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Best chequing account in Canada by feature for 2024

We analyzed over 100 chequing accounts to find the best chequing accounts in Canada by fees, account minimums, interest rates, ATM access and more.

To find the best chequing account in Canada, we analyzed over 100 of the most popular and most competitive Canadian chequing accounts. We compared factors such as account minimums, fees, interest rates, ATM access and other unique features to bring you the best Canadian chequing account by feature.

The first step to finding the best chequing account for your individual needs comes down to identifying which features matter the most to you.

For some, the best chequing account will be one with no fees, for others it will be one that offers rewards with debit card purchases. But for everyone, a chequing account is an all-purpose, multi-tasking financial management tool. Read on to find the best chequing account in Canada by feature.

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Quick view: Best chequing account in Canada by feature

Overall best chequing account in Canada

BMO Performance Chequing Account

Earn $600
Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The BMO Performance Chequing Account is one of BMO's most popular chequing accounts. It offers unlimited free transactions and e-Transfers, and a generous welcome bonus (if you meet certain criteria).
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • $40 fee rebate on the BMO Mastercard annual fee
  • BMO will reverse the first accidental fee charged to this account
  • Up to 20 accounts can be included in the BMO Family Bundle
  • Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
  • Monthly fee of $16.95
  • You won't earn any interest on the money in your account.
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 13
Account Fee $16.95
Youth Account Fee $0
# of Accounts Included 20
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $5
International ATM Fee $5

Best no-fee chequing account

Simplii No Fee Chequing Account

Earn $400
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The fully digital Simplii No Fee Chequing Account comes with no monthly account fee, no transaction fees, no e-Transfer fees, no minimum deposit requirements and a chance to earn interest on your account balance, and a debit card. Plus, pair The Simplii No Fee Chequing Account with a no-fee Simplii High Interest Savings Account and you can earn more on your savings.
  • 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 hybrid chequing account

EQ Bank Personal Account

Earn 4.00% interest
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
If you're looking to save and spend, the EQ Bank Personal Account is a great hybrid savings and chequing account option.
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn high interest on your savings
  • No fees on everyday banking
  • No minimum balances.
  • 100% online bank with no bank branches.
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0

Best day-to-day chequing account

RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account

Get Apple Watch Series 9
Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account is one of RBC's most popular chequing accounts and makes for a powerful day-to-day account. It comes with unlimited transactions and free Interac e-Transfers, as well as other perks for a monthly fee. Other unique benefits include free bank drafts, personalized cheques, rebates on basic credit card fees (up to $39) and no monthly overdraft fees. You'll also get reimbursements for non-RBC ATM fees (up to a monthly limit).
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • Non-RBC ATM rebates
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Credit card fee waivers
  • Earn RBC Avion points
  • Overdraft protection.
  • Monthly fee
  • Caps on certain perks.
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $16.95
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2

Best budget chequing account at a Big 5 Bank

Scotiabank Basic Bank Account

N/A
Bonus Offer
$3.95
Monthly Account Fee
12/month
Free Transactions
The Scotiabank Basic Bank Account offers a cheap alternative to a traditional bank account, and therefore makes a powerful budget bank account. It gives you a number of free transactions per month for a low monthly fee. You can also earn points toward the Scene+ rewards program.
  • Low monthly fee
  • Limited free transactions per month
  • $0 Interac e-Transfers
  • Free Scotiabank ATM withdrawals
  • Easy-to-use mobile app.
  • No interest on savings
  • Fee for exceeding transaction limit
  • Non-Scotiabank ATMs cost money
  • No welcome bonus.
Min. Age 16
Account Fee $3.95
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $3
International ATM Fee $5
Dormancy Fee $20

