Do you live in Saskatchewan and are looking for a decent place to bank?
Most people who grow up in Canada think they are limited to large banks such as RBC for their banking needs.
However, many more Canadians are turning to non-profit credit unions for a chance to save money on fees while still having a branch that you can visit.
Consider Innovation Credit Union – A responsible banking institution that offers a no-fee account, decent returns, and a chance to contribute to the community. With over 32,000 members in Saskatchewan, the credit union is growing quickly.
One of the best products offered by this credit union is a no-fee account, which helps their members save about $300 a year. These are the fees you pay a conventional bank for holding your money safely in an account.
It includes the monthly fee required to maintain a chequing account, the cheapest of which is around $3.90 a month. Additionally, they charge on any debit transactions made over the allowed limit. A hefty chunk goes into ATM fees. All of this combine can reach up to a sum of $300 a year.
The no-fee account offered by Innovation allows you to save money on all these regular banking expenses.
Whether you are a savvy saver, seeking a way to boost your savings, or someone who just wants to give back, even a little, then Innovation credit union might have something for you.
Pros of Innovation Credit Union
- No fee account and little to no fee on other accounts.
- Dividend payments, with long-term allocations reaching decent amounts.
- Higher interest rates than big banks
- Giving back to the community
Cons of Innovation Credit Union
- Limited to Saskatchewan.
- Fewer branches compared to two larger credit unions.
- Limited investment options
Table of Contents
What is Innovation Credit Union?
Innovation is a Saskatchewan based credit union (which offers the banking solutions similar to a conventional bank but operates on a non-profit basis). The union is serving over 52,000 individuals, businesses, and organizations in the region.
It’s also striving to become a federal credit union. If it succeeds, it will be the third of its kind in the country and will have a national reach.
Innovation was formed in 2007 through the merger of two credit unions (Southwest and BCU). It’s currently the third-largest credit union in the province. There are many branches of Innovation Credit Union. Saskatoon, Swift Current, and North Battleford are some of the locations where you can find Innovation.
As a credit union, Innovation acts as a financial cooperative and runs on a not-for-profit basis and pursues responsible banking. That, in brief, means that it uses the returns on paying dividends to its members and helping the community. Unlike conventional banks, generating profits is not its core purpose.
About 32,593 people in Saskatchewan have a no-fee Innovation account. The union has furnished over $32 million member reward distributions and over six million in community investments. Still, it offers market competitive, and in some cases, market-beating rates to its members.
Innovation Credit Union Products
Many credit unions are lacking in products compared to conventional banking institutions.
Innovation hasn’t skimped on the number of products they offer. The company offers products under three different client types: Personal, Business, and Agriculture. Here are some of the products that Innovation offers:
For personal banking, this is a great way to save money by cutting any banking charges. Any Canadian national (not from Quebec), who already has an account with a regulated Canadian financial institution can apply for the no-fee account. The account can be opened with zero credit and has no hidden fees.
Low-Fee Interest Account
It’s for individuals who want to earn a little interest over their funds. For people who can maintain a balance of $5,000 or above, there is no monthly fee, and they earn 0.10% interest (calculated daily, provided monthly). For funds below that threshold, the interest of 0.05% is provided.
Members with US funds can open a US account with no monthly charge. They just have to pay service charges of every debit transaction. Interest in US accounts are also paid in USD.
Member Reward Program
This is perhaps the best product innovation offers. With every innovation account, the union opens up a member reward account for individuals.
The credit union offers cash dividends to its members that can be withdrawn anytime by transferring it to their no-fee or interest account. Also, the union allocates some of the funds in a long-term investment account.
How much dividends a member receives rely on a few factors, including union’s profits for the year, interest earned on the member’s credit union deposits, and current member account balance.
Normally, it’s not a very substantial sum and depends heavily on how much you “bank” with the union, but it’s a fantastic feeling to earn from banking instead of paying fees every month. .
The union deposited about $1.198 million into the member reward program just this quarter.
It offers free deposits, lower-than-average minimum balance requirements, and interests. There are several types of business account available. The right account for you will be based on the number of debit transactions your business requires each month.
A range of accounts are offered for agriculture-related clients. AgriInvest account, for example, offered in conjunction with the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, allows farmers to invest and receive matching contributions from the government. It was aimed to counter small income declines farming community might face.
