Best Savings Accounts Canada
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Best Savings Accounts in Canada in 2019

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Last updated on July 15, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 6

While easy cash access and a chequing account provide the flexibility and available purchasing power necessary for everyday banking needs, a good savings account is just as crucial.  Canadian banks today offer a variety of savings accounts fitted to different customers, including accounts with accelerated interest rates, tax-free accounts, and special accounts for children and seniors.

Summary of Best Savings Account Canada in 2019

Savings AccountPromotional Interest RateBasic Interest RateFeesSee Review
Scotiabank Savings Accelerator 0.05% - up to $4,999
1.05% - $5,000-$249,000
1.15% - $250,0
$0Read more>
Tangerine TFSA 2.75% for first 6 months1.15%
Deposits and interest tax-free
$0Read more>
Wealthsimple Save2%$0Read more>
Scotiabank Momentum Plus Savings AccountUp to 1.95% $0Read more>
BMO Smart Savings0.80%, no minimum balance $0Read more>
EQ Bank Savings Plus2.30% $0Read more>
TD ePremium Savings0.90% for $10,000 balance $0Read more>
RBC Enhanced Savings1.50% for $150,000 $0Read more>
CIBC eAdvantage Savings3.00% on new deposits of $5,000 $0Read more>

What Is a Savings Account?

Savings accounts are designed to help people park their money in a less ‘liquid’ environment, where it can accumulate steadily over time and earn interest. These accounts generally impose restrictions on withdrawals and access, but such restraints are a worthwhile price to pay for vastly improved savings power.

When you deposit money into a chequing account, the bank must make it available for you to spend via debit cards and cheques. This movement of your money into and out of your account prevents the bank from lending it out to those seeking loans, so the bank instead makes its money through charging you small fees. Events like using an ATM, overdrafting your account, or having too low a balance may incur charges.

Savings accounts, on the other hand, wield a powerful incentive to keep account holders from moving their money out of the account: high interest rates. Since the money stays in the account, banks can then loan the money out to other customers, making a profit off the difference between the interest rates charged on their loans and the interest rates they give for their savings accounts.

Who Needs a Savings Account?

Saving money Canada

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Those with money sitting in cash, or with funds that they will have no immediate need for, would be very wise to evaluate savings account options. Anyone who wants to gain an edge in their long-term savings efforts can benefit from one of these accounts, but in order to benefit from the high interest rates on offer they must have the discipline to leave their money in the account. Savings account owners will be compensated for their restraint and diligent deposits, with steady interest payments from the bank that help the money grow faster. This is a benefit that everyone, from young children to retirees, can and should take advantage of.

Types of Savings Accounts

Because savings accounts are so universally beneficial, there are different types available to suit every individual.

Basic

A basic savings account is one that operates in the standard manner of holding customer funds and paying them small amounts of interest. Though interest helps build wealth over time, the price for such a benefit is less liquidity, meaning you won’t have the same kind of access to your money as with a chequing account. You’ll also pay income taxes on the interest earned. Remember that some banks may charge fees for depositing money or moving it from another account, so factor this into your calculations as well.

High Interest

High InterestThe savings account interest rate varies between banks, but there are special accounts that offer a higher rate of return than what you’d receive with a basic savings account. When looking at these high-interest savings accounts, make sure to pay close attention to all the fees and stipulations involved, because typically the higher interest rates offered are offset by a higher minimum deposit, or tighter restrictions on withdrawals and account minimums.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

In most cases, the interest that you earn on the money you deposit into a savings account is subject to income taxes. Typically, you must report how much interest you collected each year to the Canadian Revenue Agency, but with a TFSA, anyone over 18 can contribute and withdraw their money without paying taxes. In exchange for this advantage, banks often impose a limit on how much can be deposited each year.

Youth

Generally opened by adults on behalf of their children or grandchildren, or even by enterprising young savers, a Youth savings account helps kids learn a key lesson about money management. They can deposit money and watch it grow with interest, and some banks make educational materials available to reinforce the importance of proper financial health.

