Best Bank Account for Seniors in Canada 2024

So, you’ve endured 60 years of ups and downs, booms and busts, triumphs and challenges, now it’s time to kick up your feet, relax, and enjoy your retirement. You want a simple bank account to handle your day-to-day banking, but there are so many choices out there. Which should you choose? Which is the best bank for seniors in Canada?

We here at Million Dollar Journey believe that free online chequing accounts are still the best value for most Canadians, regardless of their age. Check out FT’s recent comparison of Canada’s best chequing accounts or our best online bank in Canada article for more information. But if you’re tempted by the personal in-branch experience, then read on to find out about banks with the best chequing accounts for seniors and how they compare to the best value option.

In the end, none of Canada’s big banks can compete with EQ Bank, even though it doesn’t have a seniors specific account. You can read our EQ Bank review to see exactly why that’s the case.

What is a Senior Bank Account?

A senior bank account offers the features of a regular bank account at little to no cost. That can look like a special discount on a regular bank account or banking package, or a specific account tailored to your needs. Ideally, they include reduced or waived fees and unlimited transactions.

The best bank account for seniors depends partly on your particular needs – do you require assistance from a teller? Do you need paper statements and cheques? How comfortable are you with online and mobile banking? Keep your needs in mind as you read further. Knowing what you’re looking for makes it easier to make an informed decision.

Big Banks, Little Discounts

The five big Canadian banks TD, BMO, RBC, CIBC, and Scotiabank all offer senior discounts on their regular chequing accounts. You need to reach age 60 to qualify for the TD, BMO, and Scotiabank discounts but have to wait until age 65 to qualify for the RBC and CIBC discounts.

All the big banks offer their most basic bank account to seniors for free. These are bare-bones chequing accounts that include only 12 transactions per month, with an additional fee for any transactions beyond that. 

If you’re considering a minimum account, be sure to read the fine print. For example, the TD Minimum Chequing account classifies a branch visit as a “full service transaction.” According to their terms, only 2 of the 12 free transactions per month can be the full service kind. So if you want to keep your account fee rebate, you can only have two in person banking experiences per month.

With these limitations and extra fees, you can see why we recommend a no-fee bank account like EQ Bank’s Personal account over the free accounts the Big Banks offer. It won’t help you if you require in-person service, but it beats traditional “minimum” accounts for value in every other area. And you don’t have to wait until you’re 65 to get it.

Bigger Accounts, Still Little Discounts

If you still want to go with a big bank and you need more features, you can use your senior discount on one of the higher tier offerings. Once you get into the more expensive packages, most big banks apply a discount that’s equivalent to the cost of the basic package. The exception is Scotiabank, which offers a fixed discount of $4.95 across all their accounts (their basic account is $3.95).

The following table summarizes the fee structure and senior discount for some fancier accounts from the big banks.


Regular fee

Fee after senior discount


TD Every Day Chequing



25 free transactions. Unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

TD Unlimited Chequing



Unlimited transactions.

BMO Plus



25 free transactions. Unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

BMO Performance



Unlimited transactions. Rebate on BMO credit card fees.

RBC Signature No Limit Banking



Unlimited debits.

RBC Advantage



Unlimited debits. Discount on safety deposit box.

CIBC Smart Account

$6.95 - $16.95

$0 - $10.00

Flexible, monthly fee depends on how many transactions.

Scotiabank Basic Plus



25 free transactions. 10 free Interac e-Transfers.

Scotiabank Preferred Package



Unlimited transactions. Waive first year fee on select credit cards.

As you can see, the big bank offerings are all very similar in both price and features. Frankly, the higher tier accounts from the big banks don’t offer many features that can’t be found in the free online bank accounts. The only benefit of the brick and mortar banks is the in-person service but there is an ongoing cost for this luxury.

So, as it stands, the best option for a seniors account is EQ Bank’s Personal Account if you don’t require in-person service, and Scotiabank if you do. And EQ Bank is still hands down the best bank in Canada.

