Best Canadian High Interest Savings Accounts

The best Canadian high interest savings accounts for 2024 combine a mix of high interest rates, with no-fee banking, and elite user-friendly platforms.

One thing to note right off the top: If your savings goal is more than 6 months in the future, you should likely be checking out our Best GIC Rates in Canada Comparison instead of using a high interest savings account.

That said, our top HISAs are an excellent short term investment option when it comes to saving for a trip, storing an emergency fund, or maybe saving for a car.

Our 2024 high interest savings account quick comparison table below displays the latest interest rates and promotional offers available.

Compare Canada’s Best High Interest Savings Accounts

Star Rating4.9 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited

Interest Rate

2.5% + 1.5% Bonus

Canada's Best Online Bank. Excellent savings interest rates, superb platform, incredible value.
Star Rating4.4 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited

Interest Rate

4% through Neo HISA, 1% through Neo Money

No Available Promotion

A promising new online bank with an excellent interest rate. Neo does not have as many banking options as EQ.
Star Rating4.1 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited - but with monthly account fee

Interest Rate

1.30%, with special promo rate of up to 4.50%

No Available Promotion

Best out of all of the big banks.
Star Rating3.8 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited

Interest Rate

0.70%

No Available Promotion

Former runner up to EQ Bank. Used to have better rates. Good credit card options.
Star Rating3.7 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited

Interest Rate

6% teaser rate for 5 months, then 0.40% - 1.25%

No Available Promotion

Good all around product, but doesn't excel in any particular area. Best promotion for new accounts.
Star Rating3.6 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

2

Interest Rate

4.1%

No Available Promotion

Great interest rates, but no free Interac eTransfer ($1 each), only allows 2 monthly withdrawals and has a terrible mobile app.
Star Rating3.6 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

2

Interest Rate

2.50%

No Available Promotion

Excellent chequing account but not the best savings account option, lower rates overall with GICs in particular.
Star Rating3.2 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited

Interest Rate

3.40%

No Available Promotion

Good option for Quebec residents. Only savings account and GIC with no TFSAs or RRSPs. One of the best rates in Canada currently.
Star Rating2.9 / 5
Free Monthly Transactions

Unlimited

Interest Rate

2.25%

No Available Promotion

Solid interest rate. Unlimited e-transfers and bill payments (point of sale not available).

High Interest “Teaser Rate” vs “Everyday Rate”

If you are shopping around and comparing Canada’s top saving accounts, you should know there are two types of rates:

  1. The ‘teaser rate‘ (often granted for six months or less, to get your money in the door).
  2. The everyday rate

Banks offer teaser rates because they’re betting that you’ll simply see the highest interest rate number, and go there.  Even if you intend to switch banks after six months, it’s generally a good bet to assume that you’ll forget or be too lazy to.

So when you see an online bank such as Tangerine offer an eye-popping rate that is higher than anything else out there – just understand that this is a temporary rate. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of that rate – and we think Tangerine is a very solid banking option (read our full Tangerine review) – but just know that the impressive number will drop significantly after a while.

The most notable thing to take from this list is that Canada’s major banks simply are not offering a competitive high interest savings account product at the moment. They are banking on the massive strength of their brands and the convenience of their retail banking locations to attract Canadians – not competitive interest rates.

#1 EQ Bank – Our Top Canadian High Interest Savings Account

EQ tops our list of Canada’s best high interest savings accounts. Its excellent interest rates and low fees are enough to catch our attention, but EQ Bank has more up its sleeves. 

You don’t have to take our word for it though. EQ Bank was recently named the #1 Bank in Canada on the Forbes list of World’s Best Banks.

EQ’s Personal Account:

  • Interest Rate: 4% (2.5% + 1.5% Bonus)
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: Free bill payment, free fund transfers, and access to an EQ Bank Card that can be used like a supercharged Interact card (with massive international traveler benefits).

EQ Bank offers a solid everyday interest rate and unlimited transactions, with no monthly fee. We’ve got even more information on our top rated HISA option in our EQ Bank Review. Not only is it our pick for best HISA, but it’s also one of our top Canadian online bank picks. 

#2 Neo HISA Account – The New Runner Up

A Canadian fintech company founded by the people who created SkiptheDishes, Neo’s goal is to reimagine how Canadians manage their money. 

Their Neo HISA has a great everyday interest rate plus no fees and no minimum deposit required. Sign-up is quick, easy, and completely online.

Neo High Interest Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 4%
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: Neo is CDIC insured, free bill payments, free mobile bank to bank transfers, no minimum balance.

