Both EQ Bank and Neo Financial are massive players in Canada’s digital banking world.
So, if you’re a part of the 89% of Canadians who reported using online banking in the last year, you may be stuck choosing between them for your everyday banking needs.
In this head-to-head EQ Bank vs Neo MoneyTM comparison, I’ll be going over which is best in these categories:
- HIgh-Interest Savings Account
- Account Features
- Account Fees
- User Experience and Security
- Complementary/Supplementary Products
What Is Neo Financial?
Neo Financial is a 100% digital financial technology (FinTech) company founded and based in Saskatchewan, Canada. Launched by the founders of the popular Canadian app SkipTheDishes, Neo is on a mission to offer better financial products and services to all Canadians.
Neo Financial currently offers several fantastic products rooted in amazing technology and user-oriented features, including:
- Neo Money, which combines the best of digital chequing and savings accounts
- Neo Card with no annual fees and amazing cash-back (secured option with guaranteed approval is available)
- Neo Mortgage for 100% digital mortgages
- Neo Invest for wealth management and investments
The company employs more than 650 people, has raised about $300 million in funding since its birth, and is rated 4.8 on the Apple App Store for its user-friendly banking app.
EQ Bank is a digital bank based in Canada. Owned by Equitable Bank (a Schedule I Bank founded in 1970), it offers various personal banking products, including everyday banking, investments, international money transfers (through Wise) and mortgage resources.
EQ is specifically known for its high-interest savings account and guaranteed investment certificates (GIC)/term deposits. As a fully digital bank, they also offer digital joint, registered and US dollar accounts.
EQ Bank has more than 1000 employees, more than $7 billion in deposits, and has been recognized as a Top Bank in Canada in the Forbes 2021 World’s Best Banks list.
Learn more about this digital bank in this EQ Bank review.
Let’s compare the main banking accounts at these two Canadian digital banks in the following five categories: interest earned, account features, fees, user experience and supplementary products.
We’ll declare a winner in each category and conclude with the ultimate winner.
1. Savings Account
With an interest rate of 2.25% on every dollar, the Neo Money account has one of the best interest rates on a chequing/saving account in Canada.
This interest rate is up to 225x more than what is offered at a traditional, big five bank. It is calculated daily on your closing account balance and paid out monthly directly into your Neo Money account.
EQ Bank is also known for good interest rates on its everyday banking accounts and GICs.
However, the 2.50% interest on their Savings Plus Account is usually not as high as Neo Financial’s.
Similar to Neo Financial, the interest on this account is calculated daily and paid out monthly.
With an interest rate that is pretty much unrivalled by any other traditional or digital bank in Canada, Neo Financial is the winner of the “interest earned” category.
Considering that a savings account has nearly no risk, this rate is fantastic. Over time, you can really watch your deposits soar.
If interest is your biggest concern, I recommend you go with Neo. You can learn more and sign up for this Neo Money account here.
There is more to an account than just interest. So let’s dive into the other account features of the Neo Money account and EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
Here are the Neo Money account features.
- Free and unlimited transactions, Interac e-Transfers and bill payments
- No monthly or annual fees
- No minimum balance
- Link your other bank accounts for easy funds transfers
- Up to $100,000 CDIC deposit insurance (through Concentra Bank)
- Fantastic user experience
- Automated bill payments and bill payment portal
- Set up direct deposit from your employer, the government, or other income sources
- Joint account available (only to be held by spouses or common-law partners; two people max.)
Here are the EQ Bank account features.
- Free and unlimited transactions, bill payments, Interac e-Transfers
- Mobile cheque deposit
- Low-fee international money transfers (provided by Wise)
- Up to $100,000 CDIC deposit insurance (through Equitable Bank)
- Free electronic fund transfers between your bank accounts
- Mobile app for convenience
- Joint account (up to four holders)
Beyond the difference in their interest, the Neo Money account and the EQ Savings Plus Account have fantastic features that are comparable.
The winner of the account features category, however, is EQ Bank. This is because they offer everything Neo Money does, as well as mobile cheque deposits, international money transfers and more flexibility around joint accounts.
Beyond these three features, the accounts are really quite similar in nature. Both are incredibly inclusive and have little to no fees, which brings me to the next section.
The EQ Bank and Neo Money accounts offer free and unlimited transactions with no monthly/annual fee or minimum balance. So let’s compare fees beyond these features.
