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Published April 29, 2022

Canada’s 10 Best High-Interest RRSPs for 2022

Use these high-interest RRSPs to make contributions in the short term before deciding how to invest your retirement funds in the long 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.

ALSO CONSIDER: Best high-interest savings accounts | Best online savings accounts | Best high-interest TFSAs | Best savings accounts

A registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) is a tax-advantaged way to save and invest for retirement.

If you’re just starting out, a high-interest RRSP account is a safe and easy way to build up your nest egg before locking away those precious funds in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

 

Best high-interest RRSPs in Canada, at a glance

» See more details about each card below.

Best high-interest RRSPs in Canada

Our pick for a no-fee, digital-first tax-free retirement savings account

EQ Bank RSP Savings Account

EQ Bank RSP Savings Account
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Open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account first.

  • Interest Rate
    1.50%*
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • EQ Bank’s RSP is an easy-to-use, no-fee online savings account that becomes registered once money is added.
    • EQ is a digital bank that offers chequing and savings accounts, GICs and registered plans.
  • Product Details
    • 1.50%* variable interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Must have EQ Bank's Savings Plus Account in order to get an EQ RSP Savings Account.
    • Your EQ Bank RSP becomes registered once you add money to your account — which means you get the tax advantages of an RRSP.
    • Ability to set up recurring contributions.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • When it is time to do your taxes, EQ will notify you when your downloadable PDF tax slips are ready.
    • Other EQ RRSP investment options include RSP GICs, available in three-month to 10-year terms.
    • TFSAs are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • No fee to transfer your RRSP to another financial institution. No fee for transfers from another financial institution, but EQ Bank will not reimburse the transfer fees charged by other financial institutions.
    • No minimum balance is required. An EQ Bank RSP can hold up to $1 million, combining an RSP Savings Account and RSP GICs.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • EQ Bank is not 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 a low-fee online-only RRSP with spousal RRSP options

AcceleRate Financial AcceleRate Variable RRSP

  • Interest Rate
    1.70%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This online-only high-interest RRSP features a competitive rate and the ability to set up spousal RRSPs.
    • AcceleRate Financial is an online division of Manitoba’s Access Credit Union and offers savings accounts, GICs, and registered plans.
  • Product Details
    • 1.70% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated on the daily closing balance and paid annually on December 31.
    • No monthly fee.
    • To open this account, you must agree to become a member of Access Credit Union, which includes a complimentary $5 share. That share is forfeited upon cancellation of membership.
    • Start saving to reach the $1,000 minimum needed to invest in an AcceleRate RRSP GIC, which may earn even higher rates.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Make automatic transfers from other financial institutions ($25 minimum).
    • Other AcceleRate Financial RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs and the AcceleRate RRSP GIC, available in one to seven-year terms.
    • TFSAs and RRIFS are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $50 fee to transfer your RRSP to another bank, (transferring in another RRSP is free).
    • $10 fee to close the account within three months of opening.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
Our pick for an online-only RRSP with investment portfolio options

Achieva Financial RRSP Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.50%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This high-interest no-fee RRSP will help you save up for an RRSP GIC or a Qtrade Direct Investing online investment account, both offered through Achieva.
    • Achieva Financial is an online division of Manitoba’s Cambrian Credit Union and offers savings accounts, GICS, TFSAs, RRIFs, locked-in retirement accounts (LIRAs) and life income funds (LIFs).
  • Product Details
    • 1.50% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated on the daily closing balance and added to the principal on the last day of each month.
    • No monthly fee.
    • To open this account, you must agree to become a member of Cambrian Credit Union Limited, which requires a $5 share. Your share is considered an investment and is fully refundable should you decide to cancel your membership.
    • Earn $1 per month when you choose electronic documents.
    • Ability to set up recurring contributions.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Other Achieva RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs, RRSP GICS, available in one to five-year terms, and Qtrade Direct Investing online investment accounts.
    • TFSAs, RRIFs, Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LIRAs) and Life Income Funds (LIFs) are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $15 fee to close the account within six months of opening.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
Our pick for an online-only RRSP with access to investment portfolios and loans

Alterna Bank RRSP eSavings Account

  • Interest Rate
    0.90%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • DETAIL 1
    • DETAIL 2
  • Product Details
    • 0.90% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated daily on the closing balance and paid monthly.
    • No monthly fee
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Set up an auto-transfer to your RRSP and build your savings over time.
    • Other Alterna Bank RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs, RRSP eTerm Deposits, available in one to five-year terms, and investing options, such as guided portfolios and Qtrade Direct Investing.
    • TFSA and RRIF accounts are also available.
    • Access to RRSP loans to boost contributions.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $50 fee to transfer your RRSP to another bank, transfers in are free.
    • $25 fee to withdraw from your RRSP.
    • No minimum balance, but there is a $250,000 maximum balance.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
Our pick for an RRSP with redeemable term deposit and investment portfolio options

