Digital banks have increased in popularity over recent years. The lack of overhead costs allows digital banks to pass on their saving to the customer, resulting in lower fees and increased saving rates.
If you've considered switching to a digital bank, then you've no doubt heard of EQ Bank's Savings Plus Account, as it is a very popular choice among Canadians. Even though you might've heard of its benefits, you may be still weighing your options.
That’s why we’ve put together this review. Once you know everything you need about this EQ Bank account, you can decide if you'd like to bank with them.
About EQ Bank
EQ Bank, founded in 2016, is a digital bank that was created by the larger banking institution Equitable Bank. Because Equitable Bank has been around for over 50 years, when you open an EQ Bank account, you get the best of both worlds: a modern, digital banking option that’s backed up by a reliable, well-known and trusted financial institution.
As for what they offer, EQ Bank is a fully digital banking solution that has high-interest rates and great customer service.
The Perks of EQ Bank's Savings Plus Account
There are some great perks that come with opening the Savings Plus Account. These include free electronic funds transfers, zero everyday banking fees, and free Interac e-transfers.
Additionally, you get an everyday high-interest rate of 1.50% for funds in the account, free EQ to EQ transfers, free bill payments, a zero minimum balance, and cheap international money transfers.
If you’re looking for a modern digital banking solution, EQ Bank is a great choice.
Is EQ Bank Safe?
It absolutely is. This is because it’s backed by a well-known banking institution Canadians have been using for over 50 years.
Additionally, EQ Bank meets all of the safety standards and requirements expected by customers and Canadian financial regulators alike. They have security features such as web protection, mobile protection, and 2-Factor Authentication.
If you’re nervous about digital banking and having all your money online, these security features should reassure you that this modern banking solution is safe.
Furthermore, any deposit that’s $100,000 or less is ensured by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
Savings Plus Account has no everyday banking fees. Yep, for real. Let's look at some other perks as well:
- 1.50% everyday interest rate
- Interest rates are not tiered
- No minimum balance
- Day-to-day transactions are free
Note that, the everyday interest rate is calculated daily using the total closing balance and paid out monthly. However, since interest rates are dependent of the larger economy and other micro-factors, they may be subject to change without notice.
Flexibility of a Chequing Account (and More)
The reason EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is such a great choice is because it is a savings account with the flexibility of a chequing account. You can use it to make transactions without paying fees while earning interest. It’s the best of both worlds.
With EQ Bank's user-friendly app and website you easily can download statements, carry out transfers, pay your bills, and access your money at any time.
EQ Bank has a partnership with TransferWise. As a result, international transfers are up to 8 times cheaper than they usually are with other banks. EQ Bank provides transparent money transfers, always giving you all the information you need about exchange rates and fees.
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account also offers a budget tracking service which encourages you to save more.
There're no fees. You will only pay a low fee is you require an International Money Transfers.
The downside is that the account doesn’t come with a debit card. However, you can easily transfer money from this account to one that does have a debit card, which simplifies things.
EQ Bank TFSA Account
EQ Bank also offers a TFSA account with an increased savings rate of 2.30%. To open this registered account, you will first need to open the Savings Plus Account. To find out more about Tax Free Savings Accounts, have a look at our blog post explaining TFSAs and RRSPs in detail.
EQ Bank’s GICs
EQ Bank also offers guaranteed investment certificates, also called GICs. It is a type of very low risk investment, often even considered risk free. There are several GIC's offered, check out their rates for yourself here.
There are some limits, however. You can open up to 20 GICs with EQ Bank and the total amount you can invest in GICs is $500,000. The limit per GIC is $100,000.
Setting up an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
Setting up an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is a simple process. First, you have to ensure that you are the age of majority or older in your province, have a Social Insurance Number (SIN), and are a Canadian resident.
When signing up, you need to provide the bank with an ID that’s government-issued. This could be your permanent residence card, passport, or driver’s license.
You will also need to provide your address if it doesn’t appear on your ID. To do this, you can provide an income tax assessment or a recent utility bill.
While you sign up, you will go through a credit check. However, this is a “soft” version, which means your credit won’t be affected by the check.
Once you have submitted your documents and have gone through the “soft” credit check, you should be ready to go. Because it’s all online, it’s a simple process. However, keep in mind that the EQ Bank Savings Plus account is not available if you are a resident of Quebec.