- NSF (non-sufficient funds) fee: $0
- Transaction recall/trace: $0
- Account dormancy or inactivity: $0
- Stopping Interac e-Transfers: $0
- Open or close your account: $0
- Requested printed documents: $5
- NSF fee: $0
- Mobile cheque deposit: $0
- Transaction recall: $0
- Open or close your account: $0
- Account dormancy or inactivity: $0
- Printed documents: Not available
Neo Money and EQ Bank tie when it comes to account fees. Both accounts are incredibly lenient when it comes to charges for non-sufficient funds, dormancy and inactivity.
Keep in mind that Neo charges $5 for any requested printed documents, whereas EQ Bank does not offer this feature at all. With both accounts, all of your documents will be available to you digitally.
As a FinTech company, Neo Money’s user experience is absolutely fantastic. Their app is incredibly well-designed and easy to use, including features such as:
- Insights and analytics for tracking transaction habits and financial progress
- Auto-save and auto-invest features to help you put more money aside for goals
- Bill payment portal with scheduled bill payments
- Instant card freeze and unfreeze in case of emergencies
- Biometrics and two-factor authentication for increased security
- 24/7 virtual assistant, seven-day customer support line, chat support
The Neo Money account is provided by Concentra Bank, a federally regulated bank and a Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) member. This means that your deposits in the Neo Money account are insured for up to $100,000 as well, which is fantastic.
With Neo, you can do your banking both on a desktop and on their mobile application.
As a trademark of Equitable Bank, your deposits are also protected for up to $100,000 at EQ Bank through the CDIC.
Banking with EQ Bank can be done both on the desktop and on their mobile application. You can also get customer service through their chatbot 24/7 or speak with one of their representatives eight am-midnight EST seven days per week.
While both of these banks are equally secure, Neo Financial is the winner when it comes to user experience. With so many features to streamline your finances and keep track of everything, Neo is where finance meets technology.
However, this doesn’t by any means mean that the EQ Bank mobile application is not good. The app is rated 4.7/5 on the Apple App Store, which also speaks volumes. As a newer FinTech company, though, Neo just has a better interface.
Both EQ Bank and Neo Financial offer products beyond their personal banking accounts (i.e. beyond the Neo Money and the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.)
It’s usually easier to have multiple products with one company as opposed to just one product at many different companies. So, let’s briefly compare the other products offered by these two digital companies to see which one might best suit you.
Beyond the Neo Money account, Neo Financial offers:
- Neo Card and Secured Card
- Neo Invest for wealth management
- Neo Mortgage for digital mortgages
If you’ve read this Neo Card review or my list of best secured cards in Canada, you might already know that the Neo Cards are absolutely fantastic. If you’re in the market for a new credit card, I’d highly recommend them both.
Beyond their Savings Plus Account, EQ Bank offers a wide range of other financial products, including:
- US Dollar account
- Digital Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
- International Money Transfers (through Wise)
- A Mortgage Marketplace to shop for over 2,000 mortgage products, get advice, and apply all in one place
The winner of the complementary product category is Neo Financial. With their amazing cash-back credit cards, investment services and mortgage products, you can get a lot of your personal finances done in one place, without the fees and the hassle of in-person banking.
With that said, Neo does not offer any GICs. If that’s what you’re looking for, I recommend you go with EQ Bank.
The ultimate winner of this EQ Bank vs. Neo Money comparison is Neo Money.
With amazing interest earned, state-of-the-art user experience, and free and unlimited transactions, it’s unbeaten by other digital banks in Canada, let alone the big five.
You can sign up for Neo Money here.
However, this isn’t to say that EQ Bank cannot meet your financial needs. All in all, I recommend both in different instances.
In short, go with Neo Money if:
- A good interest rate is important to you
- You are looking for a great credit card to be paired with your Neo Money account
- You want access to a really good mobile app that allows you to track your finances
- You want to take advantage of the card freeze and unfreeze feature
- You want to pair your account with investments in the stock market (through Neo Invest)
Go with EQ Bank Savings Plus Account if:
- You want access to mobile cheque deposit
- You want to pair your account with GICs (registered or non-registered)
- You want to conduct international money transfers directly from your chequing account (through Wise)
- You want to have more than two people on a joint account (max four)
I hope that this post was helpful for you in deciding between Neo Financial and EQ Bank when it comes to their everyday accounts.