Hubert’s Happy Savings RRSP

  • Interest Rate
    1.70%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This high-interest, online-only RRSP account provides you with access to investment portfolios and term deposits, including one-year terms redeemable quarterly.
    • 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
    • 1.70% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated daily, paid monthly.
    • No monthly fee.
    • To open this account, you must become a member of Sunova Credit Union, which requires a $5 share. Your share is considered an investment and is fully refundable should you cancel your membership.
    • Use this RRSP to save $1,000 and open a higher rate tax-free one-year term deposit that is redeemable quarterly.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Other Hubert RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs, RRSP term deposits, available in one-year quarterly redeemable terms to five-year non-redeemable terms, and VirtualWealth online investment accounts.
    • TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
    • No transaction or service fees, except for wire transfers and a $25 fee for accounts that are inactive for six months with a balance under $1,000.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
    • Hubert Financial is not available to Québec residents.
Our pick for an online-only RRSP with a competitive interest rate

Implicity Financial RRSP Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.60%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This online-only RRSP offers a stripped-down menu of deposit products to help new savers start to build their retirement.
    • Implicity Financial offers savings products, including HISAs, term deposits and registered plans. Implicity is the online division of Entegra Credit Union, which merged with Outlook Financial's parent company Assiniboine Credit Union in 2022.
  • Product Details
    • 1.60% variable interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • To open this account, you must agree to become a member of Outlook Financial, which requires a $5 share.
    • Start saving to reach the $1,000 minimum needed to invest in an Implicity Financial RRSP term deposit, which may earn higher rates.
    • Manage your money through online banking.
    • Other Implicity Financial RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs and term deposits, available in one to five-year terms.
    • TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $75 fee to transfer your RRSP to another bank, (transferring in another RRSP is free).
    • $15 fee to close the account within six months of opening.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
Our pick for a high-interest RRSP with access to ​​RRSP loans

Manulife Bank Registered Advantage Account

  • Interest Rate
    0.50%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • The no-fee RRSP Advantage Account offers high-interest savings, a generous promo offer, and access to RRSP loans to help speed you toward your retirement goals.
    • Manulife Bank has provided Canadians with branchless banking since 1993. Services include chequing and savings, credit cards, mortgages, loans, and investment accounts.
  • Product Details
    • 0.50% regular posted variable annual interest rate. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • There are no fees to open an account, make deposits, or withdraw funds.
    • Other Manulife Bank RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs and guaranteed investment certificates, available in 30-day to five-year terms.
    • TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
    • Access to RRSP loans to boost contributions.
    • Deposits and withdrawals are free.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
Our pick for an RRSP with access to mutual funds and online brokerage services

motusbank RRSP savings account

  • Interest Rate
    1.25%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This online-only high-interest RRSP features a competitive rate and the ability to set up spousal RRSPs.
    • AcceleRate Financial is an online division of Manitoba’s Access Credit Union and offers savings accounts, GICs, and registered plans.
  • Product Details
    • 1.25% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated on the closing daily balance and is paid monthly.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Get access to a motusbank Financial Planner.
    • Automated savings program available.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Other motusbank RRSP investment options include RRSP GICs, available in 1-5 year terms, mutual funds, and investment accounts and portfolios from Qtrade Direct Investing and VirtualWealth.
    • TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $50 fee to transfer your RRSP to another bank (transferring in another RRSP is free).
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
Our pick for a no-fee, online-only RRSP

Outlook Financial RRSP High-Interest Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.60%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This easy-to-use high-interest RRSP savings account offers a competitive interest rate and flexible options for new savers.
    • Outlook Financial is an online division of Assiniboine Credit Union and offers savings accounts, GICS and registered plans.
  • Product Details
    • 1.60% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated daily and paid back monthly.
    • No monthly fee.
    • To open this account, you must agree to become a member of Assiniboine Credit Union membership, which requires a $5 share. Your share is considered an investment and is fully refundable should you decide to cancel your membership.
    • Manage your money by phone or through online banking.
    • Start saving to reach the $1,000 minimum needed to invest in an RRSP Fixed GIC, which may earn higher rates.
    • Other Outlook Financial RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs and guaranteed investment certificates, available in one to five-year terms.
    • TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $50 fee to transfer your RRSP to another bank (transferring in another RRSP is free).
    • $15 fee to close the account within three months of opening.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
Our pick for a flexible RRSP with investment portfolio options

