Yes, we now live in a digital world, and the banking system has caught the drift!
The majority of Canadians now do their banking operations online and through their mobile device.
So if you’ve not stepped into a physical bank branch in ages, you are definitely not alone.
There are many significant reasons to opt for any of the digital banks, including no monthly fee, convenience, no minimum balance requirement, high-interest rates, and more.
Canadian traditional banks also have an online presence. However, they require you to maintain a minimum balance to enjoy no monthly fees.
- Quick Overview: Best Canadian Online Banks in 2023
- In-Depth Review of the Best Canadian Online Banks for 2023
- 1. Overall Best Online Bank in Canada → Simplii Financial (Get up to $450 Bonus)
- 2. Best Canadian Online Bank for Savers → Neo Financial (Get up to $30 Sign-up Bonus)
- 3. Best Online Bank in Canada for Foreign Currency Spending and International Money Transfer → Wise (Get $3,000 or £2,000 Equivalent Free Transfer)
- 4. Best to Access Mortgages and Loans → Tangerine Bank ($200 Bonus)
- 5. EQ Bank ($20 Bonus)
- Best Online Banks, Canada Credit Unions
- 6. Motive Financial
- 7. Manulife Bank
- 8. Oaken Financial
- 9. Motusbank
- 10. Alterna Bank
- 11. Outlook Financial
- 12. Accelerate Financial
- 13. Achieva Financial
- Best Online Banks: Options from Canada's Big Five Banks
- 14. RBC Online
- 15. BMO Online
- 16. TD Online
- 17. CIBC Online
- 18. Scotia Online
- Perks of Banking with an Online Bank
- Downsides of Online Banking
- How Safe are the Online Banks in Canada?
- FAQs: Best Online Banks in Canada
- Final Thoughts: Best Online Banks, Canada
- 2023 Simplii Financial (Bank) Promotion: Get $450 Bonus Offer
- 2023 Tangerine Orange Key and Promotion: Get up to $200 Bonus Offer
- 2023 EQ Bank Promotion: Get $20 Bonus Offer
Read on to see the best online banks Canada has to offer that you can choose from if you are considering moving to an online-only bank.
Quick Overview: Best Canadian Online Banks in 2023
|Description / |
|Cash Bonus / Sign-up Offers, Verified →||Use our unique link to open an account & get up to $450||Use our unique link to open an account & get up to $30||Use our unique link & get $3,000 (or £2,000 equivalent) Free Transfer||Sign-up for a new account, enter → 52169202S1 ← Orange Key Code & get up to $200||N/A|
|Business Accounts?||✘||✘||✔||✔ Only Savings account||✘|
|Free Int’l ATM Access?||✘||✔||✔||✔||✘|
|ATM Networks||CIBC’s 4,200+ bank machines||N/A||N/A||Scotiabank’s 3,600+ bank machines||N/A|
|Int’l Money Transfer?||✔||✘||✔||✘||✔ Powered by Wise|
|No. of Customers||2 million||1.5 million||10 million||2 million||250,000|
|CDIC Deposit Insurance||$100,000||$100,000||$250,000 (by U.S. FDIC)||$100,000||$100,000|
|Mobile, Online Banking?||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Customer Service||Email, telephone, live chat||Email, telephone, live chat||Email, telephone, live chat||Email, telephone, live chat||Email, telephone|
|Get Started →||Go to Simplii||Go to Neo||Go to Wise||Learn More||Learn More|
In-Depth Review of the Best Canadian Online Banks for 2023
1. Overall Best Online Bank in Canada → Simplii Financial (Get up to $450 Bonus)
2023 Simplii Financial (Bank) Promotion: Get $450 Bonus Offer
Join Simplii Financial (Bank) by using this unique link to open and use an eligible account; and Get up to $450 deposited directly into your account.
To ensure you get the Bonus payment, follow all the instructions to set up your new Simplii account and complete the eligible activities by the specified time period. Have questions about getting your Bonus? Check out Simplii’s FAQ.
