EQ Bank Review: Superior Interest Rates on Savings

CDIC insurance: Yes
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly fees: $0
Account type: Savings accounts
Trustpilot rating: 3.4
ATM fees: N/A

Overall Score: 9

Monthly fees: $0

Pros:
  • No monthly, nonsufficient, or overdraft fees
  • Competitive interest rates
  • No minimum investment amount
  • No minimum balance requirements

Cons:
  • No cards or ATMs
  • Google Pay/Apple Pay not supported

Founded in 2016, EQ Bank is an online bank that offers a wide range of products. It mainly focuses on savings accounts, tax-free savings accounts, joint accounts and registered retirement savings plans.

This Toronto-based bank caters only to Canadian citizens, so to open an account, you’ll have to be a resident or a citizen of Canada, be 18 or older, and have a social insurance number. With high-interest guaranteed investment certificates, the company has managed to find its way to the top of the list of Canadian banks.

In this EQ Bank review, we’ll take a closer look at the features and benefits of this bank to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

How Does EQ Bank Work?

One of the perks of this bank is the absence of long queues at local branch offices – in fact, there are no queues or branch offices at all. The bank operates exclusively online, and you can sign up and access your account through a web browser or via a mobile app.

Provided that you’re eligible, you can open an EQ Bank account through the bank’s web portal. You’ll need to provide a government-issued ID and proof of address, and you’ll be required to verify your identity at a Canada Post outlet. Finally, the bank will conduct a soft credit check, and if approved, you’ll be free to use the bank’s services.

Is EQ Bank Safe?

Some people are hesitant to entrust their money to a bank that operates without any offices or ATMs. However, EQ Bank is completely safe and very unlikely to go out of business. Its parent company is Equitable Bank, which has been in business since the 1970s.

Equitable Bank is also a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. Clients who invest money at any of the CDIC member banks have their funds insured up to a maximum balance of $100,000.

EQ Bank Accounts

EQ Bank offers several high-interest savings accounts. These include Savings Plus accounts, Joint Savings Plus accounts, US Dollar accounts, TFSA, and RRSP accounts.

Savings Plus Account

With highly competitive interest rates and no everyday banking fees, this account offers an excellent saving opportunity with zero hassle. You’ll get 1.65% interest the moment you open the account, which is a pretty solid offer compared to the usual 0.05% offered by most competitors. There’s no minimum balance, and the maximum is $200,000.

With this account, you’ll be able to pay your bills and deposit cheques. No debit cards or ATMs are available, so if you want to withdraw some cash, you’ll have to transfer money from your EQ account to a different one.

Speaking of transfers, you’ll have Interac e-transfers at your disposal, so you can send and receive money with ease. You can also send money internationally with low fees.

Joint Savings Plus Account

With this account, you can generally earn more than with other banks, and you’ll get all the perks of the Savings Plus account. Since it’s a joint account, you can share it with up to three people.

No monthly fees are charged, and the account earns 1.65% interest. The maximum deposit is $500,000. Moreover, no minimum balance is required, and transactions are free for everyone on the account. You can pay bills with EQ online banking without any additional charges. As the money in this account is eligible for CDIC insurance, you’ll have a chance to grow your savings.

US Dollar Account

With the US Dollar account, you’ll enjoy a fairly high 1.40% interest rate, so if you have a significant amount of money in USD and don’t want to exchange it, this account would be a good choice. Just like with Canadian dollars, there are no monthly fees.

With competitive exchange rates, you won’t have to worry about losing a lot of money on conversions either. As the exchange rates fluctuate, clients can check EQ Bank’s US dollar exchange rates after they sign in. Moreover, you can send US dollars to accounts in the US or worldwide with the help of Wise. The EQ Bank international transfer is quick and hassle-free. Finally, just like with other EQ accounts, your funds are eligible for CDIC protection.

TFSA Savings Accounts

EQ Bank’s TFSA account is one of the strongest competitors in the Canadian market, since it offers clients the ability to save money in a low-risk, tax-free way. The 1.65% interest rate, as well as the lack of annual account and withdrawal fees, all make this account very appealing.

You’ll have to open a Savings Plus account if you want to use the EQ TFSA account, and when you want to deposit money into the TFSA, you’ll need to deposit it to your EQ Savings Plus account first. Then, you’ll have to transfer money from one account to the other. This is, indeed, something of a drawback because clients will have to go through a lengthy process only to be able to deposit money on their TFSA account.

RRSP Savings Account

EQ Bank clients can benefit from some of the highest interest rates in the country. To be specific, their registered retirement saving plan accounts earn 1.65%, just like some other EQ savings account options. And like with a TFSA, you need to have a Savings Plus account to qualify for this one.

With this RRSP, customers can prepare for retirement by saving as much money as possible. The money earned with this type of account is not taxed the year it’s earned. Instead, it is only taxed upon retirement.

Other EQ Bank Products and Services

EQ Bank has additional offers for its clients, including mortgages, international money transfers, and guaranteed investment certificates that can be registered and nonregistered. EQ savings options are significantly enriched with the introduction of GICs.

  • Mortgages. To apply, answer the online questionnaire and wait for the algorithm to recommend the best option for you. Afterward, you’ll be able to speak to a broker who will review your application. They will preapprove you or submit your application.
  • International money transfers. EQ Bank’s partner for international money transfers is an app called Wise (formerly TransferWise), and you don’t need to install it to send money abroad with EQ Bank. You’ll be able to check the exchange rate on the EQ website. The maximum daily limit is $9,500.
  • GICs. Guaranteed investment certificates are among EQ Bank’s most popular products. They guarantee a return, but you’ll have to keep your money deposited for a specific amount of time. EQ Bank GIC rates are very competitive. EQ Bank offers registered and nonregistered GICs. Their competitive interest rates make them a great option for depositing. The money won’t be accessible before the term maturity, and the minimum deposit for buying any GICs is $100.
  • Registered GICs offer rates ranging from 1.70% to 4.90%. You can choose from TFSAs and RRSP GICs, and terms that range from three months to 10 years – the longer the term, the higher your rate. An EQ Bank savings account is required, and current rates can be seen on the EQ Bank’s official website.
  • Nonregistered GICs. Just like with registered GICs, you can decide on terms ranging from three months to 10 years, and you need to have the EQ Bank savings account. Interest rates go from 1.70% to 4.90%.

Fees

If you visit the official website or read various EQ Bank reviews, you’ll see that the company doesn’t charge any monthly fees. Additionally, there are zero fees for the following:

  • Interac e-transfer
  • Nonsufficient funds
  • RRSP or TFSA transfer to another bank
  • Dormant account notice
  • Overdraft

EQ Bank Review: Conclusion

EQ Bank is a great option for those looking for high-interest saving accounts who want to avoid dealing with the paperwork or the waiting times usually associated with regular banks.

With zero monthly fees, this digital bank makes it easy to save money and build your net worth with only several clicks, or by using their super user-friendly app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. With EQ Bank, ATMs and cards are not an option, so for those who don’t mind this shortcoming, this digital bank can be an excellent choice.


FAQ

How do I withdraw money from EQ Bank?

You can’t withdraw cash from ATMs, but you can transfer money to your linked accounts via Interac e-transfer and via electronic funds transfer.

Is EQ Bank interest paid monthly?

The interest is paid monthly, and the bank calculates it on a daily level. Rates are subject to change.

Can you pay bills with EQ Bank?

As stated in our EQ Bank review, you can pay your bills with EQ Bank by clicking on “Bills” or “Pay a bill.”

EQ Bank logo

Overall Score: 9

Monthly fees: $0

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