CI Direct Investing High Interest Savings Account

The savings accounts rates being offered by the big 5 banks are at some of the lowest they have been for a while. With savings rates ranging from 0.01% to 0.10%, you are no longer getting much in returns.

CI Direct Investing recently joined the ranks of financial institutions offering non-promotional high interest rates. Its HISA account has no fees, no minimums, and transactions are free.

Read on to learn about CI Direct Investing’s high interest savings account, what you get, and how it compares to alternatives.

About CI Direct Investing

CI Direct Investing is a subsidiary of CI Financial, one of the largest investment companies in Canada.

Formerly known as WealthBar, CI Direct Investing offers everyday Canadians access to professionally managed ETF investment portfolios at a low cost.

It also offers socially responsible investment (SRI) portfolios, financial planning, retirement planning, and a free savings account.

As of this writing, CI Direct Investing held over $475 million in assets under management.

CI Direct Investing High Interest Savings Account

In addition to its ETF portfolios, the company also offers a high interest savings account (HISA) you can open online within minutes.

A savings account is great for holding your emergency funds and for saving towards short-term financial goals, such as a home downpayment, wedding, car purchase, etc.

Features of the CI Direct Investing HISA include:

  • Non-promotional interest rate of 0.50%
  • No account minimum balance
  • No account fees
  • Unlimited deposits and withdrawals

The interest rate is per year and it is calculated daily and paid out monthly.

Your savings account balance counts towards your overall assets held by CI Direct Investing and may lower the management fees you pay on your investment portfolio.

Is a CI Direct Investing HISA Safe?

CI Direct investing keeps your funds with one of its custodians:

  • National Bank Independent Network
  • BBS Securities, and
  • Credential QTrade Securities

These financial institutions are members of the Investments Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC).

They are also members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) which protects your cash and securities up to $1,000,000.

Benefits of a CI Savings Account

This savings account puts your money to work and offers these benefits:

  • A 0.50% non-promotional interest rate that beats what many of the big banks are offering
  • Quick and easy access to your funds when you need it
  • No-fee account with unlimited free deposits and withdrawals
  • Your savings balance can lower the investment fees you pay for portfolio management
  • CIPF protection against insolvency up to $1 million
  • Access to free financial advice

Downsides of a CI Savings Account

A few shortcomings of this account are:

  • It is not available in registered accounts e.g. TFSA and RRSP. For a savings ETF you can hold in your registered account, CI Investments offers the CI First Asset High Interest Savings ETF (CSAV).
  • Corporate or business savings are not currently offered
  • It is only available in Canadian dollars
  • Online banks like EQ Bank offer higher rates

CI Direct Investing HISA vs. EQ Bank

EQ Bank is the online banking of Equitable Bank. Its high interest savings account has the following features:

  • 1.25%* non-promotional interest rate
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance
  • Free unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Free mobile cheque deposits

A look at the current savings rates shows that EQ Bank has a better offer of 1.25%* on your savings. And you get this same high interest rate if you put your deposits in a TFSA or RSP account.

In addition to savings accounts, EQ Bank also offers Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), a US Dollar account, international money transfers, and a joint account.

Read my EQ Bank review.

CI Direct Investing HISA vs. Tangerine

Tangerine Bank is the online subsidiary of Scotiabank. It offers a high interest savings account with the following features:

  • No monthly fee and no minimum balance
  • 0.10% regular savings rate
  • Access to registered accounts such as RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, and US$ savings.

Both CI Direct Investing and Tangerine may vary the interest rate they offer based on the benchmark rates announced by the Bank of Canada.

Tangerine Bank also offers Investment Funds and portfolios.

CI Direct Investing HISA vs. KOHO

KOHO users get access to a free reloadable prepaid card that pays 0.50% cash back on all purchases and offers unlimited free Interac e-Transfers.

Your entire balance earns interest at a 1.20% rate when you set up direct deposit to your KOHO account, and you can use their early payroll feature to access your paycheque 3 days early.

This account also has a free budgeting app that can help you save money automatically by rounding up your purchases and saving the difference. You can also set savings goals.

Read my KOHO review.

Based on the rates as of today, July 9, 2021, here’s what you can expect to get on a $10,000 savings with CI Direct Investing, EQ Bank, and KOHO, and Tangerine:

CI Direct InvestingTangerineEQ BankKOHO
Year 1 returns$50$93$125$120
Year 2 returns$50$10$125$120

CI High Interest Savings vs. EQ Bank vs. Tangerine

CI HISAEQ Bank HISATangerine HISAWealthsimple Save
Savings Interest rate0.50%1.25%0.10%0.50%
Monthly account fee$0$0$0$0
Transaction feeUnlimited withdrawals and depositsUnlimited debits, Interac e-Transfers, and withdrawalsUnlimited withdrawalsUnlimited withdrawals
Joint accountNoYesYesYes
Registered accountsNoRRSP, TFSA, GICsRRSP, RRIF, TFSA, RESPNo
Other productsLow-cost ETF portfolios in reg. & non-reg accounts, free financial planning, SRIs, CIPF protectionFree mobile cheque deposits, GICs, cheap international money transfer, mobile app, CDIC protectionInvestment funds, no-fee chequing account, CDIC protection, mobile appLow-cost ETF portfolios, SRIs, cryptocurrency trading, no-fee brokerage platform, mobile app
ReviewApplyLearn moreLearn more


A high interest savings account can help you to grow your savings and maintain the purchasing power of your funds to a large extent.

For longer-term financial goals, you may benefit from investing your funds using ETFs inside a portfolio that’s designed to match your risk tolerance.

CI High Interest Savings Account Review


A CI Direct Investing high interest savings account (HISA) offers a rate that beats many of the big banks. Learn more about the CI high interest savings account and what it offers.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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