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EQ Bank Review: The Best Place to Save Your Money?

EQ Bank Review: The Best Place to Save Your Money?

It’s been a few short years since EQ Bank emerged onto the landscape of Canadian online banks. But while they may seem like the new kid on the block, their roots run much deeper.

Who Owns EQ Bank?

EQ Bank is brought to you by Equitable Bank, which has been providing residential and commercial lending services in Canada for over 40 years. Today, they are a Schedule I bank, with over $25 Billion in assets under management. Since its launch in 2016, deposits at EQ Bank have grown to over $2 billion.

EQ Bank Interest Rates

EQ Bank is not a full service online bank, their appeal lies in the high interest rates they offer on savings accounts and GICs.

EQ Bank doesn’t issue debit cards, accounts come without cheque writing privileges, and transferring money to and from your primary bank account can take time. You can’t even open an RRSP or TFSA account through EQ Bank.

But what they lack in services, they make up for with some of the highest savings rates available today.

At a 2.30% everyday interest rate*, their current savings account rate is much higher than anything offered by most banks, and their 1 Year GIC rate of 3.10% is among the class leaders.

Let’s take a closer look at these products.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank’s high interest savings account is their main attraction. The current interest rate sits at 2.30%*. Since Equitable Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), your money at EQ Bank is eligible for deposit insurance.

There are no monthly fees on the account, customers are not required to maintain a minimum balance, and the number of monthly transactions are unlimited. A great feature is that they allow you to make bill payments from your savings account.

Transferring Money To and From Your Account

While EQ Bank doesn’t offer debit cards, or cheques, or have bricks and mortar bank locations, they do offer three distinct ways to transfer funds to and from your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.

For starters, you can link your primary bank account to your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and transfer funds to and from, via an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). While this process is not instantaneous (it can take a couple of days), it is free of charge.

EQ Bank also allows unlimited no-fee e-transfers. This way, you can send and receive money with relative ease, just as you would do through any other bank.

Lastly, if you have a friend or family member who also deals with EQ Bank, you can transfer money back and forth using EQ Connections. These transfers are free, unlimited, and offer the same ease of use as an Interac e-Transfer®. With an email address, and by setting up a security question/answer, transfers can be easily sent and received instantaneously.

Open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

If you have a nest egg that is sitting in a savings account at your bank, earning almost nothing, an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account just might be the solution.

Whether you’re saving for a downpayment on your first home, or for your next big vacation, you can open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account today, and connect it to your primary bank account.

EQ Bank GICs

EQ Bank GICs allow you invest your money securely for terms between 3 months and 5 years. The interest rate on their 3-month GIC is currently set at 2.35%, while their very popular 1-year GIC is priced at 3.10%.

One nice feature of EQ Bank’s GIC product is the low minimum deposit. You can purchase a GIC through EQ Bank with as little as $100, which isn’t possible with most financial institutions.

If you have a nest egg that you don’t require immediate access to, an EQ Bank GIC is a great option.

EQ Bank Mobile App

EQ Bank does offer clients the convenience of online banking through their award-winning mobile app. This is where you’ll manage your funds with EQ Bank.

You can pay bills through the app, including adding and modifying payees. You can set up linked accounts from your primary bank, and send money to family and friends via Interac e-Transfers® and EQ Connections.

The EQ Bank Mobile App even allows for mobile cheque deposit, just like the big banks.

For added security, the app includes facial recognition log-in from compatible iPhone devices and fingerprint sign-up from compatible Android and iPhone devices.

EQ Bank And TransferWise

Do you need to send money to friends or family overseas on a regular basis? EQ Bank has a relationship with TransferWise, a company with a unique method for making international money transfers.

When you register TransferWise as a bill payee through your EQ Bank online banking, you are then able to move funds, free of charge, to your TransferWise account, to be exchanged to a foreign currency.

To learn more about TransferWise, you can read their story here.

EQ Bank vs. Tangerine

The Canadian online bank space is a crowded one. EQ Bank faces a lot of competition, from Simplii Financial, to Wealthsimple, to Tangerine.

And while each one has some great products to offer customers, Tangerine remains the overall leader, in my opinion.

That is based on their combination of competitive rates, full range of products and services, and the strength of a large ATM network, through their affiliation with Scotiabank.

That said, even if your primary bank has your day to day banking needs covered, if what you want is a better interest rate for your savings nest egg, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account has a lot to offer.

Is EQ Bank Right for You?

If you ask me, few people will make EQ Bank their primary financial institution.

There just aren’t enough product options available, and the lack of a debit card makes accessing your funds a bit difficult.

Another limitation is the inability to open a joint account.

What EQ Bank does so well, however, is offer no fee banking with one of the highest interest rates around.

Indeed, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account can be a great place to park that emergency fund, or that nest egg you would rather not be dipping into. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.

If that arrangement appeals to you, head over to EQ Bank and open your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account today.

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.


  1. Sheila Russell

    Informative article, the lack of access and inability to open a joint account with EQ would be big deal breakers for me to ever consider this virtual bank.

  2. Brian G

    Motive Financial is going to give all these guys a run on their money. Newly out of Western Canada and backed by Canadian Western Bank they offer 2.8% on their savings account and 2.4% on their TFSA account. They also allow you to open joint bank accounts, offer GICs and they’re promising to offer mortgages soon. (I have no affiliation with them other than being a new client)

    • John

      Have also opened a Motive HISA AT 2.8%, Hubert Financial offers 2.5% on TFSA

  3. Bev

    One of the problems I see with EQBank is that there is no option for joint bank accounts.

  4. LisaM

    We use it but again – it’s actually because of the really high rate we got and the knowledge that we can’t take it out as easily.

  5. Erin

    I just opened up an Eq account. It has taken almost 2 weeks for my money to show up in there and be available. Tangerine was faster.

  6. Andrey

    I opened EQ Bank account hoping to purchase their 3month 3% GIC – for starters. Opened account and transferred funds on July 15 2019. Funds were not available until July 23 2019. As soon as funds got available attempted to buy GIC’s – system does not allow me to do it citing ‘technical difficulties’. So the promised 3% rate is diluted by 8 days delay from start. And I still can not buy it. Would be moving funds back we’ll see how that works.

  7. Bev

    Tried to open an EQ bank account but bank kept refusing recognition saying my address did not match. So I called the bank and the man that answered with the name of Neuman told me to call the credit bureau and gave me the number to call. He said it did not cost anything. I had no idea what info they could supply but called the number he supplied. The credit bureau turned out to be a scam. They said I had taken out a membership and would be charging me for it every month if I didn’t cancel the membership so I called them right back to cancel. The woman that answered was acting really strange and saying she could not find my new membership and then saying “oops it broke” when I insisted that she find it and cancel it. I checked my credit card and they had charged a small fee for membership and then started charging me a cost of $35 a month. It caused a lot of stress and calls back to the bogus credit bureau and calls to the fraud department of my credit card to finally stop the charges. I will stick with TD Bank and Tangerine for all my investments from now on. Banks I know I can trust.

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