Want to keep your investment portfolio conservative but also want better interest rates than regular savings accounts?
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) is one option for your safe investing approach. You get a better return on your investment with GIC in comparison to other conservative investment methods.
Here, I am going to give a rundown of some of the best GIC rates available in Canada this year. From traditional to online banks and credit unions, I will try to cover all financial institutes here.
But before we get into the interest rate details and comparisons, it is essential to fully understand what GICs are and how you can get the best GIC rates in Canada with them.
(Note that these rates were recorded on March 18, 2020, after the emergency interest rate cuts by the government)
What Is a GIC?
GIC is a safe and secure investment avenue that involves minimal risk. It is an ideal option for all those who want to make sure their savings don’t depreciate over time through inflation. GICs generally offer better interest rates; however, with a tradeoff, i.e., you have to lock in your money for a specified period.
During this maturity period, you can’t cash in your deposits as you can do with a savings account. However, banks and credit unions have introduced some flexibility for investors by branching out GIC into several types.
Types of GICs
You can classify GICs mainly in four categories
A Traditional GIC
A traditional GIC is a fixed-rate non-redeemable investment. Here, you get a fixed interest rate on your investment that is locked in for a specified period.
A Redeemable GIC
Redeemable or cashable GIC works pretty similarly to a savings account. Here, you can withdraw your savings before the maturity. The interest rates offered at redeemable GICs are lower than non-redeemable ones.
A Variable-Rate GIC
When you invest in a variable-rate GIC, you can take advantage of the increasing prime rate of the financial institute you are investing with. This type of GIC investment is a good option when you are quite sure about the growing interest rates in the coming terms.
A Market-Linked GIC
A market-linked GIC has its interest rate changed with the underlying stock or equity. This type of GIC is suitable when the market is on a bullish streak. However, when the market underperforms, or worse crashes, you may not get any interest on your principal of market-linked GIC.
Do You Even Need a GIC?
I personally never buy GICs. Anytime you tie your money up for a certain amount of time, your financial freedom is restricted. I prefer to use a High-Interest Savings Accounts (HISA) in most situations where I need to hold cash equivalents.
For example, the EQ Bank HISA rates are very similar to the EQ Bank GIC rates, and you get much more freedom with your money. You can read more about EQ Bank HISA in my full review here.
How to Get the Best GIC Rates?
GICs offer better interest rates than savings accounts. However, you can also pick the best among betters by choosing the GICs issued by an online bank or a credit union. Online banks can offer higher GIC rates because they are saving a lot in overhead expenses.
Credit unions also offer better GIC rates than traditional banks because they are not-for-profit entities and not publicly traded either. Therefore, credit union usually distributes all the profits among its clients after keeping the money for running day-to-day operations.
Online Banks GIC Rates
Simplii GIC Rates
Simplii Financial is the online banking division of CIBC. It was founded in 2017 and now offers a host of financial services. Besides investments, you can also use Simplii Financial for a mortgage and other borrowing services. You can have GIC locked in Simplii with as low as $100 of principal.
- 1-Year Simplii GIC Rate: 1.293%
- 2-Year Simplii GIC Rate: 1.293%
Tangerine GIC Rates
Tangerine is a direct bank that has been around since 1997. In 2012, Scotiabank made a successful acquisition of Tangerine. Today, Tangerine is one of the biggest online banks in Canada. The bank offers competitive GIC rates without any hidden service fee.
- 1-Year Tangerine GIC Rate: 1.5%
- 2-Year Tangerine GIC Rate: 1.5%
ATB GIC Rates
ATB Financial is the Alberta-only financial instate and non-chartered bank. Over 750,000 Albertans are availing the services of ATB Financial.
- 1-Year ATB GIC Rate: 1.70%
- 2-Year ATB GIC Rate: 1.55%
Motive Financial GIC Rates
Motive Financial is a virtual division of the Canadian Western Bank. The bank offers savings, registered accounts, and GICs on rates that are different than that of CWB.
- 1-Year Motive Financial GIC Rate: 2.00%
- 2-Year Motive Financial GIC Rate: 2.05%
EQ Bank GIC Rates
EQ Bank is one of the most popular online banks in Canada. It offers one of the highest interest rates on savings accounts. The EQ Bank GIC rates are also quite remarkable.
- 1-Year EQ GIC Rate: 2.10%
- 2-Year EQ GIC Rate: 2.10%
Motusbank GIC Rates
Motusbank is a relatively new name in the online banking sector. However, it stands on the credibility of Meridian that is serving more than 300,000 members.
- 1-Year Motusbank GIC Rate: 2.15%
- 2-Year Motusbank GIC Rate: 2.25%
Implicity Financial GIC rates
Implicity Financial is an online financial institution that offers high interest with its savings accounts and GICs. You can also open TFSA, RRIF, and RRSP with Implicity Financial.
- 1-Year Implicity Financial GIC Rate: 2.20%
- 2-Year Implicity Financial GIC Rate: 2.30%
Peoples Trust GIC Rates
Peoples Trust is a CIDC-insured trust company based in Vancouver. It is primarily known for its mortgage servicing. It also offers credit cards and high-interest investment options.
- 1-Year Peoples Trust GIC Rate: 2.30%
- 2-Year Peoples Trust GIC Rate: 2.30%
Oaken GIC Rates
Oaken Financial is an online bank under Home Bank and Home Trust Company, one of Canada’s largest trust entities. Oaken Financial offers reasonable rates on its long-term non-redeemable GICs. You need to at least lock in $1,000 to have GIC with Oaken Financial.
