EQ Bank Savings Plus Review 2022: Best Savings Account in Canada

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If you’re looking for a high-interest savings account in Canada to earn more on your savings account, then this EQ Bank Savings Plus review is for you.

A high-interest savings account is one of the safest investment accounts that yield high returns in Canada. With the increase in popularity of online banking, Canadians have several high-interest savings accounts to choose from as alternatives to the low interest of traditional banks.

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account has been consistently ranked among the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada since its inception.

In this EQ Bank Savings Plus review, I cover everything you need to know about EQ Bank’s HISA offering including how it compares with other accounts. 

For a limited time, EQ Bank is offering a $150 cash bonus for switching your payroll to the bank. So sign up now to take advantage of the offer.

Let’s get started!


Overview of EQ Bank

EQ Bank is a Toronto-based neo-bank and a division of Equitable Bank, a Schedule I bank in Canada. Founded in 2016, EQ Bank operates completely online. 

And with lower operational costs compared to traditional banks with branches, EQ Bank is able to pass some of the savings to its users in the form of high interest on savings accounts and no monthly fees.

In addition to high interest on savings accounts, EQ Bank also offers high interest on TFSA, RSP and US dollar accounts. EQ Bank’s GIC rates are also among the best in Canada. 

With low-banking fees, wide accessibility, deposit protections and other factors, EQ Bank distinguish itself from other best online banks in Canada. 

Learn more: EQ Bank Review


What is an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account?

EQ Bank Savings Plus is an online savings account that is known for offering competitive savings interest to Canadians. With a current rate of 2.50%, EQ Bank currently has one of the best high-interest savings accounts (HISAs) in Canada.

But unlike other HISAs in Canada, the EQ Bank HISA is a hybrid of savings and chequing accounts. As a result, you can earn high interest in your savings while making mobile deposits and bill payments through the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.

Besides the high-interest savings account, you can also enjoy high interest on joint savings, TFSA, RSP and EQ Bank US dollar savings accounts.

In terms of fees, EQ Bank Savings Plus Account doesn’t charge everyday banking fees and other fees common to traditional banks in Canada. 

With this and many other factors, it’s obvious why the EQ Bank HISA is one of the best and most popular HISAs in Canada.


Pros and Cons of EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

Let’s go over the major pros and cons of the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account to help you make an informed decision.  

Pros

  • High-interest rate: The 2.50% interest on EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is one of the highest in Canada. The same interest applies to TFSA and RSP savings accounts with the USD savings account having a 1% interest. The interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
  • No-fee banking: The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is a no-fee savings account that doesn’t charge monthly fees, everyday banking fees and other fees you can find among other online banks or traditional banks in Canada. 
  • Hybrid account: The account sets itself apart from other HISA for combining both the features of savings and chequing accounts. You can enjoy a high interest in your savings while performing some of the transactions that are only available through chequing accounts like Bill payments, cheque deposits and so on.
  • No minimum balance: Start saving with any amount you have and enjoy the same 2.50% on your savings.  
  • Joint account: You can convert your individual EQ Bank Savings Plus Account to a joint account to enjoy a maximum balance of $500,000 against the $200,000 maximum individual limit. 
  • Cheap international money transfers: You can make international money transfers through Wise directly from your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
  • CDIC protection: Your savings up to $100,00 on EQ Bank Savings Plus Account are covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) in each of the savings accounts. 

Cons

  • No credit card/ATM access: If you’re looking for a HISA with a credit card and ATM access, you have to look elsewhere as EQ Bank Savings Plus Account doesn’t support any.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Account Fees

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is an all-round no-fee high-interest savings account that doesn’t charge fees for the following services  

  • Monthly fees
  • Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT)
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • EQ to EQ transfers
  • Bill payments
  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF)  
  • Transaction history inquiry

The only fees associated with the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account are international money transfers fees which are charged by Wise.

While the fees are cheap, how much you’re charged depends on the exchange rate, the amount you’re paying, and your payment method.


EQ Bank Savings Plus Account Limits

The following are the maximum limits of the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account as of the time of writing this review.

