EQ Bank Review 2024

EQ Bank Review
  • High Interest Savings Rate
  • GIC Interest Rate
  • Low Bank Fees
  • Ease of Use and Customer Service
  • Mobile App
  • FREE Interac e-Transfers® and EFT
  • Account Options
4.9

EQ Bank Review Summary:

I first tried EQ Bank, eight years ago – and I’ve been with them ever since!

After writing my first EQ Bank review back in 2016, I’ve managed to keep it updated ever since.It has been a lot of fun to watch the evolution of the company over the years, and catalogue their expansion into so many areas of Canadian finance.

At this point, as of 2024, I don’t think there is any arguing with the fact that the EQ Bank Personal Account (formerly the EQ Everyday Savings Account) is the best banking deal in Canada. EQ’s online platform is incredibly easy to use, and their commitment to the best long-term interest rates in Canada is second-to-none.

Check out my full EQ Bank review below to see why I believe the bank’s combination of elite interest rates, exceptional customer service, useful EQ Bank Card, free EFTs + Interact e-Transfers®, and low-cost currency exchange rates is the best place to put your money. Use an EQ Bank GIC to take advantage of today’s high interest rates before they go down!

Pros

  • 2.5%*+ 1.5% Everyday Interest Rate
  • Top Canada GIC Interest Rates
  • First Canadian “Hybrid” GIC/HISA: EQ Notice Account
  • ZERO Monthly Account Fees + Daily Banking Fees
  • No Minimum Balance to Open Account
  • Excellent Mobile App
  • EQ Bank Card Means No Fees at ATMs + Cash Back
  • Unique High Interest TFSA and RRSP Accounts
  • Ranked #1 Bank in Canada by Forbes

Cons

  • No RESP accounts offered
  • No Corporate Accounts but $0 Small Business Accounts Coming Soon

EQ Bank Account Options and Interest Rates

Account TypeInterest RateBest For
Daily High Interest Account2.50%* (Plus 1.50% if you direct deposit your pay)People who want the highest consistent interest rate in Canada + free e-transfers + super cheap international money conversion + FREE BANKING + USD Accounts for Canadians 
EQ GICs3.75% – 5.05%Folks looking to get a high ultra-safe return 
EQ TFSA Account5.05%The highest guaranteed rate of return in a TFSA in Canada.
EQ RRSP Account5.05%The highest guaranteed rate of return in an RRSP in Canada.
EQ Notice Account5.00%People looking to save outside of an RRSP or TFSA for a vehicle, trip, appliance, etc.

EQ Bank Review by a Longtime Customer

As one of EQ’s very first clients eight years ago (I was even part of their beta testing “early bird” group) I don’t think there are many people out there able to write a more authoritative EQ Bank review.

I can honestly say that over the years, EQ’s lead over the rest of the pack has just continued to grow.

At this point, I’m not sure what the argument for staying with another bank is. You get the best interest rates in the country, a super user-friendly website/app to use, AND no monthly fees.

I’ve tracked what I have saved in monthly banking fees versus the big name bank that I was with eight years ago, and I’m up to $2,500! That doesn’t even factor in all the smaller activity-specific fees that I’ve saved, and the currency 

Below you’ll find all of the highlights that I’ve personally experienced as a longtime EQ Bank customer. Everything from the EQ app and the EQ mobile wallet, to the free Interac e-transfers and USD accounts.

Now, if they would just complete the rollout of their small business account, and give Canadians an RESP option, there would be nothing left for me to wish for!

EQ Bank’s Personal Account

The main attraction for EQ Bank is the high amount of interest that the bank consistently offers across all of their savings products.  Everything from GICs, to TFSAs, FHSAs, and maybe best of all – the EQ Personal Account (which is their everyday high interest bank account).

At the time of this EQ Bank Review (May 2024), the interest rate on the EQ Personal Account is 2.50%* – but there is an automatic bonus of another 1.50% when you decide to auto-deposit your pay cheque into EQ.  That brings the interest rate up to 4% – which is more than five times what the major banks in Canada offer.

We all need emergency funds and some ready cash for our day-to-day expenses, so why would you settle for less than 1% (which is fairly common at Canada’s big banks), when you can easily earn more than double that with a free account at EQ Bank?!

