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Best high-interest savings accounts in Canada 2022

Look to take advantage of cash signing bonuses or higher promotional rates, but also keep in mind that the long-term interest rate is more important than a short-term introductory rate.

Savings account vs. chequing account

Chequing and savings accounts are two of the many products offered by financial institutions. While they share some similarities, there are a few differences. Generally speaking, chequing accounts are used for everyday banking transactions while savings accounts are designed to help you reach longer-term goals by offering interest on your deposits without monthly fees. As a third option, hybrid accounts are an increasingly popular choice for those seeking the perks and features of chequing and savings accounts in a single package. Let’s take a closer look.

What is a savings account?

There are different types of savings accounts, each with their own specific terms. But in general, these accounts are where you put money while working towards a financial goal. Savings accounts do not typically have monthly fees, and you are paid interest on your deposits. Depending on the type of savings account you have, you may be able to use the money in it to make everyday purchases but usually you will have to transfer the money into your chequing account first. You cannot write a cheque from a savings account.

What is a chequing account?

As the name suggests, you can write cheques against a chequing account, and you might receive your paycheque into this account as a direct deposit. While writing a physical cheque isn’t as popular as it once was, “chequing” accounts are still around. As they are used for everyday transactions, these accounts are accessible from ATMs, at tellers, online and apps. This type of account is where you store money you intend to spend on routine transactions, including Interac e-Transfer, bill payments, withdrawals, deposits, pre-authorized payments and point-of-purchase payments, like using your debit card at a store. 

The best of both worlds—the hybrid account

Hybrid bank accounts combine the interest of a savings account with the flexibility of a chequing account—all for low or no fees. Money in this kind of account earns interest but it can also be accessed for purchases, pay bills, buy money transfers, make Interac e-Transfer transactions and so on. For those who want to simplify how they bank, a hybrid account could be the solution. Note that not all banks offer hybrid accounts, so you may have to shop around.

What kind of account is my money in?

After reading the above options, you might be wondering what kind of account you have already. The easiest way to find out is to call or visit your bank. Speaking with a banking teller can clarify your current structure and give you the opportunity for help should you want to make a change or move your money. 

Other types of savings accounts

A standard HISA is a very safe and secure way to squirrel away some money and earn a small amount of interest in the meantime. For medium or long-term savings, Canadians should consider holding their HISA in one of two types of registered plans that will help mitigate the amount of tax you will owe on your interest earnings.

Tax-free savings account

TFSAs are registered with the federal government, like an RRSP. More than just a savings account, a TFSA allows you to invest up to $6,000 per year and not pay any taxes on the earnings. You are free to withdraw the money, tax-free, at any time. The savings plans available within a TSFA may have somewhat lower interest rates than some other HISAs, but could be a better choice after considering the tax savings. (You can also hold other kinds of investments inside a TFSA, such as stocks and ETFs.)



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