Looking for a high interest savings account (HISA) with truly “highly” rates in Canada? You’ll be hard-pressed to identify any that beat the inflation rate.
Although HISAs have generally become a joke, online banks like Bridgewater Bank, EQ Bank, and Canadian Tire Bank are still worth checking out.
A high interest savings account is handy when you need access to your principal, or are saving towards a short-term financial goal (e.g., vacation, home down payment, or wedding).
This Bridgewater Bank review covers its financial products, pros, cons, and alternatives.
Related: EQ Bank Canada Review.
Who is Bridgewater Bank?
Bridgewater Bank is a Schedule I Chartered bank based in Calgary. It was founded in 1997 and is owned by the Alberta Motor Association.
The bank offers a high-interest savings account, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), and alternative lending solutions.
As of this writing, it had over $2.2 billion in assets under management.
Bridgewater Bank Savings Account
Bridgewater Bank’s savings account is referred to as the Smart eSavings Account.
This high interest account offers a 1.20% rate and has the following features.
- Minimum initial deposit of $25
- One free withdrawal per month
- Supports automatic pre-authorized contributions
- Supports joint accounts
- Eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insurance
Note that additional withdrawals cost $5 each.
Also, a $20 fee applies if your cheque is dishonoured or when a pre-authorized debit is reversed.
Related: Best TFSA Savings Rates.
Bridgewater Bank GICs
GICs secure investments that guarantee your principal and pay a fixed or variable return for the length of time your money is invested.
Bridgewater Bank offers short-term GICs (from 180-364 days) and long-term GICs (1-5 years).
GIC rates as of July 27, 2021, are:
- 1 year GIC: 1.21%
- 2 year GIC: 1.40%
- 3 year GIC: 1.65%
- 4 year GIC: 1.80%
- 5 year GIC: 1.90%
The minimum deposit for GICs is $5,000.
Related: Best GIC Rates in Canada.
Bridgewater Bank Mortgages
Bridgewater Bank provides mortgage loans in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
The mortgage terms offered are for 1, 2, 3, and 5 years and the rates are fixed.
It also offers mortgage life and disability insurance.
How To Open a Bridgewater Bank Account
To open a Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account, you must be:
- Resident in Canada
- The age of the majority in your province
- Have a savings or chequing account with another Canadian bank
You will need to provide your social insurance number and a personal cheque from a bank account in your name during the sign-up process.
You can reach the bank by phone at 1-866-243-4301; email at [email protected], or by mail at Bridgewater Bank, Suite 150, 926 – 5th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0N7.
Related: Best Mortgage Rates.
- Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings Account is not available to residents of Quebec.
- It has no physical branches you can walk into for in-person service.
- You need a minimum deposit of $5,000 for GIC investments.
- HISA and GICs are not offered for registered accounts (e.g., TFSA and RRSP).
- It does not offer business accounts.
- Its savings account allows only one free withdrawal per month.
Is Bridgewater Bank Safe?
Bridgewater Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation which means your deposits may be protected up to $100,000.
It is a member of payments Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Also, the bank is regulated by the office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
Bridgewater Bank vs. EQ Bank vs. Canadian Tire Bank
For top savings rates in today’s low-interest environment, the following online banks are worth checking out:
1. EQ Bank
EQ Bank’s HISA is referred to as the Savings Plus Account and offers:
- 1.25% interest rate on every dollar
- Unlimited free debit transactions and bill payments
- Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers
- Free mobile cheque deposits
- Supports joint accounts
- No monthly account fee
- CDIC insurance eligible
EQ Bank also has TFSA and RSP savings account, and GICs.
2. Canadian Tire Bank
While not as popular as its Triangle credit cards, Canadian Tire Bank has a high-interest savings account.
This HISA has a 1.25% interest rate and no monthly fees.
Canadian Tire Bank also offers GICs and a Tax-Free Savings Account.
Related: Best Stock Trading Apps.
What rates are you getting on your savings? Let us know in the comments.
|Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings||EQ Bank Savings Plus Account||Canadian Tire Bank HISA|
|Free transactions||1 free transfer to linked personal account/month||Unlimited free debits, bill payments, and electronic find transfers||Free transfers to linked personal account|
|Free Interac e-Transfers||N/A||Free and unlimited||NA|
|Withdrawals fees||$5 each per additional withdrawal in a calendar month||$0||N/A|
|CDIC insurance eligible||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Learn more||–||Open an account||Read review|
Bridgewater Bank review
Bridgewater Bank is an online bank in Canada. This Bridgewater Bank review covers its savings account, GIC rates, benefits, downsides, and alternatives.