To me, this was a no-brainer, and EQ Bank has become my primary location where I keep our emergency fund, spending money, and the part of my investment portfolio that I want ultra-safe and guaranteed. Hence, it is rated #1 on our Canada’s Best High Interest Savings Account comparison.

On top of that, EQ Bank currently offers new customers a promotional rate of 4% for the first year.

Do I Need to “Lock In” Money Within a Personal Account to Get 2.50%+ Bonus 1.5%*?

The answer is simply put –

No! 

You can use your money whenever you want.

Before EQ Bank came along, there was a traditional approach of everybody having two bank accounts:

1. The first would be a “chequing account” where the money is available at all times. But the downside was that it earned you almost no interest.

2. The second account would be a “savings account”. This would be where you would receive a slightly higher interest rate than a chequing account (although still nowhere near what EQ Bank offers), but the downside was that the money wasn’t available for day-to-day spending.

If you needed it, you had to initiate a transfer to your chequing account, wait for a day, and then finally you would have access to the money. 

The additional annoyance that you would have to endure is that banks typically impose limits on how many transactions like this you can do, and there are fees charged if you exceed your allowed number of transactions.

The neat thing about EQ Bank is that this old-school way of thinking about your accounts goes out the window. Instead, you can just have one account which is called the Personal Account. Here, you earn the high interest rate AND the money is available to you at all times. 

Need to send someone money immediately? 

No problem, you can do that for free

You don’t have to play the game of transferring money from your savings account, to your chequing account, waiting for a day… and then finally moving the money over while being charged some e-transfer fee.

This added convenience with EQ Bank is great, as you no longer have to manage how much you have in your savings vs your chequing accounts. 

All the money is simply available at all times – and it’s all earning that high rate of interest. 

If you want to supercharge your EQ Bank high interest rates, I recommend scrolling down to check out my thoughts on the EQ Bank GIC options.

In other words, you no longer have to trade-off between having instant access to your money, and earning a higher interest rate.

EQ Bank Fees

There is almost no way to pay fees to EQ Bank!

In short, EQ’s Personal Account has:

  • No monthly account fees
  • Unlimited Interact e-Transfers®
  • No fees for bill payments
  • No overdraft fees
  • No dormant account fees

If you’re wondering what the catch is – there is no catch.  

EQ Bank makes money by taking your cash and lending it out to others at a higher interest rate.  The difference between what they pay you, and what they lend out on the other side, is large enough to make substantial profits. 

EQ Bank doesn’t rely on monthly account fees, or “nickel & diming” you on individual transactions in order to make a dollar.  Instead they cut their operating costs to the absolute bone by streamlining their product offerings, and not having to pay a ton of costs to open bricks-and-mortar banking branches.

EQ Notice Account *NEW* GIC/High Interest Hybrid

The new  EQ Notice Account is like a GIC and a regular high interest savings account decided to join forces and become tag team champions of the world.

It combines the easy access of EQ’s regular personal and joint banking accounts, with the ultra-high interest rates of a short-term GIC. In order to lock in these high interest rates, you have to give EQ at least 10 days notice before you withdraw money. So in some ways it’s like a 10-day or a 30-day GIC – but much easier to use.

There are three things you need to know about the EQ Notice Account:

1) While it’s a new product in Canada, several British banks have been using a similar model for years.

2) Your money will be fully insured by the government of Canada under the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) – it’s the safest possible standard for a bank account in Canada (up to $100,000 per account).

3) It’s the highest long-term interest rate in the country – and it’s likely to stay that way! No teaser rates here!

EQ Personal Account

EQ Notice Account

 Neo Financial

Tangerine

Wealthsimple Cash

RBC High Interest eSavings

TD ePremium Savings Account

Interest Rate

4%

5%

4%

0.7%

4%

1.7%

0%-1.85%

CDIC (Government Insured)

Paycheque Deposit Required?

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

Fees

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Perks: EQ Bank Card, no foreign transaction fees, RRSP, TFSA, FHSA available, joint accounts available, etc

Yes

(Only if you also have an EQ Personal Account)

No

No

No

No

No

Visit

Another great innovation from EQ Bank. I continue to be impressed by the commitment of Canada’s best online bank when it comes to bringing value to customers. The EQ Notice Account is super easy to use alongside of your regular personal or joint EQ accounts, as you just transfer cash over, select the 10-day or 30-day option, and then at the end of your selected period of time you get access to your cash again (with interest of course).

