Everyone has places to go, things to do and bills to pay, which is why opening a savings account with your bank or credit union can be a wise choice. However, many savings accounts at these traditional financial institutions come with really low-interest rates. That can make it tough to gain any real headway on building a nest egg that’s actually worth the time and banking fees.
Thankfully, digital banks like EQ Bank, offer a special savings account with higher interest rates and zero fees.
Who Is EQ Bank?
Equitable Bank was founded in 1970 and is Canada’s eighth-largest independent Schedule 1 bank. In 2016, they officially launched a new trademarked digital banking system called EQ Bank, which was the first of its kind in the country. Today, EQ Bank has a fully regulated institution with over 1,000 employees and $7 billion in assets.
While EQ Bank has no actual branches, they’re now a popular alternative to traditional financial institutions due to its digital banking system, which leads to lower operating costs and account fees. This makes EQ Bank a smarter way to save, invest or borrow.
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account Features
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is basically a hybrid between a savings and chequing account. That means it offers all the benefits of a regular savings account, with the flexibility of a chequing account, that too with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. The Savings Plus Account includes a number of other benefits including;
- High-Interest Rate – With a current rate of 2.00%* (calculated daily, paid monthly), the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account beats many savings accounts from big-bank competitors. In fact, you can earn up to 125x times more than other banks with their high-interest rate and no monthly fees.
- Mobile Cheque Deposit – The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account also gives users the ability to deposit cheques with the camera on their smartphone or mobile device.
- Account Linking – Moving money from one bank account to another can often be difficult but luckily the Savings Plus Account comes with 10 free linked accounts (transfer limits may apply) that make moving money easy and secure.
- Account Tools – The Savings Plus Account lets you pay bills online, transfer money internationally and manage your finances using the EQ Bank mobile app.
- Free Transfers – In addition, the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account allows you to make free EQ to EQ money transfers, free Interac e-Transfers®, free electronic fund transfers and free bill payments. However, do note that certain transfers may have daily, weekly and monthly limits.
- Security – EQ Bank accounts have multiple safety features, like fraud monitoring and deposit insurance from the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
- Referral Program – Your EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account comes with a unique referral promotion. Whenever you refer a friend, you can earn $20 to $40 for each friend (to a maximum limit of $500) that uses your referral link to open an account and deposit at least $100 within 30 days.
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account Fees
Whereas traditional big-bank accounts usually cost at least a few dollars a month and have far more restrictions, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account has no monthly fees, no minimum balances and free transactions.
Here are some transactions you can make for free with the Savings Plus Account:
- Cheque Deposits (Mobile or Web Account)
- Sending and Receiving Interac e-Transfers®
- EQ to EQ Transfers
- Linked Accounts
- Bill Payments
- Opening and Closing Accounts
While most transactions are free, there are specific limits that apply to money transfers you send using your EQ Bank account. Here are the maximum transfer limits that apply to the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account:
|Outbound Interac e-Transfers®: 24-hour Maximum||$3,000|
|Outbound Interac e-Transfers®: Weekly Maximum||$10,000|
|Outbound Interac e-Transfers®: Monthly Maximum||$20,000|
|Inbound Interac e-Transfers®||$25,000 per transaction|
|Cheque Deposit||$100,000 per cheque|
|Bill Payment||$25,000 per payment|
|Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Payment||$100,000 per payment|
Visit the EQ Bank webpage to learn more about their other account fees and limits.
How To Open An EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account
The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is also great because it has minimal requirements. There are no income limits or credit conditions. To open an account, a potential client must:
- Be a resident of Canada
- Be at least the age of majority in their province or territory (18 – 19+)
- Have a valid social insurance number (SIN)
All you have to do is go to the EQ Bank webpage or download the mobile app, click “Join Now” and follow the instructions. However, before you attempt to open an account with EQ Bank, keep in mind that their services are NOT currently available in Quebec and the maximum account balance you can have is $200,000.
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account vs. Big-Bank Savings Account?
|EQ Savings Account||TD Everyday Savings Account||RBC Day to Day Savings Account|
|Interest Rate||2.00%*||0.010%||0.005% – 0.010%|
|Fees||No everyday banking fees||– No monthly fee|
$3.00 per additional transaction (after your first)
– $2.00 Non-TD ATM fee (in Canada)
– $3.00 Foreign ATM fee (US & Mexico)
– $5.00 Foreign ATM fee (all other countries)
– $2.00 paper statement fee per month (optional)
|– No monthly fee|
– $2.00 per debit exceeding monthly limit
– $1.00 per Interac e-Transfer
– $1.00 per cross-border debit
Interac & Plus System ATM Network Fees:
– $2.00 Interac fee
– $3.00 Plus System in Canada & U.S.
– $5.00 Plus System outside Canada & U.S.
|Free Interac e-Transfers||Yes||Yes||No|
|Other Perks||– No minimum balance requirements|
– Free transactions
– Referral Bonuses
|– 1 free transaction a month|
– Free paperless record keeping & online statements
– Automated savings programs
– TD MySpend
|– 1 free debit per monthly cycle |
– Free e-Statements & eNotifications
– Free Access to myFinance Tracker and MyAdvisor
Other High-Interest Savings Accounts You Can Take Advantage of With EQ Bank
If you’d like to expand your financial portfolio and make the most of your savings, EQ Bank offers several investment-style savings accounts too, such as:
RSP Savings Account (Retirement Savings Plan)
If you’re searching for a safe and low-risk account to store funds for retirement, an RSP Saving Plan is similar to a regular RRSP account, in that taxes are deferred until you make a withdrawal and you can earn tax deductions by contributing to your account. It’s also similar to the EQ Savings Plus Account because it helps you save better through its:
- High-interest rates (2.00%*)
- No monthly account fees or minimum balance requirements
- Free access to mobile app, e-Transfers with limits and other banking services
- CDIC Protection of up to $100,000
The contribution room you have in your EQ Retirement Savings Plan account is based on your income and unused contributions from previous years. For the 2022 Canadian taxation year, the annual RRSP contribution rate is 18% of your income, up to $29,210.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
This TFSA has one of the highest interest rates of any online bank account in Canada. Interest is accumulated on the funds you deposit and those contributions are tax-free for life. Other positive features of the TFSA Savings Account from EQ Bank include:
- A high-interest rate of 2.00%*
- Penalty-free withdrawals (penalties only apply when you over-contribute)
- Tax-free returns
- Zero account fees or minimum account balance
- CDIC Protection (up to $100,000)
The Canadian TFSA contribution program was launched in 2009. If you’ve been eligible for a TFSA since then, your maximum contribution limit is $81,500 for the 2022 tax year. Otherwise, Canadians aged 18 and up can contribute up to $6,000 yearly to their TFSA.
Guaranteed Income Certificates (GIC)
A GIC is like a savings account because it gives you a fixed interest rate that gets paid out on specific dates. While you may not be able to withdraw funds penalty-free until maturity, your returns are guaranteed and there’s very little risk involved. The longer the funds are in your account, the better. Here are some benefits of a GIC from EQ Bank:
- Current rates = 1.60%* – 4.40%* for RSP, TFSA & non-registered GICs
- Zero monthly fees and a variety of term options
- $100 minimum deposit
EQ Savings Plus Account FAQs
Why should I open an EQ Savings Plus Account?
Do I need a minimum balance to open an account?
Will my money be safe with EQ Bank?
Searching For the Best Savings Account in Canada?
The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is a great option due to its high-interest rate, low requirements and no monthly fees. Moreover, enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a chequing account while taking advantage of their high-interest rate. Get the most out of your savings today by applying for EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account.
*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.