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13 Best Chequing Accounts That Earn Interest in Canada (2023)

Find out which banks pay interest on chequing accounts and how to earn interest outside a savings account.

Updated:

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A chequing account that pays interest on your balance is a rare find in Canada.

While the traditional way to earn interest and grow your deposits is to use a high interest savings account, there are obvious advantages to high-interest chequing account if you can find one.

This is even more important if you need to maintain a large balance in your chequing account to cater to everyday transactions or to waive the monthly account fee.

Below, I discuss the best chequing accounts for earning interest in Canada.

Best Chequing Accounts That Earn Interest in 2023

High-interest yield ‘checking’ accounts are common in the United States, but you can hardly find any bank account that ticks that box in Canada if you need access to a full chequing package.

For this list, I have compiled both chequing and hybrid bank accounts that pay interest after looking at over 75 Canadian bank accounts.

Financial InstitutionInterest RateNumber of TransactionsMonthly FeeDebit Card/ATM Access
Simplii FinancialUp to 0.10%Unlimited$0Yes
EQ Bank2.50%Unlimited$0Yes
Tangerine BankUp to 0.10%Unlimited$0Yes
Neo Financial2.25%Unlimited$0No
KOHOUp to 2%Unlimited$0Yes
Motive Financial0.25%Unlimited$0Yes; no owned ATMs
Motusbank0.15%Unlimited$0Yes
1QUp to 0.85%Unlimited$0Yes
Alterna Bank0.05%Unlimited$0Yes
Wealthsimple1.50%Unlimited (no Interac e-Transfers)$0Yes; no owned ATMs
ICICIUp to 0.15%25 transactions$9.95Yes
PC FinancialEarn PC Optimum pointsUnlimited$0Yes
Steinbach Credit Union0.05%35 transactions$8.95Yes

1. Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account

  • Interest rate: Up to 0.10%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited debits and Interac e-Transfers
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: $400 promotion

Simplii Financial’s No Fee Chequing Account includes unlimited debit transactions, bill payments, and withdrawals.

Unlike a traditional chequing bank account, it also pays a tiered interest on your deposit, depending on how much your balance is. Deposits up to $50,000 earn 0.01%, and 0.05% on amounts between $50,000 and $100,000. The interest paid on balances exceeding $100,000 is 0.10%.

Simplii Financial is owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and you can use your debit card to access cash for free at over 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada.

For more details about what the bank offers, read this article.

Fees to watch for: Overdraft ($4.95 + 19%), NSF ($45), Non-CIBC ATM ($1.50), etc.

2. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

  • Interest rate: 2.50%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited debits and Interac e-Transfers
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account could easily rank as the top chequing account for earning interest in Canada. This is even more so when you consider its new Mastercard, which includes free ATM withdrawals, no FX fees, and unlimited 0.5% cash back on purchases.

This online bank account qualifies as a hybrid since it offers savings and chequing account features.

Accountholders can make unlimited bill payments online and Interac e-Transfers without paying a monthly fee. And their deposits earn one of the highest interest rates available for chequing accounts.

This account also supports mobile cheque deposits.

To make the most of an EQ Bank account, you will want to link it with a chequing account at another financial institution, so you can easily fund it.

For more on how EQ Bank works, read our review, or open an account directly on their website.

Fees to watch for: This account has no fees.

3. Tangerine Bank Chequing Account

  • Interest rate: Up to 0.10%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited debits and e-Transfers
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: Available

Tangerine is an online bank owned by Scotiabank. Its Daily Chequing Account is one of the best no-fee chequing accounts in Canada.

It includes unlimited monthly transactions, and clients get a Tangerine Visa Debit card they can use at 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs across the country.

Like Simplii Financial, this Tangerine chequing pays 0.01% interest on deposits under $50,000; 0.05% interest on amounts between $50,000 and $99,999.99, and 0.10% interest on deposits exceeding $100,000.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of Tangerine Bank Features.

Fees to watch for: NSF ($45), non-Scotiabank ATM ($1.50), 1 year inactivity fee ($10), overdraft ($5 + 19% interest), chequebook after first free one ($50 – contains 50 cheques), etc.

4. Neo Money Account

  • Interest rate: 2.25%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited free transactions
  • Debit card and ATM access: No
  • Account opening bonus: $20 promotion

Neo Financial is a financial technology company (fintech) with a hybrid account (Neo Money), credit cards, and other products.

The Neo Money Account pays a high-interest rate on your deposit while also offering unlimited transactions.

The main downside of this account is it does not include a debit card or access to free ATMs.

You can either link it with your existing bank account at other banks or apply for the free Neo Card and use this for POS transactions.

To fund your account, you can send an Interac e-Transfer or set up direct deposits. Here’s an overview of Neo accounts.

