A Note About the Big Banks
I looked high and low for some sort of good deal at a Big 5 bank. I couldn't find one. As you'll see at the bottom end of the table, big banks' best offerings don't even come close to these guys. BMO is generally the cheapest of the lot, but you shouldn't have to resort to that.
|Name||Monthly Fee/ Min. balance to avoid fees||Interest Rate||Access Methods||ATM Network||Extras|
|Cheques||Bill Payments||ATM withdrawals||Interac Direct Payment|
|ICICI HiVALUE Chequing Account||$5.00 / ($500 or a regular direct deposit from an employer)||negligible||Unlimited chequing but only 20 free printed cheques provided||Unlimited||The Exchange||Free Cheques, Free unlimited international ATM withdrawals*, access to human tellers at branches in Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver, free money transfers to India (must involve a currency exchange), free bank drafts in rupees|
|President's Choice Financial No-fee bank account||None||negligible||Unlimited||PC Financial and CIBC||Free Cheques, can earn PC Points outside QC|
|The following are only available in British Columbia|
|Coast Capital Savings Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account||None||negligible||Unlimited chequing but only a "starter pack" provided||Unlimited||The Exchange||None|
|Vancity Shared Growth Chequing Account||$7.00 / $1000||0%||Unlimited chequing but no free preprinted cheques provided||Unlimited||The Exchange||One free in-branch transaction, money is pooled for use in projects that return "meaningful social, environmental and economic benefits to community"|
|For comparison purposes, some offerings from the big banks|
|Bank of Montreal Plus Plan||$8.50 / $1500||negligible||30 included, $0.60 after||Bank of Montreal||One free E-mail Money Transfer per month, earn Air Miles on debit purchases.|
|CIBC Everyday Chequing Account||$3.90 / $1000||negligible||10 included, then $0.60 each||CIBC||None|
|Royal Bank||Not a single chequing account with a waivable monthly fee|
|Scotiabank Powerchequing Account||$3.95 / $1500||negligible||When paying monthly fee, 15 are included. Otherwise, you are allowed unlimited transactions.||Scotiabank||Free usage of Scotiabank's Global ATM Alliance, earn SCENE points on certain transactions|
|TD Canada Trust Value Plus Account||$8.95 / $2000||negligible||25 included, then $0.65 each||TD Canada Trust||None|
* Free international ATM withdrawals means that your bank won't charge you for the withdrawal, but it doesn't mean that the bank that owns the ATM you are using won't charge you. These types of fees, although common in Canada, are very rare abroad. And the bank machine will usually warn you before you are charged.