EQ Bank Review: Open No-Fee Savings Account in Canada

EQ Bank is a zero monthly fee Canadian online bank. The bank offers a line of personal finance products including an EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account, a registered retirement savings accounts (RRSP), international money transfer services, a tax-free savings account (TFSA), and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). EQ Bank currently manages $7 billion in savings and investments for Canadian clients. EQ Bank is not available to residents of Quebec.

EQ Bank Key Takeaways

  • EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account in Canada is a no-fee product that features a j everyday interest rate and free day-to-day transactions.
  • You can bills with zero fees and transfer money with free Interac e-Transfer® and free electronic fund transfer.
  • You are allowed to open 10 free linked accounts and a joint account for group savings for up to 3 people.

*EQ Bank interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.

How to Open an EQ Bank Account

You can open an account with EQ bank either online through the bank’s website (visit EQ Bank website and click “Join Now”) or over the phone (speak to a representative). To qualify for an EQ Bank account, you must be a resident of Canada, meet the age of minority in your province (18 or 19 years), and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You will also be required to provide proof of address and a Government issued ID. EQ Bank will conduct a credit check, and you can start using their products and services following approval.

EQ Bank Promotion. The bank offers a $150 cash bonus when you sign up and setup a payroll direct deposit. The promotion will be ending on April 18, 2022.

Check out the EQ Bank Savings Plus

EQ Bank’s Products and Services

eq bank canada

EQ Bank offers several products to its clients. However, its staple product is the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account. Here’s what you need to know about it:

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account

The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is a high-interest savings account in Canada that acts as a chequing account. It allows Canadians to keep all their finances in one place while earning interest. It has the following features:

  • A high-interest rate currently at 1.50%* that is calculated daily and paid out monthly
  • It comes with Free Day-to-Day Transactions
  • No Daily Banking Fees
  • Zero Monthly Balance
  • 10 Free Linked Accounts
  • It offers Unlimited Free Interac e-Transfers®
  • Free Electronic Funds Transfers
  • Cheap International Money Transfers
  • It comes with a Mobile Banking App
  • Free Mobile Cheque Deposits
  • It offers a Joint Savings Plus Account that allows up to 3 people
  • No Minimum Balance Required

The EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is versatile and can be used like a chequing account. You can transfer money between accounts at different banks, easily pay bills, set up recurring or pre-authorized debits, you can use electronic fund transfers, deposit cheques, and more.

EQ Bank Savings Plus was named the Best High Interest Savings Account in Canada 2021 by Forbes.

How to Link my Savings Plus Account to an External Bank Account

Linking your EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account to your external bank account ensures a seamless electronic funds transfer between the two accounts. You can link these accounts via the mobile app or through the EQ Bank’s web browser. Using the mobile app, sign in to your account and go to the navigation menu in the top right corner. Click on “Externally linked account” under “Manage my account”, then click on “Link another account”. Using the web browser, sign in to online banking and under “Transfers”, click on “Manage externally linked accounts”. Next, click on “Link another bank account” to link your accounts.

How to Deposit Funds into my Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank offers 3 ways to deposit funds into your EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account:

Mobile Cheque Deposit

Mobile cheque deposits are done through the EQ Bank’s mobile app where you can deposit up to $100, 000 per cheque. Once you deposit, a hold period (5 business days) will apply to your funds but you will start earning interest immediately after the deposit. You will only be able to withdraw or transfer the funds after the hold period.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

You can deposit up to $100, 000 (per transaction) from your linked account to your EQ Bank account using either the EQ Bank’s mobile app or via online banking. A hold period applies.

Interac e-Transfer®

You can deposit funds into your Savings Plus Account using Interac e-Transfer® instantly. These funds are usually not subject to holds. This means that your funds are available for use immediately they get into your account.

How to Withdraw Cash from my EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account

Being completely online, EQ Bank does not offer debit cards or direct ATM access to withdraw cash. EQ Bank’s mobile app and their online banking website makes it easy to make withdrawals electronically. There are two ways to withdraw funds from your EQ Bank account:

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

EQ Bank’s mobile app and their online banking service makes it possible to transfer up to $30, 000 (per transaction) from your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account to your linked bank accounts. Your funds will take between 1 to 2 business days to appear in your linked bank account.

Interac e-Transfer®

The EQ Bank’s Interac e-Transfer® funds transfer method is best for transferring smaller amounts and is instant. You can withdraw funds by sending a free Interac e-Transfer® from your EQ Bank account to your linked bank account.

Other EQ Bank Products

Apart from EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account, there are several other savings accounts offered. However, you will first need to sign up for the EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account before you can sign up for the other savings accounts.

