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Published July 3, 2024
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Best Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2024

Choose the best chequing account for your everyday banking needs by comparing the fees, features and conveniences.

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 | Best Chequing Account Offers and Promotions | Best Student Bank Accounts | Best Senior Bank 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.

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Best Chequing Accounts in Canada from our Partners

Banking

Intro Offer

Monthly Fee

Number of Transactions

 

Best overall banking package

BMO Performance Chequing Account
Up to $600*
$17.95
Waived with minimum balance
Unlimited

Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account
$400
$0
Unlimited

RBC Signature No Limit Banking
Get an iPad
$16.95
Rebates available
Unlimited

Summary of best chequing accounts

Best for CategoryChequing AccountMonthly Fees
Best overall banking package with a generous intro offerBMO Performance Chequing Account$17.95
Best high-interest-earning hybrid accountEQ Bank’s Personal Account$0
Best student chequing account with a generous intro offer and international students offerSimplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account with Student Banking Offer$0
Best reward for a new bank account with a multi-product rebateRBC Signature No Limit Banking$16.95-$5
Best bank account with a generous intro offer and rebates for NewcomersCIBC Smart Account$6.95-$16.95
Our pick for best student chequing account with a generous intro offerTD Student Chequing Account$0
Our pick for best banking package with a generous intro offerScotiabank Preferred Package$16.95
Our pick for best prepaid Mastercard with tiered cash-backNeo Everyday Account
$0-$4.99
Our pick for best seniors chequing account with a generous intro offerTD Unlimited Chequing Account for Seniors$11.95
Best online chequing account with a generous intro offer Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account$0
Best high-interest-earning hybrid accountWealthsimple Cash Account$0
Our pick for best seniors chequing account with a generous intro offerCoast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account for Seniors$0

Best chequing accounts in Canada

Our pick for best overall banking package with a generous intro offer

BMO Performance Chequing Account

BMO Performance Chequing Account
  • Bonus Offer
    Up to $600*
  • Monthly Fee
    $17.95
    Waived with minimum balance
  • 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
  • Get up to a $600* cash bonus: Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance Chequing Account and make a deposit of any amount by October 31st, 2024. Earn an extra $50 when you invite a family member as part of a BMO Family Bundle and have them open their account by October 31st, 2024. BMO’s most popular account offers unlimited everyday banking transactions for a competitive price. Earn an additional $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account, make a deposit of $10,000 or more by October 31st, 2024 and maintain that balance at all times until January 31st, 2025.
  • Performance Chequing Account, as one of BMO’s popular accounts, offers unlimited everyday banking transactions for a competitive price.
  • 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 $17.95 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 best high-interest-earning hybrid account

EQ Bank Personal Account

EQ Bank Personal Account
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Number of Transactions
    Dollar limits apply*
Our Take
Why we like it

  • EQ Bank’s Personal 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
  • Customers who set up direct deposit on their EQ Bank account will also get a bonus interest on recurring pre-authorized debits.
  • Here’s how to get the bonus interest: (a) Set up $500/month or more in either direct deposit for your pay or recurring pre-authorized debits. (b) Applies to your Personal Account, Joint Account and EQ Bank Card¹ balance. (c) Once set it up, they’ll be eligible for the increased rate of 4.00%* for 12 months! (d) Those who already set up the above automatically qualify for bonus interest!
  • 4.00% 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.
  • As of December 2022, EQ Bank is available to Québec 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 best student chequing account with a generous intro offer and international students offer

Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account with Student Banking Offer

Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account with Student Banking Offer
  • Bonus Offer
    $400
  • 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
  • Join Simplii Financial™ and earn $400 when you open a No Fee Chequing Account and set up an eligible direct deposit of at least $100 a month for 3 straight months. Offer expires October 31, 2024.
  • 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 best reward for a new bank account with a multi-product rebate

