EQ Bank offers a number of high-interest savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs). It’s one of the most reputable digital banks in Canada and offers plenty of perks that help to set it apart from its competitors. Find out more about the rates and services that EQ Bank offers, and learn how you can sign up for an account today.
EQ Bank is a top-rated digital bank that’s relatively new to Canada. It was launched by Equitable Bank in 2016 to focus on digital deposits. Its products and services are offered exclusively online, which means you won’t be able to go into a branch to deal with any issues you might have with your account.
That said, Equitable Bank has a stake in the success of EQ Bank and the two work in tandem to protect your money. That’s why you can rest assured that any funds you deposit into your savings accounts or GICs will be safeguarded by high-level security features. They’ll also be insured for up to $100,000 by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
How does EQ Bank work?
EQ Bank works just like any other bank except it operates exclusively online. This can be a headache if you’re having trouble with your account or you want to deposit funds in person. The bright side is that you’ll get high interest rates and save money on account fees since EQ Bank doesn’t have to cut corners to pay for overhead costs.
What really sets EQ Bank apart from other digital banks is that it also gives you unlimited transfers and debits from your account for no additional fee. That said, it doesn’t offer a debit card so you’ll have to transfer money back to another institution if you want to take it out. You can do this using a bank-to-bank transfer (which can take a couple of days) or an Interac e-transfer (which only takes a couple of seconds).
What financial products does EQ Bank offer?
EQ Bank lets you sign up for non-registered high-interest savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs). Unfortunately, these investments can’t be held as registered savings such as RRSPs, TFSAs or RRIFs.
EQ Bank savings accounts
You can earn 1.5% interest on EQ Bank’s non-registered Savings Plus account. This account comes with no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. You’ll also get unlimited transfers and debits from your account, so you can transfer your money out whenever you need.
You won’t pay anything to transfer funds out of your account, but you also won’t get a debit card to make ATM withdrawals. Another downside of the EQ Savings Plus account is that it can only hold a maximum of $200,000 at one time.
→ Find out more about the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account here.
Guaranteed investment certificates
EQ Bank offers some of the highest interest rates that you can get for GICs in Canada. It also offers some of the longest terms in the industry, ranging from 3 months all the way up to 10 years. As a general rule, you’ll earn a higher interest rate when you sign up for a longer term.
Another positive feature is that you’ll only have to invest $100 to get started (whereas most other digital banks in Canada require $1,000 or more). You can also choose to put your money in for a shorter period of time if you don’t want to lock it away in the long term.
→ Find out more about EQ Bank’s wide range of GICs here.
Is EQ Bank safe?
EQ Bank is very safe because it’s backed by the financial power of Equitable Bank. This is Canada’s ninth-largest independent bank with more than $25 billion in assets under management. It’s also insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
This means that any money you put into EQ Bank will be protected by the type of rigorous security measures that you’ve come to expect from a big bank. It also means that any money you put into your account will be protected up to $100,000.
Pros and cons
Easy application. It’s easy to open an account by filling out a simple online application.
No monthly fees. You won’t pay any monthly fees to maintain your account.
Competitive interest rates. Interest rates start at 1.5%, which is high by industry standards.
Deposit insurance. Any deposit you make will be protected by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (up to $100,000).
Small starting balance for GICs. You only need to invest $100 to open a GIC (compared to $1,000 for most other digital banks).
Unlimited transfers. You can transfer money and pay bills online for no additional charge (whereas many other digital banks charge for every debit).
Cheap international money transfers. You’ll be able to make cheap international transfers from your account using the third-party service TransferWise.
Mobile app. You can check your account balances and make transfers using your mobile phone.
No debit card. You won’t get a debit card to withdraw cash (but you can send an Interac e-transfer to yourself if you need funds immediately).
No registered accounts. There’s no option to open a registered account like an RRSP, TFSA or RRIF.
Slow withdrawals. You may need to wait several business days to withdraw funds from your account using a bank-to-bank transfer.
Maximum balance. You’ll only be able to keep $200,000 in your account at any time.
No physical locations. You won’t be able to visit EQ Bank in person to deal with any issues you might have with your account.
How does the EQ Bank mobile app work?
EQ Bank lets you manage your money and check your account balances using its mobile app. You can easily download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store. You can then use it to transfer money, pay bills and deposit cheques. You can also set savings goals and manage your budget quickly and easily, even when you’re on the move.
How can I open an account?
To open an account, you’ll need to meet a couple of requirements:
Be at least 18 years of age (or 19 in some provinces)
Be a Canadian resident
Have a Social Insurance Number
Not live in Quebec (for the Savings Plus account).
How can I apply?
You can apply for a savings account with EQ Bank using its easy online application. Just follow these steps to get started:
Click “Go to Site” on this page to be directed to your EQ Bank account application.
Complete the application, which includes providing your name, email address, Social Insurance Number and birth date.
Verify your ID and deposit funds into your account.
How can I get in touch with customer service?
You can contact EQ Bank at 1-844-437-2265 anytime between 8am and midnight EST (seven days a week). You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time of day or night. EQ Bank also has a “live chat” function that you can use to speak to an agent on its contact us page.
EQ Bank is a top-notch digital bank in Canada that offers competitive rates and unlimited transfers for free. It doesn’t come with a debit card so you’ll need to wait a few days to get access to your money unless you send an Interac e-transfer to yourself. It also doesn’t offer registered accounts or chequing accounts as part of its services. Learn what you need to become a member, and apply online today to get started.
Frequently asked questions
You can withdraw funds instantly by sending an Interac e-transfer to your bank account. You can also send a bank-to-bank transfer for large amounts, though this will typically take a few days to process. However, you won’t be able to take money out using a debit card as these are not provided by EQ Bank.
From time to time, EQ Bank may offer bonuses when you refer a friend and they open an EQ Bank account. You can sign in to your EQ Bank account and update your email subscription preferences to get more information about the bank’s latest offers.
You can download the mobile app by searching for EQ Bank on Google Play or the Apple Store. From there, you can use the app to sign up for an account and manage your savings on the move.
Once your GIC matures, your money will be transferred into your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account (the one from which your initial investment was funded). You’ll receive an email or SMS alert notifying you when your GIC matures so that you can figure out what you want to do with your money next.
There are a number of other digital banks that are similar to EQ Bank in Canada. These include Tangerine and Wealthsimple. You can check out the full list by comparing digital banks here.
Claire Horwood is a writer at Finder, specializing in credit cards, loans and other financial products. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, along with an Associate's Degree in Science from Camosun College. Much of Claire's coursework has focused on writing and statistics, with a healthy dose of social and cultural analysis mixed in for good measure. She has also worked extensively in the field of "Blended Finance" with the Canadian government. In her spare time, Claire loves rock climbing, travelling and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee.
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