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Most Canadians depend on their chequing accounts for paycheque deposits and cash withdrawals. But you don’t have to rely on your brick-and-mortar bank to provide you with such widely-used accounts. Instead, several online-only banks in Canada offer e-chequing accounts that offer competitive interest rates and no monthly fees.

We’ve assessed the various online chequing accounts available to Canadians and hand-picked a few that stand out. 

Best Online-Only Chequing Accounts

 Monthly FeeMin. BalanceInterest RateTransactionsOverdraft
Neo Money Account $0$02.25%*UnlimitedN/A
Simplii Financial™ No Fee Chequing Account $0$0Up to 0.05%Unlimited$4.97 per item
Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account $0$0Up to 0.10%Unlimited$5 per item
motusbank Chequing
Account
$0$00.15%UnlimitedN/A
Alterna Bank No Fee
eChequing Account
$0$00.05%Unlimited$2.50/month
Motive Financial Chequing Account $0$00.15%Unlimited$5 per item

Neo Money™ Account

Neo Financial, a 100% digital financial technology company, is changing the way Canadians bank. With its Neo Money ™ account, Canadians can now save and spend all from the same account. The Neo account is a hybrid high-interest savings account and everyday spending account. Making it one of the best bank account options available on the market.

Neo Money™ Account users can earn a high-interest rate of 2.25%* on their balance without any annual or monthly fees. Interest is paid monthly and there are no minimum balance requirements (there is a cap of $200,000).

Account holders will also get a Neo Money™ card that functions like a prepaid credit card that’s better than a debit card. Use it to shop online and in-store and earn cashback. Earn up to 15% cashback on your first-time purchases at over 10,000 Neo partners and enjoy an average of 5% cashback.

  • Daily interest rate: 2.25%*
  • No minimum balance
  • No minimum deposit
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • Set up automatic bill payments
  • Free Interac® e-transfers
  • Fund your account three different ways
    • e-Transfer, direct deposit, or by linking an external bank account to your Neo account
  • CDIC deposit protection1 (up to $100,000)

Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account 

Previously known as ING Direct, Tangerine is an online-only subsidiary of Scotiabank and offers plenty of banking options and products, much like you would get with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. That said, Tangerine’s more popular product is the no-fee chequing account, which pays out a decent interest rate on funds deposited. 

There are no monthly or transaction fees, which is a big plus considering many other no-fee chequing accounts come with a finite number of free transactions. No minimum balance is required either, so you won’t get slapped with pesky fees to keep your account open. 

  • No monthly fee
  • No daily transaction fees
  • Unlimited transactions included
  • Free Interac e-transfers
  • Free access to 3,500 bank machines across Canada
  • Overdraft protection
  • First 50 cheques are free
  • Mobile app
  • Account alerts via email or text
  • Interest rate: up to 0.10%

Check Out More Tangerine Products

Tangerine Savings Account ReviewLearn More
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review Learn More
Tangerine TFSA ReviewLearn More
Tangerine Visa Debit ReviewLearn More
Tangerine World Mastercard ReviewLearn More

motusbank Chequing Account

One of the newer players on the online-only banking scene is motusbank, which is owned by Meridian Credit Union and is a member of CDIC, so your deposits will always be insured for security. motusbank’s low overhead banking model allows the bank to pass its savings onto clients in the form of higher interest rates. There are no monthly or transaction fees that are typical of the average bank, and you’ll have around 3,700 bank machines across Canada to withdraw cash from for free.  

  • No monthly fee
  • No daily transaction fees
  • First 25 cheques are free
  • Unlimited number of transactions
  • Unlimited Interac e-transfers
  • Unlimited debit purchases and bill payments 
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • Mobile app 
  • Interest rate: up to 0.25% 
Simplii Financial

Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account

Simplii Financial, the online banking arm of CIBC, is a widely used banking option for a growing number of Canadians. Simplii™ offers several financial products, including its popular No-Fee Chequing Account. With this account, clients receive free daily banking. This includes no fees and no minimum balance requirements, free Interac e-transfers, and unlimited debit purchases and bill payments. Plus, you’ll have access to 3,400 ATMs across Canada for free.

  • No monthly fee
  • No daily transaction fees
  • Unlimited free cheques 
  • Unlimited number of transactions
  • No minimum balance
  • Direct payroll and pension deposit
  • Account-to-account transfers
  • Free Interac e-transfers
  • Unlimited debit purchases and bill payments 
  • Mobile cheque deposits
  • Mobile app 
  • Interest rate: up to 0.05% 

Welcome Offer

Earn $400 when you open a No-Fee Chequing Account by February 29, 2024. Add an eligible direct deposit of at least $100 a month for 3 consecutive months.

