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Best high interest savings accounts in Canada in January 2023

Reach your financial goals sooner by finding the best high-interest savings accounts (HISA) available in Canada.

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EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account logo
  • Earn 2.5% interest
  • Free transactions
  • Zero everyday banking fees
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The best high interest savings account (or HISA) can help you build your nest egg at record speed with a high interest rates and low fees. That’s why we did the research to bring you some of the savings accounts with the best interest rates available in Canada today.

The best high interest savings accounts in Canada for January 2023

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

2.5%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
Earn 2.50% interest with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. Enjoy zero everyday banking fees, free transactions and no minimum balance. Plus, you can also apply for a Joint account if you're looking to save with your partner or family.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn 2.50% 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 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0
NSF Fee $0

Simplii High Interest Savings Account

5% until January 31,
0.4% thereafter

Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The Simplii High Interest Savings Account earns a high promo rate of 5% interest for January 31 (and 0.4% thereafter). With a $0 account fee and $0 transactions, you can look forward to saving more of your hard earned money.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • Earn 5% interest for January 31
  • No physical branches for in-person service
  • Low ongoing interest rate after the promo ends
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0
NSF Fee $45

KOHO Save

2%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
KOHO Save is not only a savings account – you can also get a prepaid card and earn cashback on your purchases. Use promo code FINDERCODE and get a $20 cash bonus when you make your first purchase within 30 days. Opt into earning interest for free and earn up to 2.00% on your balance, plus an additional 1% in cash back on groceries, billing and services.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn cashback on purchases
  • Earn up to 2% interest
  • Must opt-in to a monthly plan to earn higher interest
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0
NSF Fee $0

Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

4.6% for 5 months,
1.6% thereafter

Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$5.00
Transaction Fee
The Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account offers a high interest rate - especially if you take advantage of the promo rate. Earn a savings rate of up to 4.60% for 5 months. Plus, enjoy free unlimited transfers between Scotiabank accounts.
  • $0 account fee
  • Earn 4.60% for 5 months, 1.6% thereafter interest on your deposits
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • You’ll get an additional load of interest at regular intervals within your first year. This payout will occur at 90 days (0.15%), 180 days (0.25%), 270 days (0.35%) and 360 days (0.45%).
  • $1.50 out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee
  • It takes some time to earn a higher interest rate with this tiered interest rate account
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $5.00
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0

Neo Money Account

2.25%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The highly-rated Neo Financial mobile app makes it easy to manage your account anytime, anywhere. With a high interest rate of 2.25%, the Neo Money Account provides solid returns on your savings. Enjoy a $5 bonus, monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement and free transactions.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • No minimum balance
  • No physical branches for in-person service
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0
NSF Fee $0
CI Direct Investing High Rate Savings Account

CI Direct Investing High Rate Savings Account

3.6%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
Earn a high interest rate on your savings with no minimum deposit requirements and no monthly fees. Plus, manage your money easily through online-only banking. Transfer your funds to and from your linked accounts at other banks to your CI Direct Investing High Rate Savings Account.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn 3.6% interest on your balance
  • Online-only service
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0
Oaken Savings Account

Oaken Savings Account

1.65%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
unlimited
Transaction Fee
The Oaken Savings Account comes with an impressive interest rate, $0 monthly fees and unlimited transactions. Link your savings account to an Oaken Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) investment to boost your savings even further. Manage your money easily through online banking and by transferring your funds to and from your linked accounts at other banks.
  • $0 account fee
  • unlimited transactions
  • Earn 1.65% interest on your balance
  • No Interac eTransfers
  • No in-person service at a branch
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee unlimited
Interac e-Transfer Fee not supported

How to choose the best HISA for you

There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you choose the best high interest savings account for your needs:

  • Look for a high interest rate. Some banks offer promotions with 2-3% but usually only for a limited period of time or up to a certain amount. Others may pay a flat rate on your total balance. Read the fine print so you know how much you can expect to earn.
  • Investigate potential fees. Read the account’s fee Sschedule to see if you’ll be charged fees for maintaining the account. Bonus tip: most online savings accounts don’t have a monthly fee.
  • Consider accessibility. There are usually several ways to access your savings, including mobile, online and phone banking. Almost all accounts come with ATM cards. Decide how you plan to use your funds and choose an account that aligns with your needs.
  • Look for bonus features. Some savings accounts come with budgeting features. Other come with automatic savings programs to help you reach your goals.

Should I switch to a high interest savings account?

Switching to a high interest savings account can earn you more money with a higher interest rate and save you more money with lower fees. It’s a win-win.

The table below shows how much money you’d earn by switching from a savings account with a 0.01% interest rate to one with a 1%, 2% or 3% rate.