Best premium chequing account

BMO Performance Chequing Account

Earn $600
Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The BMO Performance Chequing Account is a premium chequing account that offers unlimited free transactions and e-Transfers, and a generous welcome bonus (if you meet certain criteria). Other premium perks include credit card rebates and the ability to bundle BMO accounts with the BMO Family Bundle.
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • $40 fee rebate on the BMO Mastercard annual fee
  • BMO will reverse the first accidental fee charged to this account
  • Up to 20 accounts can be included in the BMO Family Bundle
  • Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
  • Monthly fee of $16.95
  • You won't earn any interest on the money in your account.
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 13
Account Fee $16.95
Youth Account Fee $0
# of Accounts Included 20
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $5
International ATM Fee $5

Best day-to-day account with cash back

Neo Money Account

4%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The Neo Money Account allows you to spend, save, and earn from one account. You'll earn interest on your savings and there are no minimum deposit requirements, account fees or transaction fees. Plus, you can use your Neo Money Card at one of the over 10,000 Neo retail partners to earn unlimited cash back of up to 5%. Partners include: Swoop, Structube, Earls, Herschel, Clearly, Avis, Second Cup, Boston Pizza, Avis, Budget, Curves, among many others. Download the Neo app and sign up online in a matter of minutes.
  • Earn cash back of up to 5% at over 10,000 retail partners
  • Hybrid account that works like a chequing and savings account
  • High ongoing interest rate
  • Cashing out Neo Rewards is easy through the app
  • 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
International ATM Fee $0

Best chequing account in Canada with perks

Scotiabank Basic Plus Bank Account

N/A
Bonus Offer
$11.95
Monthly Account Fee
25/month
Free Transactions
As the name suggests, the Scotiabank Basic Plus Bank Account is a no-frills account that comes with 25/month transactions and $0 e-Transfers. While it has a monthly account fee of $11.95, you can have the monthly account fee will be waived if you have at least $3,000 in your account at all times.
  • $0 e-Transfers
  • Access to Scotiabank's basic account features including free credit score reports.
  • Limited monthly transactions
  • Monthly fee
  • No welcome offer.
Min. Age 16
Account Fee $11.95
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $3
International ATM Fee $5

Best chequing account for ATM Access

RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account

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Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account is one of RBC's most popular chequing accounts. It comes with unlimited transactions and a host of other perks for a monthly fee. Notable benefits include free bank drafts, personalized cheques, rebates on basic credit card fees (up to $39) and no monthly overdraft fees. You'll also get free Interac e-Transfers and reimbursements for non-RBC ATM fees, up to a monthly limit.
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • Non-RBC ATM rebates
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Credit card fee waivers
  • Earn RBC Avion points
  • Overdraft protection.
  • Monthly fee
  • Caps on certain perks.
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $16.95
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2

Best chequing account for student travellers

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan

Earn $100
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
With features like unlimited, free debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers, the Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan will let you go about your business without having to worry about usage limits. What's more, this account is also free for students enrolled in post-secondary school across North America, and it comes with a generous signup bonus.
  • 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 chequing account in Canada with debit rewards

RBC VIP Banking Account

Get Apple Watch Series 9
Bonus Offer
$30
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The RBC VIP Banking Account is an all-inclusive chequing account that lets you make unlimited transactions worldwide and ATM withdrawals—and allows you to earn valuable Avion points with every debit card purchase. It also includes additional perks such as free bank drafts, complimentary personal and certified cheques, a fee waiver for an RBC premium credit card and use of a safety deposit box.
  • Earn Avion points with debit card purchases
  • Save up to $120 per year when you sign up for a premium RBC credit card
  • Unlimited debit transactions worldwide
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn Avion points
  • Special rebates
  • Overdraft protection
  • Free use of a safety deposit box
  • Free bank drafts
  • Welcome offer.
  • Monthly fee
  • Caps on certain perks.
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $30
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $0
Dive deeper RBC Debit Card review

