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High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada in 2020

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

The interest rates noted in this post were updated on Oct. 16, 2020.

Even during a pandemic you should be shopping around for high-interest savings accounts in Canada. Especially when you’re looking for a good place to park your emergency fund. I originally wrote this post back in August 2019, and obviously a lot has changed since then. This post was first updated in August 2020, but even since then rates have dropped even lower! It’s Oct. 5, and I’ve updated all of the interest rates below. It should also be noted that these are the regular interest rates, not promotional or limited-time interest rates.

Here are the top 13 high-interest savings accounts in Canada, which work great for emergency funds & other savings goals!For some backstory on this post, a year ago there were 13 different banks in Canada that offered 2% or more in interest on their savings accounts. Now, there are none. NONE!

You see, once the pandemic started and the market crashed in March, the Bank of Canada lower its overnight rate, and banks followed suit by dropping their interest rates.

Currently, they’re holding onto those lower interest rates as we continue to live through this bizarre time. Hopefully, when things improve and we get out of this situation, we’ll see those interest rates go back up to where they used to be. But until then, the best thing you can do is take a look at your options and make sure you’re at least earning the best interest possible right now.

Even if this means doing your day-to-day banking at one financial institution, and having a few savings accounts elsewhere.

That’s what I’ve been doing for years. I bank at Tangerine for my day-to-day banking needs (because they don’t charge me any fees), but since they don’t offer very high interest on their savings accounts, I use EQ Bank for any short-term savings goals like my emergency fund.

So, if you’re looking to maximize your finances and earn higher interest on your money, take a look at these 13 banks that all offer the highest interest rates in Canada, ranked from lowest to highest.

Top 13 High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada in 2020

Wealthsimple Cash – 0.75%

Wealthsimple - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaYes, Wealthsimple isn’t a bank, they are a robo-advisor. Still, that didn’t stop them from launching their Wealthsimple Cash account (formerly Wealthsimple Save). However, because they aren’t a bank, they have a fairly unique set up.

Basically, if you open a Wealthsimple Cash account, your deposits won’t actually be held with Wealthsimple. Just like your investments with Wealthsimple, your funds are held with Canadian ShareOwner Investments. But, with your savings account deposits, ShareOwner actually holds your funds in their business accounts at partner banks. In other words, you start with Wealthsimple, but your funds are actually deposited at other banks. It’s a weird set up, but ShareOwner is insured, so it’s all kosher (read this article for more info about this unique set up).

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No low balance fees
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • No minimum deposit
  • If you hold over $100,000 in funds, you are eligible for Wealthsimple Black status
  • If you have over $500,000 in funds, you are eligible for Wealthsimple Generation status

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC via partner banks

Interest rate: 0.75%

Motusbank – 1.00%

Motusbank - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaI mentioned Motusbank in my post about the top 5 no-fee banks in Canada, and fortunately, they also offer some of the highest interest in their savings accounts!

As a reminder, Motusbank is a subsidiary of Meridian Credit Union, and launched in April 2019. Motusbank is CIDC insured and offers 1.00% interest on their high-interest savings accounts.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum deposit or balance
  • Unlimited debit purchases and withdrawals

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.00%

Alterna Bank – 1.20%

Alterna Bank - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaI also mentioned Alterna Bank as a great no-fee bank in Canada, and they also offer fairly high interest on their savings accounts too!

As a reminder, Alterna Bank launched in 2000 and is a subsidiary of Alterna Savings, an Ontario credit union. They are CDIC insured and offer 1.20% interest on their savings accounts.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free, unlimited bill payments, transfers and debits
  • Free, unlimited Interac® e-Transfers

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.20%

Oaken Financial – 1.25%

Oaken Financial - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaA bank you may not have heard of but has been around since 2013 is Oaken Financial. They are actually owned by Home Trust Company, which started as a trust company back in 1987. If you open a savings account with Oaken Financial, you can enjoy 1.25% on all your deposits and feel secure since all deposits are CDIC insured.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Unlimited transactions

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.25%

Achieva Financial – 1.30%

Achieva Financial - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaAchieva Financial is a division of Cambrian Credit Union and has surprisingly been since 1998! For that reason, Achieva is considered one of the first online banks in Canada.

Since Cambrian Credit Union is a Manitoba credit union, deposits with Achieva Financial are protected under the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. If you open a savings account with Achieva, you can enjoy earning 1.30% interest.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free deposits and one free cheque, direct transfer or pre-authorized payment every month
  • $1 per month paid to you when you choose to receive your documents electronically

Deposit protection: Insured by DGCM

Interest rate: 1.30%

Implicity Financial – 1.30%

Implicity FinancialImplicity Financial has been around since December 2012, and they are a division of Entegra Credit Union. Entegra was founded in Manitoba over 50 years ago and has 4 locations throughout the province. Deposits to Implicity Financial are guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba and you can earn 1.30% interest with their savings accounts.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required

Deposit protection: Insured by DGCM

Interest rate: 1.30%

MAXA Financial – 1.30%

MAXA FinancialWe are almost at the end with MAXA Financial. This online bank, which launched in 2006, is a division of Westoba Credit Union, a Manitoba-based credit union founded in 1963. Deposits are guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba, and the interest rate currently offered on their savings accounts is 1.30%.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required

Deposit protection: Insured by DGCM

Interest rate: 1.30%

Hubert Financial – 1.40%

Hubert Financial - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaNever heard of Hubert Financial? Me neither! They are an online bank that launched in 2010, and are a division of Sunova Credit Union. Sunova is a credit union based in Manitoba that was established 60 years ago with 13 locations throughout the province.

