Best High-Interest Savings Account in Canada in 2019

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Last updated on July 15, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 22

Everybody likes to get extra money without having to work for it. That’s what makes high-interest savings accounts so appealing. As the name suggests, high-interest savings accounts pay more interest than regular savings accounts. Of course, some accounts offer higher interest rates than others, and different accounts have different fees and features. We’ve reviewed the accounts offered by Canada’s major banks so that we can share the best high-interest savings (HISA) accounts in Canada with you.

Comparison of Best High-Interest Savings Account in Canada

Bank AccountInterest RatesMinimum BalanceLearn More
Tangerine Standard Savings 2.75% for new clients, regular rate 1.15%$0Learn More
Momentum Plus Savings AccountUp to 1.95%$0Learn More
Wealthsimple Save2%$0Learn More
TD ePremium Savings 0.9%$10,000Learn More
RBC High Interest eSavings 0.9%$0Learn More
CIBC eAdvantage Savings 1.05%$5,000Learn More
BMO Savings Builder 0.2% to 1.4%$0Learn More

How to Choose a High-Interest Savings Account

With interest rates ranging from 0.05% to 2.75% in high-interest accounts, it’s vital to shop around and get the best rate you can. But what other factors should you consider when trying to identify the high-interest savings account in Canada that best suits you? Consider the following questions:

  • How many free transactions do you get per month?
  • Do you need to have an existing chequing or savings account with the bank in order to qualify for the high-interest account?
  • How much are extra fees for transfers, statements, etc.?
  • What is the regular interest rate after any promotional offer ends?
  • How long are you required to leave your money in the account without moving it?

We chose the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada from each of the seven leading banks in the country. Interested in one of the accounts listed in the above table? Check out its section below for more details.

Best Canadian High-Interest Savings Accounts

Tangerine High-Interest Savings Account: Tangerine Savings Account

tangerine savingsTangerine’s ‘regular’ savings account also qualifies as a high-interest account, and stands out for its flexibility and lack of fees. Currently, Tangerine is offering new clients a special interest rate of 2.75% for the first 6 months after opening an account, after which interest rates return to 1.15%, which is still high for such a flexible account. You can withdraw or move your money whenever you’d like, there’s no minimum balance or monthly fee, and transactions and internal transfers are free. You will be charged at least $1 for other transfers.

Tangerine also offers a free Automatic Savings Program (ASP), which transfers money into your savings account from your Tangerine checking account at regular intervals. You set the amounts and the intervals, and then you can leave it to save effortlessly.

Click here to learn more about Tangerine’s Hight Interest Savings Account

Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

Scotiabank Momentum Savings PlusScotia’s Momentum Plus Savings Account has a basic interest rate of 1.05%, but what makes it appealing to savers is the bonus interest that you can earn. Bonus interest (which Scotia refers to as Premium Period Interest) is payable when you leave your savings untouched for a certain period of time. You can earn up to an extra 0.9% interest on your money, depending on how long you’re willing to lock it away without debiting from it. You also won’t be charged any monthly fees, and self-service transfers to other Scotiabank accounts are free and unlimited.

With the regular interest of 1.05% and the potential bonus interest of up to 0.9%, you could earn up to 1.95% interest on your money until the promotion expires.

Click here to learn more about the Momentum Plus Savings Account

Wealthsimple Save Account

WealthSimple ReviewWealthsimple offers high-interest savings through its Wealthsimple Save account, which collects 2.00% interest on deposited balances without the same kinds of restrictive requirements imposed elsewhere. There is no minimum balance, for example, and accountholders can avail of fee-free unlimited withdrawals and deposits. Both individual and joint accounts are available, and Wealthsimple can also connect a savings account to apps such as Roundup, allowing accountholders to “round up” credit card purchases to the nearest $1 with the excess cents deposited into the savings account.

Click here to learn more about the Wealthsimple Save account

TD High-Interest Savings Account: ePremium Savings Account

TD Savings AccountAt 1.05%, TD’s best savings account offers a competitive interest rate and makes it easy to save and to access your savings. There are no monthly fees, you’ll get free online transfers to other TD accounts, and you can set up Automated Savings to have a fixed amount transferred to your ePremium savings account at whatever intervals you choose. However, the minimum balance is $10,000, and you’ll pay a $5 transaction fee for external or in-person transactions.

