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17 Best No-fee Bank Accounts in Canada for 2024: Avoid Monthly Fees

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A no-fee bank account with unlimited debit transactions, Interac e-Transfers, and cheques can help you save upwards of $300 each year in monthly fees.

This is because the average premium chequing account in Canada costs around $30 each month.

While there are instances when it makes sense to spend money on a chequing account, many Canadians will do just fine with a no-monthly fee bank account that covers basic banking transactions.

And you can free up extra cash in your budget by cutting out unnecessary bank fees.

Read on to learn about the best no-fee bank accounts in Canada you can open right now.

Best No Fee Bank Accounts in Canada for 2024

Simplii FinancialNeo FinancialEQ BankTangerineMotusbank
Monthly fee$0$0$0$0$0
Debit transactionsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Interac e-Transfer®UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Interest rate0.05% to 0.10%2.25%Up to 4.00%0.10%0.15%
ChequesYes (free)N/AN/AYes (1st 50 free)No
CDIC insuranceYesYesYesYesYes
ATMsCIBCN/AN/A (Free withdrawals at other banks)ScotiabankTHE EXCHANGE Network
Minimum balanceNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Other accountsInvestments, USD accounts, mortgages, loans, credit cards, international money transferCredit card, investments, mortgageGlobal money transfer, investments, mortgages, USD accountsInvestments, HELOC, USD accounts, credit cards, loansRegistered accounts, mortgages

1. Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account

Simplii Financial is an online bank owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

It offers one of the best no-monthly fee bank accounts in Canada if you are looking for a full-package chequing account.

The top features of the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account include:

  • No monthly fees and no minimum balance
  • Unlimited free debit transactions and bill payments
  • Free and convenient access to 3,400+ CIBC ATMs across Canada
  • Access to a Debit Mastercard
  • Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insurance – up to $100,000 per eligible deposit category
  • Earn interest of up to 0.10% on your balance
  • Free personalized cheques
  • Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers®

Fees: Service fees apply to some transactions, such as NSF fees ($45), overdraft fees ($4.95), bank drafts ($7.50), and non-bank ATMs in Canada ($1.50). Check their website for a complete listing of fees.

Downsides: Simplii Financial is not available in Quebec.

Promotion: Get a $400 bonus when you open a new chequing account and meet the eligibility conditions.

Simplii No-Fee Chequing Account

simpliifinancialnewlogo3-img

$400 cash bonus offer

No monthly account fees

Unlimited transactions & Interac e-Transfers

Free personalized cheques

2. EQ Bank Personal Account

The other top-rated free online bank account in Canada is from EQ Bank.

Owned by Equitable Bank Group, EQ Bank has one of the best bank accounts in Canada for savings and unlimited debit transactions.

This bank has more than $7 billion in deposits, and it was launched in 2016.

The main features of the EQ Bank Personal Account are:

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance
  • High interest rates on your balance (one of the best for non-promotional savings rates)
  • Unlimited free bill payments and Interac e-Transfers®
  • Free Electronic Funds Transfers
  • CDIC deposit protection
  • Access to international money transfers
  • Joint accounts are available
  • Free mobile cheque deposits
  • Free EQ Bank Card for ATM withdrawals and payments. Purchases with the card earn 0.5% cash back

Fees: EQ Bank does not charge NSF fees or dormant account fees.

Downsides: EQ Bank is unavailable in Quebec, and paper statements are not offered.

EQ Bank Personal Account

eqbanklogotransparent

Earn up to 4.00% interest

No monthly account fees or minimum balance

Unlimited debit transactions and e-Transfers

Free cashback card & no ATM fees

Supports mobile cheque deposits

3. Neo Financial Money Account

Neo Financial is a financial technology company (FinTech) founded by the same people behind SkipTheDishes.

It offers a free hybrid bank account that pays a high interest rate on your balance and includes unlimited online transactions.

This company has partnerships with ATB Financial and Concentra.

The top features of Neo Money include:

  • No monthly account fees or minimum balance
  • Unlimited free transactions (bill payments, Interac e-Transfers®, etc.).
  • Pays a high interest rate on your balance (one of the highest in Canada)
  • Easy setup for direct deposits
  • Access to a variable mobile app and can be combined with the Neo credit card (also no annual fee)
  • CDIC deposit protection eligible (combined with your Concentra Bank deposits – if applicable)

Fees: There is a $5 fee if you request paper monthly statements. Electronic statements are free.

Downsides: Neo Money is not available in Quebec.

