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Published May 22, 2024

Best GIC Rates in Canada for May 2024

The best GIC rates offer a safe, secure way to grow your money over a set term.

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.

JUMP AHEAD to compare the current highest rates available on GICs.

A guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) is a secure, low-risk investment product that earns interest over a set time period. Interest rates vary by term length. The best GIC rate for you will depend on your investment goals and the kind of GIC you choose.

There are many types of GICs, but our selections focus on the most common type: fixed-rate, non-redeemable GICS. These safe term deposits require you to lock away your funds for a set term and, in exchange, pay a fixed rate of interest.


The best current GIC rates in Canada

The highest GIC rates in Canada as of May 22, 2024, are:

Use our table to compare GIC rates from dozens of Canadian banks.

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The best GICs in Canada

1-year GICs

MCAN Wealth 1 Year GIC
MCAN Wealth 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.50%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
Product details
Motive Financial Non-registered 1 Year GIC
Motive Financial Non-registered 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.35%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • All Motive Financial GICs offer a high fixed interest rate and the flexibility to receive annual interest payments or compound till maturity. Customers over the age of 57 have the option to receive monthly interest payments into a Motive Savings account from GICS with a term of at least 12 months.
  • Motive Financial is an online division of Canadian Western Bank and offers chequing and savings accounts, registered plans and GICs.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, a maturity notice will be mailed to you approximately one month prior to your Motive GIC renewal date. Unless otherwise specified, your GIC will mature and renew/roll over at the posted rate for the date that the term is specified to renew.
  • Terms range from 12 months (1 year) to 120 months (10 years).
  • TFSA and RRSP GICs are also available.
  • Whatever you’re saving for, our Motive® GIC is here to help you get there faster.
  • Lock in your savings and feel secure.
  • Receive annual interest payments or compound until maturity.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Guaranteed interest.
  • A minimum balance required for RRSP is $500 and for TFSA and non-registered plans is $1,000.
  • The holder has the option to receive interest paid annually into a Motive Savings Account or to have the interest compounded annually and paid at maturity. On Motive GICs with a term of at least 12 months, customers over the age of 57 also have the option of having interest paid monthly into a Motive Savings account.
  • Interest is compounded annually and paid at maturity. Interest will accrue on deposited funds as of the date funds are deposited. Interest rates and rate tiers are subject to change without notice. Interest is paid in the currency of the account. All rates quoted are annual interest rates.
  • Deposits may be insurable by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.
EQ Bank Non-registered 1 Year GIC
EQ Bank Non-registered 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.15%
    As of May 17, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Each EQ Bank GIC starts with a minimum deposit of $100, making it convenient for a new investor to explore these GICs at a competitive fixed rate.
  • EQ Bank, a trademark of Equitable Bank, is an online bank based in Toronto that offers chequing and savings accounts, GICs and registered plans. Read our review of EQ Bank for more information.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • Must have an EQ savings account in order to get an EQ GIC.
  • When the term ends and your GIC reaches the maturity date, the funds will be placed in your Savings Plus Account (the one from which your initial investment was funded). You will receive an email or SMS alert notifying you of the GIC maturity.
  • Term options range from 3-months to 10-years. You’re the one in charge of your savings, that includes choosing whether short or long term GICs are right for you.
  • RSP and TFSA GICs are also available. Before you buy, you’ll need to open an RSP Savings Account or TFSA Savings Account.
  • GIC options let you lock in any of our amazing rates, so no matter what happens, that rate is yours.
  • Low minimum deposit. So you can start investing in GICs with as little as $100.
  • You choose how your interest is paid out, either at maturity or annually.
  • A GIC in seconds. As long as you have available funds in your Savings Plus Account, you can literally buy a GIC in seconds.
  • You can buy up to 20 GICs. Each GIC purchase must be for at least $100, and can be up to a maximum of $100,000. Customers can hold up to $500,000 in GICs, excluding interest earned.
  • *EQ Bank GICs are non-redeemable.
  • For GIC terms of less than one year, simple interest is calculated on a per diem basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms equal to one year, simple interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms of over one year, not including 15 and 27 month terms, interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid either annually (simple interest) or at maturity (compounded annually).
  • For GIC terms of 15 and 27 months, interest is calculated on a per annum basis, compounded annually and paid solely at maturity. In all cases, interest is accrued for the entire GIC term.
  • Maximum 20 GICs per customer. Per GIC investment limit of $100,000. Aggregate GIC investment limit of $500,000.
  • Rates are calculated on a per annum basis and are subject to change at any time.
  • Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC. EQ Bank is a trade name of Equitable Bank.
Peoples Bank Long Term 1 Year GIC
Peoples Bank Long Term 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.35%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • The Peoples Bank GICs are transferable and assignable with no transfer, setup or service fees, making them a nice choice for those who prefer to manage their investments without worrying about additional fees.
  • Peoples Trust and Peoples Bank of Canada are subsidiaries of the Peoples Group. Peoples Trust offers savings accounts, registered and non-registered GICs, and mortgage and lending services.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, and if your instructions for the maturing GIC are not received by the bank, the principal and interest will automatically renew for the same term at the posted rate in effect on the maturity date. After the renewal, you will have 10 business days to either cancel the transaction or change the term of your account.
  • Terms range from short-term investments of 30 to 270 days or long-term investments of 1-5 years.
  • Competitive rates are guaranteed for the full term.
  • Short-term investments with interest paid at maturity.
  • Long-term investments with your choice of annual or compounding interest.
  • Transferable and assignable.
  • Electronic monthly statements.
  • Minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • No transfer, setup or service fees.
  • Eligible for deposit insurance from the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
WealthONE Bank of Canada 1 Year GIC
WealthONE Bank of Canada 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.35%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • WealthONE Bank of Canada is a Canadian Schedule 1 bank that serves all Canadians including the newcomers. It has two offices in Toronto and Vancouver and offers online banking, a mobile app and competitive interest rates.
  • WealthONE Bank’s non-redeemable GICs offer 6-month to 5-year terms and can be included in a registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as in non-registered products.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends and the GIC reaches maturity, WealthONE Bank will pay the principal amount of the GIC plus interest, according to your disposition of funds instructions. If no maturity instructions have been received by WealthOne, the proceeds of the matured GIC may be renewed for the same terms and conditions unless WealthONE Bank receives a request to cancel within ten business days from the date of renewal.
  • Term options range from 6-month to 5-years.
  • WealthONE GICs are fixed-term GICs that are non-redeemable prior to the Maturity Date.
  • An Early Redemption fee is $20.00 plus foregone interest. For more information, please check our Account Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and GIC Investments.
  • Can be included in your registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as non-registered products.
  • Minimum $1,000 investment.
  • Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) Insurance. CDIC limits apply.
Oaken Financial 1 Year GIC
Oaken Financial 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.35%
    As of May 4, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Oaken GICs offer choice through competitive rates for a variety of terms and types, such as short-term, long-term and cashable GICs available for both registered and non-registered plans, plus security with CDIC coverage as per applicable limits.
  • Oaken Financial is backed by Home Bank and powered by Home Trust Company and offers a digital app and online banking services for HISAs and GICs.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, Oaken will follow the instructions you provide on what you want to do with your investment at maturity. This can include redeeming the GIC and depositing the funds into the account of your choice, or automatically renewing the GIC for the same term and at the current interest rate.
  • Term options range from 30 days to 5 years, and are available as cashable and non-cashable GICs.
  • All Oaken GICs are eligible for inclusion in government registered accounts, including Registered Savings Plans (RSP), Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Retirement Income Funds (RIF).
  • Oaken GICs offer choice, flexibility and security with non-registered GICs.
  • Flexible payment schedules. Choose the interest payment schedule that suits your needs best – whether that’s monthly, semi-annually, annually or at maturity.
  • Select from two issuers: Home Bank and Home Trust Company, both of which are separate members of CDIC.
  • Deposit a little or a lot: The minimum deposit is $1,000.
  • Oaken GICs are eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) coverage, up to applicable limits.
Home Trust 1 Year GIC
Home Trust 1 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    1 Year
  • Interest Rate
    5.35%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000-$5,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Home Trust Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Capital Group Inc., a public company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HCG. Home Trust, and its subsidiary Home Bank, are federally regulated financial institutions. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
  • Home Trust GICs are fixed-rate deposits that come in short and long-term options. They can be included in retirement savings plans, tax-free savings accounts, and retirement income funds. Most GICs are non-redeemable, but a 1-year cashable GIC is also available.
Product details
  • Non-registered and registered GICs.
  • Term options include 1-year cashable, short-term deposits (30-59 days to 270-364 days), and long term deposits (1-year to 5-years).
  • Home Trust Bank provides a range of Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and a High Interest Savings Account (HISA) for both personal and commercial needs, offering guaranteed returns and competitive rates. In addition, each deposit is available through either Home Trust Company or Home Bank, both of which are separate members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
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2-year GICs

