10 Best No-Fee Bank Accounts in Canada 2022: 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 2022. 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!

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Tangerine
Tangerine
  • Full-service banking
  • Great mortgage rates
  • Amazing money-back credit card
  • Access to 3,500 ABMs
Open A Free Account
Best High Interest
EQ Savings
EQ Savings
  • High interest rates
  • No everyday banking fees
  • Easy to use and transfer money
  • International money transfers
Open A Free Account

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 2022

Here are the top ten no-fee bank accounts in Canada in 2022 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 their No-Fee Daily Chequing Account’s complete fee schedule, go here.

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

Our Verdict
EQ Bank Review 2021
9.6/10Our Score

EQ Bank

High-Interest Savings Online Bank

  • Very high-interest savings accounts
  • Easy to use and setup

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 1.50% 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
  • 1.50% 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.

3. Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account

simplii financial logo

Simplii Financial is owned by CIBC. They offer a good range of online and mobile services with no monthly fee. You also get fee-free access to all CIBC ATMs, which is a plus.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Unlimited free debit purchases, bill payments & withdrawals
  • 0.05% interest accrued, which is typical for a chequing account, but much lower than the EQ Banks account mentioned above
  • Ding-free access to over 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada
  • Pre-authorized bill payments
  • Overdraft protection: you can add overdraft protection up to $5000 to your account to help you with unexpected expenses with a monthly charge of $4.97 + 19% interest on all overdraft balances
  • $50 successful referral reward bonus (Unlimited. More successful referrals = more money)
  • Joint accounts available

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

Note: I did notice that their website is not as transparent as EQ bank’s when it comes to service charges and limits, so it’s always good to read the fine print before signing up for their accounts.

4. Motusbank No-fee Chequing Account

motusbank

Motusbank is a newer bank founded in 2018, and their no-fee chequing is a good well-rounded option. It comes with a debit card for day-to-day purchases made easy, and free, unlimited INTERAC e-Transfers.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Earn 0.15% interest on every dollar, calculated on the closing daily balance, and paid to your account monthly
  • Free unlimited Interac e-Transfers® (to send and receive)
  • Free unlimited bill payments, transfers between accounts, Interac® Direct Payment purchases, pre-authorized debit, ABM withdrawals, and cheques performed by you via online or mobile banking or their Member Service team
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • The first order of a 25-count checkbook is free
  • No-fee access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE® Network in Canada and the Allpoint Network in the US
  • Online, mobile, ATM, or over the phone options for daily banking needs

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

5. PC Financial PC Money Account

PC Financial Logo

The PC Money Account is marketed as “a bank account that gets you more PC Optimum™ points”. It’s very rewards-based and has some interesting features that are unique to this card. If you are a regular at PC Optimum stores, this account could definitely be right for you!

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Unlimited online and in-store transactions
  • Free unlimited Interac e-Transfers® (to send and receive)
  • Earn 10 points/$1 on your everyday purchases, plus up to 25 points/$1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Overdraft available with a monthly charge of $5 + 19% interest on all overdraft balances
  • Earn a one‑time bonus of 25,000 PC Optimum points when you set up payroll direct deposit and receive your third deposit (x value).
  • “Early Payday” feature: You could receive your direct deposit funds when the payroll file is received from your employer. Their website claims that this may be up to 2 days earlier than the employer’s scheduled payment date.
  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fee: $40 (If a transaction on your Account is rejected due to a reason of non-sufficient funds in the Account, such as a bill payment or cheque)
  • Domestic ATM withdrawal (not PC Financial ATM): $1.50

For more details on the account and information on account opening and verification, go here. For the PC Money Account’s complete fee schedule go here.

6. Motive Financial Cha-Ching Chequing Account

Motive Financial Logo

Motive Financial is an online bank that offers great rates and reduced fees. They’ve got two fee-free chequing accounts. Let’s start with the Cha-Ching Chequing Account.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • 0.25% interest accrued (Interest is calculated on the daily closing balance at the applicable rate tier and paid on the last day of the month)
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • Unlimited free Interac® e-Transfers
  • Take advantage of THE EXCHANGE® ATM Network in Canada
  • The first 50 personalized cheques are free
  • 2 free Non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals, additional withdrawals are $1.50 each
  • Non Sufficient Funds (NSF) cheques and loan payments cost $45
  • Printed monthly statements with cheque images mailed to your home are available at $2 per month

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

7. Motive Chequing Account

Motive Financial Logo

This second Motive Chequing Account also comes with no monthly fees and offers an even higher interest rate. However, it does charge fees for certain services, such as Interac e-Transfers.

