Archive for June, 2010

TD Canada Trust again offering up to $250 for new accounts

June 22, 2010


Last fall, TD Canada Trust offered up to $250 cash for new clients opening chequing accounts and fulfilling certain conditions. I had then recently moved our discount brokerage accounts to TD Waterhouse and found the idea of consolidating all accounts under one roof really attractive. Many readers had pointed out that TD’s Select Service Chequing account offers one of the best banking deals around as long as you are careful not to let the balance drop below $5,000. The Select Service account offers unlimited monthly transactions, chequebooks, US dollar chequing account, bank drafts, fee waivers on selected Visa credit cards and a small safe deposit box. So, I took advantage of the offer and have been very impressed with TD Bank so far (our previous bank was Royal Bank). The bonus cash was nice but what I find very convenient is moving money from the brokerage and bank account at the click of a button and integration with ePost, which allows you to view and pay bills through the bank account.

The cash offer must have been very successful because TD Canada Trust is bringing it back. There are two bonus levels available: $250 for opening an Infinity or Select Service account and signing up for one of the Visa credit cards or $150 for opening an Infinity or Select Service account. Some readers have been successful in getting the monthly fees for an Infinity Account waived even if a monthly balance of $3,000 is not maintained but I haven’t tried negotiating free banking just yet. It may not make much sense to open bank accounts with TD Bank just to get the cash but if you are considering consolidating all accounts in one place, this offer is a nice incentive to do so. Details of the latest cash offer are available here.

Installing a new hot water heater

June 21, 2010


It is quite common for homeowners to rent their hot water heaters here in Ontario. The rentals cost anywhere between $15 for an old tank to $20 or more for a new one. Years ago, we stopped renting our old water heater and I’ve been meaning to replace it for a while now. But, what with one thing or another, I never got around to it even though Michael James warned everyone on the mess that a leaking water heater makes in your basement.

Well, last weekend, I finally paid the price for keeping an old, rusted, water heater around a little too long. The bottom of the old water tank had rusted through and leaked water into the furnace room and to my basement office. After shutting down the valve, draining the heater and cleaning up the mess, I went shopping for a replacement. Home Depot carries water heaters and offers installation services (for some reason, Rona doesn’t) and for a fee, is willing to do a rush job. Here’s what installing a new tank will cost you:

GE 50 gallon gas water heater: $683.00 (60 gallon tank: $712.00)

Water heater measure: $40.00
Installation: $300.00
Weekend, evening & holiday fee: $165.00
Haul away & dispose: $40.00
Total Install Charges: $545.00

Grand total (including GST): $1,289.40

We’ve stopped renting for more than 4 years now and the old rental was costing us $13.99 every month. Installing a new heater and then renting it costs about $20 per month in addition to certain one-time installation fees that are charged upfront. Netting out the savings of about $750 over four years from buying out the old water heater, the new tank cost us $540. If renting the same heater costs us $20 per month, the new tank will break even in just over two years. Plus we will be on hook for any maintenance or service calls.

It seems to me that owning a water heater is much cheaper over the long run than renting it as long as you are willing to absorb the expense of an unexpected maintenance call. Perhaps, that’s why homeowners in most provinces do not bother with renting and it is time Ontarians wise up to how much renting our water heaters is costing us.