12 Best Banks in Canada for 2023

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Canada is known for many things, least of all its banks. Keep reading to learn more about the best banks in Canada, including a few you’re probably familiar with.

Did you know that over 280,000 Canadians are employed by banks in Canada?

Banking in the Great White North may look slightly different than the largest banks in the United States, but you can still find some of the best banks in Canada.

Like in America, Canada has its fair share of large national banks that serve most Canadian residents.

Known as the Big Six, these banks offer Canadians the convenience of banking in almost every territory.

However, you can also bank regionally and locally to find lower rates, more personalized service, and charitable initiatives to support the community.

Regardless of which bank you choose, you have plenty of options to consider.

Indeed, many of the banks below offer full-service banking under one roof. You may also find that some banks offer welcome bonuses and other perks for new members. 

Are you ready to learn more about the best banks in Canada? Let’s get started!

12 Best Banks in Canada

If it pleases you, here are the dozen best banks in Canada. You don’t have to speak French as a prerequisite to open a bank account either.

Note that in Canada, checking accounts are called “chequing” accounts. You’ll also come across GICs, or “guaranteed investment certificates,” the Canadian version of certificates of deposit (CDs).

1. BMO

bmo logo

Bank of Montreal (BMO) is the sixth largest national bank in Canada with over 900 physical branches and and was founded in 1817.

Beinging one of the Big Six, they offer online, telephone, and mobile banking to anyone looking for a full-service bank. 

BMO offers five different chequing accounts: 
  • Premium Chequing
  • Performance Chequing
  • Plus Chequing
  • AIR MILES Chequing
  • Practical Chequing 

Monthly fees for these accounts range from $4 for the Practical Chequing Account to $30 for the Premium Chequing Account. Accounts come with access to over 1,400 ATMs throughout Canada.

BMO offers several of the best bank account bonuses depending on which account you open and what requirements you meet.

You can also open any of these four savings accounts: 
  • Savings Amplifier 
  • Savings Builder
  • Premium Rate Savings
  • U.S. Dollar Premium Rate Savings 
Bank of Montreal also offers: 
  • GICs
  • Business banking
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
  • Investment accounts 

You also have access to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), a tax-free savings account (TFSA), or a registered education savings plan (RESP) with BMO. This Canadian bank also offers over a dozen credit cards.

2. Neo Financial 

neo financial logo

This financial technology, or “fintech” company offers several accounts that make it easy to see what you’re getting: 

  • Neo Credit: With no annual fee, this cashback credit card doesn’t require a security deposit and allows you to earn unlimited cashback.
  • Neo Money: This spending and savings account offers high-interest rates at 2.25% on your balance. There’s no monthly fee or minimum opening deposit, and you get free everyday transactions.
  • Neo Secured Credit: This guaranteed-approval card is fee-free and offers cashback and helps build your credit safely when you make on-time payments.
  • Neo Mortgage: This service works best for first-time home-buyers. 
  • Neo Invest: Plan for your future with a professionally managed portfolio, starting at only $1. 

You can access your account through Neo’s mobile app. The app also lets you set transaction alerts, view cashback offers, and monitor your balance.

3. CIBC

cibc logo

You can find branches for The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in nearly every province, with over 3,400 ATMs available throughout the country.

CIBC offers several types of bank accounts, everything from chequing and savings accounts to GICs, credit cards, business banking, and investment accounts.

CIBC offers some of the best bank accounts in Canada where you can manage your accounts the way you like with top-ranked online and mobile banking, plus one of the largest ATM networks across Canada.

CINBC offers these three chequing accounts: 
  • CIBC Everyday Chequing: This entry-level account costs $4 monthly and allows up to 12 free monthly transactions. 
  • CIBC Smart Chequing: This account costs up to $16.95 per month, depending on how many transactions you make. 
  • CIBC Smart Plus Chequing: You get free unlimited transactions with this account and free non-network ATM withdrawals and fee rebates. 

You can access your CIBC account online, on your smartphone, or over the phone.

Choose from four savings accounts, each of which earns a respectable APY: 
  • CIBC Bonus Savings Account
  • CIBC eAdvantage Savings Account
  • CIBC Premium Growth Account
  • CIBC US$ Personal Account

Candian Imperial Bank also offers over 20 different credit cards you can apply for, including the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite and the AC Conversion Visa prepaid card. You’ll also find RRSPs, TFSAs, and RESPs at CIBC.

4. HSBC Bank Canada

hsbc logo

In Canada, HSBC operates as HSBC Bank Canada, offering various banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, and institutions.

