6 Best High-Interest Savings Account ETFs In Canada (2022)

If you are looking to invest in a safe asset class that is currently offering a good yield, high-interest savings ETFs are a great option to consider.

Since high-interest savings ETFs compete directly with regular bank operations, they have actually been blocked from being purchased on three major bank platforms: BMO InvestorLine, RBC Direct Investing, and TD Direct Investing.

High-interest savings ETFs invest their assets across high-interest savings accounts at multiple financial institutions and offer investors a one-ticket solution.

I will cover the best high-interest savings account ETFs in Canada below and go over their key features.

Pros and Cons of High-Interest Savings ETFs

High-interest savings ETFs come with their advantages and disadvantages, like most other investments.

Pros
  • The ability to earn a higher yield as interest rates rise
  • Multiple high-interest savings accounts bundled into a one-ticket ETF solution
  • High-interest savings accounts are an extremely safe investment relative to other asset classes
Cons
  • A decreasing yield if interest rates begin to decline
  • Being responsible for paying management fees to the fund, like most ETFs
  • A conservative long-term rate of return
  • Interest is less tax-efficient relative to capital gains and dividend income

With recent increases in interest rates here in Canada, high-interest savings ETFs are currently offering investors an attractive yield with very little risk.

Best High-Interest Savings Account ETFs in Canada

1. CI High-Interest Savings ETF

CI Global Asset Management Logo
  • Ticker: CSAV.TO
  • Inception Date: June 14, 2019
  • Assets under Management: $4.08 Billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.16%
  • Management Style: Passive
  • Risk Rating: Low
  • Distributions: Monthly
  • Yield: 4.22%
  • Stock Price: $50.07
  • YTD Return: 1.9%

CI Global Asset Management is a very large, non-bank Canadian asset manager. CI offers a great high-interest savings ETF through its CSAV fund. CSAV invests mainly in high-interest deposit accounts and is designed to help investors with short-term cash requirements.

The CI High-Interest Savings ETF currently invests in the following:

  • CIBC cash account
  • National Bank cash account
  • Scotiabank cash account
  • BMO cash account

Like other fixed-income investments, the yield generated by the CSAV ETF is treated as interest income. This means that your returns are significantly less tax-efficient than both capital gains and income received through dividends.

CSAV is a very large ETF in terms of assets under management but comes with a short performance track record. The track record here is less important, considering that the fund invests only in a handful of interest-paying accounts (whose performance is tied to interest rates).

The ETF offers an attractive yield and pays distributions to investors on a monthly basis. CSAV comes with a fairly low MER, which is roughly the same as most other high-interest savings ETF providers in Canada.

If you are looking to invest in a high-interest savings ETF, CI’s CSAV ETF is a great choice to consider.

2. Horizons High-Interest Savings ETF

horizons logo
  • Ticker: CASH.TO
  • Inception Date: November 1, 2021
  • Assets under Management: $726.25 Million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.13%
  • Management Style: Passive
  • Risk Rating: Low
  • Distributions: Monthly
  • Yield: 4.29%
  • Stock Price: $50.04
  • YTD Return: 1.96%

Horizons is a well-known provider of low-cost ETFs here in Canada, offering an excellent high-interest savings ETF through CASH. CASH invests in high-interest deposit accounts with the major Canadian banks.

CASH invests mainly in high-interest deposit accounts and is designed to help investors with short-term cash requirements.

Horizons does not specifically outline which banks it uses to deposit the fund’s assets. It outlines that 100% of deposits are with tier 1 Canadian chartered banks. Tier 1 Canadian chartered banks include:

  • BMO
  • Scotiabank
  • RBC
  • CIBC
  • TD
  • National Bank

CASH’s yield is treated as interest income, making it significantly less tax-efficient than both capital gains as well as dividend income.

The ETF is large in terms of assets and comes with a very short performance track record. Keep in mind that the performance track record is not as important because the ETF’s performance is almost entirely tied to interest rates.