RBC Signature No Limit Banking

RBC Signature No Limit Banking
  • Bonus Offer
    Get an 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 $48 annual fee rebate on eligible RBC 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 when you switch to RBC & open an eligible RBC bank account by August 13, 2024. Conditions apply.
  • Unlimited debits transactions in Canada, valuable savings and even more.
  • Get a credit card for less – Up to $48 rebate on the annual fee of an eligible credit card.⁵
  • FREE Interac‡ e-Transfer transactions.⁶𝄒⁷
  • 3 non-RBC ATM fees waived/month, $2 each thereafter.⁸
  • 5 FREE cross-border debits/month, $1 each thereafter.⁹
  • No minimum balance (even to get rebates).
  • Monthly Fee¹: $16.95 (or less with rebate).²
  • $10.95 or $5 monthly fee with Value Program Rebate.¹⁰
  • $12.95 monthly fee for seniors¹¹ — or less with Value Program Rebate.¹⁰
  • Avion Points¹² – Enroll your account in the Value Program to get a minimum of 1 Avion point for every $10 you spend in-store and online using your enrolled account.
  • Overdraft Protection¹⁵ – Fee waived (overdraft interest applies if used).
  • Safe Deposit Box¹⁶ – Up to $12/year discount on regular fees.
  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee – 1 NSF fee rebated every calendar year.²⁶
  • 1 book of cheques FREE, afterwards Fees Apply¹⁷
  • Bank Drafts¹⁸ – 6 FREE/year, $9.95 each thereafter.
  • Online, Mobile and Telephone Banking FREE.
  • eStatements FREE.
  • Monthly Paper Statements $2.25 without cheque image, $2.50 with cheque image.
  • Right Account Guarantee® If you’re not completely satisfied within the first 4 months, we’ll refund your monthly fees for up to 3 months.¹²

Our pick for best bank account with a generous intro offer and rebates for Newcomers

CIBC Smart™ Account

CIBC Smart™ Account
  • Bonus Offer
    $400
  • Monthly Fee
    $6.95-$16.95
    Waived with minimum balance
  • Number of Transactions
    Varies with monthly fee
Our Take
  • Pay for what you use with the CIBC Smart™ Account, which offers a flexible monthly fee that adjusts to the number of transactions you make.
  • 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.
Product Details
  • Get a $400 Costco Shop Card when you open your first chequing account and complete the qualifying actions.
  • The monthly fee varies by the number of transactions included: $16.95 for unlimited transactions, $6.95 for up to 12 transactions, or, for 13 to 20 transactions, $6.95 plus $1.25 for each additional transaction.
  • Waive the monthly fee and enjoy unlimited transactions by maintaining a $4,000 minimum daily balance.
  • Free Interac e-transfer transactions that count towards your total transactions.
  • Access to nearly 4,000 ATMs across Canada.
  • One free non-CIBC ATM withdrawal per month in Canada.
  • Shop online and in-app using money directly from your CIBC Smart Account with Visa* Debit.
  • Manage your daily spending and grow your savings with help from CIBC Insights — a tool included in the CIBC Mobile Banking App that offers tailored tips based on your debit and credit card activity.
  • CIBC Smart Balance Alert gives you a heads-up when your account is short on funds. That gives you time to make a transfer and avoid a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee and a declined payment.
  • Checkout with CIBC’s digital payment options, including Visa Debit, Click to Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Save up to 10 cents per litre on gas by linking your CIBC card with Journie Rewards to save on gas at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron locations.
  • Bank in-person, online or in the mobile app.
  • Only available to Canadians aged 25 and older.
  • CIBC Smart Account offers for students, newcomers and foreign workers.
  • Deposits are eligible for insurance from CDIC

Our pick for best student chequing account with a generous intro offer

TD Student Chequing Account

TD Student Chequing Account
  • Bonus Offer
    $125
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
Our Take
  • Offering no fees, free daily banking and tools to help you save faster, the TD Student Chequing Account is a worthwhile option for young Canadians hoping to start the next phase of their lives on solid financial footing.
  • 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
  • Open a new TD Student Chequing Account and you could get $125. Conditions apply. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
  • No monthly fee until the account holder turns 23. After 23, proof of full-time enrollment in post-secondary education is required to maintain eligibility.
  • Interest rate: 0.01%.
  • Unlimited transactions per month, including online purchases and recurring payments.
  • No transfer fee to send or request money using Interac e-Transfer.
  • No minimum monthly balance required.
  • No-fee overdraft protection.
  • TD Access Card with Visa Debit allows you to shop online and in-store wherever Visa is accepted.
  • Free access to TD’s ATM network in Canada.
  • Non-TD ATM fees: $2 each in Canada, $3 each for U.S. and Mexico, $5 in any other foreign country.
  • Direct deposit for paycheques and mobile deposit for other cheques.
  • Access to TD MySpend, which helps improve spending habits, and the Simply Save program, which automatically transfers a small amount of money into an associated TD savings account when you complete a debit transaction.
  • Link your card with your Starbucks Rewards account and earn 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks stores.
  • CDIC protection for eligible deposits.

