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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 (2.00%) 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:

  • 1 year: 1.50%
  • 2 years: 1.50%
  • 3 years: 1.50%
  • 4 years: 1.60%
  • 5 years: 1.80%

Get an EQ Bank GIC today!

Visit EQ Bank for a 2.00% 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: 1.60%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.80%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.90%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.00%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.15%

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: 1.85%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.95%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.05%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.15%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.30%

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: 1.95%
  • 2-year GIC: 2.05%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.15%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.20%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.30%

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: 1.50%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.70%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.80%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.90%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.00%

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: 1.95%
  • 2-year GIC: 2.00%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.10%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.15%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.20%

Visit: 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: 2.00%
  • 2-year GIC: 2.05%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.10%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.15%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.20%

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: 1.10%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.25%
  • 3-year GIC: 1.35%
  • 4-year GIC: 1.40%
  • 5-year GIC: 1.50%

Visit: Tangerine Bank. Tangerine Bank also offers one of the highest promotional interest rates on Savings at 2.50%.

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: 1.90%
  • 2-year GIC: 1.95%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.00%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.05%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.10%

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: 1.90%
  • 2-year GIC: 2.05%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.10%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.15%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.20%

Visit: 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: 2.00%
  • 2-year GIC: 2.05%
  • 3-year GIC: 2.10%
  • 4-year GIC: 2.20%
  • 5-year GIC: 2.25%

Visit: 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. Tangerine Savings and Chequing Offer: Tangerine Bank is currently offering a promotional rate of 2.50% (with this link) when you open a new High-Interest Savings Account.

They are also offering a $200 total cash bonus when you open a new no-fee chequing account and fund it with at least $250 plus switch your payroll or pre-authorized payments to Tangerine. Unlike the traditional chequing account, Tangerine will pay you interest on your chequing account balance as well!

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

This post was orinally published in 2018 and is updated regularly.

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