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Published September 2, 2022

National Bank of Canada Review

Based in Montreal, the National Bank of Canada offers banking services and financial products for individuals, businesses and governments across the country.

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National Bank of Canada at a glance

The National Bank of Canada was founded in 1859 and is the country’s sixth largest commercial bank.

  • National Bank of Canada account options
    Savings
    Chequing
    Mastercard credit cards
    Investing
  • Other National Bank of Canada services
    Mortgages
    Loans and lines of credit
    Wealth management
    Small business banking
    Insurance

National Bank of Canada overview

In 1979, Bank Canadian National and The Provincial Bank merged to form The National Bank of Canada, sometimes known as NBC CA or just NBC. Today, NBC is one of the country’s largest financial institutions, with 28,000 employees and more than $370 billion in assets as of April 30, 2022.

The National Bank of Canada provides bank accounts, lending and investment products, and wealth management services to millions of individuals and businesses across the country. Although it primarily services Quebec, the National Bank of Canada has 469 branches and over 1,750 banking machines across Canada, Cambodia and the United States.

Online banking capabilities at National Bank of Canada

Like most of Canada’s major banks and credit unions, the National Bank of Canada offers a full suite of online banking services through its website (www.nbc.ca) and mobile app.

NBC customers can use the online portal and app to conduct just about any banking transaction, and enjoy access to features such as mobile cheque deposit, mobile payments and Interac e-Transfers. To log-in to the National Bank of Canada, visit its online banking portal via your desktop or mobile device. If you’re a new account customer, you may need to register your account first.

Is my money safe at National Bank of Canada?

The National Bank of Canada is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, or CDIC, providing protection of up to $100,000 of chequing, savings and other funds in the unlikely event of bankruptcy.

Furthermore, NBC says that it ensures the confidentiality and security of customers’ financial information through 128-bit encryption systems, optional SecurID passkeys, and features that block access to accounts if log-in attempts are made from an unrecognized device.

National Bank of Canada account types

National Bank of Canada saving accounts

National Bank of Canada chequing accounts

Many of the National Bank of Canada’s chequing accounts have monthly fees that vary by the age of the account holder, as well as the account balance.

  • Minimalist chequing account: Up to 12 transactions a month and free Interac e-transfers.
  • Modest chequing account: Up to 30 digital transactions and free Interac e-transfers.
  • Connected chequing account: Unlimited digital and branch transactions, and free Interac e-transfers.
  • Total chequing account: Unlimited digital and branch transactions, unlimited Interac e-Transfers, free safety deposit box rental, 100 free cheques per year, and more.
  • Newcomers: Discounted chequing and debit card services designed for immigrants.
  • Students and Youth: Discounted chequing account services for those enrolled at a post-secondary institution, or in the 0-24 age bracket (limited time offer).
  • USD Progress account: Hybrid account services for those who travel to the US or transact in US dollars. Earn modest interest with a minimum balance of $5,000.

National Bank of Canada credit cards

The National Bank of Canada offers a variety of branded Mastercard options, including:

  • World Elite Mastercard.
  • MC1 Mastercard.
  • Syncro Mastercard.
  • Allure Mastercard.
  • ECHO Cashback Mastercard.

National Bank of Canada investing accounts

Other National Bank of Canada services

  • Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs).
  • Personal loans and lines of credit.
  • Mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
  • RRSP loans and lines of credit.
  • Car loans.
  • Insurance.
  • Private wealth management.
  • Estate planning.
  • Business banking services for entrepreneurs.

National Bank of Canada fees

Banking fees can vary based on the accounts you have and how you use them. Here are some of the common fees you may encounter using the National Bank of Canada’s financial products and services:

  • Non-sufficient funds fee: $45.
  • Overdraft fee: $5 per transaction.
  • Mailed statements: $2.50 for some accounts.
  • Dormant account fee: $20 to $60.
  • Transfer funds to another financial institution: $17.00.

Who the National Bank of Canada is best for

Quebecers who want a big bank that offers a wide variety of chequing or registered account options.

The National Bank of Canada’s long history and big bank reputation mean that it can offer a wide variety of banking products to customers of all ages and financial backgrounds. If you prefer to bank in person, branches may be harder to find outside of Quebec, but if you’re comfortable with online banking, NBC’s suite of digital banking features will make it easy to deposit, transact and transfer money on the go.

Pros and cons of National Bank of Canada

There’s plenty to like about the National Bank of Canada, but no bank or credit union is without its drawbacks. Here’s what to consider before you open an account.

Pros of National Bank of Canada

  • Ability to bank online or in-person.
  • A wide variety of chequing and registered account options.
  • Discounted services available for customers of a certain age, newcomers to Canada and professionals in certain industries, such as healthcare or IT.

Cons of National Bank of Canada

  • Limited savings account options.
  • Fewer branch locations outside of Quebec.

How the National Bank of Canada compares to other big banks

 National Bank of CanadaCIBCScotiabank
Number of countries servedAt least 3GlobalMore than 30
Number of branches in CanadaOver 300Over 1,000900
Mobile app?YesYesYes
Are deposits insured?Yes, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.Yes, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.Yes, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.

National Bank of Canada frequently asked questions

    • Is the National Bank of Canada only in Quebec?

      Most of the National Bank of Canada’s customers and branch locations are concentrated in Quebec. However, the bank serves all provinces, and has foreign-exchange counters, commercial banking centres and automated banking machines in several countries around the world, including the US.

    • Is the National Bank of Canada owned by the government?

      No, despite its name, the National Bank of Canada is a privately-owned commercial bank. The Bank of Canada, a different institution, is federally controlled.

How to Open a Bank Account Online or in Person

You can open an account at a Canadian bank or credit union in person or online. You need to be aged 17 or older and have two forms of identification.

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Best RRSP Accounts and Rates in Canada for 2022

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