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Seniors in Canada can access bank accounts that cater to their banking needs and have zero or lower monthly fees.

These accounts are typically accessible when you turn 60 or 65 years old. They may either be dedicated to only seniors or may be regular accounts with discounted fees.

If you are looking to open a chequing or savings account to save money as a senior, the accounts below may be worth checking out.

What Are Senior Bank Accounts?

A seniors’ chequing bank account is one specifically targeted to senior citizens. This account often offers a basic banking package with free transactions, or it may offer eligible seniors a fee discount on regular chequing accounts.

Some seniors’ accounts also come with perks that may include free cheques, drafts, paper statements, safe deposit box discounts, and more.

The qualifying age for a seniors’ account or discount varies between banks and may range from 60 to 65 years and older. You may have to actively opt for a senior account, as the big banks will hardly prompt you to do so.

Seniors can also find attractive discounts and free chequing accounts at credit unions.

Finally, you can pair your seniors’ chequing account with a high interest savings account offered by an online bank.

Best Bank Accounts for Seniors

Let’s look at the seniors’ bank accounts offered by the top-5 banks (CIBC, TD, RBC, BMO, and Scotiabank).

1. CIBC Smart for Seniors Account

Seniors qualify for the CIBC Smart for Seniors Account starting at age 65. It offers:

  • $0 monthly fee
  • 12 free transactions per month ($1.25 for each extra)
  • Free bank drafts and money orders
  • A $5 discount on the annual rental for a safe deposit box
  • It requires no minimum balance

Transactions exceeding the account limit cost $1.25 each up to a maximum of $10 per month. You can opt for unlimited transactions by paying a $10 monthly fee.

The CIBC Smart Chequing Account normally costs $4.95 per month, however, seniors get a $4.95 discount to make it free.

Seniors can pair this account with savings using a CIBC Premium Growth Account and/or CIBC US$ Personal Account.

CIBC Chequing Account Option: CIBC Smart Plus Account. This costs $25/month (including a $4.95 discount) and offers unlimited transactions.

Related: Best CIBC Chequing Accounts

2. BMO Practical Plan Account for Seniors

The BMO Practical Plan chequing account is free for seniors aged 60 or older. It offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee (a $4.00 saving)
  • 12 free transactions/month and $1.25 for each extra
  • It requires no minimum balance

You can combine this account with a free Premium Rate Savings account.

BMO chequing account option: BMO Plus Account (costs $6.95 after the $4.00 discount is applied). It offers 25 free transactions every month.

Related: Best BMO Credit Cards in Canada

3. RBC Day to Day Banking for Seniors

This entry-level RBC chequing account is available to seniors aged 65 or older for free after a $4.00 discount is applied.

It offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • 12 free transactions ($1.25 for each extra)
  • It requires no minimum balance

No teller-assisted transactions are included with this package.

When you link your RBC debit card, you can save 3 cents per litre of gas purchased at Petro-Canada locations, and also earn 20% more in Petro-Points.

RBC chequing account option: RBC No Limit Banking Account (costs $6.95/month after they apply a $4 discount). It offers unlimited debit transactions.

Related: Best RBC Student Credit Cards

4. Scotiabank Basic Bank Account for Seniors

This entry-level Scotiabank chequing account is available to seniors 60 or older and offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • 12 free transactions per month (including 2 Interac e-Transfer; $1 each after)
  • No minimum balance required
  • Additional transactions cost $1.25 each

Account holders earn 1 SCENE point for every $5 spent on debit purchases. You can also earn Scotia Rewards points instead.

Scotiabank chequing account option: Scotiabank Basic Plus Account ($6.95/month and 25 free transactions) or Scotiabank Preferred Package ($11.95/month and unlimited transactions). The monthly account fees reflect a $4 discount.

Related: Best Scotiabank Chequing Accounts

5. TD Minimum Chequing Account for Seniors

The TD Minimum Chequing Account is designed for those with minimal banking needs. Seniors 60 years or older who are collecting the Guaranteed Income Supplement get a discount of $3.95 on the monthly fee.

It offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • 12 free transactions (it includes up to 2 teller-assisted transactions); $1.25 for each after
  • It requires no minimum balance

This account does not include free Interac e-Transfer. You pay $0.50 each for e-Transfers under $100 and $1.00 each for e-Transfers over $100. Regular transactions fees may also apply.

TD chequing account option: TD Every Day Chequing Account (costs $8.20/month with seniors’ discount). It includes 25 transactions.

Related: Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

Best Seniors Bank Accounts in Canada
Two happy mature men preparing to break a piggybank with a hammer isolated on white background

Best Credit Union Bank Accounts for Seniors

Many credit unions offer chequing accounts designed with seniors in mind. Typically, only residents of the province where the credit union is located can become members.

Some of the best seniors’ accounts offered by credit unions include:

6. First Ontario Be Free and More Chequing Account for Seniors

First Ontario Credit Union is an Ontario-based credit union with a seniors’ bank account that is worth looking at.

