The Best Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2019
by April 23, 2019 / No Comments

*All rates current as of April 23, 2019.

Chequing accounts are among the most common banking products in Canada. Yet, as standard as chequing accounts are among Canadians, many chequing account owners tend to overlook how much using the basic tool can cost them in unnecessary fees over a lifetime of use.

Finding the best chequing accounts in Canada can be a difficult task for many. With transaction limits, ATM fees, and monthly account charges, chequing account expenses can add up fairly quickly. The good news is that there are several cost-effective chequing accounts that can save you most — if not all — of the fees typically associated with a chequing account.

By using our chequing accounts comparison tool, you can view the best chequing accounts in Canada and find the one best suited for your daily banking needs. Below is a breakdown of the best chequing accounts in Canada from banks and credit unions, selected specifically for the cost-conscious Canadian seeking to keep more of their money where it belongs.

The Best Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2019


The Best Chequing Accounts in Canada (View All)

Chequing Account Free Interac e-Transfers? Sign-Up Bonus
Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account Yes $200.00 (Until July 1)
Alterna Bank No Fee eChequing Account Yes N/A
Scotiabank Basic Chequing Account No $100.00 (Until June 30)
Luminus Financial FiveStar Chequing Account No N/A
DUCA No Fee Chequing Account No N/A
Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Bank Account Yes N/A
Manulife Bank of Canada Advantage Account Yes N/A
Tangerine No N/A


Best Free Chequing Account in Canada

Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account

  • Limited-time $200 sign-up bonus.
  • Unlimited withdrawals and Interac e-transfers.
  • No minimum deposit required.

Simplii Financial™’s Personal Chequing Account is one of the best chequing accounts in Canada. It comes with unlimited monthly transactions, unlimited self-serve transactions, and, until July 1, new customers can receive a $200 sign-up bonus.

Since Simplii Financial™ is a digital bank, in-person teller service is not available. However, Simplii Financial™ customers can use self-serve online banking and through the Simplii Financial™ app and use any ATM in CIBC’s ATM network for free.

Best Chequing Account in Canada From a Credit Union

Alterna Bank’s No Fee eChequing Account

  • Unlimited monthly transactions and self-serve transactions.
  • Unlimited withdrawals and Interac e-transfers.
  • Mobile banking app available.

Alterna Bank No Fee eChequing Account is another chequing account offers free, unlimited day-to-day transactions and unlimited Interac e-Transfers (access to which is in the top three most essential 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. The chequing account offers a 0.05% annual interest rate — which, while low, is something many chequing accounts don’t provide.

Best Rewards Chequing Account in Canada 

Scotiabank Basic Banking Account

  • $100 Sign-Up Bonus until June 30, 2019.
  • Global ATM Alliance network.
  • Mobile banking app available.

Scotiabank Basic Banking Account is another chequing account that is highly regarded as one of the best chequing accounts currently available in Canada. While Scotiabank Basic Banking Account does come with monthly fees, it exchanges those fees for exceptional perks. Scotiabank has over 3,300 ATMs between Canadian coasts. The bank is also a part of the Global ATM Network, meaning customers travelling abroad can use certain ATMs affiliated with the Global ATM Network.

The Scotiabank Basic Banking Account also offers its customers the Scene points program, that allows customers to choose between different rewards programs suited for them. For example, customers can choose between travel points, free movies, or other point programs. Scotiabank also offers the Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan.

Want to compare all of the best chequing accounts in Canada? Compare Best Chequing Accounts


Luminus Financial FiveStar Chequing Account

Luminus Financial FiveStar Chequing Account offers an overdraft limit of $500 for customers who register their payroll deposit. Additional services that come with a Luminus Financial FiveStar Chequing Account come with free in-branch deposits and withdrawals. Other free services that come with the credit union’s chequing account include Interac direct payments, pre-authorized deposits, and withdrawals, as well as free transfers and bill payments.

Luminus is a credit union based in Toronto, Ontario, and exclusively available to residents of the province.