MCAN Wealth 2 Year GIC
MCAN Wealth 2 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    2 Years
  • Interest Rate
    5.25%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
Product details
Motive Financial Non-registered 2 Year GIC
Motive Financial Non-registered 2 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    2 Years
  • Interest Rate
    5.10%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • All Motive Financial GICs offer a high fixed interest rate and the flexibility to receive annual interest payments or compound till maturity. Customers over the age of 57 have the option to receive monthly interest payments into a Motive Savings account from GICS with a term of at least 12 months.
  • Motive Financial is an online division of Canadian Western Bank and offers chequing and savings accounts, registered plans and GICs.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, a maturity notice will be mailed to you approximately one month prior to your Motive GIC renewal date. Unless otherwise specified, your GIC will mature and renew/roll over at the posted rate for the date that the term is specified to renew.
  • Terms range from 12 months (1 year) to 120 months (10 years).
  • TFSA and RRSP GICs are also available.
  • Whatever you’re saving for, our Motive® GIC is here to help you get there faster.
  • Lock in your savings and feel secure.
  • Receive annual interest payments or compound until maturity.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Guaranteed interest.
  • A minimum balance required for RRSP is $500 and for TFSA and non-registered plans is $1,000.
  • The holder has the option to receive interest paid annually into a Motive Savings Account or to have the interest compounded annually and paid at maturity. On Motive GICs with a term of at least 12 months, customers over the age of 57 also have the option of having interest paid monthly into a Motive Savings account.
  • Interest is compounded annually and paid at maturity. Interest will accrue on deposited funds as of the date funds are deposited. Interest rates and rate tiers are subject to change without notice. Interest is paid in the currency of the account. All rates quoted are annual interest rates.
  • Deposits may be insurable by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.
WealthONE Bank of Canada 2 Year GIC
WealthONE Bank of Canada 2 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    2 Years
  • Interest Rate
    5.20%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • WealthONE Bank of Canada is a Canadian Schedule 1 bank that serves all Canadians including the newcomers. It has two offices in Toronto and Vancouver and offers online banking, a mobile app and competitive interest rates.
  • WealthONE Bank’s non-redeemable GICs offer 6-month to 5-year terms and can be included in a registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as in non-registered products.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends and the GIC reaches maturity, WealthONE Bank will pay the principal amount of the GIC plus interest, according to your disposition of funds instructions. If no maturity instructions have been received by WealthOne, the proceeds of the matured GIC may be renewed for the same terms and conditions unless WealthONE Bank receives a request to cancel within ten business days from the date of renewal.
  • Term options range from 6-month to 5-years.
  • WealthONE GICs are fixed-term GICs that are non-redeemable prior to the Maturity Date.
  • An Early Redemption fee is $20.00 plus foregone interest. For more information, please check our Account Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and GIC Investments.
  • Can be included in your registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as non-registered products.
  • Minimum $1,000 investment.
  • Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) Insurance. CDIC limits apply.
Oaken Financial 2 Year GIC
Oaken Financial 2 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    2 Years
  • Interest Rate
    5.20%
    As of May 4, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Oaken GICs offer choice through competitive rates for a variety of terms and types, such as short-term, long-term and cashable GICs available for both registered and non-registered plans, plus security with CDIC coverage as per applicable limits.
  • Oaken Financial is backed by Home Bank and powered by Home Trust Company and offers a digital app and online banking services for HISAs and GICs.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, Oaken will follow the instructions you provide on what you want to do with your investment at maturity. This can include redeeming the GIC and depositing the funds into the account of your choice, or automatically renewing the GIC for the same term and at the current interest rate.
  • Term options range from 30 days to 5 years, and are available as cashable and non-cashable GICs.
  • All Oaken GICs are eligible for inclusion in government registered accounts, including Registered Savings Plans (RSP), Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Retirement Income Funds (RIF).
  • Oaken GICs offer choice, flexibility and security with non-registered GICs.
  • Flexible payment schedules. Choose the interest payment schedule that suits your needs best – whether that’s monthly, semi-annually, annually or at maturity.
  • Select from two issuers: Home Bank and Home Trust Company, both of which are separate members of CDIC.
  • Deposit a little or a lot: The minimum deposit is $1,000.
  • Oaken GICs are eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) coverage, up to applicable limits.
Home Trust Bank 2 Year GIC
Home Trust Bank 2 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    2 Years
  • Interest Rate
    5.20%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000-$5,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Home Trust Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Capital Group Inc., a public company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HCG. Home Trust, and its subsidiary Home Bank, are federally regulated financial institutions. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
  • Home Trust GICs are fixed-rate deposits that come in short and long-term options. They can be included in retirement savings plans, tax-free savings accounts, and retirement income funds. Most GICs are non-redeemable, but a 1-year cashable GIC is also available.
Product details
  • Non-registered and registered GICs.
  • Term options include 1-year cashable, short-term deposits (30-59 days to 270-364 days), and long term deposits (1-year to 5-years).
  • Home Trust Bank provides a range of Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and a High Interest Savings Account (HISA) for both personal and commercial needs, offering guaranteed returns and competitive rates. In addition, each deposit is available through either Home Trust Company or Home Bank, both of which are separate members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
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3-year GICs

