How To Decide Which Canadian Bank Is For You

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If you’re trying to live according to a budget in Canada, finding the right bank is an important part of the process. You have to consider how it is going to help you save money and what impact going into overdraft will have on you. Choosing the right bank will make a big difference in the long run.

But most people simply don’t know where to start. Every bank offers a range of accounts, and all attempt to get your attention. They claim they can do it all for you. How do you know if they really can?

Here are some tips to help you decide which bank in Canada is right for you.

Solid Savings

It is important to be saving no matter what stage of life you’re at. For this reason, any bank you choose should have a solid savings option. Some banks excel at this. Scotiabank’s subsidiary Tangerine Bank has particularly consumer-friendly account types.

Tangerine savings accounts all offer similar interest rates of 1.25%, but will more than double that for the first 6 months. They make saving attractive, which is exactly what is needed for those of us who would rather leave it for later.

Low (or no) Fees

Banks try to make it seem like their fees won’t make a difference to you. That you’ll barely notice the money disappearing from your accounts every month. And if you’re earning big bucks, that may be true.

But banking fees can hit you harder than you expect, especially if you have multiple accounts. Furthermore, if you don’t happen to have enough in your account when they try to debit it, they may fine you.

Look closely at the fees a bank charges and find out what you’re getting for them. Often, any rewards you may be privy to you could better acquire on your own.

Check Their Digital Functionality

If you think a good mobile banking experience is a bonus, think again. These days, digital functionality can make budgeting and saving that much easier. Rather than take your time making transfers that can save you money, you can do it immediately with no trouble. Rather than looking through pages of bank statements, you can search for whatever you’re looking for.

This is particularly useful when it comes to budgeting. You can categorize your purchases with ease, or connect to an app that will do it for you. You’re more likely to stick to your budget if you can see the impact of purchases in real time on a slick interface.

Beware of the Small Print

All banks have small print that they would rather you didn’t read. In it, they detail everything that could go wrong and the consequences you can expect if they do. But some banks are more shady in this area than others.


Take note of how much small print there is and how much new information is included there. In some cases, you’ll end up getting an account that functions completely differently than you thought it would. The small print is no small thing. If a bank is trying to hide too much, it’s best to stay away.

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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family as well as The Genealogy Queen and a few others.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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