Search
  1. Home
  2. Banking
  3. Best Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2022
Published September 14, 2022

Best Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2022

Choose the best chequing account that includes all the services, savings on the monthly account fees, and provides convenience for your everyday banking needs.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

ALSO CONSIDER: Best no-fee chequing accounts

A chequing account is an all-purpose bank account for everyday expenses. Use it to pay bills, access cash with your debit card, handle day-to-day transactions and manage your money in the short to medium term.

The best chequing account will make it easy for you to tackle most financial tasks.

 

Summary of our picks for the best chequing accounts

 

The best chequing accounts in Canada

Our pick for a high-interest earning hybrid account

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account

  • Interest Rate
    2.00%*
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is the digital-first bank’s flexible hybrid chequing and savings account. It features a high interest rate, no monthly fees, and free and unlimited transfers.
    • The bank also offers joint accounts, US dollar accounts, TFSAs, RRSPs, and GICs.
  • Product Details
    • 2.00% interest rate*.
    • No monthly fee.
    • This hybrid account gives you the benefits of savings with the flexibility of chequing.
    • Mobile Cheque Deposit is available through the EQ Bank mobile app.
    • Zero monthly banking fees.
    • No transaction or service fees. EQ Bank does not charge account fees, fees for sending or receiving Interac e-Transfers®, fees for bill payments, overdraft fees, or dormant account fees.
    • No minimum balance, but a $200,000 maximum balance.
    • Access your money immediately through the mobile app and online banking website, where you can deposit or transfer funds using Interac e-Transfers® or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to linked accounts.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • EQ Bank is not available to Quebec residents.
    • *Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
Our pick for an online account with cash back

KOHO Spending and Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.20%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This hybrid chequing-savings account earns 1.20% interest on savings and 0.5% cash back on purchases.
    • KOHO is a virtual bank that also offers cash back prepaid VISA cards
  • Product Details
    • 1.20% interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • The account comes with the KOHO prepaid Visa card that earns 0.5% instant cash back on spending — plus the ability to earn more with brand partners.
    • The mobile app comes with spending pattern analysis, budgeting, automated savings and a RoundUp! feature that helps you save money on every purchase.
    • Free and unlimited transactions, including e-Transfers.
    • No transaction or service fees.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Immediate access to your money through free Visa Plus ATM withdrawals, e-transfers, and more.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
Our pick for a banking package with a generous intro offer

BMO Performance Chequing Account

  • Bonus Offer
    $400
  • Monthly Fee
    $16.95
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • Enjoy unlimited everyday banking transactions, no-fee daily banking for loved ones through a family bundle, up to a $40 annual fee rebate on your BMO credit card, and more on the Performance Chequing Account.
    • The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of Canada’s Big Six banks offering personal and business accounts, lending products and investment services. Read our review of BMO for more information.
  • Product Details
    • Performance Chequing Account, as one of BMO’s popular accounts, offers unlimited everyday banking transactions for a competitive price.
    • Open an account in minutes and earn a welcome bonus of up to $400.
    • Add an account and subtract the fees with the BMO Family Bundle that lets your loved ones enjoy no-fee daily banking with all the benefits and privacy of separate chequing accounts.
    • Enjoy unlimited transactions when visiting a BMO branch or ATM and when using BMO Online, Mobile, and Telephone Banking.
    • Get up to $40 of your BMO credit card annual fee rebated annually with a Performance Plan Chequing Account. Enjoy all the perks of a BMO credit card, with lower fees.
    • Feel secure with OnGuard Identity Theft protection at no charge. You’ll get complimentary access to OnGuard with the Performance Plan – saving you over $150 a year.
    • Enjoy all these benefits for $16.95 per month – or, pay no monthly fee when you keep a minimum balance of $4,000.
    • The Performance Plan chequing account is eligible for CDIC insurance.
Our pick for a chequing account that earns rewards

