The Best Banks in Canada for 2021
Generally speaking, banks offer the same products...right? Well, that might seem to be the case to the naked eye, but if we all take a closer look at what most major banks have to offer Canadians, it more often than not reveals that we're not getting that much out of our banking institution.
That's why we're counting down the best banks in Canada, with options including no-fee online banks to Canada's big-league banking institutions.
Do you think that your bank will make the cut? There’s only one way to find out. Learn more about the best banks in Canada for 2021 below.
Table of Contents
The Best Major Banks and Online Banks in Canada for 2021
Canada has a fruitful variety of banking options, with the most well-known banking institutions referred to as Canada's "Big Five." These five are Scotiabank, CIBC, RBC, TD, and BMO.
Additionally, Canadians have access to a humble selection of online banks and neobanks to choose from, which typically tend to offer more customer-focused products.
Below, we'll explore the best traditional banks and online banks available in Canada for 2021.
1. Best Bank in Canada: Tangerine Bank
While this bank may operate entirely online, Tangerine offers products that make banking a breeze. That's why Tangerie's our choice for the best bank in Canada.
Tangerine holds the distinction of being Canada’s first branchless (direct) bank when founded as ING Direct back in 1997. It came into prominence as Tangerine after Scotiabank purchased ING Direct in 2012.
Tangerine combines the best aspects of online banking with the best parts of terrestrial banking. While Tangerine does not offer branches, customers can use Scotiabank ATMs to complete most of their immediate banking needs. Otherwise, customers can use online, mobile, or telephone banking to fulfill their needs.
That said, online reviews of their customer service by phone and online have been mixed and can very much lack a full-service or thorough quality for less knowledgeable clients. Of course, it helps if you're proficient at technology and can navigate online financial services mostly independently.
Tangerine's staple product is the Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account. It comes with unlimited transactions, unlimited free e-transfers, and unlimited bill payments. It also does not charge any monthly fees or require minimum balances.
Tangerine also offers a variety of savings accounts, both registered and non-registered.
Accounts offered by Tangerine include the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and the Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Rates usually sit at an underwhelming 0.10%* but typically offer a promotional rate of 2.10%* for new accounts.
Additional Tangerine products include Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), business accounts, mortgages, lines of credit options, mutual funds, and loans.
Tangerine is the perfect bank for people who want to be in complete control when managing their finances while keeping all of their services under one hood.
Tangerine is available to all Canadian residents, including Quebec.*Rates current as of August 2021
2. Best Major Bank in Canada: Scotiabank
Founded in 1832 as The Bank of Nova Scotia, Scotiabank is Canada’s third-largest bank and, as far as market capitalization, is the only one of Canada’s “Big Five Banks” to make this list. That’s because it is one of the best banks in Canada.
If you’re looking to do all of your banking in one place and want to earn attractive rewards, Scotiabank is that bank.
When it comes to chequing accounts, Scotiabank offers various chequing account options, ranging from $0* per month to $30.95* per month.
These chequing account packages include:
- Basic Bank Account ($3.95*)
- Basic Plus Bank Account ($0* to $11.95*)
- Preferred Package ($0 to $16.95*)
- Ultimate Package ($0 to $30.95*)
- Getting There Savings Program for Youth ($0*)
- Student Banking Advantage Plan ($0*)
Additionally, Scotiabank offers various savings accounts, including registered and non-registered savings accounts, with interest rates up to 1.80%*. While this rate is among Canada's highest, it is tiered and comes with terms and conditions.
Additional products with Scotiabank include GICs, plenty of credit card options, loans, lines of credit, a robo-advisor, and an online brokerage.
Scotiabank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).*Rates current as of August 2021
3. Best Bank in Canada for Interest Rates: EQ Bank
The "EQ" in EQ Bank stands for Equitable, as in Equitable Bank. Equitable Bank is Canada's 9th largest independent bank, and EQ Bank is their direct-to-consumer online bank.
Founded in 1970, Equitable Bank primarily offers Canadians mortgage borrowing options, commercial lending, as well as deposit services in commercial and residential real estate.
In 2016, Equitable Bank launched EQ bank as a completely branchless, online-only personal banking.
EQ Bank makes this list primarily due to its uncompromising flexibility and unflinching interest rates.
EQ Bank's staple product is its flagship Savings Plus Account, which holds one of the highest interest rates in Canada at 1.25%* and is currently the best high-interest savings account in Canada. That's not a promo rate, but their everyday banking rate.
Like other direct banks, EQ Bank charges no fees, requires no minimum balance, and provides unlimited Interac e-Transfers. It also features mobile cheque deposits and direct deposit.
While EQ Bank does not offer a chequing account, debit cards, or nor is it mobile wallet enabled, the Savings Plus Account is best suited for saving.
EQ Bank recently introduced a TFSA and an RRSP savings accounts, both of which come with an interest rate of 1.25%*.
Additional EQ Bank products include GICs, which also come with the best GIC rates in Canada, as well as international money transfers, powered by TransferWise, and mortgage borrowing options.*Rates current as of August 2021
4. Best Online Bank in Canada: Simplii Financial
Simplii Financial is remarkably like Tangerine, except it’s even more straightforward. It’s the perfect bank if you want all of your banking in one place but don't want to pay any fees - ever.
Simplii is a digital bank owned and operated by CIBC. It operates entirely online, with no Simplii Financial dedicated branches. However, customers can use any CIBC ATMs at no cost or take advantage of online banking.
Forbes magazine also praised Simplii Financial in its selection of the World's Best Banks.
Simplii Financial's No-Fee Chequing Account comes with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. It also provides unlimited transactions, Interac e-Transfers, withdrawals, and deposits.
Simplii Financial offers registered savings accounts and non-registered savings accounts, all of which come with the lackluster but fairly average rate of 0.10%* across all accounts.
Finally, Simplii Financial offers various products, such as mortgages, mutual funds, GICs, loans, personal lines of credit options, and mortgages.
It also offers a Visa credit card, which is one of the best credit cards in Canada.
Simplii sounds quite similar to Tangerine, doesn't it? Learn more about how the two digital banks compare in our Simplii vs. Tangerine comparison article.*Rates current as of August 2021
5. Best Bank in Canada for Grocery Rewards: PC Money Account
There’s one main reason to open a PC Money Account: free groceries.
Okay, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. PC stands for President’s Choice, a legendary name in Canadian grocery stores. It is responsible for such household names, including Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No-Frills, Provigo, Zehrs, and many more.
The PC Money Account is a free online bank account that offers a hybrid bank account combining a chequing and savings account with a pre-paid credit card and a rewards card. This all comes with no fees, no minimum balance requirements, unlimited transactions, and unlimited e-Transfers.
PC Money Account holders can collect and redeem PC Points towards free groceries with every purchase, whether or not they make purchases at Loblaws affiliated stores.
A major drawback is their minimal ATMs, which are only available in Loblaws stores.
If you don’t shop at any Loblaws brand stores, this isn’t the bank for you.
But, if you are the type to frequent Loblaws stores, there are many sign-up promotions available to those who are proud Loblaws patrons.
Open a PC Money Account, and you’ll get 10 PC Optimum* points for every dollar you spend everywhere you shop and no fees on account transactions.
Plus, you’ll receive 10 points* for every dollar spent at Loblaws stores in-store and online and 25 points* for every dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Meanwhile, you can get up to 50,000 PC Optimum points* (a $50* value) when you link another bank account, 10,000 PC Optimum points* set up direct payroll deposit, 25,000 PC Optimum points* when you make your first $50* transaction, and 10,000* PC Optimum points* when you make five recurring bill payments.*Rates current as of August 2021
How to Choose the Right Bank
Choosing a bank may seem like an overwhelming process. After all, there are so many options available to Canadians.
Here's a quick guide on how to choose a bank account, with a few pointers on what to look out for during the shopping process.
Monthly fees are a great indicator of what will come with an account. If it's from a major bank, you are almost always guaranteed to pay a monthly fee and constraints on the account. However, online banks offer an alternative to high fees with limitless free accounts. Consider whether paying a monthly fee is worth the additional perks of things like in-person customer service or branches.
2. Bank Features
Account features act as a significant component when choosing a bank account. Choosing the wrong one can lead to a high tab of unnecessary fees.
Be sure to look out for account features such as limits, transactions, and promotions. If the account comes with a monthly fee, see if you can maintain a minimum balance to waive monthly fees.
Accessibility is important when choosing a bank account. You'll likely want to choose a bank account that provides online and mobile app access if you do a majority of your banking online. If you find yourself withdrawing or depositing cash often, you'll likely want to choose a bank close to places you frequent to avoid paying fees.
Our Final Thoughts
Canadians are lucky enough to have a wide selection of great banks, some of which are world-renowned. When choosing a bank, make sure it's the right fit for you before signing on the dotted line. After all, a bank should serve you, and not the other way around!
Frequently Asked Questions
As you may have guessed, traditional banks operate in branches and online banks operate entirely online.
Canada's "Big Five" banks include BMO, TD, CIBC, RBC, and Scotiabank. Sometimes, Canada's major banks are referred to as the "Big Six", which includes National Bank.
Most, if not all, of Canada's banks are members of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
CDIC members include all of the banks listed above. Additionally, banks that are members come with up to $100,000 of insurance per chequing and savings accounts, along with GICs and other types of savings and investing instruments.
Best Pet Insurance Canada: Your Furry Friends
With the rise of pet ownership over the past few years, the animal healthcare industry is booming, to say the least. After all, as pet owners, there’s nothing more important than finding the best way to take care of our companions.
It is very common for owners to buy their pets quality items, such as organic foods, collars, or even toys, and proper healthcare is just as important. In a world where pets offer a bonded undying love, it is hard to imagine life without them.
This Wealth Rocket article covers the best pet insurance in Canada, with various options from insurance companies, in addition to basic information on how pet insurance works.
Table of Contents
The Best Pet Insurance Companies in Canada
Canada provides pet lovers with quite the selection of pet insurance options. Below, we’ve included the best pet insurance companies, with options to help you find a policy that works for you and your furry friend.
Voted one of Canada’s top pet insurance companies, Trupanion prides itself on its simple pet insurance plans, designed to help all pet owners feel at ease.
Offering only one comprehensive plan, Trupanion’s attention to detail cannot be more reasonable. It formulates insurance plans according to your pet’s breed and age. The pet insurance provider offers a consistent lifetime monthly fee structure with no unexpected rate changes.
Birthdates do not affect the monthly premium, nor do rates rise each year. Pets between the ages of 8 weeks and 14 years old are eligible to reap the amazing benefits offered.
When enrolling your pet, it is important to keep in mind that there is a waiting period of five days before covering injuries and 30 days for illnesses.
Another way that Trupanion stands out is with its willingness to cover some alternative treatment methods, such as acupuncture for pre-existing conditions, both congenital or hereditary conditions, such as hip dysplasia.
Deductibles are handled slightly differently with Trupanion. For one, coverage deductibles are paid once per condition, meaning eligible claims come with lifetime coverage.
Ideally, for persistent health issues, like allergies, the company works directly with the veterinary clinic, reimbursing fees at 90% with no payout limit. Your dog or cat is safe with Trupanion.
Animal and veterinary care costs can pile up. Luckily, the employees at Petsecure understand that anxious feeling when your pet has been affected by an unexpected illness or accidental injury.
As one of Canada’s oldest and most established pet healthcare insurers, Petsecure offers the best security options available. They are also underwritten by Petline Insurance Company
This Canadian owned company employs 150 people, composed of pet owners and bilingual experts ready and willing to help every step of the way. With four policies to choose from, pets are eligible at merely eight weeks old.
Coverage plans range from $1,000 per illness or accident to complete protection, depending on the chosen policy.
The allotted waiting period is 48 hours for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and six months for dental coverage.
Petsecure promises to reimburse 80% for medical treatments. The additional wellness package may seem expensive, but based on Canadian veterinarian costs for dental, vaccinations, and flea control procedures, it is fairly reasonable. The pet insurance company also offers a loyalty-like program that promises a multi-pet discount.
3. Healthy Paws
Voted one of Canada’s top-rated insurers for the last decade, Healthy Paws has a track record of paying out 99% of processed claims in just two business days.
