Opening a bank account involves a lot of thought! Just like the brand of beer you drink in college, once you choose a financial institution, you don't you don't change to something new. Even if the offers are sometimes tempting, most people decide to stick with their initial choice. For this reason, it's best to make an informed decision when it's time to open a bank account.
Fortunately, as a Canadian student, you can choose a chequing account from nearly every financial institution in Canada. Every dollar counts, so it's best to put your money in the right place. Although you may be broke right now, banks know that it's only a matter of time before your bank balance increases. Banks want to earn your trust and make you a customer for life.
Your years in school can have a big impact on your financial situation in the years to come. Take the opportunity to save as much as you can. Choose a free, low-cost or rewards-based bank account. We've created a list of the seven best student bank accounts in Canada. Worry less about your money and study with peace of mind!
- Why open a student bank account?
- BMO Student Chequing Account
- Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
- TD Student Chequing Account
- CIBC Smart™ Account for Students
- Desjardins Student STRATEGIC Account (for full-time university students)
- National Bank student chequing accounts (for students 18-24)
- CW Canadian Western Bank Student Account
- The final word
Why open a student bank account?
First of all, you should know that there is nothing that requires you to use a bank account specifically designed for students. However, there are many advantages, so it is wise to study what banks have to offer. Student bank accounts offer several advantages:
- Low or no monthly fees
- Counselling services
- Budgeting tools
- Free electronic transfers
- Access to a credit card
- Access to student loans
- Low-cost car insurance, etc.
Once you have completed your studies, it is possible to convert your student account into a traditional account. This often results in additional costs and reduces your rewards opportunities. For peace of mind, we invite you to use a chequing account comparison tool to make sure you're making the right choice. This completely free tool takes your needs and financial situation into consideration.
BMO Student Chequing Account
By choosing BMO Student Performance Chequing Account, you earn a $100 cash bonus. This offer ends on May 31st, 2023.
To qualify, you must be a student at a full-time university, college or registered private vocational school. If you are opening an account online, you have six months to bring proof of your registration of student status to any branch of BMO.
As long as you are in school and up to one year after graduation, there will be no monthly fees charged to your BMO student chequing account. That's on top of the 100$ bonus! You also get unlimited transactions and electronic transfers.
BMO also offers tips for students. For example, they can help you build your credit with a Student BMO cashback Mastercard and credit line. With this credit card, you can earn up to $125 cashback in the first three months of use.
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
There's also the Scotiabank Student Banking Plan. To qualify, you must be a full-time student at a post-secondary institution. In short, once your application is accepted, you are entitled to free unlimited debit transactions and Interac transfers. If you go with the student bundle, which includes the chequing account, a savings account and a Scene Visa credit card, you can earn up to 100$ in welcome bonus points.
With the Scotiabank Scene+ Rewards program, you earn points on everyday purchases. An easy way to get these points is to use your Scene Visa credit card. You can then redeem your points for various rewards.
- Unlimited debit transactions
- Unlimited Interac e-Transfer transactions
- Scene+TM Program
- Eligible for overdraft protection
*Conditions apply. Offer ends June 10th, 2023
- Annual fee: $29 (exempt the first year)
- Interest rate on purchase: 12.99%
- Interest rate on cash advances: 12.99%
Offer valid until October 31, 2023.
TD Student Chequing Account
We're continuing with the TD Student Chequing Account, which has a lot of benefits and tools. If you open an account before May 31, 2023, you could get a $100 Amazon gift card. There is no monthly fee. You can open this account without being enrolled in a post-secondary institution!
In fact, even if you're in high school, you can open an account with no monthly fee. But, once you turn 23, you should show proof of full-time enrollment in a post-secondary program. This is to keep your account. However, with a student account with TD, there are no transfer fees for sending or requesting funds through Interac transfers. You can make unlimited transactions without any fees.
In addition, TD offers an easy-to-use mobile application. It allows you to:
- View your account
- Make transactions
- Access a tool that allows you to track your monthly spending and improve your spending habits.
CIBC Smart™ Account for Students
Then there's the CIBC Smart™ Account for Students , which gives you several benefits. It is especially designed for students who will be graduating at age 25 or up. Again, there are no monthly fees and you can make as many transactions as you like! Plus, you retain all the benefits of an account with unlimited day-to-day banking for up to six months after graduation. After that, your account will become a regular CIBC SmartSteps account.
To qualify, you must be enrolled in a post-secondary institution. Since if you open an account in the next few weeks, you could earn $35,000 towards your tuition.
With CIBC, you can also become a member of the SPC+ program. It allows you to save up to 30% on over 450 leading brands in fashion, technology and more.
Desjardins Student STRATEGIC Account (for full-time university students)
The Desjardins Student STRATEGIC Account is reserved for university students in full-time programs. If you're a student, you'll be happy to know that you can earn interest based on your account balance. In fact, like a savings account, you make money based on your savings. As with the other accounts mentioned above, there are no monthly fees and transactions are unlimited.
National Bank student chequing accounts (for students 18-24)
Yes, you read that right. There is a large offer of National Bank student accounts. Indeed, the institution offers different advantages and accounts according to your student profile. For instance, The Modest Plan gives you 30 free transactions a month with no monthly fee.
Once you are on the National Bank's student benefits page, you can indicate your field of study in order to access the special features available to you. You can customize your products according to your preferences and priorities.
CW Canadian Western Bank Student Account
Again, an account with no monthly fee and unlimited transactions! You also get free Interac e-transfers. The Canadian Western Bank CWB Student Account is for students who are enrolled in a full-time post-secondary program and reside in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Ontario.
The final word
These student chequing accounts can save you a lot of money in monthly fees. Some even offer the opportunity to earn rewards points, discounts on various products and services or earn interest. Also, don't hesitate to compare chequing accounts before making a decision. You'll find chequing accounts to suit the needs of all your loved ones, parents, grandparents or even your young children!
Now get to class, students!
Compare dozens of Canadian chequing accounts and find the one that best suits your needs.
About The Author: Antony Youssef
Antony is a project manager at Harbacon. A future graduate of the DESS - Business Analyst - Information Technology program at HEC in Montreal. He helped initiate and develop the Hardbacon comparison tool with the IT team. Passionate about the economy and the financial well-being of others, his goal is to inform readers on different topics concerning finance through his articles.
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