CASH offers an attractive yield, which is marginally higher than some of its peers, and pays distributions to investors on a monthly basis. CASH is also offered at a marginally lower MER, making it a more inexpensive offer to consider in the high-interest savings ETF space.

If you are looking for an inexpensive high-interest savings ETF in Canada, CASH is an excellent option.

3. Evolve High-Interest Savings Account ETF

Evolve ETFs Logo
  • Ticker: HISA.NE
  • Inception Date: November 20, 2019
  • Assets under Management: $2.08 Billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.17%
  • Management Style: Passive
  • Risk Rating: Low
  • Distributions: Monthly
  • Yield: 4.24%
  • Stock Price: $50.05
  • YTD Return: 1.96%

Evolve is a smaller, less well-known asset manager here in Canada. The Evolve HISA ETF, similar to peers on the list, invests in high-interest deposit accounts. The objective of the fund is to maximize monthly income while preserving capital and liquidity.

Evolve’s HISA ETF is listed on the NEO exchange as opposed to the Toronto Stock Exchange. As of mid-2022, HISA held its assets with four of the major banks here in Canada. These are:

  • CIBC cash account
  • National Bank cash account
  • Scotiabank cash account
  • BMO cash account

HISA’s yield is composed entirely of interest income, which is taxed unfavourably relative to capital gains and dividends.

The ETF is very large in terms of assets under management and comes at a relatively high MER when compared to other high-interest savings ETFs in Canada. HISA has a short performance track record but this is not really of much importance to the average investor.

Evolve’s HISA ETF offers a good yield and pays monthly distributions to investors.

The HISA ETF is a good option to consider, although being offered at a slightly higher MER than peers (as well as being listed on the NEO exchange instead of the TSX).

4. Purpose High-Interest Savings ETF

Purpose Investment Logo
  • Ticker: PSA.TO
  • Inception Date: October 15, 2013
  • Assets under Management: $3.2 Billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.17%
  • Management Style: Passive
  • Risk Rating: Low
  • Distributions: Monthly
  • Yield: 4.09%
  • Stock Price: $50.05
  • YTD Return: 1.62%

Purpose Investments is another smaller asset manager offering a robust investment shelf here in Canada. The Purpose High-Interest Savings ETF invests, like its peers, in high-interest deposit accounts with schedule 1 Canadian banks.

The ETF aims to pay a monthly yield to investors while offering daily liquidity.

Currently, the Purpose High-Interest Savings ETF uses the following bank cash accounts:

  • National Bank cash account
  • Scotiabank cash account
  • CIBC cash account
  • BMO cash account

PSA focuses on interest income, meaning that it offers investors a yield that is highly tax-inefficient (like other fixed income).

The fund is extremely large in terms of assets under management and is also offered at a relatively high MER when compared to its Canadian peers. PSA has a very long performance track record, although it is of limited usefulness to investors (the fund is entirely based on interest rates).

The Purpose High-Interest Savings ETF pays a good yield to investors and offers distributions on a monthly basis.

Although on the more expensive end (relative to peers) in terms of fees, the Purpose High-Interest Savings ETF has great overall features.

5. Ninepoint High-Interest Savings ETF

NinePoint Logo
  • Ticker: NSAV.NE
  • Inception Date: August 5, 2010
  • Assets under Management: $248.9 Million
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.16%
  • Management Style: Passive
  • Risk Rating: Low
  • Distributions: Monthly
  • Yield: 4.25%
  • Stock Price: $50.08
  • YTD Return: 1.93%

Ninepoint Partners is a small asset manager in Canada, mainly focused on alternative investment solutions. The Ninepoint High-Interest Savings ETF invests in schedule 1 Canadian bank high-interest accounts.

