Savings Accounts in Canada (Oct 2017)

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For the latest information on High Interest Savings Accounts, please check out this post: Best High Interest Savings Accounts (HISA) In Canada | Updated April 2020

While I have credit cards with most major financial institutions, I don’t bank with them. Why? Because they are so many better alternatives. The best high interest savings accounts in Canada are not with the major banks – their rates are very poor. There are three alternative options that I use and recommend. The best savings accounts should have a great interest rate with no requirements – no minimum balance, no direct deposit requirements, and no online account or monthly fees.

Best High Interest Savings Accounts

Best High Interest Savings Accounts

Best High Interest Savings Accounts in Canada

1. EQ Bank – 2.3% Interest + $25

The EQ Savings Plus account is one of the best in Canada. In addition to having a fantastic rate, it also functions as a checking account.You get 5 Free Interac E-Transfers a month, and unlimited transactions including EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) to your other bank accounts. This high interest savings account offers a consistent 2.3% interest rate.

Best High Interest Savings Account in Canada - EQ Bank

Best High Interest Savings Account in Canada – EQ Bank

It’s not a promotional rate, so it’s a great account to keep long term. In addition, you can earn an additional $25 bonus if you are a new client until October 31, 2017 when signing up. EQ Bank ran the same promotion last May. Once your account is set up, you will receive a welcome email. You must reply with the promo code REF021476980095 before November 15 to get the $25 bonus that will post within 5 business days. My welcome email looked like this:

EQ Bank Welcome Email

EQ Bank Welcome Email

2. Tangerine – 2.4% Interest + $50

People either love or hate Tangerine. I love them for a variety of reasons, one being that they are the best virtual bank with a ground presence. This is because Tangerine is owned by Scotiabank, which means you can access their ATMs free of charge. As well, this also means that you can also use Scotiabank’s international banking partners to avoid foreign ATM fees.

Tangerine Orange Key

Tangerine Orange Key

When you sign up for a new Tangerine checking account and use Orange Key 44400167S1, you can earn an additional $50 bonus by depositing $100 in your account. This may also stack with an additional $100 payroll bonus. By signing for a savings account as well, you will earn 2.4% for the first three months the account is open.

Inserting Orange Key

Inserting Orange Key

The everyday rate at 1.0% isn’t great, but Tangerine has targeted promotions every quarter with really good rates. This quarter, I got selected to earn 2.75% interest until the end of the year. Last quarter, they were offering up to 3.21%.

Tangerine - Targeted Savings Interest Rate

Tangerine – Targeted Savings Interest Rate

3. DUCA Credit Union – 2.75% Interest + $50

DUCA is a Credit Union in Ontario. They recently launched a promotion where you can earn 2.75% Interest on new deposits into their Earn More Savings account. This is the best publicly available interest rate on a savings account with no minimum balance, as both new and current members are eligible. This promotional rate runs until December 14, 2017.

DUCA Earn More High Interest Savings Account

DUCA Earn More High Interest Savings Account

DUCA is also currently offering $50 for new members signing up. You will earn $50 deposited into your account within 90 days of joining, and also get to select a charity that DUCA will donate $50 to, which is a nice touch. Signup for a new account here, and enter my information in the referred by box.

DUCA High Interest Savings Account Signup

DUCA High Interest Savings Account Signup

Along with DUCA, there other provincial credit unions often offer rates that are as good or better than national financial institutions, so if you bank with a credit union, you should always keep an eye out for these promotional rates. All credit unions should have deposit protection that likely is organized provincially. In BC, all credit union deposits are protected with no limit.


All deposits in Canadian financial institutions are guaranteed by CDIC (Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation), for deposits in Canadian currency up to $100,000 per bank. This is enough assurance for me, and so all my interest is free money. None of these accounts have monthly fees and minimum balances, and I use them for my rainy day fund. I get that people may not want to move money around accounts, but it at most takes me most 20 minutes every few months. That’s a pretty good return.

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  1. You should include that any interest earned in a savings account is taxed at your highest marginal rate. Compare this MS spending to get rebates or cash back through a credit card that is tax free, and this is a no brainer.

  2. Wow, what a helpful post, thank you! I thought that all of the higher rates were just teaser rates. Really liking the idea of the EQ Bank account. Just applied using the link!

    As far as taxes go (other comment above), everybody knows that you have to pay taxes on most activities. Think the point of this article was to show the best interest rates for those who are keeping a chunk of money in a savings account.

  3. I have money with the PC financial paying 2.5% until Nov1,2017.
    I would like to try Duca as well as Meridian.
    Duca says 2.75% until Dec 14.
    Does that mean if I open an account on lets say Dec 13,2017 and transfer in do I get the rate locked in for 90 days? And can I add more at anytime and still get the 2.75%?
    Can I link other accounts to easily transfer in and out like most other institutions.
    Is there a max allowed in an account ( EQ is $100.000 and PC is $500,000)
    What about Meridian high interest accounts?
    If I move ahead you will get the reference for sure.
    The one finger typist!

  4. Hi,

    I have used your promo code to reply to the EQ Bank’s welcome email on 6th October 2017.

    So far, I haven’t received the bonus $25 amount & more than 5 business days have elapsed.

    What do you suggest should be done.

    Please advise.

  5. Dear CK,

    Thank you so much for this post. My house is closing at the end of November and I’ve been looking around for a place to store some of the cash.

    I opened up my first “online only” bank account with EQ Bank account and used your referral code (thank you). The process was really easy to connect with my TD Bank account.

    I know that I can PULL to EQ (from TD) but can I PULL to TD (from EQ)? I like the extra days of double interest 🙂

    I won’t have the money in time to bother with the DUCA account (although I’ll watch them for offers in the future).

    Most of my income is from eligible dividends so the extra income won’t impact my taxes much (I’ve already checked 🙂 ) and I like to have some cash.

    Regards Sarah.

  6. Okay, I am a complete noob – so I apologise in advance if this is a stupid question.

    Basically I would like to know what the heck the catch is?
    Why wouldn’t everyone use these options? I don’t understand?

    I also wondered if for example you always have to money in the accounts? For example, I just recently came into settlement money and in addition to opening up a TFSA with Investors Group – I am looking to put my money somewhere to “grow” — but is easier to access … Does this make sense?

    I just can’t understand why people would leave their money sitting in BMO for instance with a 0.5% interest rate when they could be earning 2.75% interest. Aka: what’s the catch? Or risk? Or downfall?

    Thanks so much 🙂

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