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Scotiabank Basic Bank Account review

A Basic Bank Account with Scotiabank gives you access to everyday banking essentials for one low monthly fee. 

As one of Canada’s largest financial institutions, Scotiabank offers a wide range of banking services for individuals and businesses. Here’s a review of the Scotiabank Basic Bank Account.

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Account Fee

12 free per month

Monthly Transactions


Monthly Account Fee$3.95
Fee Waive Conditionsno option for fee rebate with minimum balance
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More Info

On the personal side, Scotiabank has products that reflect the amount of personal banking you do each month. If you use your bank account frequently, you have Unlimited and Preferred Packages. Those of us who just use our bank account to cover minimum financial needs can choose a more simple option: the Basic Bank Account.

As the name implies, the Scotiabank Basic Bank Account gives you access to everyday banking essentials without all the bells and whistles (because, quite frankly, not all of us need them). With the Basic Account, you get 12 free per month transactions and Free Interac e-Transfers. All this comes for one very low monthly fee of $3.95. That’s less than $48 a year.

What banking products does Scotiabank offer?

Scotiabank covers the financial needs of businesses and individuals by offering business accounts, personal chequing accounts, savings accounts, mortgages and credit lines.

  • Chequing accounts: In addition to the Basic Bank Account, Scotiabank offers an Ultimate Package and a Preferred Package for people with more active banking needs.
  • Savings accounts: Scotiabank gives you the choice of five different savings accounts as well as a tax-free savings account (TFSA).
  • Loans and credit lines: Scotiabank customers can choose from 18 credit cards and various lines of credit for all their borrowing needs.
  • Investment products: Scotiabank investment products include the TFSA, registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) and the Scotia iTRADE platform for equities.
  • Insurance: Scotiabank offers six insurance products under its Creditor program as well as dedicated travel insurance.
  • Mortgages: As a top-five Canadian bank, Scotia is active in the fixed- and variable-rate mortgage market.

How does it compare to other banks or services?

Scotiabank operates in a crowded marketplace with the other major financial institutions. TD, CIBC, Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal all offer variants of the Basic Bank Account and many are indistinguishable. The rise of online-only banks and credit unions mean more options for consumers.

Where Scotiabank stands out is in customer service, having recently won the J.D. Power Canada retail banking advice satisfaction award.

Why should I open an account at Scotiabank?

Some of the main benefits of a Scotiabank Basic Bank Account include the following:

  • Competitive fee. For less than a single Starbucks visit, you get the Basic Bank Account for an entire month. An account fee of $3.95 per month is really hard to beat in today’s world.
  • Rewards. With a low monthly account fee, you can earn points toward the Scene+ rewards program. Enjoy the movies and collect points for travel all you want.
  • Bonus features. Your Basic Bank Account comes with mobile cheque deposit, a free credit score and Visa Debit payment options.
  • Eligible for CDIC Insurance. Like other Scotiabank accounts, the Basic option has deposit protection from the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

What should I look out for?

Since you are selecting a basic bank account, don’t be surprised by the limitations. Some of them include the following:

Lack of savings and investment options. The Basic Bank Account doesn’t seem to offer any way for you to boost savings or make investing any easier.
Very limited transactions. We get that this is a Basic Bank Account, but only two free Interac e-Transfers per month could be a problem if you need to send or receive money.

Scotiabank Reviews and Complaints

Like any other financial institution, you can find bad reviews about Scotiabank on various platforms like Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau. Keep in mind that most people write reviews on these websites because they have a complaint.

In 2019, Scotiabank was ranked highest in retail banking advice satisfaction by J.D. Power Canada. The bank has dozens of other awards and achievements which can be found online.

Scotiabank customer service

As one of Canada’s biggest financial services providers, Scotiabank can be reached day and night through phone, email or social media. You can call customer support 24 hours a day at 1-800-4-SCOTIA. If you’re on Twitter, you can tweet to @ScotiabankHelps for support.

The bottom line

There’s nothing fancy about the Basic Bank Account. That’s by design as Scotiabank has created a product for individuals who use their bank account for nothing more than a few transactions per month. If that’s you, the Basic Bank Account could be your ticket to savings. You can also consider other chequing packages at the link below.
Scotiabank chequing accounts guide

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