DUCA No Fee Chequing Account

DUCA No Fee Chequing Account offers unlimited monthly transactions, unlimited self-serve transactions, and unlimited cheque transactions. DUCA customers can bank with all ATMs partnered with The Exchange Network. Additionally, DUCA customers can bank with the credit union at no monthly cost.

DUCA is a credit union exclusive to residents of Ontario, Canada.

Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Bank Account

Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Bank Account offers its customers unlimited monthly transactions, unlimited cheque transactions, self-serve and teller-assisted. Innovation Credit Union also provides unlimited Interac e-transfers.

Manulife Bank 

Manulife Bank is a credit union offering its customers a no-fee chequing account. With a Manulife Bank Advantage Account, customers who sign up with the credit union can expect unlimited monthly transactions, unlimited self-serve transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers and unlimited cheque transactions.

Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account

Tangerine’s No-Fee Chequing Accounts is another popular free chequing account offered by a digital bank. Thrifty Canadians seeking cost-free banking can enjoy Tangerine’s No-Fee Chequing Account for unlimited withdrawals and no monthly fees. Tangerine also offers its customers tiered interest on deposits, with 0.15% on deposits up to $49,999.00, 0.55% on deposits $50, 000.00 to $99, 999.99, and 0.65% on deposits of $100, 000 or more.

Tangerine customers can also enjoy the luxury of using Scotiabank ATMs at absolutely no additional cost.

What is a Chequing Account?

As mentioned earlier, a chequing account is the most basic type of account offered by banks and credit unions. Most Canadians use a chequing account to receive payments from their place of employment. Funds in a chequing account are then used to do daily banking and transactions, such as buying coffee, paying your cellphone bill, or sending money to a friend, among many other examples.

In short, chequing accounts are for frequent banking and purchasing.

What’s the Difference Between a Chequing and a Savings Account?

The difference between a chequing account and a savings account is that a chequing account is meant for daily banking whereas a savings account is intended primarily for saving. Unlike a chequing account, a savings account allows little to no transactions and offers interest.

There are different types of savings accounts that provide various benefits. Some of these savings accounts include Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GIC), High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISAs), and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), among others.

How to Choose a Chequing Account

If you’re wondering how to choose a chequing account, the answer might differ depending on the person asking the question. There are five major banks, two significant e-Banks, and dozens of credit unions, all of which offer spectacular benefits. 

Considering this, it’s essential to find what you use your banking for most. This means that if you’re the type to use your debit card often, you’ll want to get a chequing account that offers its customers unlimited offers. On the other hand, if you find yourself using cash often, it’s best to join a bank or credit union with a branch or ATM that’s close to your home, work, or any other places that you frequent.

Types of Chequing Accounts

Personal Chequing Account

A Personal Chequing Account is the most basic type of personal banking product available in Canada. Typically, a chequing account is used for receiving funds from your place of employment, and then using those funds to make day-to-day transactions.

Business Chequing Account

Business Chequing Accounts are chequing account designed for business owners. Typically, business owners tend to make many transactions every day; meaning costs can add up quickly. However, with a business chequing account, business owners can get special discounts on their monthly charges and access to additional resources.

Student Chequing Account

A Student Chequing Account is suitable for the younger cost-conscious generation who are transitioning to adulthood via post-secondary education. A student chequing account offers free banking to students in college or university who are looking to cut as many costs as possible.

Seniors Chequing Account

A Seniors Chequing Account is a personal chequing account with unique advantages for senior citizens. Generally, these chequing accounts offer seniors special rates, quite similar to the conditions of student and youth savings accounts.

Youth Chequing Account

A Youth Chequing Account is an exceptional no-cost banking account that allows youth to gain a little responsibility and understanding before stepping into the financial world. Youth chequing accounts typically come at no cost to the young citizen who owns the account. It’s the perfect bank account for someone with little to no banking needs.

Want to compare all of the best chequing accounts in Canada? Compare Best Chequing Accounts


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