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Best Chequing Accounts in Canada

The best chequing account for you takes into consideration monthly fees, key features and reward programs. Here are our top picks from the best banks in Canada.

Compare the best chequing accounts in Canada

Best Chequing Accounts in Canada by category

Managing your money is essential and having a reliable chequing account is crucial. Your chequing account is designed to be your financial “hub” for paying bills, transferring and holding your money in the short term. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right chequing account for your needs.

We have rounded up the best chequing accounts in Canada taking into consideration the monthly fees, key features and rewards programs. Each bank account offers its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to assess your requirements and choose the best personal chequing account for your lifestyle and financial habits.

The best no-fee chequing account

Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account

The best no fee chequing account in Canada is the Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing account. Although this is an online bank, it is associated with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Account holders have access to the following features:

  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited online transactions, Interac e-transfers, and telephone banking
  • No minimum balance requirement 
  • Includes a welcome bonus upon sign-up
  • Access to CIBC ATMs all across Canada without any additional fees

Simplii Financial™ is not available to residents of Quebec.

Best newcomer chequing account

National Bank The Chequing Account For Newcomers to Canada

National Bank has an extremely valuable newcomer bank account offer for those who have arrived in the past five years, providing a valuable three-year annual account fee waiver with their Newcomer Chequing Account. This saves newcomers a lot of money as they settle into Canada. Plus, there are unlimited electronic transactions (including e-transfers) with the account, and international transfers are offered for a small fee. Plus, with the newcomer plan you can get free access to legal information and support from a lawyer for one year.

  • No account fees for first 3 years
  • Unlimited free electronic transactions and e-transfers
  • Access to 2,800 ABMs across Canada

Best chequing account welcome offers

CIBC Smart Account

The CIBC Smart Account is CIBC’s most popular chequing account. The $400 Costco card welcome offer is promising and is available when you set up eligible recurring direct deposits and make a certain number of transactions. Keep in mind, though, that this account is only free if you maintain a balance of $4,000 or more. Otherwise, you’ll pay more for more transactions.

  • No monthly fee with at least $4,000 balance
  • Up to 12 monthly transactions for $6.95
  • 13 to 20 monthly transactions for additional $1.25 each
  • Unlimited transactions for $16.95 per month

Scotiabank Preferred Package

You can get a juicy cash bonus when you open a Scotiabank Preferred Package chequing account. All you have to do to be eligible is set up a direct deposit, plus a pre-authorized transaction that recur for six months, and then make one single bill payment with the account - so be sure to use this account regularly to benefit from the welcome offer. Keep in mind the monthly fee of $16.95 is fairly high, unless you have at least $4,000 in your account at all times, in which case you won’t pay a monthly fee.

  • Unlimited debit and e-transfer transactions
  • Earn Scene points on your purchases
  • $0 monthly fee with at least $4,000 minimum balance (otherwise, $16.95 monthly)
  • Get preferred rates on Scotiabank GICs and extra interest on a Momentum Plus Savings Account

Best hybrid bank accounts

EQ Bank Savings Plus Hybrid Account

EQ Bank’s Personal Account is the digital-first bank’s flexible hybrid chequing and high-interest savings account. It offers a competitive interest rate on deposits with no monthly fees, and plus, it comes packed with other perks, including:

  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited transactions in Canada and unlimited e-transfers 
  • Free bill payment
  • Affordable worldwide money transfers through TransferWise

Wealthsimple Cash

Wealthsimple offers a compelling interest rate that increases with your account balance. You also get the opportunity to open several savings accounts under your Cash account and give them each a distinct nickname (i.e. “trip fund”, “rainy day fund” etc.) so you can reach your financial goals faster. You can also order a free card with the account and you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees if you use it abroad.

  • No monthly fees or account minimums
  • No overdraft penalties
  • Free e-transfers

Best student chequing account

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan

This student chequing account offers a number of exclusive perks - all with no annual fee (as long as you’re a student.) You can earn valuable and flexible Scene+ points with the account, get unlimited e-transfers (useful if you frequently split bills with roommates), and discounts on investing fees with Scotia iTrade if you are looking to dive into the world of investing. You can also earn Scene points for bundling this account with other options like their savings account.

  • Unlimited debit transactions and e-transfers
  • No monthly account fees so long as you are a student
  • Earn and redeem Scene+ points

Best USD chequing account

EQ Bank US Dollar Account

The EQ Bank U.S. Dollar Chequing Account is a strong option for Canadians who get paid in USD or need to hold the currency for any reason. There are no fees for deposits, transfers between EQ Bank accounts, or transfers between your EQ Bank account and another Canadian financial institution. However, like with most bank accounts, you will be charged a fee for international money transfers. There is a $7100 USD maximum per international funds transfer made. Keep in mind that you will have to open an EQ Bank Personal savings account to open their USD account.

  • Earn 3% interest on your balance
  • No transaction fees (besides international transfers)
  • No minimum balance

Best premium chequing account bundle

Scotiabank Ultimate Package

While there is a fee to use this Scotiabank chequing account bundle (unless you maintain the minimum balance), the perks arguably outweigh the cost - especially if you have multiple financial accounts or products with Scotiabank. With this bundle, you’ll get no account fees on a USD account, 10 free trades with the Scotia iTrade investing platform, Scene+ points on your spending, unlimited transactions and more.