Account balance0.01%1%2%3%First-year benefit (3% vs. 0.01%)
$1,000$0.10$10.05$20.20$30.45$30.35
$5,000$0.50$50.25$101.00$152.27$151.77
$10,000$1.00$100.50$202.01$304.53$303.53
$25,000$2.50$251.25$505.02$761.33$758.83

Pros and cons of a HISA

If you’re considering a high-interest savings account, consider the following advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • Reach your goals faster. If you apply for a high interest savings account that matches your savings style, you can get a head start on reaching your financial goals.
  • Minimal fees. The majority of high-interest savings accounts don’t charge fees for maintaining the account.
  • No risk. Savings accounts are considered one of the safest investments in the financial system, next to a GIC. Most banks are guaranteed by the CDIC which means that eligible deposits are insured up to $100,000 a person, per bank.
  • No expert knowledge required. Compared to other accounts like RRSPs and brokerage accounts, a savings account is probably the easiest one to apply for. You can always reinvest what you’ve deposited there into another asset, and it’s almost impossible to get a negative return on a savings account.

Cons

  • Minimum balance requirements. Some high interest savings accounts only pay interest if your balance is above a certain threshold. Know that amount and monitor your balance so that your money is always earning interest.
  • Interest rate changes. Banks can lower their rates for a few reasons. And if your account has a variable interest rate, you may lose out if the federal rate drops. If the rate on your account has changed and you’re not sure why, contact the bank.
  • Transfer time can take a couple of business days. Access could prove troublesome if you suddenly need the money for an important purchase.

What is a high interest savings account?

A high interest savings account, also referred to a high-yield savings account, is designed to help you save more money by offering a competitive interest rate for any funds you keep in your account. Typically, these accounts pay compound interest that’s typically calculated daily and paid out monthly. And because many of these accounts are also online savings accounts not connected to physical bank branches, they come with a free, 24/7 online banking platform to access your funds.

How is interest taxed on my savings account?

How does a high interest savings account work?

You generally link a high-yield savings account to your chequing account so you can easily make transfers between accounts. In some cases, you can only link your savings account to another account within the same bank, but this isn’t always true. Besides convenient transfers, some account providers even offer ABM access to your savings.

The interest rate is calculated on your balance daily, monthly or quarterly, while your interest is paid monthly, quarterly or annually. The following is the formula your bank would use to calculate your daily interest:

how-interest-is-calculated-daily-image-optmz

How to find the best high interest savings account

  • Look for: High and competitive interest rates

Make sure you know how much of your savings is earning the advertised interest rate. Rates can vary greatly, usually between 0.5% – 2.3%, with some banks paying as much as 2.5% interest. Other banks only pay a high rate once you reach a certain minimum balance like $10,000. Also, pay attention to the conditions required to earn the interest rate. The offer may only apply to new customers or you may need to meet deposit and withdrawal conditions.

  • Look for: 24/7 accessibility

There are usually several ways to conveniently access your savings, including mobile, online and phone banking. Some savings accounts even come with debit card access. However, if you’re trying to stop yourself from dipping into your savings, consider an account with limited or no accessibility. Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) offer a higher rate of interest the longer you agree to keep your money inside. The catch is that you won’t have access to your savings for the duration of the term unless you want to pay a hefty penalty.

  • Look for: Whether you can link your existing bank account or need to open another account.

Depending on your bank, you may be required to link your high interest savings accounts to a chequing account in the same bank. If you have a chequing account at a different bank, find out if you can link it to your high-yield savings account. Otherwise, you may be forced to pay another monthly fee for a bank account you might not need.

  • Look for: Zero fees

Check for fees for maintaining the account. Though it’s common for savings accounts to have no monthly fees, sometimes a fee will be charged per transaction if you go over a certain number of transactions.
See our list of the best high interest savings accounts

Types of HISAs

Find out if you’d be better off with a business account, a joint account or, if you want to open an account for your child, a youth savings account.

Business accounts

If you’re self-employed or a business owner, you may be better off with a business account. These accounts allow you to separate your work and personal expenses so it’s easier to organize your expenses at tax time.

Joint accounts

If you’re sharing finances, a joint account may be easier. This kind of account allows 2 people access to the same account to deposit and withdraw funds. Joint accounts are good for couples running a home together as well as people who are out-of-town frequently or who suffer from mobility issues and need another person to help them with their banking. Joint accounts can help partners and couples reach a savings goal together. Read more about joint accounts here.

Youth savings account

If you want to teach your children good money habits, you can set up a youth savings account. Most banks offer competitive deals for youth savings accounts, which may include no fees and free transactions. Accounts offered by banks that operate strictly online tend to pay a higher interest rate and charge fewer fees, catering to savers gradually growing their balance over time.

