Motusbank Review (2020): Online Bank in Canada – High-Interest Savings and Low-Mortgage Rates

MOTUSBANK Review
Last updated Aug 13, 2020

Are you tired of low savings rates and fees from traditional banks and looking for a fresher, digital-savvy alternative? Enter motusbank (yes, with a lowercase m).

The word motus literally means “movement” or “motion,” and motusbank aims to represent a new movement in the digital banking sphere.

And it’s a welcome change to the traditional Big Five banks. In fact, according to the Canadian Bankers Association, more than 76% of Canadians were doing their banking online and through mobile in 2019.

Motusbank is certainly heading in a modern direction. Want to know more about how motusbank stacks up against the competition? Read this motusbank review to find out more.

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Motusbank Review Quick Summary

WealthAwesome Score: 4.75/5

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Highlights of Features

  • 3 types of high-savings accounts
  • Interest-generating chequing account: 
  • Low mortgage rates
  • Great rates on GICs 

PROS

  • Fully-digital bank: access to your funds anywhere with just a digital device and an internet connection.
  • Good reputation: backed by Meridian, the largest credit union in Ontario.
  • High savings account interest: 1.40% interest savings account is higher compared to traditional banks
  • Interest-earning chequing account: earn interest from funds in your chequing account, higher than the Big Five banks.
  • Fully insured: funds deposited are CDIC-insured for up to $100,000, the same as the Big Five banks.

CONS

  • No physical branches: lack of in-person support if you want to talk to someone face-to-face
  • No established history: newly-opened in 2019, this may be off-putting to some customers who want a more established bank.

Company History

Motusbank is the newest digital marketing bank on the scene. Since its launch in April 2019, motusbank has gained spotlight attention for having competitive interest rates and little-to-no fees.

And even though the company’s a new player on the block, motusbank is a subsidiary of Meridian, which has over 75 years of experience in the banking industry. In fact, Meridian Credit Union is the largest credit union in Ontario and the third-largest in Canada, with over $20.6 billion in assets under management and more than 337,000 members.

So although it’s still a new competitor in the digital banking arena, motusbank is trustworthy and highly-praised with Meridian’s reputable backing.

Signup Process

Signing up for motusbank is easy and can be done via the bank’s website. Just follow these 4 simple steps to sign up:

  1. Click the “Join now” button on the top-right corner.

  • Click “Open an account.” You can also choose other options, such as applying for a mortgage.

  • Fill in your personal information. This step includes information such as your address and Social Insurance Number (SIN).

  • Once you have been approved, you will be able to access motusbank online. From here, you can deposit cash and transfer funds, among a variety of other things.

What services does motusbank offer?

1. Motusbank savings account

Motusbank offers 3 types of savings accounts:

  • High-interest savings account with 1.40%
  • TFSA savings account 
  • RRSP savings account 

All the smart savings accounts also offer the following features:

  • Competitive high-interest rates
  • Zero monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement
  • Unlimited debit purchases and withdrawals
  • Access to over 3,700 FREE ATMs across Canada
  • Deposit insurance up to $100,000 by CDIC
  • Automated savings feature that allows you to round up your purchases and save your spare change

The real question is, how does the motusbank savings account compare to other banks? Take a look at the following chart from motusbank’s website:

The verdict? It’s quite an impressive rate compared to its competition, and not a bad choice if you’re looking to go all-digital.

However, EQ Bank, with its savings account offering a better interest rate at 1.70%, wins out for now.

2. Motusbank chequing account

Most chequing accounts offered by large banks provide extremely low levels of interest rates. However, motusbank shines in this category due to its interest rate of 0.25%, better than most other banks.

Sure, putting money into this account probably won’t be life-changing, however, it is a competitive rate compared to other similar banks.

Along with competitive rates, motusbank also offers these benefits:

  • No monthly account fees or daily banking fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals
  • No fees for most transactions
  • No-fee access to over 3,700 ATMs across Canada
  • Deposit cheques using your phone
  • Your first order of 25 cheques is free
  • Deposits insured up to $100,000 by CDIC

You’ll also get motusbank’s debit card if you open up a chequing account:

In the end, it’s a good idea to open a motusbank chequing account if the benefits and interest rates intrigue you.

3. Motusbank mortgage rates

For many Canadians, owning a home is on their bucket lists. Motusbank also aims at helping this dream come true— “We believe that every Canadian deserves a shot at owning a home,” says Dave Baldarelli, COO of motusbank.

Although rates vary depending on if you want a variable or fixed rate or depending on the length of the mortgage, motusbank rates are some of the best we’ve seen in any Canadian banks. For example, for fixed-rate mortgages from 1 to 5 years, motusbank offers impressively competitive rates.

Motusbank also offers the following benefits for mortgages:

  • 20/20 Prepayment Privileges: You can pay down up to 20% of your original principal balance, per year, without penalty. You can also increase your monthly payment by up to 20% of your original payment plan each year.
  • Skip-a-payment: You can skip up to one month’s worth of mortgage payments per year.
  • Flexible payment schedule: Choose to pay your mortgage weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly. You can also save on interest fees by making accelerated weekly or bi-weekly payments.

4. Investment products

Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) are a popular way to invest if you want a slow but safe option for earning money. 

  • 1-year Motusbank GIC: 1.2%
  • 5-year Motusbank GIC: 1.60%

Other benefits include:

  • Terms ranging from 30 days to 5 years
  • Tax-Free (TFSA) and RRSP GIC options
  • Minimum investments of as little as $100
  • Eligible deposits insured up to $100,000 by CDIC

5. Personal loans and lines of credit

Sometimes you need a loan or line of credit to get you out of a bind. Whether you need to consolidate credit card debt, finance your wedding, or even treat yourself to a nice candlelight dinner, motusbank offers attractive services and rates for the following:

  • Personal loans: You can borrow up to $35,000. Loan terms are from 1 month to 5 years.
  • Personal line of credit:
  • Secured home equity line of credit (HELOC)

While the borrowing rates are attractive, the minimum borrowing amount is $5,000. Motusbank also makes it very easy to apply for a loan or line of credit, as it can be done online in just minutes. Your credit score won’t be affected, either, until the loan is accepted.

Motusbank: Is it Worth It?

After hearing about the amazing benefits⁠— from their high-interest savings account with 0.25% interest to their low fixed-rate mortgages⁠— what impresses you the most?

As Bill Maurin says: “Motusbank is about a different way to bank. We’ve built an exceptional, friendly and transparent digital banking experience that is designed to make every experience a superior one, no matter how motusbank is accessed. And, on top of that, we’re serving up some of the most competitive rates in the country.”

The bottom line is that motusbank is an amazing new digital bank accessible to most Canadians. With benefits rivaling and even beating its competition, it’s a good idea to take advantage of what motusbank has to offer.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and let us know your opinion of motusbank.

If you liked this article…

<a href="https://wealthawesome.com/author/christopher-liew/" target="_self">Christopher Liew, CFA</a>

Christopher Liew, CFA

Creator of Wealth Awesome

A Canadian CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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