MCAN Wealth 3 Year GIC
MCAN Wealth 3 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    3 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.90%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
Product details
WealthONE Bank of Canada 3 Year GIC
WealthONE Bank of Canada 3 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    3 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.85%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • WealthONE Bank of Canada is a Canadian Schedule 1 bank that serves all Canadians including the newcomers. It has two offices in Toronto and Vancouver and offers online banking, a mobile app and competitive interest rates.
  • WealthONE Bank’s non-redeemable GICs offer 6-month to 5-year terms and can be included in a registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as in non-registered products.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends and the GIC reaches maturity, WealthONE Bank will pay the principal amount of the GIC plus interest, according to your disposition of funds instructions. If no maturity instructions have been received by WealthOne, the proceeds of the matured GIC may be renewed for the same terms and conditions unless WealthONE Bank receives a request to cancel within ten business days from the date of renewal.
  • Term options range from 6-month to 5-years.
  • WealthONE GICs are fixed-term GICs that are non-redeemable prior to the Maturity Date.
  • An Early Redemption fee is $20.00 plus foregone interest. For more information, please check our Account Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and GIC Investments.
  • Can be included in your registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as non-registered products.
  • Minimum $1,000 investment.
  • Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) Insurance. CDIC limits apply.
EQ Bank Non-registered 3 Year GIC
EQ Bank Non-registered 3 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    3 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.75%
    As of May 17, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Each EQ Bank GIC starts with a minimum deposit of $100, making it convenient for a new investor to explore these GICs at a competitive fixed rate.
  • EQ Bank, a trademark of Equitable Bank, is an online bank based in Toronto that offers chequing and savings accounts, GICs and registered plans. Read our review of EQ Bank for more information.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • Must have an EQ savings account in order to get an EQ GIC.
  • When the term ends and your GIC reaches the maturity date, the funds will be placed in your Savings Plus Account (the one from which your initial investment was funded). You will receive an email or SMS alert notifying you of the GIC maturity.
  • Term options range from 3-months to 10-years. You’re the one in charge of your savings, that includes choosing whether short or long term GICs are right for you.
  • RSP and TFSA GICs are also available. Before you buy, you’ll need to open an RSP Savings Account or TFSA Savings Account.
  • GIC options let you lock in any of our amazing rates, so no matter what happens, that rate is yours.
  • Low minimum deposit. So you can start investing in GICs with as little as $100.
  • You choose how your interest is paid out, either at maturity or annually.
  • A GIC in seconds. As long as you have available funds in your Savings Plus Account, you can literally buy a GIC in seconds.
  • You can buy up to 20 GICs. Each GIC purchase must be for at least $100, and can be up to a maximum of $100,000. Customers can hold up to $500,000 in GICs, excluding interest earned.
  • *EQ Bank GICs are non-redeemable.
  • For GIC terms of less than one year, simple interest is calculated on a per diem basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms equal to one year, simple interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms of over one year, not including 15 and 27 month terms, interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid either annually (simple interest) or at maturity (compounded annually).
  • For GIC terms of 15 and 27 months, interest is calculated on a per annum basis, compounded annually and paid solely at maturity. In all cases, interest is accrued for the entire GIC term.
  • Maximum 20 GICs per customer. Per GIC investment limit of $100,000. Aggregate GIC investment limit of $500,000.
  • Rates are calculated on a per annum basis and are subject to change at any time.
  • Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC. EQ Bank is a trade name of Equitable Bank.
Oaken Financial 3 Year GIC
Oaken Financial 3 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    3 Years
  • Interest Rate
    5.80%
    As of May 4, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Oaken GICs offer choice through competitive rates for a variety of terms and types, such as short-term, long-term and cashable GICs available for both registered and non-registered plans, plus security with CDIC coverage as per applicable limits.
  • Oaken Financial is backed by Home Bank and powered by Home Trust Company and offers a digital app and online banking services for HISAs and GICs.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, Oaken will follow the instructions you provide on what you want to do with your investment at maturity. This can include redeeming the GIC and depositing the funds into the account of your choice, or automatically renewing the GIC for the same term and at the current interest rate.
  • Term options range from 30 days to 5 years, and are available as cashable and non-cashable GICs.
  • All Oaken GICs are eligible for inclusion in government registered accounts, including Registered Savings Plans (RSP), Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Retirement Income Funds (RIF).
  • Oaken GICs offer choice, flexibility and security with non-registered GICs.
  • Flexible payment schedules. Choose the interest payment schedule that suits your needs best – whether that’s monthly, semi-annually, annually or at maturity.
  • Select from two issuers: Home Bank and Home Trust Company, both of which are separate members of CDIC.
  • Deposit a little or a lot: The minimum deposit is $1,000.
  • Oaken GICs are eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) coverage, up to applicable limits.
Home Trust 3 Year GIC
Home Trust 3 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    3 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.80%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000-$5,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Home Trust Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Capital Group Inc., a public company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HCG. Home Trust, and its subsidiary Home Bank, are federally regulated financial institutions. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
  • Home Trust GICs are fixed-rate deposits that come in short and long-term options. They can be included in retirement savings plans, tax-free savings accounts, and retirement income funds. Most GICs are non-redeemable, but a 1-year cashable GIC is also available.
Product details
  • Non-registered and registered GICs.
  • Term options include 1-year cashable, short-term deposits (30-59 days to 270-364 days), and long term deposits (1-year to 5-years).
  • Home Trust Bank provides a range of Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and a High Interest Savings Account (HISA) for both personal and commercial needs, offering guaranteed returns and competitive rates. In addition, each deposit is available through either Home Trust Company or Home Bank, both of which are separate members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
Haventree Bank 3 Year GIC
Haventree Bank 3 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    3 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.79%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $5,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Founded in 1990, Haventree Bank is a private Canadian Schedule 1 bank specializing in alternative mortgage programs and insured GIC deposits.
  • Haventree Bank’s GIC offers decent rates and is available through several investment and mutual fund advisors.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable GICs are available with annual or semi-annual interest payments.
  • Terms options range from 30-days to 60-months.
  • Interest rates offered by Haventree Bank are updated frequently and changes can occur at any time.
  • Rates are dependent on term and the frequency of payment.
  • With variable terms, you can receive interest monthly, semi-annually or annually. For greater returns, interest can be compounded annually and paid out at maturity.
  • Speak to one of Haventree’s financial advisors who’ll recommend the right solutions for you.
  • Deposits are eligible for deposit insurance from the CDIC.
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4-year GICs

