Online banking is growing every year, with more and more Canadians turning to online banks as their primary financial platform. Consequently, banks are rapidly evolving to adapt to users’ needs. In response to this trend, we have updated our list of the Best Online Banks in Canada to include everything from promotional offers and interest rates, to account fees and transaction costs.

According to recent research by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), “78% of Canadians do most of their online banking digitally (via online and mobile banking)”, and “Nine out of 10 (89 percent) of Canadians reported using online banking in the last year.”

While the pandemic may have sped up the shift to online banking, experts say the change is here to stay. And that makes sense because online banking is much easier and more convenient for most of us. Even the big banks, with brick-and-mortar locations, are increasing their digital offerings. In this article, we will detail the top offerings from both types.

Best Online Canadian Bank Comparison

While reviewing my personal ranking of Canada’s online banks, please keep in mind that everyone’s requirements are different. Personally, I want the best interest rates for my high interest savings accounts and Canadian GICs. In order to get those elite rates, I’m willing to not have to visit a physical store in a strip mall.

Star Rating4.8 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate

2.5% + 1.5% Bonus

Simply Canada's Best Online Bank. Excellent savings interest rates, reloadable EQ Bank Card for purchases, superb platform, incredible value.
Star Rating4.8 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate


Simply Canada's Best Online Bank. Excellent savings interest rates, reloadable EQ Bank Card for purchases, superb platform, incredible value.
Star Rating4.4 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate

Not Available

Interest Rate

4% through Neo HISA, 1% through Neo Everyday

No Available Promotion

New runner up to EQ Bank. Great everyday interest rate of 4% and Canada’s best no-fee cash back card.
Star Rating4.1 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate


Used to have better rates, now frequently offer “teaser rates” to get customers. Good credit card options.
Star Rating4 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate

1.30%, with special promo rate of up to 4.70%

Best Big Bank. Excellent chequing account and credit combination. Very nice welcome bonus.
Star Rating3.8 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate

0.40% (5.95% teaser rate for 5 months) )

Best welcome bonus with $400 cash and 5.95% interest rate for the first 5 months. Good no-fee chequing account and solid app.
Star Rating3.7 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate


No Available Promotion

Free ATM access throughout the USA. Partnership with Qtrade for investors.
Star Rating3.4 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


interest Rate


No Available Promotion

The best rates for chequing accounts: 0.15% in interest. Clunky platform and hefty transaction fees to withdraw from savings accounts.
Star Rating2.9 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate


No Available Promotion

Online investing partnership with Qtrade - the best broker in Canada.
Star Rating2.4 / 5
1 Year GIC Rate


Interest Rate


No Available Promotion

Good option for Quebec residents. Only offers savings accounts and GICs.

Now, keep in mind that while virtual banks are competing with the big brick and mortar banks, 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 digital banks 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 and even mortgages.

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? 

These days most Canadians use online banking to conduct and take care of their financial needs. The best online banks have made our lives substantially easier, to the point where it’s the norm rather than the shiny new toy.

“The average Canadian visits their bank’s website five times as often as they do their branch. While differences emerge across generations, in-person banking is now the most common way to bank for only 10 per cent of Canadians”

Canadian Bankers Association, 2022

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.


Online banks allow you to complete most of the same actions a teller would do for you. You can:

  • Open new accounts
  • View up-to-date account activity (transactions, balances)
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Make future-dated, or regular bill payments
  • Connect to investment accounts
  • Pay your credit card balance
  • Deposit cheques
  • Send e-transfers
  • Apply for loans

Best of all, this can be done anytime, anywhere through an intuitive mobile banking app on your phone, or a mobile banking website on your computer. Additionally, most online banks are using 2 factor authentication or biometrics to ensure that your account remains secure.

Online Banking 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.

Case Study: How much will I save if I switch from RBC to EQ Bank?

