People want a secure way to access their money without having to walk around with stacks of cash. If you fall in this group, a Chequing account may be what you need.
Chequing accounts can be linked to your debit card, which you may use to carry out transactions like withdrawals and making in-store purchases.
Although all chequing accounts can help you complete your daily transactions, it doesn’t mean that they are all the same. Each chequing account has its set of unique features and fees.
Before choosing a chequing account, know that there’s no best chequing account. What works for someone else may not be what works for you. Choose a chequing account that suits your needs, lifestyle and spending habit.
What to Look for When Choosing a Chequing Account
There are lots of banks in Canada, with each offering multiple accounts with different fees and services. Before choosing a chequing account, there are things you should look out for. These include:
- An account that includes a sufficient number for your everyday transactions such as point-of-sale purchases, transfers and bill payments.
- An account that lets you perform transactions such as Interac e-Transfers easily. Interac e-Transfers allow you to send money easily to anyone with an email address. Some chequing accounts provide e-Transfers for free; others allow you to receive e-Transfers for free but charge a fee to send them.
- If you prefer to conduct banking in-person or need assistance with transactions, choose a chequing account offered by a bank nearby.
- Look for promotions from banks that suit your needs. Banks are always looking to attract new customers.
- Look out for the bank that offers foreign currency or borderless accounts if you are a frequent traveller who needs foreign currency access.
- Available banking options that allow you to do your transactions in the way that you prefer. If you want to have a combination of in-person, telephone and online service, choose a chequing account that solves the need.
- Do you intend to use overdraft frequently? Then look for an account with low overdraft fees. Most chequing accounts permit you to subscribe to overdraft protection.
- Look for an account that offers a rebate on your monthly fees.
Best Chequing Accounts in Canada
In no particular order, we’ve put together the details of some of the best chequing accounts offered by top banks in Canada.
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 decision.
1. Scotiabank Ultimate Package
This banking package permits you to spend, save and do more. You enjoy up to $650 in benefits and savings.
Scotiabank has a limited time special offer that could earn you up to $300 when you open a new Ultimate Package by January 28, 2021.
- Make an eligible $50 bill payment through online or mobile banking.
- Set up at least 2 eligible separate recurring pre-authorized transactions that are $50 or more, each recurring monthly for a minimum of 3 consecutive months and the transactions clear.
- Set up an eligible recurring direct deposit, which will recur monthly for a minimum of 3 consecutive months, and the transactions clear.
Within 2 months of completing the above-stated requirements, a $300 cash bonus will be deposited directly into your new Ultimate Package account.
Features of the Scotiabank Ultimate Package
- Enjoy unlimited debit transactions.
- Unlimited Scotia International Money Transfers with no fees.
- Unlimited Interac e-Transfer transactions.
- Access to unlimited free Global non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawal.
- Free personalized cheques and drafts.
- You earn points on everyday purchases.
- You’ll get access to a safety deposit box with a $55 annual fee waiver.
2. TD Bank All-Inclusive Banking Plan
TD Bank offers a variety of chequing accounts to meet different customer needs. But our focus will be on the TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan.
Features of TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan
- This plan offers you premium banking benefits.
- You save on monthly fees on your chequing account.
- You can have access to a small safety deposit box.
- At no extra cost, you’ll get personalized cheques.
- Free Interac e-Transfer.
3. BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account
The BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account offers the following perks and bonuses, which may work well for you.
- When you sign up and complete some general banking tasks online, you can get a welcome bonus of up to $350.
- Unlimited transactions allow you to pay bills, make purchases and transfer money in and out of your account.
- Free Interac e-Transfers.
- Access to a safety deposit box with a rebate fee of $12 per year.
- Free unlimited ATM withdrawals at all ATMs across Canada and worldwide.
4. RBC VIP Banking
- Unlimited debit transactions in Canada and the United States.
- All RBC fees are waived for non-RBC ATM use in Canada and the United States.
- You can get up to a $120 annual rebate on an eligible credit card.
