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The Best No-Fee Bank Accounts for Newcomers to Canada

The Best No-Fee Bank Accounts for Newcomers to Canada

As a newcomer to Canada, one of the things that might surprise you about ‌banking in this country is that you often have to pay a monthly fee just to hold a bank account.

This can be a shock given that in other countries bank accounts don’t necessarily come with a monthly fee, and in fact, they sometimes even pay interest on standard deposits.

According to a recent report by the Alberta-based think tank, North Economics, Canadian retail banking customers incur higher fees compared to their peers in Australia and the UK.

After all, in addition to a monthly maintenance fee, Canadians often have to pay additional fees for electronic transfers, accessing ATMs, excessive debit charges, and other transactions.

Despite this abundance of potential fees, the good news is that there’s a way to circumvent these charges, especially as a newcomer to the country: no-fee bank accounts.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best no-fee bank accounts for newcomers to Canada to help you make educated choices about your banking needs.

Choosing a No-Fee Bank Account

When it comes to opening a new bank account, there are lots of things to consider.

When looking exclusively at no-fee bank accounts, your options will be more limited, but there are certainly some excellent options to choose from. We’ll go over these below.

The first step when choosing a bank and bank account is to decide whether you prefer a more conventional bank with physical locations or whether you prefer a digital-only banking option.

Canada’s five biggest banks are Bank of Montreal (BMO), Scotiabank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), collectively known as the “Big Five.”

Canadian banking is dominated by the “Big Five”

These conventional banks have the advantage of a physical brick-and-mortar presence that makes it easy to request bank drafts, stamped bank statements, or other important documents.

None of the Big Five banks offer a no-fee chequing account; however, most of them offer a fee waiver on your first year through their newcomer programs and packages.

Generally speaking, a basic bank account with a conventional bank, offering a limited number of transactions, will cost you about $5 (all figures in CAD) a month.

Alternatively, there are mid-range account options for around $10–15 a month, and there are “all-inclusive” packages…

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