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Most suitable Bank in Canada

Bank in Canada always keeps in mind the comfort and safety of its people. As most of its demography relies on people from overseas, Canada makes sure that the facilities provided are best suited for the new immigrants to make them feel at ease. Banking is also one such facility that has been made convenient and reliable for the people of Canada, especially the newcomers.

Many banks in Canada offer free banking for the first year of a person’s stay. Before deciding on a bank in Canada, one should consider different factors like the branches that are convenient from their home and place of work, the opening hours, and who offers the best credit cards in Canada for their needs.

Banks in Canada

The ‘Big Five’ banks’ is a name given to a set of five major banks of Canada. They have special programs and incentives for newcomers choosing the most suitable bank according to their own specific needs. These five banks are:

1. Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Established in 1817, BMO is Canada’s first bank. It has more than 200 years of tried and trusted expertise, with over 12 million customers across personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment services. BMO offers newcomers 12 months of no-monthly-fee banking, first-year free safety deposit box, unlimited electronic transfers, and more. BMO is the only bank with a joint telco offer that gives you bonus cash and 3GB of monthly bonus data for one year with chatr Mobile.

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2. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

In 1961, the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada merged to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). They have recently modernized their banking platforms and have evolved their chequing account to meet the needs of their customers. It also has one of the largest ATM networks across Canada and top-ranked online and mobile banking as well as Apple Pay.

3. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

RBC is the largest banking institution in Canada by market capitalization. RBC has customized newcomers’ banking packages according to whether a person is preparing to move, just arrived, or settling into Canada. One particular privilege for RBC customers is that they can take out cash from any ATM, including ATMs from other banks, without paying any fee.

4. Scotiabank

Scotiabank has a StartRight Program that allows customers to open a bank account before they arrive in Canada, with unlimited no-fee international money transfers. The first year of banking with Scotiabank for newcomers to Canada is free, without any monthly fees. In addition to that, there are various products and services specialized for newcomers.

5. TD Canada Trust

Toronto Dominion Bank, better known as TD Canada Trust or simply TD, has a presence across Canada. Many newcomers to Canada choose TD as they provide plenty of benefits. With easily available branches and ATMs throughout the country, a convenient online banking platform and app, and a range of incentives makes it the most suitable bank for newcomers.

Various services offered by these Banks

These ‘Big Five’ Banks in Canada provide a variety of benefits for the newcomers. Along with that, there are different kinds of services or additional facilities they offer. It is important to know which of them are paid and which others are free. Some of these services are:

Banking fees

Many banks in Canada charge a banking fee ranging from $5 to $30 per month to have a checking or chequing account (known in other countries as a ‘current’ account). The fee depends on the number of monthly transactions which may be refunded if the customer maintains a sizeable balance ($3,000 to $5,000 range atleast).


Cheques remain a popular payment method in Canada. Many employers request a ‘void check’ at the beginning of employment. A void check is simply a check with the word ‘void’ written across it. It contains the bank details required by the employer to transfer money to the employees’ accounts. Some banks give it for free while opening a new account. Cheque Books are often required for paying rent or enrolling in a service, such as daycare for children. It can cost up to $40 for a book of 100 cheques.

ATM charges

ATMs of the same bank in Canada don’t incur any fee but if a customer uses an ATM that does not belong to their bank, a fee would be charged for each transaction. It is important to check the ATM near the workplace and home when choosing a bank.
If you use an ATM that does not belong to a bank (e.g. a privately-owned ATM at a bar or restaurant), both the ATM and your bank may charge you fees.

Debit cards

Debit cards can be used without any additional fees as long as the number of monthly transactions permitted by the bank is not exceeded.

Interac e-transfer

The Interac e-transfer system (pronounced “Inter-ack”) is a collection of Canadian banks and merchants who all use the same payment system. Money can be transferred online by using the email address. Bank details are not required in such transactions but it is important that both parties have a Canadian bank account that has Interac email transfer capabilities.

Credit Card

Credit rating is considered important in Canada. Using a credit card responsibly by always paying the bill on time will help build an all-important credit score. Credit cards in Canada are often grouped into the following broad categories: No Annual fee, and those with an annual fee but that also offer rewards or perks.

The rewards offered by these types of credit cards can be Cashback or points earned on your purchases that can be redeemed for products, airline travel, or even cinema tickets.

All the Canadian banks mentioned above offer a range of credit card services that help newcomers to build their credit history at a low cost.

International money transfers to your new account

Wise (formerly TransferWise) and CurrencyFair are two of the best ways for an international money transfer when a person arrives in Canada.

These are the main dominant banks in Canada and the services provided by them. Before deciding on a bank in Canada, all newcomers must definitely consider these different facilities and options offered by each bank. The needs of every customer varies and thus, the variety of options helps a newcomer find the most suitable one for them.

Canadian Visa News
Canadian Visa News
Canadian Visa News is the immigration news network that keeps you updated with all the immigration updates. We are always connected to the Canadian immigration policies, visa updates, and all the official immigration sources.

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