RBC vs. TD 2021: Which ‘Big Five’ Bank is Better for Canadians?

rbc vs td

When choosing a financial institution for your banking and investing needs, Canadians have many choices available to them.

But if you’ve narrowed it down to RBC Royal Bank and TD Canada Trust, two of Canada’s Big Five banks, keep reading this Wealth Rocket guide to RBC vs. TD.

Table of Contents

RBC Royal Bank Overview

RBC Royal Bank, a division of Royal Bank of Canada, has the largest retail banking network in the country with 1,201 branches and 4,182 automated teller machines (ATMs).

Like many financial institutions, the bank offers a variety of different bank accounts and credit products.

Let’s look at the spending, saving, borrowing, and investing products that RBC Royal Bank offers:

RBC
Savings Accounts

Account name Interest rate Monthly fee Free debits included Debits exceeding monthly limit
RBC Day to Day Savings
Tiered (0.005% to 0.01%)
$0
1 per month
$2 each
RBC High Interest eSavings
0.05%
$0
1 from an RBC ATM per month
$5 each
RBC Enhanced Savings
Tiered (0% to 0.01%)
$0
1 per month
$2 each
RBC U.S. High Interest eSavings
0.05%
$0
1 per month
$3 each

For the RBC Day to Day Savings account, the interest rate is 0.005% if the balance is less than $1,000 and 0.01% if the balance is $1,000 or more.

For the RBC Enhanced Savings account, the interest rate is 0% if the balance is less than $5,000, 0.001% if the balance is between $5,000 and $9,999.99, and 0.01% if the balance is $10,000 or more.

RBC also offers a digital account called NOMI Find & Save with predictive technology, which you can link to a bank account. You need to turn on the feature in the RBC mobile app. NOMI Find & Save will review your transaction patterns and automatically set aside funds it doesn’t expect you to miss.

Transfers to and from eligible savings or chequing accounts are free of charge..

RBC
Chequing Accounts

Account name Monthly fee Fee after MultiProduct Rebate Unlimited debits Interac fee at non-RBC ATMs Credit card rebate
RBC Day to Day Banking
$4
$0
12/month; $1.25 each thereafter
$2 each
N/A
RBC No Limit Banking
$10.95
$0 or $5.95
Canada only
$2 each
N/A
RBC Signature No Limit Banking
$15.95
$9.95
3 free/month; $2 thereafter
$2 each
Up to $39 annually
RBC VIP Banking
$30
$19.95
Canada and the U.S.
$0
Up to $120 annually
RBC No Limit Banking for Students
$10.95
$0
Canada only
$2 each
Up to $39 annually

Instead of having a minimum balance requirement to waive the monthly fee, there’s the potential to have the fee waived or lowered with a MultiProduct Rebate.

To qualify for this rebate, you must have an active credit card and active investment account to waive the RBC Day to Day Banking and RBC No Limit Banking for Students account or for the RBC No Limit Banking fee to be reduced.

If you have an active credit card, active investment account, and a mortgage, the RBC No Limit Banking fee is waived entirely and reduced for both the RBC Signature No Limit Banking and RBC VIP Banking accounts.

All accounts come with unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

RBC: Spending and Borrowing

RBC has a number of spending and borrowing products, such as credit cards, lines of credit, loans, and mortgages.

RBC is known for its Avion travel credit cards, which allow you to book on any flight without any seat restrictions or blackout periods.

It also offers a number of airline-branded cards from WestJet, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific.

RBC: Investing

There are a number of investment options with RBC. You can choose different GICs and mutual funds with or without investment advice, make your own investment decisions with RBC Direct Investing, or have RBC InvestEase—the bank’s robo-advisor—make your investment decisions for you.

RBC: The Verdict

Like any Canadian bank, RBC has a large selection of products that Canadians can utilize.

However, unlike most banks, a rebate on chequing account fees is only available if you use it for various RBC products. Most banks will waive those fees if you keep a certain minimum balance.

TD Canada Trust: Overview

TD Canada Trust is the name of TD’s Canadian retail operations, which shouldn’t be confused with TD Bank (the brand used in the U.S.). TD Canada Trust has 1,085 branches and 3,440 ATMs across the country. The bank is known for having some branches open on weekends and weeknights (before the pandemic, of course).