If you need your money out before the 10-day or 30-day period is up, you can access it – you just lose the interest you would have gained. With everything CDIC insured, it’s tough to go wrong with the EQ Notice Account. The SVP of personal banking at EQ, Mahima Poddar, has also stated that EQ is looking at offering an EQ Notice type of account that you could hold within an RRSP or TFSA – so we’ll eagerly await that innovation as well!

The New EQ Bank Card: EQ’s New Prepaid Option

I was a pretty happy guy when EQ finally rolled out their EQ Bank Card last year. 

Yes, in a perfect world there would be an EQ credit card option, but the EQ Bank Card is a perfect fit for a lot of people. I’ve personally got a ton of mileage out of the fact that there are no foreign exchange fees attached to the card since I’ve been doing so much traveling over the last couple of years. It’s like an automatic 3% savings on everything I buy when I’m outside of Canada vs what I would be paying with other cards.

The EQ Bank Card is a prepaid card with the following key features:

  • FREE Withdrawals from any ATM in Canada
  • 0.5% automatic cash back on every purchase
  • Automatic connection to your Personal Account Means 2.5% [Plus 1.5% Bonus] in the same simply account that you use to pay for stuff
  • No Foreign Exchange fees or other hidden fees
  • Works anywhere that Mastercard is accepted across Canada – and 210 other countries!

I mean… What more can you ask for from a card that literally costs you nothing? (Unlike pricey premium credit cards.)

You can sign up for the card in minutes and order your free card in a few taps/clicks. The maximum you can put on the card is $10,000, and there is an unlimited number of free monthly ATM withdrawals allowed.

The EQ Bank card is now available in Quebec under the title of Carte Banque EQ. Head of personal banking Mahima Poddar stated:

“Based on our understanding, EQ Bank Card users are the most satisfied banking customers in Canada, and we want to offer that same experience to the Québec market. We offer everyday banking that combines the benefits of a chequing account with the high interest of a savings account, and we’re seeing this resonate in Québec. The EQ Bank Card rounds out that offering and we’re confident that this is the card Québec customers will want in their wallet for day-to-day spending, cash access, or travel.”

Whether you decide to stick with our old EQ Bank Hack of paying for things with your favourite credit card, and then automatically paying off the credit card from your EQ Bank Account – or take advantage of the super simple new EQ Bank Card – you really can’t go wrong.  

EQ Bank Mobile Wallet

When you sign up for the new EQ Bank Card, you also get the low maintenance option to use the EQ Bank Mobile Wallet.  

This is simply a way to add your EQ Bank Card account to your phone’s main payment app (such as Apple Pay or Google Pay) and easily use your phone to make contactless “tap” payments.

If you’ve never used mobile wallets before they’re super safe, as they’re encrypted and you have to authenticate the app with your phone before it makes the payment.  It’s also great to not have to worry about where you put your wallet every time you go out.

eq bank mobile wallet

EQ Bank Review: RRSP and TFSA GIC Accounts

In 2021, EQ Bank rolled out one of their most long-awaited innovations – an RRSP and TFSA option that Canadians can use for mid- and long-term savings growth.

The EQ Bank TFSA GIC Account is offering an initial rate of 5.05% for a 1 year term – and because it’s sheltered in a registered account, your interest gains will not be taxed!  

The EQ Bank RRSP GIC Account runs along a similar track and has the same 5.05% interest offer. As with an RRSP contribution, using the EQ Bank RRSP will lower your taxable income, and for most people, will trigger a nice little tax refund.

As with all things EQ Bank the following noteworthy characteristics apply to both the EQ RRSP and EQ TFSA accounts.

  • $0 Fees for any account
  • No minimum Balance
  • Super easy sign up experience (minutes)
  • All deposits in your EQ Bank TFSA or RRSP are covered by Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) protection.
  • With seamless account linking, setting up an easy automated contribution plan only takes a few minutes.

EQ Bank’s Personal Account Review: Minimum Balances 

No minimum required to open an EQ Bank Savings Account.