Simplii Financial is a subsidiary of CIBC, previously operated as PC Financial.
They prioritize simplicity by offering customers a no-fee chequing and savings account. Apart from a no-fee account, Simplii customers can also access a credit card, investments, mortgages, and more.
Simplii Financial clients have free access to over 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada.
2. Best Canadian Online Bank for Savers → Neo Financial (Get up to $30 Sign-up Bonus)
Neo Financial offers a variety of financial products – from credit cards to a high-interest savings account and spending account combo, with no monthly or annual fees.
Neo’s products are designed to be simple and easy to use so that Canadians can focus on what’s important to them.
Neo Financial Products:
- Neo Credit card (Standard/Unsecured) – The Neo Credit Card gives users access to instant, unlimited cashback at 10,000+ Neo partners → Get $25 Sign-up Bonus ←
- Neo Secured Credit card is a great option for those new to credit, new to Canada, or those who want to build their credit with guaranteed approval and no hard credit check → Get $25 Sign-up Bonus ←
- Neo Money™️ Card + Account – Neo Money™ card is everything a debit card wants to be, but isn’t. It’s the best of all worlds offering the convenience of a chequing account, with the rewards of a credit card, and the earnings of a 2.25% high-interest savings account → Get $5 Sign-up Bonus ←
- Neo Invest™️ – Helps you grow your wealth and plan for life’s major goals.
- Neo Mortgage™️ – A mortgage experience that lives up to the joy of buying a new home.
Made in Canada, for all of Canada! Neo is available from coast to coast for all Canadians – regardless of their financial situation.
Neo Financial is committed to providing Canadians with simplified and modern financial products and services that help them save time and money.
Here’s my full Neo Financial review, if you’d like to know more about this financial institution.
3. Best Online Bank in Canada for Foreign Currency Spending and International Money Transfer → Wise (Get $3,000 or £2,000 Equivalent Free Transfer)
Looking for the best online bank in Canada for Foreign Currency Spending and International Money Transfer? Look no further than the Wise Multi-currency Account.
With transparent fees and competitive mid-market exchange rates, Wise makes it easy and affordable to manage your money across borders.
Gone are the days of hidden fees and fine print: Wise keeps it straightforward and inexpensive. Plus, with their user-friendly platform, you can easily send and receive money in multiple currencies, without the hassle of traditional banks.
So, whether you’re a Canadian living abroad or a globetrotter exploring new frontiers, Wise’s Multi-currency Account is the perfect solution for all your international banking needs.
You must use our unique link to get this welcome bonus.
Wise Financial Products:
- Wise Multi-Currency Account – You can hold and manage your money in several currencies in your Wise account – including CAD, USD, British Pounds, and several other currencies.
- Wise Business Account – With Wise Business, you can send up to $1.6 million USD at a time.
- Wise Debit VISA Card – The Wise Card is a prepaid card that is available to all Canadians who have a Wise multi-currency account personal or business account.
4. Best to Access Mortgages and Loans → Tangerine Bank ($200 Bonus)
“Hey, I really like banking with Tangerine, and I think you’ll enjoy becoming a Client, too.”
2023 Tangerine Orange Key and Promotion: Get up to $200 Bonus Offer
Sign-up for a new Tangerine Bank account and enter a valid Orange Key Code, to get up to $200 in free cash bonus; deposited directly into your Tangerine account.
The valid Orange Key Code to use is → 52169202S1 ←
You must provide the above Orange Key during your account opening process and complete all necessary requirements for opening an Account with Tangerine in order for you to get the Bonus Payment.
Tangerine Bank is a subsidiary of Scotiabank that entered the banking scene in 2014 and has since stood out from the crowd. Tangerine offers a no-fee chequing and savings account, high-interest rates, mortgages, low-fee investment opportunities, credit cards, and more.