On top of offering a great rate, Neo Financial was voted the Savings Account to Watch in 2023 by the Financial Post. Neo Financial also happens to offer the Neo Mastercard, which has loads of benefits. Read all about it in our Neo Everyday Account Review.

#3 Scotiabank – The Best Big Bank High Interest Savings Account

In the financial world, there are seemingly limitless options when it comes to where to save and earn on your money, so we can understand why some prefer to keep all their finances under one roof.

If that’s you, and you already have an account at Scotiabank, then you just might want to open up a Scotiabank Momentum PLUS account to make things easy, and earn a few bucks while you’re at it.

Scotiabank Momentum PLUS Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 1.5% to 2.65% regular interest (5% promo rate).
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $1
  • Other Benefits: Unlimited self-service transfers, automatic savings deposits available

Scotiabank’s HISA offers a promo rate, but the everyday interest rate isn’t bad, especially if you intend to leave your savings alone. Scotiabank rewards clients who don’t make withdrawals with bonus interest, up to an additional 1.15% – for a total of 2.65%. When you couple Scotiabank’s HISA offer with the fact that it’s got one of The Best Canadian Chequing Accounts, it’s a very competitive option.

While you’re at it, you can add the Momentum credit card to your Scotiabank bucket, and earn some cash back from them too. See our full review of the card at Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card Review.

#4 Tangerine – The Former Champ

Once upon a time, Tangerine, formerly owned by ING, was the hottest name in the HISA game. Over the years as competition has grown, it hasn’t necessarily been able to keep up.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look, as Tangerine does have some definite advantages to take note of, including its current promotional offer.

Tangerine Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 1% (5% promo rate)
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: Free daily chequing transactions, automatic savings deposits available.

While the regular interest rate alone isn’t the most attractive on our list, the added promos and convenience for Tangerine customers definitely increase its appeal. Tangerine is currently offering new clients a promotional rate of 5% interest on their savings for 5 months.

Tangerine also happens to be one of our top choices for Best Canadian Chequing Account. Check out more about Tangerine and what they offer at our full Tangerine Bank Review.

#5 Simplii Financial – Best Promo Rate

The no-fee digital division of CIBC, Simplii Financial offers chequing and savings accounts, lending, and investment services. 

Simplii’s promotional rate is fantastic, at a stellar 5.25% for the first 5 months on new accounts. However, this is one of those cases where you need to watch the calendar – once the promo period is over, interest rates drop to a measly 0.4% for balances under $500,000. 

Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 0.4-2% (5.25% promo rate)
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: CDIC insured, chequing accounts available.

Simplii Financial has a spot on several of our “best of” lists, including the Best Joint Bank Accounts in Canada. And that promotional rate is spectacular. Just be aware of the expiry date, because you can do better than 0.4% everyday interest.

#6 Motive Financial High Interest Savings Account

Motive’s interest rate has gone through its ups and downs, and right now, it’s up. Its 3.8% interest rate makes it one of the most competitive savings rates in Canada.

While its interest rate is great, we’ve received comments that its platform and app aren’t, so if you don’t want a side of frustration with your savings, it might be better to avoid Motive Financial for now.

Motive Savvy Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 3.9% with a balance up to $5,000,000, and 0.50% for balances over $5,000,000
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $1
  • Other Benefits: 2 free monthly withdrawals 

Motive offers chequing, savings, and registered investment accounts, plus GICs. Their chequing account is one of the (very) few that offer an interest rate (0.25% on your balance, which isn’t a lot, but is better than nothing). We like what Motive has to offer and we’re hoping we start getting better feedback about their app and web platform.

Find out more about Motive Financial’s banking services in our full Motive Financial Review.

#7 Motusbank High Interest Savings Account

otusbank launched in 2019, which makes it a fairly new addition. The good news is that it’s backed by Meridian Credit Union, and fully CDIC insured, so you have an element of safety to balance that out.

Another added bonus motusbank offers is 0.50% interest on chequing account balances, which is not a common feature of either online banks or Big Banks.

Motusbank Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 1.85%
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: Unlimited e-transfers, automated savings feature.

motusbank also offers great rates on registered accounts, making it an attractive option for your savings, chequing, TFSA and RRSP accounts. Have a look at our full Motusbank Review to find out more about its offerings.

#8 Oaken Financial High Interest Savings Account

Like most of its competitors, Oaken Financial specializes in online banking, so you won’t easily find physical branches if you happen to need one. That is what keeps the fees low and the interest rates high with online banks. 

Oaken Financial is still a good option in our opinion because of its strong interest rate and low fees. Plus, it offers Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), which allows you to earn a higher rate if you are willing to give up access to your money for a certain period of time, if that’s something you’re interested in.

