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Battle of the Banks: BMO Bank of Montreal vs. Scotiabank

Craig Sebastiano

Choosing a financial institution isn’t easy when most of them offer the same products and services. But it’s not as difficult to make a choice when you only compare some of the products.

In this final battle of the banks, we compare the GICs and high-interest savings accounts offered by both BMO Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank.


There are two types of non-redeemable GICs at Scotiabank: Long-term and special rate GICs. The rates on the long-term GICs are similar to what other banks offer while the special rate GICs have a better rate and are comparable to the rates at smaller financial institutions. As of April 24, these are the rates both banks offer on non-redeemable GICs for terms of between one and five years:

Both Scotiabank and BMO require a minimum investment of $1,000 for their GICs. Among the two banks, Scotiabank has the best GIC rates because of its special rate GICs.

Market-linked GICs

Scotiabank and BMO offer market-linked GICs and both require a minimum investment of $1,000. Scotiabank offers five of these GICs and the terms are for two, three, and five years. On the other hand, BMO has eight market-linked GICs and the terms are between 1.5 and five years.

Read:Should You Put a Market-Linked GIC in Your RRSP?

High-interest savings accounts

Both banks have a few savings accounts to choose from. But there are two that can provide you with an annual return or more than 1%: The Scotiabank Momentum Savings Account and the BMO Savings Builder account.

The rate on the Scotiabank Momentum Savings Account is 0.05% if your balance is less than $5,000. But until Aug. 31, if you have a balance of more than that amount, the rate is 2.15% if no withdrawals are made within 90 days.

The rate on the BMO Savings Builder account is only 0.2%, but again there’s the potential to earn a higher rate. How? Just deposit at least $200 into your account every month—and don’t make any withdrawals—to get a bonus 1% (for a total of 1.2%).

The winner

The most international bank in Canada is also the winner of the battle of the banks. Scotiabank’s special rate GICs have a good interest rate and its high-interest savings account actually has the potential to pay a high rate of interest.

Also read:

Flickr: Chris Tyler


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