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Best high-interest savings accounts in Canada

Learn how to compare interest rates, features and fees to find the best high-interest savings account for your needs.

Searching for a high-interest savings account? There are hundreds of options to choose from, including accounts from major banks and credit unions as well as online-only banks.

The key to finding the best high-interest savings account is to compare interest rates and fees and to make sure the account has all the key features to suit your savings goals. Keep reading for our guide to the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada, plus tips on how to get the highest interest rates for your savings.

Earn interest & No fees

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  • Earn up to 5.00% interest
  • $0 account fee
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly deposit requirements
  • CDIC protection up to $100,000

Earn Interest & Rewards

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  • Earn up to 5.00% interest
  • Earn cashback rewards
  • Get a prepaid card
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • No minimum balance required
  • CDIC protection for balances up to $100,000

No Fees and High Interest

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  • No monthly fees
  • Free and unlimited day-to-day transactions
  • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • No min. balance required
  • CDIC protection for balances up to $100,000

15 best high-interest savings accounts in Canada in 2024

Best overall high-interest savings account: Wealthsimple Cash

Wealthsimple Cash
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4.5 / 5
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Wealthsimple Cash

4.00% - 5.00%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
Although it functions as both a chequing and savings account, Wealthsimple Cash is a no-fee account with all the benefits of a high interest savings account. Perks include earning 4.00% to 5.00% interest (depending on how much money you hold in your account), being able to access your pay a day early, CDIC deposit insurance of up to $500,000, and the ability to earn 1% back in stock, crypto or cash when you make a purchase with your card.
  • No monthly fees
  • Earn 4% interest on your account balance
  • Unlimited free transfers
  • No minimum balance
  • Limited types of investments
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A
NSF Fee $0

Best high-interest savings account for flexible notice periods: EQ Bank Notice Savings Account

EQ Bank Notice Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4.3 / 5
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EQ Bank Notice Savings Account

4.50% - 5.00%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The EQ Bank Notice Savings Account offers a high interest rate of up to 5%, making it a top choice for savers who can wait 10 or 30 days to access their funds. With no account fees, no minimum balance requirements, and CDIC protection up to $100,000, this account combines competitive returns with the flexibility to choose your notice period. Ideal for those who want to grow their savings without immediate access needs.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn 4.50% - 5.00% 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 N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0

Best high-interest savings account for no fees: Simplii High Interest Savings Account

Simplii High Interest Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.9 / 5
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Simplii High Interest Savings Account

5.9%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The Simplii High Interest Savings Account is another top pick for the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada. It earns a high promo rate of 5.9% interest for 5 months (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 5.9% interest for 5 months
  • 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

Best high-interest savings account for earning cash back: KOHO Earn Interest

KOHO Earn Interest
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4.1 / 5
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KOHO Earn Interest

Up to 5.0%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
KOHO Earn Interest is not only one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada – you can also get a prepaid card and earn cashback on your purchases. Opt into earning interest and earn up to 5.00% on your balance.
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transactions
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • Earn cashback on purchases
  • Earn up to 5% 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

Best online bank high-interest savings account: Neo Financial High Interest Savings Account

Neo High Interest Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4.1 / 5
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Neo High Interest Savings Account

4.00%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The highly-rated Neo Financial makes it easy to manage your account anytime, anywhere. With a high ongoing interest rate of 4%, the Neo High Interest Savings Account provides solid returns on your savings. Enjoy $0 annual fees, no minimum balance requirement and free transactions.
  • Earn a high interest rate
  • $0 account fee
  • No minimum balance
  • No physical branches for in-person service
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0

Best high-interest savings account with saving incentives: Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4 / 5
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Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

6.05%
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 6.05% for 3 months. Plus, enjoy free unlimited transfers between Scotiabank accounts.
  • $0 account fee
  • Earn 6.05% for 3 months, 1.20% thereafter interest on your deposits
  • $0 Interac eTransfers
  • You’ll get an additional load of interest at regular intervals within your first year.
  • $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

Best high-interest savings account with on-going promotional offers: Tangerine Savings Account

Tangerine Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4 / 5
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Tangerine Savings Account

6%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The Tangerine Savings Account has no fees and an easy online signup process. This pick for the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada offers an introductory interest rate of 6% for 5 months, 0.60% thereafter, then pays a standard rate of 0.6%. If you move your money out of the account after the offer has expired, it's common for Tangerine to present new offers in the future that you can take advantage of.
  • No monthly fees
  • All everyday transactions are $0
  • Supports an Automatic Savings Program for making recurring deposits into your account
  • Regular interest rate may not be as competitive as other savings accounst
  • No physical branches for in-person service
Min. Age 16
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A