The ETF aims to offer investors daily liquidity while paying a good monthly yield. NSAV is listed on the NEO exchange instead of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Unlike its Canadian peers, NSAV is virtually entirely invested in a high-interest account with only one major Canadian bank. The bank of choice for Ninepoint is currently BMO.

While the large Canadian banks are very far from being at risk of bankruptcy, other high-interest ETFs in Canada have spread out their assets across multiple banks. Like other funds on the list, NSAV pays interest income, which is unfavourably taxed relative to dividends or capital gains.

The fund is large in terms of assets under management (but considerably smaller than its peers) and is also offered at a fairly average MER relative to peers. NSAV has a very long performance track record, although this only shows movements in Canadian interest rates over time.

The Ninepoint High-Interest Savings ETF pays a good yield to investors and offers distributions on a monthly basis.

Despite having good overall features, the ETF’s allocation to fewer (currently one) different Canadian banks may not be appealing to some investors. It offers a good yield and is nevertheless a good high-interest savings ETF to consider.

6. Horizons Cash Maximizer ETF

horizons logo
  • Ticker: HSAV.TO
  • Inception Date: February 5, 2020
  • Assets under Management: $2.0 Billion
  • Management Expense Ratio: 0.12%
  • Management Style: Passive
  • Risk Rating: Low
  • Distributions: Monthly
  • Yield: 4.25%
  • Stock Price: $103.84
  • YTD Return: 1.93%

Horizons also offers a second type of high-interest savings ETF. The Horizons Cash Maximizer ETF invests in high-interest savings accounts with Canadian chartered banks but does not make taxable distributions.

HSAV is designed to replicate the total return of high-interest cash savings without paying out interest. Interest gains are reflected in the net asset value of the ETF. This can help to improve the tax efficiency of the fund (especially in non-registered accounts).

Similar to Horizons’ CASH ETF, the company does not outline which banks are holding the fund’s assets.

The fund is very large in terms of assets under management and is also offered at a low MER (currently the lowest on the list). HSAV has a very short performance track record.

Since the ETF does not pay distributions, it will not appeal to investors that are looking for a constant income stream from their high-interest savings ETF.

If you value tax efficiency and do not require income from your high-interest savings ETF, HSAV is an excellent choice to consider.

Are High-Interest Savings ETFs Worth the Fees?

High-interest savings ETFs offer investors a lot of convenience in terms of trading and saving time.

Investors can open or close high-interest savings positions without having to actually open a high-interest savings account (HISA) at the nearest bank. Opening or closing a HISA at multiple banks will take you even more time.

In exchange for this convenience, investors are responsible for paying the ETF’s management expense ratio. High-interest savings ETFs charge investors very low fees, especially relative to some bond funds.

With the recent increases in interest rates as well as expectations for continued rate increases, high-interest savings ETFs are a great fixed-income investment vehicle.

How to Buy the Best High-Interest Savings ETFs in Canada

The cheapest way to buy ETFs is from discount brokers. My top choices in Canada are:

Readers Choice
Qtrade
  • 105 commission-free ETFs to buy and sell
  • Excellent customer service
  • Top-notch market research tools
  • Easy-to-use and stable platform 
Low Fees
Wealthsimple Trade
  • Stock and ETF buys and sells have $0 trading fees
  • Desktop and mobile trading
  • Reputable fintech company
  • Fractional shares available
Well-Rounded
Questrade
  • ETF buys have $0 trading fees
  • Excellent market research tools
  • Most types of registered accounts available

To learn more, check out my full breakdown of the best trading platforms in Canada.

Conclusion

High-interest savings ETFs, with their low MERs and high yields given rising interest rates, are a great investment option given current market conditions.

Most of the ETFs listed above are fairly similar in terms of their investment approach. The main differentiating factor is small differences in management fees.

If interest rates continue to rise in the future, high-interest savings ETFs are likely to outperform typical bond funds.

If you are new to investing and are just starting to trade ETFs, be sure to read my guide outlining how to buy ETFs in Canada.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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