When the big banks are offering 0.9% – 1.1% interest rates on their “high interest” savings accounts, with some of them requiring minimum balances of $5,000, you really have to wonder what other options are out there. After having made the move for my day-to-day banking to an online bank in the form of Tangerine, I decided to take the next step and open a savings account with an online bank that consistently has one of the highest interest rates; more than double than what the big 5 offer! From my research, EQ Bank is one of the best high interest savings account with their 2.30% everyday high interest* savings rate, and my top choice for short term, secure savings!
If you find this article interesting and helpful, and want to get your own EQ Bank Savings Plus Account, you can help support my blog by using my referral link or any other EQ Bank link on this page. This referral link in no way affects my opinions or recommendations for EQ Bank.
Why the big banks fall behind
It’s always good to know what your options are before making a decision. Let’s look at what the big banks are offering:
on balances over $5,000
|Savings Accelerator Account|
|RBC||1.05%||High Interest eSavings|
|TD Bank||1%||High Interest TFSA Savings Account|
on balances over $5,000
|eAdvantage Savings Account|
|Bank of Montreal||1.45%|
only if you deposit $200 every month into your savings
|Savings Builder Account|
As of August 30, 2018
But if we look at what the popular site www.highinterestsavings.ca, which tracks current options for the best savings interest rates, the big banks aren’t even close to providing competitive rates to other online only banks.
A lot of people don’t feel comfortable signing up for a bank that they might have never heard of, so we’re going to take a look at the one that consistently came up in my research, and the one that is always at or near the top of savings interest rates. I decided to go with EQ Bank and its 2.30% everyday high interest* rate!
EQ Bank – why I trust it
Equitable Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). All deposits held under Equitable Bank are eligible for deposit insurance from CDIC to the maximum of $100,000. This means that any funds you keep in an EQ Bank account are insured and safe (up to $100,000).
And many users of the /r/personalfinancecanada subreddit swear by the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account as well – and while you always need to take information from reddit with a grain of salt, I’ve found the Canadian personal finance subreddit to be a source of great information and helpful users.
Knowing all of this made me feel more at ease with making the jump to EQ Bank
EQ Bank Perks: why I think it’s the best high interest savings account
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what you get with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account, and what makes it one of the best high interest savings account:
- Everyday high interest rate* (2.30% as of September 14, 2018)
- Zero minimum balance
- Zero monthly fees
- Five free Interac e-Transfers® per month
- Unlimited Bill payments
- Up to 10 free linked accounts
- Free Electronic Funds Transfers
- Unlimited EQ to EQ Transfers
- Free Day-to-day Transactions
What this really means, is that it’s free to open a high interest savings account with EQ Bank, and free to transfer funds between linked banks – so you can move your money in and out as you please, and aren’t locked in with using EQ Bank.
With all of the good EQ Bank provides, there are a few minor downsides:
- EQ Bank does not have Tax Free Savings Accounts, only unregistered accounts, so remember that your interest is considered taxable income.
- No ATM access – EQ Bank does not provide you with a bank card, you will always have to transfer to another bank if you want to access your money. This shouldn’t be a problem, but it may take a few days to access your cash. There is also the faster option of sending yourself a free Interac e-Transfers® as well!
- Not available in Quebec
How to Sign up
Fill out the form
Sign up is a very simple process. Fill out the online form (including your SIN number is the easiest route, but there are other options if you aren’t comfortable with that)
Verify your account by email
You will be sent a one time passcode to login the first time. Check your email and use this code to verify your account.
Connect an external bank account
By connecting an external bank account, it makes it easy (and free) to transfer money between all of your banks. I’ve connected to my Tangerine day-to-day chequing account, and it has worked great.
1. Go to the “Linked bank accounts” section:
2. Select “Link another bank account”:
3. Provide additional verification as needed from text message through your phone.
This helps ensure that someone isn’t adding an external account that you don’t want to be linked:
4. Fill in the Transit number, Institution number, and account number for the external account you want to link.
This can be found on cheques you have:
4. Verify your account
EQ Bank will send 2 small amounts to the external account you are trying to connect. Check your external account for the next few days, and when they show up, log in to your EQ Bank account and verify the amounts.
How to add and transfer funds
Once you’ve linked to an external account, it becomes very easy to transfer between your accounts.
Click on the Pay & Transfer button on the top menu of your home page:
Now select your external account in the “From” menu, and your new EQ Bank account in the “To” menu, and the amount you want to transfer. Click “Transfer” and the submission will go through.
On thing to note is that transfers aren’t instant. It will take a few business days to go through, so you will need to be a little patient.
You can use the same process for transferring money from your EQ Savings Plus Account, back to your external account.
And that is that!
Hopefully this is helpful for anyone looking for an easy solution to parking any short term savings that you have, and earning as much interest as you can on it!
*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.