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Best Canadian Savings Accounts for 2019

There’s no better feeling than knowing you have enough money set aside to afford the things you need – and also the things you want.

For a long time many Canadians have been relying on credit cards, resulting in high levels of credit card debt.

The best way to use a credit card is to pay it on time and in full every month, but you can’t do that unless you have enough cash to cover your spending. Instead of buying something you have to pay off over several months, it makes a lot more financial sense to save up for the purchase instead. Yes, you’ll have to do without the thing you want, but it beats having to carry a balance and pay interest.

When you decide to start saving for something, it’s important to put it in the right account. You want to get the best interest rate in Canada, but you also want your money to be easily accessible. You want great customer service, but you don’t want to pay high fees. So which savings account should you get? Take a look at our picks for the best savings account in Canada.

 

1.      EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account tops this list for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact it has one of the highest interest rates in Canada. Its everyday high interest rate of 2.30%* ensures you’re always maximizing the interest you earn. And because there’s no minimum balance or monthly fee, you don’t lose any of the money you earn!

But the interest rate is only one part of a savings account. If using your bank account is difficult, tedious, or expensive, then what’s the point?

Luckily, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is one of the easiest savings accounts to use. Unlike many other savings accounts that have a limit to the number of transactions, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account has no transfer fees. You can pay all your bills straight from your savings account without having to transfer it to a chequing account first and without paying any fees.

Transfers between your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and any other bank account are completely free. You can open multiple savings accounts and transfer money instantly between them, or create an EQ Connection to another person with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and send them money for free directly to their EQ account.

And if you need to send money to a non-EQ Bank account that you haven’t linked, you also get unlimited free Interac® e-Transfers.

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

 

2.      Tangerine Savings Account

Tangerine is one of Canada’s premiere online banks. Rolled out in 2014, the Tangerine Savings Account has consistently had one of the highest interest rates in Canada.

Like EQ Bank, Tangerine is an online-only bank, although there are pop-ups and cafes where you can meet with someone in person. In exchange for having no branches, you get a higher interest rate. And since Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank, you can use Scotiabank’s ATM network (Global ATM Alliance) to access your money for free.

Tangerine doesn’t offer any free Interac® e-Transfers but they do offer a free alternative, the Tangerine Email Money Transfer. It doesn’t use Interac’s system for transferring money, so it takes a little longer, but it is free!

Tangerine is currently running a promotion for new clients where you earn 3.00% interest on your first Tangerine Savings Account, TFSA or RSP Savings Account for 6 months. After the promotional rate ends, you go down to their everyday high interest rate. In the Tangerine Savings Account, that’s 1.25%.

If you deposited $10,000 for 1 year, you’d earn $214.55 in interest! Over $150 of that would be earned during the 6-month promotional period.

 

3.      Hubert Financial Happy Savings

The only credit union on this list, Hubert Financial currently boasts a very high interest rate of 2.50%. Like Tangerine and EQ Bank, they are online-only – they lack branches, but pass the savings on to you.

Because Hubert Financial is a credit union, you have to become a member before you can open an account. To become a member, you have to purchase a $5 share in the union. If you ever decide to close your account, the $5 is refunded to you.

There is no option to pay bills or email money to other bank accounts. You have to transfer between your Happy Savings account and an external bank account. So unlike Tangerine, which is a complete banking solution, or EQ Bank, which can do almost everything, Hubert Financial is not an adequate substitute for all your banking needs.

That being said, transfers between your Hubert account and your linked external account happen quickly (within a few days). They’re also free! Just be sure you don’t need the money immediately as there is no quick way to withdraw it.

As a credit union, the customer service is fantastic. During business hours, they’re available by phone or by live chat to answer any questions or help with your account.

While the interest rate is great, unless you’re a serious saver the extra features offered by EQ Bank and Tangerine may be worth taking a lower interest rate.

 


Chris Chris 01/30/2019
Canadian personal finance buff and all-around writing enthusiast, Chris loves breaking down complicated money ideas to show that they're really not so complex. 
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