Cheat Sheet of Canadian Chequing Accounts

Cheat Sheet of Canadian Chequing Accounts

Being quite honest, deciding on what bank to deal with or which bank to switch to can be a real challenge. There are so many different chequing accounts that it’s hard to decide. To make the choice even more complicated, the big Canadian banks make it difficult to find the appropriate information on their websites. Thankfully, I did all the research for you! Everything is organized in one easy place. For simplicity, I’ve organized all the chequing accounts into four main categories that are based on transactional usage, specifically; Unlimited, medium, low and premium. Also, I’ve rated the best of each category and listed all the accounts at the end of the article. Note; a transaction is usually defined as anytime money is taken out of an account and typically exclude transfers within the same bank.

The key to picking the best account for yourself is to decide what YOU want from an account. This choice is based on how often you plan to use the account and if there are any extra services that bring value to you, for instance; free email money transfers, discounted safety deposit boxes, reward points and more. Ultimately, you want to get value from your account.

Selecting the right chequing account is essential to your financial health. This is the first article in a series on banking products, promotions and more. The next article in this series will be about online banks, such as PC Financial and Tangerine (available here). For easy access, I will also dedicate a future webpage for this series.

Please note, that this article assumes that you’re not eligible for any senior, student, or other account discount.

As always, please view our Financial Literacy Coaching sessions – here. All sessions are non-biased and presented in a relaxed environment. Thank you for your continued support of the Friendly Financial Coach, Toronto’s leading provider of Financial Literacy.

The Best Chequing Accounts

 

Unlimited Transactions

RBC is the clear winner of this category, their No-Limit Banking account is the cheapest of the five main banks, costing only $10.95 a month, which includes free paper statements. They also offer another version of this account called the Signature No Limit Banking for $14.95 a month, which is an expensive unlimited account, but offers several many additional benefits. These benefits include; 15 free e-transfers a month, free overdraft (excluding interest), 3 free withdrawals from non-RBC ATMs and more.

The other banks offer accounts that range from $12.95 to $14.95 and are fairly generic. Scotiabank waives the account fee if you have over $3,500 in the account for the whole month and CIBC gives you two free e-transfers.

Medium Transaction Usage (under 25 a month)

All of the banks have very similar medium usage chequing accounts that offer 25 transactions for $9.95 a month. The only difference is BMO who offers 30 transactions for $10.95. The winner of this category by a close margin is Scotiabank’s Basic Banking Plan, which offers to waive the monthly account fee if you keep $2,500 in the account for the whole month, this equates to an annual interest rate of about 5%. The close runner up is CIBC who offers one free e-transfer every month and only charges $1 for each transaction over 25.

The other banks offer similar accounts with nothing unique. It’s worth considering RBC’s No-Limit Account if you are thinking about getting a medium usage account.

Low Transaction Usage (Under 12 a month)

Easily the best choice is CIBC’s Everyday Chequing Account. This account offers 12 monthly transactions for $3.90 a month and will waive the fee if the balance stays above $1,000 for the whole month. The runner up is RBC, who offers 12 transactions for $4 a month and includes free monthly paper statements.

Yet again, the remainder of the banks offer pretty basic accounts that are quite similar. Scotiabank and TD bank limit how many times you can go into a branch and speak to a teller. In addition, TD’s account wasn’t readily advertised on their website and is called “Minimal,” which may be offensive to some.

Premium Chequing Accounts

When I was working at the bank, these were the type of accounts that no one really had. However, these accounts can be very useful and save you money if you use several banking services. The best premium account is RBC’s VIP Program, for $30 per month, which offers; other free accounts, free overdraft and free direct investment accounts. The runner up is BMO’s Premium Plan, at the same $30 per month, offering an option to waive the monthly fee if the account balance is over $5,000 (equates to about a 7% interest rate) and the option to use non-BMO ATMs.

The remaining accounts range from $28.95 to $30 and offer a wide array of extra services. If your considering this category it’s important to review all the accounts options because there may be some unique benefits that offer you value.

