Top GIC Rates in Canada for 2021

A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) or High Interest Savings Account (HISA) are options for you if you are saving towards a short to medium term goal.

For example, say you are planning to buy a home in 3-5 years from now. You could put your money in the stock markets or a mutual fund, however, that’s a really risky udertaking.

If the financial markets suddenly tank (as they have in recent times), your funds could lose as much as half or more of their value without warning.

GICs and HISAs are relatively safe havens to park your money when you are going to need it to stay intact and earn at least some return. They are also great for investors with low-risk tolerance.

With these financial products, you enjoy peace of mind knowing that your principal is guaranteed and protected up to a specified amount.

The Best GIC Rates in Canada

The list below focuses on the most popular GIC-type i.e. traditional, non-registered, fixed-rate, non-redeemable GICs. As you can imagine, none of the best rates are offered by big banks. If you want a great GIC rate, your best bet is an online-only bank or credit union.

Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) offers protection to deposits owned by customers of its member-firms up to $100,000, while credit unions are insured provincially, and offer protection on up to 100% of your deposits, regardless of the amount.

Some of the best-rated GICs currently being offered include:

EQ Bank GIC

EQ Bank is CDIC-insured via their parent bank, Equitable Bank. They are popular for offering one of the best non-promotional High-Interest Savings Account rates (at 1.50%) and GIC packages.

EQ Bank clients have access to a mobile app that enables banking from anywhere. Their minimum deposit for GICs is an industry-low at $100. Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC and your deposits are protected up to $100,000.

Get more details in this EQ Bank review. Here are their current best GIC rates:

  • 3 month: 1.30%
  • 6 month: 1.30%
  • 1 year: 1.30%
  • 2 years: 1.30%
  • 3 years: 1.40%
  • 4 years: 1.60%
  • 5 years: 1.80%

Get an EQ Bank GIC today!

Visit EQ Bank for a 1.50% Savings Rate!

Motive Financial GIC

Motive Financial is CDIC-insured through the Canadian Western Bank. Founded in 1984, Motive Financial is an online-only bank with great HISA and GIC rates. Their current GIC offerings include:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.30%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.40%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.45%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.65%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.75%

Read Review: Motive Financial

Oaken Financial GIC

When you purchase a GIC from Oaken Financial, you can choose either Home Bank or Home Trust Company as your issuer. Both financial institutions are separate members of CDIC, so you can enjoy separate insurance coverage for your funds. Their current GIC offerings include:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.40%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.50%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.60%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.70%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.80%

Read Review: Oaken Financial

Peoples Trust

Founded in 1985, Peoples Trust offers mortgages, credit cards, GICs, and commercial loans. They are CDIC-insured and their current GIC rates include:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.55%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.60%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.60%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.65%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.80%

Read Review: Peoples Trust

motusbank GIC

motusbank is a digital bank owned by the popular Meridien Credit Union. They offer some of the best savings, GIC, mortgage, and personal loan rates in Canada. Their current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.40%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.20%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.30%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.40%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.50%

Read Review: motusbank

Hubert Financial GIC

Hubert Financial is operated by Sunova Credit Union, one of the top 100 credit unions in Canada. Your deposits are insured via Sunova under the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM).

Their product offerings include savings, TFSA, US$ savings, and investing via VirtualWealth. Current GIC rates include:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.30%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.40%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.50%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.60%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.70%

Read Review: Hubert Financial

AcceleRate Financial GIC

The parent company for AcceleRate Financial is Crosstown Civic Credit union. Accelerate offers savings and deposit products in non-registered, TFSA, RRSP, and RRIF accounts.

