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Published August 10, 2022

Canada’s 11 Best Online Savings Accounts for 2022

Online savings accounts offered by virtual banks have competitive interest rates and low or no fees.

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 high-interest TFSAs | Best savings accounts

Online savings accounts are online bank accounts that earn interest, offered by virtual banks and online-only financial institutions in Canada. Account-holders manage and access their money through digital banking, mobile apps and by phone.

» MORE: Things to know about online savings accounts

The best online savings accounts in Canada

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

Neo Money Account

  • Interest Rate
    2.25%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • Neo offers a digital-first banking experience and a fee-free account with one of the highest interest rates available in Canada.
    • Pair this account with the Neo Card to earn an average 5%+ unlimited cash back at thousands of local and national Neo partners.
  • Product Details
    • One account to spend, save and earn 2.25% interest.
    • No fees, 2.25% interest rate as of August 10, 2022 (not a promotional rate; Savings interest rate is calculated daily on the closing balance and paid monthly).
    • Earn up to 225x more than at traditional banks (0.05% is the rate at most banks for high interest savings accounts, with 0% on most daily everyday chequing accounts - unlimited transaction accounts are typically $29.99 per month, whereas Neo is free).
    • Make bill payments, send and receive Interac e-Transfers®, and make bank to bank transfers to and from existing bank account - all with no monthly fees or minimum balances and unlimited free transactions.
    • Available Canada-wide (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 Money Account is eligible for CDIC deposit protection, and provided by Concentra Bank, a CDIC member institution. Deposits held in Neo Money Accounts are combined with eligible deposits held at Concentra Bank, for up to $100,000 of deposit protection, per category, per depositor.
Our pick for a fee-free and flexible hybrid savings account

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.65%*
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is the digital-first bank’s flexible hybrid chequing and savings account. It features a high interest rate, no monthly fees, and free and unlimited transfers.
    • The bank also offers joint accounts, US dollar accounts, TFSAs, RRSPs, and GICs.
  • Product Details
    • 1.65% interest rate*.
    • No monthly fee.
    • This hybrid account gives you the benefits of savings with the flexibility of chequing.
    • Mobile Cheque Deposit is available through the EQ Bank mobile app.
    • Zero monthly banking fees.
    • No transaction or service fees. EQ Bank does not charge account fees, fees for sending or receiving Interac e-Transfers®, fees for bill payments, overdraft fees, or dormant account fees.
    • No minimum balance, but a $200,000 maximum balance.
    • Access your money immediately through the mobile app and online banking website, where you can deposit or transfer funds using Interac e-Transfers® or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to linked accounts.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • EQ Bank is not available to Quebec residents.
    • *Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
Our pick for a no-fee HISA that is TFSA, RRSP and RESP eligible

Achieva Financial HISA

  • Interest Rate
    2.40%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This no-fee HISA is eligible for TFSA, RRSP and RESP savings plans.
    • Achieva Financial is an online division of Manitoba’s Cambrian Credit Union and offers savings accounts, GICS, TFSAs, Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), and Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).
  • Product Details
    • 2.40% interest rate.
    • 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.
    • Get paid $1 per month when you choose electronic documents.
    • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Free deposits and one free cheque, direct transfer or pre-authorized payment every month.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • No minimum balance is required.
    • Immediate access to your money through Interac® ATM withdrawals, PADs, cheques, transfers to linked accounts, and more.
    • Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
Our pick for a no-fee online HISA with unlimited transactions

Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account

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

    • This online-only HISA has no monthly fees, offers unlimited transactions, and is eligible for TFSA savings plans.
    • Alterna Bank is a virtual bank that also offers home buying, investing and business services.
  • Product Details
    • 1.50% interest rate.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Manage your money online or through a mobile app.
    • Deposit cheques using your smartphone or tablet with Deposit Anywhere™.
    • Access to registered plans, term deposits, investing and more.
    • Free, unlimited bill payments, transfers, PADs, and Interac® e-Transfers.
    • Service fees are listed online.
    • No minimum balance, but there is a $250,000 maximum balance.
    • Immediate access to your money through withdrawals, Interac® ATM withdrawals, transfers to linked accounts, and more.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
Our pick for an uncomplicated fee-free HISA

Canadian Tire High Interest Savings® Account

  • Interest Rate
    2.40%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    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.
    • This account 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
    • 2.40% 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.
Our pick for a no-fee HISA from a savings-focused online bank

Hubert Financial Happy High-Interest Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    2.60%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This stripped-down virtual bank offers this high-interest savings account as well as term deposits, registered plans, a credit card and VirtualWealth investing.
    • Hubert Financial is the online division of Sunova Credit Union.
  • Product Details
    • 2.60% interest rate.
    • 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.
    • Manage your money through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Access to registered plans, term deposits, investing and more.
    • 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.
    • Immediate access to your money through transfers to linked accounts. Eligible for Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba deposit insurance.
    • Hubert Financial is not available to Quebec residents.
Our pick for a Big Bank-backed no-fee HISA

LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    1.15%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This HISA’s 1.15% interest rate is a competitive rate for a Big Bank-backed savings account.
    • LBC Digital is the personal digital banking arm of Laurentian Bank of Canada and offers a HISA, a chequing account and GICs.
  • 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.
Our pick for no-fee online HISA with free and unlimited transactions

motusbank High Interest Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    3.30%
    Promotional rate
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This online HISA with a debit card and a lot of flexibility. Use online banking and a mobile app for price-match and Auto-Save features and to manage bill payments, direct deposits, and more.
    • In addition to chequing and savings accounts, motusbank offers mortgages, registered plans, GICs, investing, and a home equity line of credit loan. motusbank is the subsidiary of Meridian Credit Union.
  • Product Details
    • Eligible motusbank members who open a new High Interest Savings Account can earn 3.0% interest for 122 days. Full promotional offer details are listed online.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Manage your money through online banking and a mobile app.
    • Free, unlimited use of the Price Drop feature, a price-matching tool that may reimburse you if it finds a lower price for something you purchased.
    • motusbank account holders have access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE® Network in Canada and the Allpoint Network in the US
    • No transaction fees and unlimited debit purchases and withdrawals.
    • Service fees are limited and listed online; fees include and include $1.25 to send an Interac e-Transfer®.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Immediate access to your money through ATM withdrawals, transfers to linked accounts, and more.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
Our pick for a no-monthly fee HISA that works well with GICs

Oaken Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    2.25%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This fee-free savings account has a high interest rate, no minimum balance and works easily with Oaken GICs.
    • 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
    • 2.25% 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.
Our pick for a flexible no-fee online HISA with a strong interest rate

Wyth High Interest Savings Account

  • Interest Rate
    2.25%
    No minimum balance required
  • Bonus Offer
    N/A
  • Monthly Fee
    $0
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    • This flexible no-fee online HISA comes with the ability to make deposits and withdrawals.
    • Wyth Financial is a trade name of Concentra Bank and also offers GICs, mortgage solutions and more.
  • Product Details
    • 2.25% interest rate on balances up to $150,000.
    • No monthly fee.
    • Eligible for Autodeposit for funds received via Interac e-Transfer®.
    • Easily transfer funds to a GIC.
    • One free Interac e-Transfer® per month, and free transfers for withdrawals and deposits to your external linked account.
    • Service fees are limited and listed online.
    • No minimum balance.
    • Immediate access to your money through Interac e-Transfer®, transfers to linked accounts, and more.
    • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
    • This account is not available to Quebec residents.
Back to Top
  • Summary
    • EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
    • Neo Money Account
    • Achieva Financial HISA
    • Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account
    • Canada Tire High Interest Savings® account
    • Hubert Financial Happy High-Interest Savings Account
    • Implicity Financial High Interest Savings
    • LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account
    • motusbank High Interest Savings Account
    • Oaken Financial Savings Account
    • Wyth High Interest Savings Account

Methodology

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

Things to know about online savings accounts

By Barry Choi

Opening a savings account online is nothing new since many traditional financial institutions offer digital banking. But online-only banks are far from traditional, and the savings accounts they offer are different in some important ways. Understanding the difference matters since it can mean more money in your account.

What is an online savings account?

When Canadians talk about online savings accounts, they’re usually referring to savings accounts offered by online-only banks. These virtual banks were introduced to the Canadian market more than two decades ago and were appealing due to the high interest rates that they offered.

These days, there are more digital banks in Canada and interest rates have dropped, but the debate about which online savings account is the best continues.

Basically, an online savings account is just a bank account that you can only access digitally. As in, the bank has no physical branches. Almost all transactions and customer service requests are done online or by phone.

The appeal of online savings accounts is the much lower fees (usually no fees). Since there are fewer overhead costs for these banks, the savings are passed on to consumers in the form of higher interest rates and fewer fees.

» LEARN: How free and no-fee bank accounts can help save you money

Types of online savings accounts

The types of online savings accounts available will depend on which financial institution you’re using. Generally speaking, the following are the most common types of accounts:

» DISCOVER: How to make a joint bank account work for you

What to expect from online savings accounts

Interest rates

Online savings account interest rates can fluctuate quite a bit as they’re tied to the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate. In the last few years, interest rates for most online bank accounts have fluctuated between 1% to 3%. While that may not seem like a high interest rate, it’s significantly higher than the standard rate offered by bricks-and-mortar savings accounts.

Online savings accounts may offer an even higher promotional interest rate for certain customers, which will be applied for a limited time.

The interest you earn is usually presented as an annual percentage yield, but the interest is usually calculated daily and paid back into the account monthly. This compounding interest will help your savings grow faster.

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

» MORE: How does compound interest work?

What you get with an online-only bank account

The features offered by your online-only bank will differ depending on where you have things set up, but it’s common to see the following:

  • No monthly fees.
  • No minimum balance requirement.
  • Free bill payments.
  • Free electronic fund transfers.
  • International transfers.
  • The ability to direct deposit.
  • The ability to link your account to a bricks-and-mortar account.

