The Best Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2021
For many of us, our first chequing accounts represented our foray into the world of banking.
If you’re like the majority of Canadians, long before you were researching the right high-interest savings account to elevate your financial situation, you took a trip down to your local bank branch to open a standard chequing account.
For many of us, this happened when we were teenagers and looking for a safe place to stash the hard-earned cash from our first jobs.
However, all classics deserve revisiting. In this article, we’re getting back to the basics with a valiant mission to uncover the best chequing account in Canada
Spoiler alert: like most things in the financial world, there isn’t likely to be one winner that stands out above them all.
In consideration of this, we will present an overview of a few of the best chequing accounts that Canadian banking has to offer so that you choose the one that best suits your specific needs.
The Best Chequing Accounts in Canada
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s answer an age-old philosophical question that humanity has been trying to address for years and years: what exactly is a chequing account? Okay, so maybe it isn’t quite so mystical of an inquiry, but considering a chequing account is the most common type of banking account out there, it’s worthwhile to explain exactly what it is, even if the explanation does seem somewhat redundant.
A chequing account, by definition, is a type of bank account that makes it easy to access your money. It is the easiest and most popular way to deposit money, pay bills, and easily access funds for any other reason (if this definition is too simplistic for your tastes. Get a closer look at what a chequing account is and what it can do for you.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best chequing accounts offered by banks in Canada.
1. Scotia Preferred Package
The Scotia Preferred Package is the main chequing account offering from the Canadian banking giant, Scotiabank.
A popular choice for daily banking, holders of this account benefit from unlimited free Interac e-transfers as well as unlimited transactions.
Although the bank does charge a $15.95 monthly fee with any account balance less than $4,000, the perks that come with this card means that the Scotia Preferred Package deserves a spot on a list of the best chequing accounts in Canada.
One of the unique things that keeps Scotiabank customers loyal is the bank’s one-of-a-kind rewards programs, known as SCENE points.
Account-holders can earn points through chequing account debit transactions and then redeem those points at Cineplex movie theatres and several affiliated restaurants.
There are other ways that it pays to be a part of the Scotiabank family, too. Chequing account users are also able to benefit from special interest rates on Scotiabank savings accounts and even waive their Scotiabank credit card’s annual fee.
2. Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing
Tangerine might just be the most well-known online bank in Canada. Due to enticing interest rates, it’s common for some Canadians to keep their chequing account with their brick and mortar bank and open a savings account with Tangerine.
However, if you have been thinking about moving your entire banking operations over to Tangerine, there are plenty of incentives waiting for you.
As an online-only service, Tangerine offers unlimited free debit transactions to all of their chequing account holders, as well as unlimited free pre-authorized payments and free unlimited money transfers. They also support mobile cheque deposits. Notably, in certain circumstances, Tangerine may allow you to earn interest on the balance of your chequing account, up to 0.65%.
All of these offers come on top of the fact that Tangerine offers their chequing account without a monthly fee — something that cannot be said for the majority of larger banks who often charge up to $30, unless a high minimum balance is in the account at all times.
Although Tangerine does not operate their own ATMs across Canada, Tangerine customers can access Scotiabank ATMs for free with their Tangerine debit card. They can also access the Global ATM Network, available in over 60 countries around the world.
3. BMO Performance Plan
The Bank of Montreal, commonly known as BMO, is a common choice among Canadians. This chequing account offers unlimited transactions and Interac e-transfers, as well as relatively low fees for out-of-network ATM withdrawals.
BMO chequing account holders are also allowed one free out-of-network ATM withdrawal per month.
If this does not draw you in, what’s more, enticing is that BMO is known to run promotional cash incentives to anyone who opens a new chequing account.
If you happen to be fortunate to catch one of their sign-up bonuses advertised, it may be worthwhile to take advantage of it, as it’s not often that banks offer generous promotions for new chequing accounts.
4. RBC Day to Day Banking
RBC may be the largest bank in the country in terms of assets, but it also happens to be the home of one of the best chequing accounts in Canada with its RBC Day to Day Banking account.
Through their Day to Day Banking account, RBC offers unlimited money transfers, 12 free debit transactions monthly, as well as the opportunity to save big on gas with Petro-Canada discount cards, all for the low monthly cost of $4. For an extra $5 monthly, the bank will also provide overdraft protection.
There are no fancy incentives here, and account holders will have to look elsewhere if they are looking for an interest rate or a rebate for their credit card’s annual fee.
However, this account represents low-fee banking at its finest, as it offers Canadians an option for functional banking without the expensive frills or fuss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chequing accounts are the easiest ways to store your money at a bank. The money in a chequing account is instantly accessible and protected. You can access the money in your chequing account through a debit card provided to you by the institution of your choice.
The fees for chequing accounts in Canada vary. While some online banks offer a chequing account with no monthly fee, most large financial institutions charge between $4 to $30 monthly. Sometimes, in the case of a high daily balance, this fee is waivable.
Although they are less common, it is possible to have a chequing account that earns interest. However, these rates will likely be lower than what you could expect out of a savings account.