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9 Best Chequing Accounts in Canada: No-Fee Banking, Welcome Offers, And More

9 Best Chequing Accounts in Canada: No-Fee Banking, Welcome Offers, And More

With so many banking options available in Canada, choosing the best chequing account for your day-to-day banking needs can be challenging. In recent years, online banks have introduced no-fee chequing accounts with other convenient features, making the decision that much tougher.

To help you in your search, I’ve compiled a list of the best chequing accounts in Canada. I also share some of the top features to look for in a Canadian chequing account.

What Is a Chequing Account?

A chequing account is a bank account that offers cheque writing privileges and is designed to help you manage your everyday finances. Chequing accounts are ideal for handling day-to-day expenses, such as bill payments, debit transactions, and electronic money transfers.

With most chequing accounts, you can pay your bills through your account using the bank’s online banking services or mobile app. This allows you to avoid the hassle of standing in line or mailing cheques to pay your bills.

By linking a debit card to your chequing account, you can withdraw cash from an extensive network of ATMs or use your card to make purchases in stores.

While some chequing accounts offer unlimited transactions with no fees, others might give you a certain number of monthly transactions, after which fees apply. You can usually have the fees waived by keeping a minimum balance in your account throughout the month.

By understanding its features, such as bill payments, debit transactions, and transaction fees, you can make the most of your account and enjoy the convenience it offers. However, not all chequing accounts are equal, and account benefits can vary significantly between banks.

What to Look for in a Chequing Account

When choosing a chequing account in Canada, there are four main factors: Low Fees, Features, Accessibility, and Promotions. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

Low Fees

One of the most important aspects of any chequing account is its fee structure. Look for accounts with low or no monthly account fees. Some chequing accounts may waive the monthly fees if you maintain a minimum balance. Also, review any hidden fees, such as overdraft fees or costs for additional services.

The Range of Features

Some chequing accounts offer more features than others. Make sure the account you choose aligns with your banking habits. Ask yourself the following questions as you consider an account’s features:

  • Are there any monthly fees?
  • Can the monthly fees be waived?
  • Is there a limit to the number of monthly debit transactions?
  • How large is the ATM network?
  • Does the account pay any interest?
  • Is there overdraft protection available?
  • Does it include free Interac e-Transfers?
  • Can I get free personalized cheques?
  • Is there a welcome bonus offer?
  • Is there a rewards program?

Some accounts even offer perks, such as welcome bonuses, attractive interest rates, and the opportunity to earn rewards points.


In today’s fast-paced world, accessibility to banking is essential. Look for chequing accounts that offer:

  • Online banking with a user-friendly mobile app
  • ATM withdrawals with minimal or no fees
  • Telephone banking options
  • Convenient physical branch locations (if you prefer to bank in person)

Accessibility is critical to efficiently managing your finances.


Promotions can be a great way to get added value from your new chequing account. Banks sometimes offer incentives like cash bonuses or free access to certain services for a limited time. When comparing chequing accounts, be mindful of the following:

  • Promotional offers for opening a new account
  • Fee waivers or price reductions for a set period
  • Annual fee reductions for affiliated credit cards

While promotions are not the main factor for choosing a chequing account, they can help sweeten the deal.

Best Chequing Accounts in Canada

I’ve chosen nine bank accounts from several Canadian traditional and online banks. In addition to three honorable mentions, I’ve awarded six top accounts across the following categories:

  • Best Overall Chequing Account in Canada: EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
  • Best Welcome Bonus: Tangerine Chequing Account
  • Best Premium Chequing Account: Scotiabank Ultimate Package
  • Best Account For Rewards: PC Money Account
  • Best Chequing Account For Students: Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
  • Best Chequing Account For Seniors: CIBC Smart For Seniors Account

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account: Best Overall Chequing Account in Canada

Key Features: 

  • Combines chequing and savings in a single account
  • No monthly account fees
  • Unlimited debits and bill payments
  • Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn a high daily interest rate on your entire balance (currently 2.50%)
  • Free ATM withdrawals from all Canadian ATMs
  • Cash back on every purchase
  • No FX fees
  • Mobile cheque deposit
  • CDIC-member

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus account could be considered a hybrid chequing/savings account because you get all of the features of a chequing account with an attractive interest rate on your entire balance. Gone are the days when you have to open a separate account for your savings. In fact, at the time of writing, you can earn 2.50% interest on your Savings Plus balance.

In addition to its savings features, there are no monthly fees, unlimited transactions, free Interac e-Transfers, free withdrawals at all Canadian ATMs (EQ reimburses you), cash back on every purchase, no foreign exchange fees, and more.

