Most of us use our chequing accounts for much of our day-to-day spending. We tap here, withdraw there, without giving much more thought to the process than “do I have enough in my account to cover this?”
However, you could save yourself some money by choosing the right account.
They typically don’t provide any interest, but offer high transaction allowances, making them the no. 1 vehicle for discretionary spending. In our 2018 Banking Behaviour survey we found that most Canadians pay high fees for chequing accounts and according to the survey’s findings, the average Canadian has already shelled out $1,920 in bank fees.
The good news, though, is that our winning accounts will save you most — if not all — of the fees typically associated with a chequing account. Below is a breakdown of the accounts available in Canada.
Here are the types of chequing accounts you can open:
- Personal Chequing Accounts – Personal chequing accounts are the most popular in Canada; they can typically be opened by anyone.
- Student Chequing Accounts – Often boasting the same features as personal chequing accounts, student accounts also offer a bonus of lower fees.
- Senior/CU Chequing Accounts – Senior accounts are only available to seniors (usually 65+). Like student accounts, they also typically offer discounted fees.
Below are some of the best chequing accounts in Canada.
Top Personal Chequing Accounts
Alterna Bank’s personal chequing account offers free, unlimited day-to-day transactions and free, unlimited Interac® e-Transfers (access to which is in the top three most important features Canadians value in a chequing account). Alterna Bank’s customers also have access to 3,300 ATMs in the Exchange Network, Canada’s second largest ATM network. Accounts are insured through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) and are eligible for joint accounts. Finally, the account offers a 0.05% annual interest rate — which, while low, is something many chequing accounts don’t offer.
Simplii Financial’s unlimited chequing account has always been competitive — it offers unlimited transactions, zero fees, free personalized cheques, and free Interac e-Transfers.
Now, however, it’s even more enticing: For a limited time, new account owners can qualify for a $200 sign-up bonus.
Top Student Chequing Account
A big seller for the Scotiabank student account this year is the signup bonus of 5,000 SCENE points or 5,000 Scotia Rewards. The account comes with zero monthly fees and offers unlimited Interac® e-Transfers and unlimited transactions through Scotia OnLine, Mobile Banking Teller, and the ABM2. Users have access to 963 Scotiabank branches and 3,600 bank machines. Accounts can also be linked to a mobile wallet. Students rejoice, this account also comes with a sign-up bonus of 5,000 SCENE points or 5,000 Scotia Rewards.
Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account
Another no-fee, unlimited chequing account, Tangerine’s has topped the list of best chequing accounts for years.
It offers free cheques for your first book, offers access to all Scotiabank ATMs, and even pays a little interest (from 0.15%-0.65% depending on balance).
Top Seniors chequing Account
Free for seniors (age to qualify is 60+), Scotia’s seniors’ account offers two free Interac® e-Transfers per month, 12 regular transactions including four teller transactions per month. Based on the findings from the banking survey, we found that senior citizens value accounts that charge no fees, offer easy money transfers, and have access to branches near them. Although security was not on the top three most important features, Scotiabank was actually ranked the third safest banking institution in North America according to Global Finance. The account also offers a signup bonus of 5,000 SCENE points or 5,000 Scotia Rewards.
- A Savings Resolution for 2019
- The Best TFSA Savings Accounts in Canada
- 5 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep