Oaken Financial Review
Oaken Financial offers Canadians some of the best high-interest savings account and GIC interest rates in the country. If you’re looking for a place to keep your emergency fund, save for a down payment on a home, or want to set aside cash in a TFSA or RRSP, Oaken Financial is one of the best options out there.
- High interest Savings Accounts
- Competitive GIC Rates
- TFSA, RRSP, and RRIF accounts
About Oaken Financial
Oaken Financial is a Canadian online bank that offers high-interest savings accounts and GICs. They provide some of the most competitive interest rates among Canadian financial institutions. You may have heard of their parent company, Home Trust, Canada’s largest independent trust company, which offers mortgages and credit cards.
The Oaken Financial Savings Account charges no fees and currently pays 1.15% interest. Oaken Financial’s one-year GIC currently boasts a 1.40% interest rate, and the five-year GIC has an interest rate of 2.20%. These interest rates are twice as high as most competitors! Plus, Oaken Financial offers TFSAs, RRSPs, and RRIFs, which means you have the option to grow your interest income in a tax-sheltered account as well.
Oaken Financial is a safe, secure, and CDIC-insured high-interest banking option for Canadians. While they do offer some of the best interest rates on the market, savings accounts and GICs are the only products Oaken offers. There is no chequing account, so you won’t be able to use Oaken Financial for your everyday banking.
- High-interest rates: The Oaken Financial Savings Account and GICs have interest rates that are double that of most big bank competitors.
- Digital bank: You can do everything at Oaken Financial completely online. While there are brick and mortar locations in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary and Vancouver, these locations are currently closed due to COVID-19 or by appointment only.
- Short- and long-term GICs: Oaken Financial offers GICs with terms from 30 days to 5 years, all with high-interest rates. It’s worth looking at how interest rates vary by term, as sometimes there is a higher interest rate for a shorter GIC term. For example, you can currently get 1.60% on an 18-month GIC, which is higher than the rates for both the two- and three-year GICs.
- Redeemable and Cashable GICs: Oaken Financial offers both redeemable and cashable GICs, which means you can access your savings even before the GIC has matured.
- No fees: You won’t pay a dime to open an account with Oaken Financial.
Oaken Financial rates and terms
At the time of writing, these are the latest Oaken Financial rates and terms:
Product Terms Highest Rate Savings account N/A 1.15% Registered GICs (TFSA, RRSP, RIF)
1-5 years Up to 2.20% Non-registered long-term GICs 1-5 years Up to 2.20% Non-registered short-term GICs 30-364 days Up to 1.35% Cashable GICs 30-90 days 0.50%
Pros and Cons
- Awesome interest rates — 1.15% on savings accounts and up to 2.20% on GICs.
- No limit on the number of transactions — You can transfer money in and out of your Oaken Financial savings account as often as you need.
- Flexible GIC terms — GIC terms range from 30 days to 5 years, all of which are at great interest rates up to 2.20%.
- Redeemable GICs — Redeem your GIC before its term maturity date for a slightly lower interest rate.
- Cashable GICs — Redeem a cashable GIC at any time without penalty after a brief 30- to 90-day locked-in period.
- TFSA and RRSP accounts
- No fees
- No everyday banking option — Only offers savings and GIC accounts. No chequing accounts.
- GICs require a minimum investment of $1,000
- No debit card or access to ATMs — If you need to quickly access your cash, you have to transfer funds to another bank account.
How Does It Compare?
When it comes to comparing Oaken Financial with its competitors, it comes out far ahead of the big banks overall. But Oaken lags a bit behind EQ Bank in terms of day-to-day usability and interest rates for savings accounts. However, when it comes to GICs, Oaken Financial edges out over EQ Bank’s offerings.
As previously mentioned, Oaken Financial’s savings account currently offers 1.15% interest, which is just behind the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account’s everyday interest rate of 1.25%*. In addition to the slightly better interest rate, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account functions as a blended savings account and everyday banking account. You can pay bills and send Interac eTransfers from your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account, but you’ll need a secondary bank account for these types of transactions if you choose Oaken Financial.
When it comes to GICs, Oaken Financial offers terms that range from 30 days to five years. EQ Bank offers GICs with terms ranging from three months to 10 years. With the exception of EQ Bank’s current feature 1.30% interest rate on a three-month GIC, all of Oaken Financial GIC interest rates are higher than those offered by EQ Bank.
Oaken Financial offers both cashable and redeemable GICs so your money is always accessible to you. This is better than EQ Bank’s GICs, which are non-redeemable and cannot be cashed before their maturity date. However, it is worth noting that you need a $1,000 minimum to buy a GIC from Oaken Financial, but only $100 to buy one from EQ Bank. This is why Oaken Financial is ideal for big savings goals, whereas EQ Bank may be better for more day-to-day banking for Canadians.
*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
Signing up for Oaken Financial
You can sign up for an Oaken Financial Savings Account or buy a GIC online, by phone, in person at Oaken Financial store (when open), or by mail.
To sign up online, you’ll need to provide your name, address, email address, and social insurance number. You’ll begin by selecting which type of account you want to open and answering a few additional questions.
You’ll be asked to select the issuer of your GIC. Both Home Bank and Home Trust are the same company, so no matter which you select you will be entitled to the same great interest rate. You then choose the term of your GIC and how often you want it to compound.
Finally, select the amount you want to deposit, how you want to receive interest payments, and where you want the GIC to be deposited when it matures. If you do not have an Oaken Financial Savings Account, you can select another financial institution.
Voila! You’re signed up for Oaken Financial.
Oaken Financial FAQs
The Verdict: Is Oaken Financial worth it?
Oaken Financial is an excellent choice for long-term, large balance savings goals like an emergency fund, a house down payment, or retirement. It offers a competitive interest rate on savings accounts, and the best GIC rates in Canada for a variety of terms.
Another great perk is that you have the option to choose a cashable GIC, so you have easy access to your money if you need it. If you’re looking for a safe and secure “out of sight, out of mind” place to start saving for big financial goals, Oaken Financial is a great choice.