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LBC Digital Review 2022: Fantastic Savings and GICs

LBC Digital Review

LBC Digital Review 2022: Fantastic Savings and GICs

Big banks are notorious for charging high fees for their products while offering little to no interest on your deposits. 

Luckily, digital banks in Canada are on track to solve this issue for Canadian consumers. 

LBC Digital is the trade name used by Laurentian Bank for its digital-only arm equipped with low fees and high-interest rates. 

In today’s post, I will cover this digital bank’s product offerings and compare it to other digital giants to see how it compares. 

Let’s dive in!

Our Verdict
LBC Digital Review

LBC Digital

Low fee, digital-only bank accounts 

Fantastic interest rates on savings and GIC options, coupled with a free, all-inclusive chequing account 

  • No-fee, all-inclusive chequing and savings accounts
  • Great interest rates on savings and GICs 
  • Free ATM access to thousands of ATMs across Canada
  • Call centre available for assistance
  • Deposits protected by CDIC up to $100,000
  • GICs are non-redeemable and non-registered only.
  • No loan or non-GIC investment products are available
  • Higher interest rates for savings accounts may be available elsewhere

LBC Digital: An Overview 

LBC Digital is the digital-only arm of the Laurentian Bank of Canada. Laurentian Bank has been serving its customers since 1846 and is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. 

With LBC Digital, most of your banking is done online through the LBC Digital web browser. However, you do also have options to visit ATMs across the country (there are 3,500 available to you at no cost through THE EXCHANGE Network) or get assistance through their call centre.

Their call centre operates 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on weekdays.  

Like most digital banks, LBC Digital offers low to no fees with relatively high-interest rates on saving accounts and guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) options. 

LBC Digital Features and Benefits

LBC Digital Review

As a relatively newer bank, LBC Digital only has three product offerings: a chequing account, a high-interest savings account, and a range of guaranteed investment certificates (GICs). 

Let’s go over each product to see whether they are worth it. 

LBC Digital Chequing Account

LBC Digital Chequing Account

Product Features:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • No minimum balance
  • Fee-free and unlimited account transactions (bill payments, transfers, debits, cheque deposits, pre-authorized transactions) 
  • Fee-free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Access to more than 3,500 ATMs across Canada (through THE EXCHANGE ATM network) 
  • Free monthly account statements (digital and paper) 

The LBC Digital Chequing Account is a great option for those looking for a digital-only chequing account.

Like many other digital chequing accounts, it offers its users free transactions and Interac e-Transfers with no monthly or per-use fees. 

Here are some additional product features in case you are interested. 

  • $1.50 cost for using non-EXCHANGE ATMs 
  • Personalized chequebooks are available (at a cost)
  • Bank drafts are available for $10 (even though they are a digital-only bank!) 
  • Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee is $50.00

My take on the LBC Digital Chequing Account:

I think that this account is truly great. But can you get a similar digital-only chequing account elsewhere? Yes. 

All in all, this chequing account has most of the features offered by other digital-only chequing accounts out there. It’s free, inclusive, and easy to use.

It’s not necessarily better or worse than other digital chequing accounts out there, so I don’t have anything particularly good or bad to say about it. 

However, you can likely find really good value in LBC Digital’s savings and GIC accounts (reviews coming up next).

If you’d rather have your chequing account at the same place as your savings or are particularly drawn to this account or bank, then I would say you should definitely go for this account.

You can learn more about the LBC Digital Chequing Account here

LBC Digital High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)

LBC Digital High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)

Product Features:

  • $0 monthly fee 
  • No minimum balance required 
  • Insured by CDIC for up to $100,000 (free and automatic coverage) 
  • A high-interest rate for balances up to (and including) $500,000 (significantly lower interest past this amount) 
  • Free fund transfers and cheque deposits 
  • Free monthly account statements (digital and paper) 

The interest rate on this savings account is better than most savings accounts out there, even those offered by other digital banks. So I would highly recommend that you check it out. 

Here are some additional features that you should keep in mind if you are interested in opening this account. 

  • $25 penalty charge for early closure (within 90 days of opening the account) 
  • Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee is $50.00
  • Easily transfer funds into this account by linking your account at another financial institution 

Please note that this savings account is not available as a registered product. You can check out other digital banks or big banks for registered products. 