Best high-interest savings account with on-going interest rate: Home Trust High Interest Savings Account

Home Trust High Interest Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4 / 5

Home Trust High Interest Savings Account

4.65%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
As an online-only bank, Home Trust offer a high interest savings account that has a high ongoing interest rate of 4.65%. With no frills, this account is $0 and is tailored towards those looking to strictly save.
  • Earn a high ongoing interest rate of 4.65%
  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Online only bank
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A

Best high-interest savings account with no withdrawal fees: CI Direct Investing High Rate Savings Account

CI Direct Investing High Rate Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4 / 5
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CI Direct Investing High Rate Savings Account

4%
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 4% interest on your balance
  • Online-only service
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $0

Best high-interest savings account from a Big Five Bank: RBC High Interest eSavings

RBC High Interest eSavings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.9 / 5
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RBC High Interest eSavings Account

5.5%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$5.00
Transaction Fee
The RBC High Interest eSavings Account is a good fit for customers who want to bank online with a Big Five Bank and would like to earn a high interest rate on their savings. It offers no minimum deposit requirements, zero monthly fees, free RBC transfers and one free ATM withdrawal per month.
  • No monthly fee
  • High interest earning potential
  • Free internal transfers
  • No minimum deposits
  • Limited debits
  • $1.00 Interac e-Transfer fees
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $5.00
Interac e-Transfer Fee $1.00

Best high-interest savings account for tiered interest rates: CIBC eAdvantage Savings Account

CIBC eAdvantage High Interest Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.9 / 5
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CIBC eAdvantage High Interest Savings Account

5.75%
Interest Rate
N/A
Account Fee
$5
Transaction Fee
While you'll be able to take advantage of a promotional interest rate of 5.75% for 4 months when you open a new account, the CIBC eAdvantage High Interest Savings Account also comes with the ability to earn additional 'Smart Interest' when you save at least $200 per month.
  • Earn a promotional interest rate of 5.75% for 4 months
  • Earn additional Smart Interest
  • Lower ongoing rate of 0.65% once the promo ends
  • Each transaction costs you $5
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee N/A
Transaction Fee $5
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A

Best high-interest savings account for setting up automatic deposits: BMO Savings Builder Account

BMO Savings Builder Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.9 / 5
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BMO Savings Builder Account

2.50%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$5.00
Transaction Fee
Earn 2.50% interest when you save at least $200 per month. Setting up automatic deposits here will ensure that you reach this goal each month and maximize the amount of interest you can make. As a BMO customer, you can use online or mobile banking to easily manage your money.
  • $0 account fee
  • Earn up to 2.5% interest
  • Bank in person, online or via mobile app
  • You may not be eligible for the bonus interest rate if you don't increase your savings balance by at least $200 per month on balances up to $250,000.
  • $5.00 transactions
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $5.00
Interac e-Transfer Fee $5.00

Best high-interest savings account to link with GICs: Oaken Savings Account

Oaken Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.8 / 5
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Oaken Savings Account

3.4%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The Oaken Savings Account comes with an impressive interest rate, $0 monthly fees and $0 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
  • $0 transactions
  • Earn 3.4% interest on your balance
  • No Interac eTransfers
  • No in-person service at a branch
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee not supported

Best high-interest savings account for transparent fees: Motive Financial Motive Savvy Savings Account

Motive Financial Motive Savvy Savings Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.8 / 5
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Motive Financial Motive Savvy Savings Account

4.10%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
2/month free
Transaction Fee
Earning a high ongoing interest rate of 4.1%, the Motive Financial Motive Savvy Savings Account is a contender among other best high interest accounts available in Canada. With transparent fees outlined clearly on their website, you won't have any surprises with this savings account
  • Earn an ongoing interest rate of 4.1%
  • Fees outlined clearly on their website
  • Unlimited, free deposits
  • Only 2 free transactions per month
  • e-Transfers cost $1 each
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee 2/month free
Interac e-Transfer Fee $1

Best hybrid chequing and savings account with high interest: Manulife Advantage Account

Manulife Advantage Account
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.8 / 5

Manulife Advantage Account

2.60%
Interest Rate
$0
Account Fee
$0
Transaction Fee
The Manulife Advantage Account is a high-interest savings account that comes with tons of the perks of a chequing account, like unlimited transactions, debits and ATM funds access. All you have to do is keep a balance of $1,000 in your account and all everyday banking transactions are free.
  • Just keep a balance of $1,000 in your account and all everyday banking transactions are free
  • $0 monthly fee
  • You'll have to pay a $1.50 fee per ATM withdrawal
  • Interest rate drops to 2.6% after the promotional period ends
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0
Transaction Fee $0
Interac e-Transfer Fee $1.00 for Interac Debit card purchases in Canada and for sending money using Interac e-Transfer

5 steps to choosing the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada

If you want to find the best high-interest savings account in Canada for your needs, here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Work out what you want in a savings account

Choosing a savings account isn’t just about finding the highest interest rate. First, you’ll need to decide your savings goals — how much do you want to save, what for, and in what timeframe?