Existing chequing account holders automatically access this benefit upon turning 60. Here’s what you get:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Free certified cheques
  • Free personal cheques
  • Five free Canadian non-network ATM withdrawals per month
  • Annual fee rebate (up to $59) on a FirstOntario Visa credit card
  • $10 annual discount on a safe deposit box rental
  • It requires no minimum balance

7. Meridian Senior Chequing Account

Meridian is one of the largest credit unions in Ontario and Canada.

Its senior chequing account offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Free certified cheques and one free cheque order
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • 4 CAD bank drafts a month; $3.25 each after
  • 4 free Interac e-Transfers
  • Free paper statements
  • It requires no minimum balance

Eligibility for this account starts at age 60.

Related: Meridian Credit Union Review

8. Affinity Credit Union 65+ Chequing Account

Affinity Credit Union is a Saskatchewan-based credit union and one of the top-10 largest in Canada.

Their 65+ chequing account offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • 100 free cheques per year
  • It requires no minimum balance

Related: Affinity Credit Union Review

9. Steinbach Credit Union Golden Chequing

Steinbach Credit Union is based in the province of Manitoba. Their Golden Chequing Account is for members aged 60+ and offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Unlimited transactions
  • One free order of personalized cheques every year
  • Discount on your annual safety deposit box rental
  • Interest paid on your balance (0.05% as of August 13, 2020)
  • It requires no minimum balance

Related: Steinbach Credit Union Review

Best Online Bank Accounts for Seniors

If you are comfortable with banking online for the most part, a free digital bank account could save you money. Often, these online banks also pay you interest on your chequing account balance.

All three accounts below are regular accounts and are not specific to just seniors.

10. Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account

Tangerine is a division of Scotiabank. They offer a chequing account with:

  • $0 monthly account fees
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers
  • No minimum balance
  • First cheque book of 50 cheques is free; $50 per book after
  • Pays interest on your account balance (up to 0.15%)
  • Access to a high-interest savings account

If you use drafts, they cost $10 each. Learn more about Tangerine Bank.

11. Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account

Simplii Financial is a division of CIBC. Their chequing account offers:

  • $0 monthly account fee
  • Free unlimited debit transactions and bill payments
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn interest on your balance (up to 0.15%)

Learn more about this account in this Simplii Financial Chequing Account review.

12. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank is a subsidiary of Equitable Bank and offers a savings account that works like a hybrid. It offers:

  • $0 monthly account fees
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • Free unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • No minimum balance
  • High interest rates
  • Free mobile cheque deposits
  • Joint accounts available

If you are looking for a place to park your savings and earn high interest rates, the EQ Bank Savings Plus account is one of the best in Canada.

Compare Seniors’ Bank Accounts in Canada

Advantages of a Seniors’ Bank Account

A senior bank account comes with a discount on the monthly fee. If you are okay with a no-frills basic account, you may even get the account for free.

Other perks and benefits of using a bank account for seniors include:

  • Free personalized cheques
  • Free transactions including Interac e-Transfer
  • Discount on safe deposit box rentals
  • Free certified cheques
  • Free money orders
  • Lower minimum balance requirement to waive the monthly fee
  • Interest on your account balance

Only the credit union offers above provide all or many of these perks. The other options rarely do so for free.

Look at what’s available in the package before applying, since the offerings vary between banks considerably.

Disadvantages of a Seniors’ Bank Account

Most free seniors’ bank accounts are very basic and may not meet your needs. If you are not careful, you could even end up spending more in bank fees.

For example, if the account offers 12 free transactions and you exceed it, the additional cost per transaction could easily wipe out any monthly fee savings.

Also, the perks included may not be useful to you. For example, you may not need money orders or bank drafts.

If you are comfortable with online banking, you may not need as many free cheques, making this perk less valuable.

Credit unions offer the best banking packages for seniors, however, they are often not as accessible (i.e. branches and ATMs) as the big banks e.g. TD, BMO, RBC, Scotiabank, and CIBC.

What To Look For in a Seniors’ Bank Account

Whether it is a chequing or savings account for seniors, here are a few things to consider before signing up:

Is the bank or credit union accessible? If you prefer to conduct your transactions in person at a branch, or you like to chat up the tellers, you want a bank with branches in your area.

The same goes for access to the bank’s free ATMs.

What banking package suits your lifestyle or financial needs? If you conduct many transactions per month, an unlimited transaction account may be better, even if it means paying a monthly fee.

Access to other accounts and services. If you want to consolidate all your accounts in one place, see if the financial institution offers savings, investments, insurance, etc.

Often, the only way to save money is to shop around and open specific accounts with different providers. For example, the best savings account rates are usually offered by non-traditional banks and credit unions.

Seniors’ Bank Account FAQs

What is the best bank for seniors?

It depends on your needs. While there are several free seniors’ accounts, their features are basic and may not cover all the financial transactions you conduct. Fees may apply to out-of-package transactions.

Who has a free chequing account for seniors?

All the top-five biggest banks i.e. RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, BMO and TD offer a basic seniors’ chequing account with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance. You can also find similar offerings at credit unions.

Read the fine print. Fees may apply if you exceed your free transactions, need a bank draft or certified cheque, or use a different ATM.

Do you know of other seniors’ bank accounts that belong on this list? Leave them in the comments.