Updated October 15, 2023

Best Bank in Canada

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Confused which bank in Canada is right for you? This guide highlights the 10 best banks along with their pros and cons, products, fees, and more.

When it comes to Canadian banking, you will not run out of options.

But choosing the right one can be difficult.

This article presents you with the top banks in Canada, highlighting their strengths and unique offerings.

Hopefully, it will help you make an informed choice.

What are the best rated banks in Canada?
Here are 10 great banking options for Canadians.

  1. Scotiabank: best overall
  2. Bank of Montreal: best for hassle-free banking
  3. Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust: best for flexible chequing
  4. Royal Bank of Canada: best for ATM accessibility
  5. CIBC: best big bank for seniors
  6. National Bank of Canada: best for Quebec residents
  7. EQ Bank: best for savings
  8. Tangerine Bank: best online bank for chequing
  9. Simplii Financial: best online bank for specialized accounts
  10. Neo Financial: best minimalist online banking

The 10 Best Banks in Canada

Here's an overview of 10 great banking options for Canadians.

Bank of Montreal900+3,300+
Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust1,100+2,500+
Royal Bank of Canada1,200+4,200+
National Bank of Canada450+2,000+
EQ BankOnlineFree at any local ATM
Tangerine BankOnline3,500+ Scotiabank ABMs
Simplii FinancialOnline3.400+ CIBC ATMs
Neo FinancialOnlineMastercard ATMs


Best Overall Bank

Scotiabank is a household name in Canada, being one of the oldest banks and the third largest in assets. It has a presence in more than 50 countries, serving over 25 million customers.

As a financial powerhouse, it is no surprise that it has a wide range of accounts—and we mean a lot.

They offer both account packages and individual accounts. As an example, their Ultimate Package features unique perks like 10 free equity trades and a small safety deposit box.[1]

For minimal chequing, you can choose their Basic Bank Account, which is affordable and eligible for overdraft protection.

Fun fact: Scotiabank has a rich history of support for the country's beloved hockey. As one of the NHL founding members, no wonder it serves as their official bank, too.[2]

Scotiabank also has several savings accounts in its roster. Momentum Savings Account may be worth checking out, given its better rate when you keep your money longer.

There are specialized accounts for kids, students, seniors, and those new to Canada. In case you have foreign currency needs, this bank services multiple currencies, ranging from Euros to Rands.

  • Wide range of financial products
  • Affordable chequing options
  • Extensive foreign exchange services
  • Minimum balance required to waive monthly fees
  • Minimal discount for seniors

Some Products to Consider:

Want to learn about the rest of Scotiabank's accounts? Click here.

Bank of Montreal

Best for Hassle-Free Banking

Bank of Montreal is a trusted financial institution that's been around for centuries.

Their chequing accounts come in 5 types. The Air Miles Chequing Account is quite an interesting offer for frequent air travellers since you can earn miles with debit card transactions.

Meanwhile, you can experience personalized service through their dedicated banking advisors. That's on top of their 24/7 call center facility and online chat services. Thus, it is likely that any issue can be addressed promptly and efficiently.

And if that's not enough to put you at ease, let's talk about their ATM and branch coverage.

They have 3,300+ ATMs nationwide accessible for free! With a Performance Chequing Account, you even get one free out-of-network ATM monthly withdrawal.

Did you know this historic bank was instrumental in Canada's first railway? Taking a daring risk in 1867, no doubt it has paid off. Bank of Montreal provided crucial financing that helped lead to the country's economic growth.[3]

  • Reputable and long-standing
  • Competitive interest in savings
  • Dedicated banking advisors
  • High balance to waive monthly fees on most chequing
  • Low-interest rate on USD savings

Some Products to Consider:

Not the BMO accounts you're looking for? Click here for more types.

How are the two options so far? Don't be satisfied just yet, we still have 9 great banks to cover!

Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust

Best for Flexible Chequing

TD Canada Trust is another solid option that boasts flexible chequing, affordable fees, and convenient hours for customers.

With plenty of chequing options, you will likely find something that fits your usage. A TD All-Inclusive Chequing Account, for example, provides unlimited ATM withdrawals in Canada without a TD service charge.

On the other hand, the TD Minimum Chequing Account is your basic choice which comes with 12 included transactions. You can get 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks stores by linking it to a Starbucks Rewards account.

Planning to be in the US for a while? TD, which has active US operations, provides several cross-border banking solutions. The most affordable would be TD Convenience chequing, which only requires $100 to waive monthly fees.

