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Leading Bank Accounts for Students in Canada (2022)

A student’s life is incomplete without a bank account. However, the heavy fees often make them take a step back from opening a checking account and we are also not a big fan of it. The life of a student is already filled with predicaments of school, college, life, etc. and a high fee should not add to their burden. So which bank account is most ideal for them in 2022? To make the choice easier for you, we have prepared a list of the most ideal bank accounts for students in Canada.

Student Bank Accounts in Canada

Before opening a bank account as a student in Canada, make sure that you are clear with your basics. It includes your needs, utilization, savings, interest on a savings account, and more. If you are well-versed with online research, you can get to know the pros and cons of various banks and based on that can make an informed decision. Also, it is always advisable to talk to people having accounts in a bank you are thinking about. They can give you information that otherwise may not be available on the intent.

Opening a bank account is the beginning of your financial journey and thus make sure that you do it correctly and with A to Z information.

These best student banks can be found at the big 5 banks of Canada, which are free of fees for students.

Read: Great Deals on Bank Accounts for Newcomers in Canada

The Essentials for Bank Accounts for Students in Canada

Bank Accounts for Students in Canada

The checking account or savings account for students is meant for people who are in university, college, or CEGEP. A checking account for students is equipped with debit cards and rewarding point of sale transactions, cheques, and receiving and sending money.

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

When combined with a savings account, they can also accrue great interest on your money deposited in the account. Before settling on the best fit for you, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Transaction fee: Your account should offer fee-free transactions, transfers, bill payments, withdrawals, and pre-authorized debit. The ultimate offering should be unlimited transactions without paying a hefty fee, it is often limited. You should ensure that the ones that you have are fulfilling all your needs.

Zero monthly fees: You should not be obliged to pay any monthly fee. And by that, we literally mean $0.

ATM Access: Is there a robust ATM network that you can access without paying any fee and within your vicinity.

Free e-transfers: Electronic transfers are the rage of the world right now, 9 in 10 transactions are done cashless, and it should be free for students. Hence, the accounts that provide the limitless Interac e-transfers are the most ideal.

Zero fee credit card: Your purchases should come with rewards. 

Rewards: Rewards programs are essential for students as they provide benefits on different purchases and help save money on the following expenses. You should be aware of “Bait and switch” schemes that are not what they seem.

Negligible or zero minimum requirement: If you keep the $3,000 balance, your bank will waive the monthly balance fee. However, slip up once and you will be paying the monthly fee. Hence, a bank account without a monthly fee should be your pick.

Read: Best Cashback Websites in Canada in 2022

Checking Accounts for Students in Canada in 2022

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan

Founded in 1832, the 3rd largest bank in Canada is built on the foundation of market share capitalization and deposits. This bank account levies no fee for students through the Scotiabank Savings Banking Advantage Plan which also brings debit transactions and Interac e-transfers.

When you make purchases, you also get Scotia Rewards or the SCENE points) and you can use these points for traveling, food, and entertainment, etc. New accounts are also rewarded with a $0 bonus if all the requirements are met. 

Other added perks are:

  • A free credit score was provided.
  • Zero monthly fees.
  • Unlimited debit transactions.
  • $60 welcome bonus given.
  • Unlimited Interac and e-transfers.

You also get free access to SCENE Visa Credit Card which is perfect for students who want free food and movies. The bank also has a vast network of 4,000 branches of ATMs in Canada.

Read: The Top Discounts for Seniors in Canada: A Must Read!

Simplii No-Fee Checking Account For Students

Simplii Financial is the extension of CIBC. This digital bank is the best in Canada with a checking account that is free and has the same provisions for non-students and students.

The offering of this account are:

  • Zero monthly fees.
  • Access to a robust 3,400 ATM network in Canada.
  • Make unlimited and free Interac e-transfers and bill payments. 
  • Get free personalized cheques.
  • Free check deposits for mobile.
  • Get a $250 sign-up bonus when you meet the qualifications. 
  • 0.05% interest provided for account balance on checking account. 

The students can blend the checking account with the savings account and Cash Back Visa Card. This card is free of any annual fee and also gives 0.05% interest and 4% cashback on daily purchases. This is one of the most popular bank accounts for students in Canada.

Read: 20 Amazing Ways To Save Money On A House In Canada

Innovation Credit Union No-Fee Checking Account

If you are a resident of Saskatchewan, you should go for the fee-free checking account by Innovation Credit Union which is the ideal pick for students. 

The various benefits of the account are:

  • A guarantee on your deposit, secured by Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation.
  • You pay zero monthly fees.
  • You are not obliged to keep a minimum balance, and you won’t be charged for it. 
  • Free and no-limit debit and bill payment. 
  • Limitless Interac e-transfers.
  • A robust ATM network all over Canada.

You can also be eligible for some bonuses with exclusive codes offered at various places. This bonus is credited to the account after some conditions are met.

Read: Top 9 International Money Transfer Apps In Canada

Tangerine No-Fee Checking Account For Students

Tangerine Bank is the extension of Scotiabank which is a renowned financial institution in Canada. 

The no-fee checking account provides various benefits which are:

  • Zero fee deposits on mobile.
  • Competitive interest on the balance in your account.
  • A network of 3,500 ATMs across Canada and 44,000 worldwide, which is honored by the Global ATM Alliance of ScotiaBank.
  • Zero fees every month.
  • Do limitless Interac e-transfers, debit, bill fulfillment, and money transfers. 
  • Free checkbook for your initial 50 cheques.

The interest on the accounts of this bank is very competitive and certainly stands out from all the other banks in Canada. There is also the provision where you can go for  Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card with an annual fee as low as 2% cashback on 3 purchase categories.