RBC Advantage Banking Chequing AccountEQ Bank Personal Account
Monthly Account Fee$11.95 (although some discounts exist for students, seniors, and newcomers to Canada)$0
Account Interest Rate0%2.50% everyday interest rate + bonus 1.50% for first 12 months
Unlimited free Interac e-transfersYes (well, 999 per month)Yes
Does it have a bank card?Yes – come with a debit card.Yes – comes with a prepaid card (no free foreign transactions).

Looking at the above table, it’s apparent that you are going to save much more money with EQ Bank, especially over the long term. But, let’s dive in a bit deeper to be sure, shall we?

Starting with the monthly account fee, over the course of the year you’ll be paying $143.40 for an account with RBC compared to… nada with EQ Bank.

account with RBC compared to… nada with EQ Bank.

Instead of spending that $143 on unnecessary monthly fees, with EQ Bank you can have that money (along with the rest of your account balance) gaining you 4% interest for the first year. Come year 2, the interest rate with EQ drops down to 2.50%, but that’s still a strong everyday interest rate. And besides, RBC isn’t offering you any interest with their chequing account.

Assuming you start with $10,000 and don’t add or spend anymoney besides on account fees, after one year that $10,000 with RBC will have decreased to $9856.60. Meanwhile, over at EQ Bank that money has been working for you and you have a sweet $10,400. Come the end of year 2, you’re down to $9,713.20 with RBC, and up to $10,660 with EQ Bank. This is all without even making deposits to your account and those amounts will only deviate further from one another over time!

In addition, if you’re considering locking away money in a one-year GIC, you’ll get a 5.05% return with EQ but only 4.65% with RBC. Again, being an online bank, EQ shows us how saving on overhead costs means passing down savings to the client!

There may be some bells and whistles available from RBC that you can’t get with EQ Bank, such as cheques and safety deposit boxes, but those don’t come for free! You’re going to be paying additional fees for those services, on top of the unavoidable monthly account fee.

Both accounts offer free unlimited e-transfers, and have many ATM options for cash withdrawals. But when it comes to year after year savings on account fees, and compounding growth via interest on your money, the EQ Bank Personal Account is the definite winner for increased savings. 


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.

Customer Support

Online banks have also become very forward-thinking with their customer support. Most banks can be reached by phone, email, social media, and online chat boxes on their websites. The hours of customer service for online banks tend to vastly overshadow those of brick-and-mortar locations.

You will find a variety of ratings for the quality of customer service for online banks, so that’s just another reason why we’ve done the work here for you by comparing them all.

What Online Banks Don’t Provide

There are a few areas where online banks are not up to par with brick and mortar banks. They are lacking in personal touch since you likely won’t be communicating face-to-face with an actual person. (Although, if you’re like me and prefer an online chat or brief email exchange to waiting in line at a bank, then you can still get person-to-person help – just in a non-traditional way.) 

Depending on the online bank, there may be fewer ATMs available – which could be a downside if you deal with cash frequently. If you regularly utilize ATMs, it would be worth choosing an online bank that has free-to-use ATMs that are conveniently located for you.

Online banks are often lacking in the all-in-one packages that many of the bigger banks can offer and there are sometimes limitations in terms of the types of services offered such as mortgages and investments. You also won’t be getting a safety deposit box with an online bank!

Are Online Banks Safe?

When it comes to the safety of online banks in Canada, it’s a topic that garners a lot of attention and concern, especially for those considering making the switch from traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. The short answer is: Yes, Canadian online banks are safe.

Here’s a quick look at the layers of safety the market leaders make use of:

Firstly, these online banks operate under the same strict regulatory framework that governs all financial institutions in the country. They are regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), ensuring that they adhere to high standards of security and reliability.

This means that the operational practices of online banks are closely monitored, and they must meet rigorous criteria to protect their customers’ funds and personal information.

Another layer of security comes from the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Most online banks in Canada (including my recommendations) are members of the CDIC, which means any deposits up to $100,000 per account type are protected in the unlikely event of bank failure.