You’ll also need to consider whether there are any key features you want in an account. For example, do you want to be able to access your funds at any time without incurring transaction fees? Do you want ATM access for convenient withdrawals? Do you want to be rewarded for making regular deposits with a higher interest rate?

Make sure you know exactly what you want in a high-interest savings account before you start shopping around.

Step 2: Compare interest rates

Look for accounts with the best interest rates in Canada. The highest interest rates can vary greatly, usually between 0.50% and 2.50%, but some banks and fintechs offer even higher rates.

Check whether the account pays a flat rate on your entire balance, or whether you need to meet certain terms and conditions to access the maximum rate.

For example, some accounts pay bonus interest if you deposit at least $200 a month and don’t make any withdrawals. Check what rate will apply if you don’t meet these requirements in any given month.

Some of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada entice new customers with high introductory interest rates. However, these accounts will then revert back to a base interest rate once this intro period ends, usually after a maximum of six months, so make sure you know the account’s base interest rate too.

Step 3: Watch out for fees and limits

The best high-interest savings accounts in Canada don’t have any monthly fees. It’s also worth checking the fee schedule to see whether any other fees apply, such as:

  • Excess withdrawal fees
  • ATM withdrawal fees
  • Account inactivity fees

Also check whether the account has any minimum balance requirement, and how you’ll be penalized if your balance falls below this threshold. Finally, check whether there is any limit on the number of transactions you can make per month.

Step 4: Review account features

Now it’s time to dive deeper into the features the account offers, such as:

  • Linking your account. Depending on your bank, you may be required to link your high-interest savings accounts to a chequing account from 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.
  • 24/7 accessibility. There are usually several ways to access your savings, including mobile and online banking, so check whether the bank offers a user-friendly mobile app and online portal. Some accounts also come with ATM cards, but others don’t. Decide how you plan to use your funds and choose an account that aligns with your needs — for example, would you like to be able to visit a branch for face-to-face customer service if you ever have a problem with your account? If you’re trying to stop yourself from dipping into your savings, consider an account with limited accessibility.
  • Bonus features. Some of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada come with budgeting features. Others come with automatic savings programs to help you reach your goals, or the ability to create sub-accounts so you can put money towards separate savings goals.
  • Check on deposit insurance. Make sure the financial institution you choose is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), so your money will be insured if the bank fails.

Step 5: Choose a high-interest savings account and apply online

Once you’ve found the best high-interest savings account in Canada for your needs, open an account. It’s easy to apply via online or mobile banking, and you can then link the new account to your chequing account and make your first deposit.

A photo of cameronmillband

Making the switch for a more competitive interest rate

I opened a Neo HISA account to take advantage of the always on 4% interest rate. I like the app, and opening the account only took about 5 minutes. It was easy to link my existing account to transfer funds between banks. The downside is that it takes 7-10 business days for the transfer to be completed. If you're going to use this account be sure you don't need access to the funds in less than that time.

— Cameron Millband, Performance Director

What is a high-interest savings account in Canada?

A high-interest savings account is an account that pays a high rate of interest on every dollar you deposit. You may sometimes see high-interest savings accounts referred to by the acronym, HISA. The best high-interest savings accounts in Canada are designed to help you save money faster through the power of compound interest.

High-interest savings accounts, which are also known as high-yield savings accounts, typically have no monthly fees. Some of these HISA accounts pay a high interest rate on all balances, but others require you to meet specific conditions to access the maximum rate — for example, you may need to deposit a minimum amount each month, or the highest interest rate may only apply for an introductory period.

A photo of romanaking

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, Group Editor | Personal finance expert

How does a high-interest savings account work?

A high-interest savings account is designed to help you grow your bank balance as quickly as possible. The best HISA in Canada do this by combining some of the best interest rates in Canada with no monthly fees and often other incentives (such as bonus interest) if you make regular deposits into your account.

The best high-interest savings accounts in Canada also help you save by discouraging spending. They typically don’t have perks like unlimited transactions that you’d get with a day-to-day chequing account, and some accounts don’t offer ATM access as a way to stop you from dipping into your savings.

