In Budgeting, Canada, For Beginners, Money

Tips and Tricks: How to handle regular banking with an online bank

I’ve been with online banks since I was 19 (like President’s Choice (PC) Financial or Tangerine in Canada).

I basically hate paying bank fees, don’t like leaving money as a balance in there just to waive the fees (sometimes I use more than I need and I don’t want to think about that) and have run the gamut in learning how to handle online banking.


So I am an idiot.

I like to keep zero dollar balances in accounts and I move money all over the place to try and get the best interest rate.

In doing so, sometimes I totally, utterly EFF UP and end up putting in a transfer for MORE than what is available in my account and I get charged a NSF (insufficient funds) fee of $45.

The trick to avoid this is simply to EMAIL THE MONEY TO YOURSELF.

It only costs $1 and you can email however much you need to yourself and deposit it at your other bank account to avoid this fee. It’s instant, super fast, and $1 is way cheaper than $45 especially if you KNOW you don’t have enough and you can see the collision happening.

Example scenario:

$1000 in my PC Financial account

I ask Tangerine to debit $1500 from PC to move into Tangerine

OOPS! I realize I only have $1000 to debit because I had already moved $500 the day before and screwed up.

Enter: Email money transfer $500 to myself, and deposit it into PC

Wait for Tangerine to debit the money which is now $1500

Avoid: $45 NSF charge.

*dusts off hands*


Use my Tangerine referral ID: 32726976S1 to get $50 and $150 in bonuses





When I bought my car, it was around $9000. I needed a bank draft / certified cheque or else I couldn’t buy the car, but what’s a girl to do when you have the cash sitting in your online bank account to buy said car, but you can’t get a bank draft from an online bank like Tangerine or PC?

Solution: You have an account at a standard bank like TD Bank, and you have a LINE OF CREDIT you can draw upon (who cares what the interest rate is), and use the money, then pay it off with a cheque from your online bank.

Example scenario:

I have to get a bank draft for $9000.

I go to TD Bank. I get a bank draft for $9000 from my line of credit and pay the $7.50 draft fee.

On the spot, I write a cheque to myself from PC Financial for the entire amount of $9007.50

I deposit that amount into my line of credit.

The debit cancels out the credit, and I end up with a balance of $0.

To icing on the cake is I didn’t pay a SINGLE CENT in interest for using the line of credit, because I paid it off THAT DAY. If I had paid it off the next day, I’d have been charged 8% annual interest on the $9000 (compounded daily).


Have a USD account with a standard bank like TD. This is what I do, and I deposit all my USD cheques in there that don’t come via Paypal, and I convert it to CAD or keep it in USD and transfer it to Questrade to buy stocks.


Use my Questrade referral ID: o0soehds and get $50 in free trades


Any other tips and tricks to share?


Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

How and when do you shop for clothes?

Posted on March 11, 2018

Previous PostOctober 2014: What I bought, watched and read
Next PostThe Canadian Financial 'Money Things To Do' Checklist for Each and Every Year


  1. ArianaAuburn

    PC Financial was good to us when we first moved to Canada ($200 CAD daily limit was a challenge though). We were shocked at how RBC and Other banks were charging ridiculous amounts for basic banking services. If we needed cash, we would write a check but had to wait a week or so for it to get cashed (from USD to CAD). It takes two weeks to get a check cashed and converted from CAD into USD when deposited into a US bank account. This turned out to be cheaper than using a regular wire transfer.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      PC and Tangerine are excellent banks. The rest are crooks.

  2. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    We were with PC Financial and I lived their everyday services. When we bought our car we ended up maxing both our debit cards out then topping up with everything in our pockets. Not elegant, but it got us our car. We’re with TD now, but we’re thinking of changing once our mortgage is paid.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      TD is a good professional general bank but their fees are stupid.

      1. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

        @save. spend. splurge.:

        We don’t pay any banking fees, or an annual fee for our credit card, but we need to leave a not insignificant balance in our account. When the mortgage is done we’ll definitely be shopping around.

        1. save. spend. splurge.

          Ahhhh. I hate balance fees too. I’m so used to leaving $0…

  3. Kassandra

    Looks like you and I bank with TD for much the same reasons lol. Like you, I earn income in both currencies so I’m a frequent user of their cross-border services.


Leave a Reply

In a nutshell…

Save. Spend. Splurge.
[ wealth. style. minimalism. ]


MOST DEBT: cleared $60K in 18 months

MONEY: Hit $1M personal net worth At 36

NEW GOAL: $1M in invested assets


HATES: being late & lazy people

SOCIAL: Instagram @saverspender

DRINKS: homemade matcha lattes

SLEEPS: on a 100% cotton U.S.-made futon

WRITES: Books (also available on Amazon).

BEAUTY: swears by Paula’s Choice


…but you can read more about me , browse my index of posts, or get in touch with me, talk to me directly on Instagram, and of course, ask me anything here.

$35 The Wealth Building Tool

Like a Boss Library (Sherry’s Books)

Referral Codes

Free Money Surveys
[ Use this link ]

[ saverspender ]

Shopping Cashback
[ Use this link ]

Clothing Resale


Private Lending
[ 7b03f0 ]

No-Fee Banking
[ 32726976S1 ]

Discount Brokerage
[ o0soehds ]

Social media scheduler
[ saverspender ]

Blog Ad Network
[ Use this link ]


Save. Spend. Splurge. uses affiliate links from Shopstyle, and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to or ShopStyle. In addition to these, any referrals on the page will result in revenue if used such as BlueHost.

In English: If you click on a link, I could get a small commission, typically a few cents. And if you use a referral code, I could get anywhere from $10 – $70 for it. Thank you for your kind support!

Also, I am not a professional investment advisor or money manager by any means.

I am just a woman who loves money, talking about money, and making money.

All opinions expressed on this blog are personal and for entertainment value. Take them with a grain of salt and always consult a professional when in doubt.