I see a lot of other banks offer incentives such as: If you keep a large amount of money in an account, you won’t have to pay the banking fees and you’ll get a high interest rate. 

Yet, I found that even if you meet these conditions, the rate you get is still typically much lower than what you get with EQ Bank. 

With EQ Bank, you don’t have to worry about minimum balances, and about all of a sudden being charged some monthly fee if you fall below that minimum balance threshold. Keep reading below for more information on EQ Bank Fees.

EQ Bank Personal Account Free Interac e-transfers® and Electronic Funds Transfers

While the high interest rate is definitely the thing that initially attracts most people to EQ Bank (at least that was the case for me), I also found tremendous convenience in being able to send money for free through unlimited Interac e-Transfers® and Electronic Funds Transfers. 

Yes, there are other banks that offer free Interac e-transfers® now too, but I find that the combination of this feature plus the much higher interest rate that EQ Bank provides, make EQ Bank the clear winner.

EQ Bank’s Unlimited Transactions

No longer do you have to worry about keeping track and going over your “transactions” limit which results in you having to pay additional bank fees. 

This is another major reason why I don’t understand why people still use banks that impose such limits on them. 

We’re all busy and have enough things to remember and track in our day-to-day lives. Why would you want to also have to remember how many transactions you have left in a month? 

With EQ Bank, such limits never enter your mind. You just use your money however you see fit, pay whatever bills you need to pay, send money to whoever you need to send, and buy whatever it is you need to buy. All this with no concerns of hitting some arbitrary transaction limit and getting charged some additional fees set out by the bank. 

Is EQ Bank Safe?

Absolutely!

Here’s the scoop: EQ Bank is part of Equitable Bank, and they’re both under the protective umbrella of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This means your hard-earned cash parked with EQ Bank is insured, just like with any big-name bank.

Now, let’s talk about EQ’s growth – it’s been nothing short of impressive. They’ve rallied over 578,000 customers and are sitting on a hefty $8 billion in deposits. And guess what? They’re not slowing down. At this rate, EQ’s carving out a spot for itself as a big player in the Canadian banking scene for years to come – as they just officially became the 7th largest bank in Canada.

EQ’s rise to prominence was highlighted by once again being crowned the #1 Bank in Canada by Forbes in 2023 – the third straight year they’ve won this title! It’s important to note these surveys are based on 48,000 consumer surveys – it’s not just some writer’s personal list or from a sponsored content producer.

Customers rated EQ as elite across multiple areas such as trustworthiness, terms & conditions, customer service, digital savvy, and financial advice. When a bank gets this kind of nod from the people who use it, you know they’re doing something right.

Upon accepting the award, President and CEO of Equitable Bank, Andrew Moor said, “This recognition is extremely meaningful because it comes directly from our customers, who inspire us every day to deliver outstanding service and innovative banking solutions that provide them with great value.

Challenging the status quo is in our DNA. We believe that Canadians deserve better, no-nonsense ways to manage their money and keep more of it in their pocket. Being rated the best bank in Canada three years in a row validates that we’re on the right track.”

How to Sign Up for EQ Bank’s Personal Account

You can sign up for free using this link.

eq bank new account

On the main page, simply click the “Join Now” or “Set up an account” button. 

Once you do that, just enter your email address and the password that you’d like to use. 

EQ Bank will need to confirm your identity (for tax purposes and security purposes), so be ready to answer some identification questions. For instance, they will need your Social Insurance Number (SIN) as they have to report the interest you earn each year to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are having trouble signing up, use their live chat feature, or click on the phone icon at the top of their page. 

Keep in mind that you must be a Canadian resident to open an account. EQ Bank is available in Quebec as of 2024!

EQ Bank Drawbacks

No RESP Accounts Available

As of the beginning for 2024, EQ had yet to tackle RESP accounts to go along with their RRSP and TFSA options). That’s too bad, as I know a lot of folks that would love to use an EQ GIC in order to save for their child’s education.  Hopefully they’ll look at adding this capability in the future.

Common Questions About EQ Online Banking

EQ Bank GIC Rates

If you’re looking to receive even more interest out of your savings, then an EQ Bank GIC is another option to consider. 

The main difference between a Savings Account and a GIC, is that the GIC will give you more interest, but the money will be locked-in/unavailable for a certain period of time that you specify.

