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Do You Know About These Free Chequing Accounts in Canada?

The big and prominent banks burden you with hefty chequing fees. If you want to save on this part, the alternative is free chequing accounts in Canada. These accounts do not impose any fees for you to transact or store your money. 

Canadians spend the highest in the world to retain their investment and bank accounts in the form of fees. CBC News says that Canadians have been paying over $200 in annual bank fees which is a lot compared to other parts of the world. 

However, with some research, Canadians can find free chequing accounts in Canada or even a savings account. Being a loyal customer is great, but not when it’s raining down expenses on expenses on you. Exploring new options that benefit you financially is always a good move, and hence, you should avoid paying extra fees for something that you can get for free. 

Read: A Comprehensive List Of Best Online Banks In Canada

Purpose of a Chequing Account

A chequing account is created for people to indulge in daily transactions that comprise electronic funds, debits, bills, fund transfers, wire transfers, and deposits. This account provides better access to money that you need promptly. 

Chequing accounts are also called the demand or transactional accounts and are called “checking” instead of “chequing” in the U.S. 

The different types of chequing accounts include US dollar accounts, basic accounts, senior, youth, business, and joint accounts. 

Read: FSA vs Savings Account – Which One to Choose?

The Essentials of a Chequing Account

Free chequing accounts in Canada are not only relegated to your fee but also to your needs. To ensure you get the best results out of your choice, here are the concerns you need to address while looking for a free chequing account in Canada.

  • Impeccable customer support. 
  • No monthly fee. 
  • Free cheque books are a bonus. 
  • Hassle-free money transfers. 
  • Limit free transfers, bills, POS payments, pre-authorized bill payments, etc.
  • No minimum balance threshold. 
  • International and national ATM access. 
  • A mobile app that can be navigated with ease and allows you to make deposits and transactions without too many formalities. 
  • Insured by CIDC for an amount of up to $100,000.
  • Electronic account statements for free. 
  • Earning interest on a chequing account is a bonus. 

However, in-person access is almost always limited in these kinds of banks, or unavailable. Free chequing accounts in Canada are created when there are more savings on operational costs which means unavailability or limited access to a brick and mortar branch, and keeping their functions limited to online banking.

Read: A Comprehensive List of Instant Approval Credit Cards in Canada

The Best Free Chequing Accounts in Canada

To give you a closer look, here are the best free chequing accounts in Canada. 

1. Motive Financial 

Formerly Canadian Direct Financial, this is a branch of Canadian Western Bank. Their bank offers two fee-free chequing accounts which include Motive Cha-Ching Chequing, and Motive Chequing, investments, savings accounts, etc. 

The benefits of this chequing account are:

  • The first cheque book in 50 is free. 
  • Unlimited transactions and no fee. 
  • A mobile application is available. 
  • Earn 0.25% interest on your bank account. 
  • The 2nd largest ATM in the Canadian ATM network. 

You will pay a $1 Interac e-transfer fee and a $20 inactive account fee that comes in the scene after 2 no transaction years. 

Read: 5 Best Student Credit Cards in Canada for 2022!

2. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

The most prominent free chequing account in Canada is not fulfilled unless EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is included in it. This account is a mix of both savings and chequing accounts but is also a great no-fee option. 

EQ is the direct division of Equitable bank which comes under the Schedule I bank in Canada, launched in 1970, and manages assets worth $37 billion. The benefits of EQ banks are as follows:

  • International money transfers. 
  • Unlimited bill payments, Interac e-transfers, debit transactions. 
  • No monthly fee. 
  • High rates in Canada, 1.25%.
  • No minimum accounts threshold. 
  • CDIC insurance for up to $100,00 on each insured category. 
  • Great mobile application with free cheques. 

However, this account will not give you access to cheques, you can do all transactions like bill payments, pre-authorized debits, and Interac E-transfers online for free. You are also allowed to fill out mobile cheques. The interest in this account is calculated daily and added to your monthly account balance. You can also create an RRSP or TFSA account with a GIC and earn interest up to 3.00%.

Read: Leading Bank Accounts for Students in Canada (2022)

3. Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account

Tangerine or former ING Direct is owned by Scotiabank and is an online-only bank, which leads it to provide a free chequing facility and HISA. The perks of this account are:

  • Unlimited Interac e-transfers. 
  • Zero monthly fees. 
  • A network of over 3,500 ATMs in Canada and 44,000 in the world. 
  • 24/7 good customer support. 
  • Interest earnings of up to 0.10% on the account’s balance. 
  • Free email money transfers. 
  • First of the 50 cheque books are free. 

A unique feature to note about this bank is that they charge a $10 annual inactive account fee. Your account will also become inactive if you do not make any transactions for over 12 months. 

Read: A Comprehensive List of High-interest Savings Accounts in Canada

4. Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Accounts ($350 Bonus)

CIBC owns Simplii Financial (Former PC financial). This is a no-fee chequing account with high interest, mortgages, etc. 

The perks of this bank account are:

  • Free cheque books. 
  • Free Interac e-transfers. 
  • ATM access to 3400+ ATMs in Canada. 
  • Zero monthly fee and minimum balance. 
  • Unlimited transactions with debit purchases and pre-authorized bill payments. 
  • Interest payments of over 0.05% on the account balance. 
  • User-friendly and versatile app. 

It also charges $20/year for an inactive account if you have not made any transactions for over 2 years or more. On opening a Simplii Chequing Account you will get a $350 bonus if you meet the requirements. 

Read: Your Guide on How to Dispute Credit Card Errors in Canada!

5. Wealthsimple Save Account

Wealthsimple’s cash account is a mix of savings and chequing accounts with zero monthly fees. The perk of Wealthsimple are:

  • CIPF protection. 
  • Zero monthly fees. 
  • 0.50% interest rates. 
  • Zero minimum account balance threshold. 

This account is suitable for spending and savings and this interest rate is also one of the highest in Canada. Additionally. Wealthsimple also provides an online investment service that you should check out. You also get a $75 bonus on opening an investment account with $500 to the minimum.

Read: Top 11 Ways to Avoid Payday Loans in Canada

6. Motusbank No Fee Chequing Account

Motusbank is the newest online-only bank. This bank is owned by Meridian Credit Union and they give a no-fee chequing account, HISA, mortgages, investment, personal loans, etc. The perks of this bank are:

  • Free 3,700 ATM access. 
  • No monthly fee. 
  • Interest earned is 0.15%. 
  • Free and limitless Interac E-transfers. 
  • Unlimited transactions, debit purchases, withdrawals, and bill payments. 
  • Free first cheques book in 25. 
  • Versatile mobile application and easy cheque deposits. 

This bank also charges a $30 inactive account fee, if you make zero transactions for over 12 months. 

Read: Great Deals on Bank Accounts for Newcomers in Canada


Devanshee Dave

Devanshee is a staff writer at YourFirst.ca. She is a finance enthusiast and has completed her Master’s degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. She has worked as a journalist in a local business newspaper, multiple start-ups as well as finance and economy-related online media houses.

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