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The Best Chequing Account Offers – March 2024

To the point Here are the best chequing account offers in Canada. Get a welcome bonus and save on your bank charges.

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Here’s a roundup of the best chequing account offers currently available in Canada this month, chosen from our chequing account comparison tool:

Chequing Accounts - Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Here are the chequing account offers currently available from Bank of Montreal (BMO).

BMO Performance Chequing Account

With the BMO Performance Chequing Account, you can earn up to a $600 cash bonus:

  • Earn $350 when you open a new BMO Performance or Premium Plan Chequing Account and make a deposit of any amount by February 29, 2024.
  • Earn $200 when you open a Savings Amplifier Account, make a deposit of $10,000 or more by February 29, 2024 and maintain that balance at all times until May 31, 2024.
  • Earn an extra $50 when you invite a family member as part of a BMO Family Bundle and have them open their account by February 29, 2024.

You can also get up to a 5.50% promo interest rate when you add a BMO Savings Amplifier Account.

In addition, you can benefit from:

  • Unlimited number of current banking transactions
  • Up to $40 off the annual fee for eligible BMO credit card

Get it all for a fee of $15.95 per month – or without a monthly fee if you maintain a minimum balance of $4,000.

Chequing Accounts - Scotia

Here are the chequing account offers currently available from Scotiabank.

Scotiabank Ultimate Package Chequing Account

Right now, when you open a new Scotiabank Ultimate Package, you can get a $350 bonus!

To get this promotion, you must set up two pre-authorized debits (like Hydro-Québec and Bell, for example) and make a bill payment of at least $50 (like your mobile provider).

Scotiabank’s Ultimate Package includes a number of attractive benefits:

  • Annual-fee Rebate (up to $150) on specific credit cards such as Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card or Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* Card.
  • Unlimited free Global non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawals
  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • Unlimited no-fee Scotia International Money Transfers
  • Unlimited Interac e-Transfer transactions
  • No monthly Overdraft Protection fee
  • Free personalized cheques and drafts
  • Earn Scene+ points
  • No monthly account fee on a Scotia U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account
  • $55 annual fee waiver (equivalent to a small safety deposit box)

Scotiabank Preferred Package

Right now, when you open a new Scotiabank Preferred Package, you can get a $350 bonus!

To get this promotion, you must set up two pre-authorized debits (like Hydro-Québec and Bell, for example) and make a bill payment of at least $50 (like your mobile provider).

Scotiabank’s Essential Package has the following key features:

  • Unlimited Interac Debit and Transfer transactions
  • First-year annual fee waiver on select credit cards (up to $150)
  • Enjoy a high interest rate on your Momentum Savings Account for 5 months
  • Benefit from a high interest rate on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account for 5 months
  • Preferred rates on some GICs
  • Fee waived on one non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawal per month in Canada

Chequing accounts - EQ Bank

This is the current EQ Bank chequing account offer:

Chequing Accounts - EQ Bank Personal Account

The EQ Bank Personal Account (formerly known as the Savings Plus Account) is a no-fee account that offers a generous 4.00%* interest rate to all customers on everyday banking services:

  • 2.50% interest on everyday banking services
  • Plus 1.50% bonus interest* when you direct deposit your pay

This account also offers several free features, such as:

  • Interac e-Transfers®
  • Everyday banking operations
  • Bill payments
  • Deposits and withdrawals

Finally, there is no minimum balance required for this type of account.

What are the different types of chequing accounts?

Essential chequing account

This account is the most straightforward version of a chequing account. It’s ideal for those looking to carry out basic transactions such as cash withdrawals and cheque payments. For example, Scotiabank’s Basic Banking Account or National Bank’s The Modest Chequing Account.

No-Fee Chequing Account

This account is appealing to those wishing to avoid monthly fees. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that one-off costs may arise for special services, such as overdrafts or the use of ATMs that are not part of the bank’s network. For example, the EQ Bank Personal Account or the Tangerine chequing account.

Premium chequing account

This top-of-the-range account offers exclusive benefits such as free international money transfers and preferential exchange rates. It usually comes with a higher monthly fee, unless you maintain a minimum daily balance. Examples include the HSBC Advance Chequing Account, the BMO Performance Chequing Account, the Scotiabank Ultimate Package and the NBC The Total Chequing Account.

Digital Chequing Account

Offered by online banks (but also some traditional banks like NBC The Connected Chequing Account), this account provides the same benefits as a conventional account but without the option of in-branch services. Everything is managed via an app or website, making it convenient for the technology-savvy.

