Here are some of the promotions and bonuses currently being offered by banks in Canada.
Whether it’s a chequing or savings account, or even credit cards and investments, customers can score ‘free’ cash when they open a new bank account.
I have to include a word of caution here though: when it comes to getting free money from a bank, particularly the big banks, read the fine print.
Unlike credit card churning where you can often just cancel your card, divorcing your bank and moving your chequing elsewhere may not be as easy. Depending on the T&C’s, you may need to pay them back your bonus if you have not met all the conditions in the contract you signed.
In addition, also check that any fees associated with your account are worth your while.
Bank Promo Offers in Canada
Check out the banks and digital investment services offering a bonus when you open a new account. For more details about the terms and conditions of each offer, visit the bank’s website.
These offers usually get extended or repeated throughout the year. So, if you are interested and the offer dates have expired, monitor their website for the most current offering.
Scotiabank Account Promotions
Scotiabank is offering a $300 cash bonus when you sign up for one of their premium chequing account packages.
The two accounts eligible for the bonus are:
- Preferred chequing account ($16.95 monthly fee; waived with a $4,000 balance)
- Ultimate chequing account ($30.95 monthly fee; waived with a $5,000 balance)
These two accounts offer a tonne of benefits including a fee waiver (up to $139) on select credit cards, unlimited transactions, premium savings rates, and many other VIP perks.
To qualify for the $300 sign-up bonus, you need to open an account by July 29, 2021. Also, you will need to set up two of the following within 60 days of opening your account: i) set up a direct deposit, ii) set up two separate pre-authorized payments of $50 or more, and/or iii) make an eligible $50 bill payment through online or mobile banking.
Value of promo: $300
Caveats: These accounts have monthly account fees, however, you can waive the fee by keeping a minimum daily balance.
RBC Bank Account Promotion
RBC is offering to give new customers an Apple Airpod when they open one of three RBC all-inclusive accounts.
The accounts eligible for the offer are:
- RBC Signature No Limit Banking ($15.95 monthly fee), or
- RBC VIP Banking ($30 monthly fee)
- RBC No Limit Banking ($10.95 monthly fee) – qualifies for the $100 bonus
To qualify for the offer, you cannot have an existing RBC bank account and must open one of the qualifying accounts by May 31, 2021. Also, you will need to set up two of the following: i) a payroll direct deposit, ii) two pre-authorized monthly payments, or iii) two bill payments to a service provider, by July 15, 2021.
Value of promo: $219
Caveats: Obviously, these accounts come with some added perks for the monthly fees. However, if you are looking to pay $0 per month for a bank account, these accounts do not qualify.
Also, you will need to keep your account in good standing for at least one year. Read more here.
EQ Bank Savings Plus HISA Account
EQ Bank is offering one of the best non-promotional interest rates in Canada at 1.50%*. You can deposit up to $200,000 and enjoy the high interest rates.
They also offer joint savings account where you can deposit up to $500,000 and earn 1.50%.
An EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is an hybrid account that offers both chequing and savings account features including:
- Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
- Zero minimum balance
- No monthly account fees
- Free bill payments and electronic fund transfers
- Free mobile cheque deposits, and more.
Value of promo: N/A. Earn a regular 1.50%.
Caveats: Online bank. However, it is backed by a Schedule 1 bank, Equitable Bank. Learn more here.
BMO is offering up to a $300 cash bonus when you open a new chequing account (performance plan – $300; premium plan – $300; plus plan: $100) by May 1, 2021.
To qualify, you must make a deposit, set up a direct deposit, and complete one of three actions:
- Set up one recurring direct deposit for at least 2 months
- Make one bill payment of at least $50 through BMO Online Banking or the BMO Mobile App for at least two consecutive months
- Set up one pre-authorized debit of at least $50 for two consecutive months
Value of promo: $100 to $300
Caveats: A BMO performance plan chequing account comes with a $15.95 monthly fee and for the premium plan, it is $30. These fees are waived if you meet the minimum balance requirement. Read more here.
Tangerine Chequing Account Promotion
Tangerine Bank routinely offers bonuses when you open a new chequing or savings account. Unlike the big banks, Tangerine savings and chequing accounts do not have a monthly fee and they pay you interest on your chequing account balance.
Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank.
Chequing: Tangerine offers up to $150 in cash bonuses when you open a new savings account and also open a chequing account by April 30, 2021. To claim the $150, you must:
- Set up payroll direct deposit for at least 3 consecutive months.