WealthONE Bank of Canada 4 Year GIC
WealthONE Bank of Canada 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.65%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • WealthONE Bank of Canada is a Canadian Schedule 1 bank that serves all Canadians including the newcomers. It has two offices in Toronto and Vancouver and offers online banking, a mobile app and competitive interest rates.
  • WealthONE Bank’s non-redeemable GICs offer 6-month to 5-year terms and can be included in a registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as in non-registered products.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends and the GIC reaches maturity, WealthONE Bank will pay the principal amount of the GIC plus interest, according to your disposition of funds instructions. If no maturity instructions have been received by WealthOne, the proceeds of the matured GIC may be renewed for the same terms and conditions unless WealthONE Bank receives a request to cancel within ten business days from the date of renewal.
  • Term options range from 6-month to 5-years.
  • WealthONE GICs are fixed-term GICs that are non-redeemable prior to the Maturity Date.
  • An Early Redemption fee is $20.00 plus foregone interest. For more information, please check our Account Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and GIC Investments.
  • Can be included in your registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as non-registered products.
  • Minimum $1,000 investment.
  • Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) Insurance. CDIC limits apply.
MCAN Wealth 4 Year GIC
MCAN Wealth 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.80%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
Product details
EQ Bank Non-registered 4 Year GIC
EQ Bank Non-registered 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.55%
    As of May 17, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Each EQ Bank GIC starts with a minimum deposit of $100, making it convenient for a new investor to explore these GICs at a competitive fixed rate.
  • EQ Bank, a trademark of Equitable Bank, is an online bank based in Toronto that offers chequing and savings accounts, GICs and registered plans. Read our review of EQ Bank for more information.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • Must have an EQ savings account in order to get an EQ GIC.
  • When the term ends and your GIC reaches the maturity date, the funds will be placed in your Savings Plus Account (the one from which your initial investment was funded). You will receive an email or SMS alert notifying you of the GIC maturity.
  • Term options range from 3-months to 10-years. You’re the one in charge of your savings, that includes choosing whether short or long term GICs are right for you.
  • RSP and TFSA GICs are also available. Before you buy, you’ll need to open an RSP Savings Account or TFSA Savings Account.
  • GIC options let you lock in any of our amazing rates, so no matter what happens, that rate is yours.
  • Low minimum deposit. So you can start investing in GICs with as little as $100.
  • You choose how your interest is paid out, either at maturity or annually.
  • A GIC in seconds. As long as you have available funds in your Savings Plus Account, you can literally buy a GIC in seconds.
  • You can buy up to 20 GICs. Each GIC purchase must be for at least $100, and can be up to a maximum of $100,000. Customers can hold up to $500,000 in GICs, excluding interest earned.
  • *EQ Bank GICs are non-redeemable.
  • For GIC terms of less than one year, simple interest is calculated on a per diem basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms equal to one year, simple interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms of over one year, not including 15 and 27 month terms, interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid either annually (simple interest) or at maturity (compounded annually).
  • For GIC terms of 15 and 27 months, interest is calculated on a per annum basis, compounded annually and paid solely at maturity. In all cases, interest is accrued for the entire GIC term.
  • Maximum 20 GICs per customer. Per GIC investment limit of $100,000. Aggregate GIC investment limit of $500,000.
  • Rates are calculated on a per annum basis and are subject to change at any time.
  • Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC. EQ Bank is a trade name of Equitable Bank.
Hubert’s Happy Savings 4 Year GIC
Hubert’s Happy Savings 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.60%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Hubert’s high-interest savings deposits are available in one to five-year terms.
  • Hubert Financial is the online division of Sunova Credit Union and offers a high-interest savings account, term deposits, registered plans, a credit card and VirtualWealth investing.
Product details
  • One-year terms redeemable quarterly, and two-year to five-year terms non-redeemable.
  • Interest calculated and compounded annually.
  • $1,000 minimum balance required.
  • TFSA, and RRSP and RRIF terms are also available.
  • Hubert has zero transaction fees — whether you’re making a deposit, transferring funds, setting up a registered account, or making a withdrawal.
  • 100% guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.
Ideal Savings 4 Year GIC
Ideal Savings 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.65%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Ideal Savings GIC deposits offer competitive rates and are available in one to five-year terms.
  • Ideal Savings is an online division of Carpathia Credit Union Limited and offers high-interest savings, a U.S. dollar savings account, GICs and tax-free savings accounts. ”
Product details
  • Available in fixed terms from one through five years.
  • Tax-free term savings options are also available.
  • Minimum deposit of $1,000
  • 14 day rate guarantee from date of application.
  • Non-redeemable prior to maturity date.
  • Upon maturity, all GICs will automatically be renewed for the same GIC term unless otherwise instructed.
  • 100% guaranteed without limit by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.$1,000
Oaken Financial 4 Year GIC
Oaken Financial 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.60%
    As of May 4, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Oaken GICs offer choice through competitive rates for a variety of terms and types, such as short-term, long-term and cashable GICs available for both registered and non-registered plans, plus security with CDIC coverage as per applicable limits.
  • Oaken Financial is backed by Home Bank and powered by Home Trust Company and offers a digital app and online banking services for HISAs and GICs.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends, Oaken will follow the instructions you provide on what you want to do with your investment at maturity. This can include redeeming the GIC and depositing the funds into the account of your choice, or automatically renewing the GIC for the same term and at the current interest rate.
  • Term options range from 30 days to 5 years, and are available as cashable and non-cashable GICs.
  • All Oaken GICs are eligible for inclusion in government registered accounts, including Registered Savings Plans (RSP), Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Retirement Income Funds (RIF).
  • Oaken GICs offer choice, flexibility and security with non-registered GICs.
  • Flexible payment schedules. Choose the interest payment schedule that suits your needs best – whether that’s monthly, semi-annually, annually or at maturity.
  • Select from two issuers: Home Bank and Home Trust Company, both of which are separate members of CDIC.
  • Deposit a little or a lot: The minimum deposit is $1,000.
  • Oaken GICs are eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) coverage, up to applicable limits.
Home Trust Bank 4 Year GIC
Home Trust Bank 4 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    4 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.60%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000-$5,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Home Trust Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Capital Group Inc., a public company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HCG. Home Trust, and its subsidiary Home Bank, are federally regulated financial institutions. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
  • Home Trust GICs are fixed-rate deposits that come in short and long-term options. They can be included in retirement savings plans, tax-free savings accounts, and retirement income funds. Most GICs are non-redeemable, but a 1-year cashable GIC is also available.
Product details
  • Non-registered and registered GICs.
  • Term options include 1-year cashable, short-term deposits (30-59 days to 270-364 days), and long term deposits (1-year to 5-years).
  • Home Trust Bank provides a range of Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and a High Interest Savings Account (HISA) for both personal and commercial needs, offering guaranteed returns and competitive rates. In addition, each deposit is available through either Home Trust Company or Home Bank, both of which are separate members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
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5-year GICs

