Managing your own money can be a stress inducing endeavour.
Throw in another person with a completely different personality, wants, and ideas and soon emotions can fly and tempers erupt.
In fact 17% of survey respondents in a recent BMO survey stated that they argue with their partner about their finances on a weekly basis. Turn those weeks into months and years, and you can bet that percentage rises substantially.
I’ve been there - and maybe you have too...
...You’re now living with the person you love and, at the bare minimum, you have to figure out how to split your expenses.
Or, you can dive in deep and merge your money together completely. Let’s be honest, it’s a
little lot scary.
BMO PlanShare Provides Flexible Banking For Couples
Every couple is unique - and we all manage our money in different ways. Imagine yourself in one of these four different scenarios...
- You want to share everything with your partner - your money is their money - period.
- You want to be in control of your own financial future and generally keep shared money out of the relationship, but still split basic expenses.
- You want your partner to know all about your money, but you still want to keep a few things separate like some mad money or a surprise gift fund.
- You want to keep your options open. Some things separate and private (like savings, spending, and retirement) but other things shared (like housing costs, vacation funds, and shared goals).
It’s easy to see that BMO has built PlanShare with exactly those kinds of scenarios in mind. You can do ALL of the following with PlanShare:
- Bank together while keeping some accounts separate - choose between an account in your own name or joint with your partner.
- Up to 20 eligible accounts all under the same plan with only one single monthly plan fee and is priced the same as if you had your own individual plan. Adding your partner or spouse doesn’t increase the monthly plan fee!
- Transfer funds back and forth between all accounts under the plan with ease - whether they be joint or in your own name.
- Easily create and nickname your accounts for joint ventures or savings goals - like that trip to the Caribbean you’re planning or the down payment for your dream house.
This kind of control over shared finances is unprecedented - I’ve never heard of so many useful and convenient features for couples all under one roof. The best part is, there is no added cost for these extra features.
In fact, you can pay much less as a couple than you both would for comparable individual unlimited banking plans. Plus with some plans you can get AIR MILES Reward Miles as well...
Save Money + Earn Rewards
I often promote no-fee virtual banks as a great way for people to save money on their everyday banking.
But let’s be real. That solution isn’t for everyone.
I regularly hear people say they want to build an in-person relationship with their bank and have all of their financial services under one roof to keep it as simple as possible. The value of convenience can’t be overstated. Saving money and earning rewards are easily forgotten.
You can get all of these things with PlanShare - simplicity, convenience, savings, and rewards.
Yes, there are fees, but you’ve got a couple of options:
- Share those fees with your partner. For example, if you both want unlimited banking with the Performance Plan, that means you would be charged the $14.95 monthly fee once, not twice. Or better yet...
- Erase the fees entirely if you have the Performance Plan set up on your chequing account and keep at least $3,500 in your account throughout the entire month. As individuals, if you each had a plan, you’d have to double that amount to $7,000 to save $29.90 in monthly plan fees.
Get AIR MILES Reward Miles
If you choose the AIR MILES Plan, you get Miles on your everyday debit card spending - not many banks give you rewards for that.
Here’s what you get:
- 1 Mile per $30 spent from your chequing account using your debit card (up to 50 Miles per month).
- 50 Miles per month if your chequing account has a minimum balance of $3,000.
- 25 Miles per month if you also have a BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard that provides a lot more earning potential - it’s also a top rated AIR MILES credit card here at HowToSaveMoney.ca.
- 100 Bonus Miles for setting up a direct deposit within 90 days of opening your account.
- 20 Bonus Miles for setting up a recurring payment within 90 days.
That adds up to more than 1,600 Miles in the first year if you take advantage of all those bonuses.
If you move all your spending from your debit card to your BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard - and spend $2,000 per month - you’d get more than 5,300 Miles in the first year. That’s with all banking bonuses and the 2,000 Mile credit card bonus available through the above link.
What can you do with 5,300 Miles? My calculations show that translates into 2 flights from Ontario to Florida during low season, which is 7 months of the year, plus fees and taxes1. That includes the 25% discount you get on reward flights for having the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard2. Check for yourself to see where you can go using their interactive Where Can I Fly calculator and map.
