Helping you make wiser investment decisions

Best chequing accounts in Canada 2020

August 26, 2020 Keph Senett
Best chequing accounts in Canada 2020


  • Monthly fee: None, as long as you’re enrolled in a post-secondary institution
  • # of transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-transfers: Unlimited
  • Extras: Earn SCENE or Scotia Rewards points on debit purchases; free paperless or paper statements; Apple and Android mobile banking apps
  • Service charges: None

Get more details about the Scotiabank Advantage Plan*


Best basic accounts from a big bank: 

Scotia Basic Banking Account*

This account pairs up the advantages of a big bank with the allure of a flexible rewards plan. At only $3.95 per month, the Scotia Basic Bank Account handles your day-to-day banking. Plus, unlike most other basic accounts, it allows account holders to collect loyalty points on debit card transactions. For every $5 you spend, you receive 1 point in either the SCENE or Scotia Rewards program. Account holders get 12 free monthly transactions plus two free Interac e-transfers; you’ll pay $1.25 and $1.00, respectively, for extras.

  • Monthly fee: $3.95
  • # of transactions: 12 per month, which 4 can be at a teller; additional transactions are $1.25
  • Interac e-transfers: 2 free per month
  • Extras: Free paperless and paper statements; earn Scene rewards for entertainment purchases or Scotia Rewards for travel and merchandise; Apple and Android mobile banking apps
  • Service charges: Many, including $1.50 for each Interac withdrawals

Get more details about the Scotia Basic Banking Account*

Runner up:

RBC Day to Day Bank Account

With similar offerings as the Scotia Basic Banking Account at almost the same price, the RBC Day to Day Bank Account is also worth a look. Both accounts include 12 free transactions per month, but the RBC package has an edge by offering unlimited free Interac e-transfers. Another perk is that you get instant savings of $0.03/litre at Petro-Canada. That said, it doesn’t offer rewards earnings which ultimately keeps this account from the top spot in the category. 

  • Monthly fee: $4.00
  • # of transactions: 12 per month; additional transactions are $1.25
  • Interac e-transfers: Unlimited
  • Extras: Savings at Petro-Canada; free after Seniors’ rebate; mobile banking app for Apple and Android
  • Service charges: Many, including $2.00 for Interac access at non-RBC ATMs

Best premium bank account for bundles:

Scotiabank Ultimate Package*

If you’re looking to bundle up on services to get a better deal, check out the Scotiabank Ultimate Package. Like many premium accounts it offers perks like unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac, or free cheques but the Ultimate goes one or two steps further. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this account, and why we added this to our list of best chequing accounts in Canada, is that you can receive an annual fee waiver of up to $139 on a credit card from Scotiabank, like the Scotiabank Gold American Express or Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite. Maybe it’s the ability to earn your choice of SCENE or Scotia Rewards points for debit transactions. Or, you might like the unlimited free global non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawals, the free safety deposit box, the 10 free equity trades at Scotia iTrade in your first year, or the additional 0.10% on your Momentum Plus Savings Account. You get this idea: This is a valuable bundle with perks that easily pay off the fees of $30.95 per month. And, if you don’t like that rate, simply waive it by keeping a $5,000 minimum in the account. 

  • Monthly fee: $0 or $30.95 (monthly fees waived by maintaining at least $5,000 in your account)
  • # of transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-transfers: Unlimited
  • Extras: 10 free equity trade at Scotia iTrade in the first year; free safety deposit box; earn SCENE or Scotia Rewards on purchases; get additional 0.10% on your Momentum Plus Savings Account 
  • Service charges: Some, including $2.25 for paper statement

Get more details about the Scotiabank Ultimate Package*


Best account from an online-only bank:

Motive Chequing Account

This online-only bank touts itself for its simple but effective suite of products. The Motive Chequing Account grabs accolades in this category for its free, unlimited transactions and no daily banking fees, higher-than-average interest rate of 0.6%, and access to more than 3,600 ATMs on the Exchange Network—all accessible with a physical debit card with no monthly fee. Although e-transfers will set you back $1 each (receiving them is free).

  • Monthly fee: None
  • # of transactions: Unlimited, except for e-transfers
  • Interac e-transfers: $1 each to send; free to receive 
  • Extras: 50 cheques; free withdrawals from the Exchange Network’s surcharge-free ATMs (this group of banks and credit unions allows each other’s customers to share use of ATMs at no charge)
  • Service charges: $1.50 for withdrawals from non-Exchange Network ATMs

Runner-up:

motusbank No-Fee Chequing Account

Owned and operated by Meridian credit union, motusbank doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar locations, which means you need to be comfortable with doing all your banking on your electronic devices. Your no-fee account includes unlimited transactions and e-transfers, 25 free cheques, and an interest rate of 0.25%. With motusbank, you’ll get only 25 free cheques, but sending money by e-transfer is free, so how you prefer to pay will factor into your choice (for example, some people prefer to use cheques because you’re able to stop payment if necessary and use the digital cheque images for record-keeping). For those who want to do their day-to-day banking through a credit union, the motusbank No-Fee Chequing Account is an excellent choice.



Source link