EQ Bank Review 2024: Superb GIC Rates & High-Interest Savings

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 example, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) gives you a measly 0.05% interest 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 2.50% interest rate per year with its everyday savings account, which is much higher than any big bank in Canada.

EQ Bank GIC rates are also quite high, with the 1-year GIC rate at 5.50%.

I will give you a more in-depth look at this EQ Bank review and show you some strategies on how I use it to manage my finances and combat inflation.

Our Verdict
EQ Bank Review
9.8

EQ Bank

High-Interest Savings Online Bank

EQ Bank is our top pick for the best online bank in Canada due to its high-interest rates for its savings accounts, GICs, TFSA and versatile EQ Bank card. 

Pros
  • High-interest rates on savings
  • High GIC savings rates
  • EQ Bank Card provides a lot of features
  • No everyday banking fees
  • TFSA and RSP savings are available
  • No minimum balance
  • Easy to use and transfer money
  • Unlimited fund transfers
  • International money transfers
  • 24/7 customer service is available
Cons
  • No physical branches

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 370,000 customers and $7 billion in deposits.

EQ Bank Account Offerings

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

EQ Bank’s claim to fame is its EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. This is EQ Bank’s flagship account and one that hundreds of thousands of Canadians use.

Currently, the EQ Bank interest rate is 2.50%, which is an excellent rate. 

The high-interest rate offered through this account is much higher than the interest rates provided by the Big Five. 

It also makes EQ Bank’s rate one of the highest among online-only banking solutions.

Here are some additional features of the account that I like:

  • 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
  • Unlimited bill payments

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 its very high-interest rate of 2.50%.

Here are some of its highlights:

  • High-interest savings rate of 3.00%
  • Zero fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Easy to sign up

EQ Bank GIC Review

EQ Bank also offers a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Account. Like 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, so be sure you are ok with locking up your money before buying one.

GICs generally provide you with 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 guaranteed returns.

The EQ Bank GIC rates are extremely competitive. For example, EQ Bank’s 1-year GIC rate is 5.50%.

How to Buy a EQ Bank GIC:

  1. Open up a free EQ Bank Savings Plus account.
  2. Link your bank account and transfer money into the account.
  3. Purchase the GIC with the funds you transferred into it.

EQ Bank Card – A Killer Product

EQ Bank has recently come out with the EQ Bank Card, which I consider to be an excellent chequing account, savings account, and credit card hybrid.

It combines elements of all three in a way that I haven’t seen any other card in Canada do, and it does it well. Here’s how it works:

  • The card acts like a chequing account because you can withdraw cash from any Canadian ATM without any fees. You can use your account for bill payments or receiving direct deposits, or international money transfers.
  • The EQ Bank Card also acts like a savings account because you earn a very high 2.50% interest rate until you spend your money, which is much higher than what you could get at any traditional bank.
  • It’s also an excellent travel credit card, as it’s a prepaid Mastercard and can be used like a normal credit card. The card offers a 0% foreign exchange fee when using the card. For example, if you use a typical credit card in the U.S., you are typically hit with a 2-3% foreign exchange fee. The EQ Bank card eliminates this problem.

The flat 0.5% cashback also makes it an appealing free virtual credit card. For all these features, it’s impressive that it does not have any annual fee.

How to sign up:

  1. Open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account here.
  2. Fund your account
  3. Order a free card, activate the card and load the card in seconds.

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 for savings rate, and with the new EQ Bank card, you can use it to complete most of your banking needs now.

If you want more options, I’ve written a full review of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada.

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.

It has partnered up with Wise, which is my favourite way to transfer money internationally as it uses the mid-market rate and will get you the best currency conversion possible.

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 above 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”.

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That will lead you to the page where you can enter your details and get started.

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 of up to $100,000 per account.

CDIC is also responsible for insuring the GICs purchased at EQ Bank as long as they do not exceed 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 TD, your money is losing value due to inflation. Inflation in Canada has been quite high lately, so you’d be losing a lot of value each year if you keep it in that very low savings account.

With EQ bank, if you put it into a TFSA you’re getting 3.00%, and the regular everyday savings rate you’ll be getting 2.50%. This helps to ensure your money isn’t losing nearly as 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 Google Play and 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 EQ Bank Customer Care which 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 fight inflation and maintain the real value of your savings
  • You want a bank account that has both chequing features, is an excellent travel credit and debit card and has very high-interest rates

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.

It’s also fantastic that EQ Bank listened to its customers and started offering a TFSA and RSP savings accounts at a very high-interest rate.

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.

The EQ Bank Card is also a versatile product that will make many Canadians’ lives easier.

Do you think you will give EQ Bank a try? You can open an EQ Bank account for free here and test it out.

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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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