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9 Easiest Bank Accounts To Open Online in Canada

Gravatar for Baggio Ma

Written by Baggio Ma

Updated:

Fact Checked

Thanks to online banking, opening a new bank account online in Canada has never been easier. Within minutes, you can be banking at any of the largest Canadian banks and even earning a nice welcome bonus. 

As of 2023, more than 81% of Canadians use digital banking tools for their day-to-day banking needs. Whether on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, online banking is always available in the palm of your hand. 

This article will discuss our choices for the easiest bank accounts to open online in Canada in 2024. 

Easiest Bank Accounts To Open Online in Canada

1. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Interest Rate: Up to 4.00%
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited 
  • Current Promotions: None 

EQ Bank is the digital division of Equitable Bank, otherwise known as Canada’s Challenger Bank. Its Personal Account is extremely popular due to its combination of a higher interest rate, no minimum balance, unlimited transactions, and no monthly fees. 

This account also comes with free unlimited Interac eTransfers, bill payments, and electronic fund transfers. Better yet, if you use the EQ Bank Card, you get free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada and cash back on every purchase you make. 

What are the downsides to the EQ Bank Personal Account? EQ Bank is an entirely digital institution with no in-person customer service. That said, you can get support by chat or phone.

Learn more in this review.

2. Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Interest Rate: 0.01% to 0.10%
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited 
  • Current Promotions: Earn up to $400 when opening a new account. 

The Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account offers a no-frills account with a generous welcome bonus for new users. This account also comes with no monthly fees and free access to nearly 3,500 CIBC ATMs across Canada. 

Some people tend to think that digital bank accounts do not have the same benefits. With Simplii’s account, you also get overdraft protection at a small cost, scheduled bill payments and money transfers, and CDIC insurance for your peace of mind. 

What are the downsides to the Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account? The interest rate is not that high for its chequing account.

Check out our explainer for this account.

3. KOHO Spending and Savings Account

  • Monthly Fees: $0.00* for Essential plan
  • Interest Rate: 5.00%
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Transactions: Varies by plan

KOHO is a Toronto-based fintech company that provides Canadians with digital financial services. Its popular KOHO Spending and Savings Account offers high interest rates and cash back on purchases made with the KOHO prepaid card.

The account has three tiers: Essential, Extra, and Everything. These tiers offer increasingly more services for monthly fees. Here is a breakdown of what each KOHO tier offers:

EssentialExtraEverything
Monthly Fee$0* or $4$9.00$19.00
FX Fees WaivedNoYesYes
1 Free International ATM Withdrawal per MonthNoYesYes
Interest Earned5%5%5%
Cash Back Earned:
Groceries1.0%1.5%2.0%
Eating & Drinking1.0% 1.5%2.0%
Transportation1.0%1.5%2.0%
At participating storesUp to 5%Up to 5%Up to 5%

As you can see, there is quite a disparity between tiers. You can get KOHO Essential for $0* monthly if you set up a recurring direct deposit.

Open a KOHO Account ($20 bonus).

4. Neo Money Account

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Interest Rate: 2.25%
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Current Promotions: $20 bonus

Neo Financial is a Calgary-based fintech company that believes Canadians have been financially underserved for too long. The Neo Money Account combines a solid interest rate and cash-back of an average of 5.0% at more than 12,000 retail partners. 

This account also features no monthly fees, no minimum balance, and unlimited and free transactions. Neo has also integrated features for automatic savings plans, automatic bill payments, and a budget tool to track your spending. 

The only real drawback with this account is a lack of support for US dollars. It is also not available for residents of Quebec. 

Related: Neo Financial overview.

5. Scotiabank Preferred Package

  • Monthly Fees: $0.00 to $16.95
  • Interest Rate: 0.00%
  • Minimum Balance: $4,000 to waive monthly fee
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Current Promotions: Earn up to $350 cash for opening a new account

The Scotiabank Preferred Package is the first account from one of the big banks. The first thing that stands out is the complete lack of interest rate for your money. Also, notice the high minimum balance that is required to waive the monthly fee. 

It’s not all bad, though. The Preferred Package provides unlimited free Interac eTransfers and $1.99 international money transfers. You can also earn Scene+ Rewards points on every purchase made with the account. 

Learn more about Scotiabank’s Preferred Package here.

6. BMO Performance Chequing Account

  • Monthly Fees: $0.00 to $16.95
  • Interest Rate: 0.00%
  • Minimum Balance: $4,000 to waive monthly fee
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Current Promotions: Earn up to $400 cash for opening a new account

BMO’s Performance Chequing account provides unlimited transactions and transfers to customers at no cost. Unfortunately, like other big bank chequing accounts, this account pays no interest and comes with a high monthly fee of $16.95. The only way to waive that fee is to keep a minimum balance of $4,000. 

With BMO, you can add on the Savings Amplifier account, which will provide a base interest rate plus a special bonus rate. You will also get up to a $40 rebate on the annual fee of participating BMO credit cards and OnGuard Identity Theft Protection. 

7. RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account

  • Monthly Fees: $5.00 to $16.95
  • Interest Rate: 0.00%
  • Minimum Balance: Use other RBC products to lower monthly fee
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Current Promotions: Get a free Apple Watch when opening a new eligible account

The RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account is another big bank chequing account that pays no interest to users. Instead, RBC offers unlimited Interac eTransfers, Avion Rewards points, discounts on gas at Petro Canada, 3 non-RBC ATM transactions, and 5 free cross-border debits. 

