#23 – So you think you can Bank?


In this episode, the guys discuss the banks we use and how to optimize your bank accounts. If you found this podcast you’re probably familiar with the FI/RE movement that has grown in popularity recently. Here at the FI Garage, we’re all on the path to FI, however, we consider the RE part optional.

*This page includes affiliate links – donated by an asterisk. (Because we are bad at monetization all of our affiliate links for credit cards are through rate supermarket; if you sign up for a card through our link they split the affiliate fee with us 50/50) – Thanks for helping to support the podcast!

Beer #1 – Bintang Pilsner [0:35]
Useful Tool – The Smith Maneuver [4:05]

Banking [8:15]

Beer #2 – Red Stripe [30:50]
The Accountant’s Hot Take [45:57]


  1. Hi guys,
    Excellent podcast, once again. I think the banking comparison was long due!

    I had a quick question on using TD Bank debit card in South America. I know The Mechanic mentioned that he used it without any fees. Please could you elaborate on which ATMs (e.g. the ones with the VISA or PLUS logo) this worked?

    I know Scotiabank/Tangerine has the Global ATM Alliance but I never heard of anything on TD Bank.

    Thanks guys and all the best.

    1. Hi SR, Mechanic here. I didn’t expect TD to be free either, I had never heard about it before. I spent two years working in Peru and they have Scotiabank branches/ATMs in many of the towns I was in. I’m afraid I don’t remember the particular ‘logo’ that the ATM operated on. However, I regularly withdrew money and I never paid a fee locally or from my TD account. So specifically it was always a scotiabank location or ATM. Hope that helps, Cheers.

      1. Hi Money Mechanic,
        Thanks a lot for your reply. I appreciate it.

        Interesting that you mention Peru as I am currently planning a trip there in Dec 2020. Please if you have any recommendations on places to visit, I would appreciate a note on my email on file 🙂

        I have a 5-year old and she is very adventurous. We do love nature, wildlife, food 🙂

        Many thanks!

        1. SR, Peru was an interesting place to work. I unfortunately didn’t do as many ‘tourist’ things as you would think. Honestly, after 3 weeks in the jungle I was ready to come home, not trek around Cusco. Especially since I would only have 15 days at home before heading back. Keep in mind that December is the ‘rainy’ season for the jungle side of the country.

  2. Great podcast as always! A quick clarification regarding Tangerine and EQ Bank e-Transfers: they’re both free. Tangerine just started to offer free e-Transfers since around late November last year.

  3. Hey guys! Another great episode. I have a question for the Economist: how did you set up your US TD account?

    I looked into it a little bit, and it sounds like you need to actually physically visit a branch in the States to do this.

    Is that what you had to do? And how did you end up using a branch in Maine? Why not somewhere closer, like Seattle?

    Thanks in advance for the info!

    1. Yes you can move your money between your US-based TD branch and your CA-based TD branch at no cost. They do charge you a fee, but the fee is reimbursed after about a week.

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