10 Best No-Fee Bank Accounts in Canada 2021: Bank For Free

Banking fees can add up really easily. In fact, some chequing accounts in Canada charge almost $200 per year in monthly fees.

If you are spending your hard-earned cash on your banking, you may not have to. There are options out there for banking with absolutely no fees, and good ones, too.

Today, I’m going through the top ten best no-fee bank accounts in Canada for 2021. I’ll walk you through the features and the details of banking options that are actually fee-free; no minimum balances, and no hidden fees.

That’s possibly hundreds of dollars saved per year, right there.

Let’s get into it!

Common Characteristics of Canadian No-Fee Chequing Accounts

First, let’s go through what most of these no-fee bank accounts have in common.

Most of the no-fee banks in Canada are digital, giving you the convenience of banking from wherever you are. Fewer physical branches, in most cases, mean lower operating costs for banks which can save you money on the services you receive.

But fear not, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have access to cash or assistance from a real person. In most cases, you still have access to a wide range of ATMs to make deposits and withdrawals and can call their call centers to get assistance if you ever need it.

If you are wondering about safety and insurance, digital banks are members of CDIC, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, just like other big banks out there.

This means that up to $100,000 of your deposits are protected. In the case of credit unions, you may even have unlimited insurance on your deposits, which I will touch on at the end.

Lastly, note that I won’t mention student, youth, or senior accounts in this post, which tend to be free of any fees even at the Big Five. We will only go through CAD accounts for your day-to-day banking that could potentially replace your current bank that is charging you fees.

Best No-Fee Bank Accounts In Canada in 2021

Best banks

Here are the top ten no-fee bank accounts in Canada in 2021 and their features.

1. Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account – Best All-Around

Tangerine logo

Tangerine offers one of the best no-fee banking accounts out there. Their wide range of features and low fees are truly very impressive in comparison to other no-fee chequing accounts in Canada. They also offer drafts, which very few online banks do. Below is a rundown of the No-Fee Daily Chequing Account’s features.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Free unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, pre-authorized payments, Tangerine Email Money Transfers and Interac e-Transfer®  transactions
  • Option to order a bank draft online and have it delivered to your door
  • Tiered interest accrued on the account:
    •  $0.00 – $49,999.99 account balance: 0.01%
    • $50,000.00 – $99,999.99: 0.05%
    • $100,000 or more: 0.10%
  • The first checkbook (50 cheques) is free, $50 each for additional checkbooks
  • Overdraft available with a monthly charge of $5 + 19% interest on all overdraft balances
  • 1 free stop payment per year, $12.50 each thereafter
  • 1 free replacement Card per year, $15 thereafter
  • Free access to 3,500 Scotiabank ABMs (Automated Bank Machines) nationwide and 44,000 ABMs worldwide through Scotiabank’s Global ATM Alliance.
  • Mobile Cheque Deposit
  • Non-Sufficient Funds fee is $45
  • Non-Scotiabank ABM fee: $1.50

For more details on the account and information on account opening and verification, go here. For their No-Fee Daily Chequing Account’s complete fee schedule, go here.

Limited time promo: Tangerine also has a promotion until January 2022 to earn a 2.00% interest rate on your account balance (up from 0.01%!) and a $300 cash bonus. Just sign up to become a new client, open a chequing or savings account, and add your payroll to the account. You can learn more about that here.

2. EQ Savings Plus Account – Top Pick for High-Interest Savings

EQ Bank Logo

The EQ Savings Plus Account combines the best features of a chequing and savings account. You can get the interest rate of a savings account while having access to the features of a chequing.

EQ Bank is my top pick for a high-interest savings account in Canada, and I’ve been using it for several years now. It has a great 1.25% savings rate right now.

With EQ, you can also send international money transfers directly from your account using the mid-market exchange rate. This service is powered through Wise, which is a company that I love and have reviewed here.

Another highlight of this account is that there is no Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fee, which most banks charge upwards of $40 for.

Let’s go through the full account features.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • 1.25% interest accrued (calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly)
  • Free unlimited Interac e-Transfers® (to send and receive)
  • Free unlimited Electronic Funds Transfers [EFT] (which include transfers between EQ Bank accounts, transfers between linked accounts (bank to bank), and recurring transfers)
  • Free bill payments
  • The convenience of virtual international bank transfers (powered by Wise)
  • No NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) chargeback fees for returned items (ex. cheque deposit with non-sufficient funds)
  • 4 possible joint account co-holders (including Primary Account holder)
  • Mobile Cheque Deposit
  • $20 successful referral reward bonus, up to 25 friends ($500 bonus)

Good to note

  • Paper statements are not available, they can be viewed and printed online only
  • Overdrafts are not available
  • EQ is a digital-only bank. They do not offer a debit card or direct ATM access to withdraw or deposit cash. They suggest that by sending funds to your linked account through Interac e-Transfer® or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), you can withdraw the cash from your linked account.

For more details on the account and information on account opening and verification, go here.

➡️ Get a 1.25% rate here.

Although savings accounts offer higher interest rates than chequing accounts, I would still recommend investing funds that you don’t need access to in the medium to far future.

This way, your hard-earned money can get an even higher rate of return and won’t deteriorate against the pressures of inflation. I talk extensively about investments here.

Past the two basic chequing and savings accounts, how many bank accounts you should have come down to personal preference.

Whether you like keeping all of your money in one bank for convenience or taking advantage of good deals at different banks as they pop up, it’s completely up to you.

Managing your money is a personal experience, and many different factors can be involved. If you would like to read up on money management tips from me, you can head here.

Conclusion

In Canada, banking fees are not equal across the board. What you get for how much you pay per month can vary vastly depending on which bank account you choose at which financial institution.

Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for banking with absolutely monthly fees and a wide range of account features that allow you flexible day-to-day banking. As the world heads in a more and more digitalized state, these accounts also give you the convenience of banking from wherever you are.

Want to know more about chequing accounts in Canada? Check out this recent blog post for the 8 Best Chequing Accounts In Canada 2021.

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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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