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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 best Canadian savings accounts with the best savings interest rates available in Canada today.
We’ve chosen the best Canadian savings accounts on this page based on the providers available through Finder and online in the Canadian marketplace. These high interest savings accounts are not representative of the entire market. When choosing the best Canadian savings accounts, we considered key factors including the interest rate, how rewarding an account is in terms of growing savings and how easy it was to open. That meant digging into account details like type, annual percentage yield (APY), monthly fee, minimum deposit to open the account, minimum balance to earn interest and signup bonus. No single high interest savings account will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before applying.
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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 have the best savings interest rates in Canada and 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.
Expert tip: The more you deposit, the more you'll earn.
Stash your cash in a high-interest savings account and your money ends up working for you. For instance, an earn rate of 2.5% will mean an extra $25 at the end of the year, for every $1,000 in the account.
For the best deals, be prepared to comparison shop. Even among high-interest savings accounts, there is a wide range of interest rates offered — and pay attention to high introductory promotional rates. These promos can really juice your overall interest earnings and add hundreds or more to your savings. Just pay attention to minimum balance commitments, potential fees and deadlines. Once the promotion ends, don't be afraid to take your business elsewhere.
— Romana King, Senior editor
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:
There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you choose the best high interest savings account for your needs:
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 balance||0.01%||1%||2%||3%||First-year benefit (3% vs. 0.01%)|
If you’re considering a Canadian high-interest savings account, consider the following advantages and disadvantages:
Make sure you know how much of your savings is earning the advertised interest rate. The best interest rates buy provider 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 interest rate once you reach a certain minimum balance like $10,000. Also, pay attention to the conditions required to earn the interest rate. The the highest interest savings account offer may only apply to new customers or you may need to meet deposit and withdrawal conditions.
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.
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.
Check for fees for maintaining your HISA. 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.
When choosing the best savings account in Canada for your financial situation, it’s important to figure out exactly how the best savings account rates can impact your savings goals. Compare different account options by using our savings account calculator below.
With savings accounts, you can expect interest rates anywhere from as low as 0.02% up to 2.5% depending on who you choose to bank with. Rates offered by Canada’s Big Banks, such as Scotiabank and BMO, range from around 0.05% and 1% while digital banking operations like EQ Bank and Tangerine offer up the best savings account rates to the tune of 2.5% interest. While introductory interest rates offer the best interest rates in Canada for a limited time, they do drop after the promo period has ended.
Savings account interest rates are often referred to as APY or APR. The APY or “Annual Percentage Yield” is the amount of money made each year on an investment due to compound interest (also called EAR or “Earned Annual Interest”). APR or “Annual Percentage Rate” is the interest rate charged during a certain time period multiplied by the number of time periods in a year. To learn more, read our bank interest rates guide.
Some of the best Canadian savings accounts offer a straight forward interest rate on all the money you deposit. Other accounts come with additional interest rate features, like:
Banks set and change interest rates for savings accounts based on the national prime interest rate. This rate is set mostly by the Bank of Canada as a general guide for banks to follow when they choose their interest rates for both loans and deposits. When the Bank of Canada updates the prime rate, the decision usually makes headlines and the news can help you predict whether your savings account rate might change.
Savings accounts are a great place to start growing your money, to set aside money for a rainy day or to help you achieve your financial goals. With so many options to choose from, here’s a look at what you need to consider when deciding on the best savings account for your needs:
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.
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.
Once you’ve clicked through to the bank’s secure application page, you will typically need to provide:
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.
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 non-residents 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.
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 rates, 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.
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