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A comprehensive guide to the best banking services of the best banks in Canada and how to find the best bank account in Canada.

The world is going digital and banking is no exception. According to the Canadian Bankers Association, in 2019, more than 76% of Canadians were doing their banking online and through mobile — and that number is rapidly rising.

There are many solid reasons to consider any of the online banks in Canada including convenience, features, and pricing.

Read on to learn about this emerging trend in personal finance management, including our top picks for the best banks in Canada.

Why Use an Online Bank

If you haven’t yet tried online banking, you might wonder what the fuss is about. After all, traditional face-to-face branch banking has served Canadians well for decades.

Before you make up your mind, consider these three areas in which online banking in Canada exceeds in-person branch banking:

With online banking, your account is accessible from your computer, tablet, mobile app, or telephone.

This means an end to searching for a brick-and-mortar branch or an ATM, and renders the concept of “banker’s hours” obsolete. If you want access to your money 24/7, online banking is the way to go.

Some brick-and-mortar banks offer customers “low-fee” accounts, but even these command a base monthly fee which can add up fast. In fact, Canadians are still paying an average of $200 per year in banking fees.

With online banking, customers have the option of a no-fee account — usually coupled with extremely competitive rates for common services like Interac e-Transfers® and a high-interest rate on savings accounts. If you don’t want to pay for the privilege of accessing your own money, an online account might be just the solution.

Special Features
Imagine asking a teller to deposit a cheque using a smartphone photo or to send money by email?

They’d probably look at you like you have two heads – but Mobile Deposit and Interac e-Transfers® are services that many online banks offer.

In addition to all the traditional features to which customers have become accustomed, online banks offer special features that are simply unavailable elsewhere.

Finding the Best Bank in Canada

Traditional banks are being left behind by online banking in Canada. The only services online banks can’t offer that traditional banks can are safety deposit boxes, counter service, and in-person advice.

That said, online banking does offer advice over the telephone or email and has the distinct advantage of being available 24/7 from wherever you are.

Decreasing service fees, increasing interest rates, and a wider selection of convenient services make online banking an attractive choice.

Online BankBest ForMore Info 
TangerineBest Overall Online Banking ServicesRead OnVisit Site
EQ BankBest For Super SaversRead OnVisit Site
Scotia OnLineBest For Digital InterfaceRead OnVisit Site
HSBCBest For Global BankingRead On
RBC OnlineBest For BundlesRead OnVisit Site
BMO OnlineBest For Senior, Student, & Military DiscountsRead OnVisit Site
TD OnlineBest For Mobile AppRead OnVisit Site
CIBC OnlineBest Overall for SeniorsRead OnVisit Site
FirstOntarioBest For Ontarians Seeking a Credit UnionRead OnVisit Site
Simplii FinancialBest For Free Internet e-TransfersRead OnVisit Site

Tangerine: Best Overall

Tangerine_210x100One of the best fully “branchless” online banks in Canada, Tangerine pairs some of the best online banking services with zero fees on all daily banking like debit purchases, withdrawals, transfers, bill payments, and Interac e-Transfers.

Their 0.10% interest rate for savings accounts is respectable, but the 2.10%* promotional rate when you sign up for a no-fee Tangerine Savings Account, TFSA, RSP, RIF, or US$ Savings Account for the first 5 months is outstanding.

For savvy savers, it’s a great way to maximize your savings, and you can also earn up to $150* in cash bonuses simply by switching to a Tangerine Chequing account.

Tangerine also has two cash back credit cards: the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and the Tangerine World Mastercard®. There are no annual fees for either of these cards, and you can earn up to 2% unlimited Money-Back Rewards on everyday purchases.

Tangerine has also been ahead of the game in using technology to enhance their services, and they’ve earned a reputation for excellent customer service, winning awards year after year.

Should you need help, you can get in touch with a Tangerine Associate through an online chat session, a Twitter DM, or the 24/7 customer service line. Read our full Tangerine review to find out why it’s our top pick for an online bank in Canada.