Best chequing account with Costco benefits

CIBC Smart Plus Account

N/A
Bonus Offer
$29.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The CIBC Smart Plus Account is ideal for hefty bank service users and routine travellers and comes with free banking services. Bank drafts, stop payments, money orders and personalized cheques are free for CIBC Smart Plus Account holders. Plus, it comes with Costco benefits. Get a $400 Costco Shop Card with a CIBC Smart Plus Account when you complete the qualifying actions. Another nice perk is that CIBC's overdraft protection service is included at no additional cost.
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • Unlimited free Interac e-transfers
  • $0 for using non-CIBC ATMs:Can bundle balances across savings and investment accounts to be eligible for the monthly fee waiver.
  • Monthly fee
  • Caps on certain perks.
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $29.95
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $0

Best student chequing account

BMO Performance Chequing Account

Earn $600
Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The BMO Performance Chequing Account is one of BMO's most popular chequing accounts for students as well. It offers unlimited free transactions and e-Transfers, and a generous welcome bonus (if you meet certain criteria) And students get access to mobile banking and pay no monthly fees while in school and for one year after graduating.
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • $40 fee rebate on the BMO Mastercard annual fee
  • BMO will reverse the first accidental fee charged to this account
  • Up to 20 accounts can be included in the BMO Family Bundle
  • Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
  • Monthly fee of $16.95
  • You won't earn any interest on the money in your account.
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 13
Account Fee $16.95
Youth Account Fee $0
# of Accounts Included 20
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $5
International ATM Fee $5

Best student hybrid chequing account

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan

Earn $100
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
Learning to spend wisely and save habitually are critical skills, but for students who want to take the step towards investing, this account is ideal. The account also offers debit transactions and $0 Interac e-Transfers.
  • Free Transactions: Unlimited (including debit, Interac e-transfers, bill payments)
  • Bonus Offer: Earn up to a $100 welcome bonus when you open an account. Apply by April 30, 2024.
  • Earned SCENE points can be redeemed at various restaurants and movie theatre
  • Access to more than 3,400 Scotiabank ATMs (at no charge)
  • Fee-free cash withdrawals at ATMs worldwide using Global ATM Alliance machines
  • Mobile banking
  • Get 20 free trades (stock or ETF) on the mobile app in your first year and 10 free trades every year after
  • Works with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Only available to full-time post-secondary students
  • Need to reconfirm your status as a full-time post-secondary student every year (before November 30)
  • Need to pay for overdraft protection (either $5 per month or per use)
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 teenager’s chequing account

BMO Performance Chequing Account

Earn $600
Bonus Offer
$16.95
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The BMO Performance Chequing Account is not strictly a bank account for teenagers; however, if you are looking for ways to get a premium bank account, but minimize the fees paid by your family, then this might be the perfect account for you and your teen. With the BMO Performance Chequing Account Family Bundle, only the parent pays the monthly banking fee and all other account holders enjoy no monthly fees. This BMO account offers unlimited no-fee daily banking, which includes unlimited, no-fee transactions and Interac e-Transfers. The best part is that each account is separate and private, so your teenager can't see your account and you can't see your teen's bank account.
  • Unlimited monthly transactions
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • $40 fee rebate on the BMO Mastercard annual fee
  • BMO will reverse the first accidental fee charged to this account
  • Family bundle means no-fee bank account for teens
  • Up to 20 accounts can be included in the BMO Family Bundle
  • Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account., when you add a no-fee BMO Savings Amplifier Account
  • Primary account holder in the BMO Family Bundle must be 18 or older
  • Monthly fee of $16.95 when balance is less than $4,000
  • 0% interest rate on deposits
  • $5 debit and e-Transfer transaction fee
  • $2 out of network ATM fee
Min. Age 18
Min. Age Teen Account 13
Account Fee $16.95
Youth Account Fee $0
# of Accounts Included 20
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2
U.S. ATM Fee $5
International ATM Fee $5

Best kids day-to-day chequing account

National Bank Modest Chequing Account

N/A
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
30/month
Free Transactions
For kids that want a grown-up account without the monthly fees, check out National Bank's Modest Chequing account. It comes with 30 free digital transactions and kids pay no fees until they reach their 25th birthday.
  • The account fee gets waived with a $3,000+ balance or for students and customers under 24 years old (seniors 60+ only pay $5.95, and those aged 25-59 pay $10.95 per month)
  • Unlimited e-transfers
  • Completely online process.
  • Limited transactions
  • Fees for branch transactions
  • Maintaining minimum balance to avoid fees (only if you're aged 25 - 59)
  • Limited range of benefits and features.
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $5
ATM Out-of-Network Fee $2

