Although online banking may seem relatively new, it has been around since at least 1980. Nowadays, more than 88% of Canadians complete their everyday banking online. Opening up your mobile app or going to the banks’ website is much easier than heading out to a physical bank.
With so many Canadians choosing to bank online instead, who are they banking with? It could be a mix of banking with a bank that has both an online presence and a physical bank. There are many banks in Canada that strictly function online. Banks such as Tangerine, TD Bank, Simplii Financial, Scotia Bank and notably EQ Bank.
Online banks don’t have as many overhead costs, and they want to draw in customers. This means they often offer high-interest rates to help you save, as well as no-fee accounts. So, are you tired of spending money just to be able to store your money securely? Switching to online banking, especially one as great as Equitable Bank may be the best option for you.
Table of Contents
- What is EQ Bank?
- EQ Bank–Quick Review
- How Easy is EQ Bank to Use? (make deposits and access funds)
- EQ Bank Savings Plus High-Interest Savings Account
- Does EQ Bank Offer Joint Accounts?
- EQ Bank Savings Plus High-Interest Savings Account Fast Facts
- EQ Bank FAQs
- The Bottom Line
What is EQ Bank?
EQ Bank, short for Equitable Bank, is an online Canadian bank. Equitable Bank has been around since 1970 but started offering everyday banking services only in 2013. Now, EQ Bank is the ninth largest, independent bank in Canada. This is quite a feat as there are over 30 banks throughout the country.
Many people might be hesitant to start a savings account with EQ Bank since they don’t have any branches to visit. But, EQ Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This means that any deposits up to $100,000 that you put into your savings account with EQ Bank, the CDIC will insure it. So, if EQ Bank ever went out of business, your money would still be safe as the CDIC would pay you out.
EQ Bank only offers savings accounts which may not be useful for your everyday banking, but they are a great option for saving as EQ Bank offers high-interest rates and no banking fees. Also, check out other top saving accounts in Canada.
EQ Bank–Quick Review
EQ Bank is rated one of the top ten banks in Canada for good reason. Here are some pros of signing up for a high-interest savings account with them.
- Signing up is free and easy as it is all done online.
- There is no minimum balance required to open or maintain the account.
- One of the highest interest rates in Canada with a 1.70% interest rate. Your interest is calculated daily and is based on your closing balance. It is then paid monthly, so you are constantly earning money.
- You can sign up for a joint savings account to share with your partner.
- Free transfers between your EQ account and another EQ account.
- If you do need help with your account, EQ bank has customer service available every day of the week from 8 am Eastern time to midnight.
- International transfers are available and affordable as EQ Bank partners with TransferWise. This makes international transfers up to eight times cheaper and can be done within minutes.
- Transactions such as bill payments, withdrawals, deposits, Interac e-transfers, and depositing mobile cheques are also all free with EQ Bank. So, there are no banking fees when banking with EQ Bank.
- Your money (up to $100,000) will be protected with EQ Bank as they are insured by the CDIC.
- EQ Bank offers a referral program to all of its customers. If you refer a new client, and they deposit at least $100 into their account in the first month, you could be paid a bonus. You will receive $20 for the first three new clients. $30 for the fourth to seventh new clients. $40 for the eight to fifteenth new clients but nothing beyond that.
EQ bank has so much to offer, from no monthly fees, no minimum balance, to free transactions including bill payments and Interac e-transfers, and a high-interest rate. So, you may be wondering why everyone in Canada doesn’t already have a high-interest savings account with EQ Bank. But, depending on whom you talk to, there may be some cons to banking with EQ Bank.
- Although the fact that EQ Bank operates completely online was in our list of pros, this could be a con for some people. Those who are used to going to a brick and mortar bank may prefer having that option.
- EQ Bank does not issue a debit card as they only offer savings accounts. This means it is harder to use an EQ account for everyday banking as you can not physically use your money at a store or restaurant for example.
- EQ Bank has a limited amount of savings account types available. They really only have their high-interest savings plus account and the joint version of it. Many banks often have registered savings accounts such as an RRSP or tax-free savings account.
- With their high-interest savings plus account, the most you can deposit into it is $200,000. If you do deposit that much, it is important to remember that only $100,000 is insured by the CDIC.
- Although EQ Bank offers a high-interest rate, they say it could change at any time without notice.