US Dollar

Savings accounts can also exist to hold foreign currency, such as the US dollar. For those who do business in the United States, own property there or need greater access to US financial services, having a USD savings account can help overcome obstacles that exist between the two countries’ banking infrastructures and separate currencies.

Senior

Senior couple bankingCanadians who are 60 and older can avail themselves of the country’s selection of Senior savings accounts. These operate in the same manner as regular savings accounts, but will often give special fee exemptions or interest rates to older account holders.

Best Savings Accounts in Canada

Canada has a plethora of upstanding financial institutions, each of which provide different savings account options to the country’s residents. The list below contains some of the most notable institutions that offer savings accounts, but the “best” is always subjective.

Scotiabank 

Scotiabank Momentum Savings PlusScotiabank has many great savings accounts available, including US dollar and Euro accounts, accounts for customers with smaller balances, and accounts that accelerate savings and reduce fees. One Scotia account that stands out to us is the Momentum Plus Savings Account, which incentivizes account holders to contribute to their account often without touching their money. Customers can choose a ‘premium period’ in increments of 90, 180, 270, or 360 days—the higher the period that they complete without making debits/withdrawals/transfers, the higher the interest rate they get.

Currently, accountholders will earn a 1.o5% base rate on the money deposited into their Momentum Plus account, and if they’re earning the 360-day premium period rate of 0.90% then their total earnings are 1.95%.

Scotiabank Savings AcceleratorThose who want to earn high interest while retaining the option of transferring money out of their account might be better suited to the Scotiabank Savings Accelerator account, which offers 1.05% interest on balances over $5,000 and unlimited transfers to other Scotiabank accounts, without penalty.

Tangerine 

tangerine savingsNo matter what you’re saving for, Tangerine offers an impressive number of savings accounts that will help you achieve your goal. Our top pick of Tangerine’s savings accounts is likely one of their beneficial retirement accounts, such as the Tangerine RSP. This account allows those who anticipate retirement to put away their money without subjecting it to taxes during their working years. A high interest rate of 1.15% boosts savings, and contributions to the account can be deducted from one’s taxable income. The bank is even running a promotion that gives new account holders a 2.75% interest rate for up to 6 months.

Wealthsimple

WealthSimple ReviewThe Wealthsimple Save account offers a variety of competitive benefits to accountholders, including high-interest savings, favourable terms, and a host of extra optional services. Accountholders with Wealthsimple will earn 2.00% interest on their balance, and despite the competitive rate, are not required to maintain a minimum. Wealthsimple also boasts unlimited withdrawals and deposits without fees or penalties, and coverage of up to $1 million via the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). Another notable perk with the Wealthsimple account is that it can connect to Wealthsimple’s payment application Roundup, which deposits the change from “rounded up” transactions directly into your account.

BMO 

bmo savings accountWhile BMO offers savings accounts that accrue interest at up to 1.40%, the very best BMO savings account is, in our estimation, actually their most basic. We like the Smart Savings account for its lucrative all-purpose interest rate of 0.80%, without any restrictions on a customer’s minimum balance. With no monthly savings requirements, no monthly fee, and a free transfer every month, the account is one of the most straightforward strategies available for reaching short or long-term financial goals. The bank also offers US dollar accounts and a range of other account types.

EQ Bank 

EQ Bank Savings AccountIt’s easy to pick our favourite EQ Bank savings account, because there’s only one. Accordingly, EQ ensures that its Savings Plus bank account is the complete package, with a robust interest rate of 2.30%, no monthly fee or minimum balance, and five Interac e-Transfers per month. There are also other perks which make it seamless to interact between it and other online accounts, such as free electronic transfers, linked accounts, and day-to-day transactions. Finally, we appreciate EQ’s Savings Goals tool, which helps customers visualize their proximity to their goals and stay motivated to accomplish them.

