Best 10 No-Fee Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2024

Canadians are notorious for paying some of the highest bank fees in the world, with the Big Banks leading the charge with monthly chequing account fees ranging from $5 to $35. But fear not fee-averse Canadians!

There are a plethora of free chequing account options available, especially with the rise of online banks and credit unions. This article explores the top 10 free chequing accounts in Canada for 2024, helping you find the perfect fit for your banking needs.

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Why Choose a Free Chequing Account?

Sticking with a traditional bank account with hefty monthly fees can drain your hard-earned cash. Free chequing accounts allow you to manage your everyday transactions without these unnecessary charges. Here’s why you should consider switching:

  • Save Money: An average Canadian can save over $200 per year by ditching the fees associated with traditional chequing accounts.
  • Convenient Features: Many free chequing accounts offer features like unlimited debit transactions, Interac e-Transfers, and mobile banking, making managing your finances effortless.
  • Competitive Interest Rates: While not all free chequing accounts offer interest, some online banks provide competitive rates on your chequing balance.

What to Look for in a Free Chequing Account

The ideal free chequing account depends on your individual banking habits. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Monthly Fees: Ensure there are truly no monthly fees associated with the account.
  • Transaction Limits: Look for accounts with unlimited transactions, including debit purchases, Interac e-transfers, and bill payments.
  • Minimum Balance Requirements: Avoid accounts with minimum balance requirements to maintain fee-free status.
  • ATM Access: Consider how important access to ATMs is for you and choose an account with a free ATM network or fee rebates.
  • Customer Support: Opt for an account with a reputable bank that offers excellent customer support channels (phone, online chat, etc.).
  • Mobile App Functionality: Ensure the bank provides a user-friendly mobile app for convenient banking on the go. This might include features like mobile cheque deposits.
  • Interest Rates: While not a deal-breaker, some free chequing accounts offer interest on your chequing balance, which can be a nice bonus.
  • Free Cheques: If you still require cheques for specific transactions, opt for an account with free cheques or a limited number of free cheques per year.

Important Note: Brick-and-mortar branches are typically unavailable with online bank accounts.

Top 10 Free Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2024

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the top 10 free chequing accounts in Canada for 2024, categorized based on the bank or financial institution:

1. Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account ($400 Cash Bonus Offer):

  • Features:
    • No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement
    • Unlimited debit purchases, pre-authorized debits, and Interac e-Transfers
    • Free Interac access to over 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada
    • Up to 0.10% interest on your account balance
    • User-friendly mobile app and website with mobile cheque deposit
    • Free chequebook (50 cheques)
  • Bonus Offer: Get a $400 cash bonus when you open a new Simplii Chequing Account and meet the eligibility requirements. You can also open a Simplii high-interest savings account and earn a 6.00% interest rate for a limited time (the standard rate is 0.40% to 5.5%).
  • A Great Fit For: Individuals seeking a feature-rich free chequing account with a welcome bonus and access to CIBC ATMs.

2. EQ Bank Personal Account:

  • Features:
    • Zero monthly account fees
    • High-interest rate (one of the highest in Canada) on your daily closing balance, paid out monthly
    • Unlimited debit transactions, bill payments, and Interac e-transfers
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • CDIC protection up to $100,000 per insured account category
    • Mobile app with free mobile cheque deposit
    • International money transfer options
    • Free Mastercard debit card with waived FX and ATM fees
  • A Great Fit For: Those who prioritize high-interest rates and unlimited transactions, with the convenience of a mobile app and international money transfer capabilities.

3. KOHO Earn Interest Account:

  • Features:
    • $0 monthly account fee
    • Earn up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases with their prepaid card
    • Earn 5.00% interest on your account balance
      Access to a budgeting app within their mobile app
    • Free credit score checks
    • $20 bonus when you sign up using the referral code CASHBACK and complete your first purchase (Note: Fees may apply for certain service tiers with higher cashback rates and interest)
    • A Great Fit For Value-conscious individuals seeking cash back rewards, interest on their balance, and budgeting tools, comfortable with a prepaid card and no cheque access.

4. Neo Money Account:

  • Features:
    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum deposit or balance requirement
    • Unlimited free transactions
    • Get a Neo card for up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases
    • Earn high interest on your account balance
    • $20 bonus when you fund your account with $50 or more
    • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • A Great Fit For Those seeking a no-frills free chequing account with cash back rewards, interest on their balance, and a welcome bonus.

5. Tangerine No-Fee Chequing Account (Formerly ING Direct):

Best 10 No-Fee Chequing Accounts in Canada for 2024
  • Features:
    • No monthly account fees
    • Access to 3,500 Scotiabank ATMs within Canada and 44,000 worldwide
    • 24/7 phone support
    • Up to 0.10% interest on your account balance
    • Free unlimited email money transfers
    • The first chequebook (50 cheques) is free
    • Free unlimited Interac e-Transfers
  • A Great Fit For: Individuals who prefer a traditional bank with a large ATM network, 24/7 phone support, and a free first checkbook.

6. Motusbank No-Fee Chequing Account (Owned by Meridian Credit Union):

  • Features:
    • $0 monthly account fees
    • Up to 0.15% interest on your account balance
    • Free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers
    • Unlimited debit transactions, including pre-authorized debits and bill payments
    • The first chequebook (25 cheques) is free
    • Mobile app with easy mobile cheque deposit
    • Free access to over 3,700 ATMs across Canada
  • A Great Fit For Those seeking a free chequing account with interest on their balance, free mobile cheque deposit, and access to a large ATM network.

7. Motive Financial Chequing Account (Formerly Canadian Direct Financial):

  • Features:
    • Zero fees and unlimited transactions, including pre-authorized debits and Interac e-Transfers (Note: $1 fee per Interac e-Transfer)
    • Free access to the second-largest ATM network in Canada
    • Up to 0.25% interest is paid on your account balance
    • Mobile app with free mobile cheque deposit
    • The first checkbook (of 50 cheques) is free
  • A Great Fit For: Individuals prioritizing unlimited transactions and free Interac e-Transfers (with a small fee per transfer), with interest on their balance and mobile cheque deposits.

8. Wealthsimple Cash Account:

  • Features:
    • No monthly account fee
    • No minimum account balance requirement
    • Unlimited transactions
    • 1% cash back on purchases made with the linked Wealthsimple Cash Card
    • Linked Save Account earns 1.50% interest on your balance
    • Investment services are also offered by Wealthsimple
  • A Great Fit For: Tech-savvy individuals who value cash-back rewards, interest on their balance, and the convenience of a linked investment account.

9. Manulife Advantage Account:

  • Features:
    • Free unlimited transactions with a minimum $1,000 account balance
    • High-interest rates on your account balance
    • Free access to over 3,000 ATMs across Canada
    • Mobile app with cheque deposit capabilities
    • 24/7 customer support
  • A Great Fit For: Those who maintain a higher minimum balance and prioritize high interest rates, along with a mobile app and access to ATMs.
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10. Alterna Bank No-Fee eChequing Account (Owned by Alterna Savings and Credit Union):

  • Features:
    • Free unlimited debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers
    • Access to over 3,300 ATMs in THE EXCHANGE® Network across Canada
    • 0.05% interest on your deposits
    • CDIC insurance
  • A Great Fit For: Individuals seeking a basic free chequing account with unlimited transactions, some ATM access, and a bit of interest on their balance.

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