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Published November 19, 2021
Updated November 19, 2021

Canada’s 9 Best High-Interest Savings Accounts of 2021

A high-interest savings accounts (HISA) will help you grow your funds faster than standard accounts.

The best HISAs in Canada

NerdWallet’s picks for the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada feature competitive rates, minimal transaction fees and low service charges.

 

Neo Financial High-Interest Savings Account

Our pick for no-fee online HISA with free and unlimited transactions

Interest Rate
1.30%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    Neo offers a digital-first banking experience and a fee-free HISA with one of the highest interest rates available in Canada. Pair this high-interest savings account with the Neo Card to earn an average 5%+ unlimited cash back at thousands of local and national Neo partners.

  • Product Details
    • No fees, 1.30% interest rate as of May 17, 2021 (not a promotional rate; Savings interest rate is calculated daily on the closing balance and paid monthly).
    • Earn up to 130x 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 (with the exception of Quebec, coming soon).
    • 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 Savings account is eligible for CDIC deposit protection, and provided by Concentra Bank, a CDIC member institution. Deposits held in Neo Savings accounts are combined with eligible deposits held at Concentra Bank, for up to $100,000 of deposit protection, per category, per depositor.

Tangerine Savings Account

Our pick for a no-fee HISA with a competitive promo rate

Interest Rate
2% promo, 0.10% regular, no minimum balance required
Bonus
2% for 5 months + a $300 cash bonus
See product details for specifics about this bonus offer.
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    Tangerine’s promotional 2% interest rate will earn you a high rate of return for five months. Pair it with the virtual bank’s no-fee chequing account, credit card, registered accounts or a GIC to maximize your financial goals.

  • Product Details
    • To earn 2% interest for 5 months, you must become a new client online by January 5, 2022 using the promo code EARNMORE and open your first eligible Chequing Account and Savings Account (including TFSAs, RSPs, RIFs and US$ Savings Accounts) within 30 days.
    • To earn the $300 Bonus, add your payroll and have the first payroll directly deposited in your Chequing Account within 60 days of opening the Account. If you keep it going for three straight months, you’ll earn a $300 Bonus after the 3rd month.
    • 2% promo interest rate and 0.10% regular interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Automated savings program available.
    • Unlimited free self-serve transactions per month.
    • Service fees are limited to a $45 charge for non-sufficient funds.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Immediate access to your money through withdrawals, transfers to linked accounts, and more.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.

» MORE: Learn about Tangerine’s Money-Back Credit Card in our picks for the best credit cards in Canada.

 

Wealth ONE Bank of Canada High Interest Savings Account

Our pick for no-monthly fee HISA that can be included in registered plans at the same bank

Interest Rate
1.25%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    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, a mobile app and competitive interest rates.

  • Product Details
    • 1.25% interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Automated savings program available.
      HISA can be included in TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIF or other registered plans.
    • Free unlimited transactions to/from your linked account, and ten free bill payment transactions per month.
    • Service fees are listed online and include a $1.50 charge to send an Interac e-Transfer.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Access your money immediately through transfers to linked accounts, Interac e-Transfer, and more.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.

Canada Tire Bank High Interest Savings account

Our pick for an uncomplicated fee-free HISA

Interest Rate
1.25%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    Canada Tire’s online HISA — which the retailer has pet-named the ‘Money Magnet’ — is a stripped-down and easy-to-use account that can facilitate basic transactions. It boasts a strong interest rate, but it does not offer cheque cashing, sending Interac e-Transfers, a mobile app or branches to visit.

  • Product Details
    • 1.25% interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Automatic savings plan available.
    • 24/7 online banking.
    • Free and unlimited transfers to an external linked account at another Canadian financial institution.
    • Service fees are limited and listed online.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Access your money immediately by making withdrawals anytime you want via phone or online banking.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • This account is not available to Quebec residents.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

Our pick for a fee-free and flexible hybrid savings account

Interest Rate
1.25%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    EQ’s Savings Plus Account is the digital-first bank’s flexible hybrid chequing and savings account. It features a high interest rate, no monthly fees, and free and unlimited transfers. The bank also offers joint accounts, US dollar accounts, TFSAs, RRSPs, and GICs.

