Best Bank in Canada

7 Best Bank in Canada for Savings 2021

Canada has a financial system anchored on conservatism, which means small calculated risks return even lesser reward, so you’d expect your regular savings account to earn a low interest. But if you’d like to make good money on your deposit, a high-interest savings account (HISA) is your best choice.

However, there is so much to consider than the interest rate. In this piece, you’ll find out what makes for a good bank account, the best bank in Canada for savings, and the different available options to help you make the right decision.

Disclaimer: Rates and product offerings are always changing so this article might not reflect the current market situation. Please contact your financial advisor before making any financial decisions.

Best Bank in Canada For Interest Rate and No Fees (Winner) EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account needs no introduction. The savings account is the brainchild of EQ Bank, a subsidiary of Equitable Bank. Ever since EQ Bank got into the online scene, it’s been a major player thanks to the Savings Plus Account that features zero fees and no minimum balance requirements. Each service, including Interac e-transfers, incurs no charge.

Highlights:

  • Promotional Rate: Nil
  • Interest Rate: 1.50%
  • Minimum balance: nil
  • Transactions per month: free unlimited
  • Interac transfer charges: nil
  • Miscellaneous charges: nil
  • CDIC insured: qualifying deposits to a maximum of C$100,000 payable and for a term not more than five years
  • Other limits: maximum balance of C$20000 per account holder, no paper statements

Best Credit Union Regular Interest Rate (Winner) Maxa Financial Savings Account

Located in Manitoba, Maxa is an arm of the renowned Westoba Credit Union. Although Maxa isn’t a bank, its interest rate on savings makes it worth your while. The Maxa Financial Savings account charges zero fees, although account holders may need to pay a service charge for transactions. 

Highlights:

  • Promotional Rate: zero
  • Interest Rate: 1.30%
  • Minimum balance: not available
  • Free monthly transaction: first monthly withdrawal is free.
  • Interact transfer fee: C$2.00 per domestic transfer and C$5.00 for international transfers.
  • Miscellaneous fees: C$1.50 monthly after the first free monthly debit
  • Other limits: online interface needs to be updated.

Best e-Savings Account: (Winner) Alterna Bank High-interest eSavings Account

For the past two decades, Alterna Bank has been at the forefront of innovative banking, stepping out of the shadow of its parent institution Alterna Savings. The highlight of Alterna Bank is its High-Interest Savings Account that can be enjoyed via online and mobile app. The interest rates are relatively healthy, and to sweeten the deal, Alterna Bank charges no fees or minimum requirements.

Highlights:

  • Promotional rate: nil
  • Interest Rate: 1.20%
  • Free monthly transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac transfer fee: free
  • CDIC Insured: a maximum of C$100,000 deposited in Canadian funds with a term, not more than five years.
  • Other limits: nil

Best Regular Rate in Hybrid Account: (Winner) Wealthsimple Cash

A newly launched product in 2020, Wealthsimple Cash is a hybrid combo of a savings and chequing account. Unlike the Big Five and other traditional lenders, Wealthsimple offers a higher than usual interest rate. It has the features of an excellent chequing account, charging no fees for unlimited transactions.

Customers can pay bills for free and conduct Interac transfers at no charge. It works seamlessly with your Wealthsimple investment account, allowing you to use your savings account to contribute with convenience. Wealthsimple Cash is still in its Beta stage so you’d need to wait a while to enjoy the full package.

Highlights:

  • Promotional rate: nil
  • Interest Rate: 0.75%
  • Minimum balance: C$1
  • Miscellaneous charges: free
  • Free transactions monthly: Unlimited
  • Interact transfers: free
  • CDIC insured: nil. However, deposits of C$1million maximum are insured under the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
  • Other limits: nil

Best Promo Rate (Winner) Tangerine Savings Account

The Tangerine Savings Account is effortlessly flexible in that it requires no monthly minimum balance, no charges, fees, or commissions for services or transactions. The whole user experience is wholesome, straight to the point, and friendly. In addition, Tangerine helps its customers to meet financial goals by enabling them to set up an Automated Savings Program.

Highlights:

  • Promotional Rate: 2.15% for opening your first Tangerine Account and an additional C$150 bonus
  • Interest Rate: 0.10%
  • Minimum balance: nil
  • Free monthly transactions: Unlimited free deposits at Tangerine or Scotiabank ATMs, zero surcharges, or access fees on withdrawals via Global ATM Alliance machines
  • CDIC Insured: maximum deposit of C$100,000 with a term, not more than five years.