WealthONE RRSP Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.60%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This RRSP savings account features a competitive interest rate and comes with access to a digital investing service with professionally managed, low-cost investment portfolios.
    • Wealth One Bank of Canada is a newer bank that opened in 2016. It has two offices in Toronto and Vancouver and offers online banking and a mobile app.
  • Product Details
    • 1.60% variable interest rate. Interest is calculated on the daily closing balance and paid monthly.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Automated savings program available.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Other Wealth One RRSP investment options include spousal RRSPs, guaranteed investment certificates, available in 6-month to 5-year terms, and investment accounts and portfolios through Smart Money Invest.
    • TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • $50 fee to transfer your RRSP to another bank (transferring in another RRSP is free).
    • $100 fee to close your RRSP account.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
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Methodology

NerdWallet Canada selects the best high-interest registered retirement savings accounts based on several criteria, including annual percentage yields, minimum balance requirements, fees, digital features, access to other investment products, and more. Only RRSPs from financial institutions that are available in more than one province are considered for this list.

Things to know about registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)

By Helen Burnett-Nichols

What is an RRSP?

An RRSP is a savings plan registered with the Canadian government that you can contribute to until age 71. The plan allows you to hold investments and put money aside for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. You can deduct contributions made to the account annually from your taxable income.

Types of RRSPs

There are three different types of RRSPs:

An individual RRSP is a plan held in your name, and you receive the tax benefits. This type of plan is the most common and offers the most flexibility for investment decisions.

A spousal RRSP allows one partner — usually earning a higher income — to contribute to an RRSP in their spouse’s name. The contributor receives the tax deduction, but the benefiting spouse owns the investments inside the RRSP. These plans also offer tax advantages to families during retirement by letting spouses split income more evenly.

A group RRSP is an employer-managed plan which involves holding an individual RRSP at a financial institution. Contributions come from your pay, and, in some cases, your employer may match. You will likely have limited choices over the investments held in the plan.

» MORE: What are registered pension plans?

 What is the best way to invest in an RRSP?

An RRSP can hold different investments, including mutual funds, stocks and cash. The interest or returns you earn depend on the type of RRSP account and how you choose to hold your investments.

You can elect to have investments managed by an advisor at a financial institution, like a bank or credit union. Or, you could choose a self-directed plan, where you make your own investment decisions, often for a lower fee. Both full-service or discount brokerages typically offer self-directed RRSPs.

An RRSP can hold several types of qualified investments, including:

The rates of return on the investments vary greatly, depending on what you choose to hold in your plan. Furthermore, the value of your RRSP may not be guaranteed to go up and may decrease in value, especially if you own stocks.

What is a high-interest RRSP savings account?

High-interest RRSP savings accounts help account holders save regularly for retirement. They are essentially just like a regular high-interest savings account but offer a better interest rate than non-registered accounts.

This option is ideal for those looking to put money aside while considering what they want to do with their funds over the longer term.

» See our picks: The best high-interest savings accounts in Canada

How high-interest RRSPs work

High-interest RRSPs may not charge any monthly fees or require a minimum balance or contribution but still provide tax benefits.

Some high-interest RRSPs provide a tiered interest rate structure that offers higher rates as your savings increase. Compounding interest rates (calculated daily and paid monthly) on RRSP savings accounts vary by financial institution.

How to open an RRSP

You’re eligible to open and contribute to an RRSP until December 31 of the year you turn 71, as long as you earned income and filed an income tax return in Canada the previous year. Children under 18 are also eligible to open an RRSP with the consent of their parent or legal guardian if they have created RRSP contribution room by earning income and filing a tax return with the CRA.

Opening an RRSP involves filling out an application, which many providers will allow you to do online. The institution will probably ask you about your investment knowledge and financial goals. You will need your previous tax year’s Notice of Assessment and information about who you’d like to select as your beneficiary.

» MORE: What is a tax return?

How to choose and compare RRSPs

Before choosing an RRSP, consider what you’re looking to include in the plan and how hands-on you would like to manage your investments. For example, are you looking to self-direct your portfolio, or would you like an advisor to manage funds on your behalf? Are you interested in a plan that operates like a savings account, or would you prefer access to a full suite of investment products?

Once you’ve determined how you approach RRSP investing, you can compare providers and accounts. Be sure to look at account fees, the investment types offered, and the rates of return.

How to use an RRSP

RRSP contributions

Once you have opened an RRSP account, you can contribute to your plan through your bank account or investment account online, or via your advisor. You can also set up regular pre-authorized debits or make a lump sum contribution before the RRSP deadline.

