EQ Bank Review 2021
EQ Bank is at the vanguard of digital banking in a new and exciting way. As an online-only bank, EQ offers a small yet impressive line of personal finance products, including a hybrid savings account, term investments, and international money transfers.
This EQ Bank review takes a closer look at the exceptional digital bank, providing a detailed summary of their financial products and how they act to serve Canadians better.
An EQ Bank Review for 2021: Savings Plus Account, GICs, and Money Transfers
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is a hybrid bank account. Hybrid bank accounts are chequing accounts that provide high-interest.
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account offers most perks traditionally offered with a savings account, with a chequing account’s flexibility.
The Savings Plus Account offers unlimited withdrawals, free Interac e-transfers, and bill payments. Customers can link an external bank account to the Savings Plus Account for seamless electronic funds transfer.
Unlike a traditional chequing account, the account does not come with a debit card, nor does it permit point-of-sale transactions or offer a cheque book.
EQ bridges this gap by providing a sleek online banking and mobile application for iOS and Android. Customers can deposit physical cheques via mobile cheque deposit or receive direct deposit from their place of employment. The bank also allows customers to pay bills automatically.
The Savings Plus account also provides joint account options, ideal for business partners, married couples, or anyone looking to share EQ bank accounts. Customers can add up to three people to one account.
The best part? All of this comes with no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fees, and no transaction limits.
Accounts are limited to a maximum balance of $200,000.
EQ Bank GICs
EQ Bank GICs work like any other non-registered term deposit but stand out due to their competitive interest rates and multiple-term deposit options.
While funds invested in a GIC are inaccessible until term maturity, EQ Bank provides multiple deposit term options, making it a suitable option for long-term and short-term investing goals.
EQ Bank GIC terms range from as brief as three months to as long as ten years.
EQ Bank does not currently offer registered GIC options, making any earned interest taxable.
Customers must also open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account to purchase GICs through the financial institution.
Here are EQ Bank’s GIC rates and terms. Please note that rates are current as of August 2021, and may have changed since this article’s publishing date.
Money Transfers Powered by TransferWise
A relatively new feature to the EQ Bank family, international money transfers are now available in partnership with TransferWise.
EQ customers can send money to India, Europe, the Philippines, the United States, and up to thirty additional countries worldwide.
International transfers come with a one-time fee that is eight times cheaper than its competitors, without exchange rate markups and one flat commission.
Customers sending money international must also open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
EQ Bank: Pros & Cons
While EQ Bank is considered one of Canada's best banks, banking with EQ may not be the right fit for every Canadian's daily financial requirements. The financial service offers unique and flexible banking products at affordable pricing, with its advantages outweighing its drawbacks.
Pros: The Good StuffEQ Bank offers several advantages over other Canadian financial institutions. Let's take a look at EQ Bank's pros.
No minimum investments: EQ Bank offers several advantages over other Canadian financial institutions. Let's take a look at EQ Bank's pros.
Chequing/Savings account hybrid: EQ Bank's Savings Plus Account is a high-interest savings account that acts as a chequing account. It offers a chequing account's flexibility, allowing Canadians to keep all of their finances in one place—while earning interest.
No fees or minimum balance requirements: EQ Bank does not charge any management fees, Interac e-transfer fees, transaction fees, or minimum deposit requirements.
Competitive interest rates: EQ Bank offers some of Canada's highest interest rates for its Savings Plus Account and GICs.
Cons: The Not So Good StuffDepending on who's banking, there are a few minor disadvantages to using EQ Bank. Let's take a quick look at the drawbacks
No debit card, Google/Apple Pay compatibility, or cheques: There are no point-of-sale payments available or chequebooks. Free fund transfers are available in place of a debit card.
No registered account options: At this time, EQ Bank does not offer a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), meaning interest is taxable according to the account holder's income tax bracket.
Frequently Asked Questions
This EQ Bank review will now take a look at the digital bank itself, covering details about the financial institution itself, and what they offer new and existing customers alike. Find all the answers to the frequently asked questions below.
EQ Bank is a digital bank that operates exclusively online. A relatively new member of Canada’s fintech scene, EQ Bank has been operating since 2016. Today, the financial institution manages $2 billion in savings and investments for Canadian clients.
EQ Bank provides a savings account option known as the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. It is their staple product. It also offers GIC term deposits and facilitates International Money Transfers in partnership with TransferWise.
Canadian citizens, with a Social Insurance Number (SIN), can open an EQ Bank account online, if they meet the age of majority in their province.
EQ Bank, and its parent company, Equitable Bank, is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It currently employs over 900 employees, with online chat, e-mail, and telephone customer service.
EQ Bank is the digital banking branch of Equitable Bank, Canada's ninth-largest independent bank. It has been in business since 1970, providing Canadians with mortgages and commercial lending. It currently manages $25 billion in assets today.
EQ Bank is a very straightforward, user-friendly, banking service.
Since EQ Bank operates exclusively online, new customers can only sign up or access accounts through their online or mobile devices.
>Opening an account can be done online through EQ Bank's web portal. Customers must be Canadian citizens with a Social Insurance Number and be the age of majority in their province.
Customers are required to provide proof of address and a Government ID, which requires a trip to a Canada Post outlet for identity verification. Following a soft credit check, approved customers can utilize EQ Bank products.
Yes, EQ Bank is a safe and legitimate banking institution. In fact, it’s a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
Both EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account and EQ Bank GICs are CDIC-insured up to $100,000 per account or investment
In the unlikely event that EQ Bank becomes insolvent, the account holder’s money is secure, at no additional cost to the customer.
Yes! EQ Bank offers one of the best high-interest savings account rates in Canada.
While rates are subject to change, EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account interest rate has consistently remained among the highest available in Canada.