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Best Canadian Online Bank Accounts in 2023: Online-Only Service, Fees, and More

Nov 24, 2022
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Online banks in Canada, sometimes referred to as virtual banks, have become very popular alternatives to traditional banking. They provide online-only banking services, which include chequing, savings, bank transfers, investments, mortgages, and more.

Even though they have no physical brick-and-mortar branches, you can sign up online easily, access your funds with a debit card that they ship to you, and manage your money instantly 24/7 with their dedicated smartphone app.

To help you decide which Canadian virtual bank account will fit your needs best, we've introduced five of the best online banks in Canada. When we review virtual banks, we always pay close attention to their credibility, fees, service quality, and customer satisfaction.

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Control your finances and track your budgets with Tangerine's virtual chequing account.

Even benefit from some of Canada's highest interest rates on savings, and get access to their cash back credit cards, loans, and high-yielding investment accounts.

How Monito Scores Canada Online Banks

To determine which online banks scored better than others in Canada, we used a consumer-first framework to analyse several key factors. To begin with, we weighed a number of concrete metrics relating to factors such as fees and rates, ease of use, credibility, service and coverage, transparency, and customer satisfaction to piece together a reliable all-around picture of which top digital banks offer the savviest solutions to Canadian residents.

Next, we explored these results and presented our findings in the form of a series of key takeaways that we believe you should know about the digital banks that ranked highest.

While we ranked these online banks on an overall list, bear in mind that this list does not mean that our choice for Canada's best virtual bank account is necessarily the best choice for you. As you'll see, each online bank comes with its own unique set of pros and cons that may impact its overall relevance to you.

Without further ado, let's go through our rankings for the top virtual bank accounts in Canada in 2023 —

Key Facts About Online Banks in Canada

💳 Accounts Compared

Tangerine, EQ, Simplii, Wise, Motusbank

🔎 Features Compared

ATM fees, Virtual Service, App & more

🏆 Best Monito Score

8.9/10

💰 Most Expensive Monthly Fee

FREE

Tangerine — Best Free Virtual Bank Account

Tangerine is arguably Canada's best-known online bank. Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank and offers chequing and savings accounts with zero monthly maintenance fees.

What really sets them apart is their separate credit card with no annual fee and high cash back (15% for your first 2 months and 2% thereafter). They even offer a low-fee investment platform design for long-term wealth building.

Tangerine's interest rate (up to 1%) is much higher than the high-street bank average and is able to pass such high savings interest rates onto its customers largely because it does not operate brick-and-mortar branches. Even so, Tangerine does run spaces that they call "cafes" in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal to provide financial advice and showcase Tangerine's services (and serve coffee).

Tangerine is the best online bank account that comes with a credit card, which is the aspect that truly sets it apart. Thanks to its full current account offering and high customer satisfaction, Monito especially recommends Tangerine for those users looking for a credit card and cashback.

Total cost: $0 per month.

Noteworthy features: 2% cash back, 1% savings rate, tax-free investment account.

More info: See our full Tangerine review.

EQ Bank — Best for Virtual Savings

EQ Bank, like Tangerine, runs 24/7 online only banking. However, EQ Bank works best as a great saving account supplement to a separate main chequing account. That's because EQ Bank does not offer a debit card or ABM access.

EQ Bank's virtual bank account allows you to pay bills and transfer money while profiting from their industry-high savings interest rate of 1.25% to 2%. However, it does not function as a chequing account for day-to-day spending.

Total cost: $0 per month.

Noteworthy features: No monthly fees, unlimited free transactions, no minimum balance, up to 2% savings rate.

Simplii Financial — Best Free Domestic ABM Access

Simplii Financial is an online banking arm of CIBC and offers a complete package of banking services, including a chequing account, GICs, mutual funds, RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plan), and TFSAs.

Customers have noted that the smartphone app, available on Android and iOS, is simple but gets the job done. Perhaps Simplii's most appealing factor is its access to CIBC's ABM network, which is one of the largest in Canada.

Total cost: $0 per month.

Noteworthy features: Unlimited transactions, CIBC-branded ABM access, 0.4% savings rate.

