EQ Bank or Equitable Group Inc. is a growing Canadian financial services business that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Equitable Bank.
Through it’s proven branch less approach and customer service focus, Equitable Bank has grown to approximately $32 billion of Assets Under Management.
Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger Bank, is the country’s ninth-largest independent Schedule I bank and offers a diverse suite of residential lending, commercial lending and savings solutions to Canadians.
EQ Bank does not have cheques or a debit card, you need another account to start with them.
With Simplii Financial you get free cheques and promos on interest. Further it has Line Of Credit’s, etc.
Tangerine Bank has better sign up bonuses (it was $50 when I previously saw), but if you use cheques, you’ll have to pay for them.
While Tangerine relies on Scotia ATMs, Simplii Financial is a subsidiary of CIBC and its ATMs.
Let’s get started.
Who Are The EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is brought to you by Equitable Bank, a federally regulated Schedule Bank with over 800 employees and total assets under management of approximately $32 billion.
For nearly 45 years, brokers across the country have been helping Canadians realize their financial goals through Equitable Bank products such as mortgages, home equity lines of credit and a variety of deposit services.
EQ Bank, the digital banking arm of Equitable Bank provides state-of-the-art digital banking services to over 91,000 Canadians and has an award-winning mobile app.
Equitable Bank was founded in 1970 as The Equitable Trust Company. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc., whose common and preferred shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols EQB and EQB.PR.C.
How To Open An EQ Bank Account?
You’ll have to meet the below criteria to open an EQ Bank account.
Be a Canadian resident
Meet their province’s age of majority (18 or 19 years old, depending on where you live)
Have a Social Insurance Number
Also, note that EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is not available in Quebec.
Is EQ Bank The Right Choice?
First of all, EQ Bank makes banking extremely simple and easy.
Their Savings Plus Account helps you get the most out of your money, with no monthly fees, no minimum balances and no unnecessary fine print.
It’s a high-interest savings account that you can use like a chequing account for everyday banking such as paying bills and transferring money, without any hassles.
Plus, transfer your money when you need to – with free unlimited Interac e-Transfers per month and free unlimited Electronic Fund Transfers.
Locally Grown – Born in Canada and helping Canadians meet their financial goals for over 45 years
Strength in Numbers – $31 billion in assets under management and over 800 employees
Safety First – All deposit products are eligible for CDIC deposit insurance
EQ Bank Account Types
EQ Bank offers 2 main accounts that give customers a chance to earn better-than-average interest rates on their cash deposits.
1. EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
Some great features of the EQ Savings Plus Account include:
High-Interest Rates: Currently 2.30%. Interest is calculated daily and paid out monthly
Zero Minimum Balance
Zero Monthly Fees
Unlimited Free Interac e-Transfers
Unlimited Bill Payments
Free Electronic Funds Transfer
Free and Unlimited Day-to-Day Transactions
10 Free Linked Accounts
Free Mobile Cheque Deposits
Mobile Banking App
Customer Service that is available 7 days a week (8 am-midnight EST)
A major feature I like about EQ Bank’s savings account is its versatility.
Although they do not offer a checking account, you can use their savings accounts in a lot of similar ways, including to pay bills, transfer money between accounts at different banks, set up recurring or pre-authorized transfers and bill payments, deposit cheques, etc.
EQ Bank does not currently offer a dedicated TFSA savings account.
2. EQ Bank GICs
A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) is similar to a savings account and offers you a fixed percentage of interest that is paid on pre-determined dates. One of the main differences between a savings account and a typical GIC is that for a GIC, you may not be able to withdraw your funds until maturity.
GICs are a great way to save towards short-term goals since they come with very low risk and offer guaranteed returns. You also earn a bit more than when you just park your money in a savings account.
EQ Bank’s GICs have interest rates that are very competitive and they beat what is currently on offer by the competition.
Here are their current GIC offers:
3 months: 2.35%
6 months: 2.45%
9 months: 2.55%
1 year: 2.70%
2 years: 2.85%
3 years: 2.95%
4 years: 3.05%
5 years: 3.20%
A summary of the great perks offered by EQ Bank’s GICs include:
Competitive Interest Rates
Mobile Banking App
Real-Time Updates and a Contact Center that is available 7 days a week (8 am-midnight EST)
Signing up for an account with EQ Bank is pretty easy, and you should be ready to start saving within a few minutes.
EQ Bank HELOC
Equitable Bank’s HELOC has a number of options for anyone looking to unlock equity in their residential property:
No annual fee on your Access Card
A complimentary initial set of HELOC cheques
No standard processing fee on your HELOC cheques
No fee for having a zero balance
No fee for the current month’s statement
Monthly payment as low as interest-only
Free online account access
Use your Access Card for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted, and for cash advances from ATMs displaying the Visa and/or Plus logos.