RBC Signature No Limit Banking

  • Bonus Offer
    10.2" iPad
  • Monthly Fee
    $16.95
    Rebates available
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • RBC Signature No Limit Banking offers unlimited debit transactions, free Interac e-Transfers®, and up to a $39 annual fee rebate on eligible credit cards.
    • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is one of Canada’s Big Six banks providing banking, investment, and lending solutions to individuals and businesses since 1869. Read our review of RBC for more information.
  • Product Details
    • Get an iPad at No Cost with an RBC Signature No Limit Banking account.
    • Tap, click and swipe — unlimited debit transactions in Canada without extra fees.
    • Get a credit card for less with up to a $39 annual fee rebate on an eligible credit card.
    • Free Interac e-Transfer® transactions.
    • 3 non-RBC ATM fees waived/month, $2 each thereafter.
    • 5 FREE cross-border debits/month, $1 each thereafter.
    • $10.95 or $5 monthly fee with Value Program Rebate.
    • $12.95 monthly fee for seniors or less with Value Program Rebate.
    • Overdraft Protection fee waived (overdraft interest applies if used)
    • Get up to a $12/year discount on Safe Deposit Box fees.
    • 1 Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fee rebated every calendar year.
    • Free personalized cheques.
    • Deposits are eligible for CDIC insurance.
Our pick for a seniors account with special discounts

CIBC Smart™ Plus for Seniors

  • Bonus Offer
    $400
  • Monthly Fee
    $23.00
    Waived first three months
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • When you open your first CIBC Smart Plus chequing account you can enjoy unlimited transactions, an annual fee rebate on premium credit cards, and free non-CIBC ATM withdrawals.
    • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, also known as CIBC, is a full-service multinational financial institution and one of the Big Six banks in Canada. Read our review of CIBC for more information.
  • Our Take
    • Get up to $400 when you open your first chequing account and pay no monthly fee for the first 3 months.
    • Enjoy all-in-one banking with over $1,100 in value.
    • Unlimited transactions including Interac e-transfer service.
    • Maintain a daily balance of $6,000 or $100,000 in combined eligible savings and investments, including GICs to pay no monthly fee.
    • Includes one eligible CIBC credit card with an annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder and up to 3 authorized users.
    • No CIBC fee for ATM withdrawals worldwide or for CIBC Overdraft Protection Service.
    • Enjoy free personalized cheques, bank drafts, money orders and stop payments on cheques and pre-authorized payments.
    • A $5 discount on the annual rental fee for a safety deposit box.
    • CIBC Overdraft Protection Service fee doesn't apply to CIBC Smart Plus Account.
    • Deposits eligible for insurance from CDIC.
Our pick for a seniors account with free premium perks

TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan

  • Bonus Offer
    $300
  • Monthly Fee
    $22.45
    Waived with minimum balance
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • You get unlimited transactions, no TD fees at ATMs, and an annual fee rebate on TD credit cards when you open a TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan.
    • TD Bank, founded in 1955 is one of Canada’s Big Six banks offering bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment solutions. Read our review of TD Bank for more information.
  • Product Details
    • Get a $300 Amazon.ca Gift Card when you start by opening a TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan.
    • Monthly fee rebate when you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $5,000.
    • Unlimited transactions per month.
    • Annual fee rebate on TD credit cards
    • No TD fees at Non-TD ATMs or Foreign ATMs.
    • Free to send or request money using Interac e-Transfer®.
    • Free premium perks that include a small safety deposit box, certified cheques, money orders, and personalized cheques at no additional cost.
    • With TD Fraud Alerts, suspicious transactions on your TD Access Card can be blocked and unblocked in real-time.
    • Earn big rewards on the little things including 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks stores. Simply link your eligible TD Access Card with Visa Debit with your Starbucks Rewards account to start earning. Conditions apply.
    • Choose one or more bank accounts from the following, a TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan, a TD ePremium Savings Account, or a TD Borderless Plan, with one application that works for you.
    • Benefits of banking with TD: TD app; TD MySpend to track finances; TD Mobile Deposit; Direct Deposit; Overdraft Protection; Simply Save Program to grow savings.
    • Open your account online by filling out your secure application in approximately 5 minutes.
    • Deposits are eligible for CDIC insurance.
Our pick for a no-fee account with special offers for students

Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account with Student Banking Offer

  • Bonus Offer
    Up to $700
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • The Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account for students comes with attractive perks and offers, unlimited debit transactions, free access to a large ATM network and more.
    • Simplii Financial™ is an online bank owned by CIBC that offers savings and chequing accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, lines of credit, registered plans, GICs, and mutual fund accounts. Read our review of Simplii Financial for more information.
  • Product Details
    • Get up to $700 and a chance to win one of 100 prizes, one Apple Store gift card or a Simplii Financial Visa digital gift card when you apply for and activate your Student Banking Offer before January 31, 2023 and you’ll automatically enroll in this contest.
    • Earn $350 when you become a new client, open a No Fee Chequing Account, and set up direct deposit.
    • Earn $100 when you apply for the Simplii Financial™ Cash Back Visa* Card.
    • Earn $200 with the Simplii Financial™ Cash Back Visa* Card: Spend $50, earn $50 on transactions for 4 months, up to $200.
    • Earn $50 when you refer a friend and they successfully sign up.
    • No monthly fees and no minimum balance even after you graduate.
    • Free access to Canada’s largest ATM network through CIBC.
    • Free daily banking: unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, withdrawals and Interac e-Transfer®.
    • If you are an International student Simplii’s International student GIC Program is designed to help you get a study permit quicker and meet visa requirements.
    • Deposits are eligible for CDIC insurance.
Our pick for a student account with free unlimited transactions

HSBC Student Chequing

  • Bonus Offer
    $150
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • The HSBC Student chequing account includes unlimited account transactions, free Interac e-Transfers®, and no monthly fees.
    • HSBC is one of the largest global banks offering financial services like wealth, personal and, commercial banking in over 63 countries.
  • Product Details
    • Earn up to $150 with an HSBC Student chequing account.
    • Save Your Way: No monthly fees; No minimum balance required; Unlimited chequing account transactions.
    • Bank Your Way: Free Interac e-Transfer®; Free withdrawals from your account at HSBC Bank Canada or EXCHANGE Network ATMs; Free mobile cheque deposit; Secure mobile & online banking.
    • Build and Protect Your Credit History: HSBC credit card with a minimum $1,000 credit limit; Overdraft protection with a minimum $500 limit to cover for occasional shortfalls in your account.
    • Deposits are eligible for CDIC insurance.
Our pick for a low-fee account with rebate

TD Every Day Chequing Account

  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $10.95
    Waived with minimum balance
  • Number of Transactions
    25
    Per month
  • Our Take
    • TD Every Day Chequing Account is a low-fee account that includes 25 transactions and a fee rebate for a minimum balance for your everyday banking needs.
    • TD Bank, founded in 1955 is one of Canada’s Big Six banks offering bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment solutions. Read our review of TD Bank for more information.
  • Product Details
    • A budget-friendly account for everyday banking.
    • Monthly fee rebate when you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $3,000.
    • No transaction fees on your first 25 transactions in a month, additional transactions are $1.25 each.
    • No transfer fee to send or request money using Interac e-transfer.
    • Enjoy additional account benefits like EasyWeb View Cheque service, and paperless record keeping or online statements.
    • Earn big rewards on the little things including 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks stores. Simply link your eligible TD Access Card with Visa Debit with your Starbucks Rewards account to start earning. Conditions apply.
    • Benefits of banking with TD: TD app; TD MySpend to track finances; TD Mobile Deposit; Direct Deposit; Overdraft Protection; Simply Save Program to grow savings.
    • Open your account online by filling out your secure application in approximately 5 minutes.
    • Deposits are eligible for CDIC insurance.
Our pick for a premium chequing account with perks