Click here to learn more about TD’s High Interest Savings Account

RBC High-Interest Savings Account: RBC High Interest eSavings

RBC Savings AccountEarn a simple 0.9% interest on every dollar you deposit, which is reasonable for low balances and an instant-access account, with RBC’s High Interest Savings Account. There’s no monthly fee, minimum balance, or minimum withdrawals period. You also get free unlimited online or telephone transfers to any other RBC account, and one free ATM withdrawal per month. Other transactions cost between $1 and $5 each time. Although there are higher interest rates out there, the low fees make this worthwhile for low balances.

Click here to learn more about RBC’s High Interest Savings Account

CIBC High-Interest Savings Account: eAdvantage® Savings Account

CIBC eAdvantage Savings AccountThe highest interest rate with CIBC’s eAdvantage® Savings Account you’ll get is the flat 1.05% rate on balances over $5,000, which is at least a lower minimum balance than TD’s best savings account. On the plus side, you won’t pay any monthly fees, most transfers to other CIBC accounts are free, and it’s one of the few savings accounts to offer free receipt of Interac transfers. You’ll pay between $1.50 and $5 for other transactions, though.

Click here to learn more about CIBC’s High Interest Savings Account

BMO High-Interest Savings Account: Savings Builder Account

bmo savings accountBMO’s Savings Builder Account has a unique type of bonus rate. Although the base interest rate is a very low 0.2%, you’ll get a bonus 1.2% interest for every month that you save at least $200, making a total 1.4% rate with no minimum balance. There is a maximum balance of $250,000.

You’ll only get one free transfer from your account per month, and you’ll have to pay $5 for every additional transfer or withdrawal. However, for regular savers who are starting with a low balance, it’s a very attractive rate.

Click here to learn more about BMO’s High Interest Savings Account

motusbank High-Interest Savings Account: Smart-Working Savings Account

*Please note this product is currently not available for residents of Quebec.

If you don’t mind banking in an online-only environment, motusbank offers a high 2.25% interest savings account with few restrictions and most features that regular banks provide. There’s no monthly fee nor any minimum balance to get this high rate, unlimited debit purchases and withdrawals–and though your transactions are feeless each Interac e-Transfers costs $1.25.

Click here to learn more about the motusbank High Interest savings account.

Article comments

22 comments
Karthi says:

Hi,

I am new to saving. So my plan is to move $50 from my each pay to this account and dont touch this account for about 10 years or more. or even if i take it i will take the entire amount and use it for some big project (buying house or something). for my situation, which bank would be worth opening a saving account with? Thanks for your reply

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Karthi,

If you’re looking to save slowly and consistently, and on a 10-year plus horizon then a savings account is definitely suitable. Moreover, if you’re comfortable with an online bank then try motusbank—its high-interest savings account will get you 2.25% interest without a monthly fee or a minimum deposit. You’ll also be able to do unlimited deposits and withdrawals with the account for when you need access to the money. There are few accounts that can match motus in terms of interest rate, but if you really prefer a teller and face-to-face interactions then any savings account from the Big 5 will do. In this case we’d recommend Scotia’s Momentum Plus savings account.

Motus also offers GICs and other savings instruments if you’re looking to get a bit higher rate, and are willing to lock in your cash (once you’ve saved up enough to put away). This can be a great option along with the already generous rate you’re getting from motusbank’s HISA.

GreedyRates

ryannito says:

I appreciate this article a lot, I found it extremely helpful to gather a bunch of major savings accounts with competitive interest rates into one place.

I’m currently using BMO’s Savings Builder Account but have been eyeing Scotiabank’s Momentum Plus Savings Account for a while now. Its interest building trick is a little hard for me to wrap my head around, but I think it’s basically a GIC-lite, with how it encourages you to keep your savings locked down to reach the maximum interest rate.

Obviously the trade-off of such a potentially high rate is that it discourages you from pulling money out when you might need it. But at a base rate of 1.05%, which already goes toe-to-toe with other savings accounts mentioned like TD and CIBC’s, I was hoping you could provide some insight as to why I might not want to make the jump to Scotia’s Momentum Plus Savings Account.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Ryannito!

Great of you to stop by GreedyRates with your question. The Scotia Momentum Plus Savings account is an interesting proposition and does represent a sort of “grey area” between a normal savings account and a more permanent instrument such as a GIC. While it does represent a decent value proposition, in many cases it’s better to simply opt for a flat interest rate without any caveats or conditions. Banks like those you mentioned (motus, Alterna, EQ, and other online banks) offer great rates without any minimum balance.

The Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings Account has some conditions that make it a circumstantial benefit for most customers. For example, if you’re willing to not touch your account for the full year (to get the 1.05% regular interest plus the maximum Premium Period interest of 0.90%), then you’ll be close to 2.00% interest. You can get the same amount of interest without all the minimum balance or holding period clauses by sticking with the BMO Savings Builder. IF you opt for a 1-year GIC via motusbank, you’ll get near 3.00% interest back on that amount, rendering the Scotia account into nothing more than a novelty. Manulife and EQ are worthwhile as well.

