Tired of low-interest rates from the bank you’ve been using? If you’re banking with a Big Five bank in Canada, that’s no surprise.
For instance, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) gives you a 0.05% interest rate (Jan 2021 rate) in its high-interest savings account.
Enter EQ Bank as the solution to your problem of dealing with low-interest rates.
It currently offers a 1.50% per year with its everyday savings rate, which is up to 30 times higher than the bigger banks!
I’m going to give you a more in-depth look into EQ Bank and show you some strategies on how I use it to manage my finances and beat inflation.
Pros of EQ Bank
- Free signup
- High interest rates
- No everyday banking fees
- TFSA and RSP savings available
- No minimum balance
- Easy to use and transfer money
- Unlimited fund transfers
- International money transfers
- Mobile app available
- 24/7 customer service available
Cons of EQ Bank
- No physical branches
- No debit card or checkbook
- Not available for Quebec residents
Table of Contents
EQ Bank Review: What is EQ Bank Canada?
EQ Bank is a trademark of and owned by Equitable Bank. Equitable Bank is the ninth largest Schedule I bank in Canada. It introduced EQ Bank as its digital banking subsidiary four years ago.
As of today, EQ Bank already has more than 60,000 customers and $2 billion in deposits.
EQ Bank has the potential to be a welcome change for anybody looking to get reasonably exciting interest rates compared to what the traditional Big Five banks offer.
There is an increasing trend of adopting digital banks among Canadians. EQ Bank offers a high-interest savings account and one of the best savings interest rates in the market right now. Considering how low savings account interest rates have been since the market crash in 2008, EQ Bank presents itself as a possible sigh of relief.
EQ Bank Accounts
EQ Bank offers three primary accounts that customers can leverage and earn higher interest rates on their cash deposits in savings accounts:
- EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
- EQ Bank Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Account
- EQ Bank TFSA and RSP Savings Account
Let’s take a look at the three bank account types EQ Bank offers.
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account Review
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is its high-interest savings account. Currently, the EQ Bank interest rate is 1.50%.
This is EQ Bank’s flagship account, and one that tens of thousands of Canadians use.
The high-interest rate offered through this account beats the market figures based on the interest rates provided by the Big Five.
It also makes EQ Bank’s rate count as one of the highest among the online-only banking solutions right now.
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account has plenty of features I like, including:
- Free electronic funds transfer
- Free mobile check deposits
- Ten free linked accounts
- Unlimited Free Interac e-Transfers
- Unlimited and free daily transactions
- Mobile banking app
- Always available customer service
- Low-rates on international transfers
- Zero minimum balance
- Zero monthly fees
- High-interest rates of 1.50%
- Unlimited bill payments
A significant feature of this account is how versatile it is. EQ Bank does not offer a checking account, but you can use your savings account at the bank similar to how a checking account operates.
It includes the ability to transfer money between accounts at different banks, setting up recurring transfers and bill payments, you can deposit checks, and also pay your bills.
There is no dedicated tax-free savings account offered by EQ Bank currently.
EQ Bank TFSA and RSP Account
EQ Bank finally started offering a TFSA and RSP in 2020, and they are quickly becoming very popular options for its customers. It’s no wonder also, at it’s very high-interest rate of 2.30%.
Here are some of it’s highlights:
- High-interest savings rate of 2.30%
- Zero fees
- No minimum balance
- Easy to sign up
EQ Bank GIC Review
EQ Bank also offers a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Account. It operates similar to a savings account. You can get fixed-percentage interest rates paid to you on scheduled dates. The primary difference between the GIC and the savings account is that you cannot withdraw your funds from the account until it reaches maturity.
GICs generally provide you a fantastic opportunity to work towards your short-term savings goals. You stand to earn slightly more through a GIC than you would if you stored the same money in a savings account. GICs offer you low risks and guaranteed returns.
The EQ Bank GIC rates are market-competitive. Check out the EQ Bank website for up to date GIC rates.
Some of the advantages you can leverage through EQ Bank’s GIC includes:
- Zero-fee banking
- Market-beating interest rates
- Mobile banking app
- Real-time updates and a Contact Center available 8 am to midnight all seven days of the week
EQ Bank vs. Tangerine and Other Online Banks
The trend for Canadians opting to use digital banks is that they look for higher returns on their savings. Another reason could be that they’re just tired because of the continually increasing checking account fees they have to deal with.
EQ Bank isn’t the only digital banking option that offers you a high-interest savings account. Perhaps its most well-known competitor is Tangerine. However, it has a very low savings rate of 0.10%. EQ Bank is the clear winner here.
If you want more information on other high-interest savings accounts, I’ve written a full review of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada, of which EQ Bank is top of the list.
