Header image for WhatBank About page

WhatBank’s mission in to provide accurate, unbiased financial information to Canadians.

Referral Fees

When it comes to interest rates on savings accounts and GICs a rate is a rate right? How can it be inaccurate? A few ways. Many financial sites receive referral fees if you buy their products after having been driven to them by clicking on a link. Suppose there are better rates that don’t pay out referral fees. Will this financial site show them? You don’t know. WhatBank doesn’t accept referral fees so that’s not an issue here.

Teaser Rates

Banks often offer high interest rates for a limited amount of time that reset to below average rates. Why do banks do this? Because enough people don’t move their money when the rate resets. For the vast majority of people, teaser rates don’t work out so WhatBank doesn’t cover them.


Bias is infinitely easier to hide with credit cards. Knowing which credit card is best for your particular spending is a complex calculation involving annual fees, welcome bonuses, multiple different reward points or cash back depending on spending category, limit caps based on spending, valuing flights, whether reward points cover just airline base fares or the full cost of the flight, gas savings, and more. In short, comparing credit cards is very difficult!

If the credit card site that is “helping” you decide on a card gets paid if you get the card, it becomes even a trickier proposition. Yes, these sites readily acknowledge that they receive referral fees. But so what? Just because you have disclosed a conflict of interest does not mean you are not conflicted. Conflicts of interest are not dangerous just for the intentionally corrupt. Conflicts of interest are dangerous for people prone to unintentional bias – that’s all of us humans. That is why WhatBank will never adopt a referral fee business model.

With so much information on the web it’s tough to know who to believe. WhatBank encourages you to understand the incentives of those providing you information and act accordingly because… it’s worth it to know.