Best kids hybrid savings and chequing account

Simplii No Fee Chequing Account

Earn $400
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
Your kids can up their banking and digital money management skills using the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account. This fully digital bank account gives your teen free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers and unlimited monthly transactions. There are no monthly fees and teens get a free debit card. Since this account isn't specifically for teens, parents will need to open and guarantee the account (making you responsible for unpaid fees or costs). The Simplii No Fee Chequing Account can maximize how your teen can use and access their day-to-day banking without the risk of cost creep. Pair it with a no-fee Simplii High Interest Savings Account and your teen could learn to manage money and earn on savings as they grow and mature.
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Free and unlimited day-to-day transactions
  • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Digital bank with a completely online application process
  • Free teen debit card
  • Free transactions transactions through CIBC ATMs
  • Send money internationally for free
  • Earn 0.1% interest on deposits
  • Earn $400 when you become a new client and set up a direct deposit of at least $100 for 3 months. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
  • Teens under 18 require a parent to open and guarantee the account
  • $1.50 fee for non-CIBC ATM transactions
  • $3 fee for US and international ATM transactions
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 BC credit union chequing account

Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account

Get $150
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
The Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account comes with no monthly account fees, no minimum balance requirements and unlimited free transactions. Just be aware that you'll have to pay fees for basic services such as paper statements and Interac e-Transfers.
  • 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 19
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 newcomers chequing account package

National Bank Newcomer Bank Account

N/A
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
Eligibility: Must open an account up to 90 days before you arrive in Canada or within five years of your arrival in Canada. Must be 18 years of age or older and the only user of the account.
Free transactions: Unlimited electronic transactions, free branch transactions for the first year and then $1.50 per branch transaction in subsequent years.
E-transfer fee: $0.
Monthly account fee: $0 for up to three years, $15.95 from year four onwards.
Bonus offer or perks: Exclusive phone support for newcomers, international transfers with Mastercard and Interac international transfers
Credit card (yes/no): Yes.
  • Exclusive phone assistance for newcomers
  • Monthly fee waived for up to three years
  • Get a Canadian credit card without credit history
  • Need to sign up for additional products or services to have monthly fee waived
  • $15.95 monthly fee once discount period ends
  • No interest on your bank balance
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $0

What is the best chequing account for mobile banking in Canada?

As people rely more and more on online banking for their everyday money management, choosing an account that comes with a robust mobile app is a must. You can easily compare app ratings for providers of each of the best chequing accounts in Canada below.

Of the big banks on our list of best chequing accounts, the Scotiabank and National Bank mobile apps seem to be the best according to customer reviews, with the highest user ratings across both iOS and Android. As for online banks, the Neo Financial app has the highest user rating in both app stores.

Chequing account providerApple App Store ratingGoogle Play rating
BMO4.6★★★★★
(110K reviews)
4.3★★★★★
(76K reviews)
Simplii Financial4.1★★★★★
(11K reviews)
4.5★★★★★
(14K reviews)
EQ Bank4.7★★★★★
(33K reviews)
4.3★★★★★
(7K reviews)
RBC4.8★★★★★
(208K reviews)
3.6★★★★★
(38K reviews)
Scotiabank4.7★★★★★
(677K reviews)
4.6★★★★★
(146K reviews)
Neo Financial4.8★★★★★
(29K reviews)
4.7★★★★★
(6K reviews)
CIBC4.3★★★★★
(20K reviews)
3.9★★★★★
(39K reviews)
National Bank4.7★★★★★
(191K reviews)
4.8★★★★★
(2K reviews)
Coast Capital4.5★★★★★
(5.2K reviews)
4.4★★★★★
(4K reviews)

Ratings last verified on April 3, 2024.