National Bank The Total Chequing Account

  • Bonus Offer
    $300
  • Monthly Fee
    $28.95
    Waived with minimum balance
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
  • Our Take
    • The Total Chequing Account comes with unlimited transactions, free unlimited Interac e-Transfers®, and up to $150 off after enrolment of an eligible credit card.
    • National Bank of Canada or NBC, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec is one of Canada’s Big Six banks offering bank accounts, lending and investment solutions, and wealth management services. Read our review of National Bank of Canada for more information.
  • Product Details
    • Earn a $300 cashback when you open a Total Chequing Account.
    • Unlimited access on all digital and counter transactions.
    • Unlimited and free Interac e-Transfers®.
    • Up to $150 off after enrolment of an eligible credit card.
    • Free use of the CIRRUS and Interac network.
    • Free stop payments for pre-authorized cheques and debits.
    • Free account statements by mail.
    • Integrated Line of Credit of up to $5,000.
    • Legal and estate assistance included.
    • Free safety deposit box rental for the first year, then benefit from a $10/year discount for subsequent years.
    • Free overdraft protection.
    • Special rates for online trading.
    • 100 free cheques per year.
    • Access to ABMs in THE EXCHANGE network at no additional cost.
    • Eligible deposits are covered by CDIC.
Back to Top

Methodology to identify the best chequing accounts

NerdWallet Canada selects the best chequing accounts based on several criteria, including monthly fees, minimum balances, included services, savings on transaction fees, and more. The accounts considered for this list are available to Canadians in more than one province.

Back to Top

Beginner’s guide to chequing accounts

What is a chequing account?

Chequing accounts are transactional accounts for day-to-day use. They typically come with a debit card for shopping and ATM access. Unlike savings accounts, deposited money doesn’t usually earn interest.

Chequing account definition

A chequing account is an account for everyday spending. With it, you can pay bills, make online or in-store purchases, deposit and withdraw cash and more. Chequing accounts also come with cheque-writing privileges. Many chequing accounts have monthly fees, which may be waived by maintaining a minimum balance, and offer a limited number of free transactions.

Chequing vs savings account: What is the difference?

Chequing and savings accounts are both designed for everyday banking. Lots of people use both to cover their banking needs. But these accounts are intended for different purposes, and what separates them can help you decide how to use these accounts to your benefit.

Chequing accountSavings account
Designed for spending.Designed for saving.
Rarely earns interest.Earns interest.
Comes with a debit card and cheques.Monthly transactions are limited.
Monthly fees are common. Typically free to use.

What are the types of chequing accounts?

Chequing accounts come in all shapes and sizes for varying life circumstances and banking needs.

Basic chequing account

This no-frills account is one of the most common and popular chequing account options. It comes with all the essentials, including a debit card, ATM access and cheque-writing privileges.

No-fee chequing account

A no-fee chequing account, also known as a free chequing account, is a chequing account that doesn’t have any monthly fees. No fee isn’t entirely accurate, though — you may still pay one-time fees per use for things like using out-of-network ATMs or overdrawing your account.

Online-only chequing account

Digital banks offer online-only chequing accounts. These accounts are no different from traditional chequing accounts — you still get a debit card and ATM access — you just can’t visit a physical branch. Account management occurs through the provider’s online banking portal or mobile app.

Student chequing account

These chequing accounts are designed for students and typically offer unlimited debit transactions with no monthly fees. Many student accounts are limited to post-secondary students, and you usually need to provide proof of enrolment to qualify.

Youth chequing account

Youth chequing accounts are accounts for children, teens and young adults. They offer many of the same perks as student chequing accounts, except you don’t need to be a student to qualify. The age cutoff for youth chequing accounts is typically set at the age of majority, though some youth accounts accept applicants up to 24 years old.

