The Best Chequing Accounts

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Note: This page was last updated on August 24th, 2017. Information is subject to change, and it’s important to verify the details with the financial institution before you open an account.

Choosing the best bank account can be challenging. There’s many different options out in the financial world and it can be difficult to even decide where to begin. Thankfully, the truth is that the best place to begin is by deciding what YOU want from your account.

Having the right account could easily save you hundreds of dollars a year and cut back on your financial stress.

  • First, how often do you plan to use your account? All account fees are based on estimated transactional usage, and it’s important to choose an account that matches your desired lifestyle.
  • Second, do you require any extra services? Such as; unlimited email money transfers, discounted safety deposit boxes, reward points and more.

For simplicity, I have arranged all of the chequing accounts into four main categories that are based on their recommended transactional usage, specifically; Unlimited, Medium, and Low. I have also highlighted the best accounts for each category.

Further accounts details can be found at the end of the article. You can find online, senior, student and youth options here.

As always, you can find out more about The Fiendly Financial Coach, Toronto’s only non-biased financial literacy coach, here. All coaching sessions are non-biased and presented in a relaxed environment.

The Best Chequing Accounts

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Unlimited Transactions 

RBC is the clear winner of this category, their No-Limit Banking account is the best unlimited account offered by the five main banks.  This account offers unlimited transactions, unlimited e-transfers, and paper statements for $10.95 a month. 

The runner-up is CIBC, whose Smart Account offers a variable monthly fee and unlimited e-transfers. The fee starts at $4.95 and won’t be more than $14.95 a month. The monthly fee can also be waived if the following stringent conditions are met; $3,000 must be in the account for a whole month, and either i) one monthly reoccurring direct deposit or ii) two monthly preauthorized withdrawals.

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Medium Transaction Usage (under 25 a month)

All of the banks have very similar medium usage chequing accounts that typically offer 25-30 transactions for $9.95-$10.95 a month. 

The winner of this category is RBC’s No Limit Banking account, which offers unlimited transactions and e-transfers. 

The Runner-up is The Bank of Montreal’s Plus Plan. This account offers 30 transactions for $10.95 a month, offers free e-transfers (within transaction limit), and also offers the option to waive the monthly fee if a minimum monthly balance of $3,000 is maintained.

 

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Low Transaction Usage (Under 12 Transactions a month)

The best choices are BMO’s Practical Plan, RBC’s Day to Day Banking, and CIBC’s Everyday Chequing Account. All of these accounts offer similar transaction limits at nearly the same price, but BMO offers the ability to send free e-transfers (within transaction limits) and waive the monthly account fee when $2,000 is held as a minimum balance. RBC and CIBC each only offer one of these benefits.

Well, that’s the run down of all the main banking accounts that are offered by Canada’s largest banks. As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please contact me at info@ffcoach.ca or 647-289-0012. Also don’t forget to sign-up to our amazing newsletter! 


Complete Chequing Account List

Unlimited Transaction

RBC No Limit Banking

  • Monthly fee of $10.95
  • Unlimited free e-transfers a month
  • Free paper Statements

CIBC Smart Account

  • Minimum fee is $4.95 (12 transactions) and $1.25 for each additional up to $14.95 for unlimited transactions.
  • Unlimited e-Transfers
  • Monthly fees are waived if the balance is always above $3,000 and there is either; i) one monthly direct deposit or ii) two pre-authorized monthly payments.

RBC Signature No Limit Banking

  • Monthly fee of $14.95
  • Unlimited e-transfers
  • Free Overdraft (must still pay interest)
  • 3 free monthly withdrawals at non-RBC bank ATMs
  • 5 free monthly cross border transactions
  • Free Basic Cheques
  • Free Paper Statements
  • $35 fee discount on select credit cards
  • 6 free drafts a year

Scotiabank One Account

  • Monthly fee of $13.95
  • 2 free monthly e-transfers/$1 for each extra
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $4,000
  • Offers extra benefits like Scene Points

TD Unlimited Chequing Account

  • Monthly fee of $14.95
  • Unlimited e-transfers
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $4,000
  • $20 discount on selected credit cards
  • No TD Fee at Canadian ATMs (however, ATM may still charge fee)
  • Free international withdrawals from foreign TD bank machines

BMO Performance Plan

  • Monthly fee of $14.95
  • Unlimited e-transfers
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $4,000
  • 1 free non-BMO withdrawal a month (does not waive fee charged by other bank.)

BMO Air Miles Plan

  • Monthly fee of $14.95
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited e-transfers
  • Earn 1 Air Mile for every $30 spent to a maximum 50 Air Miles a month. Air Miles are also given as incentives for other account transaction.

Scotia bank Momentum Account

  • Monthly fee of $15.95
  • Unlimited transactions at ATMs, but only 1 monthly transaction at tellers
  • 2 free e-transfers a month/$1 for each extra
  • Receive 1% on purchases (up to $30,000 annually). Note: Paid once a year and no payment will be made if account is closed, frozen or switched on the payment date.

Medium Transaction Usage

Scotiabank Basic Banking Plan

  • Monthly fee of $10.95
  • 25 transactions a month/$1.25 for each additional transaction
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $3,000
  • 2 free e-transfers a month/$1 for each extra after
  • Option to earn extra Scene Points and other rewards

CIBC Smart Account

  • Minimum fee is $4.95 (12 transactions) and $1.25 for each additional up to $14.95 for unlimited transactions.
  • Over 16 transactions will cause this account to cost more than others in its category.
  • Unlimited e-Transfers
  • Monthly fees are waived if the balance is always above $3,000 and there is either; i) one monthly direct deposit or ii) two pre-authorized monthly payments.

BMO Plus Plan

  • Monthly fee of $10.95
  • 30 Transactions a month/$1.25 for each extra
  • Unlimited free e-transfers (within transaction limits)
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $3,000

TD Every Day Chequing Account

  • Monthly fee of $10.95
  • 25 Transactions a month/$1.25 for each additional transaction
  • Monthly fee waived if monthly balance is over $3,000
  • Free e-transfers within transaction limits

Low Transaction Usage

CIBC Everyday Account

  • Monthly fee of $3.90
  • 12 transactions a month/$1.25 for every extra transaction
  • Monthly fee waived if monthly balance is over $2,000
  • Free Monthly Statements

BMO Practical Plan

  • Monthly fee of $4
  • Up to 12 monthly transactions/$1.25 for each extra transaction
  • Unlimited free e-transfers (within transaction limits)
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $2,000
  • Free Monthly Statements

TD Minimal Account

  • Monthly fee of $3.95/$1.25 for each extra transaction
  • Up to 12 transactions a month, with a max of 2 at tellers
  • Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $2,000
  • E-transfers are $0.50 for amounts under $100 and $1 for all amounts over $100

RBC Day To Day Banking

  • Monthly fee of $4
  • Up to 12 monthly transactions/$1 for each extra transaction
  • Unlimited free e-transfer (within transaction limits)
  • Free Paper statements 

Scotia Bank Basic Banking Account

  • Monthly fee of $3.95
  • Up to 12 transactions a month, with a max of 4 at tellers/$1.25 for each extra transaction
  • 2 free monthly e-transfers/$1 for each extra
  • Option to earn extra Scene Points and other rewards

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