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EQ Bank review

EQ Bank is known for its high interest rates and low monthly fees. Learn about its chequing account, savings account, TFSA, EQ Bank Card or EQ GIC rates.

EQ Bank is a leading Canadian online bank known for offering low fees and competitive interest rates. In this EQ Bank review, we break down what you need to know about its accounts and services, rates, safety, fees, pros and cons and more. We’ve also selected some featured EQ Bank products.

What is EQ Bank?

EQ Bank was launched in 2016 by Equitable Bank and is headquartered in Toronto. It operates entirely online, so there are no branches or locations you can visit for in-person service. Low overhead costs translate into lower fees — EQ Bank is known for being affordable and offering very competitive interest rates.

EQ Bank offers a range of personal banking and investment accounts including a chequing account, savings account, joint accounts, US dollar account, TFSAs, RSPs and GICs.

It offers international money transfers via Wise, a third party service. EQ Bank also hosts a mortgage marketplace where you can browse 2,000+ products from various lenders.

EQ Bank Personal Account

EQ Bank Personal Account

Earn 4.00% interest
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
Opt for an interest-earning chequing account to earn up to 4% with an EQ Bank Personal Account. Enjoy high interest with no fees on everyday banking, plus unlimited transactions and no minimum balances. Sign up online in minutes. Plus, you can also apply for a Joint account if you're looking to save with your partner or family.
  • $0 account fee
  • Get unlimited transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn up to 4% interest on your balance
  • EQ Bank will refund withdrawal fees for using any ATM across Canada
  • No physical branches for in-person service
  • Some standard banking features not available such as overdraft protection and the option to have paper statements
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0

EQ Notice Savings Account

EQ Notice Savings Account

5%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The EQ Notice Savings Account offers one of the highest on-going interest rates in Canada on a savings account. You'll earn up to 5.00% on your savings. Plus, if you're looking to save with a family member, you can apply for a Joint account.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn 5.00% interest on your balance
  • No physical branches for in-person service
  • Some standard banking features not available such as overdraft protection, use of ATMs and the option to have paper statements
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0

EQ Bank Card

EQ Bank Card

$0
Monthly Fee
$0
Transaction Cost
0.5% cash back
Rewards
The EQ Bank Card is a prepaid Mastercard linked to EQ Bank's Personal Account. Just load money onto the card from your savings account and start earning the same interest as the funds in your Personal Account, plus cashback. The prepaid EQ Bank Card works like an everyday bank card: You can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted to pay for purchases in-store or online and to withdraw cash from an ATM.
  • Earn 0.5% cashback cash back on every purchase
  • Earn up to 4.00% interest on your balance
  • ATM fee reimbursement and no ATM withdrawal fees
  • No direct link to your EQ Bank account
  • You'll have to transfer money onto your card before you can use the card
Monthly Fee $0
Transaction Cost $0
Foreign Transaction Fee 0%
Monthly Fee $0
Rewards 0.5% cash back

Other EQ Bank accounts

Bwyond the Personal chequing account, Notice Savings account and GIC account, EQ Bank also offers these accounts:

EQ Bank TFSA

Open an EQ Bank TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account), and earn 3% on your balance. Grow your funds tax free, pay no monthly fees and make free withdrawals whenever you want. You can also set up recurring deposits from your EQ Bank Personal Account or any other bank account.

EQ Bank US Dollar Account

Earn 3.00% on funds held in an EQ Bank US Dollar Account, which comes with a competitive exchange rate and zero monthly fees. Use the currency conversion calculator built into EQ’s online banking portal to get the latest CAD/USD exchange rate. Like other EQ Bank accounts, US Dollar Account balances are insured by the CDIC.

EQ Bank RSP Savings Account

With a EQ Bank RSP, you can save for retirement by earning a competitive 3% rate on your balance. Set up recurring deposits to ensure that your funds grow consistently. Money can be deposited and grown in RSPs tax free. You’re only taxed when you make withdrawals.

