It’s true, Canadians pay one of the highest banking fees in the world, and if you’re looking to break free from the shackles of these high chequing account fees, this article is crafted, specifically for you!
Yes, many of us here in the far North have grown tired of paying the high banking fees the big names in banking charge us to “borrow our money”. Luckily for us, free unlimited chequing accounts are actually available in Canada.
Banking, as you may know, is the perfect business model. You put up a bank to borrow people’s money, interest-free, and charge them for “safe-keeping”. Well, nowadays, you can do a lot of things with your chequing account, but the initial banking concept was exactly that… pool people’s money, charge them fees to borrow their money, and lend it back to them for high-interest rates.
Imagine, owning a business where people, pay you service fees to lend their hard-earned money to you, interest-free (well, almost). You then turn that money around, lend it to the same people you borrowed from, and charge them interest for their mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, and lines of credit.
So, What is Chequing Account?
A chequing account is a type of bank account that provides customers with the ability to write checks, pay bills, deposit, and withdraw money, and set up preauthorized transactions. Unlike a savings account, a chequing account is designed for your day-to-day monetary transaction needs.
Chequing accounts have been around for a long time. The first cheque-issuing bank was opened in 1853 and it only took about 100 years before the first cheques were payable to the bearer; that is, not requiring endorsement or identification of any sort by another person (source: Canadian Bankers Association).
A free unlimited chequing account offers customers all these services without charging them banking fees – which means you can save money on your day-to-day banking while getting most of the same benefits big banks charge you for!
To find out more information on each free unlimited chequing account available in Canada, take a look at our top 12 list below. There’s something for everyone in this comprehensive guide.
Top 10 Best Free Unlimited Chequing Accounts in Canada
1. Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account
The Tangerine No-Fee Chequing account has all the features of a traditional cheque, and comes without any monthly or annual fee – yes, that’s right!
Tangerine is a digital-only bank that you may be familiar with. A Tangerine no-fee chequing account is a no-fee daily banking account that pays you between 0.01% up to 0.1%. If you’re investment-savvy, you may be thinking, wait a minute, 0.1%? That’s nothing compared to market returns. Yes, it’s nothing but a chequing account isn’t an investment account, it’s a bank account you use for your day-to-day transactions, which means your money comes and goes from such account, so you’re not necessarily keeping your money here for the long term. If you’re interested in long-term growth, book an appointment with us here, and we’ll help you set up an investment account that earns tax-free or tax-deferred compounded returns over the long term.
The Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account is a great option for those looking to keep their banking fees low while still enjoying the perks of an everyday Canadian chequing account.
To open this account, you need $0 as your first deposit – in fact, you can open one right now by clicking here.
There are no fees for daily banking transactions which includes an unlimited number of debit purchases, preauthorized transactions, bill payments, email, and Interac e-transfers, and more.
There’s also free Interac e-Transfer payments from another institution or person who has a bank account at one of these institutions: TD Bank Group®, ScotiabankTM, CIBC®
Enter: 55369534S1 on the Orange Key/Promo Code field to qualify for a $50 sign-up bonus.
2. Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account
The Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account is a free unlimited chequing account that’s formerly known as PC Financial. If you’ve ever shopped at the Superstore, you may have been approached to open a PC Financial free chequing account at some point. This free chequing account lets you enjoy all-day, everyday access to funds for free, with no minimum balance required.
This account offers unlimited transactions, free Interac e-Transfer payments from another institution or person who has a bank account at one of these institutions: TD Bank Group®, ScotiabankTM, CIBC®, and much more!
There is also access to online banking for Simplii clients which includes the capability to pay bills instantly in just two clicks with PC Pay TM (a mobile application available on iOS and Android).
No fees are incurred when using non-CIBC ATMs anywhere in Canada; however, there may be fees imposed by other financial institutions that provide ATM services.
One thing to watch out for is the small amount of maximum daily withdrawal limit for new accounts.
As of this writing, Simplii will deposit $200 into your new account when you enroll an eligible direct deposit of at least $100 a month for at least 3 consecutive months.
3. Manulife Advantage Account
Manulife Bank offers a free unlimited chequing and savings account called the Manulife Advantage Account.
This account offers all the benefits of a free unlimited chequing and savings account as well as no monthly fees, low-interest rates on deposits (starting at 0.05%), free withdrawals from ATMs in Canada and around the world, plus more!
Click here to learn about how this bank account can help you save on your day-to-day banking.
As long as you keep a minimum balance of $1,000 in your Manulife Advantage account at all times, you get to take advantage of all the big bank account features without paying any fees.
The advantages of the Manulife Advantage Account are that online banking and bill pay services (using PC Pay TM) are free with no transaction limit on either service! As a member of the Exchange network, there’s also unlimited access to 3,500.00 ATMs Canada-wide at no charge.
Aside from the $1,000.00 minimum balance required, another thing you should keep in mind is that the no-fee withdrawal from out-of-network ATMs is limited to one per month, subsequent withdrawals will be subject to fees imposed by other financial institutions providing the ATM service, that’s why it’s a good idea to only withdraw from ATMs that are part of the Exchange Network.
Manulife Bank’s membership in the Exchange Network provides you with access to ATMs across Canada at no additional cost.
This unique hybrid bank account can help you save on banking costs while giving you full control over your money! All without having to worry about transaction limits or any hidden network rules that may prevent you from doing your day-to-day banking.
