This article is sponsored by National Bank of Canada.

When people move to Canada, they typically need to account for some upfront costs. Take economic immigrants, for example — all those workers navigating Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs. Among other to-dos and costs, most of these folks need to take a language test, as do many Canada-bound international students.

Language testing isn’t the only upfront cost of moving to Canada. Depending on the situation, newcomers may need to fork out for Educational Credential Assessments, medicals, and government fees. It all adds up. Many people front these costs with the hope or expectation that they’ll land a well-paying job in Canada, but there are other things that can also be done to claw back some of those costs.

This is where the decision around which Canadian bank newcomers might bank with comes in.

National Bank of Canada, a Canada-wide bank, has a special offer for people looking to achieve financial stability in Canada. National Bank of Canada’s welcome offer is in partnership with the CELPIP and CAEL tests, two designated language tests for Canada-bound economic migrants and international students, respectively. These tests are both designed to evaluate English language proficiency and are administered by an organisation called Prometric.

The National Bank of Canada’s welcome offer includes a cash bonus of $280 (conditions apply). Here are the eligibility criteria:

  • Be a newcomer 18 years of age or older.
  • Apply to open an account from your home country up to 90 days before you arrive in Canada, or within 5 years of your arrival.
  • Be the only user of the account.

This cashback offer is enough to offset the cost of a CELPIP or CAEL language test.

Conditions to receive the $280 cashback


Clients must meet the eligibility criteria of the newcomers offer and must:

  • Open a chequing account online by signing up for the newcomers Offer in order to receive $280 cashback
  • Finally, the clients must meet theses following conditions:
  • Sign up for our Online Banking service and our eStatement service.
  • Set up and carry out at least one (1) bill payment (utility, cable, internet, telephony, public transportation, etc.) of at least $50 in your BNC Online Banking or via your BNC mobile app. Payment should be taken from your new bank account; or
  • Send an international transfer using National Bank’s “International transfer” solution available through “my online bank”.

Full details and conditions of the offer


Baseline savings of $334.92 over three years (this is the baseline savings apply without subscribing to a product or service)

Save a minimum of $334.92 over three years if you meet the following conditions :

  • Visit a branch to open a bank account
  • Sign up for our offer for newcomers

Savings of $334.92 based on:

  • First year: no flat monthly fee (savings of $15.95/month for 12 months)
  • Second year: flat monthly fee of $7.98 instead of $15.95 (savings of $7.97/month for 12 months)
  • Third year: flat monthly fee of $11.96 instead of $15.95 (savings of $3.99/month for 12 months)

The full flat monthly fee of $15.95 will be applied to your banking package from the fourth year. To be eligible for savings, you must commit to keeping the account and package for a minimum of 36 months. You will receive no further discounts if the products are cancelled.

Maximum savings of $700.02 over three years (this is the baseline savings apply without subscribing to a product or service)

Save up to $700.02 over three years if you meet the following conditions:

  1. Visit a branch to open a bank account
  2. Sign up for our offer for newcomers
  3. During the first year after signing up the offer for newcomers to Canada:
    – Apply for and activate an eligible National Bank Mastercard personal credit card
    – Sign up for eStatements
  4. During the second and third year after signing up the offer for newcomers to Canada:
    – Set up salary deposits to your National Bank account and have your pay deposited at least once a month or
    – Make at least two electronic bill payments from your National Bank account every month.

Savings of $700.02 over three years based on:

  • No flat monthly fee for our banking package for newcomers for three years ($15.95/month for 36 months)
  • First order of cheques free ($56.83/order)
  • Small safety deposit box rent-free for the first year ($68.99/year)

The full flat monthly fee of $15.95 will be applied to your banking package from the fourth year.

Note on savings

To enjoy the full savings, you must keep the products and services and carry out all required transactions for a minimum of 36 months, unless otherwise indicated. If you fail to meet the conditions of the offer, your savings will be lower. Your savings will be lower if you do not order cheques or rent a safety deposit box.

If during a given month, you keep your bank account and banking package, but do not keep all of the other products and services indicated or do not carry out all of the required transactions (e.g. only one electronic bill payment per month instead of two), you will be charged National Bank’s service fee for that month. The service fee will be $7.98 monthly the second year and $11.96 the third. You will still enjoy monthly savings of $7.97 during the second year and $3.99 during the third.

Finally, if you no longer hold a bank account or banking package for newcomers, you will no longer be eligible for savings.

Not only that, but National Bank of Canada will also waive pesky monthly banking fees for the first year, and for up to two more years if the client signs up to specific products and services.

Let’s see how this waiver breaks down. Newcomers to Canada have plenty to learn about the Canadian banking system. A better understanding of this system goes a long way towards helping newcomers to make better choices.

Newcomers may be surprised to find out that banks typically charge a monthly chequing account fee, usually around $15-17 per month, depending on the bank. While this might seem like a nominal amount month-to-month, over three years it can add to hundreds of dollars. Saving this monthly fee puts money back in newcomers’ pockets just as they are getting set up in their new home.

Newcomers banking with National Bank also get access to expert advisors seven days a week, access to financing, and other benefits that can help them get off to a strong start.

People who moved within the past five years (on permanent or temporary status, excluding visitors), as well as eligible applicants intending to arrive in Canada within three months, may apply to open this account.

Moving to Canada is an exciting prospect, but it takes careful planning and guidance to make the most of the experience. National Bank of Canada can help newcomers make a successful start.

The offer details

In addition to offering $280 cashback, National Bank of Canada’s offer is designed to help provide dedicated support and assistance for newcomers to Canada.

Here are some other offer details you can expect to see when you sign up:

  • No fixed monthly fees for up to three years
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Access to a credit card with no credit check

How to sign up for National Bank of Canada’s offer

If you know you’ll be moving to Canada soon or you moved within the past five years, signing up for this offer is easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open an online account by signing up (link below). You can do this once you’ve arrived in Canada or within three months of your move while you’re still in your home country.
  1. Following a successful application, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Keep this with you until you can visit a branch in person.
  1. A National Bank of Canada representative will make an appointment with you to visit a branch. They’ll help you finish your account paperwork and give you your account debit card and application credit card. From there, they can help you apply for other financial products like a loan or high-interest savings account.
  2. After fulfilling the cashback offer conditions described above, the $280 payment will be deposited the following weeks into your account.

Ready to sign up? Get started with this exclusive newcomer offer from National Bank of Canada

For more details on National Bank of Canada’s newcomer offer, get started here.

About National Bank of Canada

This exclusive newcomer offer comes courtesy of National Bank, one of Canada’s leading banks. It’s the sixth largest bank in Canada and has branches in most provinces and major cities.

If you’re moving to Quebec, you should know that National Bank (also called the Banque Nationale du Canada) is the province’s most prevalent banking institution, making finding ATMs or other services even easier.

® NATIONAL BANK OF CANADA and the NATIONAL BANK OF CANADA logo are registered trademarks of National Bank of Canada.