Finance, Personal

Achieva Financial Review 2023: Is It Worth It?

Are you looking to open an account with Achieva Financial? This post covers everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

As an online-only credit union, Achieva Financial outshines traditional brick-and-mortar credit unions with competitive interest and low fees.

In addition, Achieva Financial competes significantly with other online credit unions in Canada such as AcceleRate Financial and Saven Financial.

However, Achieva Financial is not suitable for every individual considering its limited products.

This Achieva Financial review takes an in-depth view of the credit union and compares it with similar credit unions to help you make the best choice.

Let’s get started! 

Achieva Financial Review

Who is Achieva Financial?

Achieva Financial is an online-only credit union operating as a division of Cambrian Credit Union. Achieva is recognized as one of the pioneer digital credit unions in Canada — having been in existence since 1998.

The credit union operates entirely online with only a customer support presence in Winnipeg. With this, Achieva is able to convert its low operational costs to competitive interest and low fees on savings and GIC accounts.

Notably, Achieva’s interest rates on savings and GIC accounts compete significantly with both traditional and digital credit unions in Canada. More on this shortly.

It’s also worth noting that deposit and interest on Achieva savings and GIC accounts are 100% guaranteed by the  Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM). 

With this and lots of other unique features, Achieva ranks among the best digital credit unions in Canada. But is it also the best for you? Let’s find out.

Is Achieva Financial Safe?

The short answer is yes. Achieva Financial is safe because it protects both your personal information and deposits on its platform.

The credit union uses 128-bit encryption, Two-Factor Authentication and other advanced technologies to protect your data against fraudsters.

As per your deposits and earnings on Achieva, you have nothing to worry about because DGCM covers them 100%.

In addition, Achieva’s parent company (Cambrian Credit Union) has over 6,600 members with $4.6 billion in assets under management.

With this, you would more likely not worry about security when banking with Achieva Financial.

What Does Achieva Financial Offer?

Achieva Financial offers daily interest savings accounts and non-redeemable GIC accounts. Let’s take a look at each of them below.

1. Achieva Daily Interest Savings Account

The Achieva Daily Interest Savings Account is a regular savings account whose interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

The account offers a high interest of 2.95% on registered (TFSA and RRSP) and non-registered savings accounts. This is currently one of the high-interest savings rates in Canada.

With a debit card and cheque accessibility, the Achieva Daily Interest Savings Account gives you the flexibility of savings and chequing accounts in one place. 

As with other online credit unions, the Achieva Daily Interest Savings Account doesn’t have a minimum balance and monthly fees.

In addition, Achieva doesn’t charge fees on deposits and first direct transfer/pre-authorized payment or cheque order per month.

To help you save on autopilot, Achieva Financial offers an Automatic Savings Program that eliminates the stress of savings. 

Interestedly, your deposit and interest earnings on the Achieva Daily Interest Savings Account are guaranteed 100% by DGCM.

2. Achieva Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

Achieva Financial is also famous for its non-redeemable GIC accounts that offer competitive rates. 

The Achieva GICs are available in registered and non-registered accounts and they range from 1-year to 5-year terms.

That said, you need a minimum of $1,000 to invest in an Achieva registered or non-registered GIC account.

With an Achieva GIC account, you can get guaranteed interest annually or wait till the end of your chosen term to get one lump-sum payment.

Like the Achieva savings account, the GIC accounts have 100% insurance by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

The following are the current Achieva GICs registered and unregistered rates as of October 26, 2022:

1-Year 4.50%
2-Year 4.55%
3-Year 4.70%
4-Year 4.80%
5-Year 5%

Achieva Financial Rates

Achieva rates vary per account. For example, the Achieva Daily Interest Savings Account provides a high interest of 2.95% on registered and non-registered accounts.

As usual, the Achieva GIC accounts rates depend on the GIC term. The following are the Achieva GIC rates that apply to both registered and non-registered accounts:

1-Year 4.50%
2-Year 4.55%
3-Year 4.70%
4-Year 4.80%
5-Year 5%

While other financial institutions offer more than the above rates, Achieva Financial has competitive interest rates on savings and GIC accounts. 

Achieva Financial Historical Rates

As with other financial institutions, changes in the Bank of Canada overnight rate attract adjustments on Achieva Financial rates. Even in 2022, Achieva has changed its rates more than 10 times.

As such, we can expect significant interest rate changes on Achieva’s savings and GIC accounts from its inception to date.

Below are the Achieva Financial non-redeemable GIC rate history from 2018 to 2022.

Date1-Year Term2-Year Term3-Year Term4-Year Term5-Year Term
November 15, 20183%3.3%3.35%3.4%3.5%
October 16, 20192.45%2.5%2.55%2.55%2.7%
March 11, 20202.1%2.15%2.2%2.3%2.4%
December 1, 20211.5%1.6%2%2.1%2.2%
July 25, 20224.3%4.55%4.65%4.8%5%

The following are the historical Achieva Financial savings rates from 2018 to 2022.

