Banking in Canada

Banking can be different here. Let's help you make sense of it.

What you should know about Canada’s banking system

Bank fees are standard

Banks often charge fees for services that make banking more convenient such as sending money or taking cash out from ABMs belonging to other banks.

Interest rates are lower

Interest rates on savings accounts can be lower than some other countries, but these accounts are very reliable investments. View our current list of savings account rates.

Your credit score matters

Building a good credit history is important because lenders will check your credit score to determine whether to approve you for things like cell phone plans, rental housing, and lines of credit.

Carrying debt is common

Carrying a certain amount of debt is quite common in North America. From cars, to student loans, to mortgages, the majority of Canadian households carry some form of debt.

Rewards are popular

Points, miles, cash back – banks will often offer these types of free benefits to reward you for using your debit or credit cards.

Canadian banking products breakdown

Scotiabank International Account

A Scotiabank International Account is a non-transactional bank account that lets you transfer funds to Canada before you move. Once you arrive, you can set up a transactional bank account, such as a chequing or savings account.

Chequing accounts

A chequing account is a bank account that is designed for your everyday banking needs like withdrawing cash, paying bills and sending money. While chequing accounts typically earn little or no interest, many have unlimited transactions.

Savings account

A savings account is a bank account designed to help you build savings. They typically have more limits on the number of free transactions you can make, but they also have higher interest rates, so you can grow your savings faster.

Credit cards

A credit card provides you with a set amount of funds to pay for purchases. If you pay your balance in full each month, the bank will not charge you interest on your purchases. Credit cards are one of the fastest ways you can build your credit in Canada.

Have questions about Canadian banking?

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