Figuring out where to bank often includes many factors. Convenience, bank size, and interest rates are all important when choosing your financial institution.
But what about credit unions? Have you considered doing business with them? Credit unions typically offer higher interest rates and lower fees than big banks. Plus, they offer the same range of services and products.
After much research, I found that Meridian is a solid credit union that can stack up against any other financial institution.
If you’re considering moving your money to a credit union, here’s a Meridian review for the details you should know.
- Competitive interest rates and low fees
- One-stop shop for all your financial needs
- Branches only located within Ontario
- Some services can take longer than compared to big banks
With over 370,000 members, Meridian is Ontario’s largest credit union. It’s also one of the largest credit unions in all of Canada.
Meridian offers services similar to big banks but focuses on keeping things personal.
The company is committed to making a difference within its communities and invests in local organizations, and encourages volunteer opportunities for its employees.
Meridian offers the typical services you would expect at any bank but often with better rates. Let’s check out what’s available.
Meridian offers a slew of different chequing account options. They include the following:
- Pay As You Go Chequing
- Limitless Chequing
- Convenience Chequing
- Electronic Chequing
- Convenience Plus Chequing
- Senior Chequing
- U.S. Dollar Chequing
As for savings accounts, there are a few to choose from, but the most popular is the high-interest savings account. It includes free unlimited transactions and a competitive interest rate.
It has no monthly fee, and you can open it as a regular saving, TFSA, RRSP, or RRIF account.
Having easy access to your money is a big deal for most people. With Meridian, there are 89 branches across Ontario.
In addition to over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Meridian cardholders have access to ATMs throughout North America via the EXCHANGE Network.
There are different ways to do your banking. You can either go in-person to a local branch, online, or use Meridian’s mobile app.
Each provides a way for customers to pay bills, send money, and transfer funds.
Other Financial Services
The credit union offers more than personal banking services. In addition, you can find business chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, as well as managing business solutions like payroll and receivables.
Meridian offers other personal financial services as well.
- Credit cards, including those with cashback offers
- Fixed and variable rate mortgages with flexible repayment schedules and competitive rates.
- Personal loans, lines of credit, and a host of credit tools and resources.
- You can also get mortgage and creditor insurance, as well as travel insurance.
Meridian also offers an investment platform. This allows customers a chance to grow their money with the help of advisors.
Choose to invest in:
- Retirement savings plan (either an RRSP or RRIF)
- A Registered education savings plan
- Tax-free savings account
- A Registered disability savings plan
In 2019, Meridian launched a completely online bank, motusbank. Because motusbank doesn’t have any physical locations, overhead costs are lower.
Those savings get passed onto the customers through no banking fees and better interest rates.
The largest credit union in Canada goes to Vancity. This company has very similar services to Meridian, so finding the differences between them is difficult.
They both offer personal banking options, as well as business ones. Both have insurance plans, mortgages, and investments.
The greatest difference between the two is that Vancity is based in British Columbia and Meridian is out of Ontario.
Both credit unions feature online and mobile app access. In addition, they each have convenient ATMs located throughout the country. They each top their respective markets.
As the largest bank in Canada, let’s compare RBC’s services with those of Meridian’s.
Not surprisingly, many of the products are the same. RBC offers both personal and business banking. In addition, they have a line of credit cards, mortgages, and investments.
The differences between the two lie in the details. RBC has many in-person branches located all throughout Canada. Meridian’s branches are only in Ontario.
However, the benefits of a credit union tend to include higher interest rates on savings accounts and lower fees. Many people also like the idea that credit unions are controlled by their members and not shareholders.
Overall, they both have pros and cons, and it’ll depend on your needs and wants to determine which is better for you.
Many reviewers were happy banking with Meridian. The product selection and customer service always received top comments. Lots of reviewers stated that they liked having an in-person branch to go to in case there were any problems.
The downside to the credit union is that things seem to take a bit longer. One reviewer complained that their mortgage application took over a week for approval when other banks had it available within a few days. Another reviewer noted that even E-transfers can take longer than expected.
Overall, most people enjoyed the level of service with Meridian, as well as their large selection of products. The biggest downside was that some services may take longer at the credit union than at bigger banks.
The credit union is part of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). This means that your non-registered insurable deposits, such as chequing and savings accounts, are protected up to $250,000.
Registered deposits, like in an RRSP or TFSA, have unlimited coverage.
Meridian is a one-stop-shop for customers. The credit union can cover all your financial needs, from banking to credit cards and mortgages, Meridian has competitive interest rates and low fees.
They’ve also recently expanded and now have a completely online bank as their subsidiary. If you’re looking to learn more, check out this motusbank review.