Neo Financial vs EQ Bank 2022: Which One Should You Choose?

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You must have come across EQ Bank and Neo Financial while searching for the best online banks in Canada. The reason becomes obvious once you check their offerings and how they compare to their competitors.

However, it can be tricky to choose between Neo Financial vs EQ Bank due to their similarities.

This Neo Financial vs EQ Bank comparison explains the key similarities and differences between the two banks to help you decide which one to choose.

Neo Financial Overview

Neo Financial is a neobank established in 2020 to simplify the online banking experience of Canadians.

To this end, Neo Financial partners with the leading companies in the financial industry, such as Concentra Bank, MasterCard, and ATB Financial.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Neo Financial also has over 4,000+ e-commerce and retail partners across different parts of Canada.

Despite being a newcomer in the online banking industry, Neo Financial is already competing with existing neo-banks in Canada with its high-interest savings account and competitive cashback Mastercard.

The catch with Neo Financial lies in the bank’s high-interest savings account and cashback Mastercard that is not easy to find elsewhere.

Pros and Cons of Neo Financial

Pros:

  • Competitive high interest account offering
  • No monthly fee account
  • Competitive cash back credit card
  • Free Interac e-Transfer
  • Free bill payments

Cons:

  • Limited account types: no registered accounts like TFSA, RRSP

Neo Financial Products 

Neo Financial currently has four major products, a cashback Mastercard and a high-interest savings account. 

1. Neo Financial MasterCard

The Neo Financial Mastercard is a cashback credit card issued by ATB Financial. This card has no annual fee and is accepted anywhere Mastercard is.

Neo Financial Mastercard rewards you with competitive cashback when you make purchases from any of its thousands of stores, such as:

  • H & R Block
  • Craft
  • Avis
  • Structube
  • Clearly
  • Second Cup Coffee 
  • Frank and Oak

The Neo Mastercard has no annual fee and rewards you with an average of 5% cashback when you purchase at partner stores. 

Every other purchase you make with the card will earn you a guaranteed 1% cash back.

Key Features

  • No annual fee for the Neo standard card
  • Competitive cashback rate 
  • No inactivity fee
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% to 24.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 21.99% to 26.99% 

2. Neo Savings Account

Neo Savings account is one of the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada, offering a 2.25% interest rate with no annual fee.

This account is issued by the Concentra Bank and insured by the CDIC for up to a $100,000 deposit. 

Unlike traditional banks and some online banks in Canada, Neo Savings account has no Interac e-Transfer fee, electronic transfer fee, inactivity fee, bill payment fees and so on.

Overall, you can save and earn more on a Neo Savings account than you could on other banks due to the high-interest rates and low banking fees.

Key Features

  • 2.25% interest rate
  • $0 banking fees and $0 monthly fees
  • Zero minimum deposits
  • CDIC protection

Note: This account is not yet available to Quebec residents.

Learn more: Neo Financial Savings Account Review

3. Neo Invest

Neo Financial recently launched an automated investment platform called Neo Invest.

As a robo advisor, Neo Invest takes the entire stress of investing by handling everything on your behalf. 

However, Neo Invest uses an active investment strategy like Questwealth Portfolios. This means it will require more professional management, leading to high management fees.

Notwithstanding, Neo is a great addition to the pool of robo advisors in Canada because it requires a minimum investment amount.

4. Neo Mortgage

Are you looking to buy a new mortgage, or renew or refinance an existing one? Neo financial got you covered!

Neo Mortgage is a marketplace that connects Canadians with different mortgage providers. With. Eo Mortgage, you can easily compare and choose from the best mortgage deals out there.

The application process is so easy as everything is handled online.


EQ Bank Overview

EQ Bank is also a neobank established in 2016 to offer Canadians a simple and low-cost banking experience. The bank is a division of one of Canada’s largest domestic banks, Equitable Bank.

Equitable Bank’s 45+ years in the industry and over $40 billion assets under management make EQ Bank a trusted digital bank in Canada.  

