The Best Online Banks in Canada 2022

If you ever want to know the value of finding the best online bank in Canada, just go through the last two years!

Check out our 2022 Best Online Banks In Canada quick compare chart to see who comes out on top, and then read on for a more in-depth explanation of our selection criteria.

Best Online Canadian Bank Comparison

Canada has a number of online-only banking options, however, these are my top recommendations. Each one is different not just in terms of the interest rates but also in terms of the accounts they offer and whether or not they offer credit and/or debit cards.

While reviewing this list, you need to keep your needs in mind. Are you just looking for a high interest savings account (HISA)? A free chequing account? Or, are you looking for the best bank in Canada for all your personal banking needs?

Star Rating4.8 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Savings Only

Interest Rate

1.50%

Simply Canada's Best Online Bank. Excellent savings interest rates, superb platform, incredible value.
Star Rating4.3 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Both

Interest Rate

0.10%

No Available Promotion

Runner up to EQ Bank. Used to have better rates. Good credit card options.
Star Rating4 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Both

Interest Rate

0.20%

Best chequing account and credit combination of the big Canadian banks. Best 2022 welcome bonus.
Star Rating3.7 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Both

Interest Rate

1%

No Available Promotion

Free ATM access throughout the USA.
Star Rating3.4 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Both

interest Rate

1.1%

No Available Promotion

The best rates for chequing accounts: 0.25% in interest. Clunky platform and hefty transaction fees.
Star Rating3.2 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Both

Interest Rate

0.10%

None

Strong Chequing account. Too much paperwork to signup + Platform isn’t user friendly.
Star Rating2.6 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Both

Interest Rate

0.15%

No Available Promotion

Online investing partnership with Qtrade - the best broker in Canada.
Star Rating2.4 / 5
Chequing / Savings Account

Savings Only

Interest Rate

1.15%

No Available Promotion

Good option for Quebec residents. Only savings account and GIC, good rates but both lower than EQ's.

Bottom Line: The Best Online Bank Account

EQ Bank – The best Canadian bank account – Now with TFSA and RRSP GIC options! High interest savings with all the features a chequing account has.

Why do we like EQ Bank?

  • 1.50%* Everyday Interest Rate
  • Top Canada GIC Interest Rates
  • ZERO Monthly Account Fees + Daily Banking Fees
  • No Minimum Balance to Open Account
  • Excellent Mobile App
  • TFSA and RRSP Accounts
  • $150 cash bonus if you create an account by June 15, 2022

Now, keep in mind, that while online banks are competing with the big ones, they still vary quite a bit in their offerings. Some of the new online banks in Canada offer teaser rates (which I don’t love) while others have a lower, but consistent rate that hold steady over time. Similarly, some are basic and only offer one or two account options while others are growing to add accounts other than chequing and savings including TFSAs and RRSPs. 

So if you are looking for the best online bank in Canada when it comes to your personal wishlist, read on to see which boxes our leading competitors check off.

Why Use an Online Bank?

When was the last time you walked into a bank? 

More and more Canadians are using online banking to conduct and take care of their financial needs. The best online banks have made our lives substantially easier.

“75% of tech-savvy consumers are currently using at least one financial product from a big tech provider.”

DIGITAL BANKING REPORT 2019 (LINK)

I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer being able to pay my bills from my couch while wearing sweatpants on a cold winter day rather than having to wait in line to see a teller.  Especially in this “golden era of masks”.

Cost

Big banks have overhead costs that trickle down to you, the client, which means you have to pay more for your accounts and frequently are offered lower interest rates. In comparison, online banks don’t have those big overhead costs which means they can offer you higher rates and, depending on the online bank, even free bank accounts.

Convenience

Another huge draw to online banking is the convenience. You can do everything from opening an account to paying a bill online anywhere; from the comfort of your home, to the gym, to the office. It doesn’t matter, your online banking is always available.

Online Banks are Time Savers

On top of being convenient, online banks actually save you time. No more waiting in line or worrying about bank hours. You can do whatever you need to with the push of a couple of buttons (or computer keys) at whatever time of day you want.

EQ Bank

EQ Bank, which is the online banking arm of Equitable Bank, has pulled into the lead when it comes to the best online banks in Canada for 2022. 

Why? 

Well, unlike some of the other online banks on this list, EQ Bank does not offer high teaser rates. Instead, they have the best long-term high interest account in Canada: 1.50%. 

This rate was actually 2% at the start of 2020, however, dropped with COVID-19. I’m hopeful it will increase again. 

Furthermore, despite not having a chequing account, EQ Bank recently added TFSAs and RSPs to their account options which I am pretty excited about. 

There are no credit or debit cards associated with EQ Bank at this time, but at the rate they are expanding and growing, those could be coming down the line soon. Read our EQ Bank Review for our unique credit card hack to use in tandem with your EQ high interest savings accounts.

EQ Bank also added a very handy international currency partnership in 2021 that is another advantage over the field!