Seniors chequing account

Some banks offer dedicated senior chequing accounts for those 60 to 65 years old and older — others provide senior discounts on standard chequing accounts. Typical account offerings include personal cheques, free monthly paper bank statements and unlimited transactions for low or no monthly fees.

Newcomer bank account

Newcomer accounts are for those new to Canada, including landed immigrants, permanent residents and foreign workers. Some banks offer dedicated newcomer accounts, while others waive fees on standard accounts for those of newcomer status.

Premium chequing account

Premium chequing accounts come with top-tier benefits like unlimited out-of-network ATM withdrawals, free global money transfers, preferred exchange rates, free personalized cheques and more. Expect to pay a higher monthly fee unless you can meet minimum daily balance requirements.

Joint chequing account

A joint chequing account is shared between two or more people. All account holders share equal responsibility for the account and can make transactions, deposits and withdrawals.

Foreign currency and USD accounts

Foreign currency chequing accounts are designed to send, hold and receive payments in foreign currencies. These can be USD-specific or multi-currency accounts. These accounts help cut back on foreign exchange fees and may include free wire transfers, too. You can convert your money back into Canadian dollars whenever you want.

Business chequing account

These chequing accounts are geared towards business owners with tiered monthly transactions and fees that scale by business size and need.

How to compare chequing accounts in Canada

Before you open a chequing account, consider the following questions.

How do you plan to use your chequing account?

There are numerous ways to deposit, withdraw and transact, so take stock of your banking habits as you compare chequing accounts.

Deposit cash and cheques

Cash and cheques can be deposited at an ATM or bank branch during business hours. You may also be able to deposit a cheque using a bank’s mobile app.

Withdrawals

Like cash deposits, withdrawals can be made at an ATM or bank branch during business hours. You may also be able to withdraw cash when conducting a transaction in a store by requesting cash back.

You may be charged a fee for withdrawing money if you exceed your monthly transaction limit or use an out-of-network ATM.

Pre-authorized payments

Set up pre-authorized payments through your chequing account so you never miss a payment deadline. Money is automatically withdrawn from the account at a predetermined amount and frequency.

Pre-authorized payments can also move money from a chequing account into a savings account — a simple way to automate a savings habit.

Transfer funds

An electronic funds transfer (ETF) sends money from one bank account to another. You can move funds between two accounts in your name at the same institution or send money from your account to an external account.

E-transfers

An Interac e-transfer is an online money transfer. The only information you need to send an e-transfer is the recipient’s email address or phone number. Transfers are made safe with security questions and passwords agreed upon by sender and recipient. You can also set up auto-deposit, which waives the security question and password in favour of automatically depositing e-transfer funds to your account.

Other transactions

Additional transactions you can perform with a chequing account include money orders, bank drafts and wire transfers. Fees for these services are common.

How do you want to access your chequing account?

Consider your account access options as you compare chequing accounts.

In-person banking

If you prefer to bank face-to-face, opt for a financial institution or credit union with a well-established branch network. The Big Six Banks are among the largest in Canada and offer locations and ATMs across the country.

Some teller-assisted transactions come with a fee.

Over the phone

You can conduct numerous account transactions over the phone, like paying bills, checking your account balance and transferring funds between accounts. Some providers have automated phone services to complete these transactions, while others offer the assistance of live bank representatives during business hours.

Online banking

With the rise of digital banking, online account access has become nearly ubiquitous. Many banks offer online banking portals for customers to manage their accounts from a computer, tablet or mobile device. If available, you may also be able to access your account through a provider’s mobile app.

How can you save on bank fees?

Canadian bank fees are common, but there are ways to avoid being nickel and dimed.

