Westminster Savings Credit Union has over a hundred thousand members and its assets are valued close to $9 Billion. It has subsidiaries in the form of WS Leasing Ltd; which is responsible for its vehicle leasing activities. Then there is the Mercado Capital Corporation which is responsible for its equipment leasing activities, and Westminster Savings Financial Planning Ltd.
The credit union has its head office in Surrey, British Columbia and has a staff strength of about 900 workers. It has 29 branches spread from Vancouver to Okanagan and runs a charity foundation, Westminster Savings Foundations that has assets currently valued at $9 Million.
Moreover, this credit union can brag of having 75 years of experience under its belt. The credit union has throughout all the time remained dedicated to its member’s needs and fulfilling career opportunities for its several employees. It has also in this time retained its commitment to the community development and does not hesitate to give back to the communities.
Western Savings Credit Union promises to continue to be the financial partner it has always been to its members and it will continue to help families and businesses alike thrive in the communities.
Let’s get started with the review now.
Westminster Savings Credit Union
Westminster Savings Credit Union is the third-largest credit union in the British Columbia province and the sixth-largest in all of Canada.
It claims to have the purpose “To be the financial partner of choice for busy families and growing small businesses in communities so they can achieve their most important goals.”
In a bid to do this as well as enrich its union member’s lives, Westminster has provided a selection of tools and products that will help all its customers and the union itself to drive forward.
The two credit unions have with the merger become one legal entity. Prospera Credit Union is currently in the transition period of cementing the merger completely.
So what are these tools and products that Westminster Savings Credit Union provides for its customers? We’ll look at this in the next section to come.
Westminster’s Products and Services
Westminster Savings Credit Union provides suitable tools for members in the areas of banking, investments and borrowing.
Depending on the purpose and needs of the end customer, you will have something offered for sure. They have a whole bunch of interesting products to offer
Now, Let’s take a better look at the products and services offered here.
1. Banking Tools
When it comes to banking tools, you have the chequing and the savings account. Then you have the credit cards as well as additional banking services. I’ll talk about this in just a bit.
2. Chequing Accounts
The Westminster Savings Credit Union provides you with a good amount of chequing account options for your everyday banking requirements.
Depending on your purpose and needs you have four chequing account options available:
Unlimited Chequing Account
Young Adult Chequing Account
Regular Chequing Account
Daily Interest Chequing account
Each of the chequing account types has its own peculiarities and you have some like the Young Adult Chequing Account that is only open to select groups of people.
Let’s begin with the “Unlimited Chequing Account”.
1. Unlimited Chequing Account
As the name suggests, The Westminster Savings Credit Union’s Unlimited Chequing Account comes with limitless monthly transactions all for $10 each month.
It’s preloaded with lots of useful features such as free Interac e-transfers, free withdrawals.
Again, from free withdrawals I mean to say either from ATMs or over the counter at a branch (Same goes for deposits, transfers, and bill payments.). Then you have the free point-of-sale transactions and cheques along with free pre-authorized debit and credit transactions.
All the above-mentioned benefits are not only free but also unlimited throughout the month.
The optional monthly account statement is the only thing you might have to pay a $2 fee for.
You should know though, that the Unlimited Chequing Account does not pay out any interest on the money lying in the account.
Another thing to note is, you’ll still have to pay for Interac’s $1.75 user fees as well as a $2.50 network fee for using international ATMs. Again, that’s not for local transactions. Still, worth mentioning.
2. Young Adult Chequing Account
Unlike the unlimited chequing account, The Westminster Savings Credit Union’s – Young Adult Chequing account has no monthly fee payments and it is available for those between the ages of 19 and 25 only.
The Young Adult Chequing Account comes preloaded with a lot of free features like free in-branch and ATM withdrawals.
The same goes for deposits, transfers, bill payments, free e-transfers, free Mobile Banking and a whole lot more.
After your 60th transaction in a month, then the standard fees start to apply.
Also, like the Unlimited chequing account, The Young Adult Chequing Account does not include FREE Interac or International ATM network fees. The same standard charges apply here as well.
3. Regular Chequing Account
With the Regular Chequing account, your banking services will be on a pay as you go basis.
It has no monthly fee payments and you only have to pay for the transactions that you perform on the chequing account every month.
This account also comes at no service charges for members older than 60 or Golden members, and those younger than 18 or Junior Members.
All the Westminster’s Golden members receive interest on the Regular Chequing Account provided they maintain a $500 minimum balance in their accounts.
Regular members and Junior Members do not receive interests on their Regular Chequing account.
4. Daily Interest Chequing Account
We are still talking about the Chequing account types offered by the Westminster Savings Credit Union. The fourth account type is the Daily Interest Chequing Account.
