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Best no-fee chequing accounts in 2023

These free Canadian bank accounts come with $0 monthly fees. Many also offer free transactions and e-transfers.

The best free Canadian bank accounts come with no monthly fees and convenient features for managing your money. However, most free chequing accounts still charge fees for some transactions like international transactions and non-network ATM usage. Here are the best no-fee chequing accounts in Canada.

Quick view: Best no-fee chequing accounts in Canada by feature

Methodology: How we selected the best no-fee chequing accounts in Canada by feature

The chequing accounts included in this Finder guide are selected based on information provided to Finder as well as analysis of banking providers in the Canadian marketplace. This list does not necessarily represent the entire market for Canadian chequing accounts. When assessing the best no-fee chequing account, we consider key factors such as monthly fees, transaction fees, features and accessibility. Since no single free chequing account in Canada can be considered ideal for all Canadians, we strongly recommend you compare all account options before selecting and opening any chequing account.

Best overall no-fee chequing account

Simplii No Fee Chequing Account

unlimited
Free Transactions
$0
e-Transfer Fee
$0
Monthly Account Fee
With a $0 monthly fee, free transactions, free e-transfers and no minimum deposit, the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account is our top pick for no-fee chequing accounts. Earn 0.01% – 0.1% interest on your balance, and make purchases with a Debit Mastercard. Pay $4.97 a month for overdraft (plus interest) only when you use it.
  • Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400
  • Enjoy unlimited free transactions and e-Transfers
  • No monthly account fee
  • Earn 0.01% to 0.1% interest on your balance
  • No minimum deposit requirements
  • Earn a referral bonus
  • Simplii is an online only provider
  • You can only earn the welcome bonus if you're a new Simplii customer
  • Residents of Quebec cannot open a Simplii account
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 12
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $4.97
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $1.50
International ATM Fee $3

Best no-fee chequing account for day-to-day

Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account

unlimited
Free Transactions
$0
e-Transfer Fee
$0
Monthly Account Fee
The Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account comes with a $0 monthly fee and unlimited free transactions and Interac e-Transfers. Easily manage your money 24/7 with Tangerine's highly-rated mobile app. Plus, earn 0.01% – 0.1% interest on every dollar.
  • Earn decent interest rates
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Free cheques
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • Charges for certain ATMS
  • No in-person service
  • Only one free replacement card
Min. Age 16
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $10
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $1.50
International ATM Fee $3

Best no-fee bank account with cash back

Neo Money Account

2.25%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
A combined spending and saving account, the Neo Money Account lets you earn cash back at popular retailers and pays 2.25% interest on your balance. Enjoy a $0 monthly account fee, no minimum balance, free transactions and free e-Transfers. The cash back rate varies between stores.
  • Hybrid account that works like a chequing and savings account
  • High ongoing interest rate
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • No minimum balance
  • No account fee
  • Online only with no physical branches
  • Doesn't come with a debit card, though does come with the Neo Money Card
  • Not available to residents of Quebec
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0
NSF Fee $0

Best no-fee chequing account for students

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan

unlimited
Free Transactions
$0
e-Transfer Fee
$0
Monthly Account Fee
The Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan removes some of the financial burden of being a student with no monthly account fee, free transactions and free Interac e-Transfers. Open to students in post-secondary schools across North America. Open a student account today and get up to $100. Apply by June 10, 2023.
  • Earn a welcome bonus of 12,500 Scene+ points
  • No account fee for full-time post-secondary students
  • Enjoy unlimited free transactions and e-Transfers
  • Earn Scene+ points on debit transactions.
  • Not free for part-time students
  • You must verify that you're a student each year.
Min. Age 16
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $3
International ATM Fee $5
Dormancy Fee $20

Best no-fee chequing account from a BC credit union

Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account

unlimited
Free Transactions
$1.50
e-Transfer Fee
$0
Monthly Account Fee
Yet another account on our list with $0 monthly fees, the Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account comes with unlimited free transactions and no minimum balance requirement. But there are fees for some services like Interac e-Transfers ($1.50) and paper statements.
  • No monthly fee
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • No minimum balance required
  • Deposit cheques on the app from your phone
  • Withdraw money free of charge from 4,000+ ATMs across Canada.
  • e-transfers cost $1.50 each
  • Only available to BC residents.
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $10
U.S. ATM Fee $2.50
International ATM Fee $5
Dormancy Fee $1.50

Best no-fee chequing account package for newcomers

National Bank Newcomer Bank Account

unlimited
Free Transactions
$0
e-Transfer Fee
$0
Monthly Account Fee
A banking package designed for newcomers to Canada, the National Bank Newcomer Bank Account comes with unlimited free electronic transactions and Interac e-Transfers. Get free in-branch transactions in your first year, then pay $1.50 each. Account holders can access phone consultation services for help with immigration, housing, finances and more.
  • $0 for the first year (longer if conditions are met)
  • First order of 100 cheques free
  • Free safety deposit box for 1 year
  • Exclusive phone support for help with immigration, housing, finances and more
  • Must get a National Bank personal credit card and satisfy other requirements to get the monthly fee waived for years 2 and 3
  • After 3 years, pay $15.95/month
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $0

Best no-fee bank account with interest

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

Banks that offer zero or waived chequing account fees

Find out which banks and financial institutions in Canada offer accounts with no fees for account maintenance, non-network domestic ATM usage, overdraft protection and international money transfers.