MCAN Wealth 5 Year GIC
MCAN Wealth 5 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    5 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.75%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
Product details
WealthONE Bank of Canada 5 Year GIC
WealthONE Bank of Canada 5 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    5 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.55%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $1,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • WealthONE Bank of Canada is a Canadian Schedule 1 bank that serves all Canadians including the newcomers. It has two offices in Toronto and Vancouver and offers online banking, a mobile app and competitive interest rates.
  • WealthONE Bank’s non-redeemable GICs offer 6-month to 5-year terms and can be included in a registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as in non-registered products.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • When the term ends and the GIC reaches maturity, WealthONE Bank will pay the principal amount of the GIC plus interest, according to your disposition of funds instructions. If no maturity instructions have been received by WealthOne, the proceeds of the matured GIC may be renewed for the same terms and conditions unless WealthONE Bank receives a request to cancel within ten business days from the date of renewal.
  • Term options range from 6-month to 5-years.
  • WealthONE GICs are fixed-term GICs that are non-redeemable prior to the Maturity Date.
  • An Early Redemption fee is $20.00 plus foregone interest. For more information, please check our Account Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and GIC Investments.
  • Can be included in your registered TFSA, RSP, or RIF as well as non-registered products.
  • Minimum $1,000 investment.
  • Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) Insurance. CDIC limits apply.
EQ Bank Non-registered 5 Year GIC
EQ Bank Non-registered 5 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    5 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.60%
    As of May 17, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $100
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Each EQ Bank GIC starts with a minimum deposit of $100, making it convenient for a new investor to explore these GICs at a competitive fixed rate.
  • EQ Bank, a trademark of Equitable Bank, is an online bank based in Toronto that offers chequing and savings accounts, GICs and registered plans. Read our review of EQ Bank for more information.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable.
  • Must have an EQ savings account in order to get an EQ GIC.
  • When the term ends and your GIC reaches the maturity date, the funds will be placed in your Savings Plus Account (the one from which your initial investment was funded). You will receive an email or SMS alert notifying you of the GIC maturity.
  • Term options range from 3-months to 10-years. You’re the one in charge of your savings, that includes choosing whether short or long term GICs are right for you.
  • RSP and TFSA GICs are also available. Before you buy, you’ll need to open an RSP Savings Account or TFSA Savings Account.
  • GIC options let you lock in any of our amazing rates, so no matter what happens, that rate is yours.
  • Low minimum deposit. So you can start investing in GICs with as little as $100.
  • You choose how your interest is paid out, either at maturity or annually.
  • A GIC in seconds. As long as you have available funds in your Savings Plus Account, you can literally buy a GIC in seconds.
  • You can buy up to 20 GICs. Each GIC purchase must be for at least $100, and can be up to a maximum of $100,000. Customers can hold up to $500,000 in GICs, excluding interest earned.
  • *EQ Bank GICs are non-redeemable.
  • For GIC terms of less than one year, simple interest is calculated on a per diem basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms equal to one year, simple interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms of over one year, not including 15 and 27 month terms, interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid either annually (simple interest) or at maturity (compounded annually).
  • For GIC terms of 15 and 27 months, interest is calculated on a per annum basis, compounded annually and paid solely at maturity. In all cases, interest is accrued for the entire GIC term.
  • Maximum 20 GICs per customer. Per GIC investment limit of $100,000. Aggregate GIC investment limit of $500,000.
  • Rates are calculated on a per annum basis and are subject to change at any time.
  • Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC. EQ Bank is a trade name of Equitable Bank.
Haventree Bank 5 Year GIC
Haventree Bank 5 Year GIC
  • Term Length
    5 Years
  • Interest Rate
    4.51%
    As of May 1, 2024
  • Minimum Deposit
    $5,000
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
Why we like it
  • Founded in 1990, Haventree Bank is a private Canadian Schedule 1 bank specializing in alternative mortgage programs and insured GIC deposits.
  • Haventree Bank’s GIC offers decent rates and is available through several investment and mutual fund advisors.
Product details
  • Non-registered and non-redeemable GICs are available with annual or semi-annual interest payments.
  • Terms options range from 30-days to 60-months.
  • Interest rates offered by Haventree Bank are updated frequently and changes can occur at any time.
  • Rates are dependent on term and the frequency of payment.
  • With variable terms, you can receive interest monthly, semi-annually or annually. For greater returns, interest can be compounded annually and paid out at maturity.
  • Speak to one of Haventree’s financial advisors who’ll recommend the right solutions for you.
  • Deposits are eligible for deposit insurance from the CDIC.
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SUMMARY OF OUR PICKS FOR BEST GIC RATES IN CANADA

