Updated October 15, 2023

Best High Interest Savings Accounts in Canada

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Looking for a great Canadian savings account with high interest? Check out these 10 options for more returns and smart savings.

Want to see even more returns on your savings? Great news: many banks in Canada offer awesome rates through high-interest savings accounts (HISAs).

Check out these 10 options to start.

What is the best savings account to open in Canada?
Here are high-interest savings accounts to consider.
  1. Motive Savvy Savings: Best for no minimum deposit
  2. Home Trust High Interest Savings: best for high savings
  3. Saven Financial HISA: best for an online bank
  4. BMO Savings Builder: best for a big bank
  5. Manulife The Advantage: best hybrid account interest
  6. CIBC eAdvantage Savings: best for incentivized savings
  7. Ideal Savings TFSA: best for tax advantage
  8. Outlook Financial HISA: best for a credit union
  9. Steinbach Credit Union SaveWise: best for 14 and under
  10. Neo Money: best for a cash card

Motive Savvy Savings Account

Best HISA w/o Minimum Balance

Motive Financial is the online division of Canadian Western Bank, established in 2008. It has a high-interest savings account bound to catch anyone's attention.[1]

With their Motive Savvy account, you can earn an attractive interest of 4.10%, regardless of your balance.

This account has zero fees, allowing two free monthly transactions and unlimited deposits.

Since it's designed for savings, its high-interest feature has some tradeoffs. It charges $1 for every Interac e-Transfer and $5 for additional withdrawals.

  • Above-market interest with no balance requirements
  • Two free monthly transactions, including withdrawals
  • Zero ATM withdrawal fee via The Exchange network
  • No free Interac e-Transfer
  • No phone customer service on weekends (except emergencies)

Do I need a high-interest savings account?
Yes. You need a high-interest savings account in your personal finance toolbox because it keeps your cash safe and accessible—all while earning guaranteed returns.

Interest rates aren't always out of this world, but an account can help you steadily grow your money steadily and manage inflation.

Think Motive Savvy's interest is impressive? Wait 'til you get to the next HISA.

Home Trust High Interest Savings

Highest Regular Savings Interest Rate

Home Trust's High Interest Savings Account offers a very competitive rate of 4.40%. To qualify, you must open and maintain a balance of at least $1,000. Some may consider it a drawback, but with its competitive interest rate, it could be reasonable to some.

Bear in mind there are few options at this rate with no monthly fees or lock-in periods. You can also get this same interest when opening a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or other registered accounts.

Also, this is a nominee account. It is a type of account held and registered in the name of a financial institution on behalf of the account holder. Although the account isn't under your name, you remain the beneficial owner of your investment.

In case you are hesitant, Home Trust has been in the finance industry for 46 years.[2] Yes, they are a stable and reliable institution.

Before you get too excited, you need to know this.
As a nominee account, Home Trust requires a registered financial advisor, so you can't open it yourself. They may also charge a dealer's fee or commission based on the account's interest gains. Often, it is minimal and can be negotiated.

  • High interest with zero fixed fees
  • Rates apply to registered and non-registered accounts
  • Withdraw anytime
  • Requires a minimum amount to earn interest
  • May involve dealer's fees

Are there HISAs that charge a monthly fee?
High-interest savings accounts do not generally have monthly fees. Instead, some of them require a minimum balance to start earning interest. Other fees a bank may impose include exceeding transaction limits or availing additional services.

If nominee accounts aren't your thing, this next bank account may appeal to you.

Saven Financial High Interest Savings

Best Online Bank HISA

Saven Financial is a digital bank that stands out from other online banks thanks to an impressive 4.20% interest rate on its high-interest savings account.

As a depositor, you get free unlimited Interac e-Transfers and up to $250,000 deposit coverage from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).[3] This protection is more than twice the standard $100,000 provided by CDIC.

Moreover, the bank offers live customer service on Saturdays. It provides convenience for clients needing help with their accounts during the weekend.

However, this high-yielding savings account is available only to residents of Ontario.

  • High interest with no fixed fees and balance requirements
  • Full insurance coverage
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Limited to Ontario residents
  • Not offered for registered products

Are all banks insured?
Yes. In Canada, all banks are members of CDIC. Eligible deposits are insured up to $100,000 per depositor and per insured category. Meanwhile, other financial institutions may be covered by their provincial deposit insurance programs.

Is there a Big 5 bank that offers a good rate for savings? This next item might surprise you.

BMO Savings Builder Account

Best Big Bank HISA

A BMO Savings Builder is great for individuals who value a well-established bank. Or one with a long-standing reputation for providing reliable financial services.

Whenever you deposit at least $200 every month, you are rewarded with a bonus rate (capped at $250,000). It can help boost your overall yield to a competitive 2.50%.