  • Product Details
    • 1.25% 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-Transfer or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to linked accounts.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • EQ Bank is not available to Quebec residents.

KOHO Spending and savings account

Our pick for a no-fee hybrid account that earns cash back

Interest Rate
1.20%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    KOHO is a virtual bank that offers cash back prepaid VISA cards and a hybrid chequing-savings account that earns 1.20% interest on savings and 0.5% cash back on puchases.

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

» MORE: Learn about KOHO’s Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card in our picks for the best student credit cards in Canada.

 

Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account

Our pick for a no-monthly fee online HISA

Interest Rate
1.20%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    Bridgewater Bank offers this high-interest savings account, joint accounts, GICs and mortgages. The bank does not have any branches but offers online banking and customer service over the phone.

  • Product Details
    • 1.20% interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • $25 initial deposit required.
    • Pre-authorized contributions help you save automatically.
    • One free withdrawal per month, $5 each after that.
    • Service fees are listed online and include a $20 charge for dishonoured cheque or pre-authorized debit reversal fee.
    • No minimum balance.
    • To withdraw money, contact the bank and they will transfer the funds requested into the external account in about 3 to 5 business days.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • Smart eSavings accounts are not available to Quebec residents.

Oaken Financial Oaken Savings Account

Our pick for a no-monthly fee HISA that works well with GICs

Interest Rate
1.20%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    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. This fee-free savings account has a high interest rate, no minimum balance and works easily with Oaken GICs.

  • Product Details
    • 1.20% interest rate.
    • No monthly fees.
    • Transfer money from your account to an Oaken GIC, or transfer your GIC’s matured balances or interest payments to your savings account.
    • Automatic contributions are available.
    • Free and unlimited transactions.
    • Service fees are limited to optional costs, like a $2 paper statement (e-statements are free and made available automatically).
    • No minimum balance.
    • Access your money immediately by transferring it to a linked account or using free and unlimited e-Transfer.
    • Choose either Home Bank or Home Trust Company as the issuer for each account, both of which are members of CDIC.

LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account

Our pick for a Big Bank-backed no-fee HISA

Interest Rate
1.15%, no minimum balance required
Bonus
N/A
Monthly Fee
$0
  • Why we like it

    LBC Digital is the personal digital banking arm of Laurentian Bank of Canada and offers a HISA, a chequing account and GICs. The HISA’s 1.15% interest rate is a competitive rate for a Big Bank-backed savings account.

  • Product Details
    • 1.15% interest rate on deposits up to $500,000; a 0.30% interest rate applies to deposits above $500,000.01.
    • No monthly fee.
    • LBC Digital online banking is available via a mobile-friendly site, but there is no mobile app.
    • Free and unlimited self-service transactions.
    • Service fees are limited and listed online.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Immediate access to your money through transfers to linked accounts or by transferring money from an LBC Digital Chequing Account and using a debit card.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
  • Summary
    • Tangerine Savings Account
    • Neo Financial High-Interest Savings Account
    • Wealth ONE Bank of Canada High Interest Savings Account
    • Canada Tire Bank High Interest Savings account
    • EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
    • KOHO Spending and savings account
    • Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account
    • Oaken Financial Oaken Savings Account
    • LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account

Methodology

NerdWallet Canada selects the best high-interest savings accounts based on several criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more. Only high-interest savings accounts that are available in more than one province are considered for this list.

Honourable mentions

These HISAs also offer higher-than-average rates — all earning at least 1% interest. But unlike the accounts featured above, some of these HISAs are limited to residents of a single province. (Scroll horizontally to see more details about each HISA.)