Aside from the lack of interest, this account also has a minimum monthly fee of $5.00. There is no way to waive those fees entirely. There is also no minimum balance; instead, you need to use RBC’s other products to lower the monthly fees.

Read this RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account review for more details.

8. Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account

  • Monthly Fees: $0.00
  • Interest Rate: Up to 0.10%
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited

Tangerine is Canada’s oldest neobank and is owned by Scotiabank. Its No-Fee Daily Chequing Account comes with free Interac eTransfers and no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. It also provides free ABM access to all 3,500 Scotiabank ABMs and 44,000 more worldwide.

Unfortunately, you will not earn the highest interest rate, which is only 0.10%, unless you have a balance of over $100,000. You will also pay fees for using a non-Scotiabank ABM. If you are using the Tangerine Debit Card for purchases, it integrates directly with Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay. 

9. TD Unlimited Chequing Account

  • Monthly Fees: $0.00 to $16.95
  • Interest Rate: 0.00%
  • Minimum Balance: $4,000 to waive monthly fee
  • Transactions: Unlimited

The TD Unlimited Chequing Account is yet another big bank offering that earns no interest on your money. It also has a high monthly fee unless you hold a minimum balance of $4,000 or a discounted rate if you are a senior. TD charges hefty fees for cross-border ATM transactions outside of Canada. 

As a positive, TD does not charge fees for using a non-TD ATM within Canada. It also provides unlimited and free Interac eTransfers and up to $139 in rebates for TD credit card annual fees. This account is available through the TD mobile app which comes with the TD MySpend budget tracker tool. 

How To Open a Canadian Bank Account Online 

1. Compare Bank Accounts

Use our guide to choose the best bank account to open online in Canada. Always compare and try not to show too much loyalty to one particular bank. 

2. Fill Out an Application 

Apply for your new bank account by following the step-by-step instructions. This might require showing your identification and discussing things like your employment and household income. 

3. Verify Your Identity

Verify your identity with those pieces of government-issued identification. Most banks will require you to provide some sort of identification before opening your account. 

4. Receive Your Debit Card and Start Using Your Account

Once your identity has been verified, you can wait for the debit card and use it accordingly. 

Requirements to Open a Chequing Account Online Instantly in Canada

To open a chequing account online in Canada, you will need to provide some personal information and verify your identity. This includes information regarding your employment, annual household income, and value of assets. 

When opening a new chequing account online, you will typically require the following identity documents:

  • A valid piece of identification 
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Proof of residence 

Online Banks vs Traditional Bank Accounts 

The biggest difference between online and traditional bank accounts is that online banks can offer a much higher interest rate and lower fees. 

You will notice from the list that big banks rarely match the interest rates or no monthly fees. Instead, these big banks are cash-rich, so they pay out cash bonuses for joining and signing up for a new online chequing account. 

If you think online banks are less secure, you might be disappointed. All of the neobanks from above are insured by CDIC for up to $100,000. 

Pros and Cons of Opening a Bank Account Online

The biggest benefit to opening any bank account online is how fast and easy it has become. You can be banking within minutes of choosing the best bank account online. 

Mobile banking is a necessity for any online bank account these days. Given how much time we spend on our phones, mobile banking apps allow us to carry out our banking from anywhere. 

The downside to opening a bank account online is if you have any questions or concerns, you might not be able to reach customer support. 

How To Choose The Best Canadian Bank Account

When it comes to choosing the best Canadian bank account, you have two options: an online-based fintech company or one of the big legacy banks. 

As you can see from our list, online banks can provide higher interest rates and lower fees. When it comes to the big banks, you earn virtually no interest, but you get perks like unlimited transactions and a cash welcome bonus. 

Neobanks are a little less stable than the big banks, but deposits up to $100,000 are CDIC-insured, so your money is safe. 

In the end, choose which account suits your needs. For those looking to grow their money and do not mind an online experience, banks like Simplii, KOHO, and Tangerine will serve you well. For those looking for more stability and integration with existing products, then sticking with the big banks makes sense. 

FAQs

Can a foreigner open a Canadian bank account online? 

Yes! Most banks will allow you to sign up for a bank account if you are planning ahead to reside in Canada. You will need to show proper identification, but you are allowed to open a Canadian bank account online from anywhere. 

What is the easiest bank to get a loan in Canada? 

If you need a loan and do not want to go through a money lender, the National Bank of Canada is routinely named the easiest bank to secure a loan with. The truth is, banks will run similar checks on your financial background, so you will find similar results from most institutions. 

Can I open a bank account online and use it right away? 

Yes! As soon as you are approved and open your bank account, you can begin using it. You will have to deposit or transfer funds, but the account will be available right away. 

What bank account can I open online without ID?

None. In Canada, you are required to have a piece of identification to open a bank account online. If you do not have a photo ID, you will need to provide another piece like your Social Insurance Number or birth certificate. 

Related:

Top Banking Offers for June

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 Baggio Ma
Baggio Ma

Baggio Ma has written extensively on financial topics over the past several years. His work experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors has led to a special interest in personal finance-related topics. Baggio has written for several Canadian finance sites such as PiggyBank and Tech Daily. Baggio holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Victoria.

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