Monthly account fee
  • Choose a no-fee account. Narrow your search by restricting your account options to those without monthly fees.
  • Meet minimum account balance requirements. Some chequing accounts rebate monthly fees if you keep your daily account balance above a certain threshold.
Transaction fees
  • Avoid out-of-network ATMs. Fees for using out-of-network ATMs are common, so stick with ATMs in your bank’s network when possible.
  • Consider the features you’ll use most. Some accounts have fees for services like paper statements, cash withdrawals and Interac e-transfers — others don’t. Identify the features you’ll use most and find an account that offers that feature for free.
  • Watch your account balance. Non-sufficient funds (NSF), or insufficient funds fees, are charged when there isn’t enough money in your account to cover an outgoing payment or transaction. Keep an eye on your account balance to avoid bounced payments and NSF fees.
  • Review the fine print. Scan the terms of conditions of your account for account fees triggered by certain events or transactions. The more you know about these fees, the better you’ll be able to keep them off your monthly account statement.
  • Look for discounts or rebates. If you’re a student, a senior or new to Canada, discounts and promotional offers may be available for you.

What rewards and special features matter to you?

Banks offer bonuses, promotions and perks to incentivize customers to sign up for new accounts.

Sign-up bonuses

Cash bonuses, merchandise and waived fees are common sign-up bonuses for chequing account applicants. To access these rewards, you typically need to complete a few qualifying activities within a certain period following your account activation. Some of these may include making an initial account deposit, paying a bill and setting up recurring direct deposits or pre-authorized debit transactions.

Rewards programs

Similar to credit card rewards, some chequing accounts earn points you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, travel rewards and more. In fact, some chequing account rewards pair with credit card programs from the same provider so that customers can increase their point earning potential.

Chequing account interest rates on hybrid accounts

Chequing accounts that earn interest are uncommon. But you may be able to find an account that accumulates interest and functions like a chequing account by opening a hybrid account.

Hybrid accounts function like a chequing and savings account in one, combining interest-earning capabilities with flexible deposits and withdrawals. Online-only banks typically offer these accounts.

Bundled banking packages

Some banks and credit unions offer account bundles that package chequing and savings accounts. You may be able to open these accounts with a single application, and some bundles combine two or more sets of monthly fees into a single (potentially reduced) monthly payment.

How to open a personal chequing account

  • Check eligibility. Eligibility criteria vary by account and provider. Make sure you qualify for an account before you begin its application process.
  • Gather documentation. Account applications typically require that you provide your full name, residential address, contact information and social insurance number alongside at least one piece of government-issued photo ID.
  • Review application options. Some providers prefer for new customers to apply in-person at a branch — other applications, like those for digital bank accounts, are only available online. Find out if there is a preferred application method for the account you’d like to open.
  • Apply. Whether in-person, by telephone or online, the chequing account application process can often be completed in just a few minutes.

Back to Top

  • FAQs

    • What’s a good bank to open an account with?

      The right bank for your financial needs will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits. Some people open multiple accounts with different providers to take advantage of rewards programs or account features.

    • How many chequing accounts can I have?

      As many as you want. You can even hold multiple chequing accounts with the same provider. That said, monthly fees for multiple accounts could hurt your finances.

About the Author

Shannon Terrell

Shannon Terrell is NerdWallet Canada's authority on investing. Her work has been featured in Black Enterprise, Finder, and Yahoo! Finance, among others.

DIVE EVEN DEEPER

Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada for 2022

The best high-interest savings accounts (HISAs) in Canada will grow your money faster than standard accounts. Compare top HISA interest rates.

Best GIC & Term Deposit Rates in Canada of 2022

Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) are safe investments. To get the best GIC interest rate, choose a long term.

Best Short-Term GIC Rates in Canada of 2022

Compare the best short-term GIC rates for 3-month, 6-month, 90-day and other popular terms and calculate the return on your investment.

Best Tax-Free Savings Account Rates in Canada for 2022

The best high-interest tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) in Canada have no fees and earn high rates of interest to help grow your investment.