Compare different types of savings accounts

The best account depends on how much you're trying to save — and for how long.

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Close up of hands holding savings jar of coins

Some savings account types provide total access to your money while others are created to help you keep your hands off. Explore our guide on the different types of savings accounts to find which one is best for you.

Types of savings accounts

There are 12 types of savings accounts that you can consider for depositing your money:

Which type of savings account is best for me?

The right savings account for you depends on your savings goals and how much you have to save. While traditional savings accounts are a great way to start, GICs can earn higher interest rates if you don’t need access to your money, and money market accounts can come with higher interest rates if you meet the minimum balance and/or monthly deposit requirements. If you’re saving for retirement, specialized retirement accounts often come with tax advantages. These prompts could help you decide:

Young or a student?

Two friends checking a basic savings account a laptop sitting on a bench

Every dollar counts at this stage. Whether you’re studying, interning or simply waiting to turn 18, you’ll find a range of accounts designed just for you.

Account type
  • Student savings
  • Basic savings
Features
  • Earn interest
  • Pay low or no fees
  • 24/7 access to your money

Saving for a goal?

Young couple checking savings accounts in a laptop in a domestic interior

Developing a strategy to get to your set goal might be easier than you think. Options like automatic transfers can help. But take note of the interest rate, and understand the features that come with your account.

Account type
  • High-yield savings
  • Online savings
  • GICs
Features
  • Free transfers
  • Automatic savings plan

Retired or a senior?

Senior couple checking savings accounts in a laptop in a domestic interio

Whether you love the convenience of the Internet and prefer to chat up a branch rep face-to-face, banks and credit unions offer a range of options for the older set.

Account type
  • High-yield savings
  • Online savings
  • High-yield GICs
  • Traditional GICs
  • RRSPs
Features
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Pay low or no fees

Teaching children?

Mother and daughter putting coins into piggy bank

Learning to save is an important skill for the future, and most parents want to teach their kids to manage money responsibly. Help your child’s savings grow by choosing a starter account.

Account type
  • Basic savings
  • Kids’ savings
Features
  • Joint accounts with parents
  • Limited withdrawals
  • Low or no fees

Moving to Canada?

Young couple moving to a new house

If you’re moving to Canada for work or study, your covered with a wide range of banking options. Look for a standard bank account like a chequing account for everyday banking needs, and a savings account to grow surplus cash.

Account type
  • Basic savings
  • High-yield savings
  • Money market
Features
  • Multilingual bank staff
  • 24/7 access to your money

Looking for an online account with no fees?

Young woman checking savings accounts in a laptop in a coffee shop

A bank account that’s fee-free puts every dollar you deposit closer to your savings goal. Plus, online accounts typically offer strong interest rates.

Account type
  • Online savings
  • High-yield savings
  • Money market
Features
  • Low or no fees
  • Higher interest rates

How to compare different types of savings accounts

Savings accounts, money market accounts, GICs, cash management accounts and retirement accounts each have specific structures and features to help you save. To find the right one for you, consider the monthly fees, interest rates and requirements to withdraw your cash. Use the table to compare account:

Traditional savings accountHigh-yield savings accountMoney market accountGuaranteed investment certificate (GIC)Cash management account
Best forThose who want a basic account that earns a modest interest rate, but may come with in-person bankingThose who want to earn an interest rate higher than the national average, but may not have in-person bankingThose who want a checking and savings hybrid that earns interest but is accessibleThose looking for a short-term investment with a locked in interest rateThose who invest regularly and want to keep their bank account at their brokerage firm
Average interest~0.60% APR~1.30% APR~0.09% APR~0.06–0.51% APR~0.15–1.20% APR
Monthly feesSometimesSometimes
monthly fees – included in GIC rate
SometimesSometimes
Minimum deposit$0 to $100$0 to $100$2,500 to $10,000$500 to $10,000$0 to $50
ATM accessYesYesNoNoNo
Withdrawal limitsDepends on banking planDepends on banking planDepends on banking planCan’t withdraw until maturityDepends on banking plan

Compare savings accounts

Name Product Interest Rate Promotional Interest Rate Min. Bal / Min. Deposit Account Fee
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
2.00%
N/A
$0 / $0
$0
Enjoy zero everyday banking fees, free transactions and no minimum balance with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
Tangerine Savings Account
0.25%
2.5%
$0 / $0
$0
Earn 2.50% interest for 5 months (up to a maximum of $1,000,000) as a new Tangerine client. Offer expires October 31, 2020.
HSBC High Rate Savings Account
0.25%
Up to 2.25%*
$0 / $0
$0
Earn up to 2.25%* interest on New Deposits* until August 6, 2020. *Terms and conditions apply.
Wealthsimple Cash
0.90%
N/A
$0 / $0
$0
Earn 0.90% on any money you invest and withdraw your funds at any time.
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Bottom line

There are several types of savings accounts — each with their own features, pros and cons. Each one is unique and serves a different purpose in helping you reach your savings goals. As always, compare savings accounts to find the best option for you.

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