Compare Canadian Chequing Accounts

Compare dozens of Canadian chequing accounts and find the one that best suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions about canadian chequing accounts

A chequing account is a basic bank account offered by banks and financial cooperatives. It is where you can keep the money you need for day-to-day transactions since it allows for frequent deposits and withdrawals with few limits. This is usually where a salary is deposited.

Chequing accounts usually come with a debit card that allows you to make payments and automatic teller machine (ATM) withdrawals and a chequebook that allows you to write cheques. Unlike savings accounts, chequing accounts earn little or no interest.

Before choosing a chequing account with our comparison tool, the first step is to determine the purpose of your account. On the left filter, select the account type based on your age/status (youth, students, senior…). You can also choose one or many specific financial institutions, if you want to limit your choices. Click on “More Details” when you want to know more about a specific checking account.

To estimate the monthly fees of a chequing account, enter the number of monthly transactions onto the right sidebar and you will see an amount appearing next to “Estimated Monthly fees”. Here is how this amount is calculated. First, we subtract the number of free transactions included in the number of transactions made monthly, then we multiply the result with the additional transaction fees. We, then, add up the monthly account fees to obtain the final result.

Interac transfers are free for most chequing accounts in Canada. However, some banks charge between $0.50 and $2.50 per Interac transfer. If you consider using this service, make sure the Interac transfer is free. To check, click on “More Details” and the information is under “Interac Transaction”.

Regardless of the financial institution, large or small, there is no risk of losing the money deposited in your chequing account if it is below $100,000. It is the maximum insurable amount defined by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Every Canadian bank is a member of the CDIC. Other types of institutions are also members, like insurance companies, financial cooperatives and more. If you want to make sure that your money is secure, visit the CDIC website to verify if your institution is a member.

Online banks charge few to no fees, which allows its users to enjoy a chequing account with almost no fee. On the other hand, their service offers are more limited and they do not have physical branches. For example, If you lose your card, you will have to wait for a new one to be sent in the mail. Another factor to consider when opening a chequing account from an online bank is the network of automatic teller machines (ATMs). A checking account open at an online bank would not provide you with a network of ATMs, which can be costly over time due to the “external ATM fees.” “External ATM fees” are charged every time you withdraw money from a third party’s ATM. However, the online bank Tangerine allows free transactions in every Scotiabank ATMs, and Manulife Bank allows free transactions in ATM’s belonging to National Bank and Laurentian Bank.

Your account number, or folio number, is located at the bottom of the cheque. This number is composed of 7 to 12 digits depending on the financial institution, and is preceded by the transit number, which is always 5 digits, and the institution number, which is always 3 digits.

To put it simply, a random cheque that you find on the street made out to someone else cannot be deposited into your account. However, some banks allow counter-signed cheques. A counter-signed cheque is when the intended payee of a cheque provides an endorsement in your name on the back. This is usually in the form of “Pay to the order of <First Name> <Last Name>” along with the payee’s signature. Not all institutions accept counter-signed cheques, though, so ensure that your bank does accept such cheques before attempting to deposit one.

Different banks have different user interfaces for their online banking systems. However, the general steps to access and cancel previously made e-transfers are as follows:

1. Click to the “Payments and Transfers” section (or equivalent);

2. Scroll through your previously made e-transfers;

3. Select the appropriate transfer;

4. Click the ‘Cancel’ button. It should be noted though that these steps are only applicable if the transfer is still pending and has not yet been accepted by the payee. In case the payee has already deposited the funds into their account (or is registered for autodeposit), the e-transfer cannot be cancelled automatically. You would then need to request the payee to return those funds to you.

Depending on the institution you bank with, they may have different options for conducting e-transfers via their website or the mobile app. They will also have different policies regarding the maximum amount that you can send via e-transfer in a day and the fees charged per e-transfer. Regardless though, most banks will follow a similar flow of steps as below:

1. Sign in to your bank account (on the website or the app);

2. Select ‘Payments and Transfers’ (some banks may have an ‘Interac e-transfer’ section by itself. If so, click into that link directly.);

3. Select ‘Interac e-transfer’;

4. Enter your payee’s information. Usually, you will be asked their name, email and/or phone number.

5. Select the account you want to send the funds from and the amount you want to send

6. Click ‘Send’ (or equivalent button). At this point, you will likely have two potential options. If the person on the other end is registered for autodeposit, your work is done. If they are not, you will have to enter a security question and answer that only the two of you know.

Read more on chequing accounts in Canada

Amanda Rogers

The 11 most reputable banks in Canada

If you’re considering switching banks or opening a new account, there are several Canadian banks to choose from. One factor that will

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive exclusive content on personal finance

[sibwp_form id=1]
* By subscribing to the Hardbacon newsletter, you also agree to receive communications and offers from select partners. You can unsubscribe at any time.