Learn more about Tangerine

EQ Bank: Best For Super Savers

EQ Bank takes an entirely different approach to online banking than the others on this list.

With no branches and no ATMs, EQ Bank is accessed entirely through the web and mobile app only – a totally unique model. Instead of using personal cheques, a debit card, or an ATM, clients can move money between their Savings Plus Account and linked accounts.

For those willing to try a new way of banking, the benefit is clear: the Savings Plus Account offers no everyday banking fees, unlimited Interac e-Transfers®, free day-to-day transactions, and a 1.50%* everyday interest rate on their no-fee Savings Plus Account.

While EQ Bank may not be as well known in Canada, it’s certainly a trustworthy bank to stash your cash – EQ Bank is brought to you by Equitable Bank, which has been around since 1970. One thing to note: the Savings Plus Account functions like a chequing account and can be used to pay bills and also transfer money instantly with no transaction or account fees.

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

Learn more about EQ Bank

Scotia OnLine: Best For Digital Interface

As one of Canada’s “Big 5” banks, it’s not surprising that Scotiabank’s online (web and mobile app) banking options are feature-rich and intuitive to use.

Although most customers pay a monthly service fee of between $3.95 and $30.95 (accounts with a minimum balance and students accounts are free, and seniors get a discount), the interface and offerings were enough for Forrester to name Scotia OnLine as “The Best Consumer Digital Bank in Canada.”

Learn more about Scotiabank


HSBC: Best For Global Banking

HSBC logoAs one of the largest banks in the world, you can expect to receive a full range of services and expert advice at HSBC.  For global citizens who have frequent international transactions, the HSBC Premier Chequing Account offers unlimited withdrawals and deposits in both Canadian and U.S. funds, as well as waived1 Interac e-transfers® and $0 global wire transfer fees2 for transactions under $10,000 — a bonus if you send or receive money abroad on the regular. Plus, you’ll pay $0 in monthly banking fees* for the first six months.

The HSBC Advance Chequing Account is another solid option for frequent Interac e-Transfer® users who also want a lower monthly fee. With this account, you get unlimited transactions, waived1 Interac e-Transfer® transactions, and no-fee mobile cheque deposits. You pay $0 monthly banking fees* for the first 6 months, and the $25 monthly fee is waived beyond that if you maintain personal deposits and investments of $5,000 or more with HSBC Bank Canada or if you hold a personal HSBC Bank Canada mortgage with an original amount of $150,000 or more.

Issued by HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC Investment Funds (Canada) Inc. *Terms and Conditions apply.

1Other regular transaction fees may apply.

2Agency/beneficiary bank fees may apply. Additional conditions apply.

®Trade-mark of Interac Inc. Used under license.

RBC Online: Best For Bundles

Another “Big 5” bank, RBC Online offers numerous account options at different levels with a wide range in monthly fees (from $4.00 to $30.00).

Though they don’t waive fees for maintaining certain balances, customers can cut down their service charges by bundling RBC products (such as credit cards, investments, and/or mortgage).

The RBC online banking option includes all the typical features, like transfer and bill payments, but there’s not much outstanding in their portfolio.

Learn more about RBC Online

BMO Online: Best For Senior, Student, & Military Discounts

BMO_210x100In line with the other “Big 5” banks on this list, BMO offers a standard set of features with standard rates, though customers with the Savings Builder Account can earn up to 1.6% interest.

Although they offer discounts to seniors, students, and armed forces, the monthly fees range from $4.00 to $30.00 month. Their online banking interface is intuitive and has all the typical features.

Learn more about BMO Online

TD Online: Best For Mobile App

TD_Bank_210x100Neither the account options nor the interest rates tempt with TD Canada Trust, but this bank does offer several decent no-fee savings accounts.

