Best Chequing Accounts in Canada
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From the big banks to credit unions, and online-first institutions, we list the best chequing accounts from all types of providers.compare all accounts
What is a chequing account?
A chequing account is the most basic transactional bank account offered by banks, credit unions and small lenders. Chequing accounts are typically meant to serve as a transactions account. For example, most people have their paycheques from work deposited into a chequing account, then pay for purchases, services and their credit card bills with the money that's in there.
The money in your chequing account is usually your most liquid asset, as it can be withdrawn at anytime without penalty1 . In exchange for that liquidity, chequing accounts usually offer little-to-no deposit interest. In Canada, any amount you deposit up to $100,000 is protected by CDIC insurance.
Types of chequing accounts
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 designed to meet the diverse banking needs of any individual. 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 that are included in the account. 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 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 must also be within a defined age range, typically 18-25 years old, though this 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.
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.
What is the difference between a chequing and savings account?
How many chequing accounts can I have?
Do I need to pay for a chequing account?
Do chequing accounts earn interest?
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