How to avoid monthly account fees

Open an account with one of these banks that offer zero or waivable monthly fees:

  • National Bank of Canada (zero or waivable)
  • TD (zero or waivable)
  • CIBC (zero or waivable)
  • Scotiabank (zero, discounted or waivable)
  • BMO (waivable with most accounts)
  • RBC (zero, discounted or waivable)
  • Tangerine
  • EQ Bank
  • Neo Financial (not a bank, but offers a spending account)

How to avoid domestic ATM fees

Open one of these accounts to use network and non-network ATMs in Canada for free (ATM providers may charge a fee):

How to avoid overdraft protection fees

Open one of these accounts that come with overdraft protection at no extra cost (interest still applies):

How to avoid international money transfer fees

Open one of these accounts to get fee-free international money transfers:

  • Scotiabank Ultimate Package
  • BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account
  • CIBC Everyday Chequing Account
  • CIBC Smart Account
  • CIBC Smart Plus Account
  • CIBC Smart for Foreign Workers Account

How to choose the best no-fee chequing account

  • Check the requirements. For banks with waivable monthly account fees, you’ll have to meet certain criteria like maintaining a minimum balance or signing up for a credit card. Alternatively, you might need to be part of a group like seniors, students or newcomers to Canada.
  • Be aware of other fees. You may be able to avoid monthly fees, but other charges might sneak up on you for overdraft protection, transactions, international money transfers and foreign transactions.
  • ATM network. Look for banks with large ATM networks to avoid ATM fees. Some accounts waive non-network ATM usage fees, while others — particularly those offered by online banks — may not offer ATM access at all.
  • Digital banks. With lower overhead costs than traditional banks, online banks tend to offer low- or no-fee accounts and higher interest rates on your savings. But you can’t get in-person service, and it may be harder to access ATMs.
  • Signup bonus. Many financial institutions periodically offer new account signup bonuses. Make sure you know what fees and interest rates will apply when the promotional period ends.

Pros and cons of free Canadian bank accounts

Pros

  • No monthly fees. Monthly fees bite eat away at your funds over time.
  • Minimum deposit requirement. Most free chequing accounts in Canada come with no minimum deposit requirements.
  • ATM access. Some accounts reimburse the fees when you make a non-network ATM withdrawal.
  • Other perks. A no-fee chequing account may come with benefits like free transactions, free e-transfers and interest paid on the balance.

Cons

  • Not completely free. With most free Canadian bank accounts, you’ll still have to pay for non-network ATM usage, overdraft usage, foreign transactions and other services.
  • Limited features. Free chequing accounts offered by digital banks may not come with all the features you would get at a traditional bank. Even at a traditional bank, you’ll usually get more perks with a higher-cost premium account.

5 chequing account fees to avoid

There are many sneaky fees that can chip away at your balance. Here are some of the most common fees you’ll see when comparing chequing accounts:

FeeHow to avoid
Monthly maintenance fee. Unless it’s a no-fee chequing account, expect to pay around $4 – $30 in monthly account fees.Get a free chequing account or meet your bank’s requirements to waive the monthly fee.
ATM fee. Most banks charge a fee if you use an out-of-network ATM. This is usually $1.50 – $2.50 per transaction on top of whatever the ATM provider charges.Use an in-network ATM or choose an account with no fees for non-network ATM usage.
Paper statement fee. It may cost a few dollars each month to get printed bank statements mailed to you.Sign up for electronic statements, which are almost always free.
Overdraft fee. If you spend more than your chequing account balance, you could end up paying a $45+ NSF fee. Signing up for overdraft protection is cheaper but will still cost around $5+ a month.Don’t spend unless you have enough in your account to cover the cost. Also, look for banks that offer pay-per-use overdraft coverage, so you won’t be charged unless you use the overdraft.
Foreign transaction fee. Banks typically charge around 2.5% of the transaction amount every time you make a purchase in a currency other than Canadian dollars. This is on top of adding a small margin (called a “markup”) to the exchange rate.Get a card that comes with low or no foreign transaction fees, or avoid making non-CAD purchases.

Bottom line

Free chequing accounts are a great way to cut down expenses without sacrificing the convenience of having a chequing account. While there are a number of no-fee banking accounts in Canada, some will waive the monthly fee under certain conditions. Compare chequing accounts to find the best one for your needs.

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