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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
LCB Digital3.30%
Motive Financial2.80%
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account2.30%
Tangerine Savings Account2.75% (teaser), 1.10% regular
Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account2.25%
Oaken Financial Oaken Savings Account2.30%
Meridian Good to Grow High Interest Savings Account1.40%
Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account1.10%

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 an 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.

Motive Financial Savvy Savings Account

  • 2.80% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited e-transfers 
  • CDIC insured

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.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

  • 2.30%* Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited e-transfers 
  • CDIC insured

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 2.30%* annual interest rate (paid monthly). That’s not a promotional rate, you’ll earn 2.30%* interest on any money in your account. In addition, you get unlimited 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.

Sign up for the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account now

Tangerine Savings Account

  • 2.75% Interest rate 
  • 1.10% Regular interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • CDIC insured

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. The 2.75% interest rate is only available to new customers, but existing customers will often get targeted promotions where they can earn interest of more than 2.00% on new deposits. The regular interest rate of 1.10% 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.

Sign up for the Tangerine Savings Account now

Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account

  • 2.25% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Free e-transfers
  • CDIC insured

Alterna Bank is a credit union and has consistently been leading or near the top with their eSavings account which currently has a 2.25% 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

  • 2.30% 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 2.30% 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 Good to Grow High-Interest Savings Account

  • 1.40% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • DICO insured

Meridian is a credit union based in Ontario and offers 1.40% interest for their Good to Grow High Interest Savings Account. The Good to Grow 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

  • 1.10% Interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • CDIC insured

PC Financial recently split off their online banking portfolio which CIBC acquired and renamed Simplii. The Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account has an interest rate of 1.10% which is the same as Tangerine’s daily rate. They also run some promotional rates which boosts your interest rate on new deposits. 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.