What is a chequing account?

A chequing account, also called a transactional account, is a day-to-day bank account where you can deposit your paycheques, transfer money, pay bills from, deposit cash into and withdraw cash from via an ATM. These accounts don’t typically offer options to earn interest, but instead focus on offering features to help you manage your expenses.

What’s the difference between chequing and savings accounts in Canada?

The main difference between chequing accounts and savings accounts in Canada is that savings accounts are designed to help you save money and earn interest on your balance, whereas chequing accounts are designed to help you spend money efficiently. Besides the odd hybrid product on the market, most chequing accounts don’t offer interest on your balance.

Types of chequing accounts in Canada

There are a several types of chequing accounts Canadians can choose from. It’s always a good idea to compare all of your options to make sure you’re choosing the best account for your needs.

Personal chequing accounts

This is the most common type of chequing account in Canada, and comes with a pre-determined number of free monthly transactions (or unlimited transactions) and a variety of other features, like free money transfers. You will likely face a monthly fee for this type of account.

Online-only chequing accounts

Digital banks in Canada offer online-only chequing accounts. Without a brick-and-mortar building, these banks have less overhead costs, which allows them to pass on those savings to their customers with no-fee banking and well-developed online account management platforms.

No-fee chequing accounts

No-fee chequing accounts are typically only offered by digital banks, and come with many of the same everyday-banking features as other accounts. While you may not find some premium account features with no-fee accounts, they tend to be more than adequate for standard day-to-day chequing account needs.

Interest-earning chequing accounts

Most chequing accounts in Canada don’t offer interest, however, there are a few accounts that do. Keep in mind the interest will likely be a lot lower than the interest offered on a savings account and you may face certain restrictions. Still, these can be a good idea if you’re looking for a hybrid chequing and savings account.

Student accounts

These chequing accounts are designed for students who are looking for low-cost everyday banking solutions. You will usually need to meet specific eligibility criteria, including age and education requirements. You can often continue benefitting from student account perks until around age 25 or older by providing proof of enrollment.

Kids and teen accounts

Kids and teens under 18 or 19 years old have several chequing account options designed specifically for them. These accounts typically come with lower fees, and sometimes feature tools designed to keep parents connected and help your teen learn money management and budgeting.

Seniors chequing accounts

Many banks offer discounted chequing account fees for senior citizens aged 60 to 65 years old. That might mean getting access to chequing accounts for a $0 monthly fee or premium accounts for several dollars less a month.

Joint chequing accounts

Joint chequing accounts are way for multiple people to share access to one account, including deposits, bill payments, money transfers and withdrawals. This type of account is typically used by couples looking to simplify financial management together.

Newcomer chequing accounts

Certain chequing accounts are designed for newcomers to Canada. These accounts come with extra features designed to help immigrants get financially established in Canada, like waived fees for a few years, bonus rewards, discounts on other financial products from the bank (e.g. car loans and international money transfers) and access to associated credit cards without credit history.

Multi-currency chequing accounts

A multi-currency chequing account can be a convenient option for people who consistently rely on several different currencies. These accounts allow you to send, receive, hold and spend funds in multiple foreign currencies at the same time. They typically come with discounted foreign exchange fees or international transfer fees.

US dollar chequing accounts

If you frequently travel to the US, you can save a lot of money on fees and conversion rates with a US chequing account. These accounts can usually be linked to your Canadian savings or chequing account, which gives you easy access to your funds no matter where you are.

Cash back chequing accounts

Cash back chequing accounts are more rare in the Canadian marketplace, but no impossible to find. They can help you earn back some of the fees associated with a chequing account by providing you with cash back when you use your linked debit card.

Premium chequing accounts

Premium chequing accounts are typically offered by the bigger banks in Canada. They offer loads of extra features like access to a financial advisor, higher credit card rebates, preferred exchange rates, discounted international transfers and travel perks. Of course, those premium features typically comes with a higher monthly fee. Some example premium chequing accounts include BMO Premium, National Bank The Total, Scotiabank Ultimate and TD All-Inclusive.