Account NameInterest RatesMonthly FeeFree withdrawal transactions per monthRestrictions
Saven Financial
High-Interest
Savings Account
1.35%, no bonus
offer available
$0UnlimitedOnly available
to Ontario
residents.
AcceleRate Financial
AcceleRate Savings
1.10%, no bonus
offer available
$01 cheque,
point-of-sale
transaction or
electronic funds
withdrawal
Achieva
Daily Interest
Savings Account
1.10%, no bonus
offer available
$01 cheque,
direct transfer
or pre-authorized
payment
Must agree to
become a member
of Cambrian Credit
Union Limited.
Hubert
Happy Savings
High-interest
savings account
1.10%, no bonus
offer available
$0UnlimitedNot available
to Quebec residents.
Must agree to
become a credit
union member
($5 share).
Implicity Financial
High Interest
Savings
1.10%, no bonus
offer available
$0Unlimited,
but $1 for
debit card
purchases
You must become
a credit union
member ($5 share).
Peoples Bank
e-Savings
1.10%, no bonus
offer available
$0Unlimited
Outlook Financial
High Interest
Savings
1.10%, no bonus
offer available
$01 debitYou must become
a member of
Assiniboine Credit
Union ($5 share)
and have a $1
minimum deposit.
Motive Financial
Motive Savvy
Savings Account
1.10% for balances
under $5M
(0.5% for
balances over
$5M), no bonus
offer available
$02 transactionsNot available
to Quebec
residents.
Ideal Savings
High Interest
Savings Account
1.01%, no bonus
offer available
$03 Automated
Funds Transfers
MAXA Financial
High Interest
Savings Account
1%, no bonus
offer available
$01 debit itemMust become a
member of
MAXA Financial
($5 share).
Motusbank
High interest
savings account
1%, no bonus
offer available
$0Unlimited

Things to know about high-interest savings accounts

By Hannah Logan

HISA stands for “high-interest savings account.” Most banks and financial institutions in Canada offer HISAs. There are a few different types, including basic HISAs, U.S. dollar HISAs, tax-free savings account (TFSA) HISAs, and registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) HISAs.

As their name implies, HISAs offer higher interest rates than a regular savings account or chequing account. Still, high-interest savings accounts may offer a rate of return that’s lower than other investment options. Current rates for Canadian HISAs are around 1%, although you may be able to find promotional offers that provide rates closer to 2% for a limited time.

How does a HISA work?

A HISA works similarly to any other savings account. When you deposit your money into an account at a bank or other financial institution, they may lend those funds to other clients. You have access to your money at any time, and to reward you for keeping your money in the account, the bank pays you a certain rate of interest.

HISA rules

While HISAs generally earn more interest than a regular savings account, they tend to be governed by more rules and include fewer perks. For example, most HISAs won’t come with cheques or debit cards, since they’re designed for savings and not daily banking. It might take one or two days to transfer money from your HISA to another account, and you might need to pay a fee for e-transfers from your HISA account.

Rules will vary from bank to bank, so be sure to read the fine print before opening a HISA. Generally speaking, a HISA is a good place to save toward your financial goals, and you should handle your day-to-day banking through your chequing account.

HISA interest

HISA interest is usually presented as an annual percentage yield, but the interest is normally calculated daily and paid back into the account monthly. This means you’ll earn compound interest (interest on the interest) in your HISA, which is ideal for helping your savings grow faster.

For example, let’s say that you put $10,000 in your HISA with an interest rate of 1%, and then you don’t touch your account for one year. You will have earned $100.50 in interest by the end of the year, so your HISA will contain $10,100.50.

But know that interest rates are subject to change without notice, so make sure to check your account often so you know how much you’re actually earning.

» MORE: How does compound interest work?

HISA as an investment

As an investment option, a HISA presents very little risk. But that also means your rate of return is lower than what you might earn with other investments. A HISA is a good tool to have in your financial kit, but you shouldn’t rely on them alone for long-term savings goals, such as retirement.

