The Best Joint Bank Accounts in Canada

A joint account is just what it sounds like: a bank account that is opened and managed jointly by more than one person. They’re useful in situations where two or more people need to access and manage money.

In our Best Joint Accounts in Canada round-up, we give you details on how joint accounts work, how to open them, and the pros and cons of having one. We’ll also give you our picks of the top no-fee and premium joint chequing and savings accounts in Canada.

By the end of this post, you should have a clear idea of whether a joint account is right for you and which one you should consider.

Star Rating5 / 5
Monthly/Annual Fees

None

Features

1.25% interest rate

Canada's Best Online Bank. Excellent savings interest rates, superb platform, incredible value
Star Rating4.3 / 5
Monthly/Annual Fees

None

Features

Unlimited transactions, free Scotiabank ATM access

None

Best no-fee chequing account,Runner up to EQ Bank. Used to have better rates. Good credit card options
Star Rating4.2 / 5
Monthly/Annual Fees

None

Features

Up to 0.6% interest for Scotiabank Ultimate Package holders

None

Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account: Best Premium Savings Account
Star Rating3.8 / 5
Monthly/Annual Fees

$30.95 (or none with a $5,000 balance)

Features

Unlimited transactions, Fee rebates on certain accounts/credit cards, Enhanced interest rates

Scotiabank Ultimate Package: Best Premium Chequing Account With a Fantastic Welcome Bonus

How Do Joint Accounts Work?

Joint accounts are perfect solutions in a surprising number of situations. These include:

  • Couples (married or unmarried) who want to share finances and manage bills together.
  • Young kids whose parents want to be able to give them an allowance but don’t have cash on hand each week (who has cash these days?).
  • Older parents who need some help managing their money.
  • Young adults who are heading out on their own for the first time.
  • Business partners who need to share access to a business account.

Basically, if there’s ever a situation where more than one person needs to be able to manage funds, pay bills, or make withdrawals, a joint account can be a godsend.

How Do You Open a Joint Account?

The requirements for opening a joint bank account can vary by bank and may also depend on whether both account holders are already clients.

Digital-only banks like Tangerine and EQ Bank allow you to open accounts online, but many traditional banks require an in-person branch visit. It’s a good idea to check the bank’s website and confirm their exact processes.

For a joint account, banks typically need both account holders to appear at a branch and show valid government ID. Some banks make exceptions for people who already have personal accounts with them – but again, be sure to check so you don’t waste your time!

You don’t have to be married to open a joint account – while couples are typically the first example of joint account holders that comes to mind, you can be married, unmarried, biologically related, business partners – you name it.

That doesn’t mean that you should go out and open a joint account with just anyone- be sure that you trust the other person with access to your finances.

Best Joint Account in Canada AND Best No-Fee Joint Savings Account in Canada: EQ Bank Joint Savings Plus Account

The best joint bank account in Canada is the Joint Savings Plus Account from EQ Bank. You can read a full review of this digital bank in our EQ Bank Review.

The EQ Bank Joint Savings account also tops our list of the Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada. With a whopping 1.25% interest rate, plus free transfers, it’s a perfect place to keep your money and watch it grow.

This account has no ATM access or point-of-sale service. It’s common for savings accounts not to have either of these, since the whole point is to put your money somewhere safe and let it accumulate. However, that doesn’t mean that your money isn’t easy to access – you can transfer money out (for free) to a linked account at any time.

The EQ Bank Joint Savings Account has no fees and is CDIC-insured. The sign-up process can be completed entirely online (one perk of dealing with a bank that has no branches is not having to visit one!).

In order to open an EQ Bank Joint Savings Account, you must be a Canadian resident with a SIN, and have reached the age of majority in your home province.

Best Joint No-Fee Chequing Account in Canada: Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing

A No-Fee Daily Chequing account from digital bank Tangerine is our winner for Best No-Fee Joint Chequing Account. This account features no monthly fees and unlimited free transactions. You can read more about Tangerine in our Tangerine Bank Review.

Tangerine is affiliated with Scotiabank and gives you free access to their ATM network, which means that this account functions just like any traditional chequing account, with ATM access and point-of-sale transactions.

Our one complaint about this account is the interest rate. Tangerine claims that clients can enjoy an interest rate of up to 0.1%…but since it’s a tiered rate, that statement is true but misleading.

You can receive 0.1% interest – if you have a balance of $100,000 or more. And, frankly, if you have $100,000 or more in a chequing account, you should seriously consider reading our Best Canadian Robo Advisors post and getting yourself a return that’s better than one-thousandth of a cent on the dollar.

A chequing account isn’t the place to be concerned about interest rates anyway, since the whole point is that it allows you to receive and spend your money. And Tangerine allows you to do that easily, and for free, which is what matters.

Tangerine is CDIC insured and safe to use. You can open a joint account online by downloading the Tangerine banking app and opening a personal No-Fee Daily Chequing account – then adding a user. You’ll need a piece of valid photo ID, a smartphone, and basic personal information for each user.