New Arrivals Chequing Account

This account is for people who have just arrived in Canada. It often offers benefits such as exemption from monthly fees for a limited period. Examples include the BMO Performance Chequing Account for Newcomers, the HSBC Newcomer Program and the NBC Chequing Account for Newcomers to Canada.

Student Chequing Account

This account is designed for post-secondary students and offers unlimited transactions with no monthly fees. Proof of enrolment at an educational institution is generally required. Like the BMO Student Performance Chequing Account or the HSBC Student Chequing Account.

Youth Chequing Account

Aimed at young people and teenagers, this account offers benefits similar to those of the student account but without the need to be enrolled in an educational establishment. The age limit for this type of account varies from bank to bank.

Senior Chequing Account

Some banks offer special accounts for older people, with benefits such as free paper bank statements and unlimited transactions for little or no monthly fee.

Joint chequing account

Two or more people share this account and allows each account holder to make transactions, deposits and withdrawals.

Foreign currency and USD accounts

These accounts make it possible to manage funds in different currencies, which is useful for those who do business or frequently travel abroad.

Business Chequing Account

This account is tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs and businesses, with fee structures that vary according to company size and needs.

Frequently asked questions about chequing accounts

Which are the best Canadian banks for chequing accounts?

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When it comes to top-quality chequing accounts in Canada, EQ Bank and Tangerine stand out. These banks offer free accounts with unlimited transactions and a multitude of features. For fee-paying accounts, BMO and National Bank offer the best value for money.

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Is it possible to open a chequing account with no monthly fees?

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Yes, many chequing accounts are available with no monthly fee. For example, EQ Bank’s Personal Account and Tangerine’s no-fee current chequing account are two popular options. However, charges may apply for specific services.

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At what age can I open a chequing account in Canada?

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Most Canadian banks allow young people aged 13 and over to open a chequing account with the authorization of a parent or guardian. Anyone with the age of majority in their province can open a chequing account.

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How do I get a bonus when I open a chequing account?

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For an opening bonus, look for accounts that offer a welcome promotion, such as Tangerine’s no-fee chequing account or BMO’s Performance Chequing Account. You may need to keep your account open for a certain period to be eligible.

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Where can I find my chequing account number?

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Each chequing account has three numbers: a 3-digit institution number indicating the bank, a 5-digit transit number indicating the branch and a 7-digit account number. You can find these numbers on a cheque or online banking portal.

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How do I close a chequing account?

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You can close a chequing account in person or by telephone. Make sure your account has sufficient funds to cover any charges before closing.

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Do chequing accounts earn interest?

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Most chequing accounts in Canada offer little or no interest. A notable exception is the EQs Bank Current Account, which offers an interest rate of 2.5% to 4% on all deposits.

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What is the maximum overdraft limit for my chequing account?

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Most banks require that you apply and be approved for overdraft protection. The amount of your authorized overdraft generally ranges from $100 to $5,000, depending on your credit history and income.

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What is overdraft protection?

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Overdraft protection allows you to maintain a negative balance in your chequing account for a short period of time. Overdraft fees may apply on a monthly or per-use basis, and interest charges may also apply.

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Are chequing accounts secure in Canada?

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Canadian chequing accounts are extremely secure. Deposits are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, which protects your balance up to $100,000 in the event of your bank’s insolvency. What’s more, many banks offer zero liability on fraudulent purchases made with your debit card.

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When to use a chequing account

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Use a chequing account for day-to-day banking, including purchases, bill payments, direct deposits, transfers, ATM withdrawals and recurring payments. Using a chequing account to save or invest money is not recommended.

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What's the best bank to open an account with?

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Choosing the right bank depends on your financial needs, lifestyle and spending habits. Some people open multiple accounts with different providers to take advantage of rewards programs or account features.

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How many chequing accounts can I have?

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There is no limit to the number of chequing accounts you can open. You can even have several chequing accounts with the same provider. However, monthly fees for multiple accounts can put a strain on your budget.

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What's the difference between a chequing account and a savings account?

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While chequing accounts are intended for day-to-day transactions, savings accounts are designed to hold a sum of money over a longer period. What’s more, savings accounts generally offer higher interest rates.

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Do I need a chequing account?

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Yes, it’s probably necessary to have a checking account to earn money and pay bills. Most employers and the Canada Revenue Agency make payments either by cheque or by direct deposit into your chequing account.

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How can I avoid bank charges in Canada?

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To avoid banking fees in Canada, opt for online banks that offer accounts with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements and unlimited transactions. You should also be aware of the limits of each type of transaction to avoid additional charges.

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Jean-Maximilien
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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