No Fee Chequing Account Comparison

By Krissy Morley

October 27, 2011

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.

Comparison Table

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.


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