This potential return is a rare offering from a Big Bank account. Hence, it's an attractive choice if you want to use a traditional bank to earn big.

Note that the base interest will apply to your balance if you don't make this additional deposit monthly. Also, you will be subject to a $5 fee if you exceed your one free monthly transaction.

  • Incentivized monthly savings
  • No monthly fees and balance requirements
  • 24/7 live agent customer service
  • Higher fee for excess transactions
  • Limited to one account; cannot be included in a bank plan

What are tiered interest rates?
Tiered interest is a system where, typically, higher balances get higher interest rates. Many banks use this approach in various accounts, such as savings accounts. It allows the depositor to earn more interest on their savings, especially when the amount is high.

Wonder if you can have your cake and eat it, too? This high-earning, flexible account might be for you.

Manulife The Advantage Account

Best Hybrid Account Interest Rate

If you're searching for an account that checks almost all your boxes, look no further than this high-earning hybrid.

Manulife Advantage is a combined chequing and savings account with a 2.85% interest. Thus, you get the best of both worlds.

At this rate, you get flexibility like free unlimited withdrawals and an Interac debit card. But you need to maintain a balance of $1,000 to enjoy these perks.

In addition, the service fees charged are quite affordable. They're even lower than other banks, making this account a more enticing choice. For example, an international ATM withdrawal would only charge $3 instead of the usual $5.[4]

You also have weekend access to live customer agents from 9 am to 5 pm. Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking agents are also available.

Did you know that Manulife Bank pioneered the branchless banking industry in Canada? It is also the first bank established by an insurance company to be federally regulated.[5]

  • Free unlimited withdrawals with a low minimum balance requirement
  • Lower service fees
  • Live agent customer service on weekends
  • Minimum balance is required to have free daily banking transactions
  • Debit card is neither Mastercard nor Visa

CIBC eAdvantage Savings Account

Best for Incentivized Savings

How about building a consistent savings habit with a slightly high interest rate? The CIBC eAdvantage Savings Account presents a fantastic option.

You get a smart interest rate of 0.50% with a minimum $200 monthly deposit. This can encourage you to make saving a habit for longer periods.

When you open this account, you get a bonus rate for the first several months to jumpstart your gains.

The CIBC eAdvantage has no fixed fees, making it a cost-effective account. It has a tiered interest system that starts at . Note that there is no minimum balance requirement to earn this interest.

CIBC also offers special services to individuals with disabilities. These include Braille card sleeves and audio-access ATMs. Such facilities ensure their banking experience is as seamless and convenient as possible.[6]

  • Bonus interest rate for monthly saving
  • No fixed fees and balance requirements
  • Special services for persons with disabilities
  • No free monthly withdrawals
  • Higher transaction fees ($5 each)

Tax-free high-interest savings account, anyone? Coming right up.

Ideal Savings Tax Free Savings Account

Best Tax-Free HISA

Ideal Savings' above-average interest rate of 3.65% deserves a second look.

Ideal Savings Tax Free Savings Account doesn't offer the bells and whistles of more established banks, such as a fancy mobile app and branded debit cards. Despite this, it does come with the benefit of non-taxable interest earnings.

However, the bank's customer support is through email only, which has a response time of 2 business days.

If you need to withdraw your funds, you can do so through an online fund transfer or cheque. You will be charged $5 for every withdrawal.[7]

In case you aren't aware, TFSAs currently have a cap of a $6,500 deposit per year. If you exceed this amount, the excess will incur a 1% penalty per month until you withdraw it from the account.[8] Note that this will not apply to earnings from a $6,500 deposit, which you can claim anytime.

  • Tax-free high-interest rate with no monthly fee and maintaining balance
  • 100% deposit insurance by Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM)[9]
  • Available to all Canadian residents
  • Fee for withdrawals
  • Customer support via email only

Did you know that the HISA rates of some credit unions are much higher than regular banks? Check out this next HISA account.

Outlook Financial High Interest Savings

Best Credit Union HISA

The High-Interest Savings Account from Outlook Financial is desirable for several reasons. One is the unconditional high-interest rate: no attached fees and deposit minimums.

Also, the insurance by DGCM will cover whatever amount is in your balance should the company fold. This was seen during the bank's merger with Implicity Financial. At that time, no client funds were impacted negatively.

Outlook Financial requires clients to be Assiniboine Credit Union members, their parent company.

But for only a $5 membership fee, banking with a credit union can be a refreshing change of pace.[10] Note that you can refund this amount once you cancel your account.

As a nonprofit organization, most credit unions pay members back for any excess funds in different ways. You can also vote during their elections; if not, run for office yourself.