How much the government will match your contribution varies year to year.
Innovation Credit Union vs. Affinity Credit Union
Affinity is one of the ten largest credit unions in the country and the second-largest in the province. Let’s see how Innovation holds up against its bigger brother.
- Affinity does not offer a no-fee account. They instead offer a low-fee ($12 a month) chequing account. Trough member loyalty program, you can get up to $9 of your fee back.
- Innovation offers Personal savings account rates of 1% for any amount deposited, while Affinity offers rates of 0.25% for a balance of $5,000 and over. Affinity has an saving account of which offers 1 interest%.
- Affinity offers five-year closed special mortgage rates of 3.39% and Innovation at 2.89%. Regular rates of Innovation are much higher than Affinity. One-year openfixed mortgage rates of Innovation are also much higher.
- For five-year TFSA escalator account, Affinity offers an effective yield of 2.45% while Innovation offers 2.35%.
- They both offer Ding Free debit cards, a mobile app, and online banking. Ding Free is the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Canada.
Innovation Credit Union Online Banking Login and Opening an Account
Opening an online, no-fee account with the Innovation credit union is easy. On its website, you go to the no-fee bank account option at the top. You will reach the signup window:
Before proceeding further, make sure you comply with the following requirements:
After that, it’s a six-step process to open an account:
Once you have filled out the details, you will receive confirmation. It usually takes about 10 minutes to open an account.
Is the Innovation Credit Union Safe and Legit?
All deposits made in Innovation Credit Union are fully guaranteed by Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC). It’s a financial body mandated by provincial legislation for the purpose of guaranteeing full repayment of deposits held by any credit union in the province. This offers a solid layer of protection to your money with the Innovation.
If Innovation is recognized as a federal credit union, the guarantee of deposits will be covered by Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). This will offer the deposits, the same level of deposit insurance coverage provided by CDIC.
According to Canada’s Credit Union Association, it’s one of the largest credit unions in the country. It’s also on its way to becoming a federal credit union, which will give its further solidification as a CDIC member. Currently, there are only two federal credit unions in the country.
Innovation Credit Union – City Information
Three major Innovation Credit Union branches and their contact numbers are:
Innovation credit union swift current
Address: 198 1 Ave NE, Swift Current, SK S9H 2B2, Canada
Phone: +1 866-446-7001
Innovation credit union North Battleford
Address: 1202 102 St, North Battleford, SK S9A 2Y7, Canada
Phone: +1 866-446-7001
Innovation credit union Meadow Lake
Address: 125 Centre St, Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y8, Canada
Phone: +1 306-236-5619
Innovation Credit Union Fees
Most Innovation credit union accounts are on no monthly fee basis. But there are other fees associated with different accounts. There are also transaction fees. A detailed list of which can be seen here.
Innovation Credit Union Customer Service
You can contact Credit Union for any questions you have or help you require regarding their services.
Monday – Thursday, 8 am to 8 pm
Friday, 8 am to 6 pm
Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm
Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm
You can also leave them a message through their contact-us window on the website.
Is Innovation Credit Union Right For You?
Innovation is for you if you:
- You want to spend less on banking.
- Want to earn more from your money in the bank than the fixed-rate interest.
- Care about giving back to the community.
- Need an actual no-fee account.
Innovation Credit Union – Who This Credit Union is NOT for
- People whose specific banking needs keep them tied to conventional institutions.
- It’s or people who don’t mind paying extra, just to have their money handled by a large bank.
- People who don’t understand what credit unions are and how they can be a better option for their routine banking needs.
Banks have always been some of the most powerful institutions. And they retain this power by having control over your money. So much so, that you are willing to pay a pittance to keep the bulk of your wealth and funds safe.
This thinking is so prevalent that people don’t even consider friendlier options like the Innovation Credit Union.
I feel that for regular folks small businessmen and farmers, whose banking needs are very simple, credit unions like Innovation are an amazing option. They fulfill our banking needs, let us save money on different fees and let us contribute to the community we belong to, even if just a little.
So if you haven’t yet, why not try opening a no-fee account with Innovation. You can use it as a secondary account and check out if it’s any different from your normal bank account. If it isn’t, and you are saving money on fees and even getting a little bit back in dividends, then this little financial institution might become more endearing to you then your current bank.
If you have anything to add to this review or contest any of the opinions or information shared, let us know.