Many big-brand banks charge expensive monthly account fees ($10-$15 per month). However, many big banks charge no fees at all. This is mostly because these banks run online-only and can save money on office space and other bills. Just because they aren’t the biggest brands and most well-known brands in Canada doesn’t mean they offer fewer services or won’t guarantee your money’s security.
Many Canadians have already made the switch to a free checking account and save money by not paying fees. Let’s take a look at the best free chequing accounts in Canada.
Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account
- No account fees
- No fees for daily transactions
- Free access to Scotia Bank ABMs
Tangerine’s No-Fee Chequing account is the only chequing account Tangerine has to offer. The decision to provide only one chequing account that’s free has worked in Tangerine’s favour. It gives substantial value to account holders who save on fees that they could be paying with other big-time Canadian banks.
Unlimited daily transactions, Interact e-Transfers, and email money transfers are all included in the free chequing account. It’s important to note that account holders are charges interest in tiered rates, beginning at 0.15% on the balance that stands in the account. As Tangerine is a virtual bank, customers can only receive support online or by calling in. Scotia Bank ABM machines are available to Tangerine customers free of charge.
Motusbank No Fee Chequing
- No account fees
- Free and unlimited e-transfers
- Unlimited free transactions in all departments
Motusbank is Canada’s newest virtual bank. They offer a selection of attractive services and products to appeal to new customers. Their free checking account is perfect for those looking to save and possibly use Motus Bank’s other low-fee services.
You will have access to over 3,700 ATMs in Canada to do your banking and withdrawal money. Unlimited free transactions including debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals, are included with a free account. There will be an interest charge of up to 0.25% on your account balance.
Wealthsimple No-Fee Cash Account
- No monthly account fee
- Unlimited e-Transfers, withdrawals, and bill payments
- Free ATM withdrawals (coming soon)
Wealthsimple Cash, formerly known as Wealthsimple Save, is a high-interest saving account with a daily rate of 0.90% interest on deposits. This account works like a prepaid visa card — fund your account in advance and spend the cash that you’ve deposited. Once you sign up, you can link your bank account to your Wealthsimple Cash account. You’ll receive a metal visa debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
This account is a low commitment as there are no monthly account fees and no low balance fees. Wealthsimple is currently developing certain features. They soon plan to offer no foreign transaction fees. For an account holder that’s often traveling, Wealthsimple Cash is an excellent choice.
Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account
- No monthly fee and no minimum balance
- Free unlimited transactions including pre-authorized bill payments and debit purchases
- Free interact e-transfers
Back in 2017, PC Financial re-branded itself as Simplii Financial Direct Banking. CIBC started overseeing day-to-day banking services (savings, chequing, and mortgages) under the Simplii brand. Simplii is another great online-only bank that offers attractive features to account holders.
One fee to note is a $20 per year dormant account fee if no transactions are made for 2 or more years. You get free access to any CIBC ATM in Canada, and you receive up to 0.15% on your account balance.
Motive Financial No-Fee Chequing Account
- No monthly account fees
- Up to 0.25% on your account balance
- Unlimited free transactions
Motive Financial is a direct arm of the Canadian Western Bank. If you are looking to do banking with a trustworthy bank, this is it. Your transactions with Motive Financial are secure with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). You will receive excellent customer service and have more features offered to you. What’s unique about Motive Financial is it has 2 free chequing accounts: Motive Chequing and Motive Cha-Ching Chequing.
Both of the accounts offer no monthly fee and no minimum balance. The difference lies in the interest rate. While the Motive Chequing Account offers a higher interest rate of 0.60%, the Motive Cha-Ching account offers an interest rate of 0.25%. If you go with the Motive Chequing Account, you’ll pay $1 for Interact e-Transfers and $1.50 if you use a Non-Exchange network ATM.
Alterna Bank No-Fee Chequing Account
- No account fees
- No minimum account balance
- Free everyday transactions
Alterna Bank is linked to Alterna Savings, a Credit Union that’s been running for 110 years. Alterna Bank is a subsidiary of Alterna Savings, which was launched in 2000. Alterna Bank is a virtual bank that offers one of the best free chequing accounts in Canada. Account-holders must be aware that they can’t go to an Alterna Savings branch to get support. All servicing is done online through Alterna Bank’s website.
Eligible deposits made through Alterna Bank are insured $100,000 through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Users have access to over 3,300 ATMS around Canda. There’s an annual interest rate of 0.05%. This interest rate doesn’t compare to the other free Canadian chequing accounts on this list. However, if your goal is to pay no fees and you like Alterna, this is the right free chequing account for you.