GreedyRates

Rich says:

Are online banks chartered in Canada?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Rich,

Good question. It’s legitimate to wonder whether or not an online bank such as Tangerine, EQ, motusbank, or Alterna are chartered in Canada or somewhere else. Lots of online banks tend to charter overseas to take advantage of favorable financial regulatory rules, especially many that serve the US, so is this the case in Canada as well? First, banks that are “online only” but are subsidiaries of larger commercial banks like Meridian (motusbank) or Scotiabank (Tangerine) will most definitely be chartered in Canada, and the rest should be examined on a case-by-case basis.

EQ Bank is owned by Equitable Bank, an old organization certainly chartered in Canada, while Alterna is chartered as a Credit Union. The banks that we mention on GreedyRates are trusted Canadian financial institutions that you shouldn’t worry about depositing with, but we appreciate your due diligence and caution. Good on you, and let us know if you need anything else!

GreedyRates

David O’Hare says:

We’re just looking for an account that will help us grow over a year to save for our seasonal campground costs and maybe a little more when you factor in insurance for our trailer! EQ Bank seems to have a good rate, but are we better off with a one year GIC or just a regular savings account with a high interest rate. I think I opened an account for a 1 year GIC at 2.65% for one year as we won’t need the money until next May of 2020. Are we doing this right?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi David!

Great questions, you came to the right place. If you’re looking to save money for around a year or more, than a 1-year GIC is a perfect solution! There are lots of banks, both online and brick-and-mortar which offer the ability to hold a GIC in a high-interest savings account, but the best rates you’ll find will be with online banks. EQ, motusbank, and Alterna are comparable, with motusbank for example providing a 1-year non-redeemable GIC that can be held in their RRSP or TFSA accounts, both at 2.80%. If you bump that up to 18 months, then you’ll be eligible to receive 3.10%.

Either way, this represents the upper range of what you’ll get as far as rates go, so if you already opened a 1-year GIC and managed to get 2.65%, then consider us impressed! Nice job. Now you just need to play the waiting game and enjoy the money when the GIC’s term is over. So cool that you’re saving for campground and trailer insurance costs! If you need any further financial tips for road warriors such as yourselves, you know where to find us.

GreedyRates

Josef says:

where is DUCA with 3%. The best deal going for cash money.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Josef,

Thanks for the informative post! We’re not too aware of DUCA but can already tell you that these kinds of interest rates are attainable with many of Canada’s more agile online banks such as motusbank. Motus offers a few tax-free savings account options which can achieve above 3.00% for you with a range of GICs. If you’d rather have a different type of account, then perhaps DUCA is a better option, but it also pays to be aware that they’re a credit union and not a bank. This means that it may not be as easy to attain the 3.00% as you think but give it a shot and let us know how it goes! We’ll be here to offer other suggestions if you aren’t approved.

GreedyRates

Bhavesh Dodwani says:

Hi CIBC eAdvantage savings account offers interest rate of 1.05% not 0.9%

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Bhavesh,

Thanks for your comment and for pointing out the update to CIBC’s awesome eAdvantage savings account. You’re right that now, when accountholders have at least $5,000 in the account they’ll earn a solid 1.05% interest rate and enjoy other great perks like $0 monthly fees and free paperless statements. For those who just want a basic account that delivers on its promises of low fees and good interest, and who don’t need to do frequent transfers to and from other banks, it’s one of the best. Enjoy!

GreedyRates

Lucie says:

Hi, there.
Thank you for your hard work folks. I like reading your articles and love your answers to all of the comments. It is very personalized.
I have a question. I opened my first ever TFSA account with CIBC a few days ago and put 6000 CAD in. Now I would like to open Tangerine TFSA. Can I put another 6000 in it if its a different bank or do they count 6000 annually on all of your TFSA accounts? Can I have more then one with different banks and put 6000 in each?
Thank you

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Lucie,

Thanks for the shoutout and for showing us appreciation in the comments. We’re super glad you like our site! Now onto your question about Tax-Free Savings Accounts in Canada. The TFSA is a special instrument available to all Canadians that helps them save for retirement in small amounts, and there’s a universal ceiling on yearly contributions that can be made to any TFSA account (or accounts). In 2019, that contribution ceiling is $6,000, meaning that you can only deposit up to $6,000 across all your TFSA accounts within a single year, assuming that you had no extra contribution room that rolled over from 2018.