Your annual RRSP contribution room will be made up of 18% of your earned income in the previous year, up to a maximum contribution amount that changes yearly (for the 2022 tax year, this amount is $29,210). If you didn’t make your maximum contribution in previous years, you’re able to carry any unused contribution room forward to use this year or in future tax years until age 71.

You can also have more than one RRSP, but your annual contribution limit stays the same, whether you’re contributing to one plan or three.

If you over-contribute to your RRSP, the Canada Revenue Agency will tax the excess amount at 1% per month. You can overcontribute by $2,000 without a penalty. However, you won’t get a tax break on the extra contribution.

» Get ready: How to prepare for the 2021 RRSP deadline

RRSP and taxes

Each year you contribute to your RRSP, your financial institution will send you two statements. These statements will show your contributions — from March 2 to December 31 of the previous year and for the first 60 days of the current year — which you can claim on line 20800 of your tax return to reduce last year’s net taxable income. You can also choose to claim your contributions in future tax years.

RRSP withdrawals

RRSPs are designed to help save for retirement, so taking money out of an RRSP earlier than intended will cost you unless the funds are for the Home Buyer’s Plan or the Lifelong Learning Plan.

First, early withdrawals are subject to withholding tax of 10%-30% (or 5%-15% in Quebec), which your financial institution will remit to the government on your behalf. The withdrawn amount is also considered taxable income, which you must declare on your tax return.

Your RRSP reaches maturity on December 31 of the year you turn 71. At this point, you must withdraw the funds. You have a few options regarding what to do next:

  • Take a lump sum payment, which will be subject to withholding tax and added to your income for the year.
  • Convert your RRSP to a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), which will require you to make annual minimum withdrawals that are included in your taxable income each year but are not subject to withholding tax.
  • Purchase an annuity, which offers a guaranteed income for life or for a specified period, not subject to withholding tax, but you may have to pay tax on the income payments.

» Just because you can doesn’t mean you should: What you should know about RRSP withdrawals

RRSP benefits/advantages:

One of the main advantages of an RRSP is the tax benefits it offers, both when you contribute and when you withdraw the funds in retirement. For example, each RRSP contribution reduces your net taxable income.

Money held within an RRSP — both the amount you contribute and any capital gains, dividends or interest on those funds — is also sheltered from tax until you take it out of the plan. If you withdraw RRSP funds when you retire, you may be in a lower tax bracket than when you contributed the money and will therefore pay less tax on the withdrawal.

» MORE: 10 ways to make the most of your RRSP

RRSP benefits/advantages compared to the TFSA

While RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) are both registered savings vehicles, they offer investors different benefits, especially tax perspectives.

  • Whereas RRSP contributions are tax-deductible, any money you put into your TFSA is not.
  • When you withdraw money from your RRSP, you pay tax, though possibly at a lower rate if you’re retired. TFSA withdrawals are always tax-free, as you’ve already paid tax on the money you’ve invested.
  • With the rules around withdrawals, RRSPs are designed for retirement savings, while you can use TFSAs for any savings goal.

» See our picks: Canada’s Best High-Interest TFSAs

  • FAQs

    • How much can I put in my RRSP?

      Each year, the amount you can contribute to your RRSP depends on how much you’ve earned. You can contribute 18% of your total income earned in the previous year, up to a maximum limit set by the government (in 2022, this amount is $29,210), plus any unused contribution amounts of earlier years.

      To find out your RRSP contribution limit for this tax year, check your Notice of Assessment from the previous tax year or log in to My Account on the CRA website.

    • Does an RRSP reduce taxable income?

      Yes, RRSP contributions reduce your net taxable income. You will also likely be paying less tax on these funds when you take them out of the plan, often at retirement, when you’re in a lower tax bracket.

DIVE EVEN DEEPER

TFSA vs. RRSP: What is The Difference and How to Choose

An RRSP defers tax until you withdraw the funds. With a TFSA, you pay income tax first and won’t pay tax on the withdrawal. Both have their purpose.

How to Prepare for the 2021 RRSP Contribution Deadline

March 1, 2022, is the last day you can make a tax-deductible contribution to your RRSP for the 2021 tax year. But not everyone needs to rush to meet this deadline.

How Much Money You’ll Need To Retire

Retirement generally happens around age 65. Aim to save enough money to have 70% of your pre-retirement income each year for 25 years after that.

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) 101: What is and How does it works

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) has huge tax advantages. Types include guaranteed, mutual fund, self-directed and savings account RRSPs.