They are insured via DGCM. Current GIC rates being offered include:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.45%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.50%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.50%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.55%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.75%

Read Review: AcceleRate Financial

Tangerine Bank GIC

Tangerine Bank is CDIC insured via its parent – Scotiabank. Tangerine offers a full suite of banking products including mortgages, investments, chequing, savings, GICs, loans and credit cards. Their current GIC rates include:

  • 1-year GIC: 0.65%
  • 2-year GIC: 0.70%
  • 3-year GIC: 0.80%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.00%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.10%

Read review: Tangerine Bank

Ideal Savings GIC

Ideal Savings is owned by Carpathia Credit Union and was launched in 2016. Deposits are insured without limit through Carpathia under DGCM. Their current rates are:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.31%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.41%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.51%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.56%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.61%

Read Review: Ideal Savings

Implicitly Financial GIC

Implicitly Financial is managed by Entegra Credit Union and your deposits are insured via DGCM. They offer savings and deposit products in regular savings, TFSA, and RRSP accounts. Their current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.15%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.35%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.35%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.45%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.60%

Read Review: Implicitly Financial

Achieva Financial GIC

Achieva Financial is operated by Cambrian Credit Union and deposits are insured by DGCM. It was established in 1998 and offers savings and deposit products in RRSP, RRIF, regular savings and TFSA accounts. Their current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC: 1.50%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.55%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.55%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.60%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.75%

Read Review: Achieva Financial

What is a GIC?

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are a type of investment that pays you a guaranteed rate of return over a specified period of time. They are safe investments and as such work well in conservative investment portfolios or can represent some portion of the fixed income component of any portfolio.

GICs are similar to a savings account where you deposit money and are promised an annual interest rate by the bank. However, unlike a traditional savings account, a traditional GIC usually locks-in your money for the period of time specified in your contract i.e. your funds are not cashable (or redeemable) until maturity.

For example, a 1-year fixed rate non-redeemable GIC means that if you want to withdraw your funds before 1 year has elapsed, you will pay a penalty.

There are GICs that offer more flexibility and allow you to withdraw your money before maturity. These are known as Cashable or Redeemable GICs. The interest rates offered on these GICs are lower than what is available for a similar non-redeemable GIC and an identical term.

The interest rate on most GICs is fixed. However, there are also options to earn variable interest  (variable-rate GICs) or even have the return tied to the performance of the stock market (market-linked GICs).

A GIC can be held in registered (TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF) or non-registered accounts.

For more on the basics of GICs, check out my post on GICs and their place in your investment portfolio.

The advantages and disadvantages of GICs are similar to those of high-interest savings accounts. For more information on their pros and cons, read – The Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada.

GIC FAQs

Who has the best GIC rates in Canada?

The best GIC rates are always changing as banks vary their rates in relation to the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate, their in-house prime rate, demand for deposits and loans, economic factors, and other factors. In general, you will find the most competitive GIC rates to be offered by online banks and credit unions.

Can you lose money in a GIC?

GICs are guaranteed investments which means you are guaranteed to get back your principal plus a certain percentage of interest. The returns for market-linked GICs are tied to the performance of the benchmark index or security and your rate of return is not fixed. GICs with terms longer than 5 years are not covered by CDIC insurance and you could potentially lose money if the bank becomes insolvent.

What are the risks of a GIC?

GICs are generally safer than stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. Some of the risks you face include liquidity risk in that you are unable to cash out your money tied in a non-redeemable GIC before maturity without incurring a penalty. Also, the rate of return on your GIC may not keep up with the inflation rate.

Bonus

1. EQ Bank TFSA and RRSP Savings Rates Offer: EQ Bank is offering a non-promotional 2.30%* rate on its TFSA and RRSP savings accounts. You can get the TFSA rate or RRSP rate here.

2. Free Credit Score: Get your FREE Credit Score and Credit Report from Borrowell. It is also updated every week for free!

Learn about the best GIC rates available in Canada and start earning more in returns on your money. #GIC #interestrates #savemoney #invest #moneytips #makemoney #personalfinance
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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 and monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell.

18 thoughts on “Top GIC Rates in Canada for 2021”

  1. Hi Enoch, the rate for one year is really not bad. It looks the rate has gone up lately. The CD (Certificate of Deposit) in US is similar to the GIC in Canada, and the one-year CD is around 2.2% now. I miss the rate of 11 years ago, when the one-year CD was around 5.25%. That was sweet. Have a great day.

    Reply
  2. Hi Enoch,

    It nice to see interest rates are starting to rise. (helps my fixed income investments) The older I get the more conservative I am.