Read our Tangerine review here.
Value of promo: $150
Caveats: Tangerine Bank is mostly an online-only bank and may not be an option if you prefer an in-person visit to a branch for all your transactions. Also, its high savings rate is promotional and falls to 0.10% after 5 months.
Simplii Financial Promotions
Similar to Tangerine, Simplii Financial is an online-only bank owned by CIBC and offers no-fee chequing and a high-interest savings account. They routinely offer promos on their chequing account and it pays interest.
Chequing Account: Earn up to $200 when you open a new chequing account. To qualify:
- Open an account by October 31, 2021.
- Set up an eligible payroll or pension direct deposit of at least $100 a month for three straight months.
Read my Simplii Financial review and check out the fine print for the offer.
Value of promo: $200
Caveat: Online-only bank.
CIBC Bank Promotion
Open a new CIBC Smart Account and get a waiver on the monthly fee for up to 12 months.
To qualify for the offer:
- Open an account (3 months free)
- Set up direct deposit or two pre-authorized debits (9 months free)
Following the 12-month promotional period, a monthly fee of up to $14.95 applies if your daily balance falls below $3,000.
Value of promo: Save $179.40 ($14.95 x 12 months) in fees plus a $300 cash bonus.
Caveat: This is not a no-fee account and you will need to keep a minimum balance plus set up a direct deposit or two pre-authorized debits every month to keep it fee-free after the first year.
Robo-Advisor (Investing) Promotions
Digital investment managers offer opportunities to invest your money at a lower fee and without any of the hassles of self-directed investing.
Compared to the management expense ratios (MER) charged by the mutual funds sold by the big banks (average of 1.98% for equity funds), robo-advisor fees are significantly lower (~ 0.70% including fund MERs).
Wealthsimple is Canada’s largest online investment service with more than $5 billion in assets under management.
They give you free financial advice, automated rebalancing, dividend re-investing, spare change investing, low fees, VIP perks, and more. You can also earn 0.90% in their cash/high-interest savings account.
Readers of Savvy New Canadians get a $75 cash bonus when they open an account with at least $500. Visit Wealthsimple.com here.
- Wealthsimple Review: Smart Investing at a Low Fee
- Wealthsimple Cash: Earn Interest On a Spending Account
- Complete Guide to Robo-Advisors in Canada
Questrade is Canada’s largest online discount brokerage. If you prefer to buy and sell the stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, etc. that make up your portfolio yourself, Questrade is worth checking out.
They also offer a robo-advisor service, Questwealth Portfolios.
Readers of Savvy New Canadians get $50 in FREE trades when they open a Questrade account here.
CI Direct Investing (WealthBar)
Bank Credit Card Promo Offers
Here are some of the ongoing credit card offers we are currently digging in Canada:
Tangerine Bank Credit Card Promos
Scotiabank Credit Card Promos
1. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card: Get 40,000 bonus points ($400 value) until August 31, 2021. The annual fee is $120. Check out my review of the card and why it’s one of the best travel rewards cards on the market.
2. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card: Get 40,000 bonus points ($400 value) until August 31, 2021. The annual fee is $139, and foreign transaction fees (2.5%) are waived. Read my Scotiabank Passport review.
PC Financial Credit Card Promos
TD Bank Credit Card Promos
1. TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite: Premium travel credit card. Get up to 60,000 bonus points ($300 value) and the annual fee of $120 is waived in the first year.
2. TD Cash Back Visa Infinite: 6% cash back on your first $2,000 spending ($120 value) and a $120 annual fee that is waived in the first year.
BMO Credit Card Promos
1. BMO World Elite Mastercard: Get 30,000 points until October 31, 2021, when you spend a minimum of $3,000 in your first 3 months. The $150 annual fee is waived in the first year.
2. BMO Cash Back World Elite Mastercard: Get 10% cash back in the first 3 months (up to $200 value). Offer available until October 31, 2021. The $120 annual fee is also waived in the first year.
TD Bank Promotions *Expired*
$300 when you open a TD Unlimited Chequing Account or TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan.
To qualify, your account must be opened by December 6, 2020, and you must complete any two of the following by February 1, 2021:
- Set up direct deposit – payroll or pension
- Set-up a pre-authorized debit for at least $50
- Make an online bill payment of at least $50 through EasyWeb or the TD app
Value of promo:
Caveats: The TD unlimited chequing has a monthly fee of $15.95 while the TD all-inclusive plan comes with a $29.95 monthly fee. Read the fine print.