Best Student Chequing Accounts in Canada

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Last updated on May 2, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 2

One of the best perks of student life is the fact that so many businesses and services offer student discounts—including Canadian banks. In this article we’re sharing the best banks for students, so you can manage your money and take control of your finances. Here’s what you need to know about the best student chequing accounts in Canada.

Why Get a Student Bank Account?

Student bank accounts are designed to help you, as a student, save money. This means more perks and fewer fees in comparison to a regular chequing account.

If you end up getting a job during your studies, you’ll need a bank account to deposit your pay, so you might as well sign up for a student bank account in advance so that you have everything ready.

Important Features to Look for in Student Bank Accounts

Student bank accounts should have features suitable to the thrifty lifestyle of a student. Here are some of the things you should be looking for when considering which student bank account is right for you:

  • What are the monthly fees (if there are any)?
  • Are there any additional fees, e.g. transfer or e-transfer fees?
  • How many free transactions do you get per month?
  • Do you get any other perks such as a rebate on annual credit card fees?

Keep in mind, the best bank accounts for you as a student may not always be designated as a ‘student’ bank account. For example, there may be accounts that offer more features with a monthly fee. However, if you keep a minimum balance, that fee could be waived.

What You Need to Open a Student Chequing Account in Canada

To open a student chequing account in Canada, you will need to be able to prove that you are enrolled as a student in a post-secondary program at a recognized college or university. Some banks may have more specific requirements, for instance you may need to be a full-time student or you may need to be between the ages of 18-25. Again, each bank’s (or credit union’s) requirements differ so keep that in mind and ask when shopping around.

The Best Student Chequing Accounts in Canada

Bank AccountTransactionsTransaction FeesAdditional FeesInterest Rate
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Planunlimited$0$00%
Motusbank No-Fee Chequing Accountunlimited$0$00.5%
Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Accountunlimited$0$0 transaction;
$1 for interac e-transfers
0.15%-0.65%
CIBC Advantage for Students
unlimited$0$0 transaction;
$1.50 for interac e-transfers
0%
RBC Student Banking Account
25 per month$0$1 per transaction after the 25 free;
$0 per interac e-tranfer
0%
Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Bank Account
unlimited$0$00%
Desjardins Premier Plan
unlimited$0$0 per transaction;
$1.50 per interac e-transfer
0%

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan

As with the majority of other student bank accounts on this list, the Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan account has no monthly fees and unlimited transactions. Another reason why Scotiabank is a favourite among students is that it offers the chance to earn rewards: Accountholders can choose between SCENE points or Scotia Rewards, which can then be redeemed toward entertainment and travel.

CIBC Advantage for Students

CIBC is a great choice when it comes to chequing accounts for students, as it allows for unlimited transactions (though there is a $1.50 charge per Interac e-transfer) and has no monthly fee. Another big advantage of the CIBC Advantage for Students account is that it offers a bonus extended period for new graduates: Those who have already graduated from their post-secondary institution can maintain this student account and its perks for an additional 6 months after they have completed their diploma or degree.

RBC Student Banking Account

RBC Loyalty Program RBC is another big name when it comes to banking in Canada and the RBC Student account is a good pick with some great perks. This account includes 25 free transactions, with a $1 fee per transaction after that. There are no monthly charges and no fees for Interac e-transfers. Additional perks include up to a $39 rebate on annual credit card fees (for eligible cards) and you can link your card to receive 3 cents per litre on fuel at Petro Canada which, if you own a car, is another great way to save as a student.

Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Bank Account

This student chequing account option differs from the others on this list because it’s offered through a credit union rather than a traditional bank, but the benefits are no different. The Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Bank Account offers unlimited transactions with zero monthly fees and no additional charges for Interac e-transfers. You do have to pay a one-time membership fee of $5, however, you can still use this account after you graduate since it’s not specifically a student account.

Desjardins Premier Plan

Desjardins doesn’t have any student-specific chequing accounts, but they do offer special discounts on their regular accounts for students. The best choice when it comes to Desjardins bank accounts is the Premier Plan. Normally this would come with a monthly fee of $13.95, however, for students it’s free. Accountholders will get an unlimited number of transactions, but there is a $1.50 fee for Interac e-transfers.

Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account

The Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account isn’t labelled as a student account, but despite that, it’s one of the best accounts out there for those looking for flexibility and low rates. Accountholders get unlimited transactions and don’t pay any monthly fees, though there is a $1 fee for Interac e-transfers. The standout feature for the Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account, however, is its interest rate, which ranges from 0.15%-0.65%. This is one of very few Canadian chequing accounts that actually pays interest on your deposits.

Motusbank No Fee Chequing Account

Motusbank is owned by Meridian, and the Motusbank No Fee Chequing Account definitely earns a spot on this list of the best student bank accounts in Canada. There are no monthly fees, no transaction fees, and no minimum balance requirements. The account is also one of the select few that offers an interest rate. Unlike with Tangerine accounts, however, the interest rates for Motusbank are not tiered: It’s a flat rate of 0.50%.

Make Your Life Easier

Money can be tight when you’re a student, necessitating you to look for discounts and cost-cutting opportunities in all aspects of your life. Opening one of these student chequing accounts will help save you money and is a kind gesture toward your finances.

Article comments

2 comments
Dee Banks says:

Some added advice from a long term banker – a student plan can be added to your existing account at anytime so be sure to give your bank a confirmation of enrolment as soon as you get it. Most banks will set up the account for the discounted plan until your date of graduation. If you continue in your studies let them know so that your student plan will stay in place. This discount continues through residency as well.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dee,

Thanks again for your comments! What you’ve noted here is important to consider for students who already have bank accounts. Students aren’t forced to apply for new financial products outside their bank, such as the ones listed above, to get discounted services. While it’s nice to be able to apply for SPC cards like the Scotia Student Banking Plan with details of your enrollment, exploring the SPC options from within your own bank is a safe bet. This makes it much easier on students, who are already time-starved. A simple call to their bank will likely open up a world of possibilities and is accomplished much faster than an application. Thanks again for the tip!

GreedyRates