HSBC Bank Canada provides services such as personal and business banking, mortgages, loans, credit cards, and investment products.

HSBC Bank Canada serves over 40 million customers with several deposit accounts.

Choose from the following five chequing accounts: 
  • HSBC Premier
  • HSBC Advance
  • Performance Chequing – Unlimited 
  • Performance Chequing – Limited
  • Student Chequing Account 

The Student Chequing Account is free and has unlimited transactions. The Performance Chequing accounts have low monthly fees, but you’ll find the most value (at a higher monthly cost) in the Premier and Advance accounts. 

Depending on your balance, you can waive the monthly fees for these two top-tier accounts. You can waive the monthly fees if you have deposit and investment accounts. 

HSBC also offers several savings accounts: 
  • High Rate Savings Account
  • Tax-Free Savings Account
  • Youth Savings Account

You can also choose from several foreign currency savings accounts depending on your preferred currency. HSBC also offers several credit cards you can apply for.

5. KOHO

koho logo

KOHO is a free spending and savings account where you can get instant cash back and earn interest on your entire account.

You get a prepaid reloadable Mastercard that gives you all the spending power of a credit card without any fees or interest.

With a KOHO card you can only draw from funds that are already yours, unlike a credit card. This key difference makes you spend more mindfully and effectively save more. It’s connected to a smart budgeting app that simplifies day-to-day finances with spending insights and balance updates after each purchase.

As a result, the average KOHO user saves 7% of whatever money they load into their account.

KOHO offers four plans you can choose from. You can switch your plan as often as you like at the end of the month.

There are plans to choose from:
  • Easy: This free account comes with a virtual and physical card you can use to spend your balance. You also get 1% cashback and a decent APY on your balance. You can also use RoundUps to save and pay $10 monthly to build your credit. 
  • Essential: This account costs $4 monthly and offers a higher APY. You can also build your credit for only $7 monthly.
  • Extra: This account comes with the same $7 monthly credit-building fee, but you also must pay $9 monthly to maintain the account. You can earn up to 6% cashback through Booking.com and get a free international ATM withdrawal monthly. 
  • Everything: For $19 monthly, you get the same Booking.com cashback deal, a free international ATM withdrawal, and real-time eTransfers. Building your credit only costs you $5 monthly. 

KOHO offers a secured or unsecured line of credit to build your credit. You can also open both if you want. 

KOHO reports your payments to Equifax monthly. There are no applications or interest, and you can get up to $500 in credit.

6. Manulife Bank

manulife logo

You won’t find any physical Manulife Bank branches in Canada. Instead, this bank offers mobile and online banking so you can manage your funds from anywhere in Canada.

You can choose from two accounts with Manulife Bank: 
  • All-In Banking Package: For $10 monthly, you get an impressive APY on your balance and unlimited transactions. You can also earn your monthly fee back when you grow your account by $100 or more during that month.
  • Advantage Account: This account comes with no monthly fee or transaction fees when you maintain a $1,000 minimum balance. You earn a higher APY with this account. 

Manulife Bank also offers GICs, business banking, credit cards, investment accounts, and mortgages. There are over 3,500 ATMs to access your account conveniently and two credit cards to help you build your credit. 

7. Motusbank

motusbank logo

Motusbank, despite the name, is actually Canada’s largest credit union.

This credit union offers the following services: 

Motusbank works with over 3,000 EXCHANGE ATMs in Canada and over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs in the States. This makes it a good bank if you travel a lot between the two countries. 

However, Motusbank doesn’t offer lines of credit or credit cards. You can get investment help from a financial advisor, but Motusbank doesn’t provide in-person services.

8. National Bank of Canada

national bank of canada logo

The sixth largest bank in Canada, the National Bank of Canada, offers over 3,300 ATMs and operates nearly 400 branches in Ontario and Quebec. It is headquartered in Montreal and provides banking services in both French and English. 

You can choose from several chequing accounts at the National Bank of Canada: 
  • The Minimalist
  • The Modest
  • The Connected
  • The Total

The National Bank of Canada also offers a youth bank account. Chequing account fees range from just under $3.95 to $28.95 monthly. 

This Canadian bank offers eight credit cards, GICs, mortgages, investment accounts, and insurance. You can also open a High-Interest Savings Account. 

9. Royal Bank of Canada

rbc logo

The Royal Bank of Cananda is a national bank in Canada and offers customers comprehensive personal and business banking products and services.

This national bank, along with its subsidiaries, employs about 87,000 people and serves nearly 17 million customers.

