EQ Bank recently introduced its Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and offers some of the best rates in Canada right now.
Given that savings rates are at the lowest we have seen in years, the 1.50%* interest rate on EQ Bank’s TFSA is a good deal.
And, it’s not only on savings. You can also access Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) with competitive rates and terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years.
EQ Bank’s TFSA Savings and GIC products do not incur monthly account fees and there’s no minimum balance for deposits.
This EQ Bank TFSA review covers everything you need to know. To get started right away, you can sign up here.
What is EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is an online bank and the direct banking arm of Equitable Bank. It offers the following savings products:
- EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
- EQ Bank Tax-Free Savings Account
- EQ Bank TFSA GICs
- EQ Bank Registered Savings Plan (RSP) Account
- EQ Bank RSP GICs
- EQ Bank Joint Accounts
- EQ Bank US Dollar Account
In addition to these accounts, you can also transfer money internationally via TransferWise right from your EQ Bank account dashboard.
Equitable Bank was founded in 1970 and has more than $42 billion in assets under management.
EQ Bank’s Tax-Free Savings Account
If you have been eligible to contribute to a TFSA account since it was introduced in 2009, your total contribution room as of 2022 is $81,500.
The annual TFSA limit for 2022 is $6,000, similar to what it was in 2021.
EQ Bank’s TFSA account offers an opportunity to earn tax-free returns with a high-interest rate of 1.50%*. What this means is that you won’t need to pay taxes on the interest earned – ever!
Benefits of an EQ Bank TFSA account include:
- A high standard interest rate of 1.50%
- No monthly fees
- No minimum balance
- No withdrawal fees
- Quick sign-up process with access to a mobile app and desktop web interface
- CDIC protection
EQ Bank TFSA GIC Rates
Instead of contributing your TFSA funds into a savings account, you can also use GICs. Guaranteed Investment Certificates pay you a guaranteed rate of interest for the term you select.
For example, if the 1-year GIC rate is 2.60%, this rate is locked-in and it won’t change during the 1-year period even if the Bank of Canada lowers its policy rate.
Although this is an advantage when rates are trending down, it could also mean you do not benefit from an upside in short-term interest rates.
Similar to a cash savings account, you can use GICs to save for medium-term financial goals.
EQ Bank’s TFSA GIC rates are some of the highest I could find in Canada as of April 11, 2022. To be frank, they beat the rates offered by big banks by a mile and then some.
The benefits you enjoy include high non-promotional interest rates, zero account fees, and no minimum balance.
The current EQ Bank TFSA GIC rates are:
- 3 months: 2.00%
- 6 months: 1.75%
- 9 months: 2.15%
- 1 year: 2.60%
- 2 years: 3.30%
- 3 years: 3.65%
- 4 years: 3.65%
- 5 years: 3.70%
What is a TFSA?
A TFSA is a registered account open to Canadians who are 18 years of age or older and have a valid social insurance number. This account is tax-free and this means you get to grow your account faster than if you paid taxes on your returns.
Each year, the federal government sets an annual limit for TFSA contributions. For example, the annual TFSA limit in 2022 is $6,000.
Canadians who have been eligible to contribute since 2009 will have a total TFSA contribution room of $81,500 starting on January 1, 2022.
A TFSA is flexible and can be used to save for various financial goals including a home down payment, wedding, vacation, and retirement.
It also holds much more than cash savings. You can invest your TFSA using ETFs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and GICs.
Learn about various TFSA Investments.
Is an EQ Bank TFSA Safe?
Online-only banks like EQ Bank and Tangerine are here to stay and they are no less secure than your traditional bank.
EQ Bank’s parent bank, Equitable Bank, is a federally regulated Schedule I bank that has been around for over 40 years.
It is also a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) which means that your deposits are protected up to $100,000 per category.
The total maximum amount you can hold across your EQ Bank TFSA and GIC accounts is $200,000.
To answer the question posed in the sub-heading, Yes, EQ Bank is safe and legit.
Is an EQ Bank TFSA Worth It?
If you are looking for a place to park your savings tax-free, the EQ Bank TFSA offers one of the best rates by far right now. Even better, it is “non-promotional” and is not time-limited as of this review.
To get started, sign up here and fund your account. You can also transfer a TFSA account from another financial institution to EQ Bank.
If you have maxed out your TFSA account or are looking to open a regular savings account, EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account currently offers a 1.50%* rate.
You can also open an EQ Bank RSP Savings Account and save towards retirement at a 1.50% rate.
EQ Bank TFSA Savings and GIC Accounts
EQ Bank’s TFSA account offers one of the best TFSA savings rates for cash and GICs in Canada. Learn about how it works in this review.