Keeping in mind of course we haven’t had a bank failure in quite a long time in Canada. As publicly-traded companies, banks like EQ and Tangerine (which is part of Scotiabank) have to make all of their financial records public every quarter. So it’s not like financial trouble would come out of nowhere.

Finally, online banks leverage advanced technology to ensure the security of their platforms. They employ robust encryption methods to safeguard data transmission, use two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance account access security, and continuously update their systems to fend off cyber threats. Additionally, many online banks have dedicated teams monitoring for suspicious activities and implementing preventive measures against fraud and identity theft.

EQ Bank – My Pick For The Best Online Bank Account in Canada

Since 2016, EQ Bank has been dedicated to affordable, convenient digital banking. Its parent institution, Equitable Bank, was founded in 1970 and is Canada’s 7th largest national bank. 

EQ Bank offers personal high-interest savings accounts (individual, joint, and USD) as well as competitive GICs, RRSPs, TFSAs and FHSAs. They also offer a “Mortgage Marketplace” where you can compare mortgage products offered by lenders across the country. Check out our full EQ Bank Review for more details.

EQ Bank just keeps getting better. In 2023 they introduced the new EQ Bank Card. The Bank Card is a huge leap forward for customers, as it removed one of the few friction points when it came to everyday uses. The new addition coming this year is a business account, as well as the recently launched EQ Notice Account.

By giving Canadians a convenient way to pay for stuff, using the same crazy high-interest savings account that they earn a ton of interest on, EQ continues to separate themselves from the pack.

And best of all, EQ is now available in Quebec!


  • Great interest rates on savings accounts and GICs
  • No fees
  • Excellent mobile app
  • Cashback bank card


  • No business accounts (but a small business account has been promised for 2024)

Best Feature: No fees, great rates, convenient purchasing power, and a fantastic app.

Neo Financial — Runner Up for Best Online Bank in Canada

Neo Financial, a Canadian fintech company, was founded in 2019 and offers a variety of products. It has taken second place in our list of Best Online Banks in Canada.

Neo Financial offers a hybrid high-interest savings account combining a 4% everyday interest rate along with free transactions and point-of-sale availability of a chequing account. You can read more in my full Neo Savings Account review.

Its cash back Mastercard is the best credit card for the average Canadian. With the premium card you’ll receive an average of 5% cash back at all Neo Partner stores. The card has a unique user-friendly app, and a quick approval process and is available to Canadians with credit scores as low as 600.


  • High everyday interest rate
  • Free e-transfers & bill payments
  • No fees or minimum balances
  • Best cash back offers of any credit card in Canada


  • Not available in Quebec
  • Limited joint accounts
  • No USD accounts
  • No GICs

Best Feature: excellent everyday interest rates of 4% and the Neo Financial Mastercard – Canada’s best credit card for cash back offers.

Tangerine — Best Long Term GICs

Tangerine, a digital-only subsidiary of Scotiabank, was originally ING Direct, a pioneer in branchless banking in the 1990s. Acquired by Scotiabank in 2012, Tangerine was considered Canada’s top online bank for years. 

Tangerine offers no-fee chequing and savings accounts, no-fee cashback credit cards, mortgages, and investment account options. Currently, they are offering the highest GIC rates in Canada: 5% for 3-5 Year Guaranteed Investments. You can read more in my full Tangerine review

Currently, when you open a new account with Tangerine you can get an interest rate of 6% in their high interest savings account, which is great. However, after 5 months that drops to a measly 0.70% which is certainly nothing to write home about.


  • Best 3-5 Year GIC rates of 5%
  • Excellent online platform and app
  • Solid no-fee credit card options
  • Good promotional offer
  • Best all-in-one online bank


Best Feature: The No-Fee Money Back Credit Card and the convenience of a one-stop bank.

Scotiabank — Best Big Bank for Online Banking

The only one of Canada’s big banks to make our list, Scotiabank was founded in 1831. It offers a variety of banking packages, most of which you can apply for and access completely online. 