Business chequing account

Business chequing accounts in Canada offer a suite of features to help you run your business – like paying staff and contractors and comprehensive reporting tools to keep track of your revenue and expenses. These accounts come with other perks too, like giving you access to an associated business credit card at a discounted fee.

Compare features of the best chequing accounts in Canada

Finding the best checquing account for you will depend on how you need to use the account. As your primary day-to-day account, you’ll need to depend on your chequing account to keep up with your lifestyle and financial habits. When you’re shopping around, compare chequing accounts based on the following key features.

Monthly account fee

The most upfront fee you’ll come across with any chequing account is the monthly fee. Although you’ll find some accounts with $0 monthly fees from many digital banks, premium chequing accounts from the big banks in Canada can easily cost around $30 per month.

Since it’s always smart to minimize paying paying extra fees whenever possible, consider what features you’re looking for when comparing the best chequing accounts to make sure you’re not overpaying for what you use.

Chequing accounts with $0 monthly fees, like the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account, typically have everything you’d need for daily banking tasks. If you decide to pay the higher monthly fee for a premium chequing account, ensure you’ll actually use the additional account features to justify the cost.

Another thing to consider is that most big banks waive fees if you meet certain direct deposit or minimum balance requirements.

Other banking fees

The fees you should pay attention to when browsing through the best chequing accounts include the following:

  • Out-of-network ATM fee: Typically $2-$5, this fee is charged for using an ATM that is not part of your bank’s network.
  • Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee: Typically $40-$50, NSF fees are charged when your bank declines a transaction or or rejects a cheque due to insufficient money in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: Typically $5 per item, day, or month, overdraft fees in Canada are charged when your bank covers the difference for insufficient funds in your account. You’ll also be charged an interest rate of around 21% on the overdrawn amount. You can add overdraft protection to any of the best chequing accounts for around $5/month.
  • Transfer fee: Any of the best chequing accounts come with free Interac e-transfers. That said, you’ll still typically have to pay a fee for wire transfers and international transfers. If you send a lot of international money transfers, it may be worth opting for a chequing account with a higher monthly fee if is comes with lower currency conversion rates and discounted foreign transaction fees.

Remember to always review the fine print. While it can be tedious to scan the legal agreements, these documents can help you understand when expensive account fees are triggered and whether or not you can avoid those costs.

Withdrawal options

When comparing options for the best chequing accounts, consider what options will be available to get cash in hand. Accounts usually come with the option to withdraw funds from a teller at a bank branch or from ATMs. Some chequing accounts, like the Neo Financial Money Account, allow you to transfer your account funds to a prepaid card you can then use at ATMs.

ATM access

Look for bank accounts that have a large ATM network and offer unlimited ATM transactions, or find an account that will reimburse fees for out-of-network ATM use. It’s also worth noting that some online-only banks partner with bigger banks for access to their ATM network. For example, Tangerine is owned by Scotiabank, which means Tangerine customers get full access to Scotiabank’s Global ATM Alliance.

Transfer options

All of the best chequing accounts in Canada offer free and unlimited Interac e-transfers. Transfers between multiple accounts within your bank and bill payees are also free. Electronics funds transfers (ETFs) from your bank to another bank will typically cost money.

Cash and cheque deposits

Most chequing accounts include free cheque deposits through the bank’s mobile app, which come with instant access to the funds. Digital banks typically allow you to deposit cash into your account through a partner ATM network. But if you prefer to visit a branch to make deposits, opt for an account from a big bank, since they have locations across most of Canada.

Credit card rebates

Most larger banking institutions, and some credit unions, offer credit card annual fee rebates if you are signed up for an eligible chequing account. In fact, one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate annual credit card fees is to open a day-to-day bank account attached to your favourite credit card.

That said, not all banking packages are created equal. Since exclusions, fees and perks can vary widely, select the chequing account and corresponding credit card that fits your spending habits and budget.