EQ Bank Line Of Credit (LOC)
Equitable Bank’s Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is designed to help you manage your finances.
Our HELOC gives you flexible access to your funds any time to help you finance large purchases, home renovations or unexpected home repairs. Or it may simply be your rainy day fund.
Equitable Bank’s HELOC has a number of options for anyone looking to unlock equity in their residential property.
Need a mortgage and a HELOC? Combine your first mortgage and HELOC at the same time with Equitable Bank. Or you can apply for a HELOC if you have an existing Equitable Bank mortgage.
Have a mortgage elsewhere? You can use funds from your Equitable Bank HELOC to pay out your existing mortgage.
Have you paid off your home? The Equitable Bank HELOC is available at any time if you are mortgage-free.
EQ Bank High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)
Available from selected authorized investment advisors through the FundSERV network, the High-Interest Savings Account can help you grow your savings.
On a minimum purchase amount of $500, you can earn an interest of 1.60% P.A. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
You can invest up to a maximum of $500,000.
There are no fees, and the High-Interest Savings Account is CDIC eligible
All products eligible for Equitable Bank’s Tax-Free Savings Account are eligible for coverage under CDIC’s deposit insurance program subject to CDIC’s limits and policies.
EQ Bank TFSA Account
If you are a Canadian resident 18 years of age or older with a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), you are eligible to open a Tax-Free Savings Account.
All the interest earned on your eligible contributions is tax-free. The Annual TFSA eligible contribution limit is $6,000.
Short-Term Deposits – 30 through 364 days: Interest Paid at Maturity
Guaranteed Investment Certificates in terms from one to five years with interest payable :
Monthly (Direct Deposit Only)
If you would prefer to not withdraw, you may reinvest the interest earned in the GIC at the contract rate:
At maturity, the amounts can be automatically re-invested until a written request to withdraw the full or partial amount of the deposit is received
Minimum TFSA Deposit Amount at EQ Bank
Short-Term Deposits $500.00
At maturity, the principal amounts can be automatically re-invested until a written request to withdraw the full or a partial amount of the deposit is received.
Contribution and Withdrawal To Your TFSA
Cheque Payable to Equitable Bank
Partial withdrawals from an existing Equitable Bank investment for contribution to an Equitable Bank TFSA (continuing the same terms) will be available at any time
All withdrawals of the principal must be requested in writing to the EQ Bank.
How Safe Is EQ Bank?
Yes, all eligible deposits with Equitable Bank/EQ Bank are insured up to $100,000, per insurance category, as outlined by the CDIC in “Protecting Your Deposits.”
For example, you’re covered for up to $100,000 combined across your EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and your EQ Bank GICs, and any deposits you have with Equitable Bank.
EQ Bank is a trademark of Equitable Bank. Equitable Bank is a member of the CDIC. Deposits held under Equitable Bank are eligible for deposit insurance from the CDIC, subject to the applicable limits and policies.
How Does EQ Bank Make Money?
EQ Bank makes money by accepting deposits from customers, and then providing loans to other customers and earning interest from those loans.
As a branchless bank, EQ Bank is able to reduce its operating costs, and pass on those savings to you in the form of a great everyday interest rate on the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
What Is EQ To EQ Transfer?
EQ to EQ Transfers lets you to instantly send money to another EQ Bank customer for free.
You can send up to $30,000 per day (as opposed to a maximum of $3,000 per day for Interac e-Transfers). Funds sent through this method are not subject to holds, and funds are immediately available for use.
How To Send An EQ To EQ Transfer?
Using the EQ Bank mobile app, sign in to your account. Click on “Transfer” along the bottom of the screen, and then “Transfer to EQ Connection.”
Using a web browser, sign in to online banking. Under “Transfers,” click on “Transfer to EQ Connections.”
Is The Interest Earned From GIC Taxed?
Yes. Any interest you earn from your GIC investments will be included on your T5 tax slip.
T5 tax slips can be found by signing in to your account through the EQ Bank mobile app or online banking website.
EQ Bank’s Location And Customer Care
As you already know by now, EQ Bank doesn’t have any physical presence or branches available, you may still want to contact them for any queries. Here’s the information on how to contact them.
EQ Bank’s customer care service is available from 8 AM to midnight, Eastern Time, 7 days a week.
1-844-437-2265 Toll-Free (within North America)
EQ Bank – Digital Banking, 30 St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 700, Toronto, ON, M4V 3A1
EQ Bank’s Mobile App
In 2019, EQ bank has redesigned the mobile banking app with an all-new navigation bar, intuitive dashboard and updated features to help you manage your money on the go, no matter where you are.
