Best student chequing accounts in Canada

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One of the best perks of student life is the fact that so many businesses and services offer student discounts—including Canadian banks. In this article we’re sharing the best chequing accounts for students, so you can manage your money and take control of your finances. 

However, a "cheque" is going the way of the dodo bird in our increasingly digital society. As such, we're including ""hybrid" bank accounts that merge chequing and savings into one so you can earn interest on the money in your account. 

The best student chequing accounts in Canada (in no particular order)

Bank Account Rates & fees Get started
Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account ◦ Unlimited transactions (including e-transfers)
◦ $0 monthly fees
◦ Up to $500 bonus*
◦ Promotional 5.75% interest for 5 months* (normally up to 0.10% interest)
Get Tangerine'd
EQ Bank Personal account ◦ Unlimited transactions (including e-transfers)
◦ $0 monthly fees
◦ 2.5% interest rate (4% with direct deposit)
◦ No Foreign exchange fees
◦ 0.5% cash back on spending
Go with EQ
BMO Student Chequing Account ◦ Unlimited transactions (including e-transfers)
◦ $0 monthly fees
◦ Promotional 5.50% interest rate with savings accounts (normally 1.90% interest rate)
◦ $100 sign-up bonus*
◦ 6 months of free Domino's pizza 🍕
Get started with BMO
Simplii Financial No-fee chequing account ◦ Unlimited transactions (including e-transfers)
◦ $0 monthly fees
◦ Earn up to $400 for opening an account*
◦ Up to 0.10% interest
Get Simplii
CIBC Smart™ for Students ◦ Unlimited transactions (including e-transfers)
◦ $0 monthly fees
◦ $100 sign-up bonus*
◦ Get a free SPC+ membership
Visit site

Best student chequing account welcome offer (cash and interest rate)

The Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account isn’t labelled as a student account, but despite that, it’s one of the best accounts out there for those looking for flexibility and low rates.

Account holders get unlimited transactions and don’t pay any monthly fees. The standout feature for the Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account, however, is its interest rate, which ranges up to 0.10%, a rarity for standard "chequing" accounts with the big banks, but not anything to write home about with Neo banks.

The reason why we like Tangerine is its current promotion: Earn up to 5.75% when you open a savings account (it's easy to do within their user-friendly app). And, if you open both accounts within 30 days, and activate your client card within 60 days, that’ll get you 20% cash back on eligible online Visa* Debit transactions when you shop online.

And we're not done yet.

Set up Automatic Transfers within 60 days of becoming a new Client from your new Chequing Account to your new Savings or Investment Funds Account (of at least $50 total per month for 2 months in a row), and they'll drop another $100 into your account.

Read more: Tangerine vs. EQ Bank

Best student chequing account for interest rate and cash back

EQ Bank isn't a chequing account, they call it a personal account because it's a hybrid of chequing and saving account. Let me explain.

Say goodbye to a paltry 0.10% interest rate on your money. Say hello to 2.5% interest (the most of any of these banks as a standard interest rate). Plus, if you set up direct deposit with your paycheque with them, they'll give you 4% interest and that's ongoing.

There are no fees (not even for foreign transactions), unlimited e-transfers, a sweet mobile app, and you can have up to 5 accounts with them to manage all your sinking and emergency funds.

The long complaint with EQ was they didn't have a credit card, but now they have one of the best prepaid credit cards in Canada. You earn 0.5% cash back on all your spending and any money on the card earns the same interest as if it was in your account (2.5%-4%).

Best student chequing account welcome offer promotional interest rate

No monthly fees while you're in school and for up to one year after you graduate (sweet lil' bonus when you getting started). You'll also get unlimited transactions per month (including unlimited Interac e-transfers)*.

As a special bonus, they'll give you a $100 in cash plus six months of Domino's pizza 🍕, now that seems fitting for the student lifestyle.

This performance chequing account normally costs $17.95 per month and gives you a solid 5.50% promotional* interest rate on funds in your account. Of course, as a student, you don't pay those fees, but you do reap the rewards.

They'll also throw in a $40 rebate on the annual fee for eligible BMO credit cards. Though, the BMO Student CashBack Mastercard is our best student credit card (for the last few years in a row) and it has a $0 annual fee.

You can open an account online and then show up to a branch within 6 months with proof that you're a student.

From March 1, 2024 to October 31st, 2024 (the “Promotion Period”), earn a promotional interest rate of 5.50% (the “Total Promotional Rate”) on deposits made to your BMO Savings Amplifier account (the “Promotional Rate Offer”) up to $1,000,000, during the Promotional Period.

