Achieva Financial Review

Achieva Financial Review

Written by Corrina Murdoch
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated March 25, 2021

With roots in Canada, Achieva Financial opened its doors in 1998 as one of the country’s premier financial institutions to operate exclusively online. It originated as a part of Cambrian Credit Union, a Manitoban company that has accrued over four billion dollars in collective assets. In its over two decades’ experience, Achieva Financial has continued with its dedication to offering consumers high-interest rates and prudent security. It remains a popular digital company for Canadian investors to this day. Despite this success, however, many are not yet familiar with its suite of financial services. If you are considering investing in one of Achieva’s accounts, it’s important to familiarize yourself with its line of financial products. 

What Financial Services Does Achieva Financial Offer?

To accommodate its wide consumer base, Achieva Financial has multiple different accounts, each with its own set of benefits. You can optimize the advantages reaped from your investments by identifying the arrangement that works best for you. The options include:

Daily Interest Savings Account

Meant for short-term savings, this account keeps funds accessible while offering high rates of interest. The accounts have no minimum balance or account maintenance fees. Consumers can access one free cheque and no-cost deposits every month. Additionally, all deposits are protected with Achieva Financial’s deposit guarantee program, meaning your funds are free of risk. It’s ideal for those looking to generate a regular savings regimen, this account simplifies the transfer process from your primary bank account. As an added incentive, if consumers opt for electronic statements, Achieva Financial pays a dollar a month. 

TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account)

These accounts offer all the benefits of the standard daily interest savings accounts, in addition to the added advantage of tax-free returns. The purpose is to limit the tax burden on your income while also letting you retain the freedom to access your money at any time. All savings are protected through the Deposit Guarantee program, mitigating any risk. Though there are no account fees or minimum balances, the TFSA is subject to deposit restrictions. The annual limit for contributions is $6,000. 

RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Account)

Ideal for those looking to save for retirement, this account is designed to minimize taxes without restricting access to your funds. It includes all the benefits of the standard savings account (high interest, no minimum balance or account fees, incentives for e-statements) and gives to the tax shelter for which RRSPs are favoured. Since the account lets you deposit at any time, it is well-suited to consumers who add to their retirement savings throughout the year.

RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund)

This is a savings account geared toward those who already have an RRSP. Revenue Canada requires those who are 71 years old to convert their RRSP into an RRIF. The Achieva Financial account is built to simplify this process. It lets you keep your funds accessible and offers a secure income during your retirement. By enabling consumers to defer taxes on savings until the point of withdrawal, and guaranteeing the security of all deposits, the RRIF is a logical approach to retirement savings. 

Check out how you can get a loan using your RRSP.

GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificates)

This type of account is designed for those focused on long-term savings. It enables savers to access high rates of interest without risking their principal deposits. The account holder makes a single, lump-sum investment for a set period of time (between one and five years), guaranteeing your interest rate. You can choose to either get paid interest annually into your regular savings account or let the interest compound on top of the principal for the full term.  After the maturation period, you can reinvest the amount or transfer it to a different account. Keep in mind that an Achieva Financial GIC has a minimum balance of $1,000. 

New to investing? Check out our beginner’s guide on investing.

Interest Rates Offered

Achieva Financial AccountInterest Rate
Daily Interest Savings1.20%
One-Year Term1.50%
Two-Year Term1.55%
Three-Year Term1.55%
Four-Year Term1.60%
Five-Year Term1.75%

The above interest rates are calculated annually; and, per Achieva Financial policies, are subject to change (unless your GIC interest is locked-in). The interest is calculated at the end of each business day, where the amount is added to the account on the last day of the month. 

Pros and Cons of Achieva Financial 

As with any financial service, there are advantages and drawbacks. It is a matter of prioritizing what is most important to you and finding an account that best represents those virtues. 

Pros

  • No monthly fees: There is no cost associated with holding an account through Achieva Financial, making saving more affordable. 
  • High rates of interest: This business is focused on offering high-interest rates on all savings, helping consumers grow their funds more quickly. 
  • No minimum balances: With the exception of the GIC accounts (a minimum of $1,000), no Achieva Financial savings accounts have any minimum balances. 
  • Insured deposits: All deposits made through Achieva Financial are protected through the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. This is effectively insurance on your deposits, eliminating any risk of holding funds in these accounts. 
  • Eco-friendly incentives: If account holders choose to receive e-statements in lieu of paper records, then Achieva Financial transfers $1 every month into their account. 
  • Available mobile application: To improve the convenience of financial services, Achieva Financial has a smartphone app that is available for both Apple and Android devices. This makes transfers easier and more efficient. 
  • Easy to get started: Since Achieva is an exclusively digital institution, the application process is especially easy. It takes only a few minutes to open an account online. 

