Best GIC Rates in Canada – January 2021

The best GIC rates in Canada across the 1 to 5 year terms

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Guaranteed Investment Certificates are a safe and low risk investment option for many Canadians. Like High Interest Savings Account (HISA), you should always shop around for the best GIC rates for your funds.

The interest rates are constantly changing, and given the number of financial institutions providing the investment, we’ve put together this post that shows the best rates available to you at a glance.

The ranking and rates will be updated periodically. So, bookmark the page and check back often.

Below are the best GIC Rates in Canada for Non-Registered accounts as of January 1st, 2021.

For the best savings account rate, check out EQ Bank (1.50%)

Overall Best GIC Rates

RankFinancial InstitutionRedeemable?Minimum Investment ($)Insured ByLink
1Equity Credit UnionNo5,000ProvincialVisit Site
2Parama Credit UnionNo1,000ProvincialVisit Site
3Motive FinancialNo1,000CDICVisit Site
4Achieva FinancialNo1,000ProvincialVisit Site
5AcceleRate FinancialNo1,000ProvincialVisit Site
Overall Best GIC Rates, 1-year to 5-year Terms

How did we arrive at the overall rankings?

The overall ranking was determined using an average of the rankings of the interest rates across the 1-year to 5 year terms.

RankFinancial Institution1-year2-year3-year4-year5-year
1Equity Credit Union1.601.701.801.902.10
2Parama Credit Union1.501.601.701.801.90
3Motive Financial1.401.601.651.751.90
4Achieva Financial1.501.601.601.701.90
5AcceleRate Financial1.501.551.601.751.85
Best GIC Rates in Canada for non-registered accounts

Currently, the highest GIC rate for a 5-year term is 2.10% from Equity Credit Union. In fact, the credit union has the highest rates across the 1-year, 2-year, 3-year and 4-year terms.

The only issue is that the minimum deposit is on the high side at $5,000.

If you want to start with a lower investment amount, you should check some other banks on the lists below.

Best GIC Rates for 1-year Term

RankFinancial InstitutionRedeemableRateInsured ByMinimum Investment
1Equity Credit UnionNo1.60Provincial5,000
2AcceleRate FinancialNo1.50Provincial1,000
3Achieva FinancialNo1.50Provincial1,000
4Parama Credit UnionNo1.50Provincial1,000
5Outlook FinancialNo1.45Provincial1,000
Best GIC Rates in Canada for 1-year term : Non-registered Account

Where there are ties, the GIC provider with the lowest minimum investment is ranked higher. Otherwise, they are displayed in alphabetical order.

Best GIC Rates for 3-year Term

RankFinancial InstitutionRedeemableRateInsured ByMinimum Investment
1Equity Credit UnionNo1.80Provincial5,000
2Parama Credit UnionNo1.70Provincial1,000
3Motive FinancialNo1.65CDIC1,000
4People’s TrustNo1.65CDIC1,000
5Wealth One Bank CanadaNo1.65CDIC1,000
Best GIC Rates in Canada for 3-year term : Non-registered Account

Best GIC Rates for 5-year Term

RankFinancial InstitutionRedeemableRateInsured ByMinimum Investment
1Equity Credit UnionNo2.10Provincial5,000
2Achieva FinancialNo1.90Provincial1,000
3Motive FinancialNo1.90CDIC1,000
4Parama Credit UnionNo1.90Provincial1,000
5Wealth One Bank CanadaNo1.90CDIC1,000
Best GIC Rates in Canada for 5-year term : Non-registered Account

Two other credit unions also offer 1.85 percent interest rate on the 5-year GIC Term, namely AcceleRate Financial and People’s Trust.

The Best GIC Providers in Canada

These are best Banks and Credit Unions with the most attractive GIC Rates:

Equity Credit Union

Equity Credit Union is an Ontario-based credit union that has been serving its members since 1942.

At $5,000, it has one of the highest minimum amount required to invest in a GIC. But it makes up for this with its incredibly competitive rates across the various terms.

Equity Credit Union is insured by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario. Deposits are covered up to $250,000 and unlimited in registered accounts.

Savings account rate is pretty low at just 0.30% paid quarterly, compared to EQ Bank at 1.50%.

Oaken Financial

Oaken Financial is backed by Home Bank, a subsidiary of Home Trust Company.

It offers GICs with terms ranging from 1 year to 5 years, with one of the best rates in Canada.

Both Home Bank and Home Trust Company are separate members of CDIC, so your deposits are covered.

It’s regular savings account has a rate of 1.25%

Accelerate Financial

Accelerate Financial is a division of Crosstown Civic Credit Union, a provincially regulated and one of the top 5 credit unions in Manitoba. It currently has some of the best GIC rates in Canada, with a minimum investment amount of $1,000. The GICs can also be held in the registered accounts at the same competitive rates.

Though it is not covered by CDIC, all your deposits are fully covered through Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba, DGCM.

The current rate on its High-Interest savings and registered accounts is 1.20%.

Related Post: Accelerate Financial Review

Peoples Trust

Peoples Trust is a CDIC-insured trust company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is a division of Peoples Group, a financial services company that has been serving Canadians since 1985.

Peoples Trust has a competitive rate of 1.30% on its e-savings account and Tax-free Savings.

