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With Canada having some of its lowest interest rates in the last decade the thought of a high-interest savings accounts in Canada may seem absurd. To complicate things, there are so many different banks in Canada and they all have various accounts that come with different features. If you’re not aware of what to look for or why a high-interest savings account matters to you, you may end up just signing up for the first account offered to you.

The key thing to understand is that the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada won’t make you rich. Heck, the rate you get may not even beat inflation, but the idea is that the money deposited will be safe and earn you some interest. Basically, this type of account is perfect for short term savings like a home downpayment or as a place to park your emergency fund.

With so many different accounts available, you may not be sure where to look, but don’t worry, I’ve rounded up the ones with the best rates for you to compare.

High Interest AccountInterest Rate
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account1.70%
Tangerine Savings Account.15%
Motive Financial1.75%
LBC Digital1.50%
Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account1.40%
Oaken Financial Oaken Savings Account1.50%
Meridian High Interest Savings Account.50%
Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account.20%

What is a High-Interest Savings Account?

Are you still confused about what a high-interest savings account is? First off, most people refer to them strictly as a HISA so if you see that term online, people are talking about high-interest savings accounts. As the name implies, it’s a high-interest account. The reason most high-interest savings accounts in Canada only seem to pay between 1%-2.8% is that the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) benchmark rate is also low right now. If the BoC raises their rate, then so would most HISAs, inversely, if the BoC lowered rates, there’s a good chance many banks would also lower rates.

Compared to traditional banks, HISAs pay a much higher rate, but you may not have access to cheques (who uses cheques anyways?). With HISAs, you typically don’t pay any fees, you get free etransfers and you’ll get unlimited transactions. Normal banks may charge you a monthly fee and to use etransfers while the number of transactions you can make a month depends on the type of account.

Moving money between accounts can take up to two business days with a HISA or you can do an etransfer where your money is sent within 60-90 minutes. Generally speaking, a regular chequing account is great for everyday banking and day-to-day transactions, but HISAs are better if you don’t need a ton of services. 

If you’re ready to open a HISA, check out my list of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

Best high interest savings accounts in Canada EQ Bank
  • 1.70%* Interest rate
  • No everyday banking fees
  • Free Interac e-transfers®

You can’t have a discussion about the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada without mentioning the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account. What makes EQ Bank so attractive is the fact that you get a 1.70%* annual interest rate (paid monthly). That’s not a promotional rate, you’ll earn 1.70%* interest on any money in your account. In addition, you get free Interac e-transfers® every month. If you’re unfamiliar with EQ Bank, they’re a trademark of Equitable Bank who has been operating in Canada for four decades and are a CDIC member so your money will be protected. One thing to note, EQ Bank is not available to residents of Quebec.

Tangerine Savings Account

Best high interest savings accounts in Canada Tangerine
  • Different promos available
  • .15% Regular interest rate
  • No monthly fees

Tangerine used to be ING Bank, but when Scotiabank acquired the online bank, they changed the name to Tangerine. The good thing is, the Tangerine Savings Account is still one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada. Tangerine often has special promos where new clients earn an increased interest rate (usually around 2,50%). The regular interest rate of .15% is considerably lower than EQ Bank, but you do get access to Scotiabank’s network of automated bank machines if you need to withdraw cash.

Motive Financial Savvy Savings Account

Best high interest savings accounts in Canada Motive Financial
  • 1.75% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited e-transfers

Motive Financial is the online banking division of Canadian Western Bank (CWB) and currently has one of the highest interest rates at 1.75% on deposits in their Motive Financial Savvy Savings Account. Their rate recently dropped and they no longer have the highest interest rate.. 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 2.05% 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.

LBC Digital High Interest Savings Account

  • 1.50% interest
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly account fee

LBC Digital is one of the newest banks to joint my list of the best high interest savings accounts in Canada. Although they’re new, they’re owned by Laurentian Bank who’s been around for more than 170 years. What makes LBC Digital appealing is its 1.65% interest which is one of the highest rates on this list. If you bank with Laurentian Bank, you really should open an LBC Digital account but note that they do not give you free Interac e-transfers.

Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account

  • 1.40% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Free e-transfers

Alterna Bank is a credit union and has consistently been leading or near the top with their eSavings account which currently has a 1.40% interest rate. You get free unlimited monthly Interac e-transfers which is great but note that there is a $3,000 daily limit (this applies to all Interax e-transfers). Alterna Bank does have a few bricks and mortar locations in Ontario and one in Quebec, but the Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account is strictly for online users.

Oaken Financial Oaken Savings Account

  • 1.50% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • CDIC insured

The Oaken Financial Oaken Savings Account is pretty basic, but it’s still one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada since it offers 1.65% interest which is still higher than a basic savings account at any of the major banks in Canada. There are no monthly fees and no minimum balance required to have this account. You’ll also get unlimited transactions, but these are features that all of the mentioned HISAs have. One other thing worth noting is that Oaken also offers GICs which typically have very competitive rates.

Meridian High-Interest Savings Account

Best high interest savings accounts in Canada Meridian
  • .50% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • DICO insured

Meridian is a credit union based in Ontario and offers .50% interest for their High Interest Savings Account. The high interest savings account will likely appeal to current Meridian customers, but as you’ve noticed there are better high-interest savings accounts in Canada. Meridian is not a CDIC member, but your deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO).

Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account

Best high interest savings accounts in Canada Simplii
  • .20% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • CDIC insured

The Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account has an interest rate of .20% which is not very good, but inline with other big bank owned digital banks. They do occasionally run some promotional rates which boost your interest rate on new deposits which may be of interest to new potential clients. Note that the free Interac e-transfers and use of CIBC ABMs only apply to the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account which has a much lower interest rate.

The Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada

23 Comments

  1. Sd on August 16, 2018 at 12:43 AM

    Simplii does offer promotional interest once in a while to existing customers, like right now. I think it’s 2.5% on new deposits but I forgot until when.

    EQ bank is quite tempting but I already have accounts at TD, ATB, Simplii and Tangerine. I wonder if they’ll lower the interest rate at some point. I said to myself before that I didn’t want to be like my parents and have my money all over the place because it would be hard to keep track of it all. They used to purchase GICs at whichever bank gave higher rates, so now they have accounts at several different banks. Is this normal?! Lol

    • Barry Choi on August 16, 2018 at 5:42 AM

      Hi SD,

      I think many people don’t mind having their money at various banks since in the, people want the best bang for their buck. EQ Bank started at 3% interest when they first launched, but that was always a teaser rate. Their current rate if 2.3% is quite steady and is actually higher than their previous rate since interest rates have started to go up. The funny thing is, Tangerine only introduced promotional rates AFTER EQ Bank launched.

  2. Anna Maria Magnifico on September 4, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    It is not a high interest savings account but may as well be if you can leave your money in Tangerine GIC for 1 year @ 2.5%

  3. Jan on September 16, 2018 at 8:06 PM

    DUCA Credit Union Ltd. has an Earn More Savings Account where you earn 1.50% interest. This is my financial institution and I have been with them for more than 30 years. Every now and then they have a promotional interest rate, which they have right now, for new money. That rate is 3.25% and I switch any new money coming into my accounts over to that account for as long as the promotion is on. Then all that money goes directly back into my Earn More Savings Account when the promotion is over. duca.com is their website for anyone who is interested in taking a look.