Oaken Savings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 3.4%
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: Unlimited free transactions, automatic contributions

Oaken is definitely a top choice here for its winning combination of a competitive interest rate and the fact that it has relatively few fees overall.

However, one of the drawbacks of Oaken is that it doesn’t offer clients a full range of banking options. Oaken offers a savings account, GICs, and registered investment accounts. If you’re looking for a full-featured bank with a chequing account option, this isn’t it.

#9 Alterna Bank Savings Account

An online subsidiary of Ontario-based Alterna Savings, Alterna Bank offers a full suite of banking services including bank accounts, mortgages, investing, and more. Unlike many of the digital banks on our list, they offer business bank accounts. 

Alterna Bank’s HISA has no monthly fees and unlimited bill payments, transfers, and debits. There’s no minimum balance, and accounts are CDIC insured.  

Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account:

  • Interest Rate: 2.5%
  • Monthly Fees: $0
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Interac E-Transfer Fees: $0
  • Other Benefits: Chequing accounts, business services, guided and self-directed investment.

While Alterna Bank has been operating digitally since 2017, they didn’t start out as one of the major players. However, this appears to be changing. With a great everyday interest rate and no fees, Alterna is worth considering. 

What is a High Interest Savings Account (HISA)?

A HISA is a typical savings account—but with a higher interest rate. It’s a low-risk way to grow your money, while keeping it accessible whenever you need it. 

Money in a HISA earns more than typical savings accounts. The amount can vary widely depending on which bank you choose, and whether they have promotional rates. A typical big bank HISA earns only a fraction of a percent of interest, while most of the accounts on our list earn upwards of 2.5%. 

HISAs are ideal for stashing away emergency funds or savings for a big purchase like a house or car. If you’re not sure when you’ll need your money, or if you know you’ll need it within the next year or so, HISAs are the way to go. 

How Does it Work?

HISAs are secure accounts where your money can grow. You deposit your money into the account, and the bank pays interest on your balance. HISAs are generally CDIC insured and risk-free, as opposed to an investment portfolio (the trade-off is that a HISA’s returns are generally lower).

How are HISAs taxed?

The interest you earn on a HISA balance is income, and it’s taxed just like most other income. It’s not like a registered investment account which offers ways to defer or eliminate tax fees. Each year, your bank will issue a T5 form slip to show how much you earned on your HISA balance. 

Difference between HISA and a GIC

GICs and HISAs are both secure, low-risk investments that will grow your savings. HISAs operate like any other bank account and allow you to take money out as needed. However, GICs lock your money in for a set amount of time (generally 6 months to 5 years). 

With a GIC, you’re basically lending money to the bank for a set period of time, and in return you’re given regular interest payments. The downside is that you can’t take your money out of the GIC until it reaches maturity. They’ll earn you higher interest rates than HISAs, but your money is locked away. 

Both HISAs and GICs have their uses, and the best choice really depends on your particular financial situation. If you know roughly when you’ll be needing your money, and if it’s a year or more in the future, then a GIC can give you a financial leg up. See our article about the best GIC rates in Canada for more info.

But if you’re unsure about when you’ll need to access your funds and you want the freedom of using them whenever you need them, then an HISA is a better choice. 

High Interest Savings Account in Canada – Pros & Cons

Here are the pros and cons of HISAs. 

Pros:

  • Offers a safe way to earn interest
  • Interest compounds daily instead of annually
  • Your money will be easily accessible

Cons:

  • The interest rates do not offer a way to build long-term wealth
  • You may be charged high fees when you withdraw money from your HISA
  • Interest rates may go down with no warning
  • You’re taxed on your interest earnings just like any other income

While we definitely recommend things like Dividend Investing or Canadian ETFs as a better long-term alternative to HISAs, basic savings accounts have their uses for short term goals such as saving for a car or vacation.

Other Criteria for Judging Canada’s Best Saving Accounts for 2024

While EQ is head and shoulders above the field when it comes to ease of use, customer service, and high interest savings account rates, as well as the best GIC rates, those aren’t the only criteria one should use when choosing a high interest bank account.

The good news is that all of the options listed above are “safe” in every sense a bank account can be safe.  They all employ excellent security features and are guaranteed by solid insurance backing. The Manitoba-based credit union options are backed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM), whereas the larger online banking options (including EQ Bank) are backed by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

These insurance agreements mean that even if the banks were to go bankrupt, your money is insured and will get back to you.  In the case of the DGCM there is no account limit, whereas for the CDIC there is a $100,000 limit per account.  Some folks like to skirt this rule by having a high-interest account for themselves, their significant other, a TFSA account for each, a GIC for each, etc.  All of these are considered separate accounts by the CDIC.