  • Competitive interest rate with a 100% deposit guarantee
  • Can be opened as a registered account (TFSA, RRSP)[11]
  • No withdrawal fee using Manitoba credit union and out-of-province ding-free ATMs[12]
  • Need to become a member of Assiniboine Credit Union
  • No paper statement

Who says only adults can enjoy high interest on their savings? Kids get their own cake slice, too, with this next option.

Steinbach Credit Union SaveWise

Best HISA for 14 and Under

The SCU SaveWise account is great for kid savings, which can encourage them to save at an early age. Even though the 5.55% interest rate applies only to the first $2,000, the succeeding rate is still high.

As soon as the kid turns 15, the account will convert into a regular savings account. At this point, they will continue to enjoy competitive rates (SCU Monthly Savings Account interest rate is 3.00%).

You may also appreciate features like the ability to withdraw funds whenever needed. This can be easier when you pair it with a SpendWise chequing account.

Moreover, you can talk to a customer agent even on Saturdays.

Steinbach Credit Union has been serving members since 1941. Currently, it's the eighth-largest credit union in Canada. Its success is also evident, with over 100,000 members and over $9.1 billion in assets.[13]

  • Highest regular interest rate for a kids' account
  • Zero fees with unlimited withdrawals
  • Access to a live customer agent on a weekend
  • No ATM access or debit card for purchases
  • No physical branch beyond Manitoba

Would you believe that you can earn money while saving and spending? With this next unique account, it is possible!

Neo Money

Best High-yield Cash Card

Neo Money is excellent for those who prefer a bank account that rewards them for spending and saving.

With Neo Money, you can earn an average of 5% cashback rewards on purchases made with your debit card. At the same time, you get a competitive interest of on the money you save.

This account is entirely digital. Thus, you can only access your funds and manage your account through the Neo mobile app. It is user-friendly, allowing you to set automatic savings goals and track spending.

But despite its digital nature, mobile cheque deposit is not yet available on their app.

Furthermore, Neo Financial has tapped the Mastercard ATM network to provide wider accessibility without service fees.

  • Free daily transactions, no fixed fees, no balance requirements
  • High average cashback rate
  • ATM access where MasterCard is accepted
  • Customer support is limited to live chat
  • No mobile cheque deposit feature

What Is a High-Interest Savings Account?

A high-interest savings account is a type of bank account offering a more favourable interest rate than a regular savings account.

The rate applies to the entire account balance, typically calculated daily but posted monthly on your HISA.

Think of a HISA in terms of a high-performance sports car. It offers better speed and performance than a regular car. Similarly, a HISA offers better gains than a traditional savings account.

However, a sports car may not be the most fuel-efficient for everyday driving. In comparison, a HISA won't always provide the best rate of return over other investment options.

Thus, it is crucial to consider your financial goals carefully before choosing a HISA.

Are HISAs taxed?
Yes, high-interest savings accounts are taxed. The interest you earn on your savings is considered income you must report on your tax return.

The tax rate you pay depends on how much money you make in total. Note that some HISAs have tax-free options such as a TFSA or RRSP that can help reduce your taxes overall.

High-Interest Savings Account vs. Tax Free Savings Account
While high-interest savings accounts and tax-free savings accounts may seem similar, they differ in tax and placement. Earnings from HISAs are subject to taxation.

TFSAs, on the other hand, can have the high-yield feature of HISAs but without tax reporting.

High-Interest Savings Account vs. Registered Retirement Savings Plan
For high-interest savings accounts, you pay taxes on any interest earned. Registered retirement savings plan contributions are tax-deductible.

Note that its earnings remain exempt from tax unless you withdraw them from your account.

High-Interest Savings Account vs. Guaranteed Investment Certificate
High-interest savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates differ in liquidity and interest.

With a GIC, you must be willing to commit your money untouched for the agreed-upon time. You can earn interest rates that are usually higher than HISAs.

Have you ever switched banks to take advantage of a higher interest rate on a savings account?

How does a high-Interest savings account differ from a chequing account?
High-interest savings accounts differ from chequing accounts by incentivizing saving, giving you a higher interest. Chequing accounts, on the other hand, are for day-to-day banking needs. Hence, chequing accounts don't usually earn interest since your money isn't bound to sit in them for too long.

What is 5% interest on $1,000?

If you have $1,000 invested with a 5% interest rate, you will earn $50 interest in a year. This is based on a simple interest computation.

Note that daily compounding is applied to most savings accounts. Using the APY calculator below, you will get approximately $51.26 in compounded interest for one year.

How Much Interest Will You Earn?

Which bank offers 5% interest on a savings account?
CIBC is one example of a bank that offers up to 5% interest on its savings account. However, it is a promotional rate only and may be available for a limited period. Other banks like RBC and Simplii Financial have similar promotions.

How Does a High-Interest Savings Account Work?

In a high-interest savings account, deposited funds generate interest by allowing the bank to use them for loans. Interest rates usually range between 0.5% and 3%, sometimes much higher.

