Best Bank Account Canada [Canada Banking Guide]

In this article, we’re discussing the best bank account in Canada. In particular, we’ll be discussing the best bank account in Canada for foreign non-residents.

But, if you’re just starting your search for a Canadian bank account, we suggest that you start with our free guide that tackles can a foreigner open a bank account in Canada to begin with.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Best Bank Account in Canada
  2. Who Can Open an Account in Canada?
  3. Factors to Consider When Banking in Canada
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Best Bank Account Canada

The best bank account in Canada is an entirely personal consideration. In other words, no expert can tell you which account is best for your needs without a careful review of your profile. With this in mind, you should consider your specific banking objectives, client profile, willingness to pay fees, desired services, support requirements, and more before deciding which bank is best for you or your business. 

On the other hand, if you are a foreign non-resident that needs a Canadian bank account, then the best bank account in Canada will be the one that actually opens an account for them. Unfortunately, this is the case for many foreign non-residents.

So, if you are a foreign non-resident looking to open accounts, it’s important to focus your account-opening efforts on banks with the following criteria:

  • Banks that you can visit in person (remote is very difficult in Canada)
  • Located in close proximity to where you will be
  • Known for opening accounts for foreign applicants
  • Familiar with supporting documents from your country
  • You can meet their address and phone requirements

In the following sections of this article, we’ll take a closer look at who can open an account in Canada and the factors to consider before applying.

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Who Can Open an Account in Canada?

Since Canadian banks will open accounts for both Canadians and foreigners that live in Canada, we’ll focus the attention of this section on which non-resident individuals and businesses can open accounts here.

Client Types That Can Open an Account in Canada

  • Canadian nationals living outside of Canada
  • Foreign non-residents
  • Corporations (Canadian)
  • Partnerships and limited partnerships (Canadian)
  • Sole proprietorship (Canadian)

Importantly, even though it is possible to open an account with what might seem like the best bank account in Canada, in most cases, there are better options elsewhere. In other words, if you have one of the entities listed above or you want to open accounts for yourself, you may want to consider banking in a different jurisdiction instead.

Factors to Consider When Banking in Canada

If you are certain that Canada is the best jurisdiction for you or your business, here are a few important factors to consider.

Unlimited Transactions

If unlimited transactions are important to you, you will most likely need to apply for an “unlimited account”. Most banks offer unlimited accounts but they typically have a monthly fee or balance requirement, though certain banks do offer “no-fee” unlimited accounts.

No-Fee Chequing Account

Most of the banks offering no-fee chequing accounts in Canada include digital or fintech banking platforms. In other words, opening a chequing account with a brick-and-mortar bank will likely have monthly fees associated with maintaining the account.

Savings Accounts

Canadian banks do have a number of higher-interest savings accounts to choose from. This is true both in terms of long-term deposits and short-term holdings. In fact, each of the “Big Five” Canadian banks offer relatively high-interest rates when compared to those in other developed markets. However, in most cases, sound banks with significantly higher interest rates can be found elsewhere and opened 100% remotely.

Credit Cards With Account

Canadian credit cards are generally only made available to individuals with a credit history in the country. However, newcomers to Canada who are already approved for residency and are in the process of relocating can apply for newcomer credit through one of the major Canadian financial institutions. That said, if you are not planning on moving to Canada, you may want to consider applying for international credit cards in the United States or other jurisdictions instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking for the best bank account in Canada. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Which Canadian Bank Account Is Best?

Canadian bank accounts include many low-cost, tax-sheltered, and investment-oriented options that individuals should consider before choosing a bank. As a result, which Canadian bank account is best depends on the person’s profile, banking objectives, tolerance for paying fees, and other personal considerations.

Which Bank Is Best for Foreigners in Canada?

In most cases, foreigners will find that the best bank for them in Canada is the one that they can easily visit in person. The second consideration is how familiar will the bank be with foreign account opening applications. With this in mind, foreigners should generally consider their proximity to the bank and their ability to meet account opening requirements before applying.

What Is the Number 1 Bank in Canada?

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is generally considered the number one bank in Canada by consumers and analysts. This is true in terms of total market share and capiatlization. However, most of the Canadian “Big Five” has a similar standing. So, it’s no surprise that most people rely on brand loyalty or costs to choose which bank they open accounts with.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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