Best Chequing Accounts in Canada

Posted on March 30, 2021

Did you know that, out of the 99% of Canadians who have a bank account, 31% of them say that they don’t pay any service fees of any kind? Another 45% of Canadians with bank accounts reported that they pay $15 or less every month in service fees.

If you’re thinking of opening up a chequing account, then you probably want to learn about the best chequing accounts in Canada.

When you’re thinking about different chequing account options, you might be asking yourself questions such as:

“Which chequing account is best for students?”

“Which chequing account has the lowest fees?”

“Which chequing account has the best rewards?”

If you don’t have the answers to these questions, then you might not be sure about which chequing account in Canada is the best one for you. After all, the one that’s right for you will meet your needs best. But how will you choose?

We’ve put together this guide so that you can learn about the best chequing accounts in Canada. Once you learn about the different benefits that come with each, you can decide which one is best for you. Read on to learn more.

Best Bank Account for Students

Scotiabank Student Plan image

If you’re opening up a bank account and you’re a student, or you’re looking for the best chequing account in Canada for your child who is a student, then you should look no further than the Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan.

For one thing, it has no fees.

This is absolutely essential for a student who needs to save the money they earn from the side job they work at when they aren’t busy with their studies.

Additionally, with this banking plan, you can earn rewards on debit purchases. You can do this by earning your choice of Scotia Rewards or SCENE points.

The math when it comes to how these rewards programs work is simple. Basically, every time you spend $5, you get either 1 Scotia Rewards point or 1 SCENE point.

This means that anytime you spend money, you’re earning. It’s the perfect excuse for buying a coffee from your favourite cafe before class starts.

Even though the earn rate isn’t as good as it would be if you had a credit card, it’s a great way to earn with an easy-to-use, no-fee account designed specifically for students.

There’s also a welcome bonus available if you sign up before 30 April 2021. This welcome bonus is 50,000 Scotia Rewards points or SCENE points. This amount is worth around $50.

The Details

This plan is the best account in Canada for students. It includes access to a network of more than 4,000 ATMs, overdraft protection, unlimited Interac e-Transfers and debit transactions, and no monthly fee.

Note that there is only no monthly fee if you’re enrolled in a university or post-secondary institution. There are also no service charges.

In terms of extras, you have the reward points program, an option of paper or paperless statements (all free), and mobile banking apps for Apple and Android phones.

Best Chequing Account With No Fees

Simplii Checking Image

When it comes to looking for the best chequing account in Canada, one of the best options is Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account. It can involve a lot of research to find the best feeless chequing account since they are becoming more and more common.

But this account is definitely deserves its top spot. This is because they offer unlimited cheques and a tiered interest rates.

Here’s how it works. If you bank up to $5,000.01, your interest rate will be 0.15%. If you bank between $1,000.01 and $5,000, your interest rate will be 0.10%. If you bank up to $1,000, your interest rate will be 0.05%.

Note, however, that these interest rates can change without notice at any time.

You'll get free access to telephone banking, free unlimited Interac e-Transfers, and free unlimited transactions online.  Additionally, there is no minimum balance requirement.

The one thing that might give you pause is that this is not a brick-and-mortar bank. They are fully online.

However, there’s no need for you to worry about this. This is because of its association with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

In addition to making this account highly secure, this gives you access to over 3,400 CIBC ATMs in Canada.

(Note: if you’re interested in other online options, you might also want to check out the Tangerine chequing account.)

The Details

This chequing account comes with many benefits. There are no monthly fees, the number of cheques is unlimited, and the number of transactions is unlimited. Additionally, there are no service charges and Interac e-Transfers are free.

Overdraft protection is pay-per-use. There is also a mobile banking app available for both Android and Apple phones.

Best Basic Account Available From a Big Bank

Scotia Basic Graphic

If you want one of the best chequing accounts in Canada from a big traditional bank, then it’s a good idea to find one that has a great rewards plan. If you’re looking for an account with these features, then you should choose the Scotia Basic Banking Account.

With this account, you can do everything related to everyday banking. This will only cost you $3.95 a month.