EQ Bank GIC

To purchase an EQ Bank GIC, you will need to open an EQ Bank savings account. You will also have to deposit a minimum of $100 to get started. Here are the types of EQ GICs available.

EQ Bank GIC

5.05%
Interest Rate
1 year
Term
$100
Min. Investment
EQ Bank GIC rates are some of the highest interest rates that you can get for GICs in Canada. The EQ Bank GIC is held in a nonregistered or registered account and offers a relatively high rate of return. The EQ Bank GIC can be held in a registered TFSA, RSP or FHSA. Terms range from one to five years.
  • Competitive interest rates
  • You can open and manage your account completely online
  • Different GIC term options available
  • No physical branch locations
Interest rate 5.05%
Term 1 year
Min. Investment $100
Min. Deposit to open $100

Types of EQ Bank GICs

Short-term EQ Bank GICs: Three to nine months

Short-term EQ GICs range from three to nine months in duration. There are a number of advantages as well as a few drawbacks with these GICs. The most important advantage is that you only have to surrender your deposit for a short period of time. This means they are not as much of a financial burden as the mid-range and longer-term GICs. These GICs are perfect for people who are trying to make short-term gains in a risk-free way.

Mid-range EQ Bank GICs

EQ Bank’s mid-range GICs have a duration of from one to three years. These GICs come with interest rates that are higher than the short-term GICs, and you do not need a large amount of money to open one. In fact, you can get started with as little as $100.

This means that almost anyone can open an account. However, mid-range GICs are better suited to people who want to make a significant return as opposed to short-term passive income. So, it is better to start with at least $500 to $1,000 if you want to open a mid-range GIC from EQ Bank.

Long-term EQ Bank GICs

Long-term GICs are EQ Bank’s highest-returning GICs. EQ’s long-term GICs have a duration of either four or five years, and the high interest rates offered by these GICs make them ideal for people who want to make as much money as possible with their investment.

Registered EQ Bank GICs

EQ also offers registered GICs, which can be held in TFSA or RSP accounts.

Why should I invest in an EQ Bank GIC?

There following are some of the key advantages of EQ GICs:

  • You can get one with only $100
  • EQ Bank has many different options in terms of GIC lengths
  • They have high interest rates compared to many competitor GICs
  • EQ is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), so your funds are covered by deposit insurance, subject to maximum coverage limits

What should I look out for with an EQ Bank GIC?

There is nothing that you really need to look out for regarding EQ GICs. They are safe investment vehicles that will generate good returns. The only real downside is that they are not the highest-returning GICs on the market, even if they are guaranteed investments.

How do I purchase an EQ GIC?

To purchase an Equitable Bank GIC, you will need to open an EQ savings account. You will also have to deposit a minimum of $100 to get started.

EQ Bank International Money Transfers

EQ Bank customers can send money transfers to over 80 countries in 49 currencies through their online banking portals powered by Wise, a third party international money transfer service. Wise offers competitive transfer fees, zero-markup exchange rates and high sending limits, so you can get your money where it needs to go.

EQ Bank mortgage marketplace

EQ Bank offers a marketplace where you can explore 2,000+ mortgage products offered by EQ and many other Canadian lenders. EQ Bank customers can get exclusive rates, quick pre-qualification and assistance from professional mortgage brokers. It’s completely free, but you have to be an EQ Bank customer to use the service.

How does EQ Bank compare to other banks?

Many Canadian banks offer GICs, TFSAs and savings accounts. However, EQ Bank actually offers some of the best GICs available on the market and high interest rates. Some banks, such as Implicity Financial and Oaken Financial, sometimes offer rates that are higher than EQ Bank GIC rates, so while EQ Bank GIC is not the absolute best value, it compares favourably to most of its competitors – especially to those of the Big Five banks.

