EQ Bank vs Oaken: Which One is Better?

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EQ Bank and Oaken Financial are two of the best online banks in Canada. So if you’re wondering which one is right for you, this EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial comparison is for you.

The Canadian online banking industry has continued to grow with more players offering competitive, low-cost and convenient banking options. From fintech companies to credit unions, there are several banks to choose from.

Oaken Financial and EQ Bank have distinguished themselves among the many online banks operating in Canada. Both of them offer many of the same products and services as traditional banks. 

In this article, we will compare EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial so that you can easily decide which one is best suited for your financial needs.

An Overview of EQ Bank

EQ Bank, an Equitable Bank division, is an online, fee-free banking service with no minimum balance requirements.

The bank was founded in 2016 and has grown its deposit base to more than $7 billion. EQ Bank offers a wide range of everyday banking services that makes banking simpler and more efficient.

It was created to help Canadians who are looking for simple and affordable banking products to achieve their financial goals.

You can open an EQ Bank account whenever and wherever you want online or through the mobile bank app.

Also, you can trust that your money is safe with EQ Bank as their deposits are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

Learn more: EQ Bank Review


Pros and Cons of EQ Bank

The EQ Bank offers several cost-effective financial products for your financial needs. However, as with other online banks in Canada, EQ Bank has its downsides. 

Here are some of its pros and cons you need to be aware of before joining this digital bank:

Pros

  • High-interest rate: EQ Bank offers a very competitive interest rate. Currently, EQ Bank offers a 2.00% interest rate on savings accounts.
  • No fees: Another great benefit of EQ Bank is that there are no fees to worry about. This includes no transaction fees and no account setup fees. 
  • No minimum balance requirement: EQ Bank does not require you to keep a minimum balance in your account.
  • Secure online banking: EQ Bank is insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which gives you peace of mind knowing your money is protected.
  • Free Interac e-transfers and bill payments: When you sign up for an EQ Bank account, you get access to free Interac e-Transfers and bill payments.
  • Unlimited transactions: You can make as many transfers and withdrawals as you’d like without penalty on EQ Bank.
  • Multiple product offerings: EQ bank offers multiple financial products that include high-interest savings accounts and GICs.

Cons

  • No chequing account: Unlike alternative online banks like Tangerine and Simplii, EQ Bank doesn’t offer chequing accounts. However, the EQ Savings Plus account is a hybrid account with features of chequing accounts like paycheck deposit and bills payment.
  • Credit cards not available: EQ Bank does not offer credit cards at the moment. So, if you need a credit card, EQ Bank is not the bank for you.
  • No branch locations: EQ Bank is an online-only bank, so it doesn’t have any physical branches.

EQ Bank Products

Whether you are looking to save for an upcoming vacation, or just looking to do some daily banking with a bank that fits your needs, EQ Bank has a variety of product offerings to help make it happen.

EQ Bank offers the following financial products and services:

1. Savings Plus Account

The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is a savings account that earns 2.00% interest on every dollar you save in the account.

The account has no minimum balance required, so you can start saving right away with as little as $1. However, there’s a $200,000 limit on how much you can save in the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account to earn the competitive rates.

And with no fees or service charges that could eat into your savings, EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account might be a great option for your long-term savings goals.

Features:

  • No monthly fees
  • High-interest rate on savings
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free bill payments
  • No Interac e-Transfer fees

Learn more: EQ Bank Savings Plus Review

2. Joint Savings Plus Account

The EQ Bank Joint Savings Plus account is a savings account that is designed for couples or friends that want to build their savings together.

There is no minimum amount required to open this account and both parties can contribute and withdraw funds at any time. 

This can be a great saving account for couples and partners looking for an easy way to manage their finances together.

Features:

  • Zero monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free bill payments
  • $500,000 maximum balance
  • Free cheque deposits
  • No Interac e-Transfer fees

3. EQ Bank US Dollar Account

The EQ Bank US Dollar Account lets Canadians save money in a currency that has maintained its strength against the Canadian dollar without paying high exchange fees.

With the EQ Bank US Dollar Account, you can start saving money in US dollars while earning a competitive interest rate of 1.40% on your savings.

