2020 Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada

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Now that there are so many different banks to choose from, it can be hard to find the best high-interest savings account in Canada. Thankfully, I’ve done the legwork for you! Here is a thorough high-interest savings account comparison so you can find the best interest rate and most flexibility for your money.

A high-interest savings account is essential for personal finance. As a way to make money with no risk and no effort, it’s easy to see why.

Especially because inflation causes your hard-earned money to lose value over long periods of time! Having your money in an account that doesn’t offer you a competitive interest rate is setting yourself up to lose.

A high-interest savings account should be the first step

Yes, you should be investing. You should be maxing out your TFSA. You should be saving for retirement. But a high-interest savings account needs to come before any of that! Why? Accessibility.

You need a place where your money can grow, that doesn’t restrict your access with things like withdrawal limits, processing fees, or even the time it takes to transfer funds. A good high-interest account meets you in the middle.

Keeping your savings in a high-quality account isn’t really something you can afford to decide against. Luckily, Canada has a few great options to choose from!

High Interest Savings Accounts Rates for Canadian Financial Institutions

Financial InstitutionInterest Rate
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account2.00%*
Wealthsimple Cash0.90%
Meridian Good to Grow Savings0.75% (up to 2.75% for 4 months with promotion)
Simplii Financial High Interest Savings1.15%
Tangerine Bank Savings Account0.40% (up to 2.80% for 5 months with current promotion)
Scotiabank Momentum Plus0.30% to 1.25%
RBC Royal Bank High-Interest eSavings0.30%
CIBC eAdvantage High Interest Savings Account0.30% (up to 2.05%)
BMO Savings Builder0.20% to 0.70%
TD Bank High Interest Savings Account0.55%

What is a High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)?

A high-interest savings account, sometimes abbreviated HISA, is exactly what its name implies: a place for your money to earn high interest. Savings accounts are essential to your financial health because they are a great place to keep liquid, risk-free cash.

A high-interest savings account is a great place to keep your Emergency Fund or save up for a vacation. It’s also a great place to keep the cash portion of your retirement fund!

Everyone should have at least one savings account, but chances are you’ll need several for different goals.

What to look for in your high-interest savings account

It’s always exciting to watch your hard-earned money make you more money. When it comes to making a high-interest savings account comparison, here are the main factors to consider:

  • Interest rate (duh!)
  • Flexibility, access, and fees
  • Registered account availability

In the case of a high-interest savings account, you should aim for an interest rate of at least 2%. However, the interest rate isn’t the only aspect of an account that might make it worthwhile! Your personal situation, financial habits, and savings goals determine what is most from your account.

For example, you might want to save for multiple goals at the same time, so you want more than one HISA.

Or maybe you’re using the account as a buffer of cash, and it’s possible you’ll make a withdrawal 2-3 times per month so want to make sure there are no limits on transactions and you won’t be charged withdrawal fees. 

After reviewing interest rates, fees (or lack of such), deposit minimums, and withdrawal limits, you can decide which high-interest savings account is right for you.

Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada 2020

Canadians have more choices than ever of where to bank. Here are the best places to park your cash!

Here is a detailed breakdown of the accounts listed above for you to find the perfect HISA for your finances.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

I’m always seeing EQ Bank make a name for themselves! Not only do I know a lot of people who’ve switched to EQ Bank, but its praises are all over the internet! And for good reason, too.

If that isn’t enough, the account also boasts free Interac eTransfers®, free transactions (eg. EFTs, Bill Payments, EQ to EQ Transactions, etc.), and no everyday banking fees! This makes this the perfect account for beginners!

Another useful perk with EQ Bank is that you’re able to open up multiple EQ Bank Saving Plus accounts. For those with multiple saving goals, or those who don’t feel comfortable having all their eggs in one basket, EQ Bank provides the option of spreading things out a bit.

There’s no minimum balance for this account, but there is a maximum of $200,000.

If comfortable with online banking, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account offers an interest rate that you simply can’t find anywhere else!