With a one plan program, this company only has a pet’s healthcare in mind.
Healthy Paws’ affordable policy fees start as little as $15 per month while covering up to 90% of vet bills and, unlike many pet insurance companies, have no maximum limits on claim payouts.
Healthy Paws has an award-winning customer service team ready to explain how their pre-condition deductibles can last a lifetime. Members can rest assured, as their customer services are among the most lauded among Canadian pet owners.
Healthy Paws strives to reduce as much stress as possible, and processes claim easily through their website or through their mobile app with real-time tracking.
The commitment does not stop there. Healthy Paws proudly offers medical attention to homeless pets.
With every free quote requested, a donation to Healthy Paws’ charity Every Quote Gives Hope™ is donated. Proceeds go towards pet adoption organizations that largely provide life-saving vaccines, spay or neuter surgeries, as well as advanced treatments for medical conditions.
A loyalty all animal lovers can stand behind.
4. Pet Plus Us
Pet owners all know it is not always easy raising their furry best friend.
Pet Plus Us tries to embrace that community, helping Canadians across each province and territory with the struggles and pleasures that come with pet ownership.
With two insurance policies to choose from, this company offers both include having accidents covered. However, only one offers insurance potential future illness.
Along with the age-based deductible, coverage is flexible to ensure the services are affordable to all pet parents, with reimbursements ranging from 70% to 90%.
On top of helping with our animals, Pet Plus Us places a focus on the human side of pet healthcare.
Decisions regarding our four-legged friends can feel daunting and scary. Fortunately, human counseling is one of the many perks.
Sometimes all it takes is a sounding board, a newsletter, or some research in their pet information library. Regardless, a community of pet-loving human individuals is waiting to help support your animal-friendly journey.
What is pet health insurance?
Quite similar to life, auto, and home insurance, pet insurance is insurance for pets. It’s really that simple!
Pet insurance helps pet owners cover the costs of unexpected expenses with their pets. These expenses typically cover the costs of veterinary bills but can include other unforeseeable expenses.
Typically, the pet owner makes a small payment to the insurance firm. This payment is known as a premium and acts as coverage to reduce many future veterinary costs throughout their pet’s life.
Pet insurance can help greatly lower or eliminate having to pay hefty lump sums if your pet experiences a sudden or unexpected illness or injury.
How does pet health insurance work
Easy, start with the basics! Pet insurance companies offer competitive monthly plans called policies.
Policies are options that provide coverage. These coverage fees will vary depending on your pet’s gender, age, and species, and will offer different degrees of financial protection depending on your pet’s specific circumstances.
Some pets, especially older pets or rescues, require a checkup to validate their health, or a waiting period will apply between signing up and beginning of coverage. Next, there are deductibles.
To put it simply, a coverage deductible, or a small portion of the veterinary bill, is the pet owner’s responsible for covering. An annual deductible is what the insurance owner pays the insurance company every year.
Instead of being responsible for the entire sum of the invoice, insurance companies will take care of the larger portion. Note that regular checkups are not covered simply because the coverage deductible may be a larger sum than the vet’s visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pet insurance companies in Canada usually cover traditional pets, such as cats and dogs. Owning a fish is a great alternative to furry four-legged friends, but insurance for an aquatic animal is not something all companies provide.
Although it is impossible to find insurance coverage from fins to gills, all exotic animals require specific insurance not offered by many companies.
Pet insurance costs across Canada depend on the type of pet, its species, breed, and age. For instance, male dogs tend to be the most expensive, where female cats remain the cheapest to insure.
What does differ from province to province are veterinary costs. This heavily depends on the province’s location and population in which you reside, with factors specific depending on the province.
For instance, pet insurance in Ontario will come at a different rate than in Alberta or any other province or territory.
Reimbursements may appear to differ from one province to the next, but claims respectively honored, regardless of the province.
If you spot a gaze of trash pandas in your backyard, don’t worry about getting them insured.
Raccoons are resilient, especially in an urban setting. You could attempt to shoo them away, but generally, they are not afraid of people or even motorized vehicles.
They only have eyes for garbage food. The best thing to do is call your local city’s animal control and get a locking lid for your trash bin