Although they have no brick-and-mortar branches, they have Tangerine cafes. Customers in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreat, and Toronto can get financial advice or learn more about Tangerine services from their staff over a cup of coffee at these cafes.
Moreover, Tangerine describes its lack of a physical branch as an opportunity to redirect more savings to its customers. How? They save money they’d have spent on maintaining physical locations and pass on these savings to their customers in form of unique and competitive rates.
Promo: Earn an extra 15% cashback for a limited time with the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.
5. EQ Bank ($20 Bonus)
2023 EQ Bank Promotion: Get $20 Bonus Offer
Join EQ Bank by using this unique link to open an eligible account; and Get $20 bonus paid directly into your account.
To ensure you get the Bonus Payment, just make a $100 deposit or more into your new EQ Bank account within the first 30 days of signing up, and you’ll get a $20 bonus paid directly into your account by the next day.
If you are a super saver or a money-savvy Canadian, then Equitable (EQ) Bank is the best choice for you. Equitable Bank (EQ Bank) has been in operation for nearly 45 years.
Just like other online-only banks, they currently do not have any physical branch. Rather, they offer customers round-the-clock online banking and customer service starting from 8 a.m to midnight (EST).
Equitable Bank (EQ Bank) takes a different approach to digital banking. Instead of using a debit card, personal cheque, or an ATM, clients can move their funds between their connected accounts and Savings Plus Account accounts.
Money-savvy Canadians can also take advantage of their high-interest rates by stashing money in a savings account. However, one thing that stands out about EQ Bank is they allow you to use your savings account as if it were a chequing account.
You can send money at no cost, pay your bills, and earn interest on your money. Amazing right? If what you are looking for is the best non-promotional savings rate, EQ bank tops that chart.
Best Online Banks, Canada Credit Unions
6. Motive Financial
Motive Financial is an online-only Canadian bank and a subsidiary of the Canadian Western Bank. Motive Financial currently offers one of Canada’s highest interest savings accounts together with some of the best RRSP, GIC, and TFSA rates.
7. Manulife Bank
Manulife Bank offers customers several perks and services. From bank accounts to credit cards, loans, investments, and mortgages. To top these, they also have a collection of offers for small businesses in Canada to benefit from.
8. Oaken Financial
Oaken Financial Products:
Oaken Financial has two accounts:
The Oaken Financial Savings Account offers a 1.25% high-interest rate, which is very good, although it is not the best. Apart from the high-interest rate, you’ll also be free from monthly fees or a minimum balance requirement. You can also make free transactions without any limit, so you have no course to keep track of your transactions around the month.
Oaken also allows you to quickly move your money from your savings account to a GIC.
ii. Oaken Financial Chequing Account
Oaken does not offer a chequing account currently.
At the moment, Oaken Financial does not have a credit card either.
Apart from digital banks owned by Canadian banks, credit unions also provide online banks to increase their customer reach. Many of these banks also have equally amazing perks that qualify them to be part of Canada’s best online banks.
Motusbank is a subsidiary of the Meridian Credit Union, so they are a CDIC member, which means they insure customers’ deposits. Apart from this, they also offer a high-interest rate and easy connectivity to other banking institutions.
Motusbank’s High-Interest Savings account offers customers 2.1% interest on their deposits. To top this, you don’t have to pay any monthly fee, or transaction fee, or maintain a minimum balance to access it.
Another account is the Motusbank TFSA which offers customers a 2.35% interest rate. They also have GIC accounts, one chequing account, and RRSPs, and they all have similarly enticing rates and features.
10. Alterna Bank
Alterna Bank is the online division of Ontario’s Alterna Savings Credit Union. They offer a no-fee chequing account, unlimited transactions, term deposits for both registered and non-registered accounts, online investment, and mortgage loans. Alterna bank is also known for its high-interest savings account and effortless inter-bank transfers.