BEST 1-YEAR GICs

BEST 2-YEAR GICs

BEST 3-YEAR GICs

BEST 4-YEAR GICs

BEST 5-YEAR GICs

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Methodology


NerdWallet Canada selects the best guaranteed investment certificates based on several criteria. Factors in our evaluation methodology include annual percentage yields, minimum deposit, redeemability, account type and more. Only fixed-rate, non-registered and non-redeemable guaranteed investment certificates that are available in more than one province are considered for this list.


    Canadian GIC rates comparison

    Highest GIC rates currently available as of May 22, 2024.

    Financial Institution1-year Term2-year Term3-year Term4-year Term5-year Term
    Achieva Financial 5.00%4.80%4.60%4.50%4.40%
    Alterna Bank4.60%4.45%4.15%4.15%4.15%
    BMO Bank of Montreal4.50%4.50%4.25%4.25%4.25%
    Bridgewater Bank 5.05%4.87%4.68%4.01%4.00%
    Canadian Tire Bank4.50%4.10%4.03%3.94%3.80%
    Canadian Western Bank4.80%4.45%4.30%4.20%4.00%
    CIBC Bonus Rate GIC4.65%3.75%3.75%3.75%3.75%
    Coast Capital Savings4.80%4.60%4.40%4.25%4.25%
    EQ Bank
    Apply Now
    5.15%4.95%4.75%4.55%4.60%
    Haventree Bank5.08%4.92%4.78%4.59%4.55%
    Home Trust5.35%5.20%4.80%4.60%4.50%
    Hubert’s Happy Savings5.25%5.05%4.70%4.60%4.50%
    ICICI Bank1.75%2.00%2.25%2.50%2.75%
    Ideal Savings5.25%5.05%4.70%4.60%4.50%
    Laurentian Bank of Canada5.00%4.90%4.65%4.45%4.45%
    LBCDigital.ca5.10%5.00%4.65%4.45%4.45%
    Manulife Bank4.50%4.70%4.50%4.50%4.50%
    MAXA Financial5.00%4.85%4.60%4.45%4.40%
    Motive Financial5.40%5.20%4.65%4.50%4.35%
    Motusbank4.00%3.35%3.25%3.05%3.00%
    MCAN Wealth5.50%5.30%4.90%4.80%4.75%
    National Bank of Canada4.50%4.30%4.10%4.00%4.00%
    Oaken Financial 5.35%5.20%4.80%4.60%4.50%
    Outlook Financial 5.00%4.80%4.50%4.45%4.40%
    Peoples Bank of Canada5.20%4.75%4.65%4.55%4.45%
    Royal Bank of Canadaup to 4.65%**up to 4.35%***4.00%4.00%up to 4.25%**
    Scotiabank4.50%4.10%up to 4.36%**4.00%3.95%
    Simplii Financial5.00%4.35%4.25%4.25%4.25%
    Tangerine Bank
    Apply Now
    5.20%3.60%5.00%4.60%4.50%
    TD Bank4.65%4.35%4.25%4.25%4.25%
    VersaBank 5.07%4.80%4.63%4.40%4.36%
    WealthONE Bank of Canada5.35%5.20%5.00%4.85%4.75%

    *Rates reflect the APY of non-redeemable, non-registered fixed-rate GICs that pay interest annually

    **Promotional rates offered by the bank.


    What to know about GICs

    By Barry Choi

    GICs appeal to many Canadians because they are guaranteed and considered safe investments. That said, certain types of GICs require you to lock in your funds, making it difficult to access your money until the end of the term or the maturity date.

    What is a GIC?

    A guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) is an investment product that gives you a guaranteed rate of return for a set period of time. You can purchase GICs with terms as short as 30 days or as long as 10 years. In a normal interest rate environment, you’ll typically get higher interest rates on longer-term GICs. 

    The amount of interest a GIC earns, or annual percentage yield (APY), is determined at the time of purchase. It may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or at maturity. When your GIC matures or reaches the end of its term, you receive your principal back, plus any outstanding interest.

    What is a GIC account?

    GICs are a type of investment that you must be purchased within an account. The common types of investment accounts used to buy GICs are standard, non-registered investment accounts and registered accounts, like registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) or tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs).

    Each type of account has different tax implications, so you’ll want to do additional research or ask your financial institution whether a registered or non-registered GIC is best for you.