There’s an extra perk that comes with this account. With many basic bank accounts, you can’t collect loyalty points. But with the Scotia Basic Bank Account, you can.

Every time you spend $1 when using your debit card, you get 1 Scotia Rewards point or 1 Scene point.

You can choose which rewards program you prefer when you sign up for the account.

(Before we move onto the details, note that the runner-up for the best basic accounts available from a big bank is the RBC Chequing Account.)

The Details

With a monthly fee of $3.95, you get 12 transactions a month. 4 of these can occur at a teller. Once you have gone over this number of transactions, you will be charged $1.25 per transaction. Additionally, you get 2 free Interac e-Transfers every month.

However, there are many service charges with this account. Any Interac withdrawals cost you $1.25.

There are some extras available, too. There are mobile apps available on Android and Apple phones. You also get statements for free, available in paper and paperless options.

There are also merchandise and travel rewards available through the Scotia Rewards program, as well as entertainment rewards available through the SCENE rewards program.

Best Chequing Account for Rewards

 PC Money Account Graphic

If you value getting rewards, then the best chequing account for you is the PC Money Account. This account, which you get through the President’s Choice Bank, has no fees. You get free monthly bill payments, PC ATM withdrawals, PC ATM deposits,  point-of-purchase debit transactions, and Interac e-Transfers.

There is a drawback, however. They don’t provide you with cheques. The only option you have is to send money with an e-Transfer.

The Rewards

Anytime you spend, you earn rewards. It works like this. Whenever you make a transaction with your Money Account card, you earn PC Optimum points. These points are both valuable and easy to redeem.

As for the Money Account card, this is a prepaid card. Once you’ve put money on it, you can use it the way you would use any debit card.

Any time you use this card to make a purchase at Shoppers Drug Mart, you get 25 points for every dollar you spend. This essentially means you get 2.5% in savings.

When you sign up, there’s also a bonus. It can be up to 50,000 points. This is worth $50 you can spend on merchandise.

You can use these points for gas purchases, drug store purchases, and grocery store purchases.

They’ll also count toward purchases at Loblaw Companies stores as well as partners. These partners include the Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

As you can see, with so many options on where to spend, this is the best rewards program account covered in this article.

Once you’ve reached 10,000 points, you can redeem them. This amount of points has a worth of $10. You’ll quickly reach this amount of points when using your Money Account card.

You can use this card anywhere where Mastercard is accepted. For this reason, you can use this debit card instead of a rewards-based credit card.

The Details

There is no monthly fee for this account. However, there is a $20 inactivity charge, so make sure you use this account at least once annually. In terms of transactions and Interact e-transfers, these are unlimited.

There are some service charges. You are charged $40 if you don’t have sufficient funds in the account. Cancelled e-Transfers will cost you $3.50, and ATM withdrawals outside of the PC network will cost you $1.50.

Best Account Available With an Online-Only Bank

If you want to set up an account with an online-only bank, you should use the Motive Chequing Account. Transactions are unlimited and free. There also aren’t any daily banking fees and you’ll have access to more than 3,600 ATMs within the Exchange Network.

There is also an interest rate that is higher than average. This interest rate is 0.6%. Additionally, you’ll receive a physical debit card.

The Details

There is no monthly fee with the Motive Chequing Account. As for the number of transactions you can use, these are unlimited, except when it comes to e-Transfers. In terms of Interac e-Transfer costs, you will be charged $1 to send them.

However, receiving them is free. There are quite a few extras that come with this account.

They include 50 cheques and free ATM withdrawals, as long as these ATMs are within the Exchange Network.

However, any ATM withdrawals made outside of the Exchange Network will cost you $1.50.

The Best Chequing Accounts in Canada and Choosing One For You

Now that you’ve learned about the best chequing accounts in Canada, it's up to you to choose the right one for you. Maybe you enjoy the benefits of one, the low (or nonexistent) fees of another, and the rewards of yet another.

If you're looking for insurance products, as a leading financial comparison platform we are able to provide you with the best and most affordable quotes on the market. Visit us today, select your product, and allow one of our expert advisors do the heavy lifting for you.  It’s that easy!  We look forward to working with you.

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