motusbank Review 2024

Motusbank Review Summary
  • Smart Saving Account
  • No Fee Chequing Account
  • Other Fees
  • Personal Loans
  • GIC and Overall Interest Rates

motusbank Review Summary:

motusbank is an online only bank that offers basically the same products and services that a traditional brick and mortar bank would. You can open a high interest savings account, currently offering a 2.5% yield, as well as high GIC rates starting at 4.05%.

While it does have its strengths, in our motusbank review, we’ll also highlight the reason why it doesn’t quite measure up to the top Canadian online bank, EQ Bank.


  • One of the best interest earning chequing accounts in Canada
  • Excellent personal loan and mortgage rates
  • No fee chequing account and competitive fees overall


  • No physical branch to visit if you have questions or concerns
  • Customer service needs improvement
  • Lower GIC rates than other online banks

motusbank is great, but EQ Bank simply offers a better overall package for those willing to look outside the big banks:

Visit EQ Bank - Our #1 Rated Online Bank

What is motusbank?

Online banking has become the norm for younger Canadians, and motusbank, a part of Meridian Credit Union wants a piece of the action. While motusbank is a relatively new online bank, launching in 2019, it’s done well in offering a wide range of services and keeping interest rates high.

It needs to keep on innovating to stay competitive with more established online banks like EQ Bank and Tangerine, and so far it has. motusbank offers a range of products, including high interest savings accounts, registered accounts, mortgages, and a range of GICs.

In this motusbank review, I’m going to discuss and compare account options, fees, GICs, and mortgages. motusbank does have a lot to offer and while they claim to have competitive rates, I’m going to dig in a little to see how they compare to other online banks on the market.

motusbank Rates and Savings Accounts

When it comes to online banks, the first thing people tend to look at are the savings and chequing accounts. motusbank offers excellent options for both. 

In terms of savings, motusbank offers a high interest savings account (HISA), TFSA, and RRSP.  The TFSA and RRSP do not have investing options other than HISA and GICs. (As you would expect from an online bank, if you are looking to invest in ETFs, stocks, or bonds within your TFSA or RRSP, please check out our Discount Brokerage Review.) For now, I’m going to focus on the HISA and will get back to the TFSA and RRSP later on in this article.

motusbank Smart Savings Account

motusbank has named their HISA the motusbank Smart Savings Account. There are no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and unlimited debit purchase and withdrawals. You’ll have access to over 3,700 free EXCHANGE Network ATMs across the country and be covered by deposit insurance up to $100,000 via the CDIC. 

motusbank also advertises a competitive interest rate which, right now is 2.50%. This is on par with EQ Bank is currently offering the same rate with their high interest savings account.

One of the aspects that I really like about motusbank is the auto-save option. You can use this feature to round up purchases and put the change into your savings account. Curious to know how much you could save by doing this? Play around with the free, online savings calculator. You’ll be surprised!

No Fee Chequing Account

As you no doubt guessed from the name, the motusbank chequing account has no fees as well as no minimum balance requirements. Clients can also take advantage of unlimited free Interac e-transfers, unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals at 3,700 free ATMs across Canada. You can also use mobile cheque deposits, will receive your first 25 cheques for free, and you can rest easy knowing you have deposit insurance up to $100,000 by CDIC.

The real stand-out feature with motusbank’s No Fee Chequing account, however, is the interest. Most chequing accounts don’t offer the ability to earn much interest, but this one does. Sure it’s a small amount, 0.15%, but that’s 0.15% more than the majority of other chequing accounts will get you. 

If you don’t want to be hassled with shuffling money back and forth between your savings account and your chequing account, perhaps motusbank is the right option for you. (Personally, I’m willing to do a little shuffling to save another 2% or more, but that’s just me!). All of that makes Motus one of the best choices for opening a chequing account in Canada.

motusbank Fees

Of course, with every bank, whether it be a brick-and-mortar institution or an online business, comes fees. Granted, being an online bank means that motusbank has lower fees than many of Canada’s other banks and financial institutions. As you read above, both the savings and chequing accounts have $0 fees. However, there are still a few areas that do incur extra costs. Here are the motusbank fees that you should be aware of:

  • ATM Interac Transaction Fee: $2.00
  • ATM US Transaction Fee: $3.00
  • ATM International Transaction Fee: $5.00
  • Foreign debit transaction surcharge: 2.50%
  • Sending an Interac e-Transfer from Savings accounts: $1.25
  • Monthly Paper Statements: $2
  • Interac e-Transfer Requests: $1.25 (for each fulfilled request)

There may also be additional fees for things like wire transfers, overdraft, stop payment, and inactive account fees. More information on these charges and the regulations regarding them can be found online on the motusbank website. 

motusbank GIC Rates

Motus bank also offers GICs for RRPS, TFSAs, RRIFs, and non-registered accounts. At of the time this article was written the long-term, non-redeemable GIC rates for RRSPs/TFSA/RRIFs are as follows:

  • 1 year: 4.7% (lower rate than EQ Bank)
  • 18 months: 4.6%
  • 2 years: 4.35%
  • 3 years: 4.25%
  • 4 years: 4.20%
  • 5 years: 4.10%

In terms of long-term, non-redeemable GIC rates for non-registered accounts the rates are:

  • 1 year fixed rate: 4.65%
  • 18 months: 4.55%
  • 2 year fixed rate: 4.30%
  • 3 year fixed rate: 4.20%
  • 4 year fixed rate: 4.15%
  • 5 year fixed rate: 4.05%

Additionally, motusbank offers escalator GICs for 3- and 5-year terms as well as short term (30 day-270 day) GICs. 

motusbank RRSP, TFSA, and RRIF

As I mentioned earlier in this motusbank review, motusbank offers RRSPs and TFSAs as well as RRIFs. The only investment product that motusbank offers with their registered accounts is a GIC.