Choose from the following chequing accounts: 
  • RBC Day to Day Banking
  • RBC Advantage Banking
  • RBC Signature No Limit Banking
  • RBC VIP Banking 

You can also pair these accounts with one of many credit cards.

RBC also offers four savings accounts: 
  • High-Interest eSavings
  • Enhanced Savings
  • Day to Day Savings
  • U.S. High-Interest eSavings 

When you link your debit card, you can get up to 20% more Petro-Points at select Petro-Canada gas stations. This is in addition to a $0.03 per liter savings you’re already welcome to as an RBC member. 

10. Scotiabank

scotiabank logo

Bank of Nova Scotia, otherwise known as Scotiabank, is a full-service bank that offers the following: 

  • Chequing and savings accounts
  • GICs
  • Business banking
  • Credit cards
  • Various loans, including mortgages 
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) 
  • Investment accounts
  • Travel and creditor insurance 
  • RRSP, TFSA, and RESP 

Here’s a quick summary of the five chequing accounts Scotiabank offers: 

Student BankingBasic AccountBasic PlusPreferred PackageUltimate Package
Debit transaction capUnlimited 12 per month25 per monthUnlimited Unlimited 
Monthly fee$0$3.95$11.95$16.95$30.95
Min balance to waive monthly feeNoneNone$3,000$4,000$5,000
Special features Senior discount, earn Scene+ points, up to $150 waived in credit card fees, savings interest rate boost, unlimited free non-network ATM withdrawals per month, free checksSenior discount, earn Scene+ points, up to $150 waived in credit card fees, savings interest rate boost, one free non-network ATM withdrawal per monthSenior discount, earn Scene+ pointsSenior discount, earn Scene+ pointsEarn Scene+ points, $100 welcome bonus
Scotiabank also offers several savings accounts, including: 
  • MomentumPLUS Savings Account
  • Savings Accelerator Account
  • Money Master Savings Account
  • Scotia U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account
  • Scotia Euro Daily Interest Savings Account

With a MomentumPLUS Savings Account, you can earn a significant base rate APY. You can also upgrade to a more substantial APY depending on how long you maintain your balance and if you have a chequing account with Scotiabank. 

There are over 900 Scotiabank branches in Canada. You can also visit Scotiabank online or via your mobile phone. 

11. Tangerine 

tangerine logo

As the direct banking arm of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Tangerine is one of the best digital banks in Canada.

It’s ideal for those who want to bank on the go without worrying about visiting a physical branch for their banking needs. 

Tangerine offers a slew of deposit accounts, including the No-Fee Daily Chequing account.

This free account includes:
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited free debit transactions and email money transfers
  • Free access to over 3,500 ATMs
  • Up to 0.01% interest on your account balance
  • Mobile check deposits
  • A free first checkbook of 50 checks
You can also choose from five savings accounts:
  • A high-yield Savings Account
  • Tax-Free Savings Account
  • RSP Savings Account
  • US$ Savings Account
  • RIF Savings Account  
In addition to five GICs, Tangerine also offers two cashback credit cards: 
  • Tangerine Money-Back Card: Earn up to 2% cash back on purchases and pay no annual fee. Cardholders receive unlimited cashback in three spending categories and 0.5% cashback on all other purchases. 
  • Tangerine World Mastercard: Travelers will love the cashback offers this card provides, including premium rental car perks and a complimentary Mastercard Airport Experiences membership. There’s no annual fee, and you get free WiFi at over 1 million hotspots worldwide. 

You can find a few Tangerine cafes and kiosks in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, and Toronto. 

12. TD Bank

td bank logo

Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank operates over 1,000 branches in 10 provinces in Canada. You can also access your account(s) via 2,6800 ATMs nationwide. 

This Canadian bank is best for those who want a full-service bank that’s also available in the United States.

TD Bank offers:
  • Chequing and savings accounts
  • GICs
  • Credit cards
  • Investment accounts
  • Business banking
  • Mortgages
  • HELOCs
  • RRSPs, TFSAs, and RESPs

The following chequing accounts range from $3.95 to $29.95 monthly. However, the TD Student Chequing Account is free with proof of enrollment until the student is 23 years old. 

  • TD Youth Account
  • TD Student Chequing Account
  • TD Minimum Chequing Account
  • TD Unlimited Chequing Account
  • TD Every Day Chequing Account
  • TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan 
You can also choose from three savings accounts.  
  • TD ePremium Savings
  • TD Every Day Savings
  • TD High-Interest Savings  

TD Bank is also one of the largest banks in the U.S. and offers online and mobile banking. In Canada, however, TD Bank advertises longer hours and Saturday hours, similar to American banks open on Sunday.