How Easy is EQ Bank to Use? (make deposits and access funds)
As EQ Bank does not have any brick and mortar locations, and they do not give out a debit card, many people wonder how they can make deposits and access their money. The good news is that it’s actually really easy and cheap to do so as EQ Bank doesn’t charge any banking fees!
You can make deposits in your high-interest savings plus account in a variety of ways. The first way to make deposits is through the EQ Bank app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store or their online banking website. Then, you can take a picture of a cheque. The cheque can be money from someone else, or it can be your own money from a different account. If you already have a chequing account with another bank, you can use that chequebook to transfer your money over.
Alternatively, you can send yourself an Interac e-transfer from your chequing account to your EQ Bank savings account. It is free to both receive and send Interac e-transfers with your EQ Bank account. You will also typically be able to use the money immediately.
You can also set up a direct deposit to have your employer pay you directly into your EQ Bank savings plus account.
Lastly, you can use an electronic funds transfer to any account you have linked to your EQ bank savings plus account. There will be a hold period on the money this way though.
Now, to access this money, you can use your account to make transactions with no banking fees. This includes bill payments, transferring people you owe, or transferring money out to your chequing account to use it. Essentially, EQ bank is super easy to use and everything can be done from the comfort of your own home!
EQ Bank Savings Plus High-Interest Savings Account
EQ Bank only offers one type of account, their high-interest savings plus account. Although it’s their only account, it beats out most banks’ savings account options. The main draw of the savings plus account with EQ Bank is how high their interest rates are.
Although EQ Bank says their interest rates are subject to change, they have pretty consistently stayed at 1.70%. Interest rates are based on the balance in your savings plus account at the end of each day. The interest rates are then paid out at the end of the month.
The EQ Bank high-interest rates savings plus account also has free transactions. This means you can transfer your money in or out with this account as much as you want. You can also use the savings plus account to pay bills or to receive a direct deposit from your employer.
If you make a lot of international transactions, the EQ Bank savings plus account is also a great option. EQ Bank partners with Transferwise. This means you can transfer money with low rates from your bank account to 70 different countries.
The only thing that EQ Bank is lacking with their savings plus account is a physical card to use. That means you cannot use these savings account to make transactions at stores or restaurants. But, people don’t tend to use their savings account for day-to-day purchases. They use it for the high rates of interest banks tend to offer on their savings account.
If you want free transactions, high rates of interest, and efficient banking, the EQ Bank savings plus account is a great option.
You can also open a joint savings account with EQ Bank which we’ll talk about next.
Does EQ Bank Offer Joint Accounts?
If you are looking for a joint savings account instead, EQ Bank has you covered! As of July 2020, EQ Bank offers a joint savings account. You can open a savings account with the same great interest rates and share it with up to three people. This could be a partner, family members, or friends to really take advantage of the rates.
Creating a joining account with EQ Bank is super easy! Everyone just needs to be a Canadian citizen, above the age of majority in their province, and have their social insurance number. Then, you just need to become a customer with EQ Bank. If you already have an account with EQ Bank, it’s even easier! Just open a joint account on the EQ Bank website or app and invite your friends or family to it.
The EQ Bank joint account has all the same great offers that their normal savings account does. Your joint account will enjoy the high rates of interest with no banking fees. This means free bill payments, free transfers, no minimum balance, and no monthly fees.
So, the joint savings account from EQ Bank is a great option for those looking to share expenses or pool their money. It will make it easier to pay for joint bills or outings.
A great benefit of the joint savings account from EQ Bank is that the maximum balance is higher. For the normal savings account, the maximum balance is $200,000. For the joint savings account, it is $500,000. This gives you plenty of room to enjoy the high rates of interest.
EQ Bank Savings Plus High-Interest Savings Account Fast Facts
If you’re not sure whether the EQ Bank savings plus savings account is for you, here is what you will get with the account.
- One of the highest rates of interest any bank in Canada has to offer, currently at 1.70%.
- You will get to send and receive free Interac e-transfers. With this, you can transfer money to your friends, but you can also transfer your own money between accounts.
- Similarly, you can also send and receive free electronic fund transfers. Which you can again, use to send money to other accounts or to transfer your money.
- Alternatively, you could deposit money into your account with mobile cheque deposit. This means you can write yourself a cheque from another account. Or, you can have someone else (like an employer) write you a cheque. Then, you can take a picture of that cheque and the money will be deposited directly into your account.
