Banking in Canada is reliable and convenient, though not always free. With some research, you can find out which is the best bank in Canada for you.
It’s becoming more common to offer free banking for your first year, so shop around and don’t be afraid to say you will bring your business elsewhere.
Before you decide on a preferred bank, take into consideration which branches are convenient to your home and place of work, what their opening hours are, and who offers the best credit cards in Canada for your needs.
Which is the best bank in Canada for me?
The ‘Big Five’ banks in Canada all (BMO, CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, RBC) have programs for newcomers, as do other banks including HSBC Bank Canada and National Bank of Canada. These come with special newcomer incentives, so be sure to look into them. The best bank in Canada for you will depend on your specific needs. The banks that’ll be covered in this article are as follows:
- Bank of Montreal (BMO)
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
- HSBC Canada
- TD Canada Trust
- National Bank of Canada
Since 1817, BMO has been helping customers from all walks of life pursue opportunities, navigate challenges, and achieve great things. As Canada’s first bank, BMO is backed by more than 200 years of tried and trusted expertise. BMO is driven by a single purpose — to boldly grow the good in business and life, and that means a sharp focus on building, investing, being a champion for progress, and a catalyst for change.
With more than 12 million customers across personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment services, BMO is viewed by many as one of the best banks in Canada. The team has extensive experience in serving newcomers, helping them settle, and getting their new life started in Canada.
Through the BMO NewStart program, you get access to banking products and services which are specifically designed to make life a little easier. BMO offers newcomers (those who have arrived in Canada within the last five years) 12 months of no-monthly-fee banking, first year free safety deposit box, unlimited electronic transfers, and more. Plus, BMO is the only bank with a joint telco offer that gives you bonus cash and 3GB of monthly bonus data for one year with chatr Mobile™, so you get to keep your friends and family close wherever your new life in Canada takes you.
Find out more about what BMO offers here.
In 1961, Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada merged to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, or CIBC as it is more commonly known today.
CIBC’s success as one of the best banks in Canada is tied to its continued and sustained investment in the future. They have recently modernized their banking platforms to enhance their clients’ experience. The consistent execution of their client-focused strategy is paving the way for transformation of how banking is carried out in Canada, and it also enables CIBC to bring the best service possible to their clients. For example, CIBC Mobile Banking® App continues to earn top spot (6th year in a row!) in the Forrester ranking for functionality and user experience.
Moreover, CIBC’s chequing account has evolved over time to meet the needs of its customers. This account will allow you to bank just how you want to bank. In addition, with one of the largest ATM networks across Canada and top-ranked online and mobile banking as well as Apple Pay, all choice is yours. This is especially helpful for newcomers to Canada who will have one less thing to worry about.
Find out more about banking with CIBC here.
RBC has been around since 1864, and is today the largest banking institution in Canada by market capitalization.
RBC conveniently tailors its newcomers banking packages depending on whether you are preparing to move, just arrived, or settling into life in Canada. RBC’s newcomer banking offer presents up to $550 value.
One particular perk for RBC customers is that they can take out cash from any ATM, including ATMs from other banks, without paying any fee. This may go under the radar at first, but could add up in value and convenience over time.
Find out more about banking with RBC here.
HSBC Bank Canada is part of the global HSBC network, with a footprint in many countries across the globe. Their 130+ branches are predominantly located in Canada’s major cities. They offer a service called “Global view”, which is a big draw for people who already have HSBC accounts in other countries, and makes accessing and transferring their money between their personal HSBC accounts worldwide simple.
Find out more about banking with HSBC in Canada.
Moving2Canada has also partnered with HSBC Canada on a range of guides, including:
- How to manage your finances as a newcomer to Canada
- How to manage your finances as an international student in Canada
- How to start investing as a newcomer to Canada
- 4 things you need to know about credit scores in Canada
- How to buy your first home in Canada
- New arrival must-haves: an essential checklist for newcomers to Canada
- Schooling in Canada: a guide for new families