    Reply
    • Hey Steve. They will probably rise some more in the coming months which is great. That being said, anyone who has to take out a personal loan or credit should also expect to pay more in interest, since banks are going to make money, whichever way!

      Reply
  3. Since the last few weeks interest rates, bonds, GIC’s have really decreased alot. It seems rates are now going to be cut by the Bank of Canada and U.S. federal Reserve. I am hearing alot of talk about this.

    Is it possible we will see GIC rates for 5 years go below 2% ans shorter terms in the 1% to below 2% again? It is getting really bad for responsible, prudent savers and looks like a repeat of the last past period of 2015 to 2017 when rates were getting very low.

    Reply
  4. Can I invest a larger amount than 5500 from TFSA to GIC with no penalty? Or If larger amount does only the 5500 plus interest get deposited back or all of invested amount.

    Reply
    • @Michael: The amount of money you can invest in your TFSA depends on your available contribution room. If you have been eligible to contribute to a TFSA account since it’s inception in 2009 but have not contributed at all, you have $63,500 in TFSA contribution room.

      You can check your total contribution room for 2019 by visiting your CRA MyAccount.

      Reply
  5. Hi there! I simply wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the good info you’ve gotten right here on this post. I will probably be coming again to your blog for more soon.

    Reply
  6. Let me correct myself. I missed some of the fine print myself. The Tangerine promotional 2.75 percent annual rate over 6 months is 1.375 percent, but then continues at their regular rate of 1.1 percent. So that works out to 1.375 plus 1.1 for a combined annual rate of 2.475 percent.

    Reply
    • No, I think the interest rate works out to 2.0625% on a yearly basis, and not 2.475%. Assume you have $100 to invest for a year at 2.75%, you would earn $2.75 on a yearly basis, But since you only earn this interest rate for 6 months, the amount you actually earn would be half of this, or $1.375. Also, assume you had a $100 to invest for a year at 1.375%, you would earn $1.375 on a yearly basis, or $0.6875 for 6 months. Now if you add $1.375 for the first 6 months to the 0.6875 for the second 6 months, you earn $2.0625, or 2.0625% on the $100 over a period of a year.

      Reply
  7. Hi, Omololu
    I’ll be retiring (at 60yrs)from my home country in July and arrive Winnipeg hopefully with my retirement benefits(approx CAD$100K) sometime in late August 2020.
    1. What would be my best investment option, assuming I am unable to find work

    2. In the case of the GIC which would be the best? Registered or not registered, given my circumstance.

    By the way, I am a PR that did a soft landing in Winnipeg September 2019, and only came back to my home country to complete my work term from which i will be retiring in July 2020 as indicated above.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • @Felix: For retirement investing, it’s best to discuss with a financial planner as they would take a close look at your overall finances in order to work out a longterm plan.

      In general, you would want to maximize the use of tax-free and tax-deferred registered accounts where possible, such as TFSAs and RRSPs. If you haven’t worked in Canada, you would not have accumulated RRSP contribution room.

      With regards to a TFSA, I think you would already have a contribution room of $12,000 ($6,000 for 2019 and $6,000 for 2020) since you became a permanent resident in 2019.

      GICs are great for holding money you may need in the short to medium-term. For longer-term investing, you may want to take a look at mutual funds and ETFs while keeping it in mind that your portfolio should reflect your risk tolerance and investment time frame.

      If you decide to work, your earned income creates RRSP contribution room and you can contribute to an RRSP until around age 70, after which it has to either be withdrawn as cash, converted into an RRIF, or used to purchase an annuity. You can also do a combination of these options.

      This post below may shed more light on how retirement income works in Canada:

      https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/a-complete-guide-to-canadas-retirement-income-system/

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
    • @Ly: You are right. Deposits such as chequing, savings, HISA, and GICs are protected by CDIC. Your mutual fund account is protected through the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) if your investment provider is a member.

      Reply
  8. Interest rates should have went up a few years back, now we are in a crisis and have no interest rates to drop to save the economy. .Maybe next time around bank of Canada will rise rates back to normal around 10% in case we have another calamity if it is not already to late.

    Reply
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