All in all, EQ Bank has succeeded in finding a balance between convenience and function. And again, the interest rate. It’s so high. I mean, come on. This is why the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is always highly recommended by the MAG team!

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The only downside of EQ Bank is a major one: no registered accounts! You cannot open an RRSP or TFSA so, unfortunately, there’s no earning that great interest rate in a tax-sheltered way.

If you’re looking to max out your TFSA or to use your RRSP to lower your interest rates, take a look at some of our other recommendations, which offer registered accounts!

Wealthsimple Cash

I love Wealthsimple! I use it more than any other finance app and have multiple accounts running at the moment. Like EQ Bank, Wealthsimple has been spreading its reach more and more since they started up over five years ago.

One of the most appealing aspects is the app, website, and customer services are incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate. I love the design because it makes it easy for me to keep a borderline-obsessive eye on my money!

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My favorite account with Wealthsimple is my TFSA, but Wealthsimple Cash has several perks of its own. Wealthsimple Cash recently replaced the Wealthsimple Smart Savings account, which was included on this list in 2019. Except now it’s even better!

Wealthsimple Cash is offering an interest rate of 1.90% for personal accounts and 1.50% for business accounts. That means stashing money in this account is another huge opportunity to watch your money make more money.

This account now functions as both a savings and spending account! Check out a full breakdown on how Wealthsimple Cash functions here.

There are no monthly fees, no low balance fees, no minimum balance, and no transaction fees. This might be my favorite part about using Wealthsimple! I don’t have a ton of money to spare for savings, so I get nervous about locking my money in an account with limited access.

Wealthsimple users are permitted unlimited deposits and withdrawals, which is perfect for an inconsistent income! I can usually get withdrawal into my chequing account within two or three business days.

A Wealthsimple customer would have to be comfortable with their banking being done online. But if you are, this savings option goes above and beyond conventional bank accounts!

Tangerine Savings Account

Tangerine Bank savings account offers an interest rate of 1%, which I admit is significantly lower than our last two options. However, it’s worth mentioning that because Tangerine is based online, they tend to offer promotions pretty frequently! 

In Tangerine’s current promotion, new clients get an interest rate of 2.75% for the first 5 months after opening a savings account! Great deals like this pop up every once in a while, so keep an eye out if you’re looking for a new high-interest savings account.

The Tangerine savings account has no minimum balances and no service charges. 

One of the biggest advantages of banking with Tangerine Bank is it’s one of the few financial institutions offering high-interest on registered accounts like a TFSA or RRSP!

If you want the best rate of return on tax-sheltered income, Tangerine is your best choice. And yes, the promotional rate of 2.75% applies to these accounts too! 

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Tangerine Bank is well-known for its account flexibility and the many options users have when managing their money. With no monthly fees and no minimum balance, it’s easy to set up a new account (or several!).

Something else that I like about Tangerine Bank is the option to set up an Auto-Savings Program, which deposits money from your checking account into your savings at regular intervals. Eliminating any extra effort is always a perk in my eyes!

Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings Account

Although still a great option for high-interest savings accounts in Canada, the Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings Account one is a bit different than the others on this list.

The biggest difference might be the interest rate, which is a mere 1% when you first open your account. However, the growth opportunities are what make this account worth it!

Scotiabank’s tiered interest rates start taking effect when your money is left untouched. The idea of the account is to convince savers to save diligently, without withdrawals. There’s even a $5 fee that applies to each external transfer.

But the longer you leave it untouched, the higher your interest rate rises! If no withdrawals are made for 360 days, the account makes its way up to a maximum interest rate of 2.00%*.

If you’re the type of saver that’s able to implement the “out of sight, out of mind” theory to your money, this account could be perfect for long-term goals. Of course, this also means it won’t be the optimal account for those of us who like constant access to our money!

The Scotiabank Momentum Plus account charges no monthly fees and doesn’t have a minimum balance. Again, if used right, this account could be a great tool in your savings strategy!

 *Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
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Money After Graduation Inc. is a financial literacy website dedicated to helping Millennials and Gen Z pay off debt, invest in the stock market, and afford the life they want!

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