  • Unlimited e-transfers and electronic transactions
  • Cash bonus for new customers when you set up recurring deposits into the account
  • Additional interest on a Momentum Savings Account and better rates on GICs
  • Annual fee waiver on select Scotiabank credit cards


How many chequing accounts can I have?

Do I need to pay for a chequing account?

Do chequing accounts earn interest?

How can I avoid bank fees in Canada?

Which Canadian bank has no fee chequing accounts?

Our guide to chequing accounts in Canada

What is a chequing account?

A chequing account is a type of bank account that allows you to deposit and withdraw money for everyday transactions. It is designed for frequent transactions such as paying bills, making purchases, and receiving direct deposits. Unlike savings accounts, chequing accounts typically do not offer interest on the deposited funds.

How to compare chequing accounts in Canada

Once you have answered the questions above and identified your needs, different chequing account features will be more or less important.

Pay attention to the following features:

  • Interest Rates: Compare the interest rates offered on the account balances.
  • Fee Structure: Evaluate the monthly fees, transaction fees, and conditions for fee waivers (like minimum balance). There are several chequing accounts that provider unlimited debit transactions with no monthly fees, although most of these are offered by online-only banks that may have limitations such as fewer ATMs and additional fees for assisted transactions.
  • Transaction Limits: Check if there are any limits on the number of transactions allowed and whether fees apply to everyday transactions like e-transfers, bill payments, or electronic transfers.
  • Additional Benefits: Look for perks like bundled services such as discounts on credit card annual fees, higher interest rates on savings accounts or even the chance to earn rewards points. Keep in mind that you may have to pay an annual or monthly fee for an account with these premium features, but if these perks are valuable to you then it may be worth it.
  • Access to in–person branches: Consider whether you want personalized advice or assistance with accessing financial products and services such as loans or mortgages in person. With online-only banks or fintech companies you won’t have access to in-person support at a bank branch, unless you also have other accounts at a major bank.

Different types of chequing accounts in Canada

There are a number of different types of chequing accounts available to Canadians, each with a different intended purpose. A few different types of chequing accounts are:

Personal chequing accounts

Personal chequing accounts are individual bank accounts. These accounts can have monthly fees of between $0 and $30, depending on the transactions and services included in the account offering. Typically, the higher the monthly fee, the more services and transactions, and bundled account offerings are included. Comparing personal chequing accounts will help you find the right account for your banking needs.

Student chequing accounts

Student chequing accounts are bank accounts designed to help post-secondary and students save money on fees, for as long as they're in school. While each bank has its own specific requirements to open a student account, you will always need to be enrolled (usually full-time) in a post-secondary program at a recognized educational institution such as a university, community college, or CEGEP, to open an account. You may also need to be within a defined age range, typically 18-25 years old, though this requirement can vary.

Youth chequing accounts

Youth chequing accounts are accounts designed for individuals under the age of majority in a province or territory. Typically, these accounts offer the functionality of a chequing account and the ability to earn interest on deposits similar to a savings account.

Senior chequing accounts

Seniors' chequing accounts are accounts designed for seniors. Some providers also offer senior discounts rather than a specialized account. These discounts are applied to the monthly fees of that provider's chequing account offering. Typically, the discount makes at least one account available to seniors at no cost and reduces other monthly account fees significantly.

Joint chequing account

Used primarily by married or common-law couples (but open to anyone), joint chequing accounts can be shared by two or more individuals at once. Each person on the account has equal access to the money in the account and make withdrawals and deposits as they see fit.

Business chequing account

Business chequing accounts are popular with small business owners and entrepreneurs. They work just like a personal chequing account, but are designed to keep money earmarked for business purposes.

U.S. dollar chequing account

For those who get paid in U.S. currency and spend a lot of time across the border, a U.S. dollar chequing account can keep their money without converting it to CDN, making it easy to access and use while in the United States.

Chequing vs savings accounts

The difference between chequing and savings accounts is that the accounts are designed for different purposes, and thus have different features. Chequing accounts are designed as a short-term holding tank for your cash. Savings accounts, however, are designed for holding your cash in the medium to long-term. Compare their features below:

What to consider when choosing the best chequing account

Before you even start using our chequing account comparison tool, it's important that you identify your current banking habits and the number of transactions you know you'll make each month. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you conduct your banking? Mostly online or in-person? If you know you'll need to go in-person, you may want to consider the bank's business hours (some are better than others). If you do mostly online banking, you may also be concerned about whether or not your lender has a mobile app.
  • How often do you withdraw out cash from an ATM? If you do this regularly, you'll want to find a lender who has ATMs close to your home, office, etc.
  • How many transactions do you make in a typical month? If you rarely use your chequing account, you could go with a basic chequing account. However, if you need an unlimited chequing account look into a no fee chequing account. Remember that if you got the basic account and performed more than the specified number of transactions it includes, you'd be charged for every transaction you go over.

Compare the best chequing accounts - by type

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