Service/ActivityMaximum limit
Individual limit $200,000
Joint account limit $500,000
Outbound Interac e-Transfer$3,000 daily
Inbound Interac e-Transfer e-Transfer$25,000 per transaction
Inbound electronic funds transfers$100,000 per transaction
Outbound electronic funds transfers$30,000 per transaction
EQ to EQ Transfers$30,000 daily
Bill payment$25,000 per payment
Cheque deposit$100,000 per cheque

How to Open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

Opening an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account takes a few minutes as everything is done online.  But before you can open the savings account, you must meet the following requirements:

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can follow the steps below to open the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account:

  • Visit the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account page
  • Click the “Join now” button
  • Enter your email address
  • Create a password
  • Provide the required information (including your full name, address, phone number, DOB, SIN, etc).

That’s all. You can then go ahead to fund your new EQ Bank savings account to start earning the 2.50% interest daily. 


Is EQ Bank Safe and Legit?

Yes. EQ Bank is safe and legit. First, deposits at the bank are held by its parent company, Equitable Bank which is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). 

This means that your deposits on EQ Bank will be protected by the CDIC up to $100,000 per insured category. 

Secondly, EQ Bank protects your personal information and account with multiple security layers and fraud monitoring tools. 

In addition, Equitable Bank, the EQ Bank parent company, has over 50 years of experience with $42+ billion assets under management.

With over 185,000 clients and $5+ billion assets under management, you can be sure that you’re dealing with a legit and safe online bank.


EQ Bank Savings Plus Alternatives

This tables summarizes how EQ Bank Savings Plus account compares to some of its top alternatives in Canada:

FeaturesEQ Bank Savings PlusNeo Financial HISASimplii HISA
Regular Rate2.50%1.30%0.10%
Promotional RateN/AN/A2.20%
TFSA & RRSP AccountsYesNoYes
GICsYesNoYes
Credit CardsNoYesYes
Deposit ProtectionCDICCDICCDIC

EQ Bank Savings Plus vs Simplii Financial High-interest Savings Account

The Simplii Financial High-interest Savings Account is one of the top competitors of the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account that also doesn’t have a minimum balance, monthly fees, and transaction fees. 

Like EQ Bank, Simplii is also an online-only bank that’s able to offer high-interest savings account rates due to its lower operational costs.

In Simplii’s case, only new account holders can enjoy a high promotional interest of 2.20% on their savings for a limited time.

Compared to the EQ Bank’s standard 2.50% rate on savings, you can get almost 1% higher interest from Simplii during the promotion period. 

However, Simplii Financial’s standard interest of 0.10% on savings accounts is one of the lowest in the Canadian online banking industry. It is 22 times less than Simplii’s promotional interest rate and only a fraction of EQ Bank savings rate. 

As a result, if you’re looking for a place to save for the long term, the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is the better offering. For short term gains though, it is hard to beat Simplii’s 2.20% interest rate. 

Learn more:


EQ Bank Savings Plus vs Neo Financial Savings Account

The Neo Financial Savings Account is another alternative to EQ Bank Savings Plus Account based on its competitive interest with no everyday banking fees.

As an online-only bank backed by Concentra Bank, MasterCard, and ATB Financial, Neo Financial offers a 1.30% interest on savings which is slightly ahead of the EQ Bank rate. 

Frankly speaking, you will earn more with the Neo Financial savings account as it also offers cashback credit cards, Neo Card, that lets you earn up to an average cash back of 6% at partner locations.

But unlike EQ Bank, the Neo Financial savings account doesn’t support registered savings accounts, USD accounts, and mobile deposits and bill payments.  

Overall, if you’re looking for a hybrid HISA with savings account and chequing accounts features, the EQ Bank may be your perfect option. 

Learn more:


EQ Bank Savings Plus vs Saven Financial High-interest Savings Account

Saven Financial is the online banking arm of an Ontario-based credit union but its interest in savings competes significantly with some of the best HISA in Canada, including EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.

Founded in 2021, Saven Financial offers 1.50% interest on savings accounts without monthly and transaction fees. 

However, you will need to pay a membership fee of $25 to join Saven Financial. This will automatically make you a member of one the Ontario’s largest credit unions, FirstOntario Credit Union. 