Click here to open an EQ Savings Plus Account today! 

Tangerine Chequing Account: Best Welcome Bonus

Key Features: 

  • Welcome offer of up to $400 cash back
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • No monthly account fees
  • Free access to over 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Free mobile cheque deposit
  • Joint chequing account option
  • Overdraft protection is available

Tangerine is one of Canada’s leading digital banks and a subsidiary of Scotiabank. It offers a wide range of products and services, including chequing and savings accounts, free Interac e-Transfer, two cash back credit cards, GICs, low-cost investment funds, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and small business banking products.

The Tangerine chequing account has a lot to offer. There are no monthly account fees, and transactions are unlimited. And because Tangerine is part of Scotiabank, you can access over 3500 no-fee ABMs in Canada and over 44,000 ABMs worldwide. You can also deposit cheques with your smartphone, using Tangerine’s Cheque-In mobile cheque deposit feature.

But what I like most about Tangerine’s chequing account is its generous welcome bonus. Their current offer allows you to earn up to $400 in cash back and 5.25% interest on a savings account for the first five months. To qualify, you need to open a chequing and savings account, but both accounts are free of charge. As for the cash back offer, you get a whopping 20% cash back, up to $400 on spending during the first 60 days. Visit Tangerine’s website for full offer conditions.

Click here to open a Tangerine chequing account today! 

Scotiabank Ultimate Package: Best Premium Chequing Account Plan

Key Features:

  • $30.95/month (fee waived when you meet the minimum monthly balance requirement – see below)
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • No-fee Scotia international money transfers
  • No overdraft protection fee
  • Free cheques
  • Annual fee waived on select rewards credit cards up to $150
  • Unlimited Global non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawals
  • Earn points when you spend with the Scene+ program
  • Limited-time bonus interest on the Momentum Plus Savings Account
  • No monthly fee on a US Dollar chequing account
  • 10 free stock trades at Scotia iTrade

The Scotiabank Ultimate Package is a premium offering that provides customers with numerous advantages. All big banks in Canada offer a premium chequing account with additional features not found on lesser accounts. However, Scotia adds several unique perks that will appeal to many customers, making it an even better value.

For starters, Scotia gives you flexibility when it comes to maintaining a minimum balance to waive the monthly $30.95 fee. You can maintain $5000 in your chequing account throughout the month or keep a combined $30,000 between your chequing account and a Scotia Momentum Plus Savings account.

This means you don’t have to worry about your chequing account balance dipping below $5000 as long as you have money in your savings. And you can keep more money in savings, earning interest.

Other perks include an annual fee waiver of up to $150 on four Scotiabank credit cards. This includes their Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite, and Scotiabank Value Visa Card.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive chequing solution that makes it easy to add other accounts, like savings, credit cards, and a US Dollar chequing account, the Scotiabank Ultimate Package is an excellent choice.

PC Money Account: Best Account For Rewards

Note: This account has no cheque writing privileges (more on this below).

Key Features: 

  • PC Optimum rewards points for chequing transactions
  • No monthly account fees
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Works with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Access to over 750 ATMs Canada-wide

The PC Money account isn’t a chequing account. However, I’ve included it on our list because it has so much to offer as a day-to-day spending account. And with fewer Canadians than ever writing cheques nowadays, the lack of cheque-writing privileges won’t be a dealbreaker for many.

What it does offer is free banking and arguably the best rewards program of any Canadian bank account. There are no monthly fees, and transactions are unlimited. You can also access free Interac e-Transfers and withdraw cash at over 750 ATMs across Canada.

The PC Money Account is connected to the PC Optimum Rewards program, the most generous retail loyalty rewards program in the country. You’ll earn PC Optimum points on direct deposits, whenever you pay bills, and on every dollar you spend.

Here’s how the points break down:

In PC grocery stores*: 10 points per dollar spent

At Shoppers Drug Mart: 25 points per dollar spent

All other purchases: 5 points per dollar spent

Bill Payments: Up to 5000 points per month

Payroll or Pension direct deposit: Up to 5000 points per month.

PC Financial grocery store partners include Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, Atlantic Superstore, No Frills, Extra Foods, and more.

If you need to write cheques on your day-to-day banking account, the PC Money account isn’t for you. But if you’re a fan of free banking and you love to collect PC Optimum points, put this account on your shortlist.

