Best Bank in Canada for Seniors 2021

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The Canadian banking culture is one of the best in the world in that it recognizes that Canadians of different ages have distinct banking needs. A college student might need a bank account to save money without expecting an interest in return. A newly married couple may need a bank account that allows them to make large purchases. On the flip side, an investor would likely require an account that provides a high ROI for his investment.

But a senior citizen’s need is an entirely different ball game. Ideally, senior citizens need additional features like travel points and discounts. That being said, quite a few Canadian banks are offering exclusive banking packages for seniors, and this piece highlights the best of the bunch.

What’s A Seniors’ Bank Account?

Senior accounts, particularly chequing accounts, offer baseline packages that start with free transactions and discounts on standard chequing accounts. Some banks attract senior customers by providing paper statements, safe deposit box discounts, free cheques, and more.

However, not everyone is eligible for a senior’s account, and the age range differs from bank to bank. That said, most banks have a qualification age of 60 to 65 years and older. Seniors may also opt for chequing accounts provided by credit unions.

Best Bank Accounts for Seniors by the Big Five

1. CIBC Smart for Seniors Account

 CIBC’s Smart for Seniors Account has a qualifying age starting at 65, and some of the features include:

  • C$0 monthly charges
  • 12 free transactions monthly and C$1.25 for additional transactions
  • Free money orders and bank drafts
  • No minimum monthly requirements
  • 5% discount on yearly rental deposit boxes

Transactions surpassing the account list incurs an additional C$1.25 up to a maximum of C$10 monthly. Seniors may add the unlimited transaction package by paying a C$10 monthly charge. Canadian seniors can sign up for the CIBC Smart Chequing Account at C$4.95 monthly, but because of the C$4.95 discount, the banking product is essentially free.

2. RBC Day to Day Banking for Seniors

This RBC chequing account is available to seniors from 65 years and older at the cost of C$4.00 but free after a C$4.00 discount. Some of the features include:

  • C$0 monthly account fee
  • 12 free transaction and C$1.25 for additional transactions 
  • No minimum balance requirement

Teller-assisted transactions do not form part of the RBC Day to Day package. Seniors who link their credit cards can save up to three cents on every litre of gas sold at Petro-Canada locations and an extra 20% in Petro-Points.

The Day to Day package can be upgraded to the RBC No Limit Banking Account for an extra C$2.95 monthly, and it comes with unlimited free debit transactions.

3. BMO Practical Plan Account for Seniors

The BMO Practical Plan Account brings down the qualification age to 60 years and older. Some of the perks include:

  • C$0 monthly maintenance fee
  • 12 free monthly transactions and C$1.25 for additional transactions
  • Zero minimum balance

The BMO Practical Plan Account works well with the free Premium Rate Savings Account. The account can also be upgraded to the BMO Chequing Account, which provides 25 free transactions monthly for an extra C$2.95.

4. TD Minimum Chequing Account for Seniors

The TD Minimum Chequing Account is a special banking package for seniors 60 years and older. Seniors who benefit from the GIS will also get a C$3.95 monthly discount. Some other benefits include:

  • C$0 monthly maintenance fee
  • Two tell-assisted transactions and 12 free transactions monthly and an additional C$1.25 after that
  • No minimum balance requirement

The account doesn’t include free Interac transfers with customers paying C$.50 per e-Transfers below C$100 and C$1.00 for e-Transfers above C$100. Standard charges may also apply. The TD Minimum Chequing Account can be upgraded to the TD Everyday Chequing Account for C$8.20 monthly and comes with 25 free transactions.

5. Scotiabank Basic Account for Seniors

The Scotiabank Basic Account for Seniors is the entry-level account for seniors 60 years and older. Some of the features include:

  • C$0 monthly maintenance fee
  • 12 free monthly transactions and C$1.25 for additional transactions
  • Zero minimum balance
  • Two free Interac e-Transfers and C$1 charge after that

Seniors on this banking package may earn 1 SCENE point on every C$5 purchasing goods on debit. Scotia Rewards points may also replace SCENE points. The Scotiabank Basic Account for Seniors may also be upgraded to the Scotiabank Basic Plus Account for an extra C$6.95 monthly and 25 free transactions or the Scotiabank Preferred Package, C$11.95 monthly with unlimited transactions.