Although Hubert Financial is not CDIC insured, your deposits are guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. Also, you don’t have to live in Manitoba to open an account with them, which is great because they offer 1.40% on their savings accounts.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum deposit

Deposit protection: Insured by DGCM

Interest rate: 1.40%

Ideal Savings – 1.46%

Ideal SavingsIdeal Savings is another bank I actually didn’t know existed until I was doing mt research for this post. Similar to other banks I’ve mentioned, Ideal Savings is a division of Carpathia Credit Union and launched in July 2016. Deposits made to Ideal Savings are guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba, and you can earn 1.46% with their savings accounts.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • 3 free Automatic Fund Transfers (AFT) per month

Deposit protection: Insured by DGCM

Interest rate: 1.46%

EQ Bank – 1.50%

EQ Bank - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaLike I mentioned at the beginning of this post, EQ Bank is where I have a few savings accounts for my short-term goals like my Emergency Fund. Owned by Equitable Bank, EQ Bank launched in January 2016.

At the time, they were the only bank to offer as high of interest as 2.00%. Unfortunately, they’re no longer the top dog and have decreased their interest rates due to the pandemic (but honestly, so have all the banks on this list! I’ve had to update this post multiple times in 2020!). They’ve also expanded their product line since they launched to include joint savings accounts and GICs too. They are of course CDIC insured and now offer 1.50% interest on their savings accounts.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Unlimited Interac e-transfers
  • Unlimited transfers and bill payments
  • Maximum balance per customer is $200,000

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.50%

People’s Group – 1.50%

Peoples Group - High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada

People’s Group started out as a boutique financial services company in 1985 in Vancouver. Back then, they specialized in mortgages, but now they offer a variety of financial products, including their e-Savings Account.

For your protection, People’s Group is CDIC insured so your deposits are 100% guaranteed. Moreover, you can earn 1.50% interest with their e-Savings account, way higher than any of the big banks. 

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum deposit
  • Easily transfer funds between your Peoples Trust accounts, or between your linked accounts at other financial institutions

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.50%

WealthOne Bank – 1.50%

WealthOne Bank of CanadaWealthOne Bank is a fairly new bank, having launched in 2016. Even though they are predominantly an online bank, they also have physical offices in Ontario and British Columbia. Not only that, as referenced on their website, they were born out of a need to better serve the Chinese Canadian community. They are CDIC insured and offer a 1.60% interest rate.

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free unlimited transactions
  • 10 free bill payment transactions per month

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.50%

Motive Financial – 1.55%

Motive Financial - High-Interest Savings Accounts in CanadaWinner, winner, chicken dinner! Motive Financial is the bank that offers the highest interest on savings accounts in Canada! They are also one of the top 5 no-fee banks in Canada, so not a bad bank to think about checking out.

Motive Financial launched in 2017 and is a division of Canadian Western Bank, a CDIC insured financial institution. In addition, Motive offers two different savings accounts to choose from, one is definitely better than the other. With their Motive™ Savings Account, you can earn 1.25% interest. But, with their Motive® Savvy Savings™ Account, you can earn a whopping 1.55% interest!

Details

  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited deposits
  • 2 free monthly withdrawal per month ($5 after that)
  • Free transfers between Motive accounts

Deposit protection: Insured by CDIC

Interest rate: 1.55%

And there you have it! Those are 13 banks that offer high-interest savings accounts in Canada right now! Hopefully, when this pandemic is over, interest rates will go up. But for now, these are the best rates around.

High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada in 2020
Disclosure: Nothing on my website or affiliated channels should be considered advice or an endorsement, and some content may include affiliate links in which I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclaimer to learn more.
Showing 15 comments
  • Doug Mehus
    Reply

    Hi Jessi,

    I don’t normally follow your blog, but your noting Canadian ShareOwner Investments as being CDIC insured isn’t quite right. Perhaps you were wanting to simplify the deposit protection of Wealthsimple Save for your audience, so you may well know this, but if I can clarify for your readers and you can feel free to use my wording or modify it as applicable:

    Wealthsimple Save is essentially a “savings wrapper” for various financial institutions, which include several of the Big 5 banks and Equitable Bank’s brokered deposits. The Big 5 banks themselves actually pay between 1.90-1.95% on their HISAs in the broker channel (funny how they can barely manage 1% in the direct-to-consumer channel, eh!?) if you buy the advisor F class series of “fund” (reduced to 1.60-1.65% in discount brokerages, if you buy directly). It’s not actually a mutual fund, but is assigned a FundSERV code since brokered deposits through investment and mutual fund dealing firms trade through the FundSERV platform and GICs, similarly, trade through the gicSERV platform. Officially, your savings are registered in the name of the awkwardly-sounding The Canadian Depository for Securities, Limited–itself a subsidiary of The TMX Group, Inc.–in trust for your investment/mutual fund dealing “carrying broker” (in non-registered accounts) or your broker’s trustee/plan administrator (in registered accounts) that, in turn, hold the funds in trust for you. Trust deposits are definitely CDIC insured, but there are separate reporting requirements on the issuers.