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
-Free paper Statements

RBC Signature No Limit Banking
-Monthly fee of $14.95
-15 free monthly e-transfers
-Free Overdraft (excluding interest)
-3 free monthly withdrawals at non-RBC bank ATMs
-5 free monthly cross border transactions
-Free Basic Cheques
-Free Paper Statements
-$39 fee discount on select credit cards
-6 free drafts a year

Scotiabank One Account
-Monthly fee of $12.95
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $3,500

TD Unlimited Chequing Account
-Monthly fee of $14.95
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $4,000
-$20 discount on selected credit cards
-Free international withdrawals from foreign TD bank machines

CIBC Unlimited Account
-Monthly fee of $13.95
-2 free e-transfers a month

BMO Performance Plan
-Monthly fee of $14.95
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $3,500
-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
-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.

Scotiabank Moneyback Account
-Monthly fee of $14.95
-Unlimited transactions at ATMs, but only 1 monthly transaction at tellers
-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 $9.95
-25 transactions a month
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $2,500
-$1 for each additional transaction
-Option to earn extra Scene Points and other rewards

CIBC Everyday Plus Account
-Monthly fee of $9.95
-25 transactions a month
-1 free e-transfer a month
-$1 for each extra transaction

BMO Plus Plan
-Monthly fee of $10.95
-30 Transactions a month
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $2,500

TD Every Day Chequing Account
-Monthly fee of $10.95
-25 Transactions a month
-Monthly fee waived if monthly balance is over $3,000
-$1.25 for each additional transaction

 

Low Transaction Usage

 

CIBC Everyday Account
-Monthly fee of $3.95
-12 transactions a month
-Monthly fee waived if monthly balance is over $1,000

BMO Practical Plan
-Monthly fee of $4
-Up to 12 monthly transactions
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $1,500
-$1.50 for each extra withdrawal

TD Minimal Account
-Monthly fee of $3.95
-Up to 12 transactions a month, with a max of 2 at tellers
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $2,000

RBC Day To Day Banking
-Monthly fee of $4
-Up to 12 monthly transactions
-$1 for each extra transaction

Scotiabank Moneyback Account
-Monthly fee of $3.95
-Up to 12 transactions a month, with a max of 4 at tellers
-Option to earn extra Scene Points and other rewards

 

Premium Accounts

 

RBC VIP Program
-Monthly fee of $30
-Unlimited Transactions
-Free Overdraft (excluding interest)
-Fees fully rebated for Premium Credit Cards
-Two free extra Canadian accounts and one free American account.
-Free Cheques
-Waived Self-Directed Investment Account Fees
-Discounts on Safety Deposit Boxes
-12 Free Drafts a Year
-Free paper statements
-Fees discounted on other products

BMO Premium Plan
-Monthly fee of $30
-Unlimited transactions
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $5,000
-10 free non-BMO withdrawals a month (does not waive fee charged by other bank.)
-5 free American ATM withdrawals a month (does not waive fee charged by other bank.)
-Free Overdraft (excluding interest)
-Free cheques
-Discounted safety deposit box
-Free money orders and drafts
-Earn 1 Air Mile for every $40 spent to a maximum 40 Air Miles a month. Air Miles are also given as incentives for other account behaviour.

TD All-Inclusive Plan
-Monthly fee of $29.95
-Unlimited transactions
-Unlimited free domestic and international non-TD withdrawals a month (does not waive fee charged by other bank.)
-Monthly fee waived if account balance stays over $5,000
-Fees fully rebated for select premium credit cards
-Free cheques
-Free small safety deposit box
-Free Canadian and US money orders and drafts
-Free paper Statements
-Fees waived and discounted on other TD products

CIBC PremiumService
-Monthly fee of $28.95
-Unlimited transactions
-Free overdraft (excluding interest)
-2 free e-transfers a month
-CIBC’s fee waived at all Canadian ATMs
-Fees fully rebated for Premium Credit Cards
-Free cheques
-Free drafts and money orders

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