The longer you are willing to lock-in your money, the higher the interest rate that you’ll receive:

Term

Registered (TFSA & RRSP) GIC Rate

Non-Registered GIC Rate

3 Months

3.75%

3.75%

6 Months

4.45%

4.45%

9 Months

4.65%

4.65%

1 Year

5.05%

5.05%

15 Months

4.90%

4.90%

2 Years

4.75%

4.75%

27 Months

4.70%

4.70%

3 Years

4.55%

4.55%

4 Years

4.40%

4.40%

5 Years

4.35%

4.35%

6 Years

3.80%

3.80%

7 Years

3.80%

3.80%

10 Years

3.80%

3.80%

A common strategy is to have a portion of your cash in a savings account to fund your day-to-day expenses and your emergency fund. Any cash that you have left over (which you are not going to be investing in the markets) can go into a GIC to earn that higher rate of interest. 

Are GICs risky? No. You receive a guaranteed rate of return for the term that you select. For EQ Bank, the terms range between 3 months and 10 years. 

The money that you put into the GIC is also eligible for deposit insurance from the CDIC.

Overall, GICs can be a great tool to help maximize the interest that you receive on cash that you know you won’t need for a certain period of time. 

They can also be great for large expenses that you have coming up, as you can lock-in a higher rate for a term that finishes right before you have that large expense.

New GICs do fluctuate with interest rates, so be sure to check the most recent GIC rates and promotions.

To purchase a GIC, you will need a Personal Account which you can get for free here. To see how EQ compares to other online banks, see our Best GIC Rates in Canada article.

The EQ Bank Referral Program

If you were looking for one more reason to go with my favourite online bank, the EQ Bank referral program is a great perk.

Here’s the deal: EQ is going to pay you to tell your friends how great they are.

How much?

About 20 bucks for each friend.

A few caveats here. First off, the EQ Bank referral program will only let you earn about $500 before it says, “That’s enough friends – thank you,” and you’re capped at that amount. The $20 will hit your account when your friend deposits $100 in their account.

EQ Bank Customer Service: My Personal Experience

I’ve got nothing but good things to say about EQ Bank Customer Service after seven years with the company. Of course, I’m comfortable with accessing help online, so that’s really where most of my customer service experience comes from.

EQ has been very responsive to my emails, and always got back to me in a timely manner. They really make the EQ mobile app and online platform as simple, and user-friendly as possible, so I think this really helps them head-off problems before customers experience them (ultimately the best customer service policy).

I personally have not called EQ’s customer service representatives over the phones very often, but you can call them at 1-844-437-2265 (toll-free within North America) or 1-416-551-3449 if you’re outside of North America. They’ll pick up the phone between 8AM and midnight (ET), seven days a week – which is pretty impressive availability for a Canadian bank.

Finally – I hesitate to even mention this, but there is a chatbot available 24/7.  I hate chatbots, as I find that they are rarely an improvement on the basic search engine. That said, if you have a quick question for EQ, the online service is available 24/7 (chatbots don’t get tired).

Pay Less than 1% on Foreign Currency Transfers

Another unique area that we wanted to highlight in our EQ Bank Review is that the online-only bank offers substantial savings when it comes to currency transfers.  

Canada’s large banks charge you once with a $15 wire fee, and then hit you again when you exchange your Canadian dollars into American (or any other currency you require) with a spread averaging at more than 2%. In layman’s terms, it means that for each $1,000 transfer you’ll pay $35. If you need to make a sizable transaction of $100,000, you will leave between $2,000 and $2,500 on the table. 

EQ Bank now makes it easier to transfer money abroad with a discount, using one of the world’s most sought-after money transfer systems – Transferwise! 

On December 12, 2019, EQ Bank launched an international money transfer service powered by Transferwise (now “Wise”). Clients will be able to access it through their bank platform without any additional hurdles – and transfer money abroad quickly, cheaply and efficiently.

About Wise: UK’s most recognizable startup company has been funded by prominent VCs and angel investors like Peter Thiel, PayPal’s founder. The company has raised in excess of USD$400m, and has positioned itself as an industry leader over the course of its 7 years of operation. The company nowadays boasts more than 1,900 employees globally, with a transaction volume of more than CAD$7bn each month.