They have a mobile app for online banking along with handy add-on features like TD MySpend that helps customers track and improve spending habits.

Learn more about TD Online

CIBC Online: Best Overall For Seniors

CIBCCIBC_210x100 offers a full portfolio of account options designed for people at different stages of their lives and careers. In terms of fees and interest rates, CIBC is in line with the other Big 5 banks.

One notable difference here is that unlike the other institutions on our list, CIBC offers five account types for seniors — everything from a simple chequing account to a bundle that includes a premium credit card to US dollar account for seniors.

Learn more about CIBC Online

FirstOntario: Best For Ontarians Seeking a Credit Union

First OntarioThe only credit union on our list, FirstOntario offers chequing and savings accounts, as well as free and paid options. Some of their features include online bill payments, debits, bank transfers, Interac e-Transfers®, and personal cheques, along with a slew of nifty online tools.

There’s even a feature that lets you round up on purchases and save the balance.

Learn more about FirstOntario

Simplii Financial: Best For Free Internet e-Transfers

simplii_fin_210x100Formerly PC Financial and affiliated with CIBC, Simplii is one of the branchless options for online banking in Canada. Like the name says, Simplii trades in simplicity, offering one chequing and one savings account, each without monthly fees.

Using web or mobile, customers can do everything from pay bills to transfer funds to paperless cheque deposits. The no-fee chequing account offers unlimited debit purchases, bill payments and withdrawals, free access to over 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada, and free Interac e-Transfers®.

Learn more about Simplii Financial

Comparison of the Best Banks Canada 2021

When you’re ready to consider opening an online bank account in Canada, use this chart to compare the best online banks in Canada with the best online banking services.

 TangerineEQ BankScotia OnLineHSBCRBCBMOTDCIBCFirstOntarioSimplii
Chequing Accounts1 typeNo6 types5 types4 types5 types6 types9 types4 types1 type
Savings Accounts5 types1 type5 types8 types4 types4 types3 types5 types4 types1 type
Student/Youth AccountsNoNo2 types2 types3 TypesNo, but special students/youth rates2 types2 typesNoNo
Senior AccountsNoNoNo, but special seniors rates Yes for Performance Chequing Unlimited account (with no monthly fee if age>60)No, but special seniors ratesNo, but special seniors ratesNo, but special seniors rates5 types1 typeNo
Brick and Mortar BranchesNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Visit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site

*Terms and conditions apply. Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice

Comparing Tangerine and Simplii

When it comes to naming the best online banking services in Canada, the field narrows to the top branchless online banks: Tangerine and Simplii.

Unlike traditional banks, these two carry no monthly fees, have robust feature sets, and are made for online or mobile use. With the exception of EQ Bank (which missed the top spot overall because of a lack of features such as ATM withdrawals), branchless banks offer similar interest rates to traditional banks but without the fees.

While either option is a great choice for the average Canadian, there are some slight differences. Let’s take a closer look.

For chequing accounts, both Tangerine and Simplii offer:

  • No fees for daily transactions including withdrawals, transfers between accounts, and Interac purchases
  • Unlimited bill payments (one-time or automated)
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Unlimited ATM withdrawals within parent’s networks of machines (Scotiabank for Tangerine and CIBC for Simplii)
  • Mobile cheque deposit (where you can use the camera on your phone to deposit a cheque)
  • Overdraft protection (with application)
  • 24/7 customer support

Tangerine vs Simplii Chequing Account

Interest RateUp to 0.15%0.05%
Interac e-TransfersFreeFree
ChequesFirst book of 50 cheques freeFree
High-Interest Savings Account2.10%* (first 5 months)
0.10% thereafter

As you can see, the difference between these two online banking options is really minor. The choice may just come down to whether you prefer the CIBC or Scotiabank ATM network.

How Safe Are Online Banks in Canada?

Every bank on our list is well-established in Canada and a credible financial institution.