The Daily Interest Chequing on the other hand pays everyone; Golden, Regular, and Junior members.
This is provided that a minimum balance of $1000 is maintained in the account throughout the month.
If you increase this balance from $1000 to $2000 and maintain it throughout the month, you will not be charged the bank’s transaction fees.
The Daily Interest Chequing Account is also a pay-as-you-go account and this helps to keep the operations fee low.
Junior and Golden members can also receive this account with no service charge.
Interest earned depends on the balance in the account throughout the month or daily average balance.
Click here to find out more about the Westminster Chequing accounts.
Westminster Savings Credit Union has three savings account types:
High-Interest Savings Account
Plan 24 Savings Account
Investor Savings Account
1. High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)
Westminster’s High-Interest Savings account assures you of a high-interest rate on your money as well as the assurance that you can easily get to your savings at any time and anywhere you need it.
With the HISA account, interest is calculated daily and paid out monthly.
Also, the account comes with other interesting features such as two free debits transactions every month. As well you have the free deposits and pre-authorized credits.
Well, Westminster’s HISA account also has the free rein over your account feature and you can monitor it online either on your computer or smartphone.
Click here to learn more about the Westminster Savings Credit Union HISA Account.
2. The Plan 24 Savings Account
Westminster’s Plan 24 Savings Account is for the rainy day savers like you and me.
It gives you the confidence of having a savings account even if you do not have a high balance in it.
The features on this account are not as good as those of the High-Interest Savings Account, but that is not to say that they are terrible either.
Moreover, The account comes with a free quarterly report on your account and two free transactions, (in-branch or electronic each month).
There is also no service charge attached for the Golden and Junior members, which is good.
Click here to learn more about the Westminster Savings Credit Union – Plan 24 Savings Account.
Investor Savings Account
The Investor Savings Account is designed to reward you for having a high balance in your account.
If you are a regular member or a golden member that can maintain high balances then this is the account designed for you in mind.
Not only does the Investor Savings account rewards high balances it also provides high liquidity for its users.
What’s even better is, you’ll also get free transactions as long as you maintain a monthly minimum of $10000 in the account and access to all the union’s electronic services. This account has no transaction fees attached for members above 60 or younger than 18.
Click here to learn more about the Westminster Savings Credit Union Investor Savings Account.
Westminster Savings Credit Union US Accounts
Westminster Savings also provides you with US accounts. This allows members to perform transactions in US dollars without having to perform conversion transaction losing money in terms of exchange rates.
Moreover, you can open both a US chequing and savings account; which allows you to deposit funds and write cheques in US currency. Then there is the US savings account; which lets you earn interests on US dollar deposits.
Check out this page for further information on the Westminster Savings Credit Union US Accounts.
Westminster Savings Credit Union Credit Cards
Thanks to its partnership with Collabria, Westminster Savings Credit Union can provide its customers with a selection of credit cards.
You can pick a credit card based on how suitable it is for you and earn points with the union based on your spending.
The selection of credit cards are:
Westminster Savings Collabria Cash Back Visa
Westminster Savings Collabria Travel Rewards Visa Gold
Westminster Savings Collabria US Dollar Visa
Westminster Savings Collabria Centra Visa Gold
Westminster Savings Collabria Collabria FlexRate Visa
Westminster Savings Collabria Visa Classic
Westminster Savings Collabria Student Visa
Westminster Savings Collabria Visa Infinite
As I said, every credit card has its benefits, if you want to see a comparison of the cards available then you can check here for the product matrix.
Westminster Savings Credit Union Investing Options
Westminster provides investment opportunities for its members and customers.
Not only does the union provide such opportunities but it will also give financial advice to investors. You can choose to go with their term deposits, mutual funds, or any of their other investment plans.
In addition, Investing Options is for you if you are looking to earn interest on your savings after a fixed period. Westminster provides a selection of term deposits, mutual funds, and savings plans depending on the time and money you are willing to invest.
Let’s take a better look at their investment options.
Westminster Savings Credit Union Term Deposits
Short term deposits: The short term deposits last for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 364 days. The deposit account comes with an initial deposit minimum balance requirement of $5000. You can choose for the investment to be redeemable or non-redeemable. The non-redeemable plans earn higher interest.
Long Term Deposits: The Long Term Deposits lasts anywhere between one year and five years. It has a minimum initial deposit of $100 for its redeemable option and a $5000 minimum initial deposit for its non-redeemable option.
Two Year Higher Rate: With just a minimum deposit of $1000, this investment option lets you earn even higher competitive interests in the second year of investment. The plan allows for immediate reinvestment on the first-anniversary date and you can look forward to earning compound interests on your deposit.
