BEST BANK IN CANADA

Last Updated: March, 2020

Looking for the best bank in Canada? Banking can be complicated. Whether you are looking for a simple account or a whole suite of banking services, there are many options. 

Not all bank accounts are created equal. We are here to help guide you through selecting the right bank account in Canada. 

Let’s start simple. What are the most common accounts in Canada, and what do they offer?

Chequing Account

A chequing account is the most popular type of account in the country. Meant to be the workhorse of the personal banking world, these accounts are flexible. Many banks offer unlimited transactions along with other perks. Long story short, chequing accounts are there to ensure you can pay bills and store your money with ease.

Savings Accounts

A generic savings account is a tool to help you save money for the future. Most banks offer a version of a savings account, with varying benefits. The most characteristic feature of these accounts is they offer an interest rate. The higher the percentage, the more your money will grow, which for a savings account, is the reason it exists.

HOW TO COMPARE BANK ACCOUNTS

Finding the perfect bank account is a constant moving target during your life. A bank account that was ideal for you during your student days may not be the best for you in your golden years.

As you may have guessed, not every bank account mentioned is going to be the perfect fit for you. What works for someone looking to pay bills will not work for someone who is looking to save for retirement.

That is the beauty of this list. We have brought together several accounts that may work for you. From small business owners to students, and everything in between.

WHAT ARE THE BEST BANK ACCOUNTS IN CANADA?

When it comes to trying to compare the best bank accounts in Canada, it is a tough order. There is no one best bank account in Canada, but there are several best accounts. 

One has to remember, for something to be the best, it is at best subjective. Your best is going to be a little different than your neighbour’s best. We have done the homework and compared the features and benefits of each of the below accounts.

Depending on your needs, we have found an excellent bank account for your situation. In personal banking, your circumstance will drive the best fit.

HIGH INTEREST BANK ACCOUNTS

High interest savings accounts are ideal for people looking to stash their cash and let it grow. Most of the top interest rate banks are smaller institutions or online arms of bigger banks.  

Pros
High Interest rates mean that your money will grow.
Designed for passive, short to medium term holdings.
Cons
The best rates are at smaller banks or online institutions.
Most accounts do not offer much flexibility or services.

SMALL BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNTS

Small business accounts are the perfect way for businesses to bank with confidence. These accounts are classified as either low or high volume. For the low volume accounts, the ability to grow is vital, and these accounts let you do that. For the high-volume accounts, the accounts enable you to enjoy unlimited banking for a fee.

Pros
Business banking that is flexible for your needs.
Banking and savings accounts that will grow with your company.
Cons
Low volume accounts usually allow for fewer included transactions.
High volume accounts are quite expensive.

NO FEE BANK ACCOUNT

No annual fee accounts are the ideal match for banking clients who need an account, and that is it. Most no annual fee bank accounts do not offer much for perks, or any other services. There are a few institutions that excel in this niche, but they are online or small banks.

Pros
No-fees means free transactions, banking and more.
Online banks make access to your money easy.
Cons
Most no-fee accounts are online only.
You will need to rely on self-service for most of your transactions and banking services.

ONLINE BANKS 

Online banks have seen a recent upswing in popularity. It seems every bank has an online arm. These banks vary in services, but most offer at least a chequing account and a savings account. Many offer full banking services all from your couch. For those who are good with technology, these online options can be a great deal!

Pros
No brick and mortar locations mean fewer fees and better perks.
Most online entities make accessing your money easy with large ATM networks.
Cons
Lack of physical service if there is an issue with your account.
Need an internet connection to do any banking.

CHEQUING ACCOUNTS

The chequing account is the workhorse of the personal banking world. These accounts allow you to pay bills, pay rent and write cheques if needed. They are the most common account on the market, and almost every bank offers them. From part-time workers to retirees, everyone needs a chequing account.  

Pros
Chequing accounts offer the most flexibility of any account.
Some accounts come with a small interest rate on the account.
Cons
These accounts are fluid in their use and not designed as a long-term storage spot for your money.
Most common account and you will not see many differences between the big banks and the small banks.

SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Savings accounts are the savings vehicles for most of the population. These accounts are often the second account someone opens up, and there are three main types. The general savings account has an average interest rate and offers excellent flexibility. Otherwise, savings accounts can come in the form of an RRSP or TFSA. Everyone needs a savings account, and there are plenty of options on the market.  

Pros
Savings vehicle that will help you grow your money.
Can be a regular savings account, RRSP or TFSA.
Cons
Most savings accounts have a better high-interest option.
Limited transactions and options.

STUDENT BANK ACCOUNTS

Student’s banking needs are pretty simple. They need to be able to access their money and save some money. This is why student bank accounts exist. These accounts are simple and offer what students need, a simple bank account. Most accounts are no-fee, and have unlimited transactions, a perfect combination for students!  

Pros
No-fees and unlimited transactions.
Access to large ATM networks at no cost.
Cons
Need proof of enrollment to maintain the no-fee status.
Not all the benefits of a full-service bank account.

THE BOTTOM LINE

We have provided you with the information. It is now up to you to find the best bank account in Canada for you. You now know what to look for in bank accounts. What banks are leading the way in your specific situation, and what type of account fits your needs.  

As you age and change your lifestyle, you may need to adjust your bank accounts to suit. You do not need to stay at your bank, and in fact, you can find a new account with ease. Make regular financial check-ins part of your taxes or year-end routine. This will allow you to see if you need to make a change and allows you time to do your research.  

As we type this, deals and changes are happening in every bank on this list. Specific promotions will come and go. When trying to find that perfect bank, you need to pay attention. Keep an eye out during back to school and end of fiscal. You will have the best chance to grab a promotion offer during these times!  

All in all, the best bank account in Canada is whatever one suits you at this point in your life. It does not matter if it is a small online bank or a member of the big five. If you find an account that helps you meet your needs, you found yourself the best bank account in Canada!

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