Like traditional banks, the odds of online banks failing are very slim. In any case, you can rest easy: the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) covers eligible deposits in your own name, joint accounts, trust accounts, TFSAs, RRSPs, and more up to $100,000.

It does not apply to investment products such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

Security breaches of online accounts are rare, but it’s always wise to choose a unique and complex password and PIN.

Why Go with Online Banking: Benefits of Banks with No Fees?

The best bank account in Canada for you is the one that helps you save money — not the one that costs you money to use.

Based on that criterion alone, look for a trustworthy online bank without fees, like Tangerine or Simplii. Although neither bank has brick-and-mortar branches (so you’ll have to store your family jewels elsewhere), both offer the benefit of 24/7 online or mobile access, superior pricing (can’t beat no-fee!), and a full feature set including unlimited transactions, paperless cheque deposits, and Interac e-Transfers®.

Ultimately, Tangerine stands out as the best online bank in Canada. Offering no-fee chequing and savings accounts, outstanding customer service, innovative banking technology, and respectable interest rates, Tangerine snags our top spot as the best online bank in Canada.

You’ll enjoy a full range of banking services while keeping more money in your wallet where it belongs.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy The Best Robo Advisors in Canada: A Complete Guide.

Article comments

Harry Singh says:


Which Bank is good for people on Tourist and visit visa in Canada??


Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Harry,

This is likely not possible. Most Canadian banks require that you produce a Social Insurance Number or another form of Canadian identity in order to open an account. You can read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/banking/opening-bank-account.html#toc2

Robb Engen says:

Hi Ms. Ashley, I like Tangerine for youth accounts. For RESPs, the robo-advisor called Justwealth has a really good RESP set-up where the investments start out more aggressive in stocks for the first few years and then slowly move towards more bonds and the cash in the later years before your child needs the money. These are called target date funds and Justwealth will manage it all for you automatically.

Ms. Ashley says:

Do you have any recommondations on the best youth accounts for banking and RESPs?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Ms. Ashley, I like Tangerine for youth accounts. For RESPs, the robo-advisor called Justwealth has a really good RESP set-up where the investments start out more aggressive in stocks for the first few years and then slowly move towards more bonds and the cash in the later years before your child needs the money. These are called target date funds and Justwealth will manage it all for you automatically.

adam says:

What about National Bank, they are good too

Susan D Tarzwell says:

Good afternoon informaion. I am looking to open an account and you have helped me make the decision. Thank you

Christy says:

Is there some reason you did not mention Wealthsimple?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Christy,

We didn’t include Wealthsimple because it’s a robo advisor, not a bank. We have included them on our list of the best robo advisors in Canada:




Karrie says:

I notice Mobusbank is not noted in this discussion. It is a derivative of Meridian. What are your thoughts in this financial beavy of online options.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Karrie,

Motusbank is an online bank in Canada, and it charges no monthly account fees and offers decent interest rates. It’s definitely an option, but we did find that it takes a long time to transfer money between external accounts and Motusbank.

Kev says:

So about tangerine if I want to take money out of the bank to I pay fees?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Kevin,

There are no fees to withdraw money with Tangerine.

Mike Daley says:

RBC investing platform sucks. Use TD. After the upgrade it’s just awful!

Pat says:

Require a line of credit with current circumstances I am in. I am with TD. They will not give me a LOC account because I applied for a mortgage deferral even being in great standing.
Is there another bank out there that will give me a LOC only without having to change over all my accounts from TD to them. Thanks…….

Robb Engen says:

Hi Pat, lines of credit are tough to come by right now. Borrowers are going to be under tremendous scrutiny. You can try to apply for one outside of your main bank, but know that you’ll be under even more scrutiny (home appraisal, income check, credit check) because they don’t know you as well as your main bank.