- Pay a monthly fee of $30
- Assisted and self-serve transactions included.
- Provision of a safe deposit box with a maximum annual discount of $60 per year.
5. CIBC Smart Plus Account
- By opening a CIBC Smart Plus Account, you can enjoy all-in-one banking with over $500 in value.
- Access to unlimited transactions, including Interac e-transfer service.
- You can save up to $289 on annual credit card fees.
- Unlimited non-CIBC ATM withdrawals in Canada.
- No charges for ATM withdrawals worldwide.
- CIBC Overdraft Protection Service doesn’t apply for this account.
6. Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account
Enjoy free daily chequing transactions that pay you interest on every dollar in your account. Below are some features of the Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account.
- An unlimited number of debit purchases, bill payments, pre-authorized payment and Interac e-Transfer transactions.
- Use your client card to make online and in-app purchases with retailers accepting Visa Debit.
- Free ABM access.
- Overdraft Protection Service is available.
7. National Bank’s The Modest Chequing Account
- 30 monthly transactions.
- An unlimited number of cheque transactions.
- An unlimited number of self-serve transactions.
- An unlimited number of Interac e-Transfers.
- Online, mobile and telephone banking.
Types of Chequing Account
There are several different types of cheating accounts available to satisfy your needs in Canada. These include:
- Youth Chequing Account
This type of account is used by parents who wish to teach their children about financial literacy. Youth chequing accounts usually have no fees and may even earn your child interest.
- Online Chequing Account
Online-only banks provide these accounts. They provide the same services as a personal chequing account, except you can only access them online.
- No-Fee Chequing Account
This account works like a personal chequing account, except it comes with no monthly fees. Usually, online banks offer no-fee chequing accounts and may offer unlimited transactions, no minimum balance requirement, etc.
- Student Chequing Account
This account is usually available to full-time post-secondary students. They often have no fees but have limited transactions.
- Seniors Chequing Account
This account services the needs of individuals above the age of 60. The senior chequing account offers lower bank fees, lower minimum balance requirements, discounts and free paper statements and cheques. Some may even earn interest.
- Hybrid Chequing Account
These are chequing accounts that also act as savings account. You don’t have to go through the stress of opening a savings account to save and grow your money. This account enables you to earn interest on your funds.
What are Chequing Accounts Used for?
- Cash withdrawal from ATMs.
- Using Interac e-Transfer to make money transfers.
- Depositing a paycheque.
- Using debit cards to make in-store purchases.
- Handling recurring pre-authorized payments.
Don’t expect your chequing account to accrue interest because most financial institutions don’t allow it.
Chequing Account Fees
Owning a bank account comes with fees. These fees include:
- Transaction Fees
Except you’ve opted for an unlimited transaction chequing account, many chequing accounts have limitations on how many transactions you can do for free.
- ATM Fees
For those who often use the ATM, understanding the cost of withdrawing money from your bank’s ATM and a third party ATM can help you save money.
- Interface e-Transfer Fees
Find a bank that offers unlimited e-transfers or a few free ones if you plan on using e-transfers a lot.
- Overdraft Fees
You may want to consider a chequing account that has overdraft protection.
Difference Between Chequing Accounts and Savings Accounts?
- Chequing accounts are designed for everyday transactions, while savings accounts are designed for long-term saving goals.
- Chequing accounts are a convenient way to manage money for your daily needs with no significant interest, while savings accounts provide you with a great way to grow your interest on savings.
- Chequing accounts come with a linked debit card that allows you to access your chequing account balance and go cashless, while most savings accounts do not come with a debit card, which means you’ll have to transfer the required funds to a chequing account first.
- Chequing accounts give you access to cheques, while most savings accounts don’t come with cheques.
- Chequing accounts offer a higher number of withdrawals, while many savings accounts have withdrawal limits.
- Chequing accounts come with a monthly account fee that increases based on the number of transactions performed, while most basic savings accounts come without a monthly account fee.