TD Canada Trust has a unique initiative called The Ready Commitment.[4] They allocated $1 billion for 10 years to support community development and sustainability. Wow, a bank that cares!

Moreover, TD stands out with its weekend branch banking. Most branches are open on Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm. However, note that business hours differ in some locations.

  • Multiple chequing options
  • Weekend branch banking hours in most locations
  • Extensive foreign currency exchange services
  • Low interest on TD High-Interest Savings Account
  • Phone support can be difficult to access

Some Products to Consider:

More TD accounts with exclusive privileges await your discovery here.

If TD Canada Trust is part of Canada's Big 5, who's the biggest? It's coming right up!

Royal Bank Of Canada

Best for ATM Accessibility

Many consider RBC the number 1 bank in Canada. One reason is that it has over 4,200 ATMs and 1,200 branches nationwide.

As if their network isn't large enough, RBC partnered with other banks to expand it further. Thus, customers can transact with 3,400 more ATMs without paying additional fees.

So whenever you need access to your money, you don't have to worry about having an ATM nearby.

Royal Bank of Canada is different from the Bank of Canada, which is often mistaken as the same. It's like comparing a bag of chips (RBC) to a vending machine (Bank of Canada). They may be related, but the Bank of Canada is the central bank. It focuses on the country's monetary policies, which govern all banks, including RBC.

RBC also features a comprehensive value program that extends to most of its products. You can earn Avion points using an eligible chequing account or paying with a qualified RBC credit card.[5]

You can redeem your Avion points as rebates towards monthly fees or use them for purchases from partner retailers. Furthermore, you can buy flight tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages.

  • Most number of bank-owned ATMs
  • Reduced monthly fees through RBC Value Program
  • Multiple customer lines by product/service
  • Most accounts have transaction fees
  • Minimal interest in savings accounts

Some Products to Consider:

Tap HERE to find more specific RBC accounts.

For more mature adults, the next bank might just be the ONE that fulfills your wishlist.


Best Big Bank for Seniors

CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) is a bank that seems to have a soft spot for seniors.

If you're over 65, you will pay lower fees, and the bank processes are simplified. Their benefits include unlimited transactions, bespoke financial advice, and free personalized cheques.

Further proof of CIBC's red-carpet treatment for elders is their priority telephone routing. When you call the bank, you are automatically placed in front of a waiting list.

CIBC changed its logo in September 2021, replacing its previous image of a woodpecker drilling into a tree. The revamped look showcases a pair of chevrons pointing in opposite directions. It represents the institution's ties to its history and upcoming prospects.

This bank also features a smart bonus rate if you add at least $200 monthly (capped at $200,000).

You can also send money overseas without incurring any transfer fees. Aside from bank accounts, such service can be funded using an eligible CIBC credit card or a line of credit.

  • Great perks for seniors
  • Incentivized savings
  • Multi-lingual phone support
  • High chequing balance to waive monthly fees
  • Transaction fees are charged on most accounts

Some Products to Consider:

Unlock more financial opportunities at CIBC HERE.

If you live in Quebec, you will probably see this bank in your neighbourhood.

National Bank Of Canada

Best for Quebec Residents

Think of a bank right in your backyard, ready to serve your financial needs. That's exactly what the National Bank offers to Quebecers.

But even if you live outside Quebec, you're very much welcome to bank with them.

National Bank has an impressive array of products. For instance, they don't have just 3 chequing accounts; they have four. In contrast, they feature only one savings account, earning a decent interest regardless of your balance.

Nonetheless, they have special offers to youth, students, seniors, and newcomers. They also have tailored accounts for a wide range of skilled professionals, such as doctors and lawyers.

Fun fact: National Bank was the first to introduce bilingual ATMs in Canada. This pioneering feature allowed customers to access their accounts in French or English.

  • Multiple product offerings
  • High-interest savings with no minimum balance
  • Curated accounts for professionals
  • Fewer branches outside Quebec
  • Comparably shorter branch banking hours

Some Products to Consider:

Want to keep exploring NB accounts? Click HERE for more.

Now that we're done with the big players, let's go to the innovative challengers!

EQ Bank

Best for Savings

Tired of paralyzing fees and itty-bitty earnings from mainstream banks? How about redundant paperwork, complicated processes, and long wait times? You'll have none of that with EQ Bank.

This online bank does not charge on most everyday transactions. When you look at their fee schedule, you won't find any dollar sign. They don't even charge for overdrafts or insufficient fund transactions.

EQ Bank offers interest rates on savings you likely won't experience from the biggest banks. The best part is that you can withdraw from this account as often as necessary without being penalized.