That said, Saven is only available in Ontario, making it less accessible, unlike EQ Bank that’s accessible in all parts of Canada (except Quebec). 

Unlike the EQ Bank savings account, the Saven savings account doesn’t support mobile cheques, bill payments, registered and USD savings accounts.  

Learn more: 


5 Tips on How to Choose the Perfect High-Interest Savings Account in Canada

It may be tricky to choose from the above high-interest savings accounts. Besides their competitive interest rates, each of the above HISAs has unique features that make it attractive. 

Nevertheless, the following factors will help you choose the perfect high-interest savings account for your needs in Canada.

1. Interest Rate

As always, the higher the interest, the better. Ensure you compare between the standard rate and any applicable promotional rate before making a final decision. 

This is because promotional rates will only earn you high rewards for the short term. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a place to keep your funds for longer term goals, the standard rates should be your focus.   

2  Eligibility 

Different high-interest savings accounts have different requirements. While some have a minimum balance requirement, others don’t.

In addition, your location may hinder you from opening a HISA with an online bank. Hence, it’s important to know the eligibility of the account before deciding. 

3. Fees

Most online banks and online credit unions in Canada have no monthly fees and everyday banking fees. 

However, they have varying fees for other banking services including NSF fee, past transaction statement reprint fee etc. This should be part of your selection criteria when looking for a low-cost HISA.

4. Limits

You want to choose a HISA that supports your spending habits. As a result, you need to consider the account maximum balance, daily, weekly and monthly limits. 

It’s also important to consider limits on transaction methods such as Interac e-Transfers and electronic funds transfers.

Learn more: Interac E-Transfer Limits

5. Insurance

All deposit receiving financial institutions in Canada are covered by either CDIC or a provincial deposit insurer.

But you should know that the coverage amount differs. CDIC for example covers funds up to $100,000 in each of the insured categories. On the other hand, most provincial insurers provide unlimited coverage and up to $250,000 in some categories.

So it’s important to understand the protection you have and plan how much you’ll deposit in each account accordingly.

Learn more about how CDIC protection works and how to maximize your CDIC protection in the linked posts.


FAQs on EQ Bank Savings Plus Review

Does EQ Bank pull my credit report when I open an account?

Yes, EQ Bank runs a soft credit check when accessing your application. As a soft credit check, your credit score will not be impacted. 

How long does EQ Bank hold my funds for?

It depends on the currency. For electronic funds transfer and mobile cheque deposit of Canadian dollars, it takes up to five business days starting from the day you made the transaction. 
However, it may take more than 5 business days for US dollar transactions starting from the day you made the transaction. Whether Canadian or US dollars, your transaction will appear in your account immediately and start earning interest but you can’t access it until the holding period is over. 

Does EQ Bank Savings Plus Account hold direct deposits?

There’s no holding period for direct deposits. When you make a direct deposit, it will reflect on your account immediately after the transaction. 

How can I close my EQ Bank Savings Plus Account?

You can close your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account at any time without any penalty. All you need is to initiate a live chat with them or call their customer care team at 1-844-437-2265.


Verdict on EQ Bank Savings Plus Review

This EQ Bank Savings Plus account is very positive. It combines a competitive savings interest with no monthly fees or everyday transaction charges, no minimum account balance requirement and lets you pay bills and deposit your cheques.

And with its support for registered accounts (TFSA and RRSP) and competitive GIC rates, EQ Bank stands miles ahead of its competitors.

It is obvious why EQ Bank’s HISA offering features in any ranking of the best HISAs in Canada – and it deserves all the recognition and accolades it gets.

But if you’re looking to earn slightly more interest on your savings, you have many options to consider including Neo Financial, Simplii Financial and Saven Financial savings accounts.

Regardless of the account you’re going with, make sure it is a good fit for your personal situation and consider the above selection tips.

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Have an experience with the EQ Bank Savings Plus account or any of the other EQ Bank HISA alternatives like Neo Financial, Simplii and Saven Financial HISA? Let me know in the comments below.

EQ Bank Savings Plus Review
4.8

Summary

EQ Bank Savings Plus is an online savings account known for offering competitive savings interest to Canadians. Get a 2.50% interest on your savings

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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