Neo Financial is a Canadian fintech company. The disruptive entrepreneurs behind SkipTheDishes decided to shake up the banking industry with a suite of innovative digital banking products. Founded in 2019, Neo first made waves with the launch of Neo Credit – an everyday cash back credit card with great features. Since then, Neo has introduced many other products including the Neo High-Interest Savings account (HISA).
The Neo HISA allows Canadians to earn much higher interest on their savings than traditional bank accounts. With interest rates at traditional banks languishing around 0.01%, the Neo HISA provides an attractive 4% interest rate. This account makes it easy to grow your savings faster and reach your financial goals sooner. Keep reading our review to learn if the Neo HISA suits your savings needs.
Our Verdict Of The Neo HISA
|Who is Neo’s HISA best for
|The Neo High-Interest Savings account is best suited for Canadians looking to earn higher interest returns on their savings deposits.
It’s a great option for goals like building an emergency fund, saving for a home down payment, or stashing away spare cash.
|What we like about Neo’s HISA
|– Very high 4% interest rate.
– Interest paid monthly.
– No fees or minimum balances.
– Up to 10 customizable accounts.
|What we don’t like about Neo’s HISA
|– No debit card or bill pay functions without opening a Neo Money account.
– Like all financial institutions, interest rates can change at any time.
What Is Neo’s High-Interest Savings Account?
The Neo High-Interest Savings account is an excellent option for individuals seeking higher interest returns on their savings. With an impressive rate of 4%, it ranks among the most competitive rates offered in the market presently. What makes it particularly appealing is the absence of fees, minimum balance requirements, or complex conditions to access this high rate.
Additionally, you can open up to ten separate HISAs for different savings goals. You can personalize accounts by naming them, setting specific targets, and tracking your progress toward those goals.
This account is perfect for goals like:
- Building an emergency fund
- Saving for a downpayment
- Putting away funds for a big purchase like a car or vacation
- Parking cash from an inheritance/gift temporarily
- Stashing away extra income
Neo High-Interest Savings Account
|4% APR calculated daily, paid monthly
|CDIC Insurance Coverage
|Deposits eligible for CDIC protection up to $100,000
|Seamlessly integrates with Neo Money account
|Easy online management through web and mobile app
|Multiple Savings Accounts
|Up to 10 free customizable savings accounts for segregating funds
|Set customized savings goals and track progress
|Instant and free transfers between Neo accounts
|Offers significantly higher interest compared to big banks (e.g., 0.01% interest)
What’s The Difference Between The Neo Money Account vs. The Neo HISA?
The Neo Money account is for everyday banking and spending, while the HISA is ideal for pure savings and higher returns. Neo Money allows you to pay bills, deposit funds, withdraw money, and make purchases. It also offers a 2.25% interest rate. A best practice would be to hold your spending money in the Neo Money account and stash your savings in the HISA(s) to optimize your interest earnings.
- The HISA pays a higher interest rate – currently 4% vs. the Neo Money account’s 2.25% rate.
- The Neo Money account comes with a free debit card. The HISA does not have a card, and you must move money from your HISA to your Neo Money account to access or spend it.
- You can send Interac eTransfers and pay bills from the Money account. The HISA is for pure savings.
- The Money account has more budgeting features and spending insights. The HISA is focused purely on depositing funds.
- You can only have one Neo Money account, but up to 10 free customizable HISAs.
How To Open A Neo HISA
Opening a Neo HISA takes just a few minutes and can be done directly from the Neo website or mobile app. Since Neo is an online institution, you won’t need to visit a branch or fill out paper forms.
To qualify for an account, you must be a Canadian resident with a Canadian photo ID and phone number. Also, having a smartphone or webcam for identity verification will be an asset.
Here is the simple process:
- The process starts with creating a Neo profile. You can skip to step three if you already have one.
- Neo will likely ask you to take a photo of yourself holding your photo ID.
- Once you have a Neo profile, you can open a HISA under the accounts tab.
- Complete the additional steps to open your HISA
- Make your initial deposit into the new HISA account
- Enjoy watching your savings grow!
Once opened, you can manage your HISA(s) entirely through the online banking platform and mobile app. Quickly transfer funds, monitor your balance, track goals, and more. The customizable account names and icons make it easy to identify the purpose of each savings pot.
