offers the convenience of checks. You can waive the monthly fee if you are 62 or older, or you maintain a balance of $2,000.

TD Relationship: This account has the same basic idea as the Relationship checking account. You combine your finances to enjoy the benefits of a higher balance. The APYs for this account range from .05% to .4%.

Other Financial Services

Loans: TD offers an array of additional services typically found at most banks. However, the loan selection they offer is shockingly limited. At TD Bank, you cannot obtain reverse mortgages, debt consolidation loans, or automobile loans. Hybrid loans are not available either. While you can apply for home mortgages, personal loans, FHA loans, and student loans, the interest rates at which they offer these loans are not competitive. If you are having trouble receiving loan approval from other banks but are accepted by TD Bank, their rates are not a deal breaker – there are simply more money savvy options easily available to most people.

CDs: The annual CD yield rates of TD are noticeably unimpressive. While the national average for a 1 Year APY is .35%, TD’s rate is .20%. To receive a higher return you would have to select a long term option, but these elevated returns still wouldn’t keep up with the competition’s long term options.

Insurance: TD offers auto, home, travel, life, health, and alternative vehicle insurance. Their motorcycle insurance policies are particularly popular. The general consensus is that TD offers a number of affordable insurance plans, but their coverage is fairly minimal. Even fairly decent plans are quite expensive at TD. Customer reviews in regards to their insurance policies are mixed. Some remark that filing a claim is an easy, quick process while others wax lyrical about the difficulties TD put them through. This is normal, as most banks/insurance providers have overwhelmingly negative reviews. One commonly seen report however, is that while the rates start out low, they quickly rise in the following years and customers are hit with hidden charges. Overall, their insurance plans seem fall in the middle of the pack.

Customer Support: If you need to contact TD Bank with a question or problem, you can contact them by phone or email. Their website has a fairly in depth FAQs section, as well. The big sticking point here is that they don’t offer web chat support, which is an extremely common and convenient feature offered by the majority of banks today. On a positive note, the amount of complaints they receive each year is less than the average number of complaints received by banks of a similar size. TD is also open for longer hours than most banks, and many of its branches are open on the weekends. This feature is very convenient to those working typical 9-5 jobs.

Bottom Line Conclusion – Should You Bank with TD Bank?

If you attracted to a TD bank because you live near a branch or receive a reward/bonus from work, don’t be scared off of signing up with them. While they are not rated highly by experts, they do not exhibit typical predatory behavior and they are considered financially stable. However, opening an account with them is not financially savvy or financially stupid. If you are looking to yield considerable savings, look elsewhere. While their debit cards are fair options, their checkings and savings accounts are less attractive than many of the alternatives. Their website is outdated and hard to navigate. It is also concerning that they are said to only pull from Experian, which can be a big issue for people who depend upon their Experian score. Their features and services are unimpressive, at best. Also, while similar complaints are heard in regards to most banks, many customers report that TD has a plethora of hidden fees and will charge you staggering overdraft penalties. If you have some sort of connection to TD or are just looking for something, go for it – just make sure to read the fine print to avoid fees. But if you are actively looking to open an account with the best possible benefits, research other banks thoroughly before signing up with TD.

Go to TD Bank Here