The fees charged by EQ Bank’s international transfer service, powered by Wise:

  • Approximately 0.85% of small transfers of up to $1,000.
  • Approximately 0.77% of medium transfers of $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Approximately 0.73% of large-medium transfers of $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Up to 0.7% for really large, six figure, transfers.

Transfers inbound to Canada from the UK, EU or Australia will incur approximately 0.5% in fees regardless of size (that’s how their pricing works in the majority of countries). To learn more about Wise, Check out this in-depth Transferwise review.

EQ Bank USD Accounts for Canadians’ US Dollars

The EQ Bank USD Account, introduced as part of a strategic collaboration with Wise in 2021, is tailored for Canadians who find themselves dealing with US currency fairly often. We think it’s one of the best USD accounts in Canada.

It uniquely combines the convenience of avoiding mandatory currency conversions with the ability to earn a 1% interest rate on USD deposits. 

This USD account stands out by offering a seamless solution for individuals and investors looking to manage their USD holdings efficiently – without the need for a U.S. bank account. It reflects EQ Bank’s dedication to innovation and meeting the diverse financial needs of Canadians. 

Canadian Financial Summit All-Star and Group Head of Personal Banking at EQ Bank, Mahima Poddar stated:

“Our EQ Bank US Dollar Account solves several problems for Canadians: from combating notoriously low interest rates to figuring out a better way to send money to loved ones or move it between accounts.

We wanted customers to have a US account option that was both rewarding and headache-free, and now we’ve successfully done that with another no-nonsense EQ Bank product. We’re listening to our customers and working hard to bring them the highest value banking possible. We’re proud of that.”

Three years after the initial release of the EQ USD Account, I can decisively say that it is the best USD savings account in Canada. I don’t use US Dollars that often, but I occasionally do some freelance work for a client down south, and this account lets me accept payment, and conveniently keep it in USD until my family goes takes a US vacation, or until we use a US airport to fly somewhere else (often much cheaper than flying out of Pearson).

EQ Bank Mortgage Marketplace

EQ Bank recently launched a cool new feature called the Mortgage Marketplace.

Basically, it functions as a place for EQ Bank’s “parent company” – Equitable Bank (the ninth largest Schedule I Bank in Canada) to show how competitive their excellent mortgage rates are. 

You won’t be “getting a mortgage through EQ Bank” can instead instantly compare over 2,000 mortgage products offered by lenders across Canada.  Equitable Bank is betting that after seeing how they compare to the competition, you’ll choose them.

Here’s how you can see what your best personal mortgage fit is.

1) Apply online after signing into EQ.

2) Fill out the Mortgage Marketplace questionnaire.

3) Let the EQ Mortgage Marketplace work it’s algorithmic magic – and recommend the best mortgage options for your specific situations.

4) Speak to a mortgage broker to confirm that you have the right fit.

5) The mortgage broker will get you a pre-approval or submit your mortgage application to the chosen lender.

I haven’t used the Mortgage Marketplace feature myself, but it seems like a great idea.  You can always check the recommendations you get against some of the other rate-comparison sites out there after all.

Forbes Names EQ Bank as Best Canadian Bank

For the fourth straight year, Forbes has recognized EQ as one of 2024’s World’s Best Banks.

Each year, Forbes asks more than 48,000 people from around the world, what they think of more than 400 banks.

With award-winning design and customer service (to go along with the best interest rates) it’s no surprise to me why EQ continues to win this award year-after-year.

President and CEO of EQ Andrew Moor had this to say about the award: “This recognition is extremely meaningful because it comes directly from our customers, who inspire us every day to deliver outstanding service and innovative banking solutions that provide them with great value.

Challenging the status quo is in our DNA. We believe that Canadians deserve better, no-nonsense ways to manage their money and keep more of it in their pocket. Being rated the best bank in Canada three years in a row validates that we’re on the right track.”

EQ has also been recognized for their employee-led resource groups and commitment to diversity in the workplace. With 52% of the company’s employees being women, EQ’s emphasis on equality isn’t just lip service.

eq bank award 2024

EQ Bank FHSA – First Home Savings Account

When the EQ Bank FHSA was announced in 2023, many first-time home buyers breathed a sigh of relief.  Finally – an easy way to save for a downpayment!