Don says:

I was in a similar situation a few months ago and didn’t like the rate TD was charging me for their LOC. I went to Motusbank (online bank). I applied for a LOC and nothing else. They gave it to me and their interest rate was nearly half what TD was charging me.

james pollo says:

Hi there.. I agree with you on the Tangerine and Simplii comparison. What i dont like about Tangerine is the 100 dollar deposit maximum at the debit machine at Scotia bank . I know they say just make numerous 100 dallar deposits but that is a pain and also tbey are quick to put a hold on some of the deposited money . .

Sarah says:

You missed motusbank!

Collin Shuman says:

You missed Motive from Weststar Bank

John says:

What about Achieva and Motive?

Lisa Jackson says:

They’re definitely worth checking out!

DelV says:

Maybe we should also talk about these banks’ investments. RBC, TD, Scotia, CIBC, BMO are the five Canadian banks that invest the most in fossil fuels and therefore contribute to global warming. I think that is a consideration to be taken into account today.

WhiteWulfe says:

Surprised to see no mention of Motusbank in here..

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi there,

motusbank is indeed a top-notch online bank. I would definitely give it an “honourable mention.” If motusbank expands its suite of services, we’ll consider adding it to the list!

WOW says:

That was a sticking.
Marijuana growing Company, came to life.

Jacob says:

Fantastic article and helpful in trying to decide where to go. You might want to update Tangerine with Free Interact e-transfers as per their website suggests.

Denis says:

Move over Tangerine and welcome Alterna Bank !
Alterna Bank is a full service e-bank, regular interest is at 2.25% and interact e-transfers are free !
Why would I want to go anywhere else?

Michael Farr says:

I recently opened accounts with CIBC so that I could compare with my TD Seniors Account. TD wins hands down with their no fee policy for chequing Account. I was promised a ‘bonus’ by CIBC for opening a chequing Account. Nothing. Opened a Visa card with 4% back on groceries and gas. For economical reasons, we buy much of our groceries at Walmart but that doesn’t count under their Visa guidelines (1% as it’s a retail store). I’ve opened an account with EQ and, so far, happy with them. Will be going back to TD for everyday chequing needs, but willing to keep savings at EQ.

John Russel says:

Hello i’m creating an offshore company in Canada, would you recommend for me to use an online bank rather than traditional?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi John,

This is a question to ask your attorney and/or chartered accountant. Best of luck!

Tyler says:

I’d look at Tangerine. But $1 per E-transfer is ridiculous. I don’t use e-transfer much but at $1 a pop is a deal breaker.

James says:

Motusbank just started out pretty well for an online bank too. Free Interact transfers, free cheques, and exchange network ATMs.

Norm says:

Now that it’s 2019 … there’s lots that can be updated.

Simplii Financial now has free eTransfers and same day transfers from savings to chequing (or visa versa) like Tangerine.
Personally, having both has meant I’m typically able to get the bonus interest offers on pretty much all my money on deposit.

Zag Bank is closing so it should be removed. https://www.zagbank.ca/about-us/closing

EQ Bank has added a range of GICs, though from what I have heard, the agreement gives them the upper hand to dissolve the GIC early. The liquidity issues that Home Capital Group (I believe Equitable Bank is their online offering) was to me a warning to avoid having too much with EQ Bank.

wilf fryday says:

Am looking for a location to place proceeds from sale of our home. We are now renting. Had a ‘run in’ with Tangerine today, (long time customer) went looking for alternatives and found your web site. Interesting.

However, I notice date references for 2016 and 2017. Thus I assume that much of the content is out of date. Is there an update? I see an offer coupon from Tangerine for a high interest rate. Not sure, because of date of this article if it is current in Sept 2018.

Where would you place the proceeds of a middle priced home?

A senior with a not too long time line, therefore need low risk.

Mark says:

Can you cover the tax implications of opening a joint savings account with your spouse? What if one person contributes 90% or 100% of funds?

Mark says:

Can you please update to include Alterna, as I keep on seeing it mentioned in the same breath as EQ Bank.

