We at WalletWise recommend everyone to keep an emergency fund that covers several months of expenses if possible. But where should your emergency fund be stored? We recommend in a High-Interest Savings Account (HISA) for one simple reason: emergency funds can often sit for years, hopefully untouched, and if you aren't gaining interest on it, you are losing money. Learn how much in savings you need before interest rates really begin to matter.
We compared High-Interest Savings Accounts on four factors: interest rates, ease of use (website and app), availability of funds (ways to transfer money in and out) and finally, fees (there are no monthly account fees, but some have e-transfer or withdrawal fees).
Best Overall for Most Canadians - EQ Bank
|EQ Bank Savings Plus Account||- 2.00% Interest Rate*- Free Interac e-Transfers®- Zero Everyday Banking Fees|
Featuring a modern online banking experience and a excellent mobile app, EQ Bank is our definite top pick in terms of ease of use. To top that off, it features a competitive 2.00% everyday interest rate*, along with free Interac e-Transfers® and bill payments. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account helps you get the most out of your money, with zero everyday fees, no minimum balances and free transactions. It is important to note that the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account does not come with a debit card. We recommend pairing this account with one of the Best Chequing Accounts in Canada if you are looking for ATM access.
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Highest Interest Rate - Bridgewater Bank
|Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings||- 2.10% Interest Rate- 1 Free Withdrawal Per Month- No Monthly Account Fees|
Bridgewater Bank has the highest interest rate currently available in a HISA - 2.10%. This is simply an excellent rate, especially in our current low-interest economy. Additionally, it features no monthly fees, and only requires a $25 initial deposit. Unfortunately, it lost out on the top spot simply due to its somewhat outdated web experience in addition to the lack of a mobile app, and it's withdrawal fees. It only allows one free withdrawal per month, then each further one is $5. If you are willing to overlook these flaws and only care about getting the best interest rate (which is a good idea if you have a lot in savings) then Bridgewater Bank is the bank for you. Otherwise, we recommend EQ Bank as it has a comparable interest rate but zero everyday banking fees.
Another Good Option - Motive Financial
|Motive Savvy Savings Account||- 2.05% Interest Rate- 2 Monthly Withdrawals Included- No Monthly Account Fees|
Motive Financial's Savvy Savings Account features a 2.05% annual interest rate (one of the best in Canada). Its website isn't perfect but it has a mobile app, and it has free ATM withdrawals. However, what hurts it is the lack of free Interac e-Transfers® ($1 each) when some its competition offers unlimited free e-Transfers. Motive however does offer a chequing account with free e-Transfers, so this is one easy way around that, but unless you're looking for a new chequing account, this seems like an annoying extra step. We just felt we should include Motive as an alternative; it is a solid product but we have a few minor complaints about it.
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Best Savings Account From a Major Bank - Simplii Financial
|Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account||- 0.30% Interest Rate- No Minimum Balance Needed- No Monthly or Transaction Fees|
Many people prefer to stick with the major banks as it's what they are comfortable with, so what is the best option? The best HISA from a major bank is in fact through Simplii Financial (the direct banking branch of CIBC), and it features a 0.3% annual interest rate. This may be a good choice if you already bank with CIBC or Simplii.