What We Like About Neo HISA
- Very high 4% interest rate
- Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly
- No minimum balance required
- Unlimited free transfers between Neo accounts
- Deposits protected by CDIC insurance
- No monthly fees whatsoever
- Super easy online account opening and management
- Up to 10 separate HISAs to organize savings
- Customize goal names and icons for each HISA
- Seamless integration with Neo Money account
- Track savings progress and growth over time
What We Think You Should Watch Out For
While the Neo HISA has many benefits, there are a couple of things we think you should keep in mind:
- No debit card or bill payment capabilities – The HISA is for pure savings. You must transfer money to a chequing account like the Neo Money account to access or spend the funds.
- Interest rates are subject to change – Neo can lower the interest rate on the HISA at any point. However, this risk exists at any bank.
As long as you understand the HISA is for accumulating interest and not transactions, it offers an excellent opportunity to maximize your savings.
Is Neo Safe?
Yes, Neo Financial is a legitimate digital bank, and the Neo High-Interest Savings account is safe to use. Here are some of the reasons we consider Neo to be a trustworthy place to bank:
- Deposits are held at Peoples Bank of Canada, a Schedule 1 bank
- Eligible deposits are protected by CDIC insurance up to $100,000
- Neo uses advanced security measures and data encryption
- Neo is transparent and discloses rates and policies
What Do Consumers Think Of Neo?
Neo Financial has earned mixed reviews. While Google reviews are positive, Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau comments criticize the lack of customer service. Overall, users highlight the great interest rates and seamless user experience as significant benefits.
|BBB Accredited + Rating
|Social Media Presence
|– LinkedIn: 63,000 followers
– X: 2,100 followers
– Facebook Page: 3,700 likes
|Physical Location (office)
|400 – 200 8 Avenue South, Calgary, Alberta
Other Neo Products
In addition to the new High-Interest Savings account, Neo Financial also offers several other financial products:
Neo Money Account
Neo’s original digital chequing and savings account provides unlimited free transactions, 2.25% interest, and comes with a free Mastercard prepaid card that earns an average of 5% cashback.
Neo Credit & Neo Secured Credit
The Neo Credit card is ideal for everyday spending with a $0 annual fee and a guaranteed 0.5% minimum cashback. The Neo Secured Credit card is designed to help build credit history. It has no annual fee, a flexible credit limit from $50 to $10,000, and guaranteed approval.
Co-Branded Credit Cards
Recently, Neo has forged partnerships introducing two new cards. The new Tims Credit Card allows you to earn up to 5 Tims Rewards Points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, transit, and more, with 15 points per $1 at Tim Hortons, all without an annual fee.
The Cathay Pacific Credit Card offers 1 Asia Mile for every $1 spent in Canada, 2 Asia Miles for international spending and Cathay Pacific flights, and approximately 5x Asia Miles at Neo partner merchants. Both cards offer secured versions for individuals with limited or no credit history.
Neo Invest, powered by OneVest, combines digital investing with portfolio managers’ expertise, creating personalized portfolios tailored to individual goals, values, and risk tolerance. It offers diversified portfolios with up to 3x more asset classes beyond stocks and bonds, aiming for better risk-adjusted returns while actively managing and balancing investments.
Neo Mortgage simplifies the mortgage process, using technology to improve affordability and accessibility. They provide a straightforward pre-qualification process and offers products for renewals and purchases.
How Does Neo HISA Compare To KOHO?
The Neo HISA comes out ahead when comparing interest rates. The higher rate plus goal-tracking tools make it our pick between these top options. However, you can earn a higher rate with KOHO if you’re willing to pay a $19 monthly fee.
|KOHO Save Account
|Easy Plan: 3%, Other plans: 5%
|$0 to $19
|Free transfers between Neo accounts
|$1 per EFT
|CDIC insured up to $100k
|CDIC insured up to $100k
|More robust features
What Are Other Alternatives To Neo’s HISA?
Aside from KOHO, there are some other strong Neo competitors. Namely, Simplii offers a higher interest rate for a limited promotional period (6% for five months). However, EQ Bank merges the features of a HISA with a cashback credit card, offering the most flexibility.
|EQ Bank Savings Plus
|– Up to 6% until Jan 31, 2024.
– Up to 5.50% after
|Up to 3%
|Savings, Chequing, Credit Cards, Loans, Investments
|Savings, Investments, International Money Transfers
|Website, Mobile App
|Website, Mobile App
The new Neo High-Interest Savings account provides Canadians with an excellent opportunity to earn much higher interest on their deposits. The competitive 4% rate outpaces savings rates from traditional banks by a mile. We think the Neo HISA is ideal for anyone looking for a better return on their rainy day fund, downpayment savings, retirement nest egg, or other savings goals.