Alterna Bank No Fee eChequing Account

The most popular financial product offered by Alterna Bank is its no-fee chequing account. It’s entirely free to use and comes with many attractive perks, such as no transaction limits and no monthly fees. You’ll have access to over 3,300 ATMs within the EXCHANGE Network, and your deposits will also be fully insured by the CDIC. While the bank is entirely online, it does offer in-person service at its parent, Alterna Savings Credit Union. Your deposits will also be fully insured by the CDIC.

  • No monthly fees
  • Free, unlimited daily transactions
  • Free, unlimited Interac e-transfers
  • No minimum balance
  • Overdraft protection
  • Deposits insured by the CDIC
  • Interest rate: 0.05%

Motive Financial Chequing Account

Motive Financial’s chequing account offers one of the highest interest rates going. At 0.25% for all balances, that’s a pretty competitive rate and one that attracts many Canadian consumers. You’ll also have the freedom of unlimited transactions and deposits, no monthly fees, and free withdrawals with the second-largest ATM network in Canada. 

  • No monthly fee
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited deposits
  • Interac e-transfers are free to receive ($1 each to send)
  • 50 free cheques
  • Free cash withdrawals from ATMs in the EXCHANGE Network
  • Interest rate: 0.25%

Why Would A Consumer Need An Online-Only Chequing Account?

While savings accounts are meant to help you grow your money safely with a very modest interest rate, chequing accounts are the backbone of your banking. They’re meant to deposit your paycheque, access funds from an ATM or through your debit card, and pay your bills, among other things. Basically, chequing accounts act as transaction accounts. 

The funds you have deposited in these accounts can grow with the right online bank, while still serving as direct access to your money at any time without penalty. Thanks to the liquidity of the money in these accounts, they traditionally do not come with very high-interest rates. But some chequing accounts give savings accounts a run for their money when it comes to interest, including some of those mentioned above.

And while most traditional big banks tend to charge a fee for these accounts, the online chequing accounts listed here do not, making them an even more attractive financial product to add to your repertoire.

When it comes to online-only chequing accounts, you’ll have the opportunity to access your account completely online, making banking as convenient as possible. If you’re digitally savvy and prefer to do all your banking remotely from wherever you happen to be, then an online-only chequing account may be a perfect option for you.

How Do I Choose An Online-Only Chequing Account That Suits Me?

When choosing an online-only chequing account, there are certain things to take into consideration, including the following:

  • Fees. The less you have to pay for your chequing account, the better, so look for accounts that do not come with any pesky monthly or transaction fees. 
  • Everyday transactions. Look for chequing accounts that come with everything you need, such as bill payments, e-transfers, and point-of-sale purchases. Further, look for chequing accounts that allow unlimited transactions with no fees to help extend your savings.  
  • Overdraft protection. Most chequing accounts offer overdraft protection, which covers you in case your account is temporarily overdrawn. If you tend to overdraft regularly, you may want to look for a chequing account with low overdraft fees.

Are Online Chequing Accounts Safe? 

Some consumers might worry about taking their banking entirely online and interacting with their chequing accounts virtually rather than the traditional way of physically visiting a bank. Given the sensitivity of the information you’re dealing with, it’s understandable to be a bit skeptical. But the truth is banking online is completely safe. 

If you bank with a reputable online bank, your funds are safe, as is your personal information. Online banks use robust encryption to keep your personal information safe, though it’s still advised to use a strong password to minimize the risk of hacking. Further, online banks such as the ones listed here insure deposits through the CDIC if the bank collapses, so you won’t be left empty-handed.

Final Thoughts

Chequing accounts aren’t known for their high-interest rates, but some offer higher-than-average rates that can help take your money a little further. And with online-only chequing accounts, you can take advantage of the ultimate in convenience by doing all your bill payments, cheque deposits, and other transactions from the comfort of your home or wherever else you happen to be.

Neo MoneyTM is provided by Concentra Bank.

® Trademark of Interac Inc. Used under license.

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

1 The Neo MoneyTM account is provided by Concentra Bank, a CDIC member institution, and is eligible for CDIC deposit protection. Deposits held in Neo MoneyTM accounts are combined with eligible deposits held at Concentra Bank, for up to $100,000 of deposit protection, per category, per depositor. For more information about CDIC deposit insurance, please consult CDIC’s website cdic.ca.

Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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