EQ Bank Review – Canada’s Top Digital Bank 2021

EQ Bank Review Rating: 4.8/5

 

Are you looking for an online bank with high interest rates and no monthly fees? This EQ Bank review got you covered!

EQ Bank’s philosophy is to bring the best digital banking and give you a one-stop financial solution.

With competitive interest rates and no everyday banking fees, EQ Bank is suitable for anyone looking for a cost-effective banking experience.

However, there’s another part of the story that this EQ Bank review aims to give you a balanced picture of what EQ Bank really is.

That said, this EQ Bank review is basically the results of my personal experience and what I have learnt from other people’s experiences.

So at the end of this review, you should be able to determine whether EQ Bank is suitable for you or not.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents
13 FAQs on EQ Bank Review

What is EQ Bank?

Officially established in 2016, EQ Bank is an online bank brought to you by the popular Canadian federally regulated Schedule I bank, Equitable Bank.

Based in Toronto, Equitable Bank has been in operation for over 45 years and has recruited over 900 employees with more than $36 billion in assets under management.

That said, EQ Bank is an online-only bank with no physical presence, leading to low operational costs.

Accordingly, the operation cost enables EQ Bank to give their clients high-interest rates and accounts with no monthly fees.

Furthermore, EQ Bank has in 2019 partnered with TransferWise to enable its customers to make fast and cheap international transactions from their EQ Bank Savings Plus or Joint Savings Plus accounts.

Consequently, many Canadians appreciate this because sending money overseas can be expensive due to wire transfer costs and exchange rates.

Therefore, all things being equal, EQ Bank is a leading digital bank in Canada and one of the world’s innovative banks.

Is EQ Bank Safe?

Yes, Yes, and Yes!!!

EQ Bank is registered with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which insured your deposit of up to $100,000.

Also, EQ Bank has robust online security, including two-step verification. Additionally, it can customize your notifications for larger transaction alerts and up-to-date encryption protection requirements.

Pros & Cons of EQ Bank

Here I present to you the pros and cons of EQ Bank based on my personal experience to help you make informed decisions.

Pros

  • High-interest rates
  • Ease of use
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance required
  • Free Interac e-Transfers®
  • Free bill payments
  • No Electronic Fund Transfers fees
  • Cheap international money transfers

Cons

  • No ATM access
  • No one-on-one service

Besides having more pros than cons, EQ Bank distinguishes itself from other online banking by having exceptional features with no everyday banking fees.

So as you continue reading, you will learn more about why EQ Banks deserves my 4.8/5 star rating.

EQ Bank’s Accounts

EQ Bank has five accounts with competitive offers that help you make the best of your money. Let’s examine them one after the other.

1. Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account provides a high everyday interest rate of 1.25%. That said, this account has impressive additional benefits such as free Interac e-Transfers®, fee electronic funds transfers and free bill payments.

Furthermore, the flexibility of the EQ Bank Savings Account is one of the best features I like. Even though EQ Bank doesn’t have a chequing account, its savings account can be used similarly.

Key Features

  • 25% everyday interest rate
  • $200,000 maximum balance/individual
  • No Interac e-Transfers® fees
  • No monthly fees
  • Free bill payments
  • No minimum balance
  • Zero Electronic Fund Transfers charges
  • Zero charges on EQ to EQ transfers
  • Cheap international money transfers
  • CDIC insured

2. Joint Savings Plus Account

EQ Bank Joint Savings Plus Accounts are for people who are very familiar with one another (such as couples or friends) and want to open a joint savings account. In this type of account:

  • A co-holder of the account can withdraw all the funds without the permission of the other.
  • A co-holder of the account can view the account transactions of the other.
  • If one of the account co-holder marriage dissolved, the account could split accordingly.

Key Features

  • 25% interest
  • No minimum balance
  • Free bills payment
  • Free e-Transfers
  • No monthly fees
  • CDI insured
  • Savings Plus Account features

3. TFA Savings Account

EQ Bank’s TFSA Accounts have one of the highest interest rates compared to other TFSA in Canada.

Accordingly, with TFSA accounts, your interest accumulates tax-free for life, and you can withdraw your funds at all times without any charges.

Therefore, the TFSA contribution room determines how much you can deposit in your TFSA account annually tax-free. The contribution room for 2021 is $6,000.

However, if you were qualified and never used a TFSA account since it was established in 2009, your total contribution room from 2019-2021 is $75,500.

So if you want to learn more about TFSA, read this comprehensive article.