If you plan on holding a larger account balance and sending only a few e-Transfers per month, this option may be your better bet.

Account Features

  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited free daily transactions and money withdrawals
  • 0.60% interest accrued
  • $1 per Interac® e-Transfer

For more information on the Motive Chequing account, go here.

For Motive Financial’s complete fee schedule, go here.

8. 1Q Chequing Account

1q bank logo

1Q’s Chequing Account offers a tiered interest schedule that is high compared to other chequing accounts out there. They also offer free unlimited transactions and ABM withdrawals much like other online banks.

Do note that their debit card is only available for use in Canada, the United States, and South Korea.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Free unlimited debit transactions
  • Tiered interest accrued:
    •  $0.00 – $49,999.99 account balance: 0.25%
    • $50,000.00 – $99,999.99 account balance: 0.75%
    • $100,000 or more: 0.85%
  • Mobile cheque deposit on app
  • Free ABM withdrawals

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

9. Alterna Bank No-Fee eChequing Account

Alterna Savings

Alterna Bank offers digital banking in Canada, and they offer a no-fee chequing account that is noteworthy. Alterna Bank is definitely up and coming in the banking world in Canada and offers unique products such as end-to-end digital mortgages also.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Free, unlimited daily transactions: withdrawals, Transfers, Interac® e-Transfers, Me-to-Me Transfers, Bill Payments, Cheques, Pre-authorized payments, Debit card payments (POS), Alterna and THE EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals and transfers.
  • FREE, unlimited Interac® e-Transfers
  • Overdraft Protection is available for $2.50 a month + interest (calculated and debited monthly to your account)
  • 0.05% annual interest rate accrued
  • The maximum balance per customer is $250,000 (plus accrued interest)

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

10. Wealthsimple Cash Account

Wealthsimple Logo

Previously called Wealthsimple Save, the Wealthsimple Cash Account is available for Canadians who have a Wealthsimple Invest or Wealthsimple Trade account.

In my opinion, this account does miss some integral features of day-to-day banking, such as cheque deposits, and therefore doesn’t necessarily replace a traditional chequing account.

However, it does offer the convenience of sending money easily through the app and storing cash, so it could be a good option if you already have an account through Wealthsimple. If you don’t and are interested, you can get a $50 Signup Bonus for Wealthsimple Trade here.

Let’s go through its features.

Account Features

  • No monthly banking fees with no minimum balance
  • Unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals
  • Sending and receiving money is completely free
  • Make everyday purchases with the Wealthsimple Visa Cash card by adding it to Apple or Google Pay.

For more details on the Wealthsimple Cash account, go here.

Free Credit Union Chequing Accounts

There are also credit unions of varying sizes across the country that offer no-fee banking. Your deposits in credit unions are protected by provincial deposit insurance rather than the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, which in some instances provides more insurance.

This can mean that more than $100,000 of your deposits are insured, so you can feel comfortable about keeping all of your money in one place.

In the case of B.C., the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (CUDIC) provides unlimited deposit insurance protection on all deposits in British Columbia’s credit unions.

Another benefit of credit union accounts is that you have access to in-person branches with most of them. This does sometimes mean that operating costs of branches limit the number of free features of bank accounts, but it all boils down to personal preferences about your banking.

If you are interested in looking into credit unions for fee-free chequing accounts, I recommend looking into Valley First and Vancity credit unions in BC, Cambrian and Steinbach credit unions in Manitoba, and Innovation credit union in Saskatchewan.

How many bank accounts should you have in Canada?

There are no limits on how many banks accounts you can have in Canada, but you should consider having at least two: one chequing and one savings account.

Chequing accounts are usually used to house funds that you will need access to within about a month, whether that is to pay your bills, make debit card purchases, make loan payments. Most people also link up their payroll to their chequing account.

Your savings account, on the other hand, can be used to store funds that you may need access to in the near to medium future, such as to make a big purchase or to have an emergency fund.

My top pick for a savings account is EQ Bank in the list above. You can get the 1.50% 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.

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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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