Neo Money Account

neo logo

Unlimited 5% average cash back

No monthly fees + $20 bonus

1.00% non-promo interest rate paid on balance

Unlimited free transactions

Get a Mastercard for payments online and ATMs

4. Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account

Tangerine Bank is one of the most popular online banks in Canada.

It is owned by a Big Five bank, Scotiabank, and offers a full suite of banking products, including credit cards, investments, and loans.

The Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing account’s top features include:

  • No monthly account fees
  • Unlimited transactions (bill payments, Interac e-Transfers®, pre-authorized payments)
  • Access to 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs across Canada
  • Visa Debit Card
  • Up to 0.10% interest rate on your balance
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • Available in Quebec

Fees: Service fees may apply depending on your transactions. Common ones include NSF fees ($45), non-bank ATMs in Canada ($1.50), Canadian drafts ($10), chequebook (first one is free); stop payments ($12.50), inactivity fee ($10), overdraft ($5). Check their website for a full list.

Downsides: No in-branch service, and savings rates are lower than some competitors.

Learn more about Tangerine in this detailed post.

5. Motusbank No Fee Chequing Account

Motusbank is owned by Meridian Credit Union, the second largest credit union in Canada.

Its no monthly fee bank account is easy to open online and includes:

  • Free and unlimited debits, bill payments, withdrawals, and Interac e-Transfers®
  • Interest on your balance (0.15%)
  • CDIC deposit insurance
  • Access to thousands of free ATMs in Canada and a debit card
  • Mobile cheque deposits and no minimum balance requirement
  • Available in Quebec

Fees: NSF fee ($45), incoming wires ($10), Canadian draft ($6.50), inactive account fee ($30), replacement debit card ($5), cheque image with paper statement ($1.50), etc. Confirm all applicable fees on the bank’s website.

Downsides: No physical branches for in-person support.

This review provides more details about Motusbank.

6. Motive Financial Cha-Ching Chequing Account

Motive Financial is a division of the Canadian Western Bank. As an online-only digital bank, it does not offer brick-and-mortar branches.

The Motive Cha-Ching Chequing Account gives access to:

  • No fee chequing accounts
  • Unlimited free transactions, including debits, withdrawals, and Interac e-Transfers®
  • Thousands of free ATMs across Canada
  • 50 free personalized cheques
  • Interest on your balance (0.25%)
  • CDIC deposit protection

Fees: Out-of-network ATM fee ($1.50 each – first 2 free).

Downside: Motive Financial does not offer its services and products in Quebec.

Motive Financial has a second free chequing account (Motive Chequing). It has similar offerings, except that you pay $1 for Interac e-Transfers and only earn 0.15% on your balance.

I have written a more detailed breakdown of Motive Financial products.

7. Innovation Credit Union NO-Fee Chequing Account

Innovation Credit Union’s No-Fee Chequing Account is available across Canada (except Quebec) and can save you up to $360 per year in fees.

Its main features include:

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers and debit transactions
  • Access to thousands of free ATMs across Canada
  • Has physical branches in Saskatchewan

Fees: Out-of-network ATM fee ($2.50 to $4); cheques are provided at cost.

Downsides: Innovation Credit Union is not available in Quebec. Interest is not paid on your chequing account balance.

Learn more about Innovation Credit Union here.

8. Alterna Bank No Fee eChequing Account

Alterna Bank is a division of Alterna Savings and Credit Union.

Its no-fee bank account is referred to as No-Fee eChequing Account and offers:

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirement
  • Free and unlimited daily transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Access to 3,300+ ATMs in THE EXCHANGE® Network
  • Interest on your balance (0.05%)
  • CDIC deposit protection
  • Available in Quebec

Fees: Other ATM networks ($1.90 to $5), NSF fee ($42.50), paper statement ($1 to $2), overdraft protection ($2.50/month), etc. Check the bank’s website for a full list.

Downsides: In-branch services are not available for the eChequing account.

Get more details about its products and services in this review.

9. PC Financial PC Money Account

President’s Choice Bank, a part of Loblaws, offers an easy-to-open online bank account with no monthly fees.

The PC Money Account can be combined with your PC Financial credit cards to maximize PC Optimum points whenever you spend.

This account’s features include:

  • No monthly fees
  • Earn PC Optimum points when you spend in-store and online
  • Free unlimited every day and Interac e-Transfer® transactions
  • In-person support at PC Financial pavilions
  • CDIC deposit insurance

Fees: NSF fees ($40), outside ATM fees ($1.50), cancel Interac e-Transfer® (3.50), inactivity fee ($20), overdraft protection ($5), etc. For a full listing of fees, check their website.