Other limits: nil

Best Tiered Interest Savings Account: (Winner) Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings Account

With Tangerine emerging as the winner in its niche, it comes as no surprise to see the parent company Scotiabank winning in its category.

Account-holders will be mistaken to think the Scotiabank MomentumPlus Account is a GIC because it allows users to accrue interest just by letting the money alone, albeit with the freedom to make withdrawals at any time.

If the account isn’t debited often, it will continue to earn interest. The longer your money sits, the more interest you accrue. It’s as simple as this:

  • 0.55% after 90 days
  • 0.65% after 180 days
  • 0.75% after 270 days
  • 1.10% after 360 days

In addition, if you have the Scotiabank Ultimate Package Account, you will get 0.75% for a limited period. The Ultimate Package account incurs no fees and has unlimited self-service transfers.

Highlights:

  • Minimum balance: nil
  • Miscellaneous fees: C$5 for full-service transactions
  • Free Interac transfers: Unlimited
  • CDIC Insured: no limit if in Canadian current with a term, not more than five years payable only in Canada.
  • Other limits. Paper statement unavailable

Best new Savings Account: (Winner) LBC Digital High-Interest Savings Account

Laurentian Bank is known to offer its services to Quebec residents exclusively, but its ambitions are becoming more evident with the establishment and launch of the digital bank LBCDigital.ca. Customers across Canada can take advantage of its high-interest savings account to boost their income.

The standout feature is the astonishingly high-interest rate that rivals and even surpasses the GIC rates offered by many financial institutions in Canada. The LBC has no minimum monthly balance and charges zero monthly fees. The account is irresistible, considering Interac transactions are free alongside other services.

Highlights:

  • Promotional Rate: nil
  • Interest Rate: 1.50% to a maximum of C$500,000. Deposits above C$500,000 attract 0.50%.
  • Minimum monthly balance: nil
  • Free transactions monthly: Unlimited
  • Free Interac transfers: Unlimited
  • CDIC insured: maximum of C$100,000 payable in Canadian funds with a term, not more than five years.
  • Other limits: returned items, Non-sufficient funds, and overdrawn accounts are subject to charges. Account closed within 90 days attract C$25 penalty fee.

FAQs

Which bank is giving the highest interest rate?

EQ Bank is the undisputed king of interest rate, with its Savings Plus Account giving customers up to 2.45% per Canadian dollar for its hybrid savings and chequing account.

How do I choose a savings account?

To choose a savings account, you need to consider several factors. Firstly, there are three types of savings account which are:

  • Regular Savings Account
  • Hybrid Account (Savings and Chequing) 
  • High-interest savings account

Regular Savings Account

The regular savings account is a standard account that allows you to get your money anytime, with little or no fees. Regular savings account accrue little interest.

Combined chequing and savings account

The combined chequing account earns you lesser interest than a regular savings account. It allows you to withdraw your money at any time, and you can write cheques. But you’ll most likely be paying a fee for writing one.

High-Interest Savings Account

The high-interest savings account (HISA) earns you the highest interest. You’d need to deposit a certain amount of money, and you won’t have access to cheques or bank books. It will also take a longer time to withdraw your money, especially if it’s an online bank. 

The interest rate varies from bank to bank, so make sure you compare interest rates before settling on a savings account.

How do I choose a new Bank?

Before choosing a new bank, you have to consider the following factors:

Banking fees

Many Canadian banks charge a fee for maintenance that can range from C$5 to C$100. You may also pay fees for each transaction you make. Do your research to see the Canadian bank that’s suitable for your financial circumstances.

Interest

If you want your money to accrue interest, you need a bank with a high-interest rate. Do your homework to find out which bank has the best rate for you.

Location

Finally, you wouldn’t want to bank with a financial institution far from your location. Pick a bank with a branch that’s readily accessible to you.

How do I choose a High-interest savings account?

Many banks and credit unions in Canada provide high-interest savings account packages for their customers. The first thing to consider is the interest rate.

Common sense requires that you pick an account with an interest rate that grows faster than the inflation rate, or your purchasing power will be less than what you had at first. Another thing to check for is the terms and conditions.

Some HISA requires a minimum monthly balance to waive fees, while others may have withdrawal limits or prefer to lock-in your funds for a limited time. Whatever the case may be, you need to understand the requirements before signing up. Your best bet is to hold your HISA in a TFSA or RRSP if you don’t want to cough up a significant sum of your interest in tax payments.

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