Best Online Bank Accounts for Seniors

Seniors who enjoy online banking may opt for a digital bank account, which saves high costs in the long-term. You’re more likely to receive interest on an online chequing account than a senior account in a physical bank. Nonetheless, the accounts below are not senior-specific, and they are:

6. Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account

Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank, and some of the features of its chequing account include:

  • C$0 monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited and free Interac e-Transfers
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Free checkbook containing 50 cheques, and C$50 after that
  • Interest rate up to 0.15% on account
  • Access to HISA

Keep in mind drafts carry an additional C$10 charge.

7. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank is an arm of Equitable Bank and offers hybrid savings account with features like:

  • C$0 monthly maintenance fee
  • Free unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Zero-fee mobile cheque deposits
  • High-interest rates
  • Joint account optional

The EQ Bank Savings Plus is one of Canada’s best bank accounts and an excellent option for seniors.

8. Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account

A division of CIBC, the Simplii Financial Chequing Account offers the following features:

  • C$0 monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited and free Interac e-Transfers
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Interest rate up to 0.15% on account

Benefits of a Seniors’ Bank Account

Most seniors’ bank accounts have a discount on monthly maintenance charges. Seniors who aren’t interested in additional features may even use the bank account for free. Other advantages of a senior’s bank account include:

  • Safe Deposit box rental discounts
  • Free personalized cheques
  • Free certified cheques
  • No minimum monthly balance
  • Interest on bank balance
  • Free money order
  • Free transactions on Interac e-transfers

Drawbacks of a Seniors’ Bank Account

Many free seniors’ bank accounts are bereft of any significant features making them almost impossible to use. Unwary Canadian seniors may even incur more in bank fees if they are not cautious. For instance, seniors who exceed the free transaction limit may spend more in additional transactions wiping off any money saved on monthly fees.

Besides, the features available may not be of any benefit to your banking needs. Many seniors don’t require bank drafts or money orders as part of their daily transactions. Tech-savvy seniors who enjoy online banking may not need the free cheques making this feature less useful.

What to Look for in a Canadian Bank Account for Seniors

Seniors who require a bank account need to keep the following things in mind:

Is the Bank Accessible?

If you enjoy carrying out transactions in person, it’s best to pick a bank with a branch within your location. The same is also true for access to ATM use.

What Banking Package Suits your Requirements?

If you conduct many transactions monthly, you may require a bank account with unlimited monthly transactions, even at the cost of paying a monthly fee.

What if you need access to other accounts and miscellaneous services?

Seniors who want all their bank accounts with one bank may need to determine if the bank offers a comprehensive range of financial products, including savings, investment, safe deposit boxes, and insurance packages. Most times, the best method to save money is to open special accounts offered by different banks. For instance, boutique banks provide the best savings account interest rates.

FAQ

What is the Best Bank for Senior Citizens?

The best bank for senior citizens depends on your lifestyle and banking needs. Many senior citizens’ bank accounts have minimal features, which may not be enough to cover your financial transactions, except you pay for additional features.

Does RBC have free senior Banking?

The Canada Big Five, including RBC, all have free chequing accounts with zero minimum monthly balance and no monthly charges. However, you may be liable to pay fees if you exceed the maximum free transactions or need additional features not included in the banking package.

Which Bank in Canada has the lowest fees?

Many banks in Canada have low fees, but online banks like Tangerine, EQ Bank, and Simplii Financial have some of the lowest banking fees in Canada because they save costs by cutting out the expenses of maintaining a physical bank presence. The saved costs reduce charges for customers, making them an excellent choice for low-cost banking. 

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.