EQ Bank International Fund Transfers
The bank offers you the chance to save up to 8x on international fund transfers. You can use it for unlimited transactions, zero minimum balance, and no everyday banking fees.
EQ Bank Login and Opening an Account
One thing I like about EQ Bank is that opening an account with the bank or buying a GIC is convenient and easy. If you are the age of maturity in your province in Canada and you’re a Canadian resident, all it takes is going to the EQ Bank website and clicking the option to “Join Now”.
That will lead you to the page where you can enter your details and get started.
The EQ Bank transit number is 19682.
Is EQ Bank Safe and Legit?
In the digital age, banking seems potentially risky, especially when you hear about cases of fraud, identity theft, hacking, etc. A crucial aspect you need to consider about the bank is whether or not it is safe.
EQ Bank is owned by Equitable Bank. Its parent is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). It means your funds stored in an EQ Bank account are insured and subject to maximum coverage limitations.
CDIC is also responsible for insuring the GICs purchased at EQ Bank as long as they do not go beyond the five-year maturity term. The maximum GIC term EQ Bank offers is five years, so you don’t need to worry about that either.
How I Use EQ Bank To Manage My Finances
I use the EQ Bank Savings Account for all my short-term purchasing needs, and my emergency fund. If I know I’m going to make a purchase within two years, I will put my money in the savings account.
This is a very important part of my personal finance management, because if you put it in a regular savings account such as the one at RBC, your money is losing value due to inflation. Inflation in Canada has been around 2% per year, so you’d be losing almost that amount of value if you keep it in that very low savings account.
With EQ bank, if you put it into a TFSA you’re getting 2.30%, and the regular everyday savings rate you’ll be getting 1.50%. This keeps you at around pace with inflation so your money isn’t losing much value over time.
EQ Bank FAQ
Here are answers to a number of frequently asked questions about EQ Bank that can shed light on things you might be wondering about.
Q. Who owns EQ Bank?
A. EQ Bank is a subsidiary of Equitable Bank. Its parent company is a federally regulated Schedule I Bank. It is the ninth-largest Schedule I Bank in Canada with over 900 employees and more than $32 billion in assets under management. The Equitable Bank is owned by Equitable Group, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Q. Does EQ Bank offer a TFSA?
A. Currently, EQ Bank does not offer any registered accounts. It means you cannot open a TFSA or an RRSP at EQ Bank.
Q. Is there a EQ Bank TFSA or RRSP?
A. Yes, EQ Bank has made these account available in 2020. You can learn more about them here.
Q. Does EQ Bank have a mobile app?
A. EQ Bank is an online-only bank that has an app on both the Google Play and on the Apple App Store. It has an easy-to-use user interface, includes biometric verification capability, and a minimalist and user-friendly dashboard.
Q. How to Delete EQ Bank Account
A.If you want to delete or close your savings account at EQ Bank, you can simply call the EQ Bank Customer Care Team at 1-844-437-2265 or through their Live Chat at any time.
Q. What is EQ Bank’s Contact and Customer Service
A. Getting in touch with EQ Bank is quite easy and convenient. You can contact the bank through the EQ Bank Customer Care that is available on all seven days of the week from 8 am to midnight. EQ Bank’s Live Chat is available 24/7.
You can also call the bank on their toll-free number at 1-844-437-2265 in North America from 8 am to midnight on all seven days of the week.
Is EQ Bank Right For You?
There are several positive points about EQ Bank. Some qualities might not be suitable for your needs. You can consider going for EQ Bank if:
- You want high-interest rates on a savings account
- You want to park your money for a short time for excellent interest
- You are simply tired of traditional low-interest savings account
- You are tired of banking fees
- You want to fight inflation and maintain the real value of your savings
I give it a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars for the convenience it offers and its remarkable interest rates. It has the best high-interest rate savings account right now.
EQ Bank – Who This App is NOT for
The EQ Bank is not suitable for the needs of someone:
- Who is not currently a resident living in Canada
- Looking for long-term savings goals
- Not available for Quebec residents
EQ Bank certainly does offer you a significant advantage over other digital banks and traditional Big Five banks for its high-interest rate savings account. Its 1.50% interest rate is one of the highest of its closest peers, and it offers you decent interest rates on GICs.
It’s also fantastic that EQ Bank listened to its customers and started offering a TFSA and RSP savings account, at a very high-interest rate of 2.30% as well.
EQ bank gets a huge thumbs up from Wealth Awesome. I use it for all of my short-term savings needs, and I love the ease of use and high-interest rates it provides.
Do you think you will give EQ Bank a try? You can open an EQ Bank account for free here and test it out.