Key Features

  • 25% interest
  • Zero fee
  • Easy and free withdrawals
  • Automatic recurring deposit
  • CDIC insured
  • No minimum account balance
  • Tax-free returns

4. Guaranteed Income Certificate (GIC)

Like Savings Plus Accounts, EQ Bank GIC pays you a fixed percentage of interest on a particular period.

Furthermore, one of the most significant distinctions between a savings account and GIC is that you can withdraw your savings at all times.

But a GIC may not allow you to make withdrawals until maturity.

Therefore, if you have short-term financial goals, you may consider saving on GICs because they provide guaranteed returns with low risk.

Also, you could make a little more money than if you just put your money in a savings account.

Key Features

  • High-interest rates
  • Zero banking fee
  • Real-Time Updates

Notably, the interest rates on EQ Bank’s GICs are high, and they outperform what their competitors are currently offering.

Here are the current EQ Bank GIC terms and rates:

Non-registered GICs

 

TermRate
3 Month1.50%
6 Month1.30%
9 Month1.25%
1 Year1.30%
15 Month1.30%
2 Year1.30%
27 Month1.30%
3 Year1.60%
4 Year1.85%
5 Year2.10%
6 Year2.00%
7 Year2.10%
10 Year2.40%

 

Registered GICs
EQ Bank RSP GIC

 

TermRate
3 month2.30%
6 month1.80%
9 month1.65%
1 year1.50%
15 month1.30%
2 year1.30%
27 month1.30%
3 year1.60%
4 year1.85%
5 year2.10%
6 year2.00%
7 year2.10%
10 year2.40%
 
 
EQ Bank TFSA GIC

 

TermRate
3 month2.30%
6 month1.80%
9 month1.65%
1 year1.50%
15 month1.30%
2 year1.30%
27 month1.30%
3 year1.60%
4 year1.85%
5 year2.10%
6 year2.00%
7 year2.10%
10 year2.40%

 

5. EQ Bank’s Retirement Savings Account

Obviously, if you’re searching for a low-risk way to put your retirement savings … EQ Bank’s Retirement Savings Plans (RSPs) are ideal.

Comparably, just like RRSP, taxes on your RSP account are withheld not until you make a withdrawal. Also, tax deductions apply to deposits you make to your RSP account.

Key Features

  • 25% interest
  • Automatic contributions
  • Zero fees
  • Tax benefits
  • Easy access
  • CDIC insured
  • No minimum balances

How to Sign up for an EQ Bank Retirement Savings Account?

To sign up for an EQ Bank Retirement Savings Account, you meet the following requirements.

  • Be a Canadian resident.
  • Reached the age of majority in your province
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Once you meet the above requirements, click here to sign up for an EQ Bank Retirement Savings Account.

EQ Bank Review: My 5-Star Rating

Here are the factors that determine the 4.8-star rating of my EQ Bank review:

 

FeatureRating
High-Interest Savings Rate*****
GIC Interest Rate*****
Fees*****
Ease of Use*****
Customer Service****
Mobile App*****
FREE Interac e-Transfers®*****
Account Options**** (4.5)

 

How Do You Set Up an EQ Bank Account?

Since EQ Bank does not have any physical locations, you can only open an EQ Bank account online.

Therefore, all you need to get started is to visit the sign-in page of the EQ Bank, identify the account type that suits your need and then fill the boxes.

However, before considering opening an EQ Bank account, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • Be Canadian resident
  • You meet your province’s age of majority (18 or 19)
  • Have a Social Insurance Number

Note: Quebec residents are not eligible to open an EQ Bank account.

Subsequently, you will be required to link your current bank account to your new EQ Bank to simplify transactions and authenticate your identity.

However, the information from your other account is not shared with others, even EQ Bank, so you have nothing to lose.

How to Open an EQ Bank USD Account?

The EQ Bank US Dollar Account is a flexible account for making cheap international money transfers with US dollars.

If you don’t have an EQ Bank account, you need to open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account before opening an EQ Bank USD account.

But if you already have an EQ Bank account, all you need is to sign in through your account.

To transfer funds to your EQ Bank USD account, all you need is to link any of your Canadian external accounts to your EQ Bank USD.

Subsequently, you can make money transfers in CAD, and it will be automatically deposited as USD into your EQ Bank USD account.

How Do International Money Transfers Work?

EQ Bank has partnered with Wise to help its customers make easy and cheap international money transfers.

All you need is to log in to your EQ Bank account online or on your smartphone and make your transfer.

Although you need to Open a Wise account to make international money transfers on EQ Bank.

But you can do that easily by clicking the “Send International Transfer” on your EQ Bank account.