11. Outlook Financial
Outlook Financial is a subsidiary of Manitoba’s Assiniboine Credit Union. It is a great choice for young Canadians looking to invest some cash for a while at a high-interest rate.
They offer both GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates) and competitive high-interest savings accounts. Clients’ deposits are protected by the DGCM- Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.
Outlook Financial operates similarly to the previously mentioned Tangerine bank however, while their GICs offer no monthly account fee, it requires a minimum deposit of $1,000. The savings account, on the other hand, requires no monthly fee or minimum deposit.
12. Accelerate Financial
Accelerate Financial is the online arm of Manitoba’s Crosstown Civic Credit Union, and it was launched in 2010.
Just like other credit union-owned online banks, they offer a high-interest savings account, GICs, and the option to invest these products in an RRIF, RRSP, or TFSA account. Since the main company is in Manitoba, deposits made with Accelerate Financial are 100% guaranteed by DGCM.
13. Achieva Financial
Achieva Financial is an online bank owned by Cambrian Credit Union. They only offer a high-interest savings account and GICs with the option to deposit inside an RRSP, TFSA, or RRIF account if necessary.
DGCM protects customers’ deposits, whether they are Manitoba residents or not.
Best Online Banks: Options from Canada’s Big Five Banks
We can’t have a detailed list of the best online banks Canada has without analyzing the Big Five banks.
As stated at the beginning of this article, big banks have an online presence. However, unlike online-only banks, they have specific requirements you have to meet before you can enjoy the perks.
Here goes our review of the big five banks’ online banking options:
14. RBC Online
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has an online banking option known as RBC Online. Their monthly fees range from $4 to $30. RBC Online does not cancel its account fees for a minimum balance, but you can bundle two or more services together, like lines of credit or credit cards, and cut down service charges.
RBC online offers customers all the usual features, such as bill payment and transfer, but they don’t really have outstanding offers. For Canadians who are most comfortable banking with the big banks and want to combine different services in one place, RBC Online is the go-to.
15. BMO Online
BMO Online is the Bank of Montreal (BMO’s) online platform. They offer online bill payments, Interac e-transfers, direct online deposits, cheques, debits, contactless payments, and mobile cheque deposits. Some of the features have a standard set rate, but you can earn additional interest up to a 1.6% interest rate with their Savings Builder Account.
Their monthly fees range from $4.00 to $30.00 per month, although they offer students, seniors, and armed forces discounts.
16. TD Online
TD Online is the general name for TD Canada Trust’s (TD) online services. TD Online offers free online e-transfers and round-the-clock mobile cheque deposits.
Although the interest rates are not all that tempting, they offer some decent no-fee savings accounts. They also have a mobile app that has features for tracking and improving spending habits (TD MySpend).
17. CIBC Online
One thing that distinguishes CIBC is they have five different account types tailored to seniors’ needs. From a simple chequing account to a US dollar account, down to a bundle with a premium credit card, all designed for seniors.
Their online banking platform (CIBC Online) offers mobile cheque deposits, the chance to order foreign cash and have it delivered to you at home, and alerts on fraudulent activities.
18. Scotia Online
To end our overview of the big banks’ digital platforms, let’s look at Scotiabank’s Scotia Online.
Scotiabank offers both savings and chequing accounts. The chequing accounts come with unlimited transactions, while the savings account offers competitive interest rates.
They charge a monthly account fee, but the fee can be removed if you exceed the monthly required minimum balance (around $3,000 for most chequing accounts).
Perks of Banking with an Online Bank
First, let’s look at the perks that come with banking with digital banks:
Ease of Access:
You can carry out all of your transactions via the bank’s online platform or on the mobile app. You can pay your bills, transfer money, make cheque deposits, etc., without a hassle.
Pricing & Competitive Rates:
Online-only banks come with a no-fee account option, high-interest savings accounts, and competitive rates for Interac e-Transfers. Since they have no physical branches, they save money on the costs that come with running physical locations.