Long story short: They’re All Really Safe!

Some people want to keep much of their banking in one place (even though it’s quite fast and easy to shift money back and forth with online banking) and they’ll prefer a bank that can offer loans and/or mortgages, plus a debit card.

Another comparison point is fees for services like eTransfers, foreign exchange currency transfers, overdraft fees, or fees for automated bill payments.

When it comes to our most recommended option of EQ Bank, their combination of low fees and high interest rates just cannot be beat. They’ve also added a joint account option, plus the EQ Bank Card, which allows point of sale purchases while paying the same high interest rate on balances, as well as offering cash back on purchases.

Check out our in-depth EQ Bank Review for all the details.

How to Open a High Interest Savings Account

Canada’s high interest savings accounts are relatively easy to open, and the best online banks specifically have made it easier to quickly open accounts in 10 minutes or less from the comfort of your own home.

What you’ll need in most places (and it’s easier to snag all this before you sit down to open your your high interest savings account application) is:

1) Your mailing address.  Sometimes proof of this such as a utility bill or tax bill is required.

2) Government proof of your identity. Passport, Citizenship Card, or a combination of birth certificate and driver’s license.  

3) Your Social Insurance Number.

4) The email address that you wish to use for correspondence (for online banks).

Of course if you wish to open a high interest savings account in person, you can definitely do that at one of the big banks in Canada – you just won’t get quite as a good an interest rate as the options we note above.

Notably, it is much more difficult to open a Canadian high interest savings account if you are not a resident of Canada.

Your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Is Really a TFIA

A lot of folks seem to place an abnormally high value on being able to hold their high interest savings account within a TFSA or an RRSP.  

This doesn’t make a ton of sense the vast majority of the time.  If you’re looking at investing for the long-term, you should be building a bonds/stocks portfolio to shelter in your RRSP or TFSA.  In fact, I’ve been saying for years that calling the fun financial tool a Tax Free Savings Account was a massive branding mistake on the part of the government.  It should have been called a Tax Free Investment Account.  Just that small name change – when combined with Canada’s collective financial illiteracy – has been enough to encourage broad misuse of the tax advantages.

About the only exceptions to this rule that I can think of off the top of my head, would be if you are relatively early in your savings journey, and are saving to buy a car or a housing down payment.  In that early savings situation, if you have no long-term investment, and are clearly going to need the money in the next five years, then it makes sense to use your tax shelter for the relatively small returns generated by a high interest savings account.

High Interest Savings Accounts vs RRSP

Generally speaking, Canada’s high interest savings accounts are meant to be used for relatively short term savings goals.  Perhaps you soon want to purchase a car or put a downpayment on a house? A high interest savings account or short-term GIC would be perfect for that.

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) on the other hand is set up with the long term goal of retirement in mind.  Consequently, more risk can be taken within an RRSP because your investment horizon is substantially longer.

There is always a connection between risk and long term return when it comes to investing.  Our top high interest savings accounts pay a solid interest rate (and growing each month as we head into 2024), but it’s still not even close to what would expect to a decades-long investment in Canada’s best dividend stocks for example.

What is the Difference Between a High Interest Savings Account and a Chequing Account?

The difference between a chequing account (sometimes called a current account) and a high interest savings account is that traditionally, a HISA would pay customers a significantly higher interest rate. The tradeoff was that you couldn’t write cheques or get debit cards or pay off credit card bills from your high interest savings account.

These days, online banks such as EQ and Simplii have really blurred these traditional boundaries to the point that there is no real difference between a high interest savings account and a chequing account any longer. With EQ’s new EQ Bank card, you can do almost everything from their high interest savings account that you can from a chequing account.

I’ve been a big fan for years of using my EQ bank account to pay off my credit cards – so that I could collect the full amount of credit card rewards on all purchases, plus take advantage of EQ’s high interest rate. It’s still a fantastic strategy, even though EQ’s debit card offers a convenient alternative. 

High Interest Savings Account Rules In Canada

The rules for your specific high interest savings account will depend on which institution you choose to open an account with. For example, one of Canada’s big banks will usually want you to have both a high interest savings account and a traditional chequing account (which pays nearly no interest).  Meanwhile, a newer online bank such as EQ or Neo will allow you to use more of an “all-in-one” high interest account – which is much easier to handle over the long run.

