+1(514) 937-9445 or Toll-free (Canada & US) +1 (888) 947-9445

Best Canada Bank account / Credit Card for new immigrant

skohli

Member
Jun 9, 2020
11
1
Now that I have received my SIN Number, looking for some advice/guidance about the bank account

Some criteria:
  1. Bank Name ? (Not sure if Canada has concept of Credit Union like in US)
  2. Minimum Balance needed ?
  3. Credit card ?
  4. Monthly fees ?
  5. Any promotion for opening the account first time ?
  6. Can the bank account be opened online ?
  7. Documents needed (since we have only done soft landing yet but opening the account/credit card will help in building the credit rating during this period)
 

subodhp

Hero Member
Jun 19, 2019
904
155
Toronto
Now that I have received my SIN Number, looking for some advice/guidance about the bank account

Some criteria:
  1. Bank Name ? (Not sure if Canada has concept of Credit Union like in US)
  2. Minimum Balance needed ?
  3. Credit card ?
  4. Monthly fees ?
  5. Any promotion for opening the account first time ?
  6. Can the bank account be opened online ?
  7. Documents needed (since we have only done soft landing yet but opening the account/credit card will help in building the credit rating during this period)
From my experience, I would recommend creating 2 accounts.

one in a big bank. All of them have immigrant package which gives checking account+debit+credit card for free. You can use this account to withdraw cash from ATMs as needed and also build credit. Examples include CIBC, td, rbc. I would recommend TD for their extended hours of operation. You can also open a usd account for any us dollar needs

One in an online only Bank. These banks provide the best interest rate while not requiring any physical visits to branch. Ex. Tangerine, Motus, eq*. I would recommend Motus for their super simple interface and competitive rates.

Do make sure to look for CDic protection. Such accounts are protected upto 100k per account.
 

subodhp

Hero Member
Jun 19, 2019
904
155
Toronto
From my experience, I would recommend creating 2 accounts.

one in a big bank. All of them have immigrant package which gives checking account+debit+credit card for free. You can use this account to withdraw cash from ATMs as needed and also build credit. Examples include CIBC, td, rbc. I would recommend TD for their extended hours of operation. You can also open a usd account for any us dollar needs

One in an online only Bank. These banks provide the best interest rate while not requiring any physical visits to branch. Ex. Tangerine, Motus, eq*. I would recommend Motus for their super simple interface and competitive rates.

Do make sure to look for CDic protection. Such accounts are protected upto 100k per account.
Now that basic premise is set, I can reply on remaining questions here

  1. Bank Name ? (Not sure if Canada has concept of Credit Union like in US). Td+Motus bank
  2. Minimum Balance needed ? None
  3. Credit card ? Yes
  4. Monthly fees ? None. Big bank will usually waive it for a year and continue doing in subsequent years
  5. Any promotion for opening the account first time ? Some of them do offer, but they have come down a lot.
  6. Can the bank account be opened online ? Yes, check Motusbank
  7. Documents needed (since we have only done soft landing yet but opening the account/credit card will help in building the credit rating during this period). Physical banks will open account based on copr and sin (latter needed for credit card). Online banks will typically expect pr card
 
Last edited:

skohli

Member
Jun 9, 2020
11
1
Now that basic premise is set, I can reply on remaining questions here

  1. Bank Name ? (Not sure if Canada has concept of Credit Union like in US). Td+Motus bank
  2. Minimum Balance needed ? None
  3. Credit card ? Yes
  4. Monthly fees ? None. Big bank will usually waive it for a year and continue doing in subsequent years
  5. Any promotion for opening the account first time ? Some of them do offer, but they have come down a lot.
  6. Can the bank account be opened online ? Yes, check Motusbank
  7. Documents needed (since we have only done soft landing yet but opening the account/credit card will help in building the credit rating during this period). Physical banks will open account based on copr and sin (latter needed for credit card). Online banks will typically expect pr card
I tried signing up for Simplii Financial from US today but unfortunately it seems that it needs physical presence in Canada to complete the signup.
The want to verify the identity by visiting Canada Post.

Basically I want to open a Canada Account + Credit Card so I can start making some credit history even though I plan to move there next year
 

subodhp

Hero Member
Jun 19, 2019
904
155
Toronto
I tried signing up for Simplii Financial from US today but unfortunately it seems that it needs physical presence in Canada to complete the signup.
The want to verify the identity by visiting Canada Post.

Basically I want to open a Canada Account + Credit Card so I can start making some credit history even though I plan to move there next year
Yes online banks would typically expect pr card
 

cansha

VIP Member
Aug 1, 2018
5,844
5,102
I tried signing up for Simplii Financial from US today but unfortunately it seems that it needs physical presence in Canada to complete the signup.
The want to verify the identity by visiting Canada Post.

Basically I want to open a Canada Account + Credit Card so I can start making some credit history even though I plan to move there next year
You can get a bank account remotely in big banks but they are not functional unless you physcially go to branch after arriving in Canada. As far as I know, no bank will issue you credit card without physical address / verification in Canada.