All Canadians are limited to this $6,000 because if you could open up any number of TFSA accounts then you could technically save all of your money tax-free, right? That wouldn’t be so healthy for the country, and it would also allow those with more money to have an enormous savings advantage over less-wealthy individuals. Better to restrict everyone to the $6,000 maximum. Hope that helps!

GreedyRates Staff

Brian says:

DUCA bank has 3.0% until January 2020 and it is not listed here.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Brian,

Great suggestion. We’ve also been exploring some other nice savings products from banks like Alterna and Motusbank recently, and think they are worth reviewing in your case. For example, Motusbank has a short 18-month tax-free GIC that’ll earn you 3.10%. Even if you don’t want to hold the GIC in a TFSA you can still get 3.00% with Motus and start with as little as $100 principal. This would be a great option if you aren’t planning on withdrawing your money and need it more as an emergency fund, savings instrument or retirement tool.

In general, you’ll find tons of lucrative offers from the leaner online-only banks and lenders that now populate Canada’s financial market, but we just focus on the ones where we can confirm their quality. With lower margins that come from the absence of in-person service and brick-and-mortar costs, you’ll always find higher rates with these banks but also need to consider the service gap as well. Good luck in your search!

GreedyRates

Mickey Jay. says:

As a Tangerine customer, I no longer put $ into that savings account because I don’t think there should be such a large discrepancy between new customers (2.75%) and those of us who have been loyal customers for years(1.25%). Where is the bonus for loyalty? At 1.25% it is only a shade above banks, so EQ bank seems to eclipse the value of Tangerine. The only problem I can see with EQ is they don’t offer joint accounts which could make income splitting difficult, or so I think. So maybe the solution is $into Tangerine for six months, then move it to EQ.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Mickey!

Great comment, and welcome to GreedyRates. We’re also of the opinion that Tangerine could raise their savings account interest rates a bit, because new online banks like EQ (but also Alterna, Motus and others) are turning up the heat. With rates on these online-only accounts typically above 2.30%, it casts a shadow over Tangerine and leaves people questioning why they’re customers in the first place.

One answer is that Tangerine is a better compromise between traditional brick-and-mortar banks and the online-only banks like EQ. Sure, EQ will give you a debit card and a great rate on your savings, but Tangerine allows you to link their MoneyBack credit card to a savings account and then get an extra category where you’ll earn 2.00% cash back (and then 1.25% on that!). That means those who take advantage of Tangerine’s wider and more developed variety of products can receive 2.00% in three places (like on gas, groceries, and home improvement).

Also consider that when moving your balance around, you might incur fees that cut away at your interest. Thanks again.

GreedyRates

Dion says:

Annual interest rates on some crypto currency masternode holders are in upwards of 25% per year banks dont stand a chance in hell. Do your home work people

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dion!

Thanks for the interesting and unique comment—we’ve honestly never had someone come here and recommend this type of thing. Fortunately, our position as experts in the Canadian financial space means that we understand it and can respond, even if we don’t necessarily agree with your conclusion! Cryptocurrency and blockchain are significantly risky investments and for several reasons are very poor choices for Canadians, especially because they are not recognized as licensed, legal, or compliant with regulations in any regard. When you put your money into cryptocurrency, it can therefore disappear in any number of ways without giving you any type of recourse or protection.

If the project or token you “invest” in goes bust, is proven fraudulent, or if the value simply declines into the gutter then that’s it—game over. You don’t own equity in anything, just worthless digital signatures, effectively. While there are some interesting decentralized ideas, by nature of their infrastructure, users are entirely liable for their own success. If they make a mistake with their wallet or network node, it’s on them. In contrast, if you were to invest that money into shares of a Canadian publicly-traded company, you legally own a piece of that company. Anything that fraudulently compromises this idea is covered under Canadian regulations.

Even a competitive-interest savings account is a better long-term bet. You don’t need to worry about volatility whatsoever–and will simply collect a solid 1-2% on your money each year. It’s not as glamorous as fringe digital asset gambling, but then again, it won’t ruin you either.

GreedyRates

OC says:

Hi there, I am a student with no experience in savings accounts and looking for clarification. Are the percentages listed above the annual interest rate? or monthly (I am assuming annual).

Thank you

Thank you

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey OC,

Thanks for the comment. No question is too simple to answer, and you can always feel free to ask us anything about the cards listed here. All percentages that we list on GreedyRates are annual, not monthly (thankfully) and if you have any further inquiries about how specific things are calculated in your balance, just ask. You can also check out our own interest rate calculator. Hope to hear from you again!

GreedyRates Staff