Meridian Credit Union Review
A credit union is a financial institution that is owned by its Members and is a cooperative. Credit unions operate on the principle of people helping each other. One way credit unions achieve this is by offering members competitive rates and optimal financial services.
The largest credit union in Ontario is Meridian Credit Union as they manage approximately $27 billion assets and have nearly 375,000 members. Meridian is the second largest credit union in Canada. In the spring of 2019, Meridian Credit Union launched motusbank which is a brand new digital bank. In the review below, you can explore more about Meridian Credit Union, banking experiences and how Meridian compares to their competitors.
About Meridian Credit Union
Meridian Credit Union is one of the biggest credit unions in all of Canada. The financial institution has 75 years of banking history.
Meridian Credit Union provides their customers with a full range of financial services and has 89 branches across Ontario. Customers also have access to 43,000 surcharge free ABMs in North America with The Exchange Network and all the Allpoint network in the US. If customers would prefer, they can also bank online, through mobile or by phone.
Meridian is also a member of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO). This provincial agency protects depositors of Ontario credit unions from deposit loss. DICO protects non-registered, insurable deposits, such as savings and chequing deposits, for up to $250,000 per person. For registered deposits, such as to TFSAs or RRSPs, deposits are 100% guaranteed.
In the past year, Meridian Credit Union launched motusbank which is a national digital bank. This digital bank allows non-Ontario residents to access Meridian’s competitive financial products in all provinces and territories, except Quebec.
Personal Banking with Meridian Credit Union
There are ample personal banking products offered by Meridian Credit Union. Let’s explore what aspects of Meridian’s banking products make them competitive and convenient for individuals.
Meridian Chequing Accounts
Meridian has a chequing account for every individual need you could imagine. Meridian Credit Union offers seven different chequing accounts:
- Pay As You Go. Maintain a balance of $2,000 and receive no monthly fee and unlimited transactions for free.
- For those ages 18 to 29, receive unlimited free transactions and four free Interac e-transfers each month for no monthly fee.
- Bank wherever you want, whenever you want without having to visit a branch for $9 a month.
- For $5 a month, receive a limited number of transactions per month and the ability to bank in a variety of ways.
- Convenience Plus. For $12 a month, receive unlimited free transactions, free CAD drafts and one free cheque order every year.
- This account is designed for seniors and comes with a free cheque order, four free CAD drafts, unlimited free transactions and free paper statements for no monthly fee.
- U.S. Dollar. For individuals that frequently work with the U.S. dollar, receive and make U.S. dollar payments while earning interest on your balance monthly.
Meridian Credit Cards
Meridian Credit Union offers six unique credit cards and cardholders gain access to banking benefits with Meridian.
- Meridian Visa Cash Back Card. Earn cashback with no annual fee.
- Meridian Visa Platinum Cash Back Card. Earn 2% cashback on eligible purchases.
- Meridian Visa Infinite Cash back Card. Receive 4% cashback on eligible purchases.
- Meridian Visa US Dollar Card. Earn 1 reward point for every dollar spent on all purchases.
- Meridian Visa Platinum Travel Rewards. Earn travel rewards while you spend.
- Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards. Earn travel rewards while you spend with premium protection.
Meridian offers personal loans, lines of credit and home equity lines of credit when their customers are in need. Their rates are competitive and borrowing can be done on a secured or unsecured basis.
Meridian Savings Accounts
Whether you’re a young adult learning how to manage your finances or a mature individual saving for retirement, there is a savings account for you at Meridian.
- Youth Savings Account. For individuals 17 and younger, learn basic banking skills and savings options with no monthly fee or transaction fees.
- Advantage Savings Account. Earn interest monthly on what you save. Bank how you want with this account, whether that’s online, telephone or in-person.
- High Interest Savings Account. Earn more on your saved money with this account.
- TFSA High Interest Savings Account. Earn high interest on your TFSA savings.
- RRSP High Interest Savings Account. Save for retirement while earning high interest.
- RRIF High Interest Savings Account. Grow your savings with this high interest account.
