When it comes to banking, Canadians have more options than ever. Why then are so many of us still paying bank fees?
Many of us choose our financial institutions based on whatever bank our parents signed us up for as children, and then we never switch.
You shouldn’t have to pay fees on your day-to-day banking
Yep, I said that. I mean it, too. It should cost you $0 to pay your bills and manage your money every day.
If you think no-fee chequing sounds too good to be true, you have no idea how many choices you actually have! Not only is it easy to find a no-fee chequing account, but you can also get one that actually pays you interest on your balance, too.
Tangerine was first to the scene to offer this years ago, but since then many competitors have entered the market. You can no sign up for no-fee chequing with additional perks from a few different banks and credit unions. Check them out below!
The Best No Fee Banking in Canada
|Interest Rate||Interace eTransfers||Debit Transactions||Minimum Balance|
|Tangerine||0.01%||free, unlimited||Unlimited Visa Debit||$0|
|KOHO||1.2%||free, unlimited||Unlimited Visa Debit, up to 2% cash back on purchases||$0|
|EQ Bank||1.25%||free, unlimited||No debit card||$0|
|PC Financial||free, unlimited||Unlimited, plus 10 to 25 PC points per $1 spent||$0|
|Simplii Financial||0%||free, unlimited||Unlimited||$0|
|Neo Financial||1.3%||free, unlimited||Unlimited||$0|
Here’s an overview of the accounts so you can choose the best one for you!
Tangerine has been my primary bank for over a decade.
While not as big as “The Big 5”, they’re big enough to offer a suite of financial products including chequing accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and mortgages. They offer unregistered accounts as well as TFSA, RRSP, RESP, and more.
If you’re looking for a full-service banking option, Tangerine is probably your best bet.
READ MORE: Tangerine Bank Review – The Best Online Bank
Simplii Financial used to be President’s Choice Financial. So while they seem to be new on the scene, they have a longer history than you might think.
Simplii offers 0.05% interest all the way up 0.50% interest depending on the balance you keep in your chequing account. With no fees, no minimums, and unlimited Interac eTransfers, they’re one of the strongest contenders on the list.
I opened my first account with EQ Bank 4 years ago, and I’m still sad I waited so long! They’re my favorite high-interest account for regular banking and short-term savings.
However, EQ Bank might not be a fit for everyone. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is a savings account that functions like a chequing account. While you can set up direct deposit, bill transfers, and send Unlimited Interac® eTransfers, you won’t get a debit card to use for day-to-day purchases.
I would still argue the limitations are worth the super high interest rate the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account offers on your money, but it will take some planning to work with. I primarily use my EQ Bank Savings Plus Account for things like rent and regular bill payments. It’s also where I store my Emergency Fund. However, for everything else, I have to use another financial tool.
Because the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account doesn’t have a debit card, I use KOHO for all my day-to-day transactions. KOHO functions like a prepaid Visa and budgeting app, but also offers you cash back on all your purchases.
I use KOHO for all my day-to-day spending, as well as to save for short-term goals. I love the flexibility of having a card that works like a Visa but never lets me spend more than I have like debit.
Motusbank is actually a digital bank owned by Meridian Credit Union. They offer no-fee, unlimited banking which includes unlimited bill payments, debit purchases, and Interac eTransfers. You’ll also earn 0.50% interest on every dollar in your account.
Neo Financial is a great, no-fee banking option for Canadians. While new to the FinTech scene, Neo already boasts competitive features compared to other no-fee banking options.
With Neo, you get a high interest savings account and an interest rate of 1.3%. Your account linked up with to a Master Card that you can use to spend and earn cash back on every purchase. So, with Neo, you can spend, save, and even do the essentials such as paying bills all in one spot.
Neo aims to simplify spending and saving and rewards its users for doing just that with competitive cash back rates and a user-friendly, digital space to suit all your banking needs.
… But you don’t have to pick just one
I’m personally using 3 of the 5 no-fee banking options listed above. Sometimes it takes more than one financial institution to get the right blend of flexibility and utility to meet your financial goals.