Wise — Best Multi-Currency Account

Many know Wise for offering some of the cheapest international transfers to and from Canada. However, they also offer the powerful Wise Multi-Currency Account, which gives you access to Canadian bank account details and bank accounts from 9 other countries.

This means that you could use those Canadian bank details to receive your paycheck from your Canadian employer. Ideal for travel and foreign purchases, the account even allows you to hold 50+ foreign currencies and access them from the Wise debit card or Wise's digital app.

Total cost: $0 per month.

Noteworthy features: International money transfers, multiple account details, multi-currency balances.

More info: See our full Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

Motusbank — Best Credit Union Virtual Account

Motusbank is not backed by one of Canada's top-five large banks but by the country's second-largest credit union: Meridian Credit Union. Like the other virtual bank accounts on this list, Motusbank offers chequing accounts without maintenance fees, unlimited domestic transfers, and access to Interac e-Transfer.

Total cost: $0 per month.

Noteworthy features: ABMs in the United States, 1.85% savings rate.

The Best Online Banks in Canada Compared

To wrap things up, let's take a look at how the product, service, and pricing of Tangerine, EQ Bank, Simplii Financial, the Wise Multi-Currency Account, and Motusbank compare to one another in Canada.

Tangerine

EQ Bank

Simplii Financial

Wise

Motusbank

Monthly Fee

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Free Intl. ATM Access

Intl. Transaction Fee

2.5%

2.5%

0%

2.5%

Intl. Transfer Fee

0.35%-3.6%¹

0.35%-3.6%¹

0.35%-3.6%¹

0.35%-2.85%

0.35%-3.6%¹

Card Delivery Fee²

$0

$0

$0

$0

Contactless

Google Pay

Apple Pay

3D Secure

Deposit Options

EFT, cash, cheque, debit/credit card

EFT, cash, cheque

EFT, cash, cheque, debit/credit card

EFT, debit/credit card

EFT, cash, cheque, debit/credit card

Overdraft

Platforms

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile, internet banking

CDIC Deposit Insurance

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

$250,000 (by U.S. FDIC)

$100,000

No. of Customers

2 million

250,000

2 million

10 million

360,000

Customer Service

Email, telephone, live chat

Email, telephone

Email, telephone, live chat

Email, live chat

Email, telephone, live chat

Try Tangerine ❯Learn MoreLearn MoreTry Wise ❯Learn More

1 Uses international fee schedule from Interac e-Transfer

Still Making International Payments With Your Bank?

When you send money abroad, you will often encounter high fixed fees and poor exchange rates. This is why we recommend using an online money transfer specialist over high-street banks.

Even so, not all online money transfer specialists offer good rates. For example, Tangerine, EQ Bank, Simplii Financial, Motusbank, and many other Canadian banks partner with Interac e-Transfer to send international wire transfers, but Interac e-Transfer is usually not the cheapest service.

Instead, compare online money transfer specialists and their rates in real-time with Monito's comparison engine:

Find a Cheaper Interac e-Transfer Alternative:

FAQ About Canada Virtual Bank Accounts

Filter your results

Compare Online Only Virtual Banks in Canada and Worldwide

  1. Wise Multi-Currency Account
    Wise Multi-Currency Account Monito Score 8.9
    open
    • Languages
      English +21
    • Country availability
      Austria +37
    • Services
      Multi-currency account
    • Monthly fee
      Very low
    • Card delivery time
      Mid
    • Best for
      Spending while abroad
    • Bank details
      Euro IBAN +11
    • Supported currencies
      US dollar +50
    • Overdraft
    • Annual interest rate
      Very low
    • Supports cash deposits
    • International transfers true
  2. Tangerine Chequing Account
    Tangerine Chequing Account Monito Score 8.2
    open
    • Languages
      English +1
    • Country availability
      Canada
    • Services
      Full bank account
    • Monthly fee
      Very low
    • Card delivery time
      Slow
    • Best for
      Everyday banking
    • Bank details
      Canadian account +2
    • Supported currencies
      Canadian dollar
    • Overdraft true
    • Annual interest rate
      Low
    • Supports cash deposits true
    • International transfers

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Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

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  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

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