- Your balance every month could be $0 if you wanted it to be and you wouldn’t be charged for it. EQ Bank does not require you to have your balance at any minimum amount.
- Up to $100,000 of the money you deposit will be protected by the CDIC. But, you can deposit up to $200,000 into the account.
- The money you earn from the high rates of interest is calculated daily and paid out monthly. This means you will constantly be earning interest on your balance.
- If you know any friends or family members that need a savings account, you could get a bonus for referring them.
- EQ is available seven days a week via phone. Or, they have an online chat option where you can talk to a customer service agent directly.
- All banking is done online rather than you having to go to a physical bank.
So, EQ Bank’s savings plus account has no fees to maintain or use it. They offer great rates of interest. As well as a super easy and convenient to use platform.
EQ Bank FAQs
You may still have some questions about how EQ Bank’s savings account works or about the bank in general. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that should help!
1. How does EQ make money?
Since they have such high rates of interest, many customers wonder how they make money. They do so through loans. Equitable Bank also offers residential and commercial loans. They fund these loans to other customers with the deposits people make into their savings account. Then, they charge the borrower agreed-upon rates of interest. They will later get the funds back to give back to you and they will get to keep the interest they made.
2. How long are funds held for?
How long your funds are held for depends on how much you deposited. If you deposited under $1,500, you typically need to wait five business days after you made the deposit. If you deposited over $1,500, you typically need to wait eight business days.
3. How do I open a savings account?
Simply head to www.eqbank.ca and click join now! You need to be a Canadian citizen and be over the age of majority in your province. You will also need to input your social insurance number, so make sure you have it handy!
4. Will my credit report be checked to open an account?
Many Canadians are worried about opening new accounts or credit cards because they don’t want their credit score to be affected. In this case, your credit score will not be affected. This is because EQ does a soft credit check, so they can see your credit report, but the fact that they viewed it won’t be visible to anyone else.
5. What types of accounts does EQ offer?
They only offer two types of accounts. Their savings account plus account and their joint version of that account. Both have high rates of interest. But, they do not offer any RRSP or TFSA savings accounts.
6. Can I use my account if I don’t live in Canada?
If you travel a lot or work abroad, you may be wondering if you will be able to use your account still. The answer is, yes! You can still use your account when you’re abroad. But, you must be a Canadian citizen to open it and maintain it.
7. How is my identity verified?
As there are no physical branches, how do you verify your identity? If you already have an account with another Canadian bank, you can log in with it to prove your identity. Alternatively, you can prove your identity through the credit reporting agency TransUnion. If that doesn’t work, you can prove your identity at a Canada Post office.
You will receive a DSS number that you then have to take to Canada Post along with proof of address and a government-issued photo ID.
8. Are there benefits or discounted rates to seniors and students?
As the rates offered are already quite competitive, there are no extra benefits or discounts for students and seniors.
9. Can I use my account to receive a direct deposit?
If you want to get paid into your EQ account, you definitely can! You can log in to your account online and generate a void cheque. You can then give this void cheque to your employer, so they can use the account information to pay you.
10. How can I take out cash?
As you don’t get a physical debit card with this account, you may be wondering how you can withdraw cash. Unfortunately you can’t, since EQ is a digital bank and have no branches, no ATMs and no bank cards. So, no cash.
11. How many savings accounts can I have with EQ?
If you’re thinking of opening multiple accounts, you may be wondering how many you are allowed to have. The answer is five! You can have four additional accounts to your main account. This is a great option for those looking to open a joint account with their friends, partner, or family members.
The Bottom Line
Equitable Bank is on the top ten list of best banks in Canada for a good reason. Their high-interest savings plus account is a great option for any Canadian looking to save money. A 1.70% interest rate with no banking fees is almost unheard of. Many banks in Canada only offer an interest rate like this for a high monthly fee, but not Equitable Bank!
You can make as many transactions such as bill payments or transfers as you want, for free! You can take out all your money from the account and not be charged for not meeting a minimum balance. You can leave your money in the account to earn money on its own every month.
If you prefer visiting a physical bank or having a physical bank card, then, unfortunately, that is all EQ Bank is lacking. But, when their online banking is so easily used to access your money, what’s stopping you really? Join the 60,000 Canadians who currently bank with EQ Bank today and start earning a high-interest rate on your savings!