In the past, as a general rule, high interest savings accounts didn’t allow customers withdraw directly from those accounts to pay bills. Those rules are now basically gone due to the all-in-one style of accounts that I just mentioned.

Other than that, the rules are pretty straightforward. Simply be a Canadian resident, over the age of majority (or have a parent with you), and you should be good to go.

Are the TD and RBC High Interest Savings Accounts Worth It?

There is a good reason why TD and RBC are two of our favourite Canadian Bank Stocks.

They make a lot of money for their shareholders!

One of the ways they make a lot of that money is by not paying a lot of it out. Consequently you’ll see that the TD high interest savings account pays about .01% interest.  Yes… in 2024, they’ll pay .01% interest. 

That’s simply because a lot of customers don’t feel like going through the paperwork to open an HISA somewhere else. If you keep over $10,000 in one of TD’s ePremium High Interest Savings Accounts, you can get 1.85% interest – but you’ll also have to pay fees for most transactions.

RBC high interest savings accounts aren’t much different. In fact, it’s hard to even find what the current interest rates are for their savings accounts. If you Google it, you’ll immediately be taken to a page that promises a 3-month teaser rate. 

Upon digging deeper, you’ll find that the RBC high interest savings account (called the “RBC Enhanced Savings Account”) pays the same .01% interest rate as TD’s does. They RBC high interest eSavings account comes in even a little lower than TD’s eSavings account, at 1.7%.  The same fee considerations would apply here as well.

The bottom line in the TD vs RBC high interest savings account battle is that while TD might have a slight edge, the customers at both banks are bound to be pretty disappointed. Considering RBC and TD are Canada’s two largest banks by far, that’s a lot of customers that could benefit from checking out the list of Canada’s best high interest savings accounts found at the top of this article.

We’ll Let EQ Bank Speak for Themselves

When it comes to consistently rewarding clients with the everyday best high interest savings account rate in Canada, EQ Bank simply stands head and shoulders above their competitors.  Their low fees can’t be beat, as they pass their cost savings on to Canadians. 

If you want to play the teaser rate shifting game, you will likely be able to get a slight edge on the everyday EQ savings rate – but personally, I’ve only got so many hours in each day, and I do not need to spend them constantly opening new bank accounts and shifting money around.

Check out what EQ Bank had to say about their products and future projects when they were interviewed at the Canadian Financial Summit by MDJ’s own Kyle Prevost.

Canadian High Interest Savings Account – FAQ

Choosing Canada’s Best High Interest Savings Account

Selecting only one option as Canada’s best high interest savings account is difficult, because obviously every Canadian prioritizes specific account features differently.

The first thing most people (including myself) look at it is the interest rate. After all, if it’s called a high interest savings account, it had better come with high interest!

But very close after the high interest rate comes convenience and user experience.  If I have to visit a branch location, or it takes days to move money back and forth between chequing and savings accounts – then I’m moving on to another option.

Another easy way to get crossed off my personal list is to charge me a monthly banking fee.  Our top high interest savings accounts are completely free to use, there is no need to pay fees to bank in Canada!

Then there are some secondary considerations.  For me, these are things like:

  • An excellent mobile app that allows me to quickly and efficiently move money in and out of my HISA.
  • The ability to spend in foreign currencies without paying a conversion fee (this one is unique to EQ Bank, and is tailored-made for people who travel a lot).
  • Top GIC options available as well (so that I can select the best savings tool for the specific goal that I have without switching money between banks).

All of our top Canadian high interest savings account recommendations are equally safe, as they are all insured by the CDIC and use the best cyber security standards in the business. In fact, most of them are on our list of the Best Online Banks in Canada.

For my personal needs and tastes, EQ Bank is the pretty clear cut choice.  That said, determining the best Canadian high interest savings account for your specific situation will be unique to your wants and needs.  Compare the features above in order to get the most out of a place to park your cash, as I’ll be updating my recommendations throughout 2024.

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Michael Robertson
6 months ago

Why was the WealthSimple cash account not included in the list? Is it because the interest rate fluctuates? WealthSimple Cash Account is currently at 4% for account holders with less than $100,000 in total assets across all accounts (e.g. equity trading accounts, crypto accounts, managed investments accounts, savings accounts, etc)

AnotherLoonie
3 years ago

I’m happy to see you also recommend EQ! I’ve also had great experiences with them. It’s a pain in the butt to switch bank accounts frequently to try to get the best rate. That’s why I keep an account with EQ. For years they’ve given me an interest rate that’s been very stable and much higher than the average.

Francois
3 years ago

Achieva (https://achieva.mb.ca/) at 1.75% is another Manitoba option.