Why keep all the love to yourself? Share the Love is EQ Bank's referral program. Here, both the referrer and referee can earn a cash bonus with every successful referral. It is a win-win situation where everyone gets rewarded for sharing their positive customer experience!

  • No fees on most transactions
  • Comparably high interest on savings
  • Free withdrawals from any local ATM
  • No overdraft protection
  • No physical branches

Some Products to Consider:

There are a few more EQ accounts here that may suit your needs best.

If you are curious about other high earners like EQ Bank, this next option won't miss the mark.

Tangerine Bank

Best Online Bank for Chequing

Scotiabank acquired Tangerine Bank (TB) in 2012 when it was still ING DIRECT Canada. Nevertheless, TB operates independently and is considered one of the leading digital banks for Canadians.

It has savings that can be applied to registered accounts like Tax Free Savings Accounts and Retirement Savings Plans. This bank also offers credit cards and no-fee chequing for affordable everyday banking.

Their chequing account gets you overdraft protection, unlimited debit purchases, and more. But the main difference is that it earns interest regardless of how much you have in it.

And unlike many online banks, you get paper cheques with your chequing account. They even give the first 50 to you for free.

Maybe you thought that the citrus fruit inspired its name, Tangerine Bank. Well, you're actually right! It was chosen to reflect the bank's fresh, vibrant, unconventional banking approach.

  • Dedicated chequing account with paper cheques
  • Overdraft protection option
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Comparably lower savings interest
  • Charges NSF fee

Some Products to Consider:

Since Tangerine has a wide array of products comparable to an established physical bank, check out the rest HERE.

Can't get enough of the generous account offerings from trailblazing banks? We have two more on this list.

Simplii Financial

Best Online Bank for Specialized Accounts

Simplii Financial (SF) is a digital banking spinoff of CIBC, a Big 5 bank. This may add to your confidence when considering it for your everyday spending.

You can avoid the usual admin charges for your chequing and savings. At the same time, you get the convenience of online banking to get many things done faster.

But what sets SF apart from its digital contemporaries is its tailored accounts for students (locals and foreigners) and those new to Canada. They also have a GIC program that helps with study permits for international students.[6]

Their USD account is also a major selling point with a higher rate than usual. There are no SF fees when sending funds to your USD accounts outside Canada.

Did you know? Simplii Financial has racked up several Canadian awards for its customer-focused approach to banking.
  • Best Use of Technology in Banking in 2019
  • Highest Customer Satisfaction Among Midsize Banks from 2018 to 2019
  • Ipsos Financial "Value for Money" from 2021 to 2022

  • Special no-fee offers for students and newcomers
  • High-interest rate for USD savings accounts
  • Overdraft protection
  • Requires higher savings to get a good rate
  • No cash deposit or withdrawal for USD account

Some Products to Consider:

Interested in Simplii Financial's high-earning dollar account? Read on for more details.

We're almost done, but there's one more. Don't skip this last best bank on our list.

Neo Financial

Best Minimalist Online Banking

Here is another online bank that does not want to complicate things. At the same time, it lets you maximize your gains.

Neo Financial may only have a few products on their plate, but they offer a feature called Neo Money, a streamlined account for spending and savings. It combines the functionality of savings and chequing accounts.

With Neo Money, you can receive a prepaid card that you can use for purchases at retail partners to reap unlimited cashback rewards.

Notably, this account not only earns your balance interest, but also allows your cashback to grow alongside it. When you enable your Auto-Save feature in your app, you can organize your finances, separating your savings from your spending cash.

Fun fact: Neo Financial is the brainchild of two brothers, Andrew and Kris Read. They also co-founded SkipTheDishes, a widely used food delivery platform in Canada. Together with their innovative mindset and expertise, they created their cutting-edge digital brand.

  • High-earning deposit account
  • Cashback can earn interest
  • Zero annual fee credit card option
  • No fund transfer facility between Neo accounts
  • No mobile cheque deposit

Some Products to Consider:

Neo Financial has two more financial products: one for mortgages and the other for investments. Discover Neo Mortgage and Neo Invest.

How to Choose the Best Bank for You

Now that you've learned about the best banks in Canada, here are some questions you have to ask yourself to help you land the right bank.

  1. Does the account match your goal?
    Select a bank with an account that answers your "why."

    Ask yourself why you need to have a particular account.

    • Will it serve your financial needs?
    • Will it help you achieve your objective?

    Are you looking at saving for a vacation? You might want to consider a high-yield savings account. Would you like frequent access to your funds? Go for a chequing account with unlimited monthly transactions.

