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EQ Bank Review 2020| High Interest Savings Account in Canada

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I won’t stress enough the importance of having personal savings accounts. It’s crucial to start a savings journey for all the the things that are important to you i.e buying a house, retirement and emergencies. However, choosing the best account with a decent interest rate has been a very difficult task these past few years. If you are familiar with interest rates in Canada, you know that the most rate that banks offer are way less than 1%. In fact, they are closer to 0% at around 0.50%.

Unless you have a really considerable amount to invest, you won’t get a better rate at a Canadian financial institution. However, in order to grow your savings quicker, you need to get a good interest rate on the money you invest. So it has become crucial to shop around to find the best rates in Canada so you can earn as much as possible on your hard-earned cash.

On this note, I came across EQ Bank and I wanted to share with you the pros and cons of having an EQ Bank account.

Who is EQ Bank?

For those of you who’ve never heard of this Bank, EQ bank is a Canadian online Bank that was created in 2016. So it’s a fairly new bank. EQ Bank doesn’t have any branches. This means that all of the banking process and transactions are done online. They are based in Toronto and are actually a trademark of Equitable Bank. Equitable Bank on the other hand has been around for more than 40 years.

What does EQ Bank offer?

EQ bank is mostly focused on providing high interest savings accounts to Canadians. EQ Bank‘s savings account rate is currently 1.70% on all the money you deposit in your account. They offer High interest savings accounts, joint savings accounts and non-redeemable guaranteed investment certificates or GICs.

If you don’t know what a GIC is, it’s basically a type of account where you can deposit money for a certain period of time to get a guaranteed interest rate. Your money is locked for the term that you choose. This is called a non cashable or non redeemable GIC. Some banks also offer the possibility of having a redeemable or cashable GIC meaning that you can withdraw the money after you decide to put it in a GIC. However in this situation you would lose some interest.

Essentially, the reason why it might be a good idea to lock your money for 2, 3,4 or 5 years is that you can usually get a better interest rate if you tie up your money for a longer period of time. But this is not always the case. So you might want to shop around for interest rate before you lock your money for a certain term.

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If you don’t like the fact that your interest rate fluctuates a lot and you think that the rates might go down, you can put your money in a GIC and guarantee your rate for the term that you chose.

EQ Bank also offers international money transfers. They have partnered with Transferwise for the possibility of sending money overseas for cheaper. I have never tried this feature myself before, however, if you’re someone who usually transfers money overseas you might want to check it out.

Who can open an account?

In order to be eligible to open an EQ bank account you need to be a Canadian resident with a valid social insurance number. You also need to meet your provinces’ age of majority. This is either 18 or 19 years old depending on where you live. If you live in Quebec, you won’t be able to open an account with EQ Bank, unfortunately.

Non-residents cannot open an account however, they can continue to access their existing account if they’re travelling outside of Canada. Keep in mind that if you opened an account while a Canadian resident, you need keep being a resident of Canada to keep your account with EQ Bank.

During the enrolment process, EQ bank will use TransUnion to verify your identity. However this is a soft credit check which means that it does not affect your personal credit score it’s just used for identity verification.

How do you deposit money with EQ Bank?

There are a few options of depositing money in your EQ bank account.

You can deposit a check by using the mobile app and taking a picture of the check.

You can also deposit money via Interac email money transfer.

There is also the option of setting up direct deposit. You can get a void check for your account online and provide it to the company that is going to make the deposit.

And finally, you can deposit money in your EQ bank account by linking another bank account that you hold with another financial institution. Once you do this, you can make EFTs (Electronic Fund Transfers) from that account to your EQ bank account.

How can you access money from your EQ bank account?

Because they’re a digital bank they don’t offer the option of having a debit card. So, the only way to access your cash is if you do it electronically.

You can send money via EFT by linking another bank account to your EQ account. You can link up to 10 external accounts to your EQ bank account.

Once you receive this amount in your other bank account, you can use the card attached to that account. This transfer can take one to two business days to reach your bank account.

You can also use Interac email money transfers to send money to another bank account.

How can you contact EQ Bank?

EQ Bank can be reached by phone, email or live chat. They’re available from 8 a.m to midnight Eastern Standard Time 7 days a week. For account specific inquiries you have to call or log into your account and start a live chat.

What are the fees with EQ Bank?

According to EQ Bank they’re all about zero everyday banking fees so they don’t charge monthly fees or fees for sending and receiving interact email money transfers. There are no fees for bill payments and overdraft. Which is a huge change from the big Banks.You can also close your account at any time without any fees.

Pros and cons of opening an EQ Bank account

The pros

They are CDIC insured. CDIC Stands for Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation. It basically protects Canadian deposits in case a bank goes bankrupt. So any bank that is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation has an additional layer of protection for its clients.

If EQ Bank were to go bankrupt the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation would cover each eligible account for up to $100,000. Basically, your personal savings account would be covered for up to $100,000 and your joint savings account is also covered separately. This means that your savings account would be eligible for a separate $100,000 coverage.

EQ Bank offers a sign-up bonus. When you sign up using a referral link and deposit $100 in your bank account within 30 days, you get a $20 bonus in your account. If you’d like to open an account using my link, click here.

EQ offers competitive rates on savings accounts and GICs on all the money depsited.

There are no transaction fees. We all know that the big Banks charge way too many fees for using our own money. And these fees can really add up. With EQ bank you won’t have to pay any transaction fees so you keep more of your money in your pocket.

There is no minimum balance requirement. This is another problem when using some of the other Banks. You have to keep a minimum balance in your account to not pay any fees or to get a better interest rate. So, you have to always monitor your account to make sure that you don’t go below the minimum balance requirement.


If you are one of those people who still goes to the bank to deposit checks and do your transactions, this bank will not be for you. So you might want to stick to your regular financial institution.

They don’t offer checking accounts. Therefore, you won’t have the option of getting a debit card to use with your account. However keep in mind that savings accounts are usually for exactly that saving. So it might not even be a good idea to have a savings account with a debit card attached to it. This is a good way of avoiding impulse purchases.

They don’t offer tax free savings accounts (TFSA) or Registered Retirement Savings Plan ( RRSP) accounts.

They have a maximum balance requirement of $200,000 for new customers. Which is not that bad for a most people however if you do have more than that to invest EQ Bank might not be the bank for you.

Bottom line

EQ bank is mainly for savings purposes. If you’re looking for a simple way to start saving money and get a better interest rate than most Banks, you might want to check out EQ Bank. Since there are no transaction fees and no minimum balance to keep in the account, you can get to save more of your money. And if you’re used to doing your banking online and most people usually are these days, this bank will be a good fit for you.

Posted in Pers. Finance, Saving Money



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