Not all chequing accounts are free. Some require a monthly fee that can often be waived if you maintain a certain balance in your account. Also, some accounts provide only a limited number of free debit card transactions per month, and once this number is exceeded, additional costs may be incurred.
ATM fees are the costs you pay when withdrawing funds from an ATM. In general, withdrawals are free if your chequing account is with the financial institution that owns the ATM. However, there are fees incurred when using other companies’ ATMs in Canada. These fees are higher if the withdrawal is made in the United States, which are sometimes the same or lower than internationally.
In the comparator tool and for some of the best free chequing accounts described in this article, the accounts are free provided you maintain a minimum account balance. As you will see, some chequing accounts even go as far as removing completely transaction fees.
EQ Bank account
Get 3.00%* on everyday banking with EQ Bank
Technically, EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is, well, a savings acccount, but it’s kind of the best of both worlds. It has all the characateristic of a chequing account, with unlimited Interac transfers, a card that behaves like a debit/credit card, and a way higher interest rate (2.5%) than any chequing account. There are no transaction, foreign transaction, monthly, or inactivity fees. When making purchases in foreign currencies, only the Mastercard currency conversion rate is applied, eliminating typical credit card surcharges.
There is no monthly fee to have the Savings Plus Account and the EQ Bank Card. There is no minimum balance requirements. EQ Bank empowers users with free ATM withdrawals across Canada and promptly reimburses surcharges or out-of-network fees imposed by ATM providers. Deposits including mobile cheque deposit, electronic funds transfers, Interac e-transfers, bill payments, opening and closing an account are all free. Only Wise will charge a fee when you make an international transfer. There are limits on the number of accounts you can hold (5) and maximums such as $100,000 per cheque deposit and $3,000 for outbound Interac e-transfer in a 24-hour period.
The Savings Plus account is available in all Canadian provinces. The EQ Bank Card, however, is not available in Quebec.
Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More account
The Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union was founded in 1940 and is the largest credit union with 535,000 members. Its branches are located only in British Columbia. It offers chequing accounts, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, guaranteed investment certificates and registered accounts.
The Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account include an unlimited number of transactions per month and no monthly fees. When sending an Interac e-Transfer, a $1.50 fee is added. However, there is no charge when receiving an Interac e-Transfer. There is a $2.50 fee when withdrawing from an ATM other than that of your bank. This fee is $5 when withdrawing from an ATM in the United States or in another country.
Open an account now if you live in British Columbia.
CWB Canadian Western Bank Standard Chequing account
The Canadian Western Bank is part of the CWB Financial Group, which has been in existence since 1984. This bank began in Edmonton, Alberta until it spread throughout western Canada. It is federally-regulated and its head office is located in Alberta. It offers several financial and wealth management services.
The Standard Chequing Account costs $4 per month but the fee is waived if you keep a balance of $1,000. It offers Interac e-Transfers for $1 and 15 free transactions for everyday banking.
Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario
Steinbach Credit Union Standard Pack Chequing
Steinbach Credit Union (SCU) is Manitoba’s largest credit union. It is also the 7th largest credit union in Canada. Created in 1941, it provides several services such as chequing accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, loans, insurance and mortgages. These services are available in Manitoba only.
The has no monthly fee. One free transaction is offered per month. The remaining transactions and Interac e-Transfers cost $0.55 each. ATM fees across Canada are $0.55 and $3.50 in other countries.
Alterna Bank No-Fee eChequing Account
Alterna Bank has been operating as a bank since 2017 and offers its services online, by phone or by app, with only two branches in Gatineau, Quebec. It is a subsidiary of Alterna Savings, which is one of the largest funds in Ontario. Alterna Bank has a reputation for offering high interest rate savings accounts and mortgages, and it also offers a chequing account, which is presented below.
The No-fee eChequing account, as its name suggests, has no fees, either for transactions or for monthly or annual fees. It includes an unlimited number of free transactions per month and free Interac e-Transfers.
Valley First Simply Free Account
Valley First Credit Union is a division of First West Credit Union. Its headquarters are in Penticton, British Columbia. It was founded in 1947 and offers several services such as chequing accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. It also offers loans and insurance. These services are only available in British Columbia.
The Simply Free Account includes an unlimited number of transactions per month, free Interac e-Transfers and no monthly fees. ATM fees are $2 in Canada, $3 in the United States, and $5 internationally.
motusbank No-Fee Chequing Account
Mostusbank is part of the Meridian Credit Union. This bank was established in 2019 and is 100% online, which means that there are no branches. It offers guaranteed investment capital and fairly large savings accounts. It also offers a chequing account with an interest rate of 0.25%.
The No-Fee Chequing Account has no monthly fees, offers unlimited transactions without fees and free Interac e-Transfers. The fees for ATMs are $2 in Canada, $3 in the United States and $5 in other countries.
Meridian Credit Union Limitless Chequing Account (18-29)
Founded in 2005, the Meridian Credit Union is the 3rd largest credit union in Canada and the largest one in Ontario with 360,000 members. It offers chequing accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, loans and insurance. This chequing account, as its name suggests, is only available to people aged 18 to 29.
The Limitless chequing account is free of charge and offers unlimited transactions. The fees for Interac e-Transfers are $1.50, but the first 4 transfers each month are free. ATM fees are $2 in Canada and $3 outside of Canada.
Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Yukon.
Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account
Tangerine Bank is known to have no branches and has existed since April 27, 1997 under the name ING DIRECT Canada, which was purchased by Scotiabank in November 2012. This online bank offers several financial services such as chequing accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, guaranteed investment certificates, investment funds and mortgages.
The free chequing account has no monthly fees and includes an unlimited number of debit transactions and free Interac e-Transfers. The ATM fees are $1.50 in Canada, $2 in the United States and $3 internationally. If you use the promo code EARNMORE, you can earn an interest rate of up to 4.5%.
President’s Choice Bank PC Money Account
President’s Choice Bank has been offering banking services since 1998. With the PC Money Account, you can earn points, and once you’ve earned 10,000 points you can redeem them for $10 worth of products or groceries. You earn 25 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart stores or online, and 10 points for every dollar of purchases anywhere else. By opening this account, you can benefit from a welcome offer of up to 50,000 points.
You get an unlimited number of free transactions, pay no monthly fees and your Interac e-Transfers are free. ATM fees are $1.50 in Canada and $3 anywhere else in the world.
Laurentian Bank of Canada The Operations Account
Laurentian Bank was founded in 1846 and is one of the few banks with its head office located in Montreal. Most of its branches are located in the province of Quebec, but it does provide banking services all over Canada. It offers chequing accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and personal loans.
The Operations Account has no monthly fees for transactions and Interac e-Transfers cost $1 each, but if you maintain a balance of $ ,000 or more in your account, those fees are waived. ATM withdrawals in Canada costs $1.50 and are $4 in other countries.
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