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Best new comers bank account

BC4life

Hero Member
Nov 5, 2015
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Toronto, ON
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All the big 5 banks (TD, RBC, BMO, Scotia, CIBC) have packages for newcomers which would entitle you to 6-12 months free banking. Check their websites for the details. From then you will have to pay, the amount depending of the extent of services you need.

RBC lowest package can be free if you have two additional services with them. Again check their website.

If you want truly free banking you can check with Simplii (no credit card) or Tangerine. Those are online banks which do not have branches. Usually they are not recommended for newcomers or as primary banks, however they can nicely complement any existing account you may have with one of the big 5.
 

emamabd

Champion Member
Jun 22, 2012
1,795
425
Hello, any advice on the best bank account for new comers, e.g. cheapest fees going forward etc?!
I think all big 5 new-comer packages are quite similar..only difference could be branch/ATM proximity to your residence/work location, opening hours ..etc. Also some offer extended services such as Auto insurance and other don't, etc...so to summarize, see what makes sense depending on your long term/short term needs.
 

Tbone27

Member
Mar 5, 2014
11
4
32
Toronto
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FSW
VISA ISSUED...
03 - 07 -2017
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14 - 10 - 2017
Hello, any advice on the best bank account for new comers, e.g. cheapest fees going forward etc?!
I have an account with TD and Scotiabank and both are quite good. TD offers a bank account that is free for the first 6 months while Scotiabank offers free bank account as long as you maintain a min. balance. The good thing with Scotiabank is the higher credit limit on credit cards for PRs with no income and no credit history. They offered me $2000 when i arrived 6 months back..and that has been increased to $3000 for PRs lately as told to me by another PR who got a card with them.
 

roshantrv83

Star Member
Feb 28, 2016
170
4
I am a newcomer. I have started account with one of the big 5 banks and ended up in paying monthly fees. I will share my experience.

Big 5 banks (TD, RBC, BMO, Scotia, CIBC) :-

Pros and cons
  • Pay monthly fees ($4 to $30, depends upon the accounts/ or you need to keep minimum balance in checking/account to wave off those fees)
  • Special fees for credit card yearly. (credit card not easy to get for new comers)
  • Many accounts with less monthly fees have only limited translations (like 12 to 24 per month including all transactions)
  • No or very less interest paid in most accounts.
  • If you need cheque book, you need to pay another $45 to $85 to get that, also you need to personally request to your home branch.
  • For any major changes, you need to personally meet your home branch (only after taking prior appointment on a specific date, you may need to call and fix an appointment (may take 15 to 45 mins to fix an appointment).
  • You can wire transfer to anywhere outside canada.
  • Very easy to start an account once you take an appointment.
Tangerine bank

Pros and cons
  • No fees for any accounts, credit card or debit card.
  • 3.5% interest paid for savings account, good interest paid for checking accounts compared with all the Big 5 banks.
  • Fully on line operational, you may add/edit/delete accounts, anything as you like.
  • For address verification you can go to any nearby canada post-office and show your ID with tangerine DSS number. (dont need to travel to bank/kiosk)
  • Same as secure as Big 5 Banks.
  • You will get debit card through post within few days. Very easy to get credit card and build credit history.
  • You can use all ATM/ABM of scotia bank.
  • You can deposit any cheque by simply taking photo of both sides through tangerine app (no need to go to bank/kiosk)
  • You cannot wire transfer outside canada but can be transfered to any other banks in canada.
  • For account - you need to signup and show ID to nearby postoffice.
  • Use account statement as a proof of address.
While signup for Tangerine accounts you can enter any of your friends reference number (known as orangekey) to get additional $50 free. This is an offer just like Uber app. If you dont have an orange key from any friends, you can use this (orange Key 55209416S1 ). Personally I am very happy with tangerine bank. I got debit card in 2 days though canadapost, after verification. You can visit tangerine webpage and read more details.
I recommend all new comers to start an account, since you may close your account with the Big 5 banks soon or later. I have requested my HR department to credit my salary to tangerine account :)
 

seeker9t8

Newbie
Apr 29, 2018
6
3
Malaysia
I landed on 23 March 2019. I transferred money using a RBC account I opened before I landed. They charged me some CAD for incoming wire transfer from abroad. The amount was less than 10,000 CAD. Since I was an overseas employee of RBC, I took the risk. The money was deposited in 3 days and I received a statement from my adviser in case I needed it for immigration purposes (but I didn't as the immigration officers only asked if I'm bringing in more than 10,000 CAD with me which I answered yes and that's it).

I opened a RBC chequing account and applied for a credit card after landing. The credit card was approved immediately with 500 CAD available credit. The agent told me that RBC chequing account has a fee, like 12 to 15 CAD per month. I'm not sure if waived if you keep a certain balance.

I headed over to TD to open another chequing and apply for another credit card. Having a mastercard and a visa will help build credit history. I got a platinum visa credit card from TD with 1000 CAD pre-approved credit. TD also gave me an unlimited chequing account free for 6 months. Chequing accounts are essential in Canada to run your day-to-day transactions. Generally, there come in packages of number of transactions and pre-authorized debits you are allowed to do. Unlimited ones are the best, but some banks charge you more for than or ask you maintain a balance to waive the fees. TD seemed to have a good offer here so I went for it. Also, I was planning to close my RBC accounts as they charged fees.