Many factors play into the amount of interest you ultimately earn in a high-yield savings account, including:

  • Advertised interest rate
  • How interest is calculated (Eg: daily, monthly, semi-annually or annually)
  • Whether or not the interest is compounded or simple interest
  • Limits or restrictions imposed by the financial institution.

The interest rate is often expressed as an annual percentage. The higher the interest rate you’re offered, the stronger your return.

How does compound interest affect my savings account?

The main reason high-interest savings accounts are such powerful savings tools is because of compound interest. Money deposited into your high-interest savings account earns interest. This earned interest is added to your account balance and this total is then used to earn more interest — allowing you to earn interest on your interest as well as on your initial deposit.

The power of compound interest is that your rate of saving accelerates over time, helping to grow your savings quicker without requiring you to make investment decisions. Even if you can’t deposit extra money into your high-interest savings account, your balance continues to grow as interest compounds and grows your savings, over time.

Popularity of high-interest savings accounts

High-interest savings accounts are popular among Canadians. According to survey results from Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q1, more than 1 in 5 of Canadians (21%) planned to open a savings account — with 12% planning to open a high-interest savings account. Residents of Quebec, P.E.I. and Alberta were most likely to open a savings account (27%, 25% and 23%, respectively), while residents in Nova Scotia (15%) were the most likely to open a high-interest savings account.

In the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2, Canadians confirmed their preference for these versatile bank accounts with almost a third of Canadians (30%) planning to open a savings account in Q2 2023, and 16% planning to open a high-interest savings account.

Why you should switch to a high-yield savings account

Regardless of whether you’re saving for a vacation, a home deposit, or just an emergency fund for a rainy day, maximizing your interest-earning power will ensure that you achieve your savings goals at a faster rate.

Switching to one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada can earn you more money with some of the best interest rates in Canada 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

Interest rate calculator: Calculate what you can earn

If you want to work out how a high-interest savings account can help you reach your financial goals, use this free savings account interest calculator.

How to use the interest calculator:

  1. Input the initial amount you’ll deposit into the high-interest savings account. (You can start with $0, or add a specific sum.)
  2. Add how much you expect to deposit each week or month into the high-yield savings account.
  3. Update the interest rate offered on the high-interest savings account to reflect current market offers.
  4. Input the number of years you plan to save, using the high-yield savings account.

Using this interest calculator you can view the total sum in your high-interest savings account, and compare how different interest rates impact the total amount earned, through compound interest, over time.

How do interest and compound interest work?

Interest is the money earned on your deposits. Compound interest is when you earn interest on interest you’ve already earned.

To illustrate, let’s assume you deposit $5,000 into one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada for your newborn that pays 2% interest on the account balance.

If the interest did not compound, by the time your child is ready to head off to university there would be $6,800 in the account — with the extra $1,800 earned from interest. However, with compound interest that sum grows to just over $7,140. If you were to add an extra $15 per month, during those 18 years, that sum could balloon to more than $11,000.

Compound interest isn’t magic but for those looking to juice their savings it can be a magical tool. And remember, the more frequently your account balance earns interest, the more quickly your savings will grow. Combine this with a longer time frame — letting your money sit for longer, to gain more interest — and the more powerful compound interest becomes.

How do I make the most of compound interest?

To get the most out of a savings account with compound interest, start saving as early as possible and avoid unnecessary withdrawals.

After signing up for one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada, use these tips to get the most out of your account.

  • Stay on top of your monthly minimum. Some accounts require a minimum monthly balance before requiring a fee. Keep more money in your own pocket by meeting that minimum.
  • Deposit what you can. Because compound interest helps your money make money, you can increase your earnings with routine deposits to your savings balance. Using automatic payments or automatic transfer functions to move money from your chequing to your savings account regularly is a great way to stay on top of growing your funds.
  • Avoid fees. Some banks waive fees if you link your savings and chequing accounts, directly deposit your paycheque into an account or sign up for automatic payments. Certain accounts waive fees if you maintain a minimum balance. Ask your bank representative for ways that you can get ahead with your savings.

Pros and cons of the best high-interest savings account in Canada

If you’re thinking of opening a high-yield savings account in Canada, consider the following advantages and disadvantages:

Pros

  • Reach your goals faster. If you apply for a high-yield savings account that matches your savings style, you can get a head start on reaching your financial goals.
  • No fees. Most of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada don’t charge fees for maintaining the account.
  • Low risk. Savings accounts are considered one of the safest investments available, next to a GIC. Most banks and financial institutions 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 easy to open and manage. The funds deposited into a high interest savings account can always be reinvested into another account or product, plus there is no risk of losing deposited funds.

