Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada of 2019

With low rates and limitations on transactions on most high-interest savings accounts, most people write-off trying to get a higher rate. However, there are a lot of great options out there with rates higher than you might expect that are perfect for saving for a rainy day, for a vacation, or for building an emergency fund. Whatever your financial goals are, having the right high-interest savings accounts can help you get there. With that said, here are my top high-interest savings accounts in Canada of 2019.

Financial Institution Interest Rate Minimum Balance Free Withdrawals Per Month
Motive Savvy Savings 2.80% $0 2
MAXA Financial 2.45% $0 1
EQ Bank Savings Plus 2.30% $0 Unlimited
Oaken Savings Account 2.30% $0 Unlimited
Wealthsimple Save 2.00% $0 Unlimited
Tangerine Bank Savings Account 1.20% $0 Unlimited
Scotiabank Momentum Plus 1.05% to 1.95% $0 Unlimited*

*Internal transfers are free. External transfers are $5.

What is a high-interest savings account?

A high-interest savings account is a savings account that pays above average rates than standard savings accounts. They are designed to hold cash for longer periods of time compared to a chequing account, and as such, typically have higher transaction fees to encourage savings although there are plenty that do not charge fees.

Factors to Consider

Look for accounts that offer everyday high-interest rates (watch out for one-time promo rates) and low transaction fees. Also, consider the convenience factor of if you can withdraw cash at an ATM or if the account is online only.

Motive Savvy Savings

Motive Financial, formerly known as Canadian Direct Financial (CDF), is a subsidiary of Canadian Western Bank. Motive Financial offers is an online-only banking platform, so offers its service through online and mobile banking. If you have an account with them, you can transfer cash online, or withdrawal through an ATM.

Features

  • Up to 2.80% interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Two free transactions per month
  • CDIC insured

MAXA Financial

MAXA Financial is a subsidiary of Westoba Credit Union Ltd., based in Manitoba. Their products are available for Canadians across the country however, and deposits are guaranteed by Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM).

Features

  • 2.45% interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • One free transaction per month. $1 each transaction thereafter
  • DGCM insured

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

For years, EQ Bank has offered some of the highest rates in Canada for its high-interest savings accounts. They offer unlimited transactions, no monthly fees, and are CDIC insured. The account is available to anyone in Canada other than those living in the province of Quebec (sorry I don’t make the rules).

Features

  • 2.30%
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited transfers
  • CDIC insured

Their rate is not a promo rate and you also get unlimited free Interac e-transfers every month. EQ Bank is the same as Equitable bank, who has been in Canada for over 40 years.

Oaken Financial

Oaken Financial is a direct-to-consumer deposit business in Canada. It’s part of the country’s largest independent trust company, Home Trust, and offers online banking with branches in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Halifax.

Features

  • 2.30%
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited transfers
  • CDIC insured

Wealthsimple Save

If you already use Wealthsimple then using their savings account is a no brainer. If not, or you are hesitant to use a robo-advisor for your investments, you can open up their savings account separately. They have some of the highest rates available and offer unlimited free transactions, no account minimums, and have a clean, easy-to-use, interface with their app. Keep in mind that in order to withdrawal it will take up to 2 business days, which can help mitigate impulse shopping.

Features

  • 2.00%
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • No account minimum
  • No low balance fees
  • 2 business days to withdrawal
  • CDIC insured

Tangerine

Tangerine is Scotiabank’s online-only banking offering that promises no fees, competitive interest rates, and quality financial products. While their permanent high-interest savings rates are on the lower side at 1.20%, they often offer promo rates upwards of 3% for six months.

Features

  • 2.75% for the first 6 months; 1.20% after
  • No fees
  • No account minimum
  • CDIC insured

The 2.75% is only available to new customers, but existing customers get promo offers of 2.00% from time to time.

Scotiabank Momentum Plus

This account is a bit different than the rest, with tiered interest of up to 1.95%. It’s a no-fee account that offers additional interest for clients that leave money in their account depending on the length of time. Interest rates start at 1.05%, and then you can get up to another 0.90% if you leave money in your account for 360 days.

One thing to keep in mind with this account, you cannot withdraw funds from an ATM. Online transfers only. Internal transfers are free (transferring to another Scotia account) but external transfers are $5 each.

Features

  • Up to 1.95% if no withdrawals for 360 days
  • No fees
  • No account balance minimums
  • $5 per external transfer
  • CDIC insured

Summary

The big 5 Canadian banks tend to offer lackluster high-interest savings account rates so look at alternative offerings. Most in this article are CDIC insured so you can feel safe leaving your money with them. Aim for an account that has at least a 2% interest rate, and then after that look to see if there are any fees and if there’s any inconvenience of withdrawing funds. Personally, I recommend EQ Bank and Wealthsimple Save strictly because of their high interest rates and the fact that they have no limits on the number of transactions. However, if you are using your high-interest savings account exclusively for saving, and do not expect many transactions, then Motive Savvy, MAXA Financial, and Oaken Savings are all great choices with higher returns.

Having the right account can help you achieve your financial goals faster and have peace of mind so it’s important to choose the right one.

Legal Disclaimer: The views expressed by Mr. Dumont on Money Sensei are solely his and not intended as investment advice nor a guarantee of any financial return. Mr. Dumont is not an investment or tax professional, so the information contained on the blog is not a substitute for professional advice. The contents of this blog are accurate to the best of his knowledge at the time of posting, but rules and laws are ever-changing. Please do your research to confirm that you have the current information.

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