I want to maintain, at least 3 accounts in 3 different bank so I got a Tangerine account as well. Tangerine is a completely online bank without a branch uses SCOTIABANK ABM (in other words ATM) for transactions. It's a digital bank which is owned by SCOTIABANK so you can trust it. SCOTIABANK is one of the top 5 banks in Canada. Tangerine has a promotion now, which is, if you use an orange key from another account holder (which can be family, friend or anyone), you will receive 25 CAD cash deposited in you Tangerine account if you deposit at least 100 CAD after opening your new Tangerine account. It's free money with no strings attached! You can do the same for earning a few buck after you open a Tangerine account and share your own Orange Key. For now, you may use mine, which is 56239848S1 (Orange Key). You can also open an account without an Orange Key. The only difference is that you won't get the cash bonus.

There are restrictions set in terms of how much money you can withdraw, use for online purchase, use for email money transfer, etc, per day. Therefore, I wanted to keep 3 active accounts in 3 different banks. I decided to close my RBC account, as it was charging me money and other banks offered free accounts. I opened a chequing account with BMO which waived monthly fees for a whole year and offered unlimited transactions.

Generally, I feel banking is more expensive here, so free accounts make a big difference. Imaging paying 25 CAD per month. That's 300 CAD per year. This is where free offers or digital banks really help manage costs yet provide the same level of service.
 
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canadacommunity_2018

Full Member
Oct 12, 2018
44
5
Hi everyone,
I received the immigration visa and I am supposed to land in Canada within a couple of months. Now I need to transfer the funds I have (which is an amount higher than 10 thousand usd) and I do not have an international bank account to open a Canadian account and then transfer the money when I reach there. I am afraid to risk by opening an online account from my country because as I read that once I transfer this money to this online account, I will not have access on it unless I am “physically in person” present in the bank where I had my money transferred. I do not want to take this risk. Can someone please advise what to do! Thank you for helping out
 

xylene

Hero Member
Apr 16, 2010
682
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04-Sep-2013
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16-Sep-2013 | 28-Oct-2013 'Medical Received' line in eCAS
Passport Req..
PP reached NDVO on 19-Sep-2013
VISA ISSUED...
DM 23-Jan-2014
LANDED..........
Apr 2014
Hi everyone,
I received the immigration visa and I am supposed to land in Canada within a couple of months. Now I need to transfer the funds I have (which is an amount higher than 10 thousand usd) and I do not have an international bank account to open a Canadian account and then transfer the money when I reach there. I am afraid to risk by opening an online account from my country because as I read that once I transfer this money to this online account, I will not have access on it unless I am “physically in person” present in the bank where I had my money transferred. I do not want to take this risk. Can someone please advise what to do! Thank you for helping out
Bank draft ?
 

steaky

VIP Member
Nov 11, 2008
10,226
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Hi everyone,
I received the immigration visa and I am supposed to land in Canada within a couple of months. Now I need to transfer the funds I have (which is an amount higher than 10 thousand usd) and I do not have an international bank account to open a Canadian account and then transfer the money when I reach there. I am afraid to risk by opening an online account from my country because as I read that once I transfer this money to this online account, I will not have access on it unless I am “physically in person” present in the bank where I had my money transferred. I do not want to take this risk. Can someone please advise what to do! Thank you for helping out
Bank draft too might not be access immediately. I suggest you bring a combination of cash and bank draft.
 

mahi2020

Hero Member
Oct 7, 2016
280
50
Hi everyone,
I received the immigration visa and I am supposed to land in Canada within a couple of months. Now I need to transfer the funds I have (which is an amount higher than 10 thousand usd) and I do not have an international bank account to open a Canadian account and then transfer the money when I reach there. I am afraid to risk by opening an online account from my country because as I read that once I transfer this money to this online account, I will not have access on it unless I am “physically in person” present in the bank where I had my money transferred. I do not want to take this risk. Can someone please advise what to do! Thank you for helping out
Forex card....you can withdraw and deposit in bank account later as well.
 

Thakur Diya

Full Member
Dec 17, 2018
35
27
Hi,
Can someone guide me about how to open a bank account before landing in Canada and which bank will be a better option.

Thanks .
 

xylene

Hero Member
Apr 16, 2010
682
142
Visa Office......
New Delhi
NOC Code......
0213
App. Filed.......
24-June-2010
Doc's Request.
05-Oct-2010
AOR Received.
07-Feb-2011
File Transfer...
In Process 24-May-2012
Med's Request
04-Sep-2013
Med's Done....
16-Sep-2013 | 28-Oct-2013 'Medical Received' line in eCAS
Passport Req..
PP reached NDVO on 19-Sep-2013
VISA ISSUED...
DM 23-Jan-2014
LANDED..........
Apr 2014
Hi,
Can someone guide me about how to open a bank account before landing in Canada and which bank will be a better option.

Thanks .
Depends on which country you are from. Check with the local banks if they have a partnership with Canadian banks. For example Kotak bank in India has a partnership with Scotiabank.