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan: Best Chequing Account For Students

Key Features: 

  • No monthly account fees
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • Earn Scene+ Rewards
  • Mobile cheque deposit
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay
  • Free TransUnion credit score
  • No-fee access to over 3500 Scotia ABMs
  • 50% discount on trading fees at Scotia iTrade, along with 20 free trades in your first year
  • Support with budgeting and saving for the future

If you are enrolled full-time in a post-secondary institution in Canada or the US, you can qualify for free day-to-day banking through the Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan. Get a cheque in the mail from your parents? No problem; you can deposit with your phone using Scotiabank’s mobile cheque deposit feature. Scotiabank includes unlimited Interac e-Transfers, and you can collect and redeem Scene+ points and pay using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.

Scotiabank gives students who open a Scotia iTrade account a 50% discount on trading fees and 20 free trades during the first year. After the first year, you still get ten free stock trades.

Note that once you are no longer a student, Scotiabank will remove the Student Banking Advantage Plan from your profile, and your account will be transferred to the Preferred Package effective December 1st, following your student status expiry date.

CIBC Smart for Seniors Account: Best Chequing Account for Seniors

Key Features: 

  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • No monthly account fees with a minimum balance
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Free bank drafts and money orders
  • Annual fee waived on a premium CIBC credit card (Smart Plus)
  • Free personalized cheques (Smart Plus)
  • Free non-CIBC ATM Withdrawals (Smart Plus)

CIBC’s Smart for Seniors program offers several benefits to clients 65 and older. They take their CIBC Smart and Smart plus Accounts and add special pricing for Seniors. For example, by building in a $6.95 monthly discount, the CIBC Smart account is free for up to 12 monthly transactions. You get unlimited transactions for $10.

If you’re looking for additional benefits, such as an annual credit card fee waiver or free personalized cheques, you can opt for the CIBC Smart Plus Account, which is $23.00 per month for Seniors, with a monthly fee waiver if you maintain a minimum account balance of $4000 or more.

Other Canadian Bank Accounts Worth Considering

While the following accounts didn’t win in a specific category, they offer excellent value and are worth considering. Each one comes with no monthly fees and unlimited debit transactions.

Neo Money Account

While it’s not a cheque-writing account, the Neo Money Account has plenty to offer as a day-to-day spending account. There are no monthly fees, and transactions are unlimited. And like EQ Savings Plus, you earn an attractive interest rate on your deposit balance. The account is currently paying 2.25% interest. You can also earn cash back when you spend money at over 10,000 Neo Money retail partners. According to Neo, the average cash back earning rate is 5%. Get started with Neo Money today.

Motive No-Fee Chequing Account

Motive is an online bank and the digital banking arm of Canadian Western Bank. Their Cha-Ching Chequing account boasts an impressive array of features. Like other online banks, there is no monthly fee, and transactions are free and unlimited. You also get free Interac e-Transfers and 50 free personalized cheques.

Motive is a member of Exchange, Canada’s second-largest ATM network, and all Exchange ATM withdrawals are free of charge. While Motive’s interest rates aren’t as high as EQ Bank and Neo Money, they are currently paying 0.25% interest on their chequing account, which is higher than any of the big banks.

Simplii Chequing Account

The name Simplii Financial has long been synonymous with online banking in Canada. Owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Simplii Financial provides a top-tier, free chequing account that includes a $400 cash bonus offer, no monthly account fees, unlimited transactions, and Interac e-Transfers, and mobile cheque deposit. Learn more about Simplii Financial in our full review, or open a no-fee chequing account with Simplii today.


What are the top no-fee chequing accounts in Canada?

Online banks usually offer the top no-fee chequing accounts in Canada. Our top overall no-fee pick this year is the EQ Savings Plus account, but other online banks also have excellent no-fee accounts. Examples include the Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account, the Tangerine Chequing Account, and Motive’s no-fee chequing account.

Which banks offer the best accounts for low-income earners?

Besides the no-fee accounts mentioned above, many banks in Canada have accounts tailored for low-income earners, often with lower or no monthly fees. Some examples include TD Canada Trust’s Minimum Chequing Account and RBC’s Day-to-Day Banking account. It’s essential to compare your options and choose a bank that offers the services you need at a low cost. 

Which Canadian bank is ideal for student accounts?

Several banks offer special accounts for students with no monthly fees and additional benefits like unlimited transactions. Scotiabank’s Student Banking Advantage Plan, the TD Student Chequing Account, and RBC’s Student Banking account are noteworthy options.

Is Tangerine or Simplii a better no-fee option?

Both Tangerine and Simplii Financial offer strong no-fee chequing accounts with impressive features. The choice between the two depends on your preferences and banking needs. My preference is Tangerine due to their generous welcome bonuses. I’m also a fan of the low-cost Tangerine investment funds.

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