November 1, 20182.4%
July 2, 20192.3%
December 1, 20201.2%
August 4, 20211.1%
September 8, 20222.85%

Compared to the current rates of Achieva savings and GIC accounts (that came into effect on October 27, 2022), there are significant changes in the Achieva Financial rates. 

Achieva Financial Fees

As noted above, Achieva doesn’t charge monthly fees, deposit fees and fees on the first direct transfer/pre-authorized payment or cheque order per month.

However, Achieva charges the following fees to sustain itself in business.

Additional pre-authorized debit, Achieva Direct Transfer out or cheque order$1
Bill payment $0.50
ATM withdrawal fees$2 plus a $0.60 fee for Interac ATM withdrawals in Canada. $3.50 for Cirrus US ATM withdrawals and Cirrus international ATM withdrawals
Interac direct payments$0.60
ATM card replacement/mishandling$10
NSF fee$45
Incoming wires$15
Official cheques$6.50
Account closure$15 (within six months of account opening)

You can learn more about other Achieva Financial fees under this link.

It’s worth noting that Achieva Financial has a low fee schedule compared to other online credit unions and traditional credit unions.

Achieva Financial Pros and Cons

From the above review, we can easily determine the following pros and cons of Achieva Financial.


  • No membership fee: Most credit unions in Canada require a one-time membership fee to open an account with them. Achieva has no membership fee as of the time of writing this review.
  • Competitive rates: Achieva Financial has more competitive interest rates on savings and GIC accounts than several credit unions in Canada.
  • No minimum balance: There’s no minimum balance requirement on the Achieva Daily Savings Account.
  • Fee waivers: The credit union doesn’t charge monthly fees, deposit fees and fees on the first direct transfer/pre-authorized payment or cheque order per month.
  • Automatic Savings Program: This program eliminates the stress of savings as it allows you to save automatically while you focus on other aspects of your life.
  • Free $1 per electronic document request: If you require Achieva to send you all your documents electronically, you will get $1 cash per request/month. The documents could be monthly account statements and tax receipts.
  • Unlimited guarantee: DGCM covers deposit and interest on Achieva Financial up to 100%. This means you will have nothing to lose if Achieva goes out of business in the future.
  • Helpful calculators: Achieva offers helpful calculators to help you determine your savings earnings and keep track of your retirement planning.
  • Accessible to all: From Alberta to Yukon, Achieva is accessible to all the residents of Canada.


  • Limited products: Like other credit unions, Achieva Financial also has limited products. This means that the credit union will not be ideal for those looking for a one-stop shop financial institution.

How to Open an Achieva Financial Account

There are three different ways of opening an Achieva Financial account — online, via mobile app or by mail. But before you can open an account with Achieva, you must meet the requirements below:

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Reach the age of 18 or older
  • Have a credit file in Canada
  • Be willing to become a member of Cambrian Credit Union 

The following are the items you will need when opening an Achieva Financial account:

  • A personalized cheque from another financial institution in Canada
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Current contact information

Are you eligible? If yes, use any of the following methods to open your Achieva Financial account:

  • Online: Visit the online application page using this link
  • Mobile app: Download and install the Achieva mobile app from App Store or Google Playstore.
  • Mail: Download and fill out the application form for your favourite Achieva account and mail it to the following address: 

Achieva Financial 

PO Box 2729 Stn Main 

Winnipeg, MB R3C 4B3

Achieva Referral Bonus

After joining Achieva Financial, you can maximize your earnings by referring your friends and family to the financial institution using your unique referral code. 

You will earn $25 for each person you refer to Achieva. The maximum number of referrals is 4 in a year. That’s, you can earn up to $100 in referral bonus per year. 

To be eligible for the Achieva referral bonus, your referral must: 

  • Not have an Achieva account in the previous 12 months
  • Be eligible for Achieva account opening requirements
  • Deposit a minimum of $250 in their new account
  • Keep their account open for a minimum of one month

How Achieva Financial Compares

For obvious reasons, Achieva Financial is one of the best credit unions in Canada. While you can’t go wrong with it, it’s essential to understand how Achieva compares with similar credit unions in Canada.

That way, you can easily make an informed decision on which credit union to choose based on your needs. 

Let us take a brief look at how Achieva compares with Saven Financial and AcceleRate Financial.

