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Banking packages for newcomers in Canada

Set yourself up for a successful financial future by taking advantage of a welcome banking package.

Between finding housing and employment to overcoming culture shock, settling into a new life in a new country can be difficult. You’ll not only need to get yourself and your possessions over to Canada, you’ll also need to bring your money – and get organized financially once you arrive. That’s where welcome to Canada or newcomer banking packages come in. From credit cards to loans, savings accounts and mortgage assistance, many banks in Canada offer these packages to permanent residents, international students and temporary workers.

Find out how you can take advantage of a welcome to Canada banking package – and save money while setting yourself up for a successful financial future in Canada.

Which is the best bank for newcomers to Canada?

One single bank or financial institution is not going to offer you the best product in every category. So before comparing packages, write down the banking products that are the most important to you, whether that’s bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, car loans or free monthly international money transfers.

Also keep in mind that while a newcomer package can be a great way to get you on your feet in Canada, once you feel settled, it’s best to shop around for more competitive products. And don’t just settle for the bank you’re currently with – be on the lookout for the best products for your needs.

BMO NewStart Program

The BMO NewStart Program can help you get on your feet financially and save money with free banking for a year, a no annual fee cash back credit card and access to mortgage options and investment opportunities.

Visit the BMO website to learn more about this newcomer package.

CIBC Welcome to Canada Banking Package

Get your finances sorted out quickly with the CIBC Welcome to Canada Banking Package, and choose from car loans, credit cards, bank accounts, investment accounts and more.

Visit the CIBC website to learn more about this newcomer package.

RBC Newcomer Advantage

Keep your finances in one place with the RBC Newcomer Advantage, with access to credit cards, chequing accounts, car loans, mortgage options and international money transfers.

Visit the RBC website to learn more about this newcomer package.

Scotiabank StartRight Program

Kickstart your financial journey in Canada with the Scotiabank StartRight Program. You could save on banking fees and get bonuses when you join the program.

Visit the Scotiabank website to learn more about this newcomer package.

TD New to Canada Banking Package

The TD New to Canada Banking Package comes with chequing and savings accounts incentives for the first six months. Plus, access the credit you need with a credit card, mortgage and more.

Visit the TD website to learn more about this newcomer package.

National Bank of Canada Newcomers to Canada Package

Get up to 3 years with no fixed monthly fees. The flat fee of $15.95/month will only start applying as of the 4th year. Plus, get access to a team that can answer your immigration questions 7 days a week, and access to a credit card without any credit history.
Visit the NBC website to learn more about this newcomer package.

Find more helpful products and services

How to compare banking packages

Consider the following factors when comparing welcome to Canada banking packages:

  • Value of package. With bonus cash offers, waived monthly or yearly fees and complimentary safety deposit box offers, calculate the value of the package to determine which bank will offer you the most freebies and perks.
  • Banking fees. You may be charged monthly or yearly fees for certain products such as chequing accounts and credit cards. Consider how much these fees will cost you and if they are offset by any rewards or special benefits.
  • ATM fees. Using your debit card to withdraw money from an ATM outside of your bank will likely cost you a small fee. To avoid this fee, use an ATM that belongs to your banks network. You’ll also want to make sure your bank has plenty of branches and ATMs in the location that you’ll be living in.
  • Cheques. Do cheques come free of charge with your bank account or will you have to pay for them? Cheques are often used in Canada to pay for rent and other expenses.
  • Products on offer. Does the bank offer a range of products that will suit your needs? Not every welcome package will offer access to all the products that will help you on your financial journey in Canada.
  • Customer service. Does the bank provide customer service in your native language? This can be a helpful feature when you have issues with accounts and products. Many banks have services in up to 20 languages or more.

What to watch out for

  • Time restrictions. You’ll likely need to be in Canada for less than 3-5 years in order to be eligible for a newcomers package.
  • Carefully read the terms and conditions. Any fees, stipulations and restrictions will be laid out in the terms and conditions. Carefully read these to understand how much you’ll pay monthly or annually, as well as conditions you’ll need to meet to receive any signup bonuses.
  • Is a deposit required? You may be required to put a down payment on a car loan, mortgage or credit card. Before applying for a package, make sure you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions.
  • What do you need to do to receive any bonuses? You’ll likely need to meet a few conditions before you’ll be awarded a bonus such as setting up recurring bill payments or making an online bill payment.
  • Watch out for fees. Once your fee-free month or year is up, you’ll face monthly or annual charges. These could apply to credit cards, chequings accounts, savings accounts, investments and more.
  • Are all the products suitable for your needs? Not all banks offer the same products. Make sure the products offered meet your needs and allow you to save the most money possible within the first year.

Bottom line

Newcomer packages can help you get on your feet when you arrive in Canada, with banks offering access to chequing, savings and investment accounts, car loans, mortgages, complimentary international money transfers, safety deposit boxes and much more. But while these packages can be helpful for a few years, you’ll want to consider your options once you’ve built up a decent credit score.

Before applying for a welcome to Canada banking package, carefully compare all the offers on the market to find the package that best suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions

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Emma Balmforth is a producer at Finder. She is passionate about helping people make financial decisions that will benefit them now and in the future. She has written for a variety of publications including World Nomads, Trek Effect and Uncharted. Emma has a degree in Business and Psychology from the University of Waterloo. She enjoys backpacking, reading and taking long hikes and road trips with her adventurous dog. See full bio

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