Top 5 Chequing Accounts in Canada

Craig Sebastiano
by Craig Sebastiano July 25, 2017 / No Comments

When looking for the best chequing account, you have to consider what services and features you need and if there’s a cost involved. If there are no monthly fees and it comes with an unlimited number of transactions, that’s a big plus.

Here are what we’ve determined to be the top five chequing accounts in Canada on our site:

PC Financial

The PC Financial No Fee Bank Account was launched in 1998 and is still going strong. There’s no monthly fee, no minimum balance required, and you earn interest on every cent in your account. However, the rate is based on the amount of money in your account. 

Balance Interest rate
$0 to $1,000 0.05%
$1,000.01 to $5,000 0.1%
$5,000.01 to $25,000 0.15%
$25,000.01 or more 0.5%

You also get free, unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, transfers between accounts, cheques, and withdrawals from any PC Financial or CIBC bank machine. And there’s the ability to earn PC points towards free groceries.

Update: The Simplii Financial brand will replace the President’s Choice Financial brand banking products and services issued by CIBC, effective Nov. 1, 2017. PC Financial clients can continue to earn PC points on banking accounts until Oct. 31. 2017.

Tangerine

The Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account is quite similar to the PC Financial account. There isn’t a monthly fee, there’s no minimum balance required, and the account pays interest. The account also has a tiered rate so you get a higher rate if you have a larger balance. 

Balance Interest rate
$0 to $49,999.99 0.15%
$50,000 to $99,999.99 0.55%
$100,000 or more 0.65%

You also get free, unlimited debit purchases, pre-authorized payments, bill payments, and access to 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs. Your first book of 50 cheques are free but additional books cost $20 each.

Read: Review: Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account

Motive Financial

The Motive Financial Motive Chequing account has no monthly fees as well. It also has unlimited deposits and withdrawals, and no minimum balance is required to earn interest (its rate is a very high 0.6%). The first 50 cheques are free. Motive is part of the Exchange Network so there are more than 2,400 surcharge-free ATMs across Canada you can use if you need to withdraw cash. Although Motive is an online-only bank owned by Canadian Western Bank (CWB), you can’t access your account from a CWB branch. You can get an account if you live in any province or territory, except one. “Motive doesn’t provide services in French, so we can’t offer our products or services to Quebec residents,” states the company’s website. “Motive clients can still have accounts while in Quebec though, through online banking, points of sale, and ATM networks.”

First Calgary Financial

The First Calgary Financial No Fees For Me Account is a free chequing account that’s only available to residents of Alberta. The account comes with unlimited monthly transactions, including bill payments, withdrawals, and debit card transactions. You can also choose one of three upgrades: A personal banking upgrade (which comes with three free Interac e-Transfers a month and a pre-approved $500 overdraft upon opening); an investing upgrade (which comes with an automatic savings feature and 50% off on a safety deposit box); or a student upgrade (which comes with three free Interac e-Transfers a month, a pre-approved $500 overdraft upon opening, a student loan discount, and a student Mastercard). First Calgary is part of the Ding Free network, which has thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the country. However, there is just one small fee if you want to open an account. You need to pay $1 to become a member of the the Connect First Credit Union, the parent company of First Calgary.  

Read: Chequing Accounts: Credit Unions vs. Banks

Luminus Financial

The Luminus Financial FiveStar Chequing Account is also a no-fee account. It comes with free, unlimited withdrawals, bill payments, and transfers. And there’s $500 in overdraft protection. Like Motive Financial, Luminus is also part of the Exchange Network so you’ll have access to 2,400 surcharge-free ATMs. However, to join Luminus, you have to pay $25 to purchase a membership share. And there are annual membership dues of $5.99.

The bottom line

While all of the chequing accounts mentioned above are all no-fee chequing accounts, the accounts offered by PC Financial and Tangerine are available across the country. You’ll also have access to the most ATMs.

Looking for a chequing account?

Check out our chequing account comparison tool

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