Downsides: It does not offer cheques.

Text that reads “Best no fee bank accounts in Canada” below an image of a bank, paper statement, and money

10. LBC Digital Chequing Account

LBC Digital is owned by Laurentian Bank of Canada.

Its digital chequing account has no monthly maintenance fee and offers:

  • Access to over 3,500 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Free debit transactions, bill payments, and Interac e-Transfers®
  • CDIC deposit insurance

Fees: Non-bank ATM in Canada ($1.50), bank draft ($10), non-sufficient funds ($50), stop payment ($12.50 + $20), dormancy fee ($25), etc.

Downsides: No free cheques, and interest is not paid on your balance.

Learn about LBC Digital or visit here.

11. 1Q Chequing

1Q Chequing is provided by KEB Hana Bank Canada, a division of Hana Financial Group, one of the largest banks in South Korea.

The features of this Chequing account:

  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirement
  • Free access to thousands of ATMs via THE EXCHANGE Network (over 3,300)
  • Interest is paid on your balance (up to 0.05%)
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • CDIC deposit insurance eligible
  • Unlimited transactions

Fees: 100 cheque/book ($7.96 + HST), bank draft ($20), NSF fee ($45), overdraft ($5), chargeback ($5), stop payment ($10). Check the website for full details.

Downsides: 1Q banking services are not available in Quebec.

12. Wealthsimple Cash

Wealthsimple is a FinTech with more than $30 billion in assets under management. Its spending account is known as Wealthsimple Cash, and its features include:

  • No monthly fees or account minimums
  • Access to a rewards debit card
  • CDIC deposit guarantee
  • 1% cash back when you spend

This Wealthsimple article breaks down each of its products and services.

No Fee Chequing Accounts From Big Banks

The big Canadian banks also offer no-fee chequing accounts on a limited basis.

13. RBC No Fee Chequing

Seniors get a discount and pay a $0 monthly fee on the RBC Day to Day Banking account ($4/month savings).

Students and eligible newcomers get a free waiver on the RBC Advantage Banking account for the duration of their studies or 1 year respectively ($11.95/month savings).

Here are all the RBC chequing offers.

14. TD No Fee Chequing Account

Students can open a TD Student Chequing Account with unlimited transactions and pay no monthly fees.

Seniors can open a TD Minimum Chequing Account, and the $3.95 monthly fee is waived. This account includes 12 transactions each month.

Some TD chequing accounts can also have their monthly fee rebated if you maintain the required minimum balance ($3,000 to $5,000).

15. CIBC No Fee Chequing Account

Seniors get a $6.95 fee rebate on the CIBC Smart Account with 12 free transactions each month.

Students get unlimited transactions via CIBC Smart for Students or CIBC Smart Start.

Newcomers can also open a newcomer bank account and pay no monthly maintenance fees for up to 2 years.

16. Scotiabank No Fee Chequing Account

Seniors get a $3.95 fee rebate on the Scotiabank Basic Bank Account with 12 free transactions each month.

Students can open a Student Banking Advantage Plan account with unlimited transactions and pay no monthly fees.

For Scotiabank’s premium chequing accounts (Ultimate and Preferred), you can waive the monthly fees by maintaining a $4,000 or $5,000 minimum daily closing balance, respectively.

17. BMO No Fee Chequing Account

Seniors get a $4 fee rebate on the BMO Practical chequing account with 12 free transactions each month.

For BMO’s premium chequing accounts, Performance and Premium, the monthly fees ($30/$16.95) are waived when you maintain a $4,000 or $6,000 minimum balance, respectively.

What is a No-Fee Bank Account?

When discussing no-fee bank accounts, my focus is on the free chequing accounts available in Canada that have no:

  • Monthly fees
  • Minimum balance requirement

By default, most Canadian chequing accounts have a monthly maintenance fee. As for savings accounts, these are usually provided fee-free, although you might be on the hook for transaction fees if you start to use your savings account like a chequing account (i.e. when you conduct too many debit transactions).

Also, while a no-fee chequing account means you don’t pay a set monthly fee, it doesn’t necessarily mean there are no fees.

In the discussion below, I will highlight the service and transaction fees you can expect when applicable.

Types of No-fee Bank Accounts in Canada

There are three main types of no-fee bank accounts:

Online chequing accounts: These no-fee-chequing accounts are offered by digital banks and work like traditional chequing accounts without the brick-and-mortar branch locations.

