EQ Bank Review- No Fee Banking Account + 2.45% Everyday Interest (2020)

EQ Bank or Equitable Group Inc. is a growing Canadian financial services business that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Equitable Bank. Through its proven branchless 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. 

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, respectively.

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.

eq bankIs EQ Bank The Right Choice?

We make it easy to bank on your own terms by keeping our terms simple. Our EQ Bank 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

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.

TFSA Investment Options

  • 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)

    • Quarterly

    • Semi-annually

    • Annually

  • Compounded annually

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

EQ Bank’s High-Interest Savings Account (HISAs)

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

Minimum TFSA Deposit Amount at EQ Bank

  • Short-Term Deposits $500.00

  • GICs $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.

Contributing 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

TFSA Withdrawals

All withdrawals of the principal must be requested in writing.

eq bank

Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC)

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 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

  • No-Fee Banking

  • 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.

Benefits Of The Equitable 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

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.

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 CDIC’s applicable limits and policies.

How Does The 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.

By Phone

1-844-437-2265  Toll-Free (within North America)

By Email:

Mail:

EQ Bank – Digital Banking, 30 St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 700, TorontoON, 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 the best features of the 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

Quick Q’s About EQ Bank (FAQ)

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.

Conclusion 

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. 

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EQ Bank Review

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Benefits

4.5/5

Rewards

4.8/5

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

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