Features Of The EQ Bank Mobile App
Below are some of the best features of the EQ Bank’s mobile app:
Pay bills – Make payments, manage payees and view upcoming bills.
Transfer money – Move funds between accounts, EQ Connections or with Interac e-Transfers
Cheque deposit – Snap a photo of a cheque to deposit your money quickly
Savings Goals – Set, edit and track the progress of specific goals you can create
Fingerprint authentication – Press your finger to sign into your account (no typing required)
Facial recognition – Get access to your profile securely to see your accounts at a glance
Link accounts – Add external accounts to make transferring money more convenient
Manage alerts – Select your preferences to receive text messages or email notifications
View documents – Download a void cheque to easily set up pre-authorized transfers
Pros Of EQ Bank
EQ Bank has a transit number so you can get your salary direct deposited there and earn interest on it right away
Easy setup for pre-authorized debit for all my credit cards
Unlimited and free e-Transfer
Free bill payment
Earn 2.3% interest every month
CDIC insured up to $100,000
Cons Of EQ Bank
Not easy to get cash out. You have to first transfer money to another account (Tangerine, Simplii) and then use a debit card at an ATM
no cheque facility
There’s transfer limit on EFT
EQ Bank vs. Tangerine Bank
EQ Bank is good because they’ve had a consistent interest rate throughout. I believe it’s always been greater than 2% since launch.
On the other side, Tangerine has a decent website and a good mobile app, but their savings account is more of a hassle than anything.
You get a promo interest rate which is more than 2% for signing up, but it only lasts for a period of 3-6 months.
What many people have done is taken all their money out after that, wait until they get another promo rate, and then put it back in. It’s kind of a pain in the butt to jump through hoops, but if you’re keen to maximize your interest you might want to have an account at both.
You can easily link the two online bank (EQ and Tangerine) and transfer back and forth to take advantage of whoever has the best rate at any point in time.
Pros: no fee, get ATM card, cheques, etc
Cons: promotional savings account rate is temporary
Pros: no fee, free e-Transfers (to a certain limit), amazing savings account rate which is there all the time, easy to use web app
Cons: virtual bank don’t have an ATM card
Think long run. Go with EQ bank as it gives a good rate for your savings account compared to tangerine which is temporary.
EQ Bank FAQ’s
Who owns EQ Bank?
EQ Bank is owned by Equitable Bank which is a federally regulated Schedule I Bank that has over 650 employees and over $26 billion in total assets under management.
Equitable Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equitable Group and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange as EQB.
Does EQ Bank offer a TFSA account?
No, EQ Bank does not currently offer a TFSA account.
Does the Bank have an App?
Yes, EQ Bank has an app that makes your online banking easy on the go.
They recently relaunched the app on App Store and Google Play with new and innovative features including fingerprint ID and facial recognition sign-in, as well as an overhauled user-friendly dashboard.
Does EQ Bank have a debit card?
No. However, their savings account works similar to a checking account in that you can deposit cheques, set-up direct deposits, pre-authorized debits, bill payments, Electronic Funds Transfers, and more.
What are EQ Bank’s GIC rates?
They offer some of the best GIC rates available in Canada today. You can check them out here.
EQ Bank is definitely one of the best banks in Canada in terms of operations, volume and size. The drawback here is its got no physical branches and you need to rely exclusively on its online presence in case of any issues.
Now, that can be problematic at times. We all like to be old school at the time right. That’s what I mean to say.
Apart from the online presence, the bank offers great interest rates, has support to the TFSA’s, RRSP and HISA Accounts. The mobile app is pretty good too.
Now-days, there are many online-only banks and EQ Bank is definitely on the top of the list. Do give it a try and see for yourself.
Please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
Top 10 Latest & Popular Posts
- Top 30 Canadian Blue Chip Stocks You Should Own
- How To Use A My Service Canada Account
- Top 7 Personal Finance Apps You Should Install In Canada
- How To Watch Free TV Shows In Canada – List of 10 Best Sites
- 10 Costco Membership Benefits You Need To Know Today
- How To Open A CRA My Account – Helpful Step-By-Step Guide
- Retirement Benefits & Old Age Security Pension (OAS) In Canada
- 7 Quick Ways To Maximize Your PC Optimum Points
- WestJet Rewards Review – Everything You Need To Know
- How To Get An Emergency Canadian Passport – Complete Guide
EQ Bank Review
- EQ Bank has an app that makes your online banking easy on the go
- No fee for having a zero balance
- High-Interest Rates: Currently 2.30%. Interest is calculated daily and paid out monthly
- Lack of access to a brick-and-mortar location if you are old school, some limits on daily electronic transactions, a lack of a TFSA account, and lack of a debit card or joint accounts
- EQ Bank does not currently offer a TFSA account
Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.