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Canadian bank accounts

Learn how to prioritize financial wellness and plan a budget for a stress-free academic journey.

When money’s tight, having the right bank account with minimal fees will reduce stress and lead to a better university experience.

You should explore low- or no-fee student accounts and the bank plans best suited for your lifestyle and financial needs. Look out for perks and special features designed for students, such as unlimited transactions, the Student Price Card, and sign-on bonuses. 

Choosing the right bank

Banking fees

Check that free banking is offered in the form of an account or bank plan. This generally means that you can operate your account's basics without incurring costs. Also, check what charges you might incur if you exceed your transaction limit. 

Branch & ATM Location

Having a branch and ATM from your bank near you can help save on withdrawal fees and make branch services more accessible.

Protecting your financial information

Five steps to protect your financial information online:

  • Create different and strong passwords for each of your financial accounts
  • Enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible
  • Protect your PIN  
  • Protect your credit card information
  • Check your credit report for errors

To learn more about each step, please visit Government of Canada’s Financial Literacy website.

Loan recognition

Ensure that the bank accepts and processes Government Issued Loan documents. Some government funding programs only authorized specific banking institutions to process their government loan documents.

International students

Some bank may require the 1-2 of the following documents to open an account:

  • A valid passport
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM Form 5292)
  • Temporary permit (IMM Form 1442, 1208, 1102)
  • Canadian or USA Driver’s License
  • Canadian Government Identification Card

Incentives / Programs

If, after deciding what features are important to you, you've narrowed your choice down to a small number of banks, consider the incentives they offer. Banks can include a range of incentives to sign up, such as monetary prizes, etc., before getting an account for its incentive; think about what you need from a current account. 

Other features to consider:

  • Loans for postgraduate training
  • Transaction fees
  • International money transfers
  • Mobile banking
  • Interac etransfer fees
  • ATM network
  • Perks (rewards, SPC, etc.)
  • Sign-up promotions

Find student banking accounts

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