Lilie says:


Does anyone have any experience with Alterna Bank esaving account? They offered a 2.05 % interest rate on their saving account but I don’t see much talk about them, so that makes me a bit worried about opening an account with them?

Paul Revere says:

I have been with Alterna for more than a year now. My pay is deposited there, customer service is good, it’s a full service bank, e-transfers are free and everything can be done from your HISA, you don’t need to open a checking account, unless you want to write a check. They keep a low profile, I haven’t seen much publicity. Alterna Savings own them the 2nd largest credit union in Ontario founded in 1908, their bilingual and CIDC insured.

TJ says:

I have Simplii (checking & Savings), WealthSimple (savings), and RBC (checking, savings, TFSA) accounts as well as valuable, linked RBC Bank (US) accounts.
All of these serve their own purposes and I don’t ever pay any fees.
Having multi-products with RBC results in no fees (although I did open a TFSA with them into which I deposit a nominal amount each month to ensure I get the full fee rebate.)
I’m now wondering whether I should open a EQ savings account to get the current 2.3% rate which is better that the 1.7% offered by WealthSimple. I was wondering though how my wife can access those funds upon my sudden demise, and I think I now see the account must be joint.

Katherine says:

This was extremely helpful.
Thanks much for taking the time to present it simply enough to be understood, and with enough detail to give me what I needed without having to search anywhere else now.

Kyle says:

No problem Katherine – that’s what we do here!

Dipin Dhingra says:

I am a Permanent Resident, and will be opening my first account. Do you say that an online Tangerine bank is enough to do all kind of banking , rather than the physical branch bank?

Is it easy to close these accounts when needed?

Kyle says:

It is definitely easy to close this account Dipin. As far as “all kinds of banking” you’ll have to be more specific. I think 90% or so of Canadians could run their daily banking needs through Tangerine if not more. If you are doing some business-related stuff, or similarly “complicated” arrangements it might not be a perfect fit.

Maria O says:

Happened on this article while looking for comments about any dissatisfaction with Simplii. Until this month I had not noticed any appreciable change and I have been a very longtime customer of PCFinancial. But I just came across a change I was incredulous about. In the past couple of years I’ve taken a few thousand out of my RRSP each year. I would go into the kiosk and make the request and it took about five days to be in my account. So I expected more or less the same or that it would be even easier! Not so! I have to print off a form to request the money and MAIL it to them!! That’s right, snail mail. And then it will take up to 15! days to move it WITHIN the same institution’s accounts. Seriously. This is totally unacceptable and I can’t believe a bank is doing business in this way in this day and age. Now I just want to move my whole RRSP to someone else, and maybe the rest of my accounts with them as well.

Gerard says:

1. Is there any published rating available or exists for internet banking institutions similar to that provided by bankrate.com in the USA?
2. how do those lucky enough tackle deposit insurance for funds above the CDIC max?

Barbara says:

Can’t do pc financial because as you said its over and simplii is not open for biz yet. Researched Tangerine over on their facebook page and people are very angry about the new website and how hard it is to navigate, as well as their site being down for all of Friday. Not good. So, now I’m thinking i might go for the manitoba credit union achieva…as of today, Oct 8 2017, the rate is 1.85 for savings, plus they have it linked with acculink to my credit union atms here just in case, and its completely insured 100% of total funds, not just 100 grand. So far so good. Will keep researching. I like EQ too, but its scary cause no chequing and no TMS.

john says:

EQ Savings Plus Account does not offer joint accounts. So, if either my wife or myself die or have a stroke, the healthy spouse cannot get hands on the money without going into court.

