When you’re shopping for a chequing account, you can go with any financial institution. Among the Big Five banks, there are many options available.
If you can’t decide between CIBC or RBC Royal Bank, here’s a comparison of what each bank offers:
RBC’s regular chequing accounts
CIBC’s regular chequing accounts
|Monthly fee||$3.90||$4.95 to $14.95||$28.95|
|Minimum balance to waive fee||$2,000||$3,000||N/A|
|No. of transactions per month||12 free per month; $1.25 for each additional transaction above 12||12 for $4.95/month plus $1.25 for each additional transaction up to a maximum of $14.95/month for unlimited banking||Unlimited|
|Interac e-Transfer fee||$1.50 each plus transaction fee, if applicable||Service fee removed. Instead, each Interac e-Transfer sent counts as a transaction in calculation of monthly fee||None|
|Non-CIBC ATM withdrawals||$1.50 each plus transaction fee, if applicable||$1.50 each plus transaction fee, if applicable||Unlimited in Canada|
|Credit card rebate||None||None||$120|
RBC Royal Bank offers four regular chequing accounts with monthly fees ranging from between $4 and $30. The monthly fee for RBC’s accounts can be reduced if you have multiple products (a credit card, for example) with the bank. All accounts come with an unlimited number of free Interac e-Transfers.
CIBC offers three accounts with fees of $3.90 to $28.95 a month. With a CIBC chequing account (not CIBC checking account), the fee can be waived on the Everyday Chequing and Smart accounts if you carry a minimum balance. For the Smart account, you need to also have two pre-authorized monthly payments or a recurring direct deposit for the fee to be waived. There’s a fee to send Interac e-Transfers if you have the Everyday Chequing account. But for the Smart account, every e-Transfer counts as a transaction when calculating the monthly fee.
The most expensive accounts also come with the most features. If you have the RBC VIP Banking account, the annual fee is waived on a number of RBC cards, including the RBC Visa Infinite Avion and the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard. And the annual fee is waived on a few CIBC cards—such as the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite card and the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card—if you have the CIBC Premier Service account. There’s also no fee to send Interac e-Transfers with either account.
RBC student chequing accounts
CIBC student/senior chequing accounts
|Advantage for Students||60 Plus Advantage|
|No. of transactions per month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Interac e-Transfer fee||$1.50 each||$1.50 each|
|Non-CIBC ATM withdrawals||$1.50 each||$1.50 each|
|Credit card rebate||None||None|
RBC doesn’t offer specific accounts for seniors but it does offer discounts on all of its regular chequing accounts. The fee is waived on the RBC No Limit Banking account if you’re a senior and you have both an active investment account and an active credit card. That account comes with unlimited transactions. CIBC does have an account specifically for seniors, the 60 Plus Advantage account, which has no annual fee and unlimited transactions but it costs $1.50 for each Interac e-Transfer.
Both banks, however, do offer student accounts. RBC has two different accounts, the RBC Student Banking and the RBC No Limit Banking for Students accounts. The RBC Student Banking account has no annual fee and comes with 25 free debit transactions a month while the RBC No Limit Banking for Students account has a monthly fee of $10.95 and comes with an unlimited number of debit transactions. You also get free Interac e-Transfers and an annual credit card rebate of up to $39.
CIBC offers just one account, the Advantage for Students account, which has no annual fee and an unlimited number of transactions. However, there’s a fee to send Interac e-Transfers.
The bottom line
RBC and CIBC have a large number of chequing accounts (not checking accounts) to choose from. If you know what features you want, a chequing account comparison tool can help you find the account that suits your needs.