Our pick for best banking package with a generous intro offer

Scotiabank Preferred Package

Scotiabank Preferred Package
  • Bonus Offer
    Up to $400*
  • Monthly Fee
    $16.95
    Waived with minimum balance
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
Our Take
  • You can enjoy unlimited transactions, e-transfers and a first-year annual fee waiver of up to $150 on select credit cards with the Scotiabank Preferred Package.
  • Founded in Halifax in 1832, Scotiabank is one of Canada’s oldest and largest banks, a more or less permanent member of the country’s Big Six financial institutions. Read our review of Scotiabank for more information.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $400 with a Scotiabank Preferred package and an investment plan¹.
  • Earn an additional 0.05% on your Momentum Plus Savings Account
  • Unlimited debit transactions and Interac e-transfer transactions
  • First year annual fee waiver (up to $150) on select credit cards
  • Earn points on every day purchases with the Scene+™ program
  • 4 more perks
  • Rates, fees and other information are effective as of Mar 1, 2024. Subject to change.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

Our pick for best prepaid Mastercard with tiered cash-back

Neo Everyday Account

Neo Everyday Account
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0-$4.99
  • Number of Transactions
    Dollar limits apply*
Our Take
Why we like it

  • Neo offers a digital-first banking experience and a fee-free account with one of the highest interest rates available in Canada.
  • Comes with a prepaid Neo Money™ Card that earns an average 5%+ unlimited cash back at thousands of local and national Neo partners.
Product Details
  • One account to spend, save and earn 4.00% interest.
  • No fees, 4.00% interest rate as of December 4, 2023 (not a promotional rate; Savings interest rate is calculated daily on the closing balance and paid monthly).
  • Earn up to 225x more than at traditional banks (0.05% is the rate at most banks for high interest savings accounts, with 0% on most daily everyday chequing accounts – unlimited transaction accounts are typically $29.99 per month, whereas Neo is free).
  • Make bill payments, send and receive Interac e-Transfers®, and make bank to bank transfers to and from existing bank account – all with no monthly fees or minimum balances and unlimited free transactions.
  • Available Canada-wide.
  • Manage everything from the phone app, whenever and wherever. Desktop/web banking is also available.
  • Much like any bank account at a traditional bank, the Neo Everyday Account is eligible for CDIC deposit protection, and provided by People’s Bank, a CDIC member institution. Deposits held in Neo Everyday Accounts are combined with eligible deposits held at People’s Bank, for up to $100,000 of deposit protection, per category, per depositor.

Our pick for best seniors chequing account with a generous intro offer

TD Unlimited Chequing Account for Seniors

TD Unlimited Chequing Account for Seniors
  • Interest Rate
  • Bonus Offer
    Up to $600
  • Monthly Fee
    $11.95
    Waived with minimum balance
Our Take
  • The TD Unlimited Chequing Account is a convenient way to manage your daily expenditures, with unlimited transactions, free Interac e-transfers and a first-year annual fee rebate on select TD credit cards up to $139.
  • 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
  • Earn $400 by opening a TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan or TD Unlimited Chequing Account by September 26, 2024 and complete two of following by November 30, 2024: 1. Set up a Recurring Direct Deposit. 2. Set up a Recurring Pre-Authorized Debit Payment. 3. Make an Online Bill Payment.
  • Get $200 by depositing $10,000 into the new eligible Savings Account within 30 days of account opening and maintain the balance for 150 days. Explore additional cash offers with the following deposit tiers. Earn: $50 for $2,500 deposit; $100 for $5,000 deposit; $200 for $10,000 deposit.
  • Monthly fee: $16.95. ($11.95 for customers 60 and older.) No fee if you have $4,000 in your account at the end of each day of the month.
  • Unlimited transactions included per month.
  • Free Interac e-transfer transactions.
  • Use your TD Access Card for online and in-person shopping, and cash withdrawals, wherever Visa is accepted.
  • Visa and Interac Zero Liability protection: no customer responsibility for any unauthorized transactions.
  • No additional fee for using non-TD ATMs in Canada. Other banks may charge their own fees.
  • Foreign ATM fees: $3 in U.S. and Mexico, $5 in any other foreign country.
  • Use TD MySpend to track monthly spending and improve spending habits.
  • Direct deposit for paycheques, mobile deposit for all other cheques.
  • Access to the Simply Save program, which automatically transfers small amounts of money to a linked TD savings account when using your TD Access Card.
  • CDIC protection for eligible deposits.