Kyle says:

If you have a will that should be pretty straight forward John…

Mario says:

I have a CIBC chequing account in Mississauga, Ontario. The problem is that CIBC get my money from the government because I’m retired from Ford Motor C°. but I have been getting many problems with them.
I’ve tried to get my money, because I’m living in sudamerica now, but they canceled my Advantage Debit Card without any explanation.
Now I’m complaining to my Union in Toronto, because I need my money. Can I open a Scotian Bank chequing account from my country.
My balance is $ 21.196,00

Kyle says:

Depends on your residency status Mario.

d bee says:

Tangerine has, as of September 23rd changed their website. Enough change to make the simple things awkward and the complicated almost impossible. My suggestion is that Tangerine be withdrawn from the rank of serious contenders to that of a minor league maybe. It appears that they purchased the use of web technology that appears to be quite similar to that of a local credit union’s (sorry but I can’t really prove stuff that I one get peaks of!) app. If you only bank from a smart phone you might like it but as of September 29th over 99% of Facebook comments are negative and Tangerine is trying to convince its customers how good the change is and isn’t listening.

Kyle says:

We’ll pass along your message DB. The problem with demoting Tangerine is who do you go to instead? Until Simplii Financial is unveiled I’m not quite sure who takes the Big Orange Machine’s spot.

Megan says:

I actually just recently switched all of my direct deposit and automatic payments to come out of my new EQ bank, so that I can take extra advantage of that interest rate! I just use one of the free email xfers to skim the spending money for the month into my new Tangerine account (they’ll hold your money if you don’t email it).

I’m not super impressed with Tangerine since also opening that account. I find they don’t really give you a heads up about how some features of theirs function.

Their “free” email transfer option is actually an electronic transfer, rather than an interac transfer, meaning your recipient has to enter all of their account info to receive (rather than depositing directly into their account the way others function).

So far, I’m not finding it any better than PC. I’m still using it because I figure I’ll give it a fair try… but I’m just not finding their customer service or communications to be as high quality as PC.

LOVING EQ, as a bill hub, though. I’d recommend them 🙂

Nadine says:

Forgot to ask, what are your thought with respect to Meridian? Current offer is 2.75% for 90 day non redeemable GIC or TFSA

Nadine says:

Thank you for the break down, really appreciate it. I reread what you wrote with respect to PC’s credit card (no points after Nov 1st) but that is not the case. It’s their bank accounts that will no longer accrue points.

Nice summary. We bank with both Tangerine and PC Financial and we like them both. Service wise we dont see a big difference between the two. The biggest factor for us is having Scotiabank and/or CIBC bank machines close by. Depending on what you have close to you either one will work.

The only “difficulty” we ever had was buying our home and getting a certified cheque. We had to order it in advance and it was mailed to us. Not really a big deal but if you didn’t plan ahead it makes things difficult.

We even bought a $15,000 used car with our debit cards! My wife and I could each do up to a $9,999 transaction on our debit cards. We just had to call ahead to set up an increased limit with the bank. They gave us two hours to make the transaction. Pretty easy.

Kyle says:

That you managed to buy your car in cash with two debit card transactions is pretty cool Owen! Thanks for the firsthand feedback on the service of both companies.

Doug says:

Good article, but I didn’t see a date that it was published. Is it still current (Aug. 2017)? Also, can you tell me if U.S. citizens/residents can open online accounts at these banks? Thanks much.

Kyle says:

We are about to re-publish/update the article in a few days here Dough (good timing). At the current time I can’t tell if US residents can open an account, but US citizens living in Canada shouldn’t have a problem.

Mark says:

Today PCF informed me that they are shutting down. I don’t know what my accounts are going to look like after Nov.2017, so I’m starting to look for options. Thanks for the awesome breakdown of [current] options we have! I didn’t know CdnDirect, Zag, and EQ existed! Hopefully one of them will begin offering a debit-interac card because I don’t like the “new orange”.

Cindy says:

Problem with this is: as a happy PC customer for 18 years I was just notified by email today that as of November 1, 2017 all my accounts will be transferred to CIBC. PC Financial is pulling out of banking. Looks like I’m going to be pulling all my investments out of PC and maybe considering Tangerine.