Bundled financial products

The key to cutting costs is to consider how to bundle and save, not just penny-pinch. Several of the best chequing accounts we’ve listed come with the option to bundle the account with family members or other bank products to get discounted fees and/or added convenience.

Banking and support access

Big banks give you access to in-person support at branch locations, which is not an option for digital bank chequing accounts. That said, both online banks and big banks offer support over the phone, and sometimes through an online chat system on their websites.

Getting access to customer support, and feeling like you can communicate with your bank when you need to, is really important when deciding which is the best chequing account for you.

According to a recent survey from J.D. Power, BMO ranked highest in customer satisfaction among the Big 5 Banks, with RBC coming in second. Within the mid-size bank category, Tangerine placed first for customer satisfaction, followed by Simplii.

Additional chequing account perks

In order to stay competitive, banks in Canada offer chequing accounts with extra perks alongside standard features. Consider if any of these perks are a worth switching accounts for.

For example, if you want your account to make you money, look for a chequing account that earns interest, like the EQ Bank Personal Account. If you want it to help you stay on top of your spending, look for chequing accounts that come with budgeting tools.

Consider if you want an account that rewards your spending, either with reward points or cash back. Some of the best chequing accounts in Canada that come with these perks are the RBC VIP Banking Account, which offers Avion rewards with your debit purchases, or the Neo Financial Money Account, which offers cash back with your purchases.

Canadians plan to open a chequing account in 2023

In January 2023, Finder asked more than 1,840 Canadians about their financial plans in 2023. When asked what type of bank accounts and banking products respondents planned to open in the first three months of 2023, almost 1 in 5 Canadians (17%) said they planned to open a chequing account.

However, as interest rates remained high and overall living costs continued to erode Canadian budgets, there appeared to be a renewed focus on how to save on fees and reduce ongoing costs. As a result, the number of Canadians that plan to open a chequing account rose from the Q1 2023, to Q2 2023. According to results from the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2, 22% of respondents plan to open a chequing account — overall a 29% increase in how many Canadians planning to open a chequing account.

Chequing account promotions and switching offers on now

Many Canadian banks offer promotions and sign-up bonuses to new customers. Because these switching offers are meant to incentivize people to go through all of the trouble of switching over their finances to a new bank, they’re typically pretty impressive –sometimes worth savings of hundreds of dollars.

A good switching offer can be a key factor when deciding on the best chequing account for you. You can browse some of the best chequing account promotions on now from the big Canadian banks and digital banks.

Big bank chequing account promotions:

  • BMO Performance Chequing Account: Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
  • BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account: Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% bonus interest rate when you add a Savings Amplifier Account.
  • BMO Plus Chequing Account: Earn $100 when you open an account and setup recurring deposits and bill payments. Valid until July 2, 2024.
  • BMO New to Canada Performance Chequing Account: Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Earn $350 when you open a new BMO New to Canada Performance Chequing Account and $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account. Plus, earn an additional $50 when you add a second member and make it a BMO Family Bundle. Valid until February 29, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
  • BMO Performance Student Chequing Account: Earn a $100 cash bonus and enjoy six months of Domino’s Pizza (worth $95, one pizza per month) when you open a new BMO Student Chequing Account. Valid until April 30, 2024.
  • RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account: Get the new Apple Watch Series 9 when you switch to RBC & open an RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account. Valid until June 3, 2024.
  • RBC VIP Banking Account: Get the new Apple Watch Series 9 when you switch to RBC & open an RBC VIP Banking Account. Valid until June 3, 2024.
  • RBC Advantage Banking for Students: Get $100 when you open an account. Valid until June 30, 2024.
  • Scotiabank Ultimate Package: Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400. Valid until July 31, 2024.
  • Scotiabank Preferred Package: Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400. Earn $350 when you complete two banking steps, earn $50 when you open a new RRSP or TFSA and set up and maintain a recurring pre-authorized contribution of at least $50 for a minimum of 3 months. Valid until July 31, 2024.
  • Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan: Earn up to a $100 welcome bonus when you open an account. Apply by April 30, 2024.
  • National Bank Connected Account: Get $30 towards an eligible National Bank credit card you activate after opening a National Bank Connected Account.
  • National Bank The Total Chequing Account: Get $150 towards an eligible National Bank credit card you activate after opening a National Bank The Total Chequing Account.
  • CIBC Smart Account: Get a $400 Costco Shop Card when you open a CIBC Smart Account and provide your email address and complete the qualifying actions within 2 months.
  • CIBC Smart Plus Account: Get a $400 Costco Shop Card with a CIBC Smart Plus Account when you complete the qualifying actions.
  • TD Unlimited Chequing Account: Earn a $400 welcome bonus. Complete two banking steps to earn $350, and earn $50 when you apply and are approved for either a Monthly Overdraft Protection Plan or Pay As You Go Overdraft Protection Plan. Offer ends June 3, 2024.
  • TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan: Get up to $400 when you open a TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan. Valid until June 3, 2024.
  • TD Student Chequing Account: Earn up to $225 in value when you open a new TD Student Chequing Account. Valid until May 6, 2024.