    Selecting a bank account that matches your financial goals can help you reduce unnecessary costs while getting the most usage out of it. You can take advantage of specific features to help you achieve your desired outcomes.

    Why choose online banks?
    Online banks are super convenient for most. They generally have lower fees and offer higher interest rates than traditional banks. And if you don't live near a brick-and-mortar branch, they can be a lifesaver.

  2. How high are the fees?
    Having a clear purpose will also help you avoid unnecessary charges.

    Almost always, you will want to look for an account that offers zero to low transaction fees.

    But remember, most accounts would only waive certain fees under certain conditions. One is for you to maintain a higher balance, which may be too much for some people.

    If avoiding fees is your top priority, you may want to look at the online banks on the list. But you'll have more risk since these banks have not built up a reputation like other options.

    Which bank is best in Canada with no fees?
    Fintech companies or online banks like EQ Bank and Tangerine offer zero fees on most products. It is part of their competitive advantage that attracts customers to their side. Thus, it makes them a more affordable alternative to traditional banks.

  3. Are there ATMs or banks near you?
    Having nearby ATMs is a no-brainer, especially for a chequing account. That's why it helps if the bank has a wide network of ATMs and physical branches.

    Also, you would want convenient access to your money without the extra charges.

    Are online banks safe?
    Yes. Most online banks use encryption methods and security features to keep your account safe. Plus, they are regulated by the same authorities that oversee traditional banks. They also have CDIC coverage and adhere to strict security standards for your peace of mind.

  4. How long has the bank been operating?
    A bank that has been in the industry for a long time is more likely stable and reliable. That makes it a safe bet, especially for banking neophytes.

    Others are attracted to higher rates or bonuses by online banks coming out of the woodwork.

    But, it may be risky to put your hard-earned cash in a bank with no proven track record.

    You can look for banks insured by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). With this insurance, up to $100,000 of your savings will be protected if the bank were to go under.[7]

    What is the most trusted bank?
    Overall, Chase is the most trusted bank, according to a Nasdaq study on America's most trusted bank. In Canada, the bank you would trust is usually regarded as safe by industry standards. They will likely be any Big 5 bank, led by Royal Bank of Canada.

  5. How's their customer service?
    Good customer service is like having a reliable GPS on a long road trip.

    24/7 support will help you navigate through unexpected issues. They'll also ensure that your journey is as smooth as possible.

    You can look for their options, such as chat, email, and phone. If you prefer to speak to a live agent, look for a bank that provides a hotline. Brick-and-mortar banks often allow in-person/ phone meetings, while online banks offer chat/email support.

  6. Don't skip the fine print
    The truth is, nobody bothers with the terms and conditions. But you'll be glad if you take the time to read them.

    Reading and understanding them will avoid surprises.

    It usually serves as proof of the bank's compliance with regulations. This way, you can be confident in making an informed decision on your finances.

Which is the number 1 bank in Canada?
Royal Bank of Canada is the top bank in Canada, followed by Toronto Dominion and Scotiabank. This ranking is based on market capitalization that determines Canada's Big Five. Note that other factors will also contribute to being the best bank in Canada.


To find the best banks in Canada, we looked at nearly 50 banks and their account offerings for the general public.

Both traditional and online banks were considered, operating for at least 3 years. Focus was placed on deposit product offerings, banking fees, and customer service.

Although these banks generally cater to all Canadian residents, some are unavailable for those living in Quebec. But we made sure they are covered by CDIC insurance and have a mobile app.

Furthermore, we also looked at unique features that may set them apart from most banks that attract either a niche or mass market.

Bottom Line

No doubt, Canada is a country with a ton of awesome banks to choose from. Yet, by now, it's crystal clear that banks are not cut from the same cloth.

Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. And it's up to you to decide which would answer your needs best.

Want to avoid high fees? Or do you want access to ATMs wherever you are? What about the ability to speak to a customer service rep 24/7?

By asking yourself these questions, you can narrow down your choices.


  1. ^ Scotiabank. Ultimate Package, Retrieved 9/28/23
  2. ^ Scotiabank. Hockey, Retrieved 9/28/23
  3. ^ Bank of Montreal. History, Retrieved 9/28/23
  4. ^ TD Canada. Ready Commitment, Retrieved 9/28/23
  5. ^ RBC. Avion Rewards, Retrieved 9/28/23
  6. ^ Simplii Financial. International Student GIC Program, Retrieved 9/28/23
  7. ^ CDIC. Your coverage, Retrieved 9/23/2023

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