You can complete a mortgage application online from the comfort of your home. If you would prefer, you can also speak with a specialist online or in-person to complete your mortgage application. Regardless of whether you want a variable or fixed rate mortgage, you can get a competitive offer with Meridian and take advantage of the following programs:
- Up to 20% Prepayment. Pay down your principal balance up to 20% extra per year without fees or penalties.
- Pre-approval. Get pre-approved on your mortgage with a 90 day guaranteed rate.
- 3% Cash Back. Obtain 3% cash back on some of Meridian’s fixed and variable rate mortgages.
- Skip Payments. Ability to skip a month’s mortgage payment once each year.
Business Banking with Meridian Credit Union
Meridian Credit Union primarily caters to small businesses in Canada. By using their financial products, Meridian can help small businesses send and receive money, save, invest, finance and plan for the future.
Chequing & Saving
Just like individuals, businesses need accounts to send, receive and save money. You can also file your business taxes online using Meridian’s online banking services. Meridian offers various chequing and savings accounts, as listed below.
- Small Business Chequing. If you’re just starting out, you can receive six transactions per month and one free cheque when you maintain a $500 minimum balance. The monthly fee is $5.
- Prosper Chequing. Bank however you want with no transaction fees and merchant services deposits for $25 a month.
- Prosper Plus Chequing. If you need a personal and business account combined into one, this is the account for you. There are no transaction fees at all and the cost is $30 a month.
- E-Prosper Chequing. For those that prefer to do their banking online, this account gives you unlimited self-serve transactions and five in branch transactions for $9 a month.
- U.S. Dollar Account. If you have U.S. customers and suppliers, you can handle U.S. funds while earning interest.
- Advantages Savings. Ideal for businesses who need liquidity to support growth. If your business has a surplus cash of less than $100,000, this is the savings account for you.
- Advantage Plus Savings. Earn high interest even when your balance is low.
- Not for Profit or Community Account. An account designed to help charities and non-profit organizations meet their financial needs.
Meridian Credit Cards
Credit cards can be a convenient way for businesses to pay their bills. You can also access perks and rewards while you spend. Meridian is currently offering their business Visa cards free for the first year.
- Meridian Visa Infinite Business Cash Back Plus Card. The first Visa Infinite credit card for business in Canada.
- Meridian Visa Business Flex Cash Back Plus Card. Low interest rates and cashback to help manage costs.
- Meridian Visa Business Cash Back Plus Card. This credit card comes with no annual fee and cashback.
If your business has some idle cash, you can invest your money into cashable, raise rate, non-redeemable or index linked GICs. Because of the wide array of GIC options, you can invest your money in whichever way suits your needs best. All of the GICs offered by Meridian will have competitive rates meaning you’ll earn more for your idle dollars.
Whether you’re a startup business or an established company, Meridian Credit Union can help you with your financing needs. Meridian offers loans, lines of credit, mortgages and equipment financing for businesses. In addition, they can help you gain access to government and special financing programs in Canada.
Meridian Credit Union versus Competitors
If you live in Ontario, you might be wondering how Meridian compares to the six big banks. The main advantage of working with Meridian is the wide range of product offerings. In addition, you’ll likely receive competitive rates on financial products whereas big banks don’t tend to offer good rates unless it’s favourable to them. Finally, Meridian members offer online and branch networks similarly to big banks. Meridian’s subsidiary, motusbank, is an excellent option if you prefer to bank online and snag cheaper banking fees in exchange for no branches.
The drawback to working with Meridian is the lack of long term investment options. If you’re looking for a cheap way to trade stocks, your best option is to open a trading account with a bank or independent broker. However, many Canadians choose to work with two or three banks nowadays. You can always use Meridian for your day to day banking needs and use another financial institution for your long term investment needs. Also, if you prefer to bank in-branch, Meridian isn’t a great option if you reside outside of Ontario because there aren’t any Meridian branches.
Meridian Credit Union and You
Meridian Credit Union has a lot to offer Canadians from flexible banking options to competitive rates. However, before you rush to open an account with Meridian, it’s worth your while to poke around their website to determine if it’s right for you. You should also take a moment to consider your alternatives to ensure that Meridian is right for you.