TD 

TD Savings AccountOne of the best TD savings accounts is the unique ePremium account, which provides focused savings power for those individuals who do most of their banking online. The account has no monthly fee and allows unlimited free online transfers, as well as a high 0.90% rate of interest for those who maintain balances of over $10,000 in their account. This is an even higher rate than what’s offered by TD’s High Interest savings account, and the bank also has accounts for young customers, and accounts that are designed to be forgiving of more frequent withdrawals or debits.

RBC 

RBC Savings AccountOur favourite RBC savings account encourages frequent contributions and accelerates the rate that money builds up in the account based on how much is sitting there. RBC’s Enhanced Savings uses a tiered model that starts by granting interest for a $5,000 balance and eventually reaches a ceiling of 1.50% interest on balances over $150,000. Customers with Enhanced Savings are eligible for one free debit withdrawal each month. The bank also makes a static high interest account available at 0.90%, among other worthwhile account types.

CIBC 

CIBC eAdvantage Savings AccountCIBC has created tailored savings accounts to match the varying needs of students, children, retirees, and others. The most appealing CIBC savings account from our perspective is the remarkable eAdvantage savings account, which offers 2.30% interest on new balances for a limited time. This is an impressive rate matched with a low minimum balance of just $5,000, but the account also has no monthly fees, free Interac transfers, and more.

Didn’t See the Right Savings Account for You?

Remember that this list isn’t exhaustive and we’ve merely scratched the surface of all the excellent savings accounts available from Canadian banks. If you didn’t see one that fits your lifestyle, just let us know by leaving a comment below or shooting us an email , and we’ll be happy to make a suitable suggestion or two.

Article comments

6 comments
Diana says:

Hi, is there a maximum amount of money you can transfer (remove) from your EQ Bank Saving Plus account?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Diana,

Thanks for coming to GreedyRates. If you’ve got an EQ Bank Savings Plus account, then you’ll only be able to withdraw as much money as you’ve deposited into it. Savings accounts don’t extend credit so if there’s no money in the account from a deposit you (or someone else) has made to it, there’s no money to withdraw either. The fine print does specify that “We may establish dollar amount, transaction, account balance or other account-related limits per customer.” However, this is typical bank boilerplate and concerns suspicious transactions like large deposits. Enjoy the account – and if you have any other inquiries about it just let us know!

GreedyRates

Dan says:

Could you compare High interest saving accounts for US dollars in Canada? Thanks

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dan,

Appreciate the comment! We’re sorry that we weren’t more thorough in the article about USD savings accounts in Canada, but there are absolutely accounts out there for you. HSBC, Scotia, and Tangerine are three banks we know of that offer USD savings accounts, but we haven’t done the kind of research we’d like on these accounts to recommend anything specific. In fact, there’s a high chance that your own bank offers a USD savings account, so approach them and begin comparing your options. Make sure to look at factors like the exchange rate, monthly administration fees, interest rates (of course), self-service and in-branch service fees, the ease of transfers between banks and CAD and USD accounts, and minimum balances. If you’d like help figuring out which is best, once you have a few accounts you’re considering, we can surely provide it! Just email us at info@greedyrates.ca. Thanks!

GreedyRates Staff

Victoria says:

I’m looking for highest interest savings account for me to deposit my 20 0000 into

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Victoria,

Thanks for the question about best-value interest accounts for saving in Canada. If you have $200,000 to put in a savings account, then consider the RBC Enhanced Savings account, which offers a ceiling of 1.50% interest on balances over $150,000. That’s a pretty great deal, and still allows you some freedom with the $50,000 that you don’t need for max-rate eligibility. Another excellent option that we like is the EQ Bank Saving Plus account, which offers 2.30% interest without a minimum balance or monthly fee. It’s currently one of the best savings accounts for higher interest in Canada and boosts its value proposition further by providing 5 free Interac eTransfers per month. Let us know if that answers your question or if you’d like to explore alternatives. Thanks very much!

GreedyRates Staff