To qualify you must:

1. Open a new Primary Chequing Account with the Performance Plan or Premium Plan (an “Eligible Plan”);

2. Open a new Savings Amplifier Account;

3. Make a deposit into the Savings Amplifier Account.

The Total Promotional Rate calculation is comprised of the Bank’s posted interest rate of 1.90% plus a promotional rate of 3.60%.

*conditions apply

Best student chequing account cash back offer

Open a no fee chequing account by October 31, 2024, set up a direct deposit of at least $100 a month for 3 straight months and you'll earn $400. There's no monthly or transaction fees with this account.

Until July 31st, 2024, you can also earn 5.90% interest on deposits for 5 months if you also open a savings account with Simplii. No matter how much is in your account, you won't pay monthly fees (no minimum balance needed). Their chequing account interest rate is 0.01% for anything less than $50,000 in the account.

Finally, you can get the Simplii Cash Back Visa card and ear up to 20% cash back for your first 3 months on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, and pre-authorized payments (Up to $500 spend).

It's a big commitment to unlock all the bonuses, but Simplii is also regularly winning awards for their banking and credit products.

Read more: Tangerine vs. Simplii 

Best student chequing account for students with SPC membership

CIBC logo

Ok, there's a $100 bonus but BMO, TD, Scotiabank...all the big banks give you that and none of them compare to the others listed above.

The reason CIBC wins a spot on the list is because you get a free Student Price Card (SPC) membership (which would normally cost $10). You'll get discounts on food and clothings store which could save you even more money. When I was a student, I had an SPC card and failed to use it so never realized any of the gains mind you.

So, they'll give you $110 beating out the other big banks offers but the interest rate isn't good.

There are no fees, which is a bonus obviously. If you like an in-branch experience and live near a CIBC branch, then I might consider it, but I think tech-savvy students can earn more keeping their money elsewhere.

Oh, but by opening an account and a CIBC credit card, you're entered to win $35,000 towards tuition.

CIBC is a great choice when it comes to chequing accounts for students, as it allows for unlimited transactions (though there is a $1.50 charge per Interac e-transfer) and has no monthly fee. Another big advantage of the CIBC Advantage for Students account is that it offers a bonus extended period for new graduates: Those who have already graduated from their post-secondary institution can maintain this student account and its perks for an additional 6 months after they have completed their diploma or degree.

Why get a student bank account?

Student bank accounts are designed to help you, as a student, save money. This means more perks and fewer fees in comparison to a regular chequing account.

If you end up getting a job during your studies, you’ll need a bank account to deposit your pay, so you might as well sign up for a student bank account in advance so that you have everything ready.

Once you graduate, you may need to re-evaluate the best banks in Canada

Important features to look for in student bank accounts

Student bank accounts should have features suitable to the thrifty lifestyle of a student. Here are some of the things you should be looking for when considering which student bank account is right for you:

  • What are the monthly fees (if there are any)?
  • Are there any additional fees, e.g. transfer or e-transfer fees?
  • How many free transactions do you get per month?
  • Do you get any other perks such as a rebate on annual credit card fees?

Keep in mind, the best bank accounts for you as a student may not always be designated as a ‘student’ bank account. For example, there may be accounts that offer more features with a monthly fee. However, if you keep a minimum balance, that fee could be waived.

What you need to open a student chequing account

To open a chequing account in Canada as a student, you will need to be able to prove that you are enrolled as a student in a post-secondary program at a recognized college or university. Some banks may have more specific requirements, for instance you may need to be a full-time student or you may need to be between the ages of 18-25. Again, each bank’s (or credit union’s) requirements differ so keep that in mind and ask when shopping around.

Make your life easier

Money can be tight when you’re a student, necessitating you to look for discounts and cost-cutting opportunities in all aspects of your life. Opening one of these student chequing accounts will help save you money and is a kind gesture toward your finances. Aside from the bank accounts we mentioned here, you can also consider some other tools to help you keep your finances on track, like budgeting apps and student discount cards.

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Hannah Logan Freelance Contributor

Hannah Logan is a Canadian freelancer writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance and travel. You can follow her adventures on her travel blog or find her on Instagram @hannahlogan21.

Tyler Wade Content strategist & writer

Tyler Wade has worked in personal finance for over 5 years writing for brands like Ratehub, Forbes, KOHO, and now


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