    Once you’ve set up your accounts, purchasing GICs is a straightforward process.

    What is the difference between GICs and term deposits?

    Term deposits and GICs are technically two similar products in the same asset class. Both pay a fixed interest rate for a fixed term. Both also typically require a minimum deposit to get started.

    Some institutions use “term deposits” to describe both GICs with terms for one year or more and other types of investments held for less than a year. However, many financial institutions use the names interchangeably or simply refer to all of their guaranteed investments as “GICs.”

    How does a GIC work?

    When you buy a GIC, you’re lending money to a financial institution. Because the financial institution is borrowing money from you, they’ll pay you interest for the privilege. You can think of it as a role reversal compared to borrowing money from the bank.

    The financial institution that issues the GIC then takes that money and lends it to its customers at a higher rate of interest, such as through a mortgage or line of credit — this is how you and the financial institution both end up making money on your GIC investment.

    Generally, GICs lock in your principal deposit until the end of the term since the bank is lending the money they’ve borrowed from you to someone else. They need to protect their cash flow and make sure they have enough money coming in to cover what’s going out. That said, cashable and redeemable GICs allow you to access your money before the end of the term, but they may come with a lower interest rate and early withdrawal fees.

    Once your GIC matures, you can withdraw your principal plus the interest earned. Alternatively, you can choose to reinvest those funds and purchase a new GIC automatically. This approach allows you to take advantage of compound interest by making additional interest on your initial investment on top of the interest you’ve already earned.

    How much interest will you earn on a GIC?

    The amount of interest you’ll earn on a GIC depends on the following:

    For instance, let’s say you decide to invest $10,000 into a 1-year, non-redeemable GIC with a fixed interest rate of 3%. At the end of the term, you’d get your initial investment of $10,000, plus $300 in interest. If you had chosen a different interest rate, term length, or type of GIC, you would have earned more or less interest.

    How to invest in a GIC

    Investing in GICs is easy once you review your options and make some decisions. It’s best to shop around, as each financial institution offers GICs with different terms and interest rates. Then you can choose a GIC that best fits your timeline and offers an attractive interest rate.

    You can purchase GICs from the following sources:

    How secure is a GIC investment?

    GICs are considered one of the safest investments available to Canadians. That’s because your principal investment is guaranteed not to lose value; in most cases, your interest is also guaranteed.

    In addition, if you purchase your GICs from a financial institution that’s a Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) member, your deposits are covered for up to $100,000 per eligible account.

    GICs purchases through a credit union are insured for up to $250,000 through the province or territory’s regulatory authority. For example, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario has a Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund (DIRF) for members.

    This coverage means that if your financial institution were to fail, you would be able to recover your eligible deposits.

    How to buy a GIC

    When you want to purchase GICs from the financial institution where you do your day-to-day banking, setting up a GIC account is straightforward. First, you’ll need to set up a registered or non-registered account, which you can usually open online, over the phone, or at your local branch.

    If you already have an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered account, you can purchase GICs at any time. Every financial institution has a dedicated section for GICs on its website. You can see what’s available and buy the GIC that best fits your goals. If you’re new to the process and want some assistance, a bank advisor can help you set up your account and purchase GICs.

    Keep in mind that every financial institution and service provider may have its own rules in place. There may be a minimum deposit amount required or even specific times when you can buy GICs online.

    Documents required to open a GIC account

    The documents required to open a GIC account are no different than those required to open a bank account. You would need to provide the following:

    You generally don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to open a GIC account, but you usually need to be the age of majority in the province or territory in which you reside. You will also have to fund your account before purchasing GICs.

    How to choose the best type of GIC investment for you

    Before you start to invest and purchase a GIC, be sure you understand what you’re getting. There are different GIC interest rates, terms, and options available. The best GIC for someone else may not necessarily be the best one for you. You want to pick a GIC that lines up with your goals. Here’s what to consider as you shop around.

    GIC terms

    GIC terms are the length of your investment. You can typically purchase GICs with terms between 30 days and 10 years.

    Long-term GICs

    Long-term GICs are GICs that have terms of one year or more. These types of GICs are typically suitable for people with long investment time frames or who are looking for stability in their portfolios.

    Short-term GICs

    Short-term GICs, sometimes known as term deposits, have terms of less than one year, so 30 to 364 days. These types of GICs are aimed at people who want access to their funds sooner but would still like to earn some interest.

    GIC interest rates

    GIC interest rates are what you’ll be paid for investing your money in a financial institution. Knowing how they will calculate your interest is vital since it’ll affect the overall performance of your GICs.

    Fixed-rate GICs

    With fixed-rate GICs, you’ll know exactly how much interest you’ll earn before investing your money. However, you’ll need to look into when the bank will your interest, as it can be annually, semi-annually, or monthly.

    Variable-rate GICs

    Variable-rate GICs, sometimes known as prime-linked GICs, protect your principal while giving you a variable interest rate linked to the financial institution’s prime rate. If rates go up or down, the amount of interest your GIC earns will be adjusted accordingly.

    Market-linked GICs

    With market-linked GICs or equity-linked GICs, the amount of interest you’ll earn is tied to the underlying stock market index. When the markets are doing well, your interest rate increases. Even if the markets go on a downturn and your interest rate decreases, your principal investment is protected, just like a regular GIC.

    GIC redeemability

    While all GICs have set terms, some types allow you to access your funds before the term is up. This flexibility can help people who are faced with an emergency and need immediate access to their capital.

    Cashable GICs

    Cashable GICs typically have a locked-in window of 30-90 days. Once that period is up, you can access your funds early if you need them. If you choose to withdraw money from the GIC, you will receive interest calculated up to the day you withdrew funds.

    Redeemable GICs

    With redeemable GICs, you can access your money at any point after you make the purchase. While the redeemable route sounds like the clear winner, these types of GICs typically penalize early redemptions. As a result, you’d likely receive much less interest than you would at the end of the term.

    Non-redeemable GICs

    As the name implies, non-redeemable GICs lock in your funds until the term is up. As these types of GICs are not liquid, the financial institution compensates you with higher interest rates than cashable and redeemable GICs.