Our pick for best online chequing account with a generous intro offer

Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account

Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account
  • Interest Rate
    Up to 0.10%
  • Bonus Offer
    $250
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
Our Take
  • Tangerine’s No-Fee Daily Chequing Account offers free access to 44,000 ABMs worldwide, overdraft protection, financial monitoring tools and a secure way to shop both online and in person.
  • Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank and offers chequing and savings accounts, GICS, registered accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans and investment products. Read our review of Tangerine for more information.
Product Details
  • Switch your payroll deposits and you could get $250.
  • No monthly fee.
  • Interest rate: up to 0.1%.
  • Free online daily banking, including debit purchases, bill payments, pre-authorized payments, Interac e-Transfers and ABM transactions that use Scotiabank’s ABM network.
  • ABM withdrawals with other banks in Canada: $1.50.
  • ABM withdrawals on other networks worldwide: $3.00.
  • Free first cheque book (50 cheques). $50 for each additional cheque book.
  • Tangerine Client Card with Visa Debit can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and can be added to Apply Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Card is covered by Interac and Visa Debit Zero Liability protection, so you won’t have to pay for unauthorized purchases.
  • Access to tools and alerts that help monitor spending activity.
  • CDIC protection for all eligible deposits.

Our pick for best high-interest-earning hybrid account

Wealthsimple Cash Account

Wealthsimple Cash Account
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Number of Transactions
    Spending and usage limits apply*
Our Take
  • The Wealthsimple Cash account provides a no-fee way to handle your everyday spending needs while earning earning 1% back in cash, stock or cryptocurrency when you pay with your Wealthsimple card.
  • Wealthsimple is a Canadian online investment management service that offers stocks, ETFs, crypto and managed investing, spending and saving accounts, tax services and a peer-to-peer money transfer Cash App.
Our Take
  • No monthly fees.
  • No foreign exchange fees.
  • No ATM fees.
  • No minimum balance required.
  • Manage your rewards, spending, and send and receive money from friends using the mobile Wealthsimple Cash App.
  • Use your Wealthsimple Cash account to pay bills, make e-transfers and directly deposit your paycheque.
  • The Wealthsimple card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, in store or online.
  • Digital and physical Wealthsimple Cash Visa debit card provided.
  • Card can be added to Apple Pay and Google Pay digital wallets and used at ATMs Canada-wide. Standard ATM fees will apply.
  • Get 1% back in cash, stock or crypto whenever you spend using your account.
  • CDIC protection for eligible deposits.

Our pick for best seniors chequing account with a generous intro offer

Coast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account for Seniors

Coast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account for Seniors
  • Bonus Offer
    $400*
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Number of Transactions
    Unlimited
Our Take
  • As the name suggests, the Coast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account offers unlimited transactions as well as a full rebate on monthly fees for seniors.
  • Coast Capital is a Federal Credit Union providing personal and business banking, mortgage, auto finance and wealth management services to its members. Coast Capital has been certified as a B Corp® since 2018 for its commitment to social and environmental performance practices.
Our Take
  • No monthly fees.
  • Unlimited transactions, including Interac e-transfers.
  • Free access to identity theft protection with ID Assist.
  • Free cheques and paper statements.
  • Pay $2.50 for Interac Network ATM Transactions nationwide.
  • Eligible deposits (including interest) equivalent to $100,000 CAD per deposit category are insured by CDIC.
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Award-winning banking package that offers premium perks. Plus, earn up to $400 with an Ultimate Package and an investment plan. Unlimited no-fee Scotia International Money Transfers, No Overdraft Protection fee, No monthly account fee on a Basic Plus Bank Account (save up to $143 annually) and MUCH MORE! Terms and Conditions apply.

Methodology to identify the best chequing accounts

NerdWallet Canada selects the best chequing accounts based on several criteria. Factors in our evaluation methodology include 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.

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    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

    Online 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 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. Digital 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.

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    Frequently asked questions about a chequing account

    Which is the best bank to open an account with in Canada?

    If you want to save on monthly fees, consider an online bank that offers no-fee chequing or hybrid accounts, which combine chequing and savings benefits in one account. However, you may find one of the Big Six banks more convenient if you prefer in-person banking options, and a substantial ATM network. 

    Keep in mind you don’t have to choose just one bank. Some people open multiple accounts with different providers to take advantage of rewards programs or account features that accommodate their lifestyle and spending needs.

    What services are provided by a chequing account in Canada?

    A chequing account usually includes services to help you with everyday banking transactions like: 

    • Debit card payments.
    • ATM withdrawals and deposits. 
    • Branch withdrawals and deposits. 
    • Interac e-transfers. 
    • Money transfers.
    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.

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