Chrissy says:

Thank you Kyle. I’ve been reading your articles for a couple of years now, and always find then super helpful. This one is no different. Thank you SO MUCH for the time and effort you put into articles like this. Such a helpful way to analyze my decision to break off from Scotiabank. I was just charged a $9.99 monthly fee because my account dipped below the $2,500 minimum (for one day by a few dollars). How frustrating. I’m a very conscious, careful saver/spender and even I can’t keep such a close eye on my accounts! I’m sick of it and glad I have such good options to move to. Again, thanks for this article. It was extremely helpful.

Kyle says:

Glad to hear you’re going to make use of it Chrissy! If more Canadians take the steps you are perhaps our big banks will wake up and get competitive – but I wouldn’t hold my breath 😉

Wow, this is a GREAT post! I am sending it to all my friends and clients that ask me about online banks!
Thanks and congratulations!

Kyle says:

Thanks Dan! Appreciate the support.

Tom says:

What about Manulife Bank?

Kyle says:

You’re completely right Tom. Hadn’t come across them, but upon taking a further look they should be added. When I update the article in a few months I’ll certainly adjust that.

Achieva Financial says:

Elizabeth – we’re available to Quebec residents at Achieva.

Elizabeth says:

Great information! Any of these available in the province of QC? To my knowledge, only Tangerine… 🙁

Kyle says:

I can’t say I’m totally certain Elizabeth. I bet Zag is an option for sure since it is ran by Desjardins.

Amazing guide! It’s a toss up between Tangerine and PC Financial. I learned something new. I thought email transfer from Tangerine could only be to other Tangerine customers. Let’s just say I’ll never pay for another e-transfer again!

Kyle says:

Thanks Sean! I actually learned a bunch of new stuff putting this stuff together. I think the field is going to evolve pretty quickly over the next couple of years.

Barry Kaufman says:

Great article and I use two of the online banks mentioned. However, the big 5 banks also provide useful services, especially to seniors. Almost every time I go into a regular bank, I usually see an elderly senior seated in a special area getting help from a bank teller. And, the teller often spends 15 minutes or more helping a confused senior. So, let’s not always knock the banks for the service charges they charge to non-seniors.

Kyle says:

There is no doubt that if you’re able to maintain a fairly high balance in your account, or if you qualify for a senior/student discount, the big banks are probably the way to go in terms of value and functionality. If you don’t fall into those categories however, those fees can be a real PITB!

Ronaldo Argamino says:

Thanks for the info…still some great things out there besides doom n gloom of banking…

Kyle says:

Thanks for stopping by Ronaldo. The good news is that banks are going to have to compete with these guys going forward. As more and more people get comfortable with online models, fees will almost certainly come down!

Janine says:

This is great! Can’t wait to share it with my readers!

Kyle says:

Thanks Janine, appreciate it!

You really blew me away with this guide guys – love the graphics and analysis. VERY well done.

Kyle says:

Thanks Stephen, really appreciate that!

Kornel says:

Great Report Kyle! I’ve been with PC for a while so it’s good to see a comparison of what others are offering.

I tried EQ Bank recently and have been happy so far. The free Interac transfers (a certain amount of free ones per month) made it pretty appealing.

Their high interest rate made it pretty attractive too as a place keep your emergency fund so I gave them a shot for those 2 reasons.

Kyle says:

Thanks for stopping by Kornel! Always good to get a first hand review.

KC says:

Nice set-up! I showed this to my somewhat computer illiterate mother and she understood perfectly and is willing to try working on the online option now.

Now, I’ve never heard of Zag until just now and do have to agree that they still have a ways to go but we have to remember that PCF started off the same way. I expect that we’ll see the same of them as PCF and Tangerine in about 5 years as their client base gets bigger.

Kyle says:

That’s great to hear KC! I hope for the sake of competition that EQ and Zag are able to keep pushing the envelope.

Kate says:

Thanks for breaking this down – it’s great to know how many options we have!