You can learn more about this LBC Digital High-Interest Savings Account (HISA) here

LBC Digital Guaranteed Investment Certificates

LBC Digital Guaranteed Investment Certificates

Product Features:

  • One to five-year non‑redeemable terms available 
  • Only non-registered GICs 
  • Minimum $100 investment
  • Can be bought easily online (as long as you already have a chequing or savings account with LBC Digital) 
  • Insured up to $100,000 by CDIC (free and automatic coverage) 
  • Receive your earned interest at maturity (compounded annually) or have it paid out annually on the GIC anniversary date.

Again, the interest rate on these GICs is fantastic. 

The only downside? 

All GICs offered are non-redeemable and non-registered. 

Depending on your goals and intentions with your GIC investment, this may or may not be an issue. 

As a reminder, a non-redeemable GIC means that you must wait out the entire term before having access to your money again. That is, let’s say that you sign up for a five-year term.

This means that your money is locked away for the entirety of the five years, and you cannot withdraw it no matter how much you need it. 

Non-redeemable GICs almost always have better rates than redeemable GICs. So that does explain the great interest rate you would be getting on these GICs. 

When it comes to the fact that all LBC Digital GICs are non-registered, what this will mean for you depends on where you are at on your RRSP and TFSA contributions. 

If you are already maxed out on your TFSA contributions, for example, and are looking for a no-risk investment with relatively good returns, I would highly recommend these GICs to you. 

If you do, however, still have plenty of room for your registered contributions, I would recommend searching for registered options elsewhere. This way, you can take advantage of the tax benefits that are put in place by the government. 

To find out more about the LBC Digital GICs, head here

LBC Digital Alternatives and Competitors

LBC Digital Alternatives and Competitors

As I’ve mentioned already, LBC Digital has great rates when it comes to savings and GIC accounts. Let’s compare it to some other digital banking options in Canada to see how it ranks in comparison. 

LBC Digital vs. EQ Bank 

Like LBC Digital, EQ Bank has three primary products: the Savings Plus Account, a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Account, and TFSA and RSP Savings Accounts. 

The main difference between the two? EQ Bank offers registered products, as well as a US Dollar account and a joint account option. 

EQ Bank does also have slightly higher interest rates, specifically on their savings account. 

However, EQ Bank does not offer a chequing account. If you like to pair your savings with your chequing account, LBC Digital might be able to suit your needs better, especially as they also offer a debit card and the option to use ATMs across the country (EQ Bank does not.) 

You can learn more about EQ Bank in this review

LBC Digital vs. Tangerine

Tangerine is one of the few digital banks out there that can fully replace a brick-and-mortar bank. 

In addition to chequing, savings, and GIC accounts, they offer credit cards, loans, business accounts, investment funds, mortgages, and registered products. 

LBC Digital’s interest rates, however, are significantly higher than Tangerine’s. If you are on the market for a simple, digital savings account (and are planning on meeting your other financial needs at another financial institution), I would recommend LBC Digital over Tangerine. 

If you are, however, on the market for a does-it-all digital bank to replace a big bank, then go with Tangerine. 

You can learn much more about Tangerine here

Is LBC Digital Safe and Legit?

Is LBC Digital Safe and Legit?

Yes, LBC Digital is safe and legit. LBC Digital is a registered trade name of the Laurentian Bank of Canada, which is a Schedule One bank in Canada. 

Your deposits at Laurentian Bank and LBC Digital (combined) are also protected for up to $100,000 (per deposit category) per the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). 

Our Final Verdict – LBC Digital Review

LBC Digital Review

If you’re still paying monthly account fees in this day and age, you don’t have to be. 

LBC Digital is a great option for those looking for low-fee, digital banking with relatively high-interest rates on their savings and GIC accounts. I’m a big fan of the fact that they also offer debit cards, bank drafts, and free ATM access. 

All in all, I would highly recommend the LBC Digital chequing and savings accounts to you. As I’ve already mentioned, I firmly believe that they are fairly priced, inclusive, and easy to use. 

I also think that their GIC rates are great, but beware of the fact that registered options are not available.

Depending on your contribution limits, you may be better off finding registered GIC options elsewhere first. Just make sure you do your research on interest rates beforehand. 

Looking to learn more about registered products? 

Check out this Ultimate RRSP Guide for Canadians

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