Fees to watch for: $5 for printed statements.

5. KOHO Prepaid Account

  • Interest rate: Up to 2%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited debits, bill payments, and Interac e-Transfers
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: $20 offer

KOHO is not a typical bank. It is a fintech with a spending account that combines savings features and chequing in one place.

The KOHO account easily offers one of the best debit rewards cards in Canada.

Its free prepaid Mastercard pays 1% cash back on groceries and bill payments and up to 5% cash back at specific retailers.

You can use this card for online purchases, in-person, and ATM transactions (banks may charge a convenience fee when you use the KOHO card at their ATMs).

Customers also get a free budgeting app.

To earn interest on your deposits at KOHO, you will need to add a direct deposit to your account, such as a paycheque or pension.

While KOHO is not a bank, it is affiliated with Peoples Trust (a federally regulated banking institution), and your cash balance is held at this financial institution. Peoples’ Trust Company is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which protects up to $100,000 of eligible deposits against bankruptcy.

Here are more details about KOHO, or you can open a new account and get a $20 bonus.

Fees to watch for: If you upgrade to KOHO Premium for higher cashback and no-FX fees, a $9 monthly fee applies ($84/year); $1 monthly inactivity fee if open for 13 months and inactive for 6 months.

6. Motive Financial Cha-Ching Chequing Account

  • Interest rate: 0.25% APY
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited debits and e-Transfers
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: No

Motive Financial’s Cha-Ching Chequing Account pays a 0.25% interest on your entire balance. This interest is calculated on the daily closing balance and is paid monthly.

This financial institution is a division of Canadian Western Bank, and clients get free access to THE EXCHANGE Network ATMs.

Fees to watch for: $1.50 for withdrawals at Non-EXCHANGE Network ATMs, (2 free); NSF ($45), Canadian drafts ($7.50); inactive accounts ($20 – $40), etc.

7. Motusbank Chequing Account

  • Interest rate: 0.15%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

A Motusbank chequing account earns 0.15% on every dollar.

It includes unlimited debits, bill payments, and e-Transfer transactions.

Owned by one of Canada’s largest credit unions, Meridian Credit Union, Motusbank’s debit card offers free access to over 43,000 THE EXCHANGE Network ATMs in North America.

Here’s a detailed Motusbank review with more information.

Fees to watch for: Non-bank ATM ($2), NSF fee ($45), replacement debit card ($5), overdraft ($5 + 21%), inactive account ($30), etc.

8. 1Q Chequing Account

  • Interest rate: Up to 0.85%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

The 1Q Chequing Account pays 0.25% interest on deposits under $50,000, 0.75% on balances between $50,000 and $99,999.99, and 0.85% on amounts exceeding $100,000.

Interest is earned at the end of each month.

It Includes unlimited transactions and a debit card that offers free access to EXCHANGE Network ABMs.

1Q is operated by KEB Hana Bank Canada, a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in South Korea. It has branches in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary.

Feed to watch for: Debit card replacement ($10), bank draft ($20), NSF ($45), overdraft ($5), stop payments ($10), etc.

9. Alterna Bank No-Fee eChequing Account

  • Interest rate: 0.05%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited day-to-day transactions
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

The Alterna No-Fee eChequing Account pays 0.05% APY on your deposit and includes unlimited transactions.

It also comes with a debit card with free access to thousands of ATMs in Canada and the U.S.

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

Fees to watch for: $2 for paper statements, Interac ATM withdrawals ($1.90), Inactive account ($20 – $30/year), NSF cheque ($42.50), bank draft ($7.50), etc.

10. Wealthsimple Save (Cash) Account

  • Interest rate: 1.50%
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited debits and POS transactions
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

You can open a free Wealthsimple Cash and Wealthsimple Save account to earn interest on your deposits and cash back when you spend. Both accounts are free and can be linked together to get the best of both worlds.

Wealthsimple Save pays 1.50% interest, and you can use the Cash Card to earn 1% cash back on all purchases.

While it’s not a bank, Wealthsimple is one of Canada’s top financial institutions, with more than $15 billion in assets under management.

Fees to watch for: This account has no fees. Other banks may charge a convenience fee when you use their ATMs. Wealthsimple does not have its own ATMs.

11. ICICI HiValue Chequing Account

  • Interest rate: Up to 0.15%
  • Monthly fee: $9.95
  • Number of transactions: 25 debit transactions each month
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

ICICI Bank Canada’s HiValue Chequing account pays 0.15% interest on deposits exceeding $2,500. This interest is calculated on your daily closing balance and is paid out monthly.

This account includes a debit card you can use for free ATM transactions at THE EXCHANGE Network ATMs.

When you maintain a daily minimum closing balance of $3,000, the monthly fee is waived.

Learn more about ICICI Bank.