Like Neo Financial, EQ Bank’s high-interest rates and low-banking fees make it a top alternative to the big banks in Canada. 

Through its partnership with Wise (formerly TransferWise) in 2019, EQ Bank enables its savings account users to make fast and cheap international money transfers. 

Pros and Cons of EQ Bank

Pros:

  • High-interest savings account
  • No monthly fees
  • Free Interac e-Transfers and bill payments
  • Chequing account features
  • Multiple and joint accounts
  • Cheap international money transfers

Cons:

  • No credit card offering yet

Learn more: EQ Bank Review


EQ Bank Products

EQ Bank has a wide range of financial products in Canada to choose from, ranging from registered and unregistered accounts. The following is a detailed explanation of EQ Bank’s innovative products.

1. Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is one of the top high-interest savings accounts in Canada with a 2.00% interest rate.

This account is a hybrid of savings and chequing accounts, allowing you to make cheque deposits, bill payments and other chequing account features. 

EQ Bank Savings Account users also enjoy a wide range of uncommon freebies and features highlighted below.

Key Features

  • 2.00% high-interest rate
  • No monthly balance
  • No monthly and banking fees
  • Free bill payments and mobile cheque deposits
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Low-cost international money transfers

2. Joint Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank Joint Savings Plus Account allows you to share a savings account with up to three people. This is ideal if you share expenses or savings with someone, such as your spouse or roommate. 

The joint savings account has all the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account features with a higher balance limit ($500,000).  

You can have both a Savings Plus Account and a Joint Savings Plus Account or convert your savings account to a joint account without charges. 

It’s essential to open a joint account with people you trust, as each joint account holder can deposit and withdraw from the account without restriction. 

Key Features

  • All Savings Plus Account features
  • $500,000 maximum balance

3. EQ Bank US Dollar Account

EQ Bank US Dollar Account allows you to save your money in USD at a competitive rate of 1.40%. Even more, you don’t have to worry about transaction fees or monthly fees. 

This account is ideal if you earn in US dollars or want to convert your CAD funds to USD at a low exchange rate. 

Key Features

  • 1.40% competitive interest rate
  • No monthly/annual fees
  • Competitive CAD to USD exchange rate  
  • Cheap international money transfers
  • CDIC protection 

Learn more: EQ Bank US Dollar Account Review

4. EQ Bank TFSA and RSP Accounts

If you’re looking for a high-interest registered account in Canada, EQ Bank TFSA and RSP accounts could be your perfect option. 

EQ Bank TFSA and RSP offer 2.00% high-interest rates on savings accounts with competitive GICs rates. 

Your high interest in savings accounts will grow tax-free on TFSA accounts, and you can save up to $6,000 in 2022. Withdrawals from EQ Bank TFSA accounts are also tax-free, and you can make a withdrawal at any time without penalties.

EQ Bank TFSA and RSP GIC terms range from three months to 10 years, and you can earn up to 4.70%. This is one of the industry’s highest GIC rates.

Key Features

  • 2.00% interest on savings account
  • Up to 4.70% GIC rate 
  • No monthly fees
  • Tax-advantage 
  • Automated contributions
  • CDIC insured

Learn more: EQ Bank TFSA and RSP Review

5. EQ Bank GICs

EQ Bank offers one of the best GIC rates in Canada with competitive rates across its GIC terms. Locking your money in a high-interest GIC account means your money will continue to grow at a guaranteed rate. 

EQ Bank has competitive GICs rates for investors with different objectives and budgets from three months to ten-year terms. 

The minimum investment of EQ Bank GIC is $100, and the maximum limit is $100,000. However, you can invest up to 20 GICs as an individual. 

The following are the current EQ Bank GIC rates as of the time of writing this review: 

Key Features

  • Competitive interest rates
  • No banking fees
  • Low minimum deposit
  • $100,000 maximum limit per GIC
  • Real-time updates
  • CDIC protection

Learn more: EQ Bank GIC Review


Neo Financial vs EQ Bank 

The following table highlights the key differences and similarities between Neo Financial vs EQ Bank for your easy selection.