Here’s what TD offers:

TD Canada Trust:
Savings Accounts

Account name Interest rate Monthly fee Free debits included Debits exceeding monthly limit
TD Every Day Savings Account
0.01%
$0
1 per month
$3 each
TD High Interest Savings Account
0% to 0.05%
$0
None
$5 each
TD ePremium Savings Account
0% to 0.1%
$0
None
$5 each

The TD High-Interest Savings Account’s interest rate is 0% if the account balance is less than $5,000, but 0.05% if it’s higher. And the rate for the TD ePremium Savings Account is 0%  when the balance is less than $10,000, but 0.1% if it’s higher.

There are no transaction fees for transfers or pre-authorized transfers from a TD Every Day Savings Account to another TD chequing or savings account.

For the TD High Interest Savings Account, there are no transaction fees if the minimum balance is $25,000 at the end of every month.

Additionally, there are no fees for transactions from the TD ePremium Savings Account to another TD chequing or savings account if you use internet banking or the TD app.

TD Canada Trust:
Chequing Accounts

Account name Monthly fee Balance required to waive fee Fee after MultiProduct Rebate Interac fee at non-RBC ATMs Credit card rebate
TD Minimum Chequing Account
$3.95
N/A
12
$2 each
N/A
TD Every Day Chequing Account
$10.95
$3,000
25; $1.25 each thereafter
$2 each
N/A
TD Unlimited Chequing Account
$16.95
$4,000
Unlimited
$0
Up to $139 annually
TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan
$29.95
$5,000
Unlimited
$0
Up to $139 annually
TD Student Chequing Account
$0
N/A
25; $1.25 each thereafter
$2 each
N/A

What’s good about TD’s chequing accounts is that you don’t need to have multiple products to get the fee waived. Instead, you must maintain a certain minimum balance.

The credit card rebate for the TD Unlimited Chequing Account and the TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan is available only for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum, TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite, TD Platinum Travel Visa, and the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite cards.

With the TD Unlimited Chequing Account, the credit card fee is only waived for the first year, while it’s waived annually with the TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan.

All chequing accounts come with free Interac e-Transfers.

TD Canada Trust: Spending and Borrowing

TD offers a number of travel credit cards, including a few from Aeroplan—one of Canada’s largest loyalty programs.

The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card is also known as one of the country’s best cash-back credit cards. TD also offers loans, mortgages, and lines of credit.

TD Canada Trust: Investing

TD has GICs and mutual funds, a discount brokerage (TD Direct Investing), and a fairly new investing app called TD GoalAssist that allows you to trade the bank’s own ETFs for free or buy a selection of all-in-one ETFs (which cost less than a robo-advisor). TD also allows you to buy precious metals, such as gold and silver.

TD Canada Trust: The Verdict

TD has a number of pros: the ability to have completely waived on chequing accounts, a variety of investment options, and some good credit cards. However, the rates on its savings accounts are atrocious.

Our Final Thoughts

Trying to choose a bank can be time-consuming when there are so many things to compare.

Neither RBC or TD Canada Trust has very good rates on its savings accounts than some competing online banks. Still, TD does offer the ability to have account fees waived completely if you maintain a certain minimum balance.

That’s helpful if you don’t want to have a mortgage and investments with the same bank, especially if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Keep in mind, other banks offer free chequing accounts with no minimum balance requirements.

TD has all-in-one ETFs that can be bought for free through TD GoalAssist and offers the ability to buy precious metals, giving it an advantage over RBC.

It also has Aeroplan-branded credit cards, which is also a plus, although not so much since travel is restricted across Canada due to the pandemic.

Overall, the ability to get fees waived on chequing accounts, the opportunity to buy some ETFs for free, and better investment options give TD an edge over RBC.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you open an account with a financial institution, you agree to its terms—sometimes known as terms of service. In it, you might consent to receive information via your email address or agree to be liable for all transactions. It is important to read, as the contract may not be in your favor.

Suppose you’re thinking about investing in Canadian bank stocks. In that case, it can be difficult if you’re choosing between shares of Royal Bank of Canada (the symbol is RY on the TSX and NYSE) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (the symbol is TD on the TSX and NYSE). Bank stocks have performed well for years, so you might be thinking about adding them to your portfolio.

However, it would help if you looked at several aspects before investing in specific bank stock (or any stock for that matter).

For example, you may want to analyze the price to book and price to earnings ratios. Or you might want to review their quarterly earnings to spot any trends and look at whether either bank reported large provisions for credit losses recently.

Yes! Both RBC and TD Canada Trust are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

About the Author

Related Reviews