Fees to watch for: Monthly administration fee of $9.95; excess transactions ($1 each), overdraft ($5 + 18%), paper statements ($5), NSF fee ($48), stop payments ($15), dormant account fee ($20 – $40/year).

12. PC Money Account

  • Interest: N/A (earn PC Optimum points)
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: Available

While the PC Money Account does not pay interest, you earn PC Optimum points with each purchase and can redeem them for free groceries and other merchandise.

Its prepaid Mastercard can be used for online and in-store transactions, and you can make free cash withdrawals at any PC Financial ATM.

Learn about the account’s features.

Fees to watch for: NSF ($40), non-PC Financial ATM ($1.50), card replacement ($5), inactivity fee ($20/year), overdraft protection ($5 + 19%), etc.

13. Steinbach Credit Union Value Pack Chequing

  • Interest rate: 0.05%
  • Monthly fee: $8.95
  • Number of transactions: 35 free debits and withdrawals
  • Debit card and ATM access: Yes
  • Account opening bonus: None

Steinbach Credit Union’s chequing accounts earn interest.

Its Value Pack Chequing Account includes 35 transactions and costs $8.95 per month. It also offers unlimited free personalized cheques.

With the SCU debit card, you can access your money at over 1,800 credit union ATMs across Canada.

Fees to watch for: Excess debits ($0.65 each), ATMs ($0.55 – $1.50), NSF ($40), stop payments ($10), printed statements ($1.25), etc.

Methodology:
The Savvy New Canadians team assessed the best bank accounts in Canada based on monthly or yearly fees, transaction limits, minimum balance requirements, convenience, savings rates, and many other features. We carefully evaluate each bank account’s offerings, and our scoring methodology places more weight on each account’s overall value. Based on our research, these are some of the best chequing accounts that pay interest, but they may not be right for you. Always do your own research before choosing a bank account. 

What is an Interest-Paying Chequing Account?

Traditional chequing accounts do not earn interest on your balance.

More recently, newer banks and online banks are offering to pay interest on chequing account deposits to attract more customers.

It is also easier for banks with lower overhead (no physical branches) to pass on some of these cost savings to their customers by paying interest.

Generally, interest is calculated on your daily closing balance, and it is paid out at the end of the month.

Types of Chequing Accounts that Pay Interest

Personal account: This is a regular chequing account. Depending on the package you have signed up for, you may have an unlimited or a limited number of transactions included.

Youth accounts: These accounts are designed for teens (kids) and usually serve as both savings and chequing accounts.

Hybrid accounts: These are not full-fledged checking accounts as they may lack debit cards. However, you get free transactions and earn interest on deposits.

Student accounts: Are provided to students who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution.

How To Choose an Interest-Yielding Chequing Account

While a high-yield chequing account is attractive, it may not be for you. Watch out for these factors before signing up.

Fees: If you can avoid paying fees while getting unlimited transactions and earning interest, you may have the best deal possible. That said, if you regularly need in-person support, a traditional bank account may be better suited.

Convenience: Some banks that pay interest do not offer debit cards or ATM access. You will need to link them to an existing bank account at another financial institution. Depending on your needs, this could prove to be a hassle.

Account requirements: Check what the requirements are for earning interest. For example, do you need to maintain a minimum balance?

Fund security: Ensure the bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which insures eligible deposits up to $100,000. If it’s a credit union, check the applicable Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation and what they offer.

Promotions: Check whether a sign-up promotional bonus is available. This could mean free money in your wallet if the account meets your needs.

Other products: Does the bank offer other financial products, such as credit cards, high-interest savings accounts, investments such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), and mutual funds? It is convenient if you can have many products in the same place.

FAQs

Which bank pays the highest interest on chequing accounts?

EQ Bank offers the highest interest rate on its hybrid bank account.

Are interest-paying chequing accounts safe?

The chequing accounts featured on this list are safe, and they are members of CDIC or are related to a bank that is a CDIC member. Deposits at SCU are guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

What is the best chequing account with no fees?

The best chequing account with no fees in Canada is the Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account.

Is it better to keep money in a savings or chequing account?

A chequing account is better for the money you need to conduct everyday transactions, while a savings account is better for holding funds you don’t need soon.

Related:

Top Banking Offers for December

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

Easy $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 a $100 bonus with the top no-fee cashback credit card

Get a $100 welcome bonus with $1,000 spending in first 2 months.

Earn 2% unlimited cash back in 3 spending categories - no annual fees!

0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

1.95% low-interest balance transfer rate and free insurance coverage.

Earn a regular 3.75% interest on your savings account

Earn a non-promotional 3.75% high interest rate on every dollar.

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

Access to a prepaid card that pays an average cashback of 5% on purchases.

No monthly or annual account fees; free budgeting app.

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. 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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