Scotiabank offers chequing and savings accounts, a line of credit cards, and investment accounts. Their Ultimate Package includes a huge number of features, from a safety deposit box to cheques and bank drafts for no extra fee. With this account you can benefit from the best of both online and brick-and-mortar services.

Scotiabank is currently offering new clients a $400 welcome bonus if they sign up for their Preferred or Ultimate Packages and set up two automatic payments or deposits. You can read all the details in our Scotiabank Review


  • Excellent perks and inclusions
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Premium credit card fee waived


  • Hefty fee unless you maintain a minimum balance
    Package is only worth it if you actually want all the bells and whistles

Best Feature: The package inclusions. Big banks are pricey, but Scotiabank’s packages offer good value for that money.

Simplii Financial—Best Online Bank Welcome Bonus

Simplii Financial falls under the CIBC umbrella and was known as PC Financial until 2017.

Simplii offers the full range of online banking features: chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, and investment options including GICs, RRSPs, TFSAs, and mutual funds. Learn more about Simplii Financial here. 

Simplii is currently offering a welcome bonus of $400 if you open a chequing account. While that’s the same amount as Scotiabank offers, there are fewer requirements to qualify. New savings accounts also receive 5 months of a 5.90% promotional interest rate. 


  • Excellent welcome bonus
  • Variety of banking options
  • Low fees


  • Low everyday interest rate for savings accounts
  • GIC rates aren’t competitive
  • Customer service isn’t great
  • Platform isn’t user friendly

Best Feature: That sweet welcome bonus and the variety of offerings.

Motusbank – Best Online Bank for Travelling in the US

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.

Motusbank offers chequing and savings accounts, as well as GICs, mortgages, financial planning and personalized investing, and an exciting partnership with Qtrade Direct Investing, our top recommended online broker. 

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.


  • Free US ATM access
  • Qtrade partnership
  • Good savings account interest rate


  • Lower GIC rates
  • Not available in Quebec

Best Feature: Free ATM access in the US.

Motive Financial – Earn Interest on Online Chequing Account Balance

Motive Financial is one of the biggest online banks in Canada and is a division of the Canadian Western Bank.

Motive Financial offers a chequing account and a savings account, plus GICs, TFSAs, and RRSPs. New clients opening a Motive Savvy Savings Account will see an interest rate of 4.10% – a really good rate compared to many other online banks. While there is no monthly fee for this account, the other fees really add up and make their high interest rate less attractive.

Motive Financial lets you earn interest on your chequing account too. The Cha-Ching Chequing account will bring you 0.15% in interest. It has free Interac e-transfers, unlimited free transactions, no monthly fee, and 50 personalized cheques are included. Check out my Motive Financial Review for full details.


  • Chequing account earns interest
  • Savings account has a great interest rate
  • No monthly fees


  • Additional fees can add up
  • Limited transactions for savings accounts

Best Feature: Earning more than 0.01% interest on a chequing account.

Alterna Bank – Online Bank With a Qtrade Welcome Bonus

Alterna Bank is part of the Alterna Savings Credit Union, which is 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, at 2.25%, but what really makes Alterna Bank stand out is their partnership with Qtrade.

While Motusbank has also partnered with Qtrade, Alterna is offering new investors up to $2,000 cashback if they open an account and invest $5,000 with Qtrade Direct Investing. Check out our Qtrade Review to see why they’re MDJ’s top recommended online broker in Canada. 


  • Competitive interest rate
  • Qtrade welcome bonus


  • Minimum investment of $5,000 to be eligible for the Qtrade bonus

Best Feature: A Qtrade partnership that gives you cashback.

Oaken Financial – Available in Quebec

Oaken Financial’s parent company is Home Trust, Canada’s largest independent trust company. It only has one savings account and some GIC options. However, what it lacks in product offerings it makes up for in value, with a standard interest rate of 3.4%.

The other thing that 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.