    Types of GIC accounts

    GICs are investment products purchased within various account types.

    Registered vs. non-registered GICs: what’s the difference?

    Registered and non-registered GICs are held in different types of accounts. Since RRSPs and TFSAs are types of registered accounts, GICs held within them are registered. Conversely, GICs held in a non-registered account are referred to as non-registered.

    TFSA GICs

    You can purchase GICs within your TFSA as long as you follow the rules and limits set by the government. There’s no tax break when you make a TFSA contribution, but there are also no taxes to be paid when you withdraw once your GIC matures.

    RRSP GICs

    RRSP contributions offer an immediate tax break. You can then use the funds in your RRSP to buy GICs. You won’t pay taxes on any interest earned while the money is in the account. However, you’ll be taxed at your marginal tax rate when you eventually withdraw the funds.

    GIC investment strategies and options to consider

    Since GICs are a safe investment product, they can be suitable for investors who want to protect their capital or balance their portfolios. Consider a few strategies and options to get the most out of GIC investing.

    GIC laddering

    A GIC ladder is a common GIC investment strategy in which you split your initial investment into equal pools, with each portion invested into GICs with different terms and interest rates.

    For example, if you had $25,000 to invest, you could split it into five pools of $5,000. You would then buy five GICs, each of which has a different term: one, two, three, four, and five years. When each GIC matures, you would reinvest the proceeds into a new 5-year GIC or use the money as needed.

    Buying GICs with different terms allows you to take advantage of higher interest rates. Over time, this strategy enables you to potentially earn more interest than the interest earned by investing the whole amount in a single 1-year GIC.

    In addition, a GIC ladder can reduce risk. Interest rate changes won’t affect your overall portfolio as much when you have GICs with different terms and interest rates. If rates have risen by the time each GIC matures, you can reinvest the money at a higher rate. Even if rates have dropped, you would have benefited from your initial investment. Finally, a ladder strategy means you can access a portion of your money each year when one of your GICs matures.

    Most financial institutions can help you set up a GIC ladder. You can instruct them to reinvest your funds at maturity, so the ladder continues. If you think you’ll need to access some funds after maturity, you’ll need to let them know before the maturity date, so your funds aren’t automatically reinvested.

    Student GIC program

    Some financial institutions offer a student GIC program aimed at international students looking to participate in the Student Direct Stream (SDS). The SDS is an expedited study permit for students from select countries who are pursuing higher education in Canada.

    One of the requirements for SDS is to show proof that the student has a GIC of $10,000 or more. Once the student arrives in Canada, they could open a student bank account and start redeeming their GIC to pay for their living expenses.

    Are GICs worth it?

    Given that GIC interest rates are typically lower than those available for other investments, many wonder if GICs are worth it. It depends on your goals and situation. GICs can be a good fit for your portfolio in some scenarios, including when:

    GICs may not be the best choice for someone seeking more growth opportunities or someone without an emergency fund.

    GIC pros

    GIC cons

    GIC alternatives

    GICs are just one type of investment product available to Canadians. As you build your portfolio, other types of fixed-income products and some equities are also worth considering.

    GICs vs. mutual funds

    Mutual funds are often brought up as an alternative to GICs, but it’s not a fair comparison. Mutual funds are a pool of stocks, bonds or other products wrapped into a single investment product handled by a portfolio manager.

    While mutual funds can help diversify your portfolio, the returns are not guaranteed. That said, some mutual funds focus on fixed-income investing, which means your money is relatively safe.

    GICs vs. bonds

    Governments, municipalities and even corporations can offer bonds for purchase. Generally, they pay a fixed level of income until maturity, like a GIC. The main difference is that bond yields can increase and decrease based on market conditions. In addition, you can usually opt in and out of bonds without fear of paying any penalties.

    Although bonds are a relatively safe investment, the issuers can have different ratings for stability. Government bonds are typically highly rated and secure, whereas junk or high-yield bonds can be risky since the issuer could default.

    GICs vs. high-interest savings accounts

    Many digital banks offer high-interest savings accounts (HISAs) with attractive interest rates. These rates are typically much higher than those offered by brick-and-mortar financial institutions. Some notable differences between a GIC and a HISA are that GICs usually offer higher rates — but there’s no locked-in period with a HISA. You can freely move your money in and out without any penalties or fees.

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    Frequently asked questions about GICs

    Is a GIC taxable?

    If you buy GICs within a tax-sheltered account such as your RRSP or TFSA, you won’t pay taxes on any interest income you earn. With a TFSA, there are no taxes when you withdraw the funds. However, withdrawals are taxed at your marginal tax rate with an RRSP.

    If you purchase GICs in a non-registered account, any interest you earn would be considered taxable income at your marginal tax rate. Your financial institution issues tax slips during tax season, so you’ll know exactly how much interest income you must report.

    Which bank has the highest GIC rates in Canada?

    NerdWallet Canada weekly selects the best GICs on several criteria from the top Big Six banks, online-only financial institutions, and credit unions. 

    Financial institutions offering the highest GIC rates in Canada as of May 22, 2024, are:

    MCAN Wealth, 1-year GIC rate: 5.50% 

    Tangerine Bank and WealthONE Bank of Canada, 3-year GIC rate: 5.00%

    MCAN Wealth and WealthONE Bank of Canada, 5-year GIC rate: 4.75%

    Use our table above to select terms and compare GIC rates from dozens of Canadian banks.

    DIVE EVEN DEEPER

    Best Short-Term GIC Rates in Canada for May 2024

    Best Short-Term GIC Rates in Canada for May 2024

    Use a short-term GIC to earn interest on your savings and keep a strategic distance between yourself and that hard-earned cash.

    Why Now Might Be a Good Time to Buy a GIC

    Why Now Might Be a Good Time to Buy a GIC

    Rising interest rates, lower risk, and a guaranteed rate of return make GICs more attractive. Here are three reasons to add one to your portfolio.

    How to Hold a GIC in an RRSP

    How to Hold a GIC in an RRSP

    Your registered retirement savings plan can hold guaranteed investment certificates. Putting a GIC in an RRSP has tax benefits that may boost your retirement savings.

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