The account does not require a minimum deposit amount, and there are no monthly transaction fees or hidden fees. In fact, the EQ Bank US Dollar account is the overall best US dollar savings account in Canada.

Features

  • High-interest rate on savings
  • No monthly fees
  • A low conversion fee

Learn more: EQ Bank USD Account Review

4. EQ Bank Registered Savings Accounts

EQ Bank offers a range of registered savings accounts in Canada. The accounts offer tax-sheltered savings, meaning your investments will grow tax-free over time through the EQ Bank TFSA and RSP accounts.

The EQ Bank Registered Savings Accounts have no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and offer unlimited free transfers between accounts.

Features

  • Zero monthly fees
  • Savings are automated
  • High-interest rate on savings
  • Tax-free savings

Read our EQ Bank TFSA and RSP Review to learn more.

EQ Bank GICs

Are you looking to invest in a GIC account with competitive rates? EQ Bank has multiple GIC terms to choose from.

Opening a GIC account with EQ Bank is easy. You can easily open a GIC account right online and make a $100 minimum deposit. As with EQ Bank’s other products, its GICs have no monthly fees and are also insured by the CDIC.

Since there are no monthly fees to worry about, your money can grow even faster when you invest in an EQ Bank GIC account.

More importantly, the interest rates on EQ Bank GIC are one of the best GIC rates in Canada, offering you competitive interest on your funds.

Learn more: EQ Bank GICs Review


An Overview of Oaken

Oaken is an online banking service based in Toronto that allows you to easily manage your money from any Internet-connected device.

It was founded by Home Trust Company in 2013 with a vision to provide Canadians with an online savings and investment banking experience. 

Oaken has high-interest savings accounts with no fees and is dedicated to providing great banking services to Canadians. Its no-fee high-interest savings account allows you to earn more interest on the money you save. It also offers GIC accounts with flexible terms and competitive rates. 

Learn more: Oaken Financial Review


Pros and Cons of Oaken

Like any financial institution, Oaken Financial has its pros and cons. Below are the major ones:

Pros

  • High interest: Oaken Financial has consistently offered some of the highest interest rates on the market for its savings accounts and GICs.
  • No-fee banking: You can transfer money between your Oaken accounts or into any other bank account at no cost.
  • Flexible GIC terms: Oaken offers flexible GIC terms that can range from 30-days to five years, giving you a variety of options.
  • No minimum balance required: There are no minimum balance requirements on Oaken’s products, which means you don’t have to worry about keeping a certain amount in your account each month to avoid fees.
  • CDIC protection: Oaken Financial is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This means your deposits with the bank are protected up to $100,000 per insured category.

Cons

  • Limited products: Oaken only offers savings accounts and GICs at the moment. If you’re looking for more than these products, you have to look elsewhere.
  • No physical branch: You can only apply for an Oaken financial product online or by phone because there are no branches to visit.

Oaken Products

Oaken Financial offers a high-interest savings account and a GIC. Let’s look at the two products below:

1. Oaken Savings Account

Oaken’s savings account is a high-interest savings account that has no fees and pays competitive rates on savings. 

The interest rate on Oaken’s savings account is 3.00% per year, which is among the highest HISA rates in Canada. 

The account has no minimum balance requirements and you can make as many deposits and withdrawals as you like without worrying about fees.

Also, Oaken Savings Accounts are protected by CDIC insurance up to a maximum of $100,000. That means your money is safe in the account.

Features:

  • High-interest rate
  • No minimum balance required
  • There are no monthly fees
  • Easy access to your funds
  • CDIC protection
  • Available for personal and business use

2. Oaken Financial GICs

Oaken offers GICs that range from 30 days up to 5 years. This means that you have the flexibility to choose the term that works best for your financial situation and goals.

Oaken Financial’s GICs can help you save for the future with no fees, so you can earn more on your money while keeping it safe. 

The bank’s GICs have a minimum balance requirement of $1,000. Your deposits into the account are also insured by CDIC.

Oaken Financial GIC rates are categorized into registered and non-registered GICs, while the non-registered GICs are further categorized into long-term, short-term and cashable GICs.


EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial key Features Compared

As you can see, there are some differences between EQ Bank and Oaken Financial.

Now let’s compare EQ Bank and Oaken Financial so that you can have a better idea of which one is best for your financial needs.

Key FeaturesEQ BankOaken Financial
Products OfferedSavings Plus Account, Joint Savings Plus Account, US Dollar Account, Registered Savings Accounts, GICsSavings Account, and GICs
Monthly FeesNoneNone
Minimum BalanceNoNo
Interest on Savings Accounts2.00%3.00%
CDIC InsuranceYesYes

EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: Ease of Use

Both EQ Bank and Oaken Financial offer a user-friendly platform, with some minor differences between the two.

Also, both banks have user-friendly apps that you can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: Savings Account

EQ Bank savings account and Oaken Financial savings accounts are both good options if you’re looking for a high-interest savings account.

However, Oaken Financial has only non-registered savings accounts, while EQ Bank, registered, non-registered savings account TFSA, RSP and USD savings accounts.

The EQ Bank Savings Plus account is also a hybrid account with some key features of a chequing account. With bill payments, paycheck deposits and more, the EQ Bank Savings account is more versatile than the Oaken Savings account.

EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: Interest Rate

Both EQ Bank and Oaken Financial offer competitive interest rates on their savings accounts. 

However, the interest rates are not the same. Oaken Financial’s savings account offers a higher interest rate of 3.00% compared to the 2.00% interest of EQ Bank.

That means, you’ll earn slightly more at Oaken than EQ Bank.

EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: GICs

Oaken Financial GICs range from 30 days to 5 years while  EQ Bank GIC terms range from 3 months to 10 years.

Both banks also offer very competitive GIC rates on all their GIC offerings, but EQ Bank currently edges out Oaken Financial with slightly higher rates across the GIC terms.

If you are interested in short-term and long-term GICs and also want to earn high interest in your savings, EQ Bank might be a better choice for you.

EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: Promotions

EQ offers a variety of promotions to its members. If you create an account with EQ Bank through a referral code, you will receive a sign-up bonus of $20. Also, you will get a bonus of up to $150 when you transfer your payroll to EQ Bank. 

Oaken Financial on the other hand doesn’t offer any promotions or welcome bonuses. If you are looking for a bank with bonus offers, EQ Bank might be a better option for you.

EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: Deposit Insurance

Deposits on both banks are covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). The CDIC insurance offers $100,000 coverage per insured category.


EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial: Which One Should You Go With?

EQ Bank and Oaken Financial are both online banks, which means they don’t have physical branches and you can access your account through your smartphone or laptop. 

While they both offer competitive interest rates, they have some significant differences as discussed above.

However, choosing between EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial depends on what you’re looking for. 

If you’re looking to save your money in a high-interest savings account, Oaken Financial offers one of the best accounts out there. 

But, if you want a bank that has multiple products like a joint savings account and US dollar savings account, EQ Bank is a better choice.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll find that both banks are great alternatives to traditional banks in Canada. 


Final Thoughts on EQ Bank vs Oaken Financial 

We have just compared two of the top Canadian online banks that stand out from the crowd.

Both EQ Bank and Oaken Financial offer unique features and services that are suitable for individuals with different financial needs.

However, when making a choice you should consider the one that has all of the features you’re looking for. 

As you can see, EQ Bank and Oaken Financial have their pros and cons. This makes it easy to choose the one that makes the most sense for you.  

But, if you need more help or clarifications, please let us know in the comments section.

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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.

2 thoughts on “EQ Bank vs Oaken: Which One is Better?”

  1. I initiated a transfer of funds into my EQ Bank TFSA from Wealthsimple several weeks ago intending to buy a 5 year GIC but in the time it took for the transfer to be completed EQ Bank has reduced their rates and is now 0.35 lower than Oaken. It appears Oaken lets you lock in the rate and term when you initiate the transfer whereas EQ Bank won’t actually let you purchase a GIC until the funds are sitting in your TFSA Savings Account. Something to be aware of if you are transferring funds from another institution.

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