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Great Deals on Bank Accounts for Newcomers in Canada

Coming to Canada and confused about the bank options to opt? Newcomers need to be aware of everything that is crucial for opening and managing bank accounts for newcomers in Canada. There are myriads of decisions that you need to make while moving to Canada like housing, food, expenses, education, jobs, investing, banking, etc. 

But fret not! To aid you in turning this stressful situation into a breeze, we have created an essential checklist for the best bank accounts for newcomers in Canada in 2022.

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

Major Concerns for Newcomers

The financial system of Canada is thriving and robust. Newcomers can choose bank accounts for both professional and daily banking needs. There are credit unions, traditional banks, and online banks to choose from. Here are the most basic considerations that every newcomer needs to make before they settle on a bank.

Rate of Interest

The interest rate should be competitive and provide a high return on your funds in the savings account. Hence, you need to compare and contrast the rates of different banks before choosing the ideal one. You can also acquire attractive interest rates from banks on opening a checking account. 

The Banking Concerns

Why do you want to open a bank account? How much balance will you keep monthly? How many transactions can you make in a day or a month? Do you prefer offline banking or online banking is the way to go for you? Do you prefer to open other accounts for a mortgage, savings, credits, investments, etc. at the same or different bank? Will you be indulging in international transactions?

All these bank concerns should be considered for bank accounts for newcomers in Canada. 

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

The Fee Imposed on Transactions

You should keep an eye on the fee levied on transactions along with the monthly fees and maintenance charges and the limitations imposed on them. This can be levied on Interac E-transfers, ATM withdrawals, online transactions, cheques, etc.

Monthly Payment

When you open an account, most banks provide you with a promotion period that lasts around 1 year when you are not obliged to pay a monthly fee. Once that period is over, you will pay the regular fee like others. You have to think if these fees are worth it. 

However, you can also get this fee waived if you keep maintaining a monthly minimum balance in your account. You can open a zero-fee checking account at digital banks. 

Accessibility

Is your bank available 24/7 and has branches all over your area? Most transactions can be fulfilled without any hindrance but you should always settle for a bank with branches within proximity of your residence if you desire to have in-branch transactions too.

You can not find branches for fully online banks like Tangerine or Simplii Financial, as they have no branches. But you still have access to the various ATMs that these banks provide across Canada. You can create your bank account before you set foot in Canada if your bank allows it.

Read: Beginners Guide to Stock Gifting in Canada

List of Bank Accounts for Newcomers in Canada in 2022

The newcomers in Canada can land attractive banking provisions from some banks. These programs are as below.

HSBC Banks Canada Newcomers Program

HSBC holds the crown as the biggest bank globally and also being the most prestigious one in Canada. This bank has international reasoning along with its many packages. 

They realize the predicament of newcomers and the obstructions of moving to a new country. Hence, their bank services are especially suited for the new people in the country. These include multi-currency savings accounts, $0 wire transfers for amounts up to $10,000, globally-accessible bank accounts.

Read: Beginners’ Guide to RRSP Investments in Canada

Scotiabank StartRight Program

Based on asset size, Scotiabank stands 3rd amongst the banks in Canada. By using the StartRight program, newcomers can get a free checking account for up to 1 year, credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, savings, and free credit scores, in the list of many things that they provide. This program by Scotiabank is suitable for Canadian residents who have been around for 0-3 years.

Here are some of the offerings of the program:

  • If you are eligible, you get $300 as a bonus.
  • Unlimited debit and Interac e-Transfer transactions. 
  • You needn’t pay a monthly fee for 1 year and after that, you need to pay $16.95. If a balance of $4,000 is maintained after that, you can waive it even then.
  • You can make 1 fee-free transaction from a non-Scotiabank ATM too. 
  • Accessibility to high interest on your savings account.
  • Eligible for free credit scores.
  • Debit transactions yield rewards if made from the SCENE or Scotia Rewards programs.
  • For the 1st year, $139 can be waived on the credit cards of the bank.

RBC Newcomer Advantage

This program is reserved for permanent Canadian residents and the international students residing there. Through this program, one can create an RBC No Limit Banking Accounts or the RBC VIP Banking account where you are not obliged to pay any monthly fee for one year.

After 1 year, you will pay $10.95 and $30 respectively every month. This program provides unlimited interface e-transfers and debit transactions. Additionally, you get:

  • More benefits on mortgages, car loans, business bank accounts, and investments.
  • For 6 months, you can make 2 international money transfers without any additional fee.

Read: Guide to Investing in Mutual Funds in Canada

CIBC Welcome O Canada Banking Package

This program is made for those people who have acquired the status of permanent Canadian resident in the last 5 years. This bank account for Newcomers in Canada provides:

  • You don’t have to pay $60/annually for the deposit box for one year.
  • You don’t need to pay the $14.95/monthly fee for 1 year when you open the bank account.
  • Unlimited Interac e-transfers and debit transfers,

You also have access to loans, investments, mortgages, etc. financial products.

TD New To Canada Banking Package

This banking account is for people who have stayed in Canada for at least 2 years or less and are permanent or temporary. This account provides:

  • You can make a free international money transfer, limited to 1 per month for at least 6 months.
  • Pay a $16.95 monthly fee only after one year. You have the right to get it waived by maintaining a $4,000 minimum balance.
  • You need not pay any TD fee in Canada’s ATMs.
  • Unlimited debit and Interac e-transfers.
  • You get a $20 discount on TD credit cards.

You also get access to loan products, savings accounts, etc.

BMO NewStart Program

The people who have stayed in Canada for at least 5 years are qualified for this program. Under the BMO NewStart Program, you get 1 year of free baking on getting the Performance Plan. The various offering of this program are:

  • 1 year of a free safety deposit box, after 1 year you only pay $55.
  • No limit on debit and Interac-e transfers.
  • You get a single free withdrawal from an ATM not belonging to BMO.
  • Free of the monthly fee for 1 year. After that period, you pay $15.95, which is also waived if you maintain a minimum $4,000 balance. 

The newcomers in Canada also get access to credit cards, international money transactions, transfers, loans, investments, etc. All you have to do is research well before starting your journey in Canada and shop well for a good account deal.

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


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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