Getting Started With Banking In Canada
Opening a bank account for the first time is essential for newcomers to Canada. As you begin your banking in Canada journey, take some time to research your options and choose the bank that best fits your needs. The major banks in Canada, like Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, RBC, TD Canada Trust, HSBC, and National Bank, all have specialised programs for newcomers with incentives like no fees for the first year. Here is an overview of some of the top banks to consider.
The “Big Five” Banks In Canada
Scotiabank allows you to open an account before arriving in Canada and transfer funds without international transfer fees. It also provides one year of free day-to-day banking plus tailored products for newcomers.
- BMO is Canada’s first bank, with over 200 years of experience serving customers, including newcomers. It offers dedicated advisors and products to help new immigrants settle and start their financial lives in Canada.
- CIBC upgraded its banking infrastructure to improve customer service. Its chequing accounts are flexible for how newcomers want to bank, with extensive ATM access, digital banking, and mobile payment options.
- RBC has tailored banking packages for those preparing to move to Canada, recent arrivals, and people settling in. Its offerings are designed to meet newcomers’ needs at every stage.
- HSBC Bank Canada is connected to HSBC’s international network. This global access makes transferring funds and managing finances across borders convenient.
- TD Canada Trust has a large presence across Canada with extensive ATM and branch access. It has several account settings and incentives for beginners.
- National Bank is based in Montreal but has branches across Canada. It is the preeminent bank in Quebec and offers personalised banking services to newly arrived immigrants.
Comparing Account Fees For Banking In Canada
When picking a Canadian bank, account fees are crucial. Most Canadian banks charge monthly fees on chequing accounts, ranging from $10-30 depending on included transactions. However, many banks offer free banking in Canada for the first year. Compare monthly fees and look for ways to avoid them through minimum balances or bundled products.
ATM Access For Banking In Canada
Consider the bank’s ATM access for convenience with your daily banking in Canada. Withdrawals at your bank’s ATMs are typically free, while using another bank’s machine will incur a small fee. Look at branch and ATM locations near where you live and work. Banks with extensive nationwide ATM networks in Canada include Scotiabank, BMO, and TD.
Banks often have online locators where you can search for ATM locations in your neighbourhood.
Debit Cards And Online Banking In Canada
Debit cards are used for purchases in Canada, so having one linked to your account is very convenient. All the banks offer debit cards with chequing accounts. Ask about maximum transaction amounts and fees. Most Canadian banks offer user-friendly online banking and mobile apps for account management while on the go.
Building Credit With Banking In Canada
As a newcomer, using banking in Canada products like credit cards can help build your Canadian credit score. Compare credit card options at your chosen bank and look for low-fee cards with rewards programs or other perks. Some banks even offer newcomer credit cards specifically designed for new immigrants in Canada.
Choosing The Right Bank For You
Consider the following: monthly fees, branch and ATM locations, prices associated with foreign transfers, possibilities for debit and credit cards, and internet services. Prioritise the features most important for your banking habits. Take time to understand all policies and fees. Choosing the Best Canadian bank will help you maximise your money as you start your new financial life while you move to canada.