Tangerine

Tangerine, a subsidiary of Scotiabank, was considered Canada’s top online bank for quite the last few years. Personally, while I think they are still a solid choice, I believe that they have lost some of their momentum.

I do like that Tangerine offers a number of different products including credit cards. However, they feed into the idea of teaser rates for new customers which, as indicated above, I’m not a big fan of.

Currently, when you open a new account with tangerine you can get an interest rate of 2% in their high interest savings account, which is great. However, after 5 months that drops to 0.10% which is not very enticing (this offer expires January 2022). 

Take a look at my Tangerine Review here.

Simplii Financial

Simplii Financial falls under the CIBC umbrella and used to be known as PC Financial. Again, I like that they offer a range of different products but the rates don’t get me very excited. 

Much like Tangerine, they often have teaser rates for a few months, before dropping to a super low 0.10% long term interest rate.

I guess if you want to play the constant money-shifting paperwork game to gain a few hundredths of a percentage point, they might be worth your consideration.  In our experience though, most Canadians just want to keep things simple with their online banking.

Learn more about Simplii Financial here.

Motusbank

Motusbank is relatively new when it comes to the best online banks in Canada. It’s owned by Ontario-based Meridian Credit Union which makes it a favourite for online banking in Ontario. Like many of the other online banks on this list, Motus Bank offers several different products. Rates are a bit higher which I like; right now you will get 1% for a high interest savings account (this is the normal rate, not promotional).  

Motus Bank has a leg up on the other online banks when it comes to travel to the USA. They offer access to over 40,000 ATMs, surcharge-free, in the USA through the Allpoint network. A handy benefit to have for anyone who travels frequently to the USA. Read my Motusbank Review here.

Alterna Bank

Alterna Bank falls under Alterna Savings Credit Union which is also based in Ontario. They offer everyday banking accounts, mortgages, and investing options. Their HISA interest rate is higher than some of the others on this list, 0.15% as a regular rate, but what makes Alterna Bank stand out is their partnership with Qtrade Investor.

If you are familiar with my content, you will know I am a huge fan of Qtrade and believe that they are Canada’s best broker for 2022. Learn more in my Qtrade review.

Motive Financial

Motive Financial falls is considered to be one of the biggest online banks in Canada and is a division of the Canadian Western Bank. Motive Financial offers two different chequing and savings accounts, however, only one option for each category is available to new clients. 

New clients opening a Motive Savvy Savings Account will see an interest rate of 1.10% – a pretty good rate compared to many other online banks.

While the savings interest rate is decent, what I really like about Motive Financial is that you can earn interest on your chequing account too. Now, they aren’t the only online bank to offer this option but, to the best of my knowledge, they do have the best rates for chequing accounts. The Cha-Ching Chequing account will bring you 0.25% in interest.

Take a look at my Motive Financial Review here

Oaken Financial

Oaken Financial, whose parent company is Home Trust, only has one savings account option and some GIC options. However, what it lacks in product offerings it makes up for in terms of having a decent standard interest rate.

The current standard interest rate with Oaken Financial is 1.15%. What makes Oaken Financial a standout is that Quebec residents are able to open an account with them which is not the case for many other online banks in Canada.

Canadians are Turning to Online Banking 

As I mentioned above, online banking has taken off these past few years. According to recent research by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) 76% of Canadians do most of their online banking digitally (via online and mobile banking). 

No doubt part of that is due to the global pandemic, however, online banking is also just a lot easier and more convenient for most of us.

Of course, direct banking in Canada isn’t the only way to bank online. The big banks, the brick-and-mortar ones, are going digital too.

Online Banking in Canada: FAQ

Conclusion

So, we’re down to the main question: which online bank to choose in Canada? Due to their constant innovation and consistently possessing the highest interest rate, EQ Bank is the clear number one choice.

Tangerine was, for a long time, the MDJ consensus top choice, but Scotia has just shrunk their interest rate into nothingness, and not even a great debit card/credit card combo can make up for that. (Especially when compared to our EQ Bank + Credit Card hack combination!)

One bank that has consistently innovated and delivered solid interest rates is  EQ Bank. While they don’t currently offer a debit card, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do soon given that they are growing and expanding quickly.  (See their excellent GIC rates that you can stick in your new EQ TFSA as you save up for a home or new vehicle.) I will definitely be watching them. If you are interested in learning more, take a look at my EQ Bank review.

Right now, your best bet is to use the Canadian online bank comparison chart we compiled above and compare interest rates and what else you want from your online banking.

If you are looking for a big complete package under one umbrella, then again, if you prefer to keep everything in one place, and want to max out your credit card rewards, you may be better sticking to a product like Scotiabank’s premier package.

But, if what you want is just a high interest savings account with a good interest rate or a chequing account with no fees, then online banks will likely be your best bet. 

For more in-depth information, take a look at my thoughts on the best chequing accounts in Canada

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Philippe Joly
1 year ago

Good article but one note I would add is that as far as I can tell, motusbank has the same partnership with QTrade Investor and VirtualWealth as Alterna Bank.
https://www.motusbank.ca/Accounts/Investing