  4. JSmith on January 19, 2019 at 5:37 PM

    To add to your great survey of HISAs available – Though currently 2.35% everyday interest rate non-promo, used (without its eChequing account’s other features) Alterna eSavings standalone, which is unlimited free anything from manual to automatic/scheduled bill payments/PAPs, debits and transfers, which include Alterna eSaving’s unlimited free Interac e-Transfers send out (EQ $1.50 after 5 per month, Simplii HISA N/A, Tangerine $1.00 Interac) and free unlimited EXCHANGE ABM debits (without transferring out or most HISAs like EQ N/A) plus unlimited Me-to-Me external account linkings on C1CU like Implicity (EQ 10, Simplii 10, Tangerine 3 max. links). The free Alterna ATM card access include those provided by National Bank, Manulife Bank, HSBC, Canadian Western Bank, Meridian Credit Union, Alterna Savings Credit Union and many other Credit Unions all on the EXCHANGE network.

    • Barry Choi on January 19, 2019 at 5:50 PM

      JSmith,

      That’s an impressive list of extra benefits for ALterna users =D

      • Tom on December 7, 2019 at 5:01 PM

        What about LCB digital?

  5. Marsha on June 22, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Any information on Manulife All in Banking?

    • Barry Choi on June 22, 2019 at 12:26 PM

      Hi Marhsa,

      It’s a good all-in-one account since it comes with multiple products, but if you’re looking for something with the highest interest rate, then there are better options such as the ones listed in this article.

  6. Get Over Your Fear of Spending! - Money We Have on December 14, 2019 at 2:21 PM

    […] accounts set up for travel, car maintenance, presents, etc. All of this money is parked in various high interest savings accounts since it allows me to earn some interest. I also have automatic savings set up for my RRSP and […]

  7. William on March 3, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    I think WealthSimple has a high-interest account that pays 2.40%

    • Barry Choi on March 3, 2020 at 12:44 PM

      William,

      THey do, I just haven’t had time to add them yet.

  8. HWYC2007 on March 6, 2020 at 1:50 PM

    Can you tell me when did Simplii change HISA rate to 1.05% ?

    • Barry Choi on March 6, 2020 at 1:52 PM

      HWYC,

      I don’t have an exact date but it was probably 4-6 months ago.

  9. Arliene Hutzel on August 6, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    Can you use these accounts regularly or are there limits or exclusions? I just need to use debit, pay bills and receive my auto-deposit (pay); etransfers too.
    This just sounds too good to be true.

    • Barry.Choi on August 6, 2020 at 1:26 PM

      Arliene,

      Only Simplii and Tangerine have a wide ATM network but they pay some of the lower rates. There are no limits or exclusions with high interest savings accounts.

      • Arliene Hutzel on August 6, 2020 at 1:44 PM

        So for what I need, which would be the better bank

        • Barry.Choi on August 6, 2020 at 1:47 PM

          Arliene,

          Both are similar. Tangerine uses Scotiabank ATMs while Simplii uses CIBC. I’d choose whichever ATM is closer to your home or work.

  10. Arliene Hutzel on August 6, 2020 at 3:26 PM

    So you are suggesting only these 2? I have tangerine and it’s not very user friendly….and I don’t like a Scotia bank in general. There are so many above. I am currently with BMO and looking for an alternative.

    • Barry.Choi on August 6, 2020 at 3:35 PM

      Arliene,

      The two I suggested are the ones that offer a debit card and have good ATM access. I personally use EQ bank which I have connected to my TD account. I use a free account with TD so I have access to their ATMs, but most of my banking is done with EQ Bank.

      • Ashley on September 24, 2020 at 12:02 PM

        Hey Barry!

        I am just curious you mention you bank with TD (I used to bank with them but switched over to CIBC because I thought they had better rates then TD, which I retreat a little I think I prefer TD more but I’ll give CIBC a fair chance for another couple months), how do you do your everyday banking with EQ? Is it not just for HISA? Any tips on how to utilize your accounts smarter and effectively? I am new to organizing my finance so any tips and tricks to help would be SO appreciative!

        • Barry Choi on September 24, 2020 at 12:25 PM

          Ashley,

          I personally use EQ bank mainly for savings. All my daily banking is still done via TD, but I transfer any funds I don’t need to EQ to capitalize on the higher interest rate.

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