FeaturesNeo FinancialEQ Bank
Savings account interest rate2.25%
2.00%
Monthly feesNoneNone
Free Interac e-TransferYesYes
Free bill paymentsYesYes
Mobile cheque depositNoYes
Credit cardYesNo
TFSA, RSP and GICs account NoYes
USD account and international money transfersNoYes
CDIC protectionYesYes

While Neo Financial and EQ Bank share much in common, you can see they differ in terms of the high-interest rate on a savings account, monthly fees, account types and other features. 

Let’s now take a detailed view of the key differences and similarities between Neo Financial and EQ Bank.

Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: Savings Interest Rate

Both Neo Financial and EQ Bank offer high-interest rates on savings accounts, with Neo Financial’s savings account rate slightly lower (2.25%) than EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account rate (2.00%).

In addition, EQ Bank offers high-interest tax-advantaged accounts (TFSA and RSP), but Neo Financial has none. 

Also, EQ Bank’s savings account has chequing account features, such as cheque deposit, bill payment and other chequing account transactions.

You can’t find these features on Neo Financial’s savings account.

Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: Fees 

EQ Bank has no monthly fees and transaction charges on its Savings Plus account. Neo Savings is also fee-free with no transaction fees.

However, the Neo Card has premium account tiers with exclusive benefits and features that charge $2.99/month on Neo Card Plus, and the $8.99 on Neo Ultra.

Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: Credit Card

Neo Financial has a credit card, while EQ Bank doesn’t.

So if you’re looking for an online bank with a high-interest rate on a savings account and competitive reward credit card, Neo Financial is a better choice.

Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

EQ Bank has registered and non-registered GICs, while Neo Financial has none.

The EQ Bank GICs offer competitive rates and flexible terms compared to other GICs in Canada. So it could be your perfect choice when looking for the best GICs in Canada.

Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: US Dollar Account

EQ Bank has a US Dollar account that allows you to convert your CAD funds to USD at a low exchange rate and pays a competitive rate of 1.40%.

Unfortunately, Neo Financial doesn’t have this account offering at the moment. 

Also, EQ Bank offers access to fast and cheap international money transfers through its partnership with Wise.

Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: Deposit Protection 

Deposits up to $100,000 in Neo Financial and EQ Bank are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.

And by spreading your funds across the different EQ Bank account offerings, you get a protection of $100,000 in each account.


Neo Financial vs EQ Bank: Which to Choose? 

You are now probably wondering which once to choose between Neo Financial vs EQ Bank.

The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either of these neo-banks.

But when it comes to narrowing your selection, it’s important to pay attention to certain factors. Depending on your needs, you may find Neo Financial or EQ Bank perfect for your situation.

For example, if you’re just looking to save your funds in an unregistered high-interest savings account, EQ Bank pays a slightly higher interest.

Since Neo Financial doesn’t currently have registered accounts, EQ Bank should be your perfect choice when looking for high-interest savings registered accounts, such as TFSA and RRSP. Plus it’s a top high interest GIC provider.

If you’re looking for a hybrid savings account with chequing account features, EQ Bank savings account is also the better option. 

EQ Bank’s savings account has chequing account features, such as cheque deposit, bill payment and other chequing account transactions. You can’t’ find these features on Neo Financial’s savings account.

Unlike Neo Financial, EQ Bank doesn’t have a credit card at the moment. So if you’re looking for a high-interest savings account with a reward credit card, Neo Financial is your available option. 


Final Thoughts on Neo Financial vs EQ Bank

EQ Bank and Neo Financial are great choice when it comes to banking with online banks and neo banks in Canada.

As stated previously, either bank scores top points and the better one will come down to your specific banking needs.

Hopefully, the comparison above would help you make the right choice. If you’re still in doubt or have any questions about this Neo Financial vs EQ Bank comparison, please leave a comment below.

If you like this post, kindly explore our other relevant posts to learn more about the best financial products in Canada. 

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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