How to open a Canadian bank account

How to open a Canadian bank account

Opening a Canadian bank account is one of the first things you should plan to do as soon as you move to the country.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, Canada is one of the top three safest banks in the world. Canada has had only two small regional bank failures in nearly 100 years.

The Canadian banking system is developed and extensive. There are nearly 90 banks, about 6,000 bank branches and over 18,600 bank-owned ATMs (the highest per capita in the world).

You should not put off opening an account when you move to Canada — you will need it for your debit and credit cards, day-to-day shopping and credit history.

What you need to know before opening an account

Before opening an account, the following questions need to be clarified:

  • If you want to use the account as a savings account or a chequing account, you can use it as a savings account or as a chequing account. Deposits are for saving money at a low interest rate, chequing accounts are for making daily purchases;
  • What are the account maintenance fees. Major banks do not charge immigrants for the first 6 to 12 months. Students and seniors can open accounts for free;
  • whether there is a transaction limit. Unlimited debit cards have a higher service charge. For cards with a limit, the fees are less, but if you exceed the number of transactions, you will have to pay a penalty (about $1 CAD per transaction);
  • What the interest will be for keeping the money in the savings account. It is usually about 1% for Canadian dollar accounts and less than 0.5% for U.S. dollar accounts;
  • whether the deposits are insured.

What is required to open an account

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