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 account balance so that your money is always earning interest.
  • Terms and conditions. Some high-yield savings accounts only allow you to earn the highest interest rate when you meet specific terms and conditions, like depositing a minimum amount each month. Other accounts only offer an attractive rate for a limited introductory period, before then reverting to a much lower rate.
  • 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.
  • Transaction limits. Some high-interest savings accounts impose a limit on how often you can withdraw money. While this is designed to stop you from dipping into savings, it can be inconvenient in some cases.

What are the best interest rates in Canada?

With savings accounts, you can expect interest rates anywhere from as low as 0.01% up to 2.50% depending on who you choose to bank with. Rates offered by Canada’s Big Six Banks, such as Scotiabank and RBC, range from around 0.01% to 1.40% while digital banking operations like EQ Bank and Neo Financial offer up the best savings account rates to the tune of 3% and 4% 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 EAR — the “Annual Percentage Yield” or “Earned Annual Interest” is the amount of money made each year on an investment due to compound interest. This interest is calculated using the annual percentage rate (APR). To learn more, read our bank interest rates guide.

Types of savings accounts

Some of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada offer a flat interest rate on all the money you deposit. Other accounts come with additional interest rate features or terms and conditions, such as:

  • Tiered interest rates. These rates increase in line with the length of time you keep your money stored away, or based on the size of your account balance. The Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account is a prime example of how tiered interest rates are structured, paying higher interest if you go 90, 180, 270 or 360 days without a debit transaction.
  • Promo interest rates. These high-yield savings accounts offer introductory rates to new clients opening up an account for the first time. The Simplii High Interest Savings Account is a great example—it offers 5.9% interest for the first 5 months after you’ve opened your account, then reverts back to a standard rate that starts at 0.4%. Higher rates apply to higher balances.
  • Bonus interest rates. These accounts pay bonus interest when you satisfy certain terms and conditions, such as depositing a minimum amount each month. For example, the BMO Savings Builder Account has a base interest rate of 0.5%, but you can earn 2.5% interest if you deposit at least $200 a month.

How are savings account interest rates determined?

Banks set and change interest rates for savings accounts based on the national prime interest rate. This rate is set 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.

GIC vs high-interest savings account: What’s the difference?

Savings accounts

Savings accounts let you make deposits when you want and grow your balance at your own pace. A variable interest rate applies to your balance and typically ranges from 1.00% to 2.50%.

You usually have limited access to your funds, and the penalty for going over this limit can cost you up to several dollars in fees per transaction. There is no end date to your savings account investment — you may continue to grow your money as long as you wish. Check out our guide to savings accounts for more information.

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) lets you earn a guaranteed rate of return on the money you deposit. The money you invest is usually locked away for a fixed period of time, and when that time is up, your money is returned to you with interest. Short-term GICs last from one to nine months, while long-term GICs usually last from one to five years but can even last up to 10 years.

You can often find higher interest rates on GICs than on savings accounts. But the downside is that you usually can’t access the money in a GIC until the end of the investment term without incurring a financial penalty.

Check out our GICs guide for more details.

How to apply for one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada

It’s easy 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 licence, passport or provincial ID card
  • Personal details such as your name, contact information, email address and mailing address
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Details of the account you want to link to your new high-yield savings account, such as a chequing account

Can I open a high-interest savings account as a minor (either a kid’s savings account or a youth high-interest savings account)?

Note that minors need a parent or guardian to register a youth bank account for them. You’ll 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 can open a bank account in Canada. Whether you open a high-interest savings account with a big six bank or an online bank, you will be asked to verify your identity. For Canadians, this means providing your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and for non-permanent residents, this will include confirmation of a working or student visa, as well as proof of residency in Canada. For more details on opening a bank account, check out the best banks for newcomers in Canada.

Bottom line

A high-yield savings account can help you reach your savings goals faster. With access to some of the best interest rates in Canada, you might be surprised just how quickly your balance grows when you make regular deposits while earning compound interest. Use our compound interest calculator to work out how soon you can reach your goals.

The key to comparing the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada is to shop around for the best rate while considering account fees, accessibility and deposit insurance to find the right account for you. Then it’s a matter of linking your high-yield savings account to your chequing account and starting your savings journey.

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%, 19 out of 20 times.

Best Canadian savings accounts and high interest savings accounts FAQs

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Written by

Tim Falk

Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, he has reported on a wide range of personal finance topics. Whether you're investing in stocks and ETFs, comparing savings accounts or choosing a credit card, Tim wants to make it easier for you to understand. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors. See full profile

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