EQ Bank Mobile App

As mentioned earlier in this EQ Bank review, you can access EQ Bank online or through your mobile phone.

You can download the EQ Bank Mobile App on Google Play Store or Apple Store.

The EQ Bank Mobile App has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use by all.

EQ Bank Referral Program

EQ Bank Referral Program allows you to refer your friends and family to EQ Bank and earn a commission for that.

All you need is to sign in to your EQ Bank account and navigate to “Refer a friend,” copy your referral link and share.

However, before you get started, ensure you read the EQ Bank Referral Program Terms and Conditions.

How Does EQ Bank Compare to Other Banks?

Now that you’ve got a complete picture of EQ Bank, here I compare EQ Bank with one of its top competitors, Tangerine, helping you make the best decision.

 

FeaturesEQ BankTangerine
Accounts●     Savings Plus Account

●     Joint Savings Plus Account

●     GICs

●     TFSA

●     RSP

●     Savings account

●     Chequing account

●     TFSA

●     RSP

●     RIF accounts

●     U.S dollar accounts

●     General investment accounts

Saving Account Interest Rate1.25%2.10% for 5 months, 0.10% after
TFSA/RSP Interest Rate1.25%0.10%
ATM Cash WithdrawalNoYes
Interac e-Transfers®  ChargesFreeFree
Everyday Banking Fees$0$0
NSF Fee$0$45
Account MinimumNoneNone
Discounted International Money TransfersYesNo
Linked External AccountsUp to 10Up to 3
CDIC InsuranceYesYes

 

Although EQ Bank and Tangerine share some Similarities, both have no physical presence. Instead, they are all accessible on android and iOS devices.

Thus, Tangerine could be the best option for you if you look for a feature-packed online-only bank with savings, chequing, and general investment options.

But if you’re looking to save more money and prepare for your retirement, EQ Bank is your ideal option.

EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Accounts and GICs can help you achieve your financial goals with ease with their high-interest rates.

Depending on your needs, you can use both Tangerine and EQ bank to achieve your goals.

Verdict on EQ Bank Review

By making it to this stage of my EQ Bank review … you are now informed on what EQ Bank entails, its benefits, drawbacks, account options, and even competition.

However, to demonstrate a better understanding of this knowledge, you should now be able to determine whether to open an EQ Bank or a Tangerine account or both.

Above all, the aim of my EQ Bank review has been achieved.

Therefore, the ball is now on your court to take the practical step and ensure you make the best of your hard-earned money.

Whatever option you choose, ensure that you’re on the right track and your money is not only safe but growing daily.

Overall, my EQ Bank review is positive, and I recommend it to anyone looking to save more and prepare for their retirement cost-effectively.

Finally, let me know your thoughts about my EQ Bank review in the comment.

FAQs on EQ Bank Review

Who Owns EQ Bank?

The Equitable Bank owns EQ Bank. Equitable Bank is the ninth-largest Canadian bank.

Does CDIC Cover My Deposits On EQ Bank?

Yes. The CDIC covers your deposits on EQ Bank up to $100,000.

How Does EQ Bank Make Money?

EQ Bank makes money through the interest earned from customer deposits and loan provisions.

Why Do I Need to Provide My Social Insurance Number (SIN) When Opening an Account?

You need to provide your SIN with opening an account with EQ Bank because the Income Tax Act requires all banks to obtain it.

Also, Banks are required to do so in order to give the CRA report of the interest you earn on your account.

Does EQ Bank Hold Direct Deposits?

EQ Bank holds on deposits. It makes your funds available immediately after deposit.

Does EQ Bank Offer Business Accounts?

No. EQ Bank doesn’t offer business accounts at the moment.

Can I Use EQ Bank if I Live Outside of Canada?

Once you are a Canadian resident, you can use your EQ Bank account outside of Canada.

Does EQ Bank Conduct Credit Check?

Yes. EQ Bank conducts a credit check to verify your credit report. However, this will not affect your credit score.

What Type of Products Does EQ Bank Offer?

EQ Bank offers registered and unregistered accounts. This includes savings, TFSA, RSP and GIC accounts.

Does EQ Bank Offer Accounts for Students or Seniors?

Yes, EQ Bank offers accounts that suit Canadian students and seniors.

Does EQ Bank Have a Referral Program?

Yes, EQ Bank has a referral program that allows you to earn a commission by sharing your referral link.

How Do I Deposit a Cheque Using the EQ Bank Mobile App?