Think of it like planting a seed in a pot. Much like a well-nurtured plant, a HISA helps your savings grow slowly into a larger amount. This is due to compound interest, essentially your money's fertilizer.

HISAs often do not charge fixed monthly fees. This is because they are intended for people to park their money for extended periods. However, some HISAs may have transaction fees and limits on withdrawals and transfers.

Curious how the Bank of Canada's overnight rate affects high-interest savings accounts? The Bank of Canada determines the prime rate, impacting the interest earned through HISAs, GICs, and other investment options. Any increase prompts competing banks to offer more attractive rates to their clients.

How to Open a High-Interest Savings Account

No need to stress about opening a high-interest savings account. It's actually an easy and pretty straightforward process for most banks.

To open an account, you should:

  • Be the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Have a permanent address in Canada
  • Provide personal information, like your full name, date of birth, and others
  • Present identification and SIN for tax purposes
  • Have an email address if opening an account with an online-only bank

If you're opening an account in person, choose a bank with a physical branch near you.

How to Use a High-Interest Savings Account

Meanwhile, here's how to use your high-interest savings account effectively:

  1. Consider setting up automatic deposits to make saving easier and more consistent.
  2. Use it to save for short-term goals such as an emergency fund or home down payment.
  3. Avoid using your HISA for everyday spending. Instead, open a separate chequing account for daily transactions.
  4. Monitor your account regularly to ensure you are earning the advertised interest rate.
  5. Consider moving your money to a higher-yielding account if your interest rate drops.
  6. Be aware of any withdrawal restrictions to avoid penalties. These can eat up your gains if occurring frequently.

Do high-interest savings accounts affect credit score?
No, high-interest savings accounts generally do not affect your credit score since they are not a form of credit. Remember, a credit score is computed based on credit history. This pertains to how consistently you pay bills, debt-to-income ratio, and credit use.

How to Choose a High-Interest Savings Account

Banks and financial institutions have different rules for their high-interest savings accounts. Here are some things to consider when figuring out which HISA is a good place to stash your cash.

  • Interest rate
    See if the account has a competitive interest rate. In other words, it should be about the same, if not higher, than other banks.

  • Financial goal
    If it's a short-term goal, then HISA would be a good option, especially if you want to top up your savings whenever possible.

  • Fees
    Most banks offering HISAs don't have fixed fees. However, they may have service fees, especially on debits and withdrawals.

  • Deposit amount
    Many high-interest savings accounts still need minimum balance requirements to earn interest. The amounts they require will vary but usually start with $1,000.

  • Accessibility
    Check for ATM access or a branch location where you can transact directly. Online access is important not just for moving funds but also for monitoring.

  • Reputation
    Choosing a reputable bank will give you peace of mind that your money is in trustworthy hands. Such a bank would have a good track record of serving customers well.

Which factor is most important to you when choosing a high interest savings account in Canada?

Are savings accounts safe?

Savings accounts in banks and credit unions are generally considered safe. They are insured by the CDIC up to $100,000 per depositor, per category.

In the case of credit unions, they usually have their provincial insurance programs like the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba and Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario.

Some of them even offer coverage beyond CDIC's amount. As an example, DGCM guarantees deposits without limits.

Protecting yourself from fraud is also essential, especially with online banking. Use a strong password and enable your two-factor authentication.

Bottom Line

There are many high-interest savings accounts you can park your money in. Each one has sweet deals to boot. They could range from waived transaction fees to incentivized monthly contributions and others.

Choosing a high-interest savings account that suits your needs is always best. A zero or low minimum balance requirement or easy access to your cash to avoid additional charges would be must-haves.

Keep in mind the important things, such as interest rates, fees, and security, to get the most out of your savings.

References

  1. ^ Motive Financial. About us, Retrieved 10/03/23
  2. ^ Home Trust. Our Story, Retrieved 10/3/23
  3. ^ Saven Financial. Is my money safe?, Retrieved 10/3/23
  4. ^ Manulife Bank. Rates & fees, Retrieved 9/23/2023
  5. ^ Manulife Bank. About us, Retrieved 10/03/23
  6. ^ CIBC. Accessibility, Retrieved 10/3/23
  7. ^ Ideal Savings. fees, Retrieved 9/23/2023
  8. ^ Government of Canada. Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Guide for Individuals, Retrieved 9/23/2023
  9. ^ DGCM. Covered Institutions , Retrieved 10/3/23
  10. ^ Outlook Financial. Membership, Retrieved 9/23/2023
  11. ^ Outlook Financial. Member Services, Retrieved 10/03/23
  12. ^ Outlok Financial. Service Fees, Retrieved 10/03/23
  13. ^ Steinbach Credit Union. About us, Retrieved 10/03/23

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