If you’re familiar with the product and fit the target demographic, you may want to check out our article on Canada’s First Home Savings Account.

The reason so many Canadian personal finance geeks were excited to see this product added to the EQ mix, is that the guaranteed GICs and everyday savings rates that the online bank offers are second-to-none.  This makes them a perfect fit for the short- to medium-term needs of someone saving for a housing downpayment.

While the EQ Bank First Home Savings Account isn’t available at the moment, it should come online any day, and you can join the waitlist right now so that you don’t waste any time getting your savings under the FHSA tax umbrella.  

When you combine EQ’s high interest rates, with the best of the TFSA and RRSP (which is what the FHSA basically is) you get a fantastic option to sock away $40,000 towards your first home.  If you’re buying a home with someone else, you can each take advantage of that $40,000 max.

EQ Bank Small Business Bank Account: Coming Soon

Our consistently updated EQ Bank Review was the first place in Canada to report on the EQ Bank Card (back when it was a rumor on some of Canada’s personal finance forums).  

So when we give the inside scoop, you know we’ve got some juice behind it.

The EQ Bank Small Business Bank Account appears to be the answer to our pleas over the years to give business owners (just like yours truly) a place to hold our corporate cash!

Right now you can join the mailing list to secure your place in line.  

EQ has promised that their Small Business Bank Account will include the following:

  • All of the benefits of a business bank account with none of the costs!  
  • $0 in monthly fees
  • Elite high interest rates (just like their other accounts)
  • No minimum balance
  • Unlimited Transactions
  • Easy full digital sign up without paperwork and phone calls

I’ll continue to pass along updates on the EQ Bank Small Business Bank Account as they roll out the product. (I was one of the first people in the queue!)

EQ Bank Review: Final Recommendation

EQ Bank is the best banking option in Canada.

It’s as simple as that. 

The excellent GIC rates and high interest savings accounts get all the press and advertising – and don’t get me wrong, I like those too! But I think the most impressive thing about EQ is just how easy the platform is to use whether you’re on a desktop (like I usually am) or on mobile.

I continue to use EQ for a variety of tasks (and I’m eagerly awaiting their small business account roll out) every day. The EQ card is my go-to when I’m on vacation or need to get cash quickly out of my EQ savings account. 

Just to make sure I’m not alone, I make sure to read other EQ Bank reviews on Reddit, and check in with other writers at MDJ. So far the message has been pretty simple when I check in every few months: EQ is not only the best online banking option that Canadians have – it’s the best financial services option period.

With their FHSA account now in full swing, there is no better place to save for a home purchase in the next 1-7 years. With Canada’s best GIC rates, setting up a GIC ladder where everything comes due during that period you want to start looking at homes is a no-brainer!

In an absolutely perfect world, the next project EQ could tackle (after their small business account is fully functional) would be an RESP account. I think EQ’s GICs would be a perfect fit for parents who want to cautiously save for their child’s post-secondary education.

The unlimited transactions and unlimited Interac e-Transfers® are so convenient, that I love just being able to bank, and never have to worry about racking up transaction fees or not meeting some arbitrary limit like a minimum balance. 

Once you get used to free and unlimited, it’s hard to go back somewhere else.

You easily try out EQ Bank today by opening a free Personal Account. I did one for my dad a few months ago it took 12 minutes. (Mostly because he didn’t know where some of his paperwork was, and because he still has slow rural internet.)

As always, I will continue to update my 2024 EQ Bank Review throughout the year, so let me know in the comments what your most recent experiences have been. I’m particularly interested in firsthand experiences with the EQ FHSA account, and the EQ small business account.

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
† Equitable Bank is a member of CDIC. EQ Bank is a trade name of Equitable Bank.”

Kornel

Kornel Szrejber is the host of the Build Wealth Canada Show, and has been featured for paying off his mortgage in only 6 years while still in his 20s, and becoming one of Canada’s youngest retirees at the age of 32. He now runs a top personal finance and investing podcast created specifically for Canadians, as well as Canada’s largest personal finance and investing conference. There he interviews the top personal finance experts to share their best practices, tips and tactics when it comes to investing and financial planning in Canada.
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Dan Butcher
3 months ago

To really make this shine, I would like to see:

Line of Credit
Cheques
USD account linked to EQ card (perhaps a true M/C or Visa debit card, rather than a pre-loadable M/C?)
Higher allowable amounts daily/weekly/monthly and higher maximum dollar amount on EQ card
Business Account (expected soon)
Investment ability (stocks, etc.)