    I don’t have a Wealthsimple Save account, so am not quite sure if they break down the separate CDIC issuers in which your funds are held or whether it’s more like a pooled trust account in trust for you such that Wealthsimple folds the funds across all issuers in a separate “fund” and then it pays the effective average yield out to you.

    Nevertheless, since each of their partner CDIC issuers has a $100,000 deposit insurance limit, for which there are at least three, they can get to $1 million in CDIC insurance per depositor because each of the Big 5 banks (and now Equitable) have multiple subsidiary entities that are CDIC members.

    So, perhaps it’s more useful to say that Wealthsimple Save deals with 3-5 CDIC members, each insured to $100,000 per depositor, and each account is CIPF insured against loss of funds due to Canadian ShareOwner Investment’s misappropriation of funds or insolvency, both of which are unlikely.

    Advantages of Wealthsimple Save are huge, though, including:
    – Ease of adding funds;
    – Useful round up and automatic savings tools;
    – Widely praised mobile apps; and,
    – Quicker access to Wealthsimple Black when you combine your Save and Invest accounts, if you decide to use their robo-advisor platform.

    Cheers,
    Doug

  • Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    Reply

    I had no idea there were so many options. Like you I too have banked with Tangerine for years (when it was ING). I always thought they had the best rates. I knew that lately there are better options out there. I just had no idea how much better. Thanks for doing the leg work now I don’t have to shop around before opening a new high interest savings account.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      I had no idea there were this many options too before I did my research! There are so many small online banks by credit unions I had no idea even existed! So glad I shed some light for you and thanks for the comment! 🙂

  • Kari
    Reply

    Hi Jessica. This is a great summary of all the Canadian options! Recently, my teen son wanted to open a HISA to save his part-time job income. We selected Motive because it was the highest interest rate. But I had to open it in my name rather than his, because he’s not 18 yet. I’m not sure if this is a policy across the board for all FIs? Anyways, 2.8% isn’t get-rich-quick income but it’s way better than the 0.05% he was getting at BMO.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      You’re right, for anyone under 18 all they can open is a Youth Account and those I believe are only provided by the big banks. That being said, they shouldn’t charge any fees but they also don’t provide high interest. But once your son hits 18, that’s when he’ll be able to open a regular account with an online bank like Motive.

    • Judy Rawdon
      Reply

      With Tangerine, you can open an account at 12 but you don’t qualify for any extra interest until you are 16. I believe also at 16 you can open an RRSP with Alterna but since I was looking for something for even younger children I did not move forward. Please let me know if either of these works as an option? It would be great if he could start contributing to his RRSP right away!!

      • Jessica Moorhouse
        Reply

        In order for a younger person to contribute to an RRSP, although there is no age restriction, they must meet these requirements: they must have earned an income, have a social insurance number, and have filed a tax return. To open a TFSA, there is an age restriction. You must be at least 18. It may make more sense for your teen to contribute cash to a savings account to get into the habit of saving and accumulate that money, then when they either meet the RRSP requirements start investing, or once they turn 18 contribute to a TFSA.

  • Kamal Atwal
    Reply

    Thank you so much for posting it… I am definitely gonna a book mark this post its soo helpful.

  • Sabrina
    Reply

    Just found this today! Thank you it was very helpful. However, as It’s much later the interest rates are no longer accurate 🙁 For those who are like me and just came across this today, Motive is no longer offering 2.80% but 2.05% now. Tangerine is offering 2.8% for the first 5 months. You could always start there then transfer to one fo these banks to still remain with a interest above 2%.

  • Hen
    Reply

    Unfortunately Motive is offering 1.75% interest in the savvy savings account. I wasn’t even notified about the sneaky change.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Wow, they must have literally just changed it. When I updated this on July 18, it was still at 2.05%. That’s not cool they didn’t update you. Is there a message area in your account, maybe there’s a message notifying you. Though they should really send you an email about that. I’ve updated the interest rate in the post, so thanks for that!

  • Joanne
    Reply

    Looks like there’s been another rate change for Oaken Financial – now at 1.25%. I also noticed that Canadian Tire Financial wasn’t in your line up – they are still offering 1.8% and one of the best rates out there.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Thanks for the heads up (it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all the rate changes!). And will look into including Canadian Tire in the line-up.

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