This is perfect for people who have the capacity to keep a float of $1,000.00 in their chequing account.
4. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
EQ Bank is the direct banking arm of Equitable Bank that was founded in 1970 and has more than $35 billion in assets under management.
EQ Bank Savings Plus account is free for all EQ Bank customers to use, whether they are new or existing patrons.
This bank account offers an unlimited number of transactions at no cost and has a “no-fee” chequing option that includes eight Interac e-Transfers per month.
The account also has free unlimited EFTs, which includes pre-authorized transfers through an EQ Bank Online Banking transfer form or by phone at no additional charge.
The free unlimited chequing account with EQ Bank also includes free bill payments for a variety of bills, including mortgages, utilities, and credit cards.
EQ Bank is an accredited member of Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
5. Wealth Simple No-Fee Cash Account
Wealthsimple offers a free unlimited chequing and savings account called Wealthsimple’s Cash Account. It combines chequing and savings account benefits, which is a hybrid type of no-fee chequing account, similar to the Manulife Advantage Account.
Wealthsimple’s Cash Account spanned out of their “Wealthsimple Save”, which was a savings account.
Their unique value proposition:
- A free unlimited chequing Account with a higher interest rate than most banks, 0.75% per year as of this writing.
- Send free money transfers in seconds, privately.
- Send up to $5,000.00 a day or $20,000.00 a month.
There is also an app that allows customers to get notifications of when bills are due so they do not forget about them. Finally, Wealth Simple charges no fee even when you have less than $100 in your account balance each month. They also offer live chat support 24 hours a day through their website.
Motusbank offers a $0 monthly fee chequing account with unlimited free online transactions and free unlimited e-transfers.
Motusbank is Canada’s newest digital bank. Owned by the Meridian Credit Union, aside from a no-fee unlimited chequing account, they also offer high-interest savings, mortgages, personal loans, and investments.
In a nutshell, here’s what you’re going to get with Motusbank no-fee banking:
- Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers
- Unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals
- Deposit a cheque by taking a photo with Deposit Anywhere™
- No minimum balance required
- Earn 0.15% interest per year
- 25 Free Cheques on the initial order
8. Alterna Bank
Alterna Bank offers a free unlimited chequing account that doesn’t charge monthly fees or requires any sort of minimum balance. All other services are also free for customers who want them from this bank! Some features include loans, investment advice if wanted, and peace of mind through security measures without having to pay anything extra just for those things either!
All banking options provided by Alterna Bank are free to use and their overdraft protection is free as well! Some of the other services offered include loans for those who need them, investment advice if you want it, and peace of mind in terms of security. Learn what this bank has to offer at alternabank.ca
Its chequing account interest rate (0.05%) is among the lowest in Canada today, but with your free Alterna Bank chequing account, comes free savings account as well where you can also earn free bonus interest on your savings which is 1.2% at the moment. I have to agree that these interest rates are immaterial but then earning interest without being charged a fee isn’t a bad deal at all.
Alterna Bank is one of the newest players in Canada’s banking world, so they don’t have as many branches and ATMs across the country as their competitors do. To get started all you need to do is open an account at alternabank.ca with no fees or minimum balance requirements!
9. Innovation No-Fee Bank Account
Ready to open a no-fee chequing account with a $200 signing bonus?
Innovation offers exactly that, you may have been lured into opening bank accounts with a $300 signing bonus but the big banks usually get these bonuses back and more by charging you exorbitant monthly fees and placing limits on the number of transactions on your day-to-day banking.
Innovation doesn’t have any of those restrictions. It’s free to do all the transactions you want on your Innovation chequing account.
If that weren’t enough, if you refer someone else to open their own bank account with this no-fee company then they’ll give you another $50 per successful referral as well!
10. Cambrian Credit Union
Cambrian Credit Union is a local credit union that most Manitobans are familiar with. They offer a free unlimited chequing account called “The Unfree Account”. To take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to set up at least one recurring deposit when you open up your account.
The Unfree Account is a free chequing account that also comes with free banking transactions and no fees for bill payments or cash withdrawals at Cambrian Credit Union ATMs – as well as over 1000 other MasterCard®/Interac® Network locations in Canada. Plus, the ATM withdrawal fee will be reimbursed if you use their own card to withdraw from one of its network’s ATMs! All these benefits come without any monthly fees, service charges, transaction limits or hold requirements.
If you’re looking for an unlimited chequing account then consider opening up an “Unfree Account” here at Cambrian Credit Union!
If you’re tired of paying high bank fees on your chequing account, it’s time to break free and find a better deal. You can save money on your day-to-day banking by simply switching your existing chequing account to one that offers unlimited transactions without having to worry about monthly or daily limits.
As you may have seen above, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to free unlimited chequing accounts, but how do you know which is the best option for you? Most of these no-fee chequing accounts have small daily amount caps. That’s probably one of the first things that you have to consider.
Are you someone who does a lot of debit transactions or ATM withdrawals? If so, a $300 a day transaction cap may not be your best option. If you can maintain a minimum account limit of $1,000.00, Manulife Bank does not put a small cap on your daily debit and withdrawal transactions. You can apply for an account here.
If on the other hand, you don’t do a lot of debit and ATM transactions on a daily basis, any of these other options can work just fine for your banking needs.