  • Excellent interest rate on savings account
  • Available to Quebec residents
  • No fees
  • Business accounts available


  • Only a few offerings

Best Feature: The excellent standard interest rate and the availability in Quebec.

Types of Online Bank Accounts

Unlike traditional banks, each online bank offers something a bit different. As you may have noticed from my mini-reviews, not every bank will offer all of the types of bank accounts listed below. For now, here are the main types of online bank accounts available in Canada.

  • Savings Accounts that you can park your money in and earn a bit of interest at the same time.
  • Chequing Accounts that allow for easy access to your money for monthly bills and daily expenses. 
  • High Interest Savings Accounts offer a higher interest rate than regular savings accounts. Online banks are known for having the highest interest rates in Canada.
  • TFSA Accounts are Canadian government sponsored accounts that allow you to invest up to a certain amount and then save, grow, and withdraw your money tax free.
  • Hybrid Savings and Chequing Accounts act like a savings account in terms of earning interest, but lets you spend like a chequing account.
  • Investment Accounts allow you to easily invest your savings to help you plan for the future.
  • Student Accounts work the same as regular chequing and savings accounts, and are a great way to help younger people become more financially savvy.
  • Joint Accounts are a good option for a situation where more than one person needs to be able to manage funds, send money, pay bills, make withdrawals, etc.
  • Senior Accounts offer more discounts and freebies to help those in retirement save more money.

Best Online Banks in Canada Account Types Comparison


Everyday Interest Rate

1 Year GIC Rate

Quebec Accounts

EQ Bank





Same $0 Account


Neo Financial


Not Available


Yes, but only to married or common-law couples

Same $0 Account





















Same $0 Account


Motive Financial

1.00% - 4.10%



Yes but both applicants must be new in order to open it online, otherwise you must contact motive

Same $0 Account


RBC Online Banking







Best Online Bank Mobile App

There is no doubt that the biggest banks in Canada such as RBC and TD offer very solid mobile apps. For my money though, I’ll put the user experience of EQ Bank’s mobile app up against any of them.

You can tell the bank was created to do business exclusively in an online environment. The app is very simple, and the ability to request cash from another linked account is really unique and convenient. While I prefer to do most of my transactions on my desktop (since I spend much of my day at my computer anyway) I know friends that use EQ Bank exclusively through their app.

Shifting money between accounts, exchanging currencies, or even investing in a GIC within an RRSP or TFSA is quick and painless on the app. Easy access to eTransfers (for $0) separates EQ from the credit union banking apps.

There has been some chatter on the personal finance reddit that I frequent in regards to the biometric login needing some improvement, but I honestly just prefer to use the password anyway, so I can’t comment firsthand. Overall, a small price to pay when balanced against all of the free services EQ allows you to access through their app.

Online Banking in Canada: FAQ

Canadian Virtual Banks in 2024 – No Fees and the Right Fit

The best online bank for you is going to be one that offers the services you require and does so at a low cost. With an online bank, you’ll profit from no, or low fees, and likely a higher than standard interest rate. You’ll be able to complete most banking transactions securely and independently, anytime, from the comfort of your own home using your phone or computer.

As outlined in this article there are many options for online banks for Canadians, but our top pick is EQ Bank. When you look at EQ’s straightforward app/website design with their exceptional customer service, you’ll see that they were designed to be an online bank, rather than a brick-and-mortar bank that had an app designed as an afterthought. 

With no fees, an easy-to-use interface, TFSA, RRSP, and FHSA accounts, outstanding customer service, and the best interest rates available, you can see why they took the top spot. They continue to evolve with their clients’ banking needs, having added a card to go with accounts in 2023. They’re not done yet, as EQ has promised business accounts in 2024.

Ultimately, the choice of the ideal online bank hinges on your specific needs. If interacting with a representative in person holds greater importance for you than securing the most competitive interest rates for GICs and high-interest savings accounts, then considering a Big 6 Bank with a brick-and-mortar location might still be preferable.


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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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Philippe Joly
3 years 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.