Best Bank Accounts for Seniors at Your Neighbourhood Credit Unions

Credit unions can be a good middle ground between the amazing value of the free online chequing accounts and the in-person experience of the brick and mortar banks. For example, Meridian offers a free senior chequing account with useful features:

  • Unlimited transactions.
  • Free access to thousands of EXCHANGE Network ABMs across Canada.
  • Free access to thousands more ABMs in the U.S. through the Allpoint network.
  • 4 free Interac eTransfers per month.
  • 1 free basic cheque order per year.
  • 4 free bank drafts a month.
  • Free certified cheques

Meridian also offers many financial products similar to the big banks. Its senior chequing account could be a one-stop-shop connection to other services like the GIC savings accounts, investment accounts, RRIF accounts, and credit cards. Credit unions like Meridian may be a good place to consolidate all your banking and financial services needs.

Meridian only has locations in Ontario, mostly in large urban centres. If you happen to live close to a branch, then a Meridian senior chequing account could be your access to a full featured chequing account as well as the personal, in-branch experience.

There are hundreds of credit unions across Canada. Here are the largest credit unions by province, according to a report from the Canadian Credit Union Association:

  • Vancouver City Savings Credit Union in British Columbia
  • Servus Credit Union in Alberta
  • Affinity Credit Union in Saskatchewan
  • Access Credit Union in Manitoba
  • Many local credit unions (caisses populaires) under the Desjardin Group in Quebec
  • UNI Financial Cooperation in New Brunswick
  • East Coast Credit Union in Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Provincial Credit Union in Prince Edward Island

So check out a credit union near you. You may find the best senior chequing account that meets your needs.

Savings Accounts for Seniors

The big banks also offer savings accounts for retirees and seniors. But those savings accounts are typically offered to everyone for free anyway so there are no senior benefits to be had. Besides, the typical big bank savings account offers laughably low interest rates, no one should bother with such an account, senior or otherwise.

Credit unions typically offer slightly better interest rates on their savings accounts compared to the big banks.

When it comes to high interest savings accounts, the online banks offer the highest interest. EQ Bank, in particular, offers interest rates that are up to 250 times those offered by the Big Banks while allowing unlimited transactions. You can see why it’s the best savings account for seniors, and the best for everyone, really.

What to Look for in a Seniors Account?

The best bank accounts for seniors are absolutely not the “free” basic accounts that the big banks offer. Those accounts strictly limit your transactions while charging extra fees if you go over. Instead of going with a free basic account, it’s better to leverage a seniors’ discount and get a package that offers you what you really need. 

Here’s what to look for in a seniors’ account:

  • Minimal (or waived) account fees
  • Unlimited transactions
  • You can also consider whether you need the following features. They’re not offered by every bank, so if you require any of them, make sure to double check that you can get what you need:
  • Free paper cheques
  • Free paper statements
  • In-person service options

If you’re comfortable banking online and you don’t find yourself heading into the bank very often (or ever), then your options are wide open—and an online bank like EQ Bank could be just what you’re looking for.  

The Best Bank Accounts for Seniors in Canada: FAQ

For Senior Account, The Free Online Choice is Still the Best Choice

When it comes to pure value for money, free online banks like EQ Bank or Simplii Financial cannot be beat.

EQ Bank’s Personal

account is free for all so there isn’t a senior discount per se. Regardless, it’s a top choice for account holders of any age, including seniors. It’s a hybrid account, which means it gives you all the flexibility of a chequing account with an interest rate that’s miles above what any of the big banks offer.

If you value the in-person experience of a brick and mortar bank, then we recommend going with Scotiabank or your local credit union. You’ll either need to be careful not to exceed your limited number of transactions or you’ll need to be willing to pay a fee (a discounted one, but money is money). 

But if you’re comfortable doing all your banking online or through a mobile app, then the free online banks are definitely the best choices, and EQ Bank is our top recommendation.

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Yang is a mechanical engineer by day and an avid learner by night. He has a wide range of interests and hopes to turn his interest in personal finance into helpful articles for other Canadians along their path to financial freedom.
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