1. One return economy flight ticket from Toronto, Ontario to Miami, Florida during low season starts from 2,800 reward miles and during high season starts from 3,500. Flight examples shown are for illustrative purposes only. Examples represent the number of AIR MILES reward miles required during low season of Jan 8 – Feb 28; Apr 1 – May 31; Sept 16 – Dec 15. The required number of reward miles is determined by the departure date. Reward miles required are the “starting from” rates for round-trip travel in economy class per traveller. All Rewards offered are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the AIR MILES Reward Program, are subject to change and may be withdrawn without notice. Some restrictions apply. Quantities may be limited. To redeem for Travel Rewards, you must have accumulated sufficient AIR MILES reward miles your Dream Balance. Collectors must pay applicable surcharges, fees and taxes on air travel Rewards. Travel Rewards may be subject to a minimum advance booking and availability from participating Suppliers. For complete details, see current Program Terms and Conditions available at airmiles.ca or the AIR MILES Customer Care Centre at 1-888-AIR MILES (in Toronto (416) 226-5171).
2. If you have the BMO AIR MILES World or BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard card, when you redeem AIR MILES reward miles for a flight within North America you will receive a 25% discount from the number of AIR MILES reward miles you would normally require. For example, you could redeem a 1,300 AIR MILES reward miles flight for only 975 Dream Miles. North America includes flight travel within Canada, from Canada to the United States of America, including Hawaii and Alaska, excluding Puerto Rico and flight travelling within the United States, and to and from Mexico. This benefit does not apply to Cash + Miles Rewards. There are no blackout periods. This benefit does not apply to the cash portion of the flight redemption (such as applicable surcharges, fees and taxes) or to the flight component of package vacations and cruises. This benefit cannot be combined with any other offer.
Get It All With The Premium Plan
Normally I would never recommend anyone spend $30 per month on bank fees, but the Premium Plan can be a smart choice.
In fact, you’ll be spending $0 per month (not $30). I’ll tell you how in this simple 3-step process.
3 Steps to Spend $0 on Monthly Plan ‘Fees’
STEP 1: Put $5,030 into a chequing account that you pay your plan fee from, but don’t actually use it for your daily transactions - just set up another chequing account for those. This ensures that you’re eligible to have your monthly fee waived every month.
If you use your main chequing account instead, then you might accidentally slip below $5,000 and have to pay the $30 - you don’t want that.
STEP 2: Next, you get a BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard to get maximum Miles while benefiting from an exclusive 25% discount on Reward flights. Because you’ve selected the Premium Plan, your $120 annual fee is completely reimbursed.
STEP 3: Secure all of the following premium features at no extra cost in addition to the PlanShare features already mentioned:
- 1 Mile per $40 spent from your chequing account using your debit card (up to 40 Miles per month).
- 10 non-BMO ATM withdrawals in Canada per month.
- 5 Interac e-Transfer transactions per month.
- Personalized cheques.
- Money orders, drafts, and certified cheques.
- No monthly or per-item overdraft protection fees.
- Reduced pricing on safety deposit box rentals.
The $5,000 minimum balance may seem like a lot of money sitting idle at first, but it’s actually a great way to have an emergency fund that is working for you.
Right off the bat, you could save up to $720 per year in plan fees if you and your partner share a Premium Plan and keep the minimum balance instead of each having your own, and you could save up to $150 per year in premium credit card annual fees. Then if you use the Interac e-Transfers, non-BMO ATM withdrawals, and included cheques, you could easily save hundreds more.
How much would that $5,000 be worth to you in opportunity cost otherwise?
Well, as an emergency fund, most people would have it in a savings account earning 1% or less. That’s $50 in lost interest per year. Not a big price to pay for all the fees you’re saving and the convenience and rewards you’re getting, is it?
Happy Medium For Couples
Wrapping it up, let’s recap what we’ve got here:
- PlanShare is a flexible money management platform for couples. You can choose how you want to split your finances.
- You can cut your bank fees in half by paying only one monthly fee between couples instead of one plan each. Some plans even allow you to eliminate monthly plan fees altogether by keeping a minimum balance in your account.
- Get AIR MILES Reward Miles with either the AIR MILES or Premium Plan.
- Peace of mind from the simple convenience the Premium Plan provides with essentially no extra cost IF you can keep the minimum balance.
Life is complicated as it is. Everyday we’re asked to make complex decisions at work and at home multiple times a day...Simplicity and Convenience are key.
You can take a closer look at PlanShare and see if it’s the right fit for you and your partner. Naturally, you are free to decide for yourself.
As they say, happy partner, happy life.