The difference between a high interest savings account and GIC

Savings accounts

Savings accounts let you make deposits when you want and grow your balance at your own pace. You usually have limited access to your funds, and the penalty for going over this limit can cost you up to several dollars per transaction. There is no end date to your savings account investment – you may continue to grow your money as long as you wish.

Financial institutions offer set interest rates on savings accounts, although these rates may be subject to change. Interest rates on savings accounts in Canada run from under 1% to around 2.5%, but you may be able to score a higher rate for an introductory promotional period when you open your account (some promotional rates run as high as 3%; ask your bank if there are any savings promotions currently being offered). High-yield savings accounts offer competitive rates, sometimes up to 2.5% or more.

As a savings account owner, you might need to deposit a certain amount every month, refrain from making withdrawals and/or keep your balance above a certain amount or else your interest rate will go down or you may become ineligible to hold your account. For more information on regular savings accounts, see our savings guide.

While savings accounts are a very low-risk way of growing your money, the rate of return is also very low compared to other types of investments. Up to 3% of the value of your money could be lost every year due to inflation, and usually the interest rates on Canadian savings accounts aren’t high enough to offset this effect. However, it could be a good idea to put your money in a savings account if you want to keep some funds on hand for easy access – where accessibility of your money is concerned, savings accounts beat out many other investment strategies.

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) is an investment that allows you to put a fixed amount of money upfront into an account that is grown and managed by the issuing institution (usually a bank). The investment lasts for a predetermined amount of time, and when that time is up, your money is returned to you with interest.

The interest rate is set when you first deposit your money, so you are guaranteed to get a specific return at a specific time. Short-term GICs last from 1-9 months, while long-term GICs usually last from 1-5 years but can even last up to 10 years. When you redeem your GIC, you may walk away with your money or choose to reinvest it in another GIC or some other investment vehicle.

The longer the investment term, the higher your rate of return. GIC interest rates often start around 1.5% and can reach over 3.5%, which is higher than most savings accounts. Most GICs are backed by the CDIC up to $100,000, which helps keep your money safe in the event of a bank failure. The CDIC is a federal crown corporation, but some GICs are backed by your provincial government instead and may come with different interest rates.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of investing in a GIC is that, if you want to withdraw your money before the term is up, the interest rate will plummet (you won’t simply be charged a small transaction fee as you would with a savings account). Cashable GICs exist that allow you to withdraw a minimum amount early as long as a minimum amount left in the investment. You’ll earn a lesser interest rate on the funds you withdraw, but the drop won’t be as steep as it would be with an ordinary GIC.

How to apply for a high interest savings account

What do I need to apply for a high-yield savings account online?

Once you’ve clicked through to the bank’s secure application page, you will typically need to provide:

  • Personal identification such as a driver’s license, passport or provincial ID card and personal details such as your name, contact information, email address and mailing address
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Details of an account you want to link to your new high interest savings account like a chequing account

Note that minors need a parent or guardian to register a youth bank account for them. Such individuals will need to provide their ID, not just their child’s ID. Banks differ in the age they set for eligibility to have a youth account, so if you’re a teenager or the parent of one, check your bank’s eligibility requirements.

Can I open a high interest savings account as a visitor to Canada?

Depending on your visa type, length of stay and other details, you may be able to open a bank account in Canada if you’re a tourist or frequent visitor. Normally, it would be difficult to do so because banks typically require a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to open an account, and nonresidents don’t have this. However, this article on the Government of Canada website suggests that it may be possible to open an account as a non-resident, but you’re advised to speak to the bank directly.

Someone who knows you well in Canada or, if you’re frequently in Canada on business, a representative from a Canadian company might be able to accompany you to a bank where he/she can speak to the manager on your behalf and vouch for your identity. At the manager’s discretion, you may be able to open a bank account.

However, there is no set rule requiring banks to do this, and different banks may have different policies. Speak with the financial institution directly about eligibility requirements for opening an account as a temporary visitor. For more read our requirements to open a bank account guide.

Bottom line

A high interest savings account (or high-yield savings account) can help you prepare for the future. The higher the interest rate, the more you’ll earn in compound insterest.

While shopping around for the best savings account, be sure to pay attention to other terms and conditions besides the interest rate including fees, minimum deposit requirements, minimum balance requirements, transaction limits and CDIC coverage. Consider different types of high-yield accounts such as joint accounts, if you have a partner, and youth savings accounts, if you’re looking to save for your child.

Still looking for the best bank account for you? Check out our detailed bank account guide for information on the different types of accounts you can get and what to look for when choosing the right one.

High interest savings account FAQs

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