You can deposit and withdraw money online, use your debit card or client cards at ATMs, and write physical cheques.

Some of these accounts also pay you interest on your balance.

Examples of free online bank accounts include the ones offered by Simplii Financial, Tangerine, and motusbank.

Hybrid accounts: Offered by online banks and financial technology companies. Hybrid bank accounts combine features from high-interest savings accounts and chequing accounts.

Users may not get a debit card, but they can easily transfer money to accounts at other financial institutions.

The highlights of these accounts are the higher-than-average savings interest rates and unlimited transactions.

Examples of hybrid accounts include the ones offered by Neo Financial and EQ Bank.

Discounted bank accounts: If you are a senior, student, or newcomer, you may be able to bank for free after applying applicable discounts.

While the Big Banks charge fees for their chequing accounts, they provide no-fee banking to eligible students and newcomers (limited time offers), seniors (for basic bank accounts).

How To Choose a No-Fee Bank Account

When choosing a no-fee bank account, you should consider these factors:

Convenience: Online banks offer the best no-fee banking options in Canada. They are also very convenient for everyday transactions. That said, if you will need to visit a branch regularly or require in-person support, a traditional bank or credit union may work better.

ATMs: Need to withdraw cash on a regular basis? A bank that provides access to free ATMs will save you on fees and stress.

Savings rates: Are you being paid to keep a (high) balance in your chequing account?

Fees: While you will not be paying monthly maintenance fees, you should check the small print for which service fees apply. The best no-fee accounts include unlimited debits, bill payments, withdrawals, and Interac e-Transfer® transactions.

Other services: Does the bank offer a variety of financial products, such as credit cards, savings accounts, money transfers, investments, etc.? If it doesn’t, it may still make sense to take advantage of its no-fee banking account and high savings rates and find other services elsewhere.

Customer service: Is it easy to reach support at the bank if you need assistance? Check when their customer service is available (ideally by phone).

How To Open a No-Fee Bank Account in Canada

Most no-fee bank accounts can be opened online.

Visit the bank’s website to complete the application form and submit the required documents.

When your account is opened, you can link your bank accounts at other Canadian financial institutions to facilitate transfers between linked accounts.

You may also be able to deposit funds in your account using Interac e-Transfer®, mobile cheque deposit, or electronic funds transfer.

Pros of a No-Fee Bank Account

The benefits of no-fee chequing accounts include:

  • No monthly fees – this can mean savings of up to $360 per year
  • Unlimited, free transactions
  • Interest is earned on your deposit (not applicable to all banks)
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Some have promotional offers with cash rewards when you sign up

Cons of No-Fee Bank Account

The downsides of a no-fee chequing account are:

  • They are usually digital banks with limited or no physical branches
  • Some perks are not available, e.g. safe deposit boxes
  • Some do not offer debit cards

Which No Fee Bank Account is Best?

Here are some suggestions on the best no-fee bank account in Canada (your needs may vary):

Simplii Financial: Best overall no-monthly-fee bank account. You get free cheques, get access to CIBC ATMs for free, and get a $400 cash bonus if eligible.

EQ Bank: Best hybrid account with no monthly fees. This bank has great non-promotional savings rates and offers unlimited transactions, including mobile cheque deposits. EQ Bank also provides access to investments, mortgages, and international money transfers. Its reloadable prepaid card pays cash back on all purchases.

Neo Financial: Best for holding deposits you want to grow while also providing free and unlimited transactions. It currently pays one of the highest savings interest rates on this list.

You could also combine some of these accounts to get the best value out of them.

Top Banking Offers for May

Stop paying monthly fees with a free chequing account + $400 bonus

Get $400 cash bonus when you direct deposit $100 for three months.

Unlimited debits, online bill payments and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly account or transaction fees.

Get a high interest rate on your savings (6.00% interest rate offer).

Get the TOP spending and savings account with 5% rewards and $20 bonus

Instant approval and a $20 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cashback on purchases while paying no fees!*

Earn 5.00% interest on your entire account balance.

Free debits, e-Transfers, bill payments, budgeting app, and access to credit building.

Earn a regular 4.00% interest on your savings account

Earn up to 4.00% interest on every dollar when you set up a direct deposit.

Free access to a hybrid account with unlimited transactions & e-transfers.

Access to a prepaid card that pays 0.5% cashback on all purchases.

No monthly or annual account fees; free ATMs in Canada.

Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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