Personal Finance

Recently got Permanent residency of Canada, any recommendations for banking accounts and credit cards?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 8th, 2020 5:23 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 15, 2019
58 posts
116 upvotes

Recently got Permanent residency of Canada, any recommendations for banking accounts and credit cards?

I have been searching and browsing online forums to find the best banking account to open when I come to Canada, I would be highly thankful to you if you can guide or point me in the direction of a new good no fee banking account with any new bonuses if possible.
12 replies
Deal Guru
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May 8, 2009
13294 posts
10550 upvotes
Leask
There's a "best card for" sticky in CC's.

For banking, the subsidiary banks are IMO your best option. Good to have at least one credit union membership (especially if a no fee chq account is available), and you may want either a line of credit or savings account at one or more of the "big banks" while waiting for pre-approvals on their promotional offerings.

The general consensus for banking seems to be Simplii & Alterna for chequing/savings machinery, EQ Bank (requires Equifax pull), then Motive & LBC for high interest...with Tangerine and Motusbank "okay" for their promotional signup bonuses. Big banks are whatever suits you, mainly for credit card (churning).

The general consensus on a solid CC combo is AmEx Cobalt (assuming you can justify one CC with annual fee...the alternative is a high earning G&G "big bank"/Meridian CU VISA...still with annual fee but could be waived through their uncompetitive multi-product combos), paired with CTFS Down-pointing Red Triangle WE (free roadside since most ppl drive at least sometimes), then Brim for spending in foreign currency. You could swap these cards around for either more annual fee cards, lower rewards, or "more hassle". But basically that's a good starter combo to cover most or all of the major food groups (high earn, minimize fees, max included features, extended warranty decent, etc.). Of course, a popular RFD pick is Simplii VISA if your no-AmEx resto spend is high, but again to justify the extra card dedicated to a category, you'd have to maintain spend close to the cap (say your no-AmEx resto is consistently $4-5k/yr). For more annual fee cards, both HSBC WE and BNS Passport Inf also have their fan bases. AmEx platinum charge card (personal and business) also rank high due to its array of features, also comes with a hefty annual fee. The other general consensus is once you have a solid credit history, just churn however much you want in order to hit and/or maintain your target in annual credit card rewards.
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Deal Fanatic
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Nov 13, 2010
6693 posts
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Scarborough
Creditcard - get a card that has no annual fees.

Bank accounts- either at a credit union. Or get the newcomers banking package at any bank

Then around a year from this, checkout online bank like simplii and move there your chequing account!
Member
Feb 18, 2019
373 posts
403 upvotes
I'm guessing that you don't have a credit file in Canada yet?

If that's the case, you'll probably want to grab a "newcomers package" from one of the big banks, as they will give you a credit card as part of the deal. CIBC will waive all fees for 1 year, I'm not sure about the other banks.
https://newcomer.cibc.com/cibc-welcome- ... ng-package

After a year or so, you can then branch out to other credit cards / bank accounts. For banking Simplii is great for no fees (https://www.simplii.com/en/home.html). I'd say grab this as soon as you get here, but Simplii is online only and requires a credit check - I don't know if they have a process to let you open an account with no credit history.

If you have an AMEX in whatever country you're from, you can use their global transfer program and get a card in Canada. If this is an option for you, take advantage of it as that will give you access to far better cards in the first year or 2 while you build your credit history.

Once you've built up some history in Canada, check out the stickied post in this forum for good credit cards that will suit your needs.
Sr. Member
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Apr 29, 2018
680 posts
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Highly recommend that newcomers package, though all banks offer one. CIBC i think is the best in that regards.

For bank account, I must recommend EQBank. It can handle everything, from Direct Deposits, to Bill Payment, Interac Transfers and gives a 2.45% interest on everything. Also, the one account system of theirs is the best. No need for separate Chequing & Savings accounts. Only thing is they do not offer ATM Cards, so I have a Simplii & Tangerine account, just for the ATM access.

For CC, the Rogers MC World Elite is a really good option. No fees. 1.75% Cashback. Plus includes Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Rental Car Collision/Damage, Out-of-Province/Out-of-Country Emergency Medical, Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation.
Deal Addict
May 15, 2013
1693 posts
434 upvotes
Montreal
Yeah, as the last 2 answer, you need to take advantake of the Newscomers package that last 3 years offered by any big bank and you could take in more than 1 Bank.
I opened with RBC and Scotiabank. Sometimes they want to give credit card only with a deposit, so go with the one that gives you a credit card. I got $1000 credit limit from RBC.
Other free perk they give you is a safe deposit box.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 13, 2010
6693 posts
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Scarborough
Remember to always check prices of each and make decisions as per your circumstances
Try to save as much as possible and aboud fees. Cibc tends to offer credit card with low amount like $500-$1000 limit which is good enough these days for starters. Go in-branch to get it dont try online
Deal Addict
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Mar 10, 2018
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centre of universe
anmolberi wrote: Thanks @apnayloags @iamthebest @kramer1 @DonkeyDoo @titaniumtux , I think I have got the right option with BMO Newstart program and EQ bank because of the high savings interest rate.
What do you guys think of it
Right now forget how high interest and other things. Just have a credit history started/created IMO. The you can move around anywhere you want.
I dont care about Ethics, morals, rules or laws. I will apologies only when I get caught.
I try not to apologies but sometimes do it. not because its right thing but it benefits me.
New Mantra for idiots Just ask RFD before searching answers anywhere.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
8071 posts
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Markham
anmolberi wrote: Thanks @apnayloags @iamthebest @kramer1 @DonkeyDoo @titaniumtux , I think I have got the right option with BMO Newstart program and EQ bank because of the high savings interest rate.
What do you guys think of it
Have you landed yet? My experience, when you just arrive here, you need money to settle, so branch and ATM network are important factors. If you have been here for awhile, it's different story
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 15, 2019
58 posts
116 upvotes
I actually came here 5 years ago to study and opened a student account with rbc and then left the country after 2 years but kept the account, I still do and they don't charge me any monthly fees so win for me. But this time I will be coming in May with my permanent resident documents. So i have some experience with canadian banks but not a lot.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 10, 2018
3721 posts
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centre of universe
anmolberi wrote: I actually came here 5 years ago to study and opened a student account with rbc and then left the country after 2 years but kept the account, I still do and they don't charge me any monthly fees so win for me. But this time I will be coming in May with my permanent resident documents. So i have some experience with canadian banks but not a lot.
This post is actually end of thread. OP knows everything here. The whole system.
I dont care about Ethics, morals, rules or laws. I will apologies only when I get caught.
I try not to apologies but sometimes do it. not because its right thing but it benefits me.
New Mantra for idiots Just ask RFD before searching answers anywhere.
Deal Addict
May 15, 2013
1693 posts
434 upvotes
Montreal
anmolberi wrote: Thanks @apnayloags @iamthebest @kramer1 @DonkeyDoo @titaniumtux , I think I have got the right option with BMO Newstart program and EQ bank because of the high savings interest rate.
What do you guys think of it
Other important point is where you are going to live. It makes more sense to have a branch and/or ATM close to your house and the hours of operation.

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