Three Year Rate Climber: The Three Year Rate Climber rewards you for locking your funds up for a short period (3 years). The investment can be redeemed on the anniversary date of the initial investment deposit and also comes with compound interest each year.
Five Year Rate Climber: Five-year rate climber is just like the three-year rate climber except this lasts for 5 years. It also has a minimum deposit requirement of $1000 and comes with compound interest after every year of investment.
Click here to learn more about the Westminster Savings Credit Union Term Deposits.
Westminster’s Accumulator and Reinvestable Term Deposits
Accumulator Option – Accumulator option is for you if you like setting aside funds every month.
Especially if you are looking to save up for annual expenses like vacations or property taxes. This option has a minimum initial deposit of $1 and can last for either 180 to 364 days or 365 days to 730 days. It has a fixed interest rate and is redeemable but with a penalty.
Reinvestable term Deposits – Reinvestable term deposits are a bit more technical. But with the help from an account officer, you’d get the hang of it pretty easily.
It allows you to reinvest your term deposits into another term deposits as long as the term left on your new term deposit is equal or greater than the length of the initial term deposit. The option has a fixed interest rate and has a minimum balance requirement of $1000 (or $500 if you are a junior member).
When it comes to Mutual Funds, Westminster Savings does not slack off.
Moreover, The Union offers members and customers to buy mutual funds whether they are Balanced Funds, Bond Fund, Money Market Funds, or Equity funds. These are all sourced from a selection of Credential Investment Professionals including but not limited to Invesco, Templeton, and Mackenzie.
These professionals not only offers you mutual funds but also provide adequate financial advice that will match your lifestyle and goals perfectly.
Thanks to this you can be sure that you are going to get your money worth when you buy into mutual funds.
Click here to learn more about the Westminster Savings Credit Union Mutual Funds.
Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Tax-Free Savings Account
If you are looking to start saving for retirement, Westminster Savings has got you covered with their Registered Retirement Savings Plan.
Westminster’s RRSP Investing Plans:
1. Long Term Deposits
With the RRSP Long Term Deposits, you can expect guaranteed growth in non-redeemable and redeemable options.
This plan is available in 12, 15, 18, 24, 26, 36, 48 and 60-month terms.
2. 15-Month Reinvestable
The 15-Month Reinvestable deposit features a fixed rate and annual interest. All your funds can be reinvested without penalty at any time during the length of the term.
3. Escalating Rate RRSPs
Escalating rate RRSP term deposits reward longer-term investors with a high-interest rate and interest rate increases each year.
This plan is available in 2, 3 and 5-year terms.
You should check out the company website for more information.
The Tax-Free Savings account lets you earn an income within the account Tax-free and you can contribute any amount of money as long as it is within your contribution room for the year.
Check here for a more detailed explanation of these two savings plans.
Borrowing At Westminster Savings Credit Union
Westminster credit union does provide loans and lines of credit for its members. As well they give adequate mortgage options.
Furthermore, You can also opt for personal loans, a vehicle loan, or a short term loan for any other purpose.
A personal line of credit is available as well as Home Equity Line of Credit and Student lines of Credit.
In addition, their mortgage plans have various selections, but I am sure you would find the one for you and if not, then there’s the Custom Blend Mortgage that lets you customize a mortgage plan to fit you.
Check out the company website for more information on these options.
Banking With Westminster Savings Credit Union
Now that we have established what tools and products are available for you to pick from, we need to discuss the possible ways of banking with them.
You get to decide to perform your banking activities by phone. All you have to do is call their service center (604-517-0100, Toll-Free: 1-877-506-0100). Once dialled in, you can do about anything you wish to do over the phone. The agents will be available from 8 am to 8 pm during the week and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturdays.
You can also decide to make a visit to the bank. Click here to find the branch closest to you.
A visit to the ATM is another way to access your account. The union has a selection of Express Cash ATMs that its members can use. Find the nearest ATM near you by clicking here.
You can also access your account using a smartphone or computer. The Union’s mobile phone capabilities, lets you use text messages to access your account details and history. Going online lets you transfer funds and pay bills amongst other things.
With 75 years under its belt, Westminster Savings Credit Union has enough experience to know what it is doing and with the recent merger with Prospera Credit Union, you can only expect great things from the Union. The union also has options for both personal and business dealings
If you are trying to join with a credit union, then you should give the Westminster Savings Credit Union a try. They are excellent and like I said one of the biggest unions in Canada with awesome features and interest rates/accounts.
Please share this article on social media and help spread the word. Let me know your thoughts and comments below. Thanks for reading!
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.