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Scotiabank Newcomer To Canada Bank Account Offer and Review (2023)

The Scotiabank StartRight Program offers one of the best newcomers to Canada bank accounts with various welcome bonuses, savings, fee waivers, and more.

It is not the only one. Other banks like CIBC, RBC, BMO, and Simplii Financial have newcomer bank account offers that are worth checking out.

Read on to learn about Scotiabank’s newcomer offers available in 2023.

What is the Scotiabank StartRight Program?

The Scotiabank StartRight Program offers a complete banking package to new immigrants in Canada.

This includes landed immigrants, international students, and foreign workers.

Scotiabank is one of the five largest banks in Canada, with over 900 branches and 3,600 Automated Banking Machines (ABMs).

Its newcomer banking package makes it easy to access banking services, credit, and loan products even if you don’t have a credit history in Canada.

Scotiabank Newcomer Offers

The current newcomer offers by Scotiabank include significant savings and bonuses in your first year.

These offers include the following services:

  • Chequing account international money transfer
  • Self-directed trading on Scotia iTrade
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages

Scotiabank Newcomer Bank Account Offer

If you are a permanent resident who has been in Canada for less than 3 years or a foreign worker, you can apply for a Scotiabank Preferred Package account.

This chequing account has a $16.95 monthly fee; however, this fee is waived for the first 12 months.

This is a value of $203.40 in your first year (i.e. $16.95 x 12).

Newcomers can send unlimited free international money transfers (FX rates still apply), and the fee on a small safety deposit box is waived in the first year ($60 value).

All Scotiabank clients get a $350 welcome bonus when they open a Scotiabank Preferred Package Chequing account, and they complete at least two of the following activities within 60 days of opening the account:

  • Complete one online bill payment of at least $50 using the Scotiabank mobile app or Scotia Online Banking
  • Complete two separate recurring pre-authorized transactions of at least $50 per transaction per month for three consecutive months
  • Set up a recurring direct deposit, such as payroll or pension, that recurs monthly for at least three consecutive months.

International students can open a Student Banking Advantage Plan account.

Scotiabank Newcomer Credit Card Offer

Newcomers can apply for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite credit card and get up to a $15,000 credit limit.

You don’t need previous credit history in Canada to qualify; however, your limit will be based on your verifiable income and other credit factors.

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card has a $120 annual fee (waived in the first year) and offers:

  • 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bill payments, and subscription purchases (on up to $25,000 spent per year)
  • 2% cash back on gas and daily transit purchases ($25,000 spend limit), and
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Rewards: Earn 4% cashback on groceries & recurring bills; 2% cashback on gas & daily transit; 1% cashback on everything else.

Welcome offer: Earn 10% cashback in the first 3 months on up to $2,000 spent ($200 value).

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $120

International Students can apply for the SCENE Visa Card. Here are some other newcomer credit card options.

Scotiabank Newcomer Mortgage Offer

Permanent residents in Canada for five years or less can access Scotiabank’s newcomer mortgage program.

The bank offers fixed and variable-rate mortgages. Learn about some of the best mortgage rates in Canada.

Scotiabank Newcomer Investment Offer

If you are looking to open a self-directed investment trading account, Scotia iTrade offers newcomers ten free equity trades when you deposit a minimum of $1,000 in your trading account.

You can waive trading fees when you buy stocks and/or ETFs using a non-commission brokerage like Questrade or Wealthsimple Trade.


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How To Open a Scotiabank Newcomer Account

To open an account via the Scotiabank StartRight Program, you will need to book an appointment at a branch.

Make sure to attend your appointment with the appropriate documents.

Permanent resident:

  • Permanent Resident Card or Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • Government-issued photo ID, e.g. Passport or Canadian driver’s license

Foreign worker:

  • Canadian work permit
  • Government-issued photo ID, e.g. Passport or Canadian driver’s license

International student:

  • Proof of enrollment at an eligible post-secondary institution, such as your Student ID Card
  • Study permit or Temporary Resident Visa
  • Government-issued photo ID, e.g. Passport or Canadian driver’s license

Newcomer To Canada Bank Account Alternatives

New immigrants can also save on banking fees with the following free bank accounts.

Simplii Financial Newcomer Bank Account

You can open a Simplii no-fee chequing account up to 12 months before you land in Canada.

This online bank also offers a no-annual-fee cash back credit card with a credit limit of up to $10,000.

Like the Scotiabank newcomer credit card offer, you don’t need Canadian credit history to apply for the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card.

Simplii’s chequing account includes the following:

  • $400 sign-up bonus
  • Unlimited free debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers
  • Free personalized cheques
  • Access to 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada

It also pays you interest on your chequing account balance. Learn more in this review.

EQ Bank

EQ Bank offers a hybrid bank account that combines the features of savings and chequing accounts.

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account includes the following:

  • Unlimited free transactions (debits, deposits, and Interac e-Transfers)
  • No monthly account fees
  • 2.50% interest on your balance
  • Access to registered and non-registered accounts and more

This account does not offer cheques, and you don’t get a debit card.

It is best combined with a traditional chequing account, i.e. use it as your high interest savings account.

Learn more in this EQ Bank review.


KOHO offers a prepaid card account that works great for saving money, spending money, and earning cash back.

A KOHO Account is also best combined with a regular chequing account.

It offers:

  • Up to 5% cash back at partner retailers
  • Unlimited free debits and Interac e-Transfers
  • Competitive interest rate on your balance when you set up a direct deposit
  • Early access to a portion of your paycheque (3 days early), and more

Learn more in this KOHO review.

Scotiabank Newcomer FAQs

How do I open a bank account for new immigrants in Canada?

You can visit one of the banks with newcomer programs and bring along your PR Card and a Canadian driver’s license or your foreign passport.

What bank is best for newcomers in Canada?

The best bank for you as a newcomer will depend on your needs. You can apply for any of the newcomer offers on this page or also check out the newcomer offers by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank, and HSBC Bank Canada.


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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

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 is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

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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