Best Premium Joint Savings Account in Canada: Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

The Scotiabank MomentumPLUS savings account is our best premium joint savings account – especially if you have the Scotiabank Ultimate Package. Ultimate package holders receive up to 0.6% interest on their balance.

Anytime you see the words “up to,” it’s good to see what that really means, and in Scotiabank’s case, it means this:

  • A base rate of 0.20%
  • An interest rate that increases the longer you leave your savings alone, up to 0.45% if you’ve left it for 360 days.
  • A bonus 0.1% for Scotiabank Ultimate Package holders
  • This comes to a possible total of 0.6% – if you leave your savings alone.

Account holders have unlimited self-service transfers (but keep in mind that taking money out of your account resets your interest rate to 0.05% – or 0.15% for Ultimate Package holders).

Obviously, after seeing a 1.25% interest rate from EQ Bank, Scotiabank’s rate looks terrible. But that’s the difference between a digital bank and a big bank. Scotiabank’s rate is stellar for a big bank – it’s just one of the trade-offs.

The process for opening this account is the same as the Ultimate Package: you’ll have to head to a branch with your joint account holder and a piece of valid government-issued ID.

Best Premium Joint Chequing Account in Canada: Scotiabank Ultimate Package

When we say “premium,” we mean it. The Scotiabank Ultimate Package costs $30.95/month. But for what you get, it’s honestly worth it.

Scotiabank Ultimate Package holders receive:

  • Unlimited debit transactions
  • Unlimited international money transfers
  • Unlimited Interac transactions
  • Up to $139 ongoing annual fee waiver on a Scotiabank credit card
  • A free small safety deposit box
  • Your choice of SCENE or Scotia Rewards points
  • Free personal cheques and drafts
  • Improved rates on GICs and Scotia Momentum Savings Accounts
  • Free Overdraft protection
  • No monthly account fee on one Basic Plus Bank Account
  • 10 free equity trades at Scotia iTrade in your first year.

Basically, there’s a reason why we named this account the Best Chequing Account in Canada.

When you open the Ultimate Package as a joint account, only one account holder receives some of the perks such as the fee rebates and free equity trades, but both account holders enjoy the unlimited transactions—and really, that’s what you want in a chequing account.

Scotiabank accounts must be opened in-branch by all account holders. Make sure you take a piece of valid government ID. As a big bank, Scotiabank has its own network of ATMs and, of course, allows point-of-sale transactions for its chequing accounts.

The $30.95/month fee can be waived if you maintain a balance of $5,000 in the account, or a total of $30,000 among your Scotiabank accounts—so if you have that kind of cash, this is a no-brainer.

For full details on this and other offerings, check out our Scotiabank Review.

Should Couples Have a Joint Bank Account?

Now that you know the best of what’s out there, the final question is whether you should have a joint bank account. Whether you’re married or not, it’s a question most couples consider at some point. Here are some pros and one major con to consider:

Benefits of Having a Joint Account with a Spouse or Partner

Fewer accounts to monitor: If you consolidate your accounts, you’ll have a centralized location for your transactions and have fewer accounts to keep track of.

Can cooperate on savings and bill payments: This is one of the main advantages of having a joint account, especially for couples. Joint account holders can work together to make sure the bills get paid, and the savings goals get reached.

A hybrid approach can work well: Having a joint account doesn’t necessarily mean closing everything else and pooling all your cash. It’s perfectly fine (and sometimes ideal) for account holders to have their own personal accounts and then pay a set amount into a joint pot of money for bills etc.

Maintain access to finances in case of death: If your partner dies and you have a joint account, you’ll retain access to the balance. If they have personal accounts only, you’ll have to wade through red tape first.

Possible Drawback of Having a Joint Account with a Spouse or Partner

Requires trust and communication: This isn’t so much a drawback, as a fact to keep firmly in mind. If you’re going to open a joint account with someone, please, we beg you, make sure that they’re someone you trust completely. Especially if you’re planning to keep one central account for everything.

If a relationship goes south, or if the other person turns out to be someone you couldn’t trust after all, there’s nothing to stop them from draining the bank account and going on their way. Be sure that you trust the other person not to do that. That’s it. That’s the drawback.

Canadian Joint Bank Accounts FAQ

The Best Joint Bank Account in Canada: Our Verdict

Our pick for the best joint bank account in Canada is the Joint Savings Plus Account from EQ Bank. It combines an unparalleled interest rate with free transfers to linked bank accounts for an ideal savings account combination.

That being said, the best joint bank account for you will depend on what you need it to do. If you need a bank account to manage daily spending, the Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing account is a better choice. And if big banks are more your speed, Scotiabank all the way – just be prepared to pay for it if your balance is under $5,000.

Basically, anything on our list is good – so pick the one that best matches what you need. Be sure you trust your co-account holder. And go forth and save (or spend) together!

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Meg

Meg Goodmanson is a writer, editor, virtual assistant, credit card expert, and lifelong learner-of-things. A self-proclaimed nerd, Meg’s favourite thing is collecting information and presenting it in an interesting and helpful way—especially if it helps her travel for free!
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