Note that not all of these features may be available with an online savings account. But some digital banks also offer chequing accounts, physical cheques, guaranteed investment certificates, credit cards, and debit cards.

What you don’t get with an online-only bank account

Since digital banks operate almost exclusively online, you likely won’t get anything that would normally happen in-person at a bricks-and-mortar location such as:

  • Face-to-face customer service.
  • Immediate access to cash if you don’t have a debit card.
  • Immediate access to bank drafts.
  • A safety deposit box.
  • Access to investment advisors.
  • Access to a wide range of banking services.
  • Currency exchange services.

Examples of online-only financial institutions

When looking for the best online savings accounts, you’ll get a lot of choices in Canada. Some of the most popular online-only financial institutions include:

  • Alterna Bank
  • Canadian Tire Financial
  • EQ Bank
  • KOHO
  • LBC Digital
  • Motive Financial
  • motusbank
  • Neo
  • Oaken Financial
  • PC Financial
  • Simplii Financial
  • Tangerine

Online-only banks offer similar services and interest rates, but specific features vary. The main point is that they usually pay more interest than brick-and-mortar banks.

Online-only banks that are a division of a traditional bank

What some people may not realize is that many traditional banks own online-only banks. For example:

  • Scotiabank owns Tangerine
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce owns Simplii Financial
  • Median Credit Union owns Motusbank
  • Home Trust owns Oaken Financial
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada owns LBC Digital

Even though a major financial institutions own digital banks, they operate as separate entities. That said, they do share resources at times. For example, if you’re a Tangerine customer, you can use Scotiabank ATMs to access cash immediately. However, you wouldn’t be able to walk into a Scotiabank branch to get customer service.

While it may seem odd for traditional banks to also own online-only banks, it’s a smart move. Online banks have built up a huge customer base over the years. Many of these people use online banks exclusively. By acquiring or creating an online bank, traditional banks get access to these customers. They can send them targeted offers or create new products based on collected data.

» Ready for a new bank?: Here’s how to make the switch

How to choose an online savings account

Choosing the best online savings account can be difficult since they can share many similarities. That said, there are a few things to look out for:

  • The interest rate. Generally speaking, most people will sign up for whichever online savings account offers the best interest rate. They’re also not afraid to transfer their money to another bank if there’s a better offer.
  • Bonus offer interest rate. Some online-only banks offer a higher interest rate during a promotional period.
  • Debit card availability. Some customers prefer to go with an online bank that gives you a debit card so you can access cash from an ATM as you need it.
  • Brand name and reliability. Although all online banks are safe and secure with some sort of deposit insurance, some people will prefer to use an online-only bank that’s owned by a bricks-and-mortar financial institution.
  • Referral bonus. Some online savings account providers may give you a bonus when you sign up with a referral link. You could then refer your friends where you’d both get a bonus.

How to open an online savings account

Opening an online savings account is easy. You just need to meet the following eligibility requirements before you get started:

  • You must be a Canadian resident.
  • You must be the age of majority in the province or territory where you reside.
  • You must have a Social Insurance Number.

Some online banks will also ask you to verify your identity by providing an image of your government-issued ID.

With all of that in hand, you would go to the website of the online bank you want to join to set up your accounts. Note that it could take a few days to verify all of your information. It also takes a few days if you’re going to link any external bank accounts to your new online bank account.

» Keep your information safe: How to avoid identity theft 

How to use an online savings account

How you use your online savings account will depend on your personal preferences. Some people will choose to maintain just one account, while others may open up multiple savings accounts — within the same bank or at different banks. They might have different accounts for a home down payment, vacations, and an emergency fund, for example.

If you need to withdraw funds from your online savings account, or move it between bank accounts, it should be fairly easy to do via the website or app, just make sure you’re aware of any transaction limits or fees that may be charged.

» Make the most of what you earn: How to save money in 8 easy steps

  • FAQs

    • Are online savings accounts worth it?

      Online savings accounts pay more interest compared to brick-and-mortar savings accounts. Plus, online banks typically charge no fees, so there’s no reason not to sign up. Think of online banks as a complement to your existing bank account. In some cases, it could be a suitable replacement.

    • What’s the difference between online savings accounts and brick-and-mortar savings accounts?

      When referring to an online savings account or high interest savings accounts, most Canadians will associate them with virtual banks.

      Savings accounts available at brick-and-mortar financial institutions are just another type of bank account available to you.

    • How does online-only banking work?

      Online-only banking is very similar to an online banking account with a bricks-and-mortar financial institution. The major difference is that online-only banks have no physical branches, though some online-only banks may have a few physical offices.

      Online-only banking still allows you to accept direct deposits, pay bills, and transfer funds. You just need to do it online on your computer or via a mobile device.

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.

Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada for 2022

Compare top interest rates and discover the best no-fee high-interest savings accounts (HISAs) in Canada.