  • EQ Bank’s Retirement Savings Plan. It is comprised of the Retirement Plan Savings Account and the Retirement Savings Plan Guaranteed Investment Certificate. The RRSP currently has an interest rate of 1.25%.
  • EQ Bank’s Guaranteed Investment Certificates. EQ Bank offers both registered and non-registered GICs with highly competitive interest rates and flexible term deposit investing options (terms range from 3 months to 10 years). There is a minimum deposit of $100 required to purchase EQ Bank’s GICs and their interest rates range from 1.30% to 2.30%.
  • EQ Bank’s Tax-Free Savings Account (EQ Bank TFSA). It is composed of the TSFA Savings account and the TFSA GIC. To access the TFSA, you must have an existing Savings Plus Account and EQ Bank allows only one TFSA per customer. Its interest rate is also at 1.25%, has no minimum balance, and has zero fees.
  • EQ Bank’s US Dollar Account. It offers a 1% interest rate on US dollars. With this account, your US dollars are CDIC insured up to $100, 000 CAD equivalent.

EQ Bank international money transfer: EQ Bank has partnered with Wise, formerly TransferWise, to make international money transfers 8x cheaper with no hidden fees or markups.

EQ Bank Accounts Fees

EQ Bank is all about zero fees. It does not charge any account fees, no fees for sending or receiving Interac e-Transfer®s, no overdraft fees, no dormant account fees, and there’s no bill payment fees.

How does EQ Bank make money? Good question! Banks typically make money by accepting deposits from customers, and then providing loans to other customers and earning interest from those loans. We use the deposits from EQ Bank to furnish Equitable Bank’s residential and commercial loans, and earn interest. As a branchless bank, we’re able to reduce our operating costs, and pass on those savings to you in the form of a great everyday interest rate on the Savings Plus Account.

EQ Bank Limits

The following are EQ Bank’s maximum dollar limits:

SERVICEMAXIMUM LIMIT IN DOLLARS
Maximum Balance Held Per Customer• $500,000 for customers who joined before Feb 21, 2016
• $20,000 for customers who joined on or after Feb 21, 2016.
• Customers with at least one joint account will hold a maximum balance of $500,000 per customer
Daily Outbound Interac e-Transfers®$3,000
Weekly Outbound Interac e-Transfers®$10,000
Monthly Outbound Interac e-Transfers®$20,000
Inbound Interac e-Transfers®$25,000 per transaction
Cheque Deposit$100,000 per cheque
Bill Payment$25,000 per payment
Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT)•$30,000 outbound to linked external bank
•$100, 000 for inbound from external back account per transaction
EQ to EQ Daily Transfers$30,000
EQ to EQ Weekly Transfers$100,000
EQ to EQ Monthly Transfers$250,000
Daily International Money Transfers Powered by Wise$9,500 per transaction

EQ Bank Customer Service and Customer Reviews

EQ Bank’s customer support service is available via phone (1-844-437-2265), email at contact@eqbank.ca), or live chat from 8:00AM to Midnight Eastern Time 7 days a week. You can also get answers to most questions on EQ Bank’s FAQs page. Most EQ Bank’s customers are satisfied with the bank. Most customers are praising its high-interest rates, its ease of use, its lack of fees, and its fast money transfer services. The few complaints say that it’s hard to reach customer service. EQ Bank has been rated 3.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Is EQ Bank Safe?

Yes. Like all other legitimate financial institutions, EQ Bank’s parent company Equitable Bank ensures that customer data and funds are safe. Equitable Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) and both the EQ Bank Savings Account and EQ Bank GICs are CDIC-insured up to $100, 000 per account or investment. If at any time the bank becomes insolvent, the client’s money is secure at no extra cost. Additionally, you will need to provide a password every time you want to access your account through EQ Bank’s website.

EQ Bank’s Alternatives

Depending on your financial needs, EQ Bank may not be the best online bank for you. The following are some of its alternatives:

Final Thoughts on the EQ Bank Review

If you want a financial institution that will help to put your money temporarily and earn good interest, EQ Bank is your best option. EQ Bank’s free transactions, high-interest rates, zero everyday banking fees, and ease of use makes it an ideal option for Canadian clients. However, if you are looking for a bank with physical branches, debit card and ATM access, EQ Bank is not the bank for you.

Check out the EQ Bank Savings Plus

* Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
** Transactions may be subject to monetary limitations. Please see their fees and features page for more information.

Daisy Neema is a graduate of Chuka University. She is a prolific writer and researcher and has an interest in finance. She also loves writing about businesses and startups.