TD Student Bank Account

The bank account at TD bank is free from monthly fees and you can get 25 free Interac e-transfers each month. After that, you pay $1.25 per transaction. 

  • Free 25 Interac e-transfers and debit payments.
  • 25 free transactions every month.
  • Zero monthly fees.

The bank has an ATM network of 4,000 in North America and 2,300 branches. 

Read: Tips On Credit Score Check In Canada? Will It Lower It?

CIBC Smart For Students Bank Account

Founded in 1961, CIBC is the result of the merging of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada. This bank account also has zero monthly fees and allows limitless transactions and Interac e-transfers.

With a smart student account, you also get membership of SPC and offers on prominent brands like Samsung, Apple, Foot Locker, and many more. This account can stay open until 6 months after your graduation.

Other benefits include:

  • Free SPC membership.
  • Zero monthly fees.
  • Unlimited monthly free transactions.
  • Interac e-transfers.

It has an ATM network of 4,000 and 1,100 branches that sprawl over Canada. Students are also eligible for a discount on trading fees if they invest with CIBC Investor’s Edge.

Read: Include This In Your Retirement Checklist In Canada

BMO Student Checking Account (Plus Plan)

BMO or the Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817. It is also the 4th biggest bank in Canada based on market capitalization. “Plus Plan” is the name given to the student bank of this bank.  It provides 25 free monthly transactions and fee-free Interac e-transfers.

The fee for this account is $10.95, however, students pay no fee as long as they retain the status of being students. You can extend these benefits after 1 year of your graduation. Here are the consolidated benefits of this account.

  • Free Interac e-transfers.
  • You get credit scores without paying a fee.
  • Zero monthly fees are imposed.25 free debits transactions every month.
  • Free Interac e-transfers.

RBC Student Banking Account

RBC (Royal Bank Of Canada), founded in 1864 is the biggest market capitalization bank in Canada. The checking account is one of the famous bank accounts for students in Canada. It levies no monthly fee and is given the benefit of 25 free debit transactions monthly and does Interac e-transfers without any limit. After the limit costs $1 each.

If you meet the eligibility conditions, you can also get a great bonus from this bank. You are also allowed to link the Petro-points to the RBC debit or credit card and save on your gas purchases in the Petro-Canada places.

  • 3 cents saved on every petro-gas purchase.
  • Zero monthly fees.
  • Unlimited Interac e-transfers.
  • 25 free debit transactions every month.

The ATM and branch network of RBC is more robust than any other bank, hence you can always withdraw or reach your bank easily.

Read: A Comprehensive List Of Best Online Banks In Canada

Hybrid Bank Account for Students in Canada for 2022

Bank Accounts for Students in Canada

A hybrid account brings double benefits for the students in Canada. That is because it combines the benefits of both a checking account and a savings account into one, to provide the most lucrative use of the account to a student. The following bank made it to our list of best hybrid banks for students:

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

This bank is a part of the Equitable Bank, which is a Schedule 1 bank in Canada. It was founded in 2016.

This bank account has combined features of both a savings account and a checking account. Here are the things that you stand to get from this account:

  • Zero monthly fees.
  • Limitless electronic payments and bill payments.
  • Best interest account with 1.25% interest.
  • Deposits through the phone are free.
  • Zero minimum balance.
  • Limit free Interac e-transfers.

The savings account at the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account will not allow you to have a dedicated debit card, hence you can use it with a checking account like with a credit union and leverage the benefits of both types of account. 

Read: 29 Amazing Tips To Save Money Faster In Canada

Top Investment Banks for Students in Canada

Investments are an essential part of building up generational wealth. And guess what! You are never too late to invest and grow your money. Students further benefit from a bank account that provides rewards and concessions on investing. These banks are:

Wealthsimple

With $5 billion worth of assets in its watch, Wealthsimple is the best Robo-advisor in Canada and is trusted by a large demographic. Mutual Funds make a good part of an investor’s portfolio, but they are also not cheap to buy.

To overcome this setback for student investors, Wealthsimple uses an efficient, diversified, and low-cost approach to investing in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) with strategies that are commended by the best investors in the world.

You can also invest money in a registered and non-registered account (RRSP or TFSA), with a cost of 0.50% and 0.40% yearly. This account also comes with features of financial advice, automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, automatic deposits, and doing every crucial step without worrying you.

Questrade

If you are a student who is interested in investing in ETFs or stocks, doing your own portfolio management, enjoy low cost, then Questrade is the ideal pick that is meant for you, as it is the most renowned stock trading application in Canada.

Launched in 1999, and allows you to trade in ETFs, mutual funds, options, stocks, IPOs, ethereal metal, stocks, etc. You can open accounts like TFSA, RRSP, and other margin accounts through this account.

Conclusion on Bank Accounts for Students in Canada

A student has many expenses that can pose a heavy challenge if not regulated mindfully. Hence, student bank accounts are essential. These will not stay with you forever, but as long as you have to, harness the benefits and save money.

Once you graduate, the bank will take it upon itself to turn your student bank account into a paid plan, as you lose the status of a student. This bank account also gives you the right to get credit instruments like loans and credit cards to create a good credit score from the start.

There are also savings on various bank activities like transfers, payments, withdrawals, free transactions, e-transfers, etc. Such bank accounts are specially meant to serve the students, they give you exclusive access and benefits to transfer, credit cards, loans, investments, and insurance at low interest and borrow rates.

Finally, we leave you with this list of bank accounts for students in Canada. It will give you a clear perspective on where you should go with your banking choices. You can also combine this bank account with budgeting apps and further regulate your expenses and save more.

Read: Top 11 Ways to Avoid Payday Loans 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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