Personally, if you are investing for any term longer than 3 years, I’d check out our Questrade Review and Questrade vs Wealthsimple comparison in order to get a better grasp of what long-term investing options are available to Canadians. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to open a TFSA and start saving though, you could do a lot worse than the motusbank TFSA + 5-year GIC combination.

motusbank RRSP

motusbank RRSP savings account interest rates start at 2.50% and can go as high as 4.10% (with a 5 year escalator GIC). There are no monthly fees and you do have the option to set up an automatic savings option. The minimum investment is $100 and you get deposit insurance up to $100,000 with CIDC.

motusbank TFSA

The interest rate for a motusbank TFSA starts at 2.50% and can climb to 4.10% with a 5 year elevator GIC. There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposits plus you can take advantage of automatic savings and unlimited withdrawals.

motusbank RRIF

The interest rate for a motusbank RRIF also starts at 2.50% and, like both the TFSA and RRSP, can go as high as 4.10% with a 5 year elevator GIC.

motusbank Mortgages

Shopping around for mortgage rates? Although mortgage rates have increased over the last few years, motusbank offers some surprisingly low mortgage rates as well as some great perks. Take a look at these current offers:

Fixed Mortgage Rates

  • 6 month convertible fixed mortgage rate: 6.79%
  • 1 year fixed mortgage (open): 7.09%
  • 1 year fixed mortgage rate: 5.79%
  • 2 year fixed mortgage rate: 6.39%
  • 3 year fixed mortgage rate: 6.39%
  • 4 year fixed mortgage rate: 6.19%
  • 5 year fixed mortgage rate: 6.59%
  • 5 year fixed mortgage (high-ratio): 6.59%

Variable Mortgage Rates

  • 5 year variable mortgage (open): 8.70%
  • 5 year variable mortgage: 6.75%
  • 5 year variable mortgage (high-ratio) 6.75%

On top of these competitive rates, motusbank also offers several other incentives to make paying for your home easier. These include: 

  • Flexible schedule: Choose a payment schedule that suits your needs. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, or accelerated bi-weekly payments.
  • Skip-a-payment: If you find things a little tight one month, you can skip your payment. motusbank will let you do this once every calendar year.
  • 20/20 Payment privileges: Pay down 20% of the original principal balance per year without penalty OR increase your monthly payment by 20% of your original payment plan each year (or you can do a combination of the two).

motusbank also makes it easy to figure out how much you can afford with their handy and free online mortgage calculator. Enter values including your income, debt, fees and expenses etc. and figure out what size mortgage you can actually afford based on your current lifestyle. 

motusbank Home Equity Line of Credit

If you are a homeowner and looking to renovate your home, purchase a new vehicle or even put a down payment on an income generating second home, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can help you do just that. Currently, motusbank offers a Secured HELOC for qualified homeowners at a rate of 7.20%.

motusbank Mobile App Review

motusbank’s mobile app is pretty straightforward. Like most banking apps, you can do simple transactions, keep up with your account balances and payments, and find no-fee ATMs near you. Some of the extras include alerts like its price drop alert, helping you save and manage your money more wisely. . It currently does not sync with Apple Pay or credit cards, which might be a deal breaker for some.

Its interface is simple and relatively user friendly. Currently it has a rating of 3.3 stars on the Apple App Store. User reviews indicate that the most recent app update has some major improvements compared to previous versions. It’s now more visually appealing and has smooth functionality. 

motusbank Review: Overall Pros and Cons

motusbank is a competitive online bank with good GIC rates and a useful Smart Savings Account functionality. It also offers a no chequing fees policy which is great. Its other fees such as ATM fees are just about the average the Canadian banks charge. Its home equity line of credit rate is fairly competitive. 

On the other hand, customer service does seem to be lacking, and when you can’t access a person when you have an important banking issue to solve, it can be frustrating to say the least. Plus, at the moment there is no credit card option, which if you like to be able to have your accounts all in one place, could be a drawback.

Overall, a very good choice if you prize a few specific options when doing online banking, but we prefer EQ Bank as an overall product.

Kyle Prevost

Kyle Prevost is Canada's Top Personal Finance Teacher and an author/speaker/advisor when he is not in his classroom. His writing has been featured across Canada’s most-read publications. When he isn’t nerding out about P/E ratios or MERs, you can find Kyle on a basketball court or in a boxing ring trying to recapture something he isn’t sure that he had in the first place.
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1 month ago

Do Not Join this bank! I was with this bank for over a year. They do what they want when they want including helping themselves to funds and do nothing for their customers. My accounts were consistently frozen and the bank purposely caused my accounts to go into overdraft status to allow them to charge NSF fees. A complete nightmare!! Steer clear of these fools!!

4 years ago

Great to see new, low cost banking options, although I probably wait a while before I consider switching. I prefer my business partners to be somewhat established.
Is Motusbank affiliated with any of the big banks, like Tangerine>Scotia etc.?

Shane Chipman
4 years ago
Reply to  Andreas

Motus is a subsidiary of Meridian Credit Union.