How should I use a HISA?

A HISA is a savings vehicle and you can use it to grow your money for any number of reasons. Here are a few ideas of savings goals that might be a good match for a HISA:

» DISCOVER: How to save money in 8 easy steps

How to choose the best high-interest savings account

When choosing a HISA, first make sure you pick a reputable bank or credit union. It doesn’t have to be your usual bank, but make sure it has good reviews and is insured.

Also, think about why you’re opening the HISA. Are you saving for something in the near future, like a summer vacation, or something further away, like buying a house in five years? Make sure the account offers a level of accessibility that will meet your needs.

Next, make sure the account offers a good interest rate. It’s important to be mindful of “teaser” or “promo” rates versus regular rates. Many Canadian banks offer higher promotional rates when you first open a HISA, but those rates only last a short time (sometimes five or six months). After that, the interest rate drops, often quite significantly. An account with a high promotional rate isn’t always the best option, but if you can make a significant initial deposit or are only saving for the short term, it could still be the right choice to maximize earnings.

Other factors to consider when choosing a HISA are the terms and conditions. Is there a minimum balance requirement? Will you be charged for transactions? Is there a limit on the number of withdrawals you can make per month? Take the time to read and understand the fine print and ask questions if anything is unclear.

» MORE: How to avoid bank fees

How to open a HISA

With plenty of online-only banks to choose from, opening a HISA is quite easy and can often be done in as little as five minutes.

To open a bank account, most financial institutions require account holders to be the age of majority in your province or territory and a resident of Canada with a permanent address. Some financial institutions, like credit unions, may only offer HISAs to residents of certain provinces. For example, Quebec residents may not be eligible for all HISA offers.

You will be asked for personal information including your full name, mailing address and date of birth. Additionally, you will be required to show proof of identity and supply your social insurance number (SIN) for tax purposes. If you’re opening an account with an online bank, you will also need a personal email address.

If you need assistance or would rather open a HISA in person, you’ll need to choose a bank or financial institution that has branches. You can also usually get help from a customer service representative via phone or even online chat.

» Ready for a new bank?: Here’s how to switch to a new bank or credit union

Alternatives to high-interest savings accounts

If you have long-term savings goals, you might also consider other investment options like:

  • FAQs

    • Do I need a high-interest savings account?

      A HISA isn’t a necessity but can help you make the most of your savings. HISAs have plenty of great uses, they’re often insured, and there’s no chance of losing money This makes them a great fit for shorter-term savings goals or holding any extra money you have on hand. However, this type of account isn’t ideal for daily banking and might not be best for long-term savings goals such as retirement.

    • Are HISAs taxed?

      Yes, a HISA will be taxed annually. Every year, your bank will send you a T5 slip that shows your interest earnings. You must submit this form along with your other income when you file your taxes.

      To avoid paying taxes on your savings, look into opening a TFSA. You can actually hold a HISA in your TFSA, which might be a good choice. You can learn more about how TFSAs can help you save money tax-free.

    • Are HISAs safe?

      Your high-interest savings account is just as secure as any other type of bank account. Many Canadian banks are protected by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which protects your money — up to $100,000 per type of account — in case the bank fails. However, it’s also up to you to be cautious and protect your banking and personal information to avoid identity theft and ensure that nobody else can access your finances.

DIVE EVEN DEEPER

Common Types of Bank Accounts in Canada

There are many types of bank accounts available in Canada, but most fall into the categories of either chequing or savings accounts. Here’s how they work.

How a Credit Union Compares to a Traditional Bank

What is the benefit of a credit union over a bank? They are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that put their members first.

How Does CDIC Deposit Insurance Protect Your Money?

When member financial institutions fail, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) covers up to $100,000 per account in the form of free insurance.

How Free and No-Fee Bank Accounts Help Save You Money

Free and no-fee bank accounts make it more affordable to manage your chequing and savings.