All you need to deposit a cheque using the EQ Bank mobile app is to:

  • Use the EQ Bank mobile app to sign in to your account.
  • Navigate to “Deposit.”
  • Enter the dollar value.
  • Provide the account you want to deposit the funds into.
  • Snap the front and back of the cheque.
  • Click “Deposit.”
What Kind of Fees Are Associated With My Savings Plus Account?

EQ Bank has no monthly banking fees. It also has no transaction fees. Check out EQ Bank’s range of free banking services.

How Do I Set Up a Direct Deposit to My Savings Plus Account?

If you are using the EQ Bank mobile app, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your EQ Bank account.
  • Navigate to “Set up Direct Deposit.”
  • Click on “Download void cheque.”

But if you’re using a web browser, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to online banking.
  • Navigate to “Direct deposit,”
  • Click on “Generate void cheque.”

After you have generated the void cheque, you can submit it to the payment provider.

How Do I Change the Email Address I Use to Sign in With EQ Bank?

If you are using the EQ Bank mobile app, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your EQ Bank account
  • Navigate to “Manage my account.”
  • Click on “Profile.”
  • Click “Edit.”

But if you are using a web browser, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to online banking.
  • Navigate to “Profile.”
  • Click “Edit.”
Where Can I Download the EQ Bank Mobile App?

If you are using an Android device, you can download the EQ Bank Mobile App at Google Play Store. But if you are using an iOS device, you can download it at Apple Store.

What Happens to My Account if I Die?

If you die, your next of skin or executor is expected to inform the EQ Bank through one of the following channels:

Email: estates@eqbank.ca

Call: 1-844-437-2265 (844-4EQ-BANK)

Your next of kin or executor should inform the EQ Bank about the date of death.

If your lawyer or trustee details are available, they should also be provided. The EQ Bank will help.

Do I Need to Maintain a Minimum Balance in My EQ Bank Account?

No. EQ Bank has no minimum balance requirement.

Does EQ Bank Have Wire Transfers?

No. EQ Bank doesn’t currently have wire transfers.

How Will I Receive My Referral Bonus?

You will receive your EQ Bank referral bonus when the eligible deposit is complete.

The bonus will be paid directly to your account, usually in the next business day.

How Long is My Referral Link Valid For?

Your EQ Bank referral link has no expiry date.

How Many EQ Bank Savings Accounts Can I Open?

You can open up to five EQ Bank savings accounts in addition to one TFSA and one RSP accounts.

How Do I Open an EQ Bank Joint Account?

If you already have an EQ Bank account, you can convert it into a joint account. If not, follow these steps to open an EQ Bank joint account:

  • Use an online browser to sign in to EQ Bank online banking.
  • Navigate to “Products.”
  • Click “Open account.”
  • Choose the joint option.
  • Provide your details.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Invite co-holders (up to 3)
  • Review the details of your invitation
  • Click “Submit.”
Can I Share a Joint Account With Someone Who’s Not a Canadian Resident?

You can’t share your EQ Bank joint account with some who’s not a Canadian resident (excluding Quebec).

So EQ Bank Offers Mortgage Products?

It has been over 50 years since Equity Bank began offering mortgage products.

The Equitable Bank will discount your mortgage rate if you decide it is the right mortgage for you… ensuring that you receive the best possible rate.

I Already Have a Mortgage With Equitable Bank. Do I Renew My Mortgage Here?

Yes, you can renew your EQ Bank Mortgage. All you need is to call EQ Bank customer care at 1-888-334-3313 or email them at renewals@eqbank.ca.

Can I Deposit a US Dollar Cheque into My EQ Bank US Dollar Account?

You can’t deposit a US dollar cheque into your EQ Bank US Dollar account at the moment.

Does EQ Bank offer a Joint US Dollar Account?

No. EQ Bank has no Joint US Dollar Account at the moment.

Can I Send an Interac e-Transfer® from My EQ Bank US Dollar Account?

Yes, you make Interac e-Transfers® using the EQ Bank International Money Transfer service, which is powered by Wise.

What is Wise?

Wise is an international money transfer service provider. It was established in 2011 and has provided service to more than 6 million people across 71 countries.

How Does EQ Bank Protect My Account?

EQ Bank has industry-based security measures to safeguard your account. They constantly monitor and enhance their security features to protect your account.

For more information about how EQ Bank protects your account, contact the EQ Bank Mobile and Online Banking Security Guarantee.

How Does EQ Bank Protect My Personal Information?

EQ Bank has several measures of protecting your personal information. Check out their Privacy Agreement for comprehensive information.

What Should I Do if I Suspect Unauthorized Access to My EQ Bank Account?

Once you notice any unauthorized access to your EQ Bank account, call 1-844-437-2265.

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