Luminus Financial

Luminus Financial is an arm of Starnews Credit Union, an Ontario based credit union founded in 1951. Luminus has over 5,500 members with assets of around $200 million. Deposits are secured up to $250,000 by the provincial deposit insurer.

Achieva Financial

Achieva Financial is an online bank and a division of Manitoba based Cambrian credit union. Deposits are 100% protected through the provincial insurer, DGCM.

It offers a rate of 1.20% on its High-interest savings account.

Hubert Financial

Hubert Financial is a division of Sunova Credit Union Ltd, another Manitoba based credit union.

Daily savings rate is currently 1.00%

It’s current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC Rate: 1.40%
  • 2-year GIC Rate: 1.50%
  • 3-year GIC Rate: 1.60%
  • 4-year GIC Rate: 1.70%
  • 5-year GIC Rate: 1.80%

Related Post: Hubert Financial Review: Happy Savings

Comtech Fire Credit Union

Comtech Fire Credit Union is an Ontario based financial institution with over 20,000 members and more than $530 million in assets.

It’s current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC Rate: 1.30%
  • 2-year GIC Rate: 1.40%
  • 3-year GIC Rate: 1.50%
  • 4-year GIC Rate: 1.65%
  • 5-year GIC Rate: 1.90%

Revelstoke Credit Union

Revelstoke Credit Union is a British Columbia based credit union. It’s deposits are fully protected by the provincial deposit insurer, CUBIC BC.

It’s current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC Rate: 0.70%
  • 2-year GIC Rate: 0.70%
  • 3-year GIC Rate: 1.00%
  • 4-year GIC Rate: 1.00%
  • 5-year GIC Rate: 1.10%

Savings account rate varies from 0.25% for regular savings to 1.00% for kids and youth accounts.

Outlook Financial

Outlook Financial is a division of another Manitoba based credit union, so its deposits are also 100% covered by the provincial deposit insurer.

The current GIC rates are:

  • 1-year GIC Rate: 1.45%
  • 2-year GIC Rate: 1.55%
  • 3-year GIC Rate: 1.55%
  • 4-year GIC Rate: 1.65%
  • 5-year GIC Rate: 1.75%

Outlook financial also has a savings account rate of 1.20%

Maxa Financial

Maxa Financial, a division of Westoba Credit Union, has an attractive rate on its HISA of 1.20%.

Check this Maxa Financial review for the GIC rates and the other products from the bank.

What are GICs?

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are a type of investment that allows you to invest your funds with a financial institution over a set period, the term. In exchange, you’ll receive a guaranteed amount at the maturity, representing the principal invested and an interest based on the rate agreed.

Because of this, GICs are one of the safest investments available to Canadians.

Features of Guaranteed Investment Certificates

Here are some key features of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC):

  • There is a minimum amount required to investment. This varies but generally starts at $500.
  • You can invest for different terms, depending on your savings goals. Terms could be as short as 30 days or as high as 10 years
  • The longer the term, the higher the interest rate you can expect to earn
  • There are no fees on GIC investments
  • GICs are protected by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). CDIC coverage was not available for Foreign currency GICs and GICs with terms over 5 years but this changed effective April 30, 2020.
  • Interest payment can be received at different set intervals or at maturity. You may also be able to automatically reinvest the interest till maturity.

GIC Insurance

Most GICs are covered and protected by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). The protection, just like bank deposits, is automatic and you don’t have to do anything from your end to activate it.

So, if a financial institution fails, CDIC will notify you within days and both the principal and interest paid to you.

But note that CDIC protection is limited to $100,000 per category at each financial institution. So, if you have more than $100,000 in GICs at a single issuer, consider moving some of the investment to other financial institutions, putting some in your spouse’s account or opening a joint account with them. That way, you can maximize the protection available to you.

Learn more about the strategies to maximize your CDIC protection and how CDIC Coverage works.

CDIC members includes banks and federally regulated credit unions.

Deposits at provincial credit unions are not protected by CDIC, but they are covered by the provincial deposit insurer. All the 10 provinces and territories have their own provincial insurer and the amounts covered may vary.

For example, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, the provincial insurer, covers up to $250,000 and provides unlimited coverage for qualifying deposits in registered accounts. Manitoba and British Columbia on the other hand offers 100% protection of deposits.

Interestingly, provincial-regulated credit unions have some of the best rates. Since they are covered by the provincial insurer, you can be rest assured of the protection of your funds.

How is GIC Interest taxed?

Interest earned on GICs held in a registered account, like RRSP, TFSA or RESP, are tax-sheltered. But if you hold a GIC in a non-registered account, the interest earned will be taxed.

While all returns (capital gains, interest, dividends etc.) earned in non-registered accounts are taxed, the tax treatment varies. In general, you’ll pay less tax on capital gains and dividends than you would on interest income.

The tax rate on GIC interest will vary depending on your total taxable income for the year and even your province. You should consider this as part of a holistic tax planning strategy.

Conclusion

The ranking and rates will be updated periodically. So, bookmark the page and check back often.

To learn more about Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) in Canada, check out our detailed post on the subject.

And if you want the best rate for savings account, EQ Bank currently offers 1.5% or get a promotional rate of 2.10% for the first 150 days from Tangerine.

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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