EQ Bank Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy application. The online application is quick and easy to fill out.
  • No monthly fees. Enjoy zero monthly account maintenance fees.
  • Competitive interest rates. EQ Bank interest rates are some of the most competitive on the market for savings and chequing accounts. For example, the EQ Notice Savings Account comes with an ongoing rate between 4.5% and 5%.
  • Free ATM withdrawals. Although EQ Bank does not have its own ATM network, it does offer free ATM withdrawals from any ATM across Canada and will reimburse you the ATM fee if you’re charged one on the spot.
  • Deposit insurance. Deposits in EQ Bank accounts are insured up to $100,000 by the CDIC.
  • Low minimum for EQ GICs. Start investing in GICs with as little as $100 (compared to $1,000 for some other digital banks).
  • Free transfers. Send money to/from your accounts with free Interac e-Trasfers, EFTs, bill payments and mobile cheque deposits.
  • Prepaid card. The EQ Bank Card can be used to withdraw cash after you transfer money to the card directly from your chequing or savings account.
  • Cheap international money transfers. You’ll be able to make cheap international transfers from your account using third-party service, Wise.
  • User friendly mobile app. Easily check your balance and manage your money with the EQ Bank app for Android and iOS devices.

Cons

  • Slow bank-to-bank withdrawals. You may need to wait several business days to complete bank-to-bank transfers.
  • Maximum cumulative balance. You can only hold up to $200,000 in your EQ Bank accounts, including any Personal Accounts and Notice Savings Accounts (or up to $500,000 for joint account holders).
  • No physical locations. It’s not possible to visit a physical location to get in-person service.

EQ Bank app

EQ Bank app screenshot
Check your balance, transfer money, pay bills, deposit cheques and more with the EQ Bank app. You can also set savings goals and manage your budget on the go.

The EQ Bank mobile app is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Google Play app reviews4.2/5 stars based on 7.81K ratings
Apple App Store app reviews4.8/5 stars based on 34.8K ratings

Ratings current as of June 10, 2024.

How do I open an EQ Bank account?

  1. Click Go to site on below to get started.
  2. Complete the application with details such as your name, email address, Social Insurance Number and birth date. You need a phone number to apply, because EQ Bank uses 2-step verification (sends a code to your phone to verify your identity) when you log in.
  3. Verify your ID, and deposit funds into your account via Interac e-Transfer, EFT or mobile cheque deposit using the EQ Bank mobile app.

Get started now with the EQ Bank Personal Account:

Eligibility

To open an EQ Bank account, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be at least the age of majority in your province or territory (18 or 19 years old)
  • Be a Canadian resident
  • Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Is EQ Bank safe?

Deposits held in EQ Bank accounts are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This means that, in the unlikely event the bank fails, your deposits will be insured up to $100,000.

The platform follows a number of industry-standard best practices for protecting your data and money including data encryption, strong password requirements, security questions and regularly monitoring the platform for fraud.

The EQ Bank Mobile and Online Banking Security Guarantee states that you’ll be 100% reimbursed for losses from unauthorized account activity, provided you’ve met all your responsibilities.

How can I contact EQ Bank customer service?

EQ Bank customer service can be reached by phone 7 days a week from 8:00AM to midnight. You can also get help online from a chatbot, or reach EQ Bank by letter mail.

Bottom line

EQ Bank offers convenient account options, very competitive interest rates, low fees and unlimited free transfers. But you may want to look elsewhere if you want in-person service or access to a full suite of banking products and services. Check out our banking hub for more useful guides and resources.

EQ Bank FAQs

More guides on Finder

  • EQ Bank Notice Savings Account review

    Your guide to the interest rates, features and withdrawal terms and conditions of the EQ Bank Notice Savings Account.

  • EQ Bank Card review

    Earn interest on your savings, avoid ATM and foreign transaction fees and get cashback on every purchase.

  • EQ Bank Joint Account review

    Open a joint account with up to three other people to start pooling your money with high interest rates and zero monthly fees.

  • EQ Bank Personal Account review

    Learn how the EQ Bank Personal Account works, including how you can earn interest while getting all the no-fee banking perks of a chequing account.

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