Cons 

  • No physical branch locations: Achieva Financial works exclusively online, meaning you won’t have the chance to discuss any of the accounts in-person with a customer representative. 
  • Additional fees: Though there are no monthly account fees, there are some costs associated with the accounts including ATM withdrawal costs.
  • Debit fees: Achieva Financial accounts charge you for withdrawing money at an ATM (in addition to the fee charged by the ATM itself). There are also costs associated with sending electronic transfers or making bill payments. 
  • Minimum deposit for GIC accounts: To hold a GIC at Achieva Financial, you must invest a lump sum of at least $1,000. 

How do You Open an Account With Achieva Financial?

In order to open an account with Achieva Financial, the easiest method is completing the online application. Alternatively, you can mail a finished application to the head office. However, since all the account services are digital, it makes more sense to complete the online application. In order to open an account, you must: 

  • Be of the age of majority in Canada (18 years or older)
  • Have a Canadian credit profile through Equifax and TransUnion
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Enroll in the Cambrian Credit Union (the parent company of Achieva Financial)
  • Be able to provide your social insurance number
  • Supply a personal cheque from your primary bank or credit union

So long as you meet these criteria, simply proceed with the online application. Enter all the necessary information, including contact details, banking information, and your social insurance number. You will need to verify your identity and consent to a credit check. If referred by a friend, you must include the Achieva Petal code they provided you. For those transferring their RRSP or RRIF, account details will also be required.

From there, Achieva Financial will review your application. If there are any issues, you will be informed. Otherwise, using the personalized cheque provided, a deposit will be taken. After this point, you will be able to access your account online and make deposits at your leisure. 

Achieva Financial FAQs

Is Achieva Financial safe?

All accounts through Achieva Financial are protected through the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. This protects all deposits against risk, regardless of whether or not you live in the province of Manitoba. There is no limit to the coverage, meaning all funds held in an Achieva Financial account are secure. 

What can you use the Achieva Financial app for?

The Achieva Financial app is designed to optimize consumer convenience and is available both on Google Play and the App Store. The app lets you do many things, including: 
  • Locating an ATM in your area
  • Managing savings account information
  • Depositing a cheque into your account
  • Transferring money to another account
  • Paying your bills online
  • Refer a friend to get a cash bonus

Is Achieva Financial free to use?

With the exception of the minimum investment requirements for GIC accounts, there are no minimum balances associated with Achieva Financial accounts. None of the savings accounts through this institution have monthly account fees. However, there are other costs associated with saving through this company. These fees include: 
  • Issuing cheques, receiving payroll, and transfers out of the account cost $1.00
  • Domestic ATM withdrawal fees of $2.00 unless it is at a credit union
  • International ATM withdrawal fees of $3.50
  • Stopping payments costs between $10 and $15
  • Insufficient fund charge of $45
  • Individual payments through Interac cost $0.60 each
  • RRSP/TFSA/RRIF payout assistance costs of $175 per hour
  • Failed payroll deposits cost $15
The majority of fees are associated with supplemental services. Achieva Financial is designed as a savings platform; so, if you use your chequing and savings accordingly, the costs associated are nominal. 

Should You Choose Achieva Financial?

Every financial portfolio should involve a savings account, with some of the best-planned finances involving more than one savings arrangement. Achieva Financial offers some of the most competitive interest rates on the market. It has a wide range of accounts available, with suitable options for those looking to save over either the short or long term. 

The only pitfall associated with using Achieva Financial is if you are using the savings account in place of your regular chequing account. If you transfer into the account, avoid using it for spending, and don’t withdraw through an ATM, the accounts are very affordable. Since all the funds have protected deposits, there is little risk and a lot of potential gains

In short, if you have the time and bandwidth to properly manage an Achieva Financial account, it can offer a lot of benefits and a high yield on your deposits. 

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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