Online bank and credit union chequing account promotions:

  • Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account: Earn up to $500. Use promo code EARNMORE on signup. Get 20% cash back on eligible online Visa Debit transactions when you shop online or in-app for 60 days (up to $400 value), plus earn $100 when you set up automatic transfers.
  • Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account: Get $150 when you become a new member and open a Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account. Valid until June 30, 2024.
  • Simplii No Fee Chequing Account: Earn $400 when you become a new client and set up a direct deposit of at least $100 for 3 months. Offer ends October 31, 2024.

How to open a chequing account in Canada

Follow these steps to open a chequing account:

  1. Decide which is the best chequing account for you by comparing options from our curated list above.
  2. Head to the bank’s website or to your local bank branch to sign up for the account. If you sign up online, you’ll have to fill in a simple online form that usually only takes a few minutes to complete.
  3. Verify your identity using government-issued photo ID. Acceptable ID includes a passport or driver’s licence. If you’re signing up online, you’ll typically be able to take a picture of your ID with your phone.
  4. Once you’re approved for your chequing account, start transferring or depositing money into your account.

If this is your primary chequing account, make a list of all places linked to any previous chequing account (e.g. bill payments, online shopping accounts like Amazon, etc.) and update those instances with your new account details.

Bottom line

One final task to consider before selecting the best chequing account in Canada to meet your needs – consider the promos.

Multiple times each year, almost every banking institution – including banks, credit unions, digital money accounts and fintech disruptors – will offer new clients enticing account promotions. Don’t ignore these. While a promotion shouldn’t dictate what account you open, it should help you decide how fast to pull the trigger on opening a new chequing account.

To find the best chequing account promotions, we recommend creating a list of your top two or three chequing accounts based on your needs and budget. Armed with this list, spend a few minutes reading about the account and the current promo. Only pick an account that offers the best product for a cost-effective rate – and keep the promotion as a sign-up perk (to motivate you to complete the account application).

Remember, a chequing account is your day-to-day financial management tool. If you find an account that lets you bank efficiently and use tools effectively, you can save costs and use your money in the best way possible – based on your budget and your plan.

Knowing how to compare chequing accounts with multiple providers can help you narrow your options and find the account that best fits your lifestyle.

Survey Methodology – Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q1 2023

The results of the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q1 were collected through an online Pollfish survey conducted between December 2022 and January 2023. In the survey, 1,846 Canadians from across the country were asked about their current banking services and their intentions and motivations for new banking products. The estimated margin of error for the survey is +/- 3%, with a 99% confidence level.

Survey Methodology – Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2 2023

The results of the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2 were collected through an online Pollfish survey conducted between April 27 to 29, 2023. In the survey, 1,011 Canadians from across the country were asked about their current banking services and their intentions and motivations for new banking products. The estimated margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.08%, with a 99% confidence level.

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