Then they use some of these savings to provide their customers with these enticing pricing and better rates, e.g., a 1.50% savings account rate instead of 0.05%. Some brick-and-mortar banks also offer their customers low-fee accounts; however, it comes with a base monthly fee, unlike digital banks.
Your deposits with online-only banks are secure and either covered by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation CDIC or the appropriate credit union deposit guarantee corporation. CDIC insures deposits up to $100,000 per category, while provincial deposit guarantee corporations can cover your entire deposits irrespective of the amount.
Another unique perk is you can connect your online banking account to your money management application to track your expenses. Thus, you can control your finances.
You don’t have to spend time waiting on long queues at a bank. You can carry out your banking transactions on the mobile app while doing other things. Even if you encounter a challenge, you can contact customer service by chat or phone.
Online banks offer Interac e- transfers and mobile cheque deposits, essentially sending money with an e-mail or depositing your cheque with a picture. There are several other unique features that online-only banks offer that you can’t get elsewhere. We’ll touch them as we progress.
Downsides of Online Banking
When you choose an online-only bank, you should know these:
No In-Person Service:
If you prefer to conduct banking operations face to face, you won’t get this in an online bank.
Some Banks Lack All-in-One Package:
Banks like Tangerine offer customers an all-in-one package. So, you can conduct all your transactions (chequing, savings, investments, and mortgage accounts) with them. However, some online banks only provide savings accounts so if you need more services, you’ll have to get them from another bank.
Online banks are limited when it comes to complicated banking transactions. If you regularly conduct transactions like bank drafts, wiring money overseas, or you need a safety deposit box; you’ll have to do this at a physical bank in person.
Fewer ATMs or ABMs (Automated Banking Machines):
The online bank you go for might not have sufficient ATMs in your area, and you’ll have to use ATMs linked to other networks and likely pay. This is something you probably won’t experience with traditional banks.
However, this issue might not be a problem since the online banks we are about to review either belong to a bank or credit union. Let’s get on with it.
How Safe are the Online Banks in Canada?
Just like traditional banks, there are very slim chances of online banks failing.
Federally incorporated banks like Tangerine, EQ Bank, and Simplii are associated with the CDIC- Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. So, your deposits would be insured up to a $100,000 limit. So, you can be sure that your funds are protected.
The digital banks owned by credit unions are either associated with CDIC or DGCM-Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. Either way, you are assured that your deposits are protected.
FAQs: Best Online Banks in Canada
Final Thoughts: Best Online Banks, Canada
Choosing an Online-Only Bank
While deciding on which online bank to choose, you should start by considering your banking needs. For example, if you want to completely replace your traditional bank and move your entire banking operations (chequing, savings, investments, etc.) online, Tangerine Bank and Simplii Financial would be fitting.
What if you wish to keep your present bank, but at the same time, you want to take advantage of the better savings rates that come with an online bank? EQ Bank offers a suitable option with their high-interest Savings Plus account and unlimited free Interac e-Transfers.
Generally, all the online banks on this list can help you save money on fees, and their savings rates are far above what the big banks offer.
Read Also >> The Best No-Fee Bank Account in Canada
More on Banking in Canada:
- Neo Financial Review
- Neo Money™️ Account Review
- Simplii vs Tangerine
- EQ Bank vs Tangerine
- Best Business Bank Account
- Best Online Banks, Canada
- Best US Bank Account for Canadian Residents
- Best No-Fee Bank Account, Canada (Free Chequing Accounts)
Charity (Charee) Oisamoje is the founder of TheFinanceKey - TFK. She leads the editorial team, which is comprised of subject-matter experts.
Her professional competencies and expertise make her qualified on this topic. She is an expert at collecting details, verifying facts, and making complex subjects easy to understand.
Backed by Solid Credentials: MBA in Finance Canadian Investment Funds (IFIC) Graduate Masters Degree in International Business Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) Candidate ✔️Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) ✔️BSc Accounting
Learn More >> About Page
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