Motive Financial Review

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

Motive Financial is the online banking division of Canadian Western Bank (CWB). Originally, this online platform was called Canadian Direct Financial which was created in 2008, however, in 2017 the company rebranded and Motive Financial was born.

Due to the fact that Motive Financial is an online bank only, they are able to offer various account options with high interest rates. So, if you are comfortable doing your banking online either through your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, then Motive Financial just may be the ideal choice for you and your banking needs. Read my Motive Financial review to find out why.

Motive Financial account rates

  • Motive Savings Account – .75% up to $5,000,000.01 then 0.50% after that
  • Motive Savvy Savings Account – 1.25%
  • Motive RSP Savings Account – 0.25% up to $2,500, 1.25% after that
  • Motive TFSA Savings Account – 1.25%
  • Motive Chequing Account – 0.60%
  • Motive Cha-Ching Chequing Account – 0.25%
  • Motive Financial also offers GICs for those interested

*These rates were correct at the time this article was written (July 2020)

The stand-out account here is the Motive Savvy Savings Account, which is their high interest savings account, at 125% interest. That’s one of the better high interest savings accounts in Canada. Admittedly, Motive used to lead the pack, but the recent interest rate cuts by the bank of Canada has forced Motive to drop their rates.

Another great feature is the ability to earn interest on both of Motive Financial’s chequing account options. Sure, the interest rate isn’t high, but the ability to earn interest on a chequing account isn’t a common feature, especially when it comes to traditional banks.

The Motive Ch-Ching Chequing account also comes with zero monthly fees, unlimited transactions and e-Transfers, plus you’ll get your first 50 personalized cheques for free. Not a bad deal at all for a no-fee chequing account!

The Motive Chequing account, which has a higher interest rate (0.60%) is quite similar and offers many of the same perks, however, e-Transfers are not free under this account and do come with a $1 fee per transfer.

Motive Financial also offers GICs, however, since the rates on GICs are constantly changing, I decided not to include the current rates in this article. That being said, they are available for those who are interested.

How Motive Financial compares to others

The best high interest savings accounts in Canada have changed dramatically over the last few months. Due to COVID-19, the bank of Canada has lowered interest rates. Every online bank had to cut their rates, but some lowered their rates more than others.

Motive Financial has one of the highest interest rates available. EQ Bank typically has rates similar to Motive. Motusbank is comparable with their TFSA and avings accounts. There are still lots of options out there, but with rates so low right now, don’t expect a huge a return.

Final thoughts

My Motive Financial review is positive. While online banks are nothing new to Canada, Motive Bank does offer some great account options for Canadians. Their high interest rates on their HISA are a stand-out and they have some great perks and inclusions in their chequing accounts as well. 

Motive Financial Review

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Tim on September 2, 2019 at 12:31 PM

    Hi Barry,
    What do you recommend for cash balances that aren’t paying interest in self directed RRSPs?

  2. Eric on September 29, 2019 at 12:18 AM

    Hi Barry,

    Came across the article tonight and was looking around for the best rates on a TFSA savings account. Looked into your article for Motive and motusbank. It seems like motusbank’s TFSA savings account rate is now 2.35%

    • Barry Choi on September 29, 2019 at 7:21 AM


      Thanks for catching that. I had updated my mostusbank review with the new rates but I forgot I had mentioned them in this article.

  3. Russ on November 23, 2019 at 2:18 PM

    Motive may be giving a high-interest rate however there service sucks. I applied for an account on the 28 of October. I filled out the forms and included the bank account I wanted to transfer my funds from. Since this is an internet bank that is the only way I can deposit my funds. Finally, I received my codes to access my account on the 21 of November so that’s more than 3 weeks. They say they have a lot of people applying well maybe hire a few more people to process the info.

    So I logged in thinking I could transfer my funds, as I had already given my information for the account I wanted to transfer from. Guess again I now need to fill out a form with this information and sign it. I understand signing, ok, however, why fill out the information online, to begin with. Better why not fill out the form and sign it and send it to them with the original application. Wait, it gets even worse. I try to download the PDF form to fill it out and print it. The site won’t let me, customer service had to email another form to me. So I fill out the form and send it in. It is now the 23 of November and I am still waiting to be able to transfer my funds. I am sure it will take another 3 weeks for them to process this form.

    So just for fun, I tried to access their other forms on the site. Well, guess what none of them are assessable just like the transfer form. It just seems they are not really interested to have me as a client. Now Lise is saying the site freezes up I really don’t know if I should actually deposit any money in this bank I may end up making a bit more interest but never be able to get it out.

  4. Carol on December 4, 2019 at 11:40 PM

    I’ve had the same problem as Russ and am wondering if I should actually be putting my money in Motive. I started the process a month ago. I have finally been ‘approved’. However my bank card came last week and there is still no pin in the mail. As well I can’t open the multiple PDF’s sent or the web links and, even though I signed up through my other bank there is still no access. I signed up for EQ bank within 5 minutes, including linking my traditional bank and has money in the account right away.

  5. Adrian on January 10, 2020 at 7:39 PM

    Any idea how secure Motive is in terms of longevity? Looking for a good HISA to stick part of my parent’s retirement savings in, but CDIC only covers up to $100,000 per account and Im weary to put more if theres a chance the bank will fold.

    • Barry Choi on January 10, 2020 at 7:48 PM


      I obviously can’t speak on behalf of the bank, but since your money is protected by CDIC, your money is probably good there.

  6. Victoria Businesswomen on February 24, 2020 at 3:54 AM

    Great article. Thanks for the detailed information. Your blog is by far the best source I’ve found.
    Thank you for sharing your experience!

  7. […] Motive Financial is the online banking division of Canadian Western Bank (CWB) and currently has one of the highest interest rates at 2.80% on deposits in their Motive Financial Savvy Savings Account. This is pretty impressive since it’s .50% more for a non-promotional rate compared to EQ Bank who has long been the industry leader. With Motive, there are no fees and unlimited e-transfers so this is a great account to put your money for any short term savings. I should note that the 2.80% is capped on your first $1 million dollars. After that, you’ll earn “just” .25% interest. If you want to learn more about Motive Financial and what other accounts they have, you can read my Motive Financial review. […]

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