- 1-Year Oaken GIC Rate: 2.40%
- 2-Year Oaken GIC Rate: 2.50%
Hubert Financial GIC Rates
Hubert Financial is an online bank offering deposit services, mortgages, and credit cards. It also offers better GIC rates than big banks.
- 1-Year Hubert Financial GIC Rate: 2.40%
- 2-Year Hubert Financial GIC Rate: 2.35%
Credit Unions GIC Rates
Vancity GIC Rates
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, commonly known as Vancity, is the largest community credit union in the country. The credit union offers non-redeemable GCI for up to five years of maturity term.
- 1-Year Vancity GIC Rate: 1.30%
- 2-Year Vancity GIC Rate: 1.45%
Meridian GIC Rates
Meridian is Canada’s third-largest credit union with over 350,000 members. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario insures the deposits made at Meridian. You can start your GIC from $100 for terms from 30 days to five years.
- 1-Year Meridian GIC Rate: 1.90%
- 2-Year Meridian GIC Rate: 2.15%
Parama Credit Union GIC Rates
Parama Credit Union is the largest Lithuanian credit union in the world. The Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario insures the credit union’s assets.
- 1-Year Parama Credit Union GIC Rate: 2.00%
- 2-Year Parama Credit Union GIC Rate: 2.10%
AcceleRate Financial GIC Rates
AcceleRate Financial is the online division of the Crosstown Civic Credit Union. It is also known for offering high-interest rates on savings.
- 1-Year AcceleRate Financial GIC Rate: 2.20%
- 2-Year AcceleRate Financial GIC Rate: 2.25%
Casera Credit Union GIC Rates
From borrowing to insurance and estate planning to high-interest rate savings, Casera Credit Union offers its services in nearly every financial domain. It offers non-redeemable GICS with maturity terms of 18 and 30 months.
- 18-month Casera Credit Union GIC Rate: 2.20%
- 30-month Casera Credit Union GIC Rate: 2.25%
Omnia Direct GIC Rates
Omnia Direct is the subsidiary of the WFCY Credit union and only renders its services online.
- 1-Year Omnia Direct GIC Rate: 2.30%
- 2-Year Omnia Direct GIC Rate: 2.40%
Big Bank GIC Rates
The traditional brick-and-mortar banks with large-scale operations generally offer lower GIC rates in comparison to its online counterparts and credit unions. However, you should know the GIC rates of big banks for comparisons and making better decisions.
CIBC GIC Rates
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is among the Big Five. Since it is a big bank, its GIC rates are underwhelming.
- 1-Year CIBC GIC Rate: 0.550%*
- 2-Year CIBC GIC Rate: 0.650% *
*for investments $1,000 and above
Scotiabank GIC Rates
The Bank of Nova Scotia or Scotiabank is the third-largest Canadian bank in terms of deposits and market capitalization. The bank offers non-redeemable GIC rates in different packages. The standard GIC rates at Scotiabank are:
- 1-Year Scotiabank GIC Rate: 0.800%
- 2-Year Scotiabank GIC Rate: 0.850%
BMO GIC Rates
Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of the oldest Canadian banks. It was founded in the city of Montreal more than 200 years ago.
- 1-Year BMO GIC Rate: 0.800%
- 2-Year BMO GIC Rate: 0.900%
TD GIC Rates
Toronto-Dominion Bank offers banking and financial services in various countries. Based in Toronto, the bank has more than 11 million customers and a brick-and-mortar footprint of over 1,000 branches. Instead of offering non-cashable GICs on yearly terms, TD offers them with maturity periods of 14, 15, and 18 months.
- 14-month TD GIC Rate: 0.60%*
- 18-month TD GIC Rate: 1.20%*
*for investments lower than $10,000
RBC GIC Rates
Royal Bank of Canada is the biggest of the Big Five. It is the largest Canadian bank in terms of market capitalization and serving over 16 million clients all over the world. The Royal Bank of Canada offers all types of GIC investments. The rates for non-redeemable GICs at RBC are:
- 1-Year RBC GIC Rate: 1.250%
- 2-Year RBC GIC Rate: 1.300%
ICICI Bank Canada GIC Rates
ICICI is an Indian multinational financial and banking service that also operates in Canada and is serving a large chunk of diaspora and the local population.
- 1-Year ICICI GIC Rate: 1.45%
- 2-Year ICICI GIC Rate: 1.55%
Manulife GIC rates
Manulife Bank of Canada is a relatively new bank founded in 1993. As of 2018, the bank’s total assets stand over $22 billion.
- 1-Year Manulife GIC Rate: 1.55%
- 2-Year Manulife GIC Rate: 1.55%
Canadian Western Bank GIC rates
Canadian Western Bank is an amalgamation of Bank of Alberta and the Western & Pacific Bank of Canada. It has a substantial personal and commercial clientele in the western provinces. The bank has different GIC rates for investments made in Canadian and US dollars. The fixed long-term GIC rates for Canadian dollars are:
- 1-Year Canadian Western Bank GIC Rate: 1.690%
- 2-Year Canadian Western Bank GIC Rate: 1.700%
As you can see, online banks and credit unions offer a much better interest rate than most of the big traditional banks.
Be careful with GICs, as you are locking in your money for the length of the term.
If you need the flexibility of being able to withdraw your money at any time, a high-interest savings account might be better for you. Check out my list of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada.
Let me know what you decide to go with in the comments below!