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Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada for 2024

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Canadians have over 100 different kinds of bank accounts to choose from, according to the Canadian Bankers Association. If you’re specifically looking for an account that can fast-track your savings, it may be time to explore the world of high-interest savings accounts, or HISAs.

While the best high-interest savings accounts offer robust interest rates, that’s not the only way to compare them. Some HISAs also offer minimal transaction fees, low service charges and opportunities to earn cash back. Browse top options below and choose your high-interest savings account with confidence.

Best High Interest Savings Accounts in Canada from Our Partners

Summary of our picks for the best high-interest savings accounts

Our pick for best bonus offer + premium period interest rate

Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account

  • Interest Rate

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

  • The MomentumPLUS Savings Account offers a higher interest rate on long-term savings for multiple goals in one account.
  • Founded in Halifax in 1832, Scotiabank is one of Canada’s oldest and largest banks, a more or less permanent member of the country’s Big Six financial institutions. Read our review of Scotiabank for more information.
  • Earn a savings rate of up to 6.05%* for 3 months.
  • Save for multiple goals in one account.
  • No monthly account fees or minimum balance required.
  • Earn even more interest when you open and fund a Premium Period(s).
  • The longer you save, the higher your interest rate.
  • Rates, fees and other information are effective as of March 12, 2024. Subject to change.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

Our pick for best bonus offer with cash back

Tangerine Tax-Free Savings Account

Tangerine Tax-Free Savings Account

  • Interest Rate

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

  • This flexible, no-fee TFSA comes with a generous promotional offer that will earn you cash and a high rate of return for five months.
  • Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank and offers chequing and savings accounts, GICS, registered accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans and investment products. Read our review of Tangerine for more information.
  • 0.70% regular interest rate.
  • No monthly fee.
  • Automated savings program available.
  • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
  • Other Tangerine TFSA investment options include Tax-Free GICs, available in 90-day to 5-year terms, and investment accounts and portfolios.
  • Service fees are listed online.
  • Deposits and withdrawals are free.
  • $50 fee to transfer your TFSA to another bank (transferring in another TFSA is free).
  • No minimum balance is required.
  • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.

Our pick for best bonus offer

Simplii Financial™ High Interest Savings Account

Simplii Financial™ High Interest Savings Account

  • Interest Rate

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

  • Simplii’s no-fee HISA gives account holders access to CIBC ATMs in Canada.
  • Simplii Financial is an online bank owned by CIBC that offers savings and chequing accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, lines of credit, registered plans, GICs, and mutual fund accounts. Read our review of Simplii Financial for more information.
  • 0.40% to 5.50% interest rate depending on account balance.
  • No monthly fee.
  • Manage your money through online banking and a mobile app.
  • Easily