EQ Bank is ranked as one of the best online banks in Canada due to its high savings interest rates and innovative hybrid bank accounts.
If you have been searching for ways to cut your banking fees while earning exceptional rates on your deposits, this bank may be for you.
My EQ Bank review covers how it works, how to open an account, and whether it is safe and legit.
What is EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is a Canadian financial institution owned by Equitable Bank.
It has over $6 billion in deposits while its parent, Equitable, manages over $40 billion in assets.
EQ Bank is strictly digital, which means all your banking transactions are completed online via its website or mobile app.
It doesn’t have physical branches you can walk into, and you rarely need those brick-and-mortar stores these days anyway.
EQ Bank Canada Accounts
Since it was launched in 2016, EQ Bank has continued to expand its product offering, and the following accounts are now available:
- EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
- EQ Bank TFSA Account
- EQ Bank RSP Account
- EQ Bank US Dollar Account
- EQ Bank Investments and GICs
- EQ Bank Mortgages
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
The Savings Plus Account offers one of the best interest rates you will find in Canada.
At 1.25%, you earn up to 125x higher than other banks without needing to pay any monthly fees.
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account also beats regular savings accounts by offering various chequing benefits for free, including;
- Unlimited free transactions (debit and bill payments)
- Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers
- Mobile cheque deposits
- No minimum balance and no monthly fees
Needless to say, you can use this account to save on those pesky fees being charged by your traditional bank.
EQ Bank TFSA Account
A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) can help you save towards financial goals while earning tax-free income.
EQ Bank’s TFSA savings account provides flexibility with free access to unlimited withdrawals, zero-monthly fees, and a high interest rate (1.25%).
It is also incredibly easy to open an account online within minutes.
EQ Bank RSP Account
Thinking about saving for retirement? The EQ Bank RSP Savings Account can help.
You can set up regular RSP contributions to this retirement savings account and watch it grow tax-free.
While RSP funds are taxed at withdrawal, for most folks, it is at a much lower tax rate.
One other advantage of an RSP account is that you can deduct contributions from your taxable income and get a nice tax refund.
The EQ Bank RSP currently pays 1.25% interest.
EQ Bank GICs & Investments
If you don’t have a plan to spend your deposits for a while, you can invest using Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and earn higher returns.
EQ Bank GICs can be held in registered (i.e. TFSA and RSP) and non-registered accounts.
As of this writing, EQ Bank GIC rates are:
- 3 month: 1.30%
- 6 month: 1.30%
- 1 year: 1.50%
- 2 year: 2.15%
- 3 year: 2.40%
- 4 year: 2.50%
- 5 year: 2.60%
The rates on GICs are guaranteed for a specific timeframe, making it easier to know your expected income beforehand.
You can invest in a GIC starting with as little as $100.
EQ Bank US Dollar Account
The US Dollar account offered by EQ Bank pays 1% interest on your balance. This is compared to the 0% to 0.20% rate that is often paid elsewhere.
This U.S. dollar-denominated account has no monthly fees and you get access to international money transfers via Wise.
USD to USD transfers within Canada are also free.
EQ Bank Mortgage
Finding the best mortgage rates in Canada can be challenging.
That said, EQ Bank’s mortgage marketplace makes your search easier.
You can shop and compare mortgage rates across more than 2,000 mortgage products from Canadian lenders.
EQ Bank customers also get preferred rates and access to a broker they can chat with.
EQ Bank Joint Accounts
You can open a savings account with up to 3 other people and earn a 1.25% interest rate.
To start, you need to open a standard Savings Plus Account and then send invitations to the ‘co-holders’ you want to add.
Everyone with access to the joint account gets unlimited free transactions and there are no monthly fees.
Is EQ Bank Safe?
EQ Bank is a safe and legitimate bank based in Canada.
Its parent bank, Equitable Bank, is a member of Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) and your deposits are protected up to $100,000 per insured category.
To protect your privacy and funds, the bank also uses encryption and 2-factor authentication.
How To Open an EQ Bank Account
The account sign-up process is completed online and takes only a few minutes.
To get started, visit the EQ Bank website, and click on the ‘Join Now’ button.
Enter your email address and a password. You are redirected to a page where you provide your personal information (name, address, social insurance number, date of birth, and employment status).
When completed, fund your new account using Interac e-Transfer or transfer money from another bank account.
If you have an EQ Bank referral code, your bonus is applied automatically when you check on the referral link you were provided.
Pros and Cons of EQ Bank
There are so many obvious benefits to using an online bank like EQ Bank. These advantages include:
- No monthly account fees (easily save $200+ per year)
- Unlimited transactions
- CDIC deposit insurance
- Reputable bank owned by a top-tier Canadian financial institution
- Access to multiple account types
- High interest rates (up to 125x more than other banks)
- Does not offer a debit card for direct ATM withdrawals
- You won’t get in-person support
- Does not offer mutual funds or ETF investing
EQ Bank vs. Tangerine
Like EQ Bank, Tangerine is an online-only bank. It is owned by Scotiabank and offers a variety of accounts including no-fee chequing, savings, TFSA, RRSP, mortgage, loans, and a credit card.
Tangerine’s high-interest savings account currently pays a 0.10% interest rate.
Its customers can access Scotiabank ATMs for free and they get free Interac e-Transfers.
EQ Bank vs. Simplii Financial
Simplii Financial is a digital bank owned by CIBC which is a top-five bank in Canada.
Like EQ Bank, Simplii offers several banking products including no-fee chequing, savings, TFSA, RRSP, USD savings, mortgage, investments, and personal loans.
It also offers a global money transfer service you can use to send money to over 130 countries.
The Simplii Financial Savings Account currently pays a 0.10% interest rate.
Learn more about Simplii Financial.
EQ Bank vs. Motive Financial
Motive Financial is a division of the Canadian Western Bank.
It offers a chequing and savings account, along with GIC investments for TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered investment accounts.
The Motive Savvy Savings Account pays a 1.10% interest rate and has no monthly account fees.
That said, you only get 2 free transactions, and pay $5 for each additional withdrawal transaction.
EQ Bank vs Neo Financial
Neo Financial is one of the newest online banking platforms in Canada.
It offers a savings account and a credit card known as the Neo Card.
Neo Savings currently pays 1.30% interest on your balance and includes free debits and Interac e-Transfer. Unlike the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account, it does not yet support mobile cheque deposits.
Learn more about Neo Financial in this review.
EQ Bank vs Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple Save is the savings account offered by Wealthsimple, Canada’s largest robo-advising platform.
This account pays 0.50% interest on your balance and has no monthly fee.
Unlike the Savings Plus Account, Wealthsimple Save does not support Interac e-Transfers or direct bill payments.
Learn more about Wealthsimple.
My EQ Bank review is positive. If you are looking for the best high interest savings account in Canada, check out the EQ Bank Savings Plus account.
EQ Bank Canada FAQs
Yes, EQ Bank is a legit bank that has the backing of a Schedule I bank with $40 billion in assets. Also, your deposits at the bank are CDIC insured.
EQ Bank is better for savings accounts as its rate is currently up to 12.5x the standard Tangerine interest rate.
Does EQ Bank provide mortgage loans? You can use EQ Bank’s mortgage marketplace to compare mortgage rates in Canada.
EQ Bank customers can share their referral links and earn up to a maximum of $500 in referral bonuses.
To close your account, call their customer service line at 1-844-437-2265.
EQ Bank’s saving rate is currently 12.5 times higher than Simplii’s standard interest rate. That said, Simplii offers a wider selection of accounts and services to choose from.