How Do I Choose the Best Bank in Canada for Me?

Selecting the best bank in Canada for your needs involves careful consideration of several factors. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:

Define Your Needs and Priorities

Before you start your search for the best bank in Canada, take a moment to identify your specific financial needs and priorities. Are you a student looking for a simple chequing account, an individual seeking a high-interest savings account, or someone interested in comprehensive investment and retirement planning? Understanding your financial goals will help you narrow down your options effectively.

Research Available Banks

Canada offers a diverse range of banks and financial institutions catering to various needs. Alongside the well-known major banks like RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO, and CIBC, consider exploring credit unions and online banks. Credit unions often provide personalized services and community-focused banking, while online banks can offer competitive interest rates and convenient digital banking experiences.

Evaluate Account Fees

When comparing banks, carefully review the account fees associated with their services. These fees can include monthly maintenance charges, transaction fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and overdraft fees. Seek out banks that provide transparent fee structures, and assess whether you can qualify for fee waivers based on factors such as maintaining a minimum balance or signing up for specific account types.

Interest Rates

Interest rates play a crucial role, especially if you're considering savings or investment accounts. Higher interest rates on savings accounts, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), or high-yield savings accounts can contribute to more significant returns over time. Research and compare the rates offered by different banks to determine which aligns with your financial objectives.

Accessibility and Convenience

The accessibility of branches and ATMs is essential, particularly if you prefer in-person banking. Choose a bank with branch locations that are convenient to your home, workplace, or other frequently visited areas. Additionally, inquire about the bank's ATM network and whether they offer fee-free access to a substantial number of ATMs across the country.

Online and Mobile Banking

In today's digital age, the quality of online and mobile banking platforms is crucial. A user-friendly and intuitive banking app and website can streamline your banking tasks, from transferring funds to paying bills and tracking transactions. Look for features like mobile check deposit, real-time balance updates, and secure messaging for customer support.

Customer Service

The level of customer service provided by a bank can significantly impact your banking experience. Research customer reviews, testimonials, and ratings to gauge how well the bank handles customer inquiries and resolves issues. Access to responsive and knowledgeable customer service representatives can save you time and frustration in the long run.

Additional Services

Consider your potential need for additional financial services beyond basic banking. If you're interested in investment opportunities, retirement planning, mortgages, or specialized loans, evaluate whether the bank offers these services. A bank that can cater to multiple aspects of your financial life might be more convenient and beneficial in the long term.

Financial Stability

The financial stability and history of a bank are paramount. Look into the bank's track record, its credit rating, and its overall reputation in the financial industry. A bank with a solid history of stability and sound financial practices is more likely to protect your deposits and maintain a secure environment for your money.

Innovations and Features

Some banks offer innovative features that can enhance your banking experience. These might include budgeting tools integrated into their apps, cashback rewards programs, or unique savings options like round-up programs that automatically save spare change from transactions. Explore whether these features align with your financial management preferences.

Switching Process

Moving your accounts from one bank to another should be as seamless as possible. Investigate whether the banks you're considering offer a straightforward switching process. Some banks even provide incentives, such as cash bonuses or fee waivers, to attract new customers looking to make the switch.

Ask for Recommendations

Don't hesitate to seek recommendations from friends, family, colleagues, or online communities. Hearing about others' experiences with specific banks can provide valuable insights that you might not find in official bank literature.

Visit the Bank

If feasible, visit the physical branches of the banks you're considering. This firsthand experience can give you a sense of the bank's atmosphere, the professionalism of its staff, and the level of comfort you'd feel as a customer.

Ultimately, the best bank in Canada for you will depend on your unique financial situation and priorities. Take your time to research and compare your options before making a final decision.

FAQs

What are the Big Six banks of Canada?

The Big Six banks of Canada include:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Bank of Montreal (BMO), The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC),
National Bank of Canada

These represent the largest banks in Canada.

What is the safest bank in Canada?

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is commonly known as the safest bank in Canada. However, many of the other Canadian banks on our list prioritize safety. 

What do you need to open a bank account in Canada? 

You must have a government ID, proof of address, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), and an initial deposit. You must also submit your personal and employment information on your application. 

Banking as Sweet as Canadian Maple Syrup 

Many people think about maple leaves, hockey, and the phrase “eh?” when they think about Canada. But you’d be surprised to know how many of the best banks can be found in this northerly land. 

We hope this article helped bring your attention to these banks, a few of which are available here in the States. If you ever move to Canada, you’ll already know which banks you can choose from to get the best deals. 

Would you move to Canada to take advantage of these banks? 

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News, Debt.com, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!