Editor
Kyle Prevost
3 months ago
Reply to  Dan Butcher

Agreed Dan – these would be on my “to do list” as well!

John Bosela
6 months ago

The only detraction from EQbank services is that they limit how much you can deposit in a savings a/c as well as gic’s

Dan Butcher
1 year ago

I currently have a Wise account with debit Visa with both CDN and USD accounts to use for purchases in foreign countries (primarily the USA). It would be great if the new EQ debit card had the same features as the Wise card (accessing USD account in USA) without exacting exorbitant fees during purchases.

Rahim Khataw
2 years ago

Signed up for EQ Bank account on Sun, Apr 10/22 using friends referral link. No confirmation e-mail or anything confirming application was received. Account was approved but no communication stating that. Apr 14/22 had to physically phone EQ Bank to confirm account was indeed approved and opened. Funded account.

Their website says person who referred you will get $20 bonus within next business day. As a new client, I should get $20 bonus. Two weeks later neither of those have been completed yet.

Finally, I sent my referral link to a friend. EQ website says you can check status of your referrals on your dashboard, however there is nothing there.

GIC display is nice and easy to follow.

RK

Rahim Khataw
2 years ago
Reply to  Rahim Khataw

Similar issue with referring family. Get your reward bonus weeks later after you physically contact them. New client bonus and referral bonus are not automatic, seems like you have to phone them to claim it :(

Eric Lafontaine
2 years ago

Any explanations about why EQ Bank does not offer its products in Quebec? Such a big market, strange discrimination…

Jim Reicker
3 years ago

Although it is convenient to access TransferWise through EQ Bank, it is not mandatory — you can pay for transfers by TW from a credit card or other bank. And as well as low rates, they have the best exchange rates.

Sean
3 years ago

Hi, wonderful blog I stumbled upon! To echo what someone else said, you forget to include an alternative to EQ Bank for Quebec Residents. ” If you are in Quebec, consider using which is also a great low-cost way to bank (although their interest rate isn’t as high as EQ’s Savings Plus Account).” cheers!

Jacob
3 years ago

Some advice that might help someone out there: if you use a password manager like I do and tend to favour longer – such as 64 character passwords – these DO NOT play nice with EQ Bank WEB APP. Neither do ‘special characters !@#$, etc.’ according to their tech agents.

I had trouble logging into their web app (via a browser) for a week before I finally figured this out. If you have opened an account, and can use your mobile to log into your account without issue, but continually get a ‘technical difficulty’ page when trying to enter your username/password at the login screen, this might be the issue.

Verify you have a 32 character or shorter password, and NO special characters (@#$%&, etc.).

As I mentioned, usually I opt for 64 character generated passwords with uppercase, lowercase, numbers AND special characters (especially for my financial credentials), but for whatever reason this doesn’t play nice with the ‘web’ (browser) EQ app, but does work perfectly fine on their mobile app if your password fits this criteria.

Unfortunately, EQ bank doesn’t tell you any of this when creating your password initially, OR when changing it.

The solution as you might imagine, is that if you CAN access your account via the mobile app, then log in through that, change your password to the 32 or shorter character password, and strip any special characters, save that, and then try re-logging back into the web app.

I spoke to their tech support and they said they’d pass this info along to their web developers who will hopefully note this information for their clients during the initial creation or changing of their passwords, or at the least in their FAQ.

Anyway, hope this helps anyone else who might be struggling with this odd ‘bug’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jacob
Matt
3 years ago
Reply to  Jacob

Thanks a ton.

Bobby V
4 years ago

Hi there, any idea why EQ Bank started paying interest on the first of the month rather than the last day of the month? This happened for me starting November 1, 2019. I know I’ll receive a T5 but it just makes it confusing for what interest amounts are included in 2019 tax year.

bob james
4 years ago

We’ve tried to open accounts there but finally gave up about 80% through the process. I now know why we were stymied — we didn’t have accounts at one of the banks they specify. PLEASE, look at the FAQ’s and determine whether you are eligible to open an account.