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If you’re looking for a Canadian bank that offers a good interest rate, then you need to check out EQ Bank who’s one of the most popular digital banks in Canada Right now, their interest rate is a respectable 2.45% interest* rate on their EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and easily makes it one of the best high interest savings accounts in Canada. In case you didn’t know, chequing and savings accounts at the big 5 banks typically pay next to no interest which is why you should always have an online bank account.
Although EQ Bank has been around a few years, some potential clients tend to be suspicious of the high rates being offered. The good thing is, EQ Bank is owned by Equitable Bank who’s a Member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation so your accounts are protected up to $100,000.
The safety of your money is always important, but so is the customer service experience.EQ Bank is focused on providing a better banking solution that will help Canadians reach their savings goals faster. Here’s my EQ bank review of their Savings Plus Account.
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account Features
- 2.45%* everyday interest rate
- No everyday banking fees
- Unlimited day-to-day transactions
- No minimum balance required
- Unlimited free Interac e-transfers®
- Savings goals features
- Mobile App
- Member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC)
One of the biggest complaints from Canadians is the lack of a reasonable interest rate with savings accounts. Since EQ Bank’s rate of 2.45%* is available to everyone and not just a teaser rate, it makes the account very attractive. The high-interest rate is obviously an attention grabber, but the other benefits of the account are quite good too.
No monthly fees, unlimited day-to-day transactions, and no minimum balances are pretty common in the online world, but for whatever reason have been slow to adapt by the big 5 banks. To be fair, bricks and mortar banks have much higher operational costs since they have retail locations and staff to pay; EQ Bank is branchless and completely digital so the savings are passed on directly to their clients.
Accessing your money is pretty straight forward since you would link your EQ Bank account to your regular bank account, but it does take up to two business days to transfer any funds. If you want to speed up the process you can get access to your money within 30 to 60 minutes by using your unlimited free Interac e-Transfers®. Currently, there’s no debit card available, nor can you set up your account inside your TFSA or RRSP which is disappointing.
All these features should have both savers and investors excited. You can simply park your money and get a guaranteed return (minus taxes of course) with zero risks. With EQ Bank, your interest is paid monthly and there’s no holding period.
Despite all of these great features, EQ Bank is not available to residents of Quebec.
Helping you save
Many people are hesitant to switch banks (we all know they don’t make it easy), but EQ Bank shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement, it’s meant to complement your daily banking needs.
It doesn’t matter if you’re saving for a vacation, school, or a new pair of boots, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account allows you to open an unlimited amount of sub-accounts to meet your needs. The added option of setting savings goals for each individual account is a bonus since you can clearly monitor the progress of your savings. Best of all, your money is never locked in with the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. You can withdraw your money whenever you need to.
Saving is obviously the theme of the account, but you can also do day-to-day transactions directly from the mobile app including transferring funds and making bill payments. EQ Bank does not allow your account to go into overdraft so you won’t need to worry about being charged extra fees; it’s the lack of available money that I’d be concerned about.
There’s no catch. Even though EQ Bank gives you an above-average interest rate, they make their money by lending out your deposits to other people at a higher interest rate. This is standard practice for any bank, but since EQ Bank is a digital bank, they have less overhead compared to traditional banks.
Some people don’t like the fact that EQ Bank doesn’t offer a debit card, but I think this is a good thing since you can’t withdraw your money at a machine whatever you want. One thing EQ Bank does allow is pre-authorized payments. This means you can do all of your daily spending with one of the best travel credit cards in Canada or one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada and then set your card to be automatically paid from your EQ Bank account. By doing this, your money is only withdrawn once a month from your EQ Bank account so you’re basically earning the maximum interest and getting credit card rewards at the same time.
Is EQ Bank safe?
I already covered this above, but I want to go over it again. EQ Bank is safe and it’s unlikely to go out of business. The reason you can trust EQ Bank is that they’re owned by Equitable Bank. In case you didn’t know, Equitable Bank has been in operation since 1970 and is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
Any person who has their money deposited at a CDIC member will have their accounts protected up to $100,000. If you need more deposit insurance, you could have your spouse open an account which would give you another $100,000 in protection.
To be clear, it’s still possible for a bank to fail, but this applies to all banks. Just because EQ Bank is giving their customers a higher interest rate, that doesn’t mean they’re riskier. I personally use EQ Bank to park the majority of my cash savings.
Overall my EQ Bank review is positive. Despite the fact that currently there’s no debit card, joint accounts, TFSA or RRSP account available, the 2.45%* interest rate is higher than average daily rates and the additional features make it an attractive account. It’s clear that EQ Bank respects their clients’ money and values their business.