Although it seems like January extended into April (at least in Toronto, where the weather has been horrendous), we are nearing the half-way point of the year. And what better time to take stock and take a look at the banking accounts currently on offer in 2018?
Back in February, Ratehub.ca launched its inaugural Personal Finance Awards, that covered the best banking accounts of 2017 and highlighted a few strong contenders for the Awards of 2018. As we’ve put that list together back in February, we thought it’d be great to give you a half-year check-in with some of the best Canadian banking accounts.
As we’ve written about extensively, Canadians can save plenty of money by becoming more thoughtful about the financial products they use. And that can start where most of our financial journeys begin: With our bank accounts.
If you’re like most Canadians, you currently have a bank account with the first institution you ever joined. Remember that day? I do. My parents walked me over to the big bank across the street from where I grew up. I must have been no older than five. The memory is hazy, but I do recall a turquoise-coloured bank book with a bicycle on the front and a green piggy bank with slots for my Loonies, quarters, and smaller coins.
As you get older, though, you should be re-evaluating your current accounts to see if they still align with your financial habits. For example: If you’re a power user who uses debit daily, you need a chequing account with unlimited transactions. If yours doesn’t offer that, you’re likely paying excessive fees just for accessing your own funds.
But, as we’re about to show you, why not cut out fees entirely?
And that’s just your chequing account. What about your savings account? Is it working as hard with your money as you do making it?
If not, it may be time to bid adieu with your current financial provider in favour of a new one.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled a shortlist of top bank accounts in Canada for 2018.
Best Chequing Accounts
Tangerine No-fee chequing account
Tangerine’s flagship chequing account has enough great features to make it the best chequing account currently offered in Canada; no monthly fee and unlimited transactions. It also provides a modest interest rate of 0.15%, which is uncommon for chequing accounts.
On top of that, though, Tangerine is also offering a $100 signup bonus for new accounts until July 2, which makes it even more enticing.
See a full list of Tangerine No-fee chequing account features here
Duca No Fee Chequing Account
The Ontario-based credit union is offering a competitive offering to Tangerine’s: a no-fee account with unlimited transactions. Interac e-transfers will cost you an extra 25 cents, though, and it’s only offered to residents of Ontario.
One cool feature is that offers a $100 signup bonus — $50 for you and $50 for the charity of your choice.
See a full list of Duca No Fee Chequing Account features here
Scotiabank Momentum Chequing Account
When it comes to the big banks, Scotia currently offers the best chequing account of the big five. Its Momentum account costs $15.95 per month, however, for similar features to the Tangerine Account (such as unlimited transactions).
What sets it apart, though, is that it offers 1% cash back on all purchases. So, although you pay a monthly fee, you can earn it back and then some if you are a power user.
See a full list of Scotiabank Momentum Chequing Account features here
Looking for a chequing account?
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
If you’re a student, look no further than the Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan. It offers unlimited transactions, no fees, and free interact e-transfers. You can also earn points by opting for a Scotiabank Passport debit card (for travel points) or its Scene ScotiaCard.
See a full list of Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan features here
Best Savings Accounts
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account was recognized as the Best Savings Account of 2017 and it holds its title firmly in 2018.
Offering an interest rate of 2.3%, EQ Bank’s account will earn account holders with a balance of $5,000 an unparalleled $115 in interest in the first year. Not bad for such a highly liquid account.
It also includes unlimited transfers and withdrawals and five free Interac e-transfers per month.
See a full list of EQ Bank Savings Plus Account features here
Alterna Bank High-interest eSavings Account
Coming just behind EQ Bank’s offering, Alterna Bank offers a high-interest savings account with a rate of 2.05% — good for $102 in interest earned in the first year assuming a balance of $5,000. The account includes unlimited withdrawals and deposits.
Alterna’s account is available nation-wide (unlike EQ Bank’s, which isn’t available in Quebec).
See a full list of Alterna Bank High-interest eSavings Accountfeatures here