Achieva Financial vs Saven Financial

FeaturesAchieva FinancialSaven Financial
Year established 19982021
Parent companyCambrian Credit UnionFirstOntario Credit Union
ProductsHISAs and GICsHISAs and GICs
HISA rate 2.95%3.50%
1-year GIC rate4.50%4.80%
Membership feeNone$25
Monthly feeNoneNone
Minimum deposit on account openingNoneNone
Debit cardAvailableN/A
Interac e-Transfer feeNone
NSF fee$45$50
CoverageEntire CanadaOntario
Mobile appAvailableAvailable
Deposit and interest protection100% by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM)$250,000 by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA)

Saven Financial is the online credit union division of FirstOntario Credit Union that operates like Achieva Financial.

Saven Financial also offers only HISAs and GICs which come with competitive rates. However, the Saven HISA offers a relatively higher interest of 3.50% which ranks among the highest savings rates in Canada.

In addition, Saven outshines Achieva in terms of GIC rates as you can see in the following table:

TermAchieva FinancialSaven Financial
1-Year 4.50%4.80%
2-Year 4.55%4.85%
3-Year 4.70%4.90%
4-Year 4.80%4.90%
5-Year 5.00%5.00%

Nevertheless, Achieva is ahead of Saven with cheque and debit card availability. Achieva is also available in every part of Canada while Saven is only available for Ontario residents.

In addition, Achieva doesn’t require a membership fee while Saven requires a $25 fee. Moreso, your deposit and interest are 100% guaranteed on Achieva compared to the $250,000 maximum protection on Saven Financial.

Achieva Financial vs AcceleRate Financial

FeaturesAchieva FinancialAcceleRate Financial
Year established 19982010
Parent companyCambrian Credit UnionAccess Credit Union
ProductsHISAs and GICsHISAs and GICs
HISA rate 2.95%2.85%
1-year GIC rate4.50%4.40%
Membership feeNone$5
Monthly feeNoneNone
Minimum deposit on account openingNone$100
Debit cardAvailableAvailable
Interac e-Transfer fee$1 to send and free to receive
NSF fee$45$50
CoverageEntire CanadaEntire Canada
Mobile appAvailableN/A
Deposit and interest protection100% by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM)100% by Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM)

AcceleRate Financial is the branchless credit union of Access Credit Union. The credit union operates like Achieva Financial and they both offer only HISAs and GICs.

Obviously, the similarities between Achieva and AcceleRate Financial outweigh the differences. In addition to offering similar products, both credit unions are accessible in every part of the country.

In addition, both Achieva Financial and AcceleRate Financial offer access to debit cards and cheques. Also, your deposit and interest on either credit union are 100% guaranteed by DGCM.

Notwithstanding, Achieva and AcceleRate differ in some respect as the above table shows. Firstly, Achieva offers higher interest on savings (2.95%) than AcceleRate. 

The following table also shows how Achieva outshines AcceleRate Financial in terms of GIC rates.

TermAchieva FinancialAcceleRate Financial
1-Year 4.50%4.40%
2-Year 4.55%4.40%
3-Year 4.70%4.55%
4-Year 4.80%4.75%
5-Year 5.00%5.00%

As if that’s not enough, Achieva has no membership fee or minimum initial deposit requirement for account opening.

Moreso, Achieva is available on both a web portal and mobile app while AcceleRate Financial is only available on a web portal.

Verdict on Achieva Financial Review

While my Achieva Financial review is positive, I recommend you do an in-depth comparison before deciding on the credit union to go with.

To make an informed selection, you should consider not only the interest rates, but the products, accounts, fees, and accessibility of a credit union.

Unless you’re strictly looking for an online credit union, you may find one of the best online banks in Canada more suitable as regards the collection of more products and competitive interest.

Where do you go from here? Kindly let me know in the comment. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about the best personal finance deals in Canada.

FAQs on Achieva Financial Review

Is Achieva a bank?

No. Achieva Financial is an online credit union offering banking products (savings and GICs).

Who owns Achieva Financial?

Cambrian Credit Union Limited owns Achieva Financial. However, Achieva operates as a separate entity as a digital deposit institution. 

Does Achieva have monthly fees?

Achieva Financial doesn’t have monthly fees. This is common with other online credit unions in Canada that have low operational costs compared to brick-and-mortar credit unions.

Can anyone join Achieva Financial Credit Union?

Any eligible Canadian can join Achieva Financial credit union. To be eligible, you must be a permanent resident of Canada; reach the minimum age of 18; have a credit file in Canada and; be willing to become a member of Cambrian Credit Union.

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About John Adebisi

John Adebisi is a CPA, FCCA and MBA holder with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance. He has over a decade of experience in writing personal and business finance content for audiences across North America, Europe, the UK and Africa. In addition to his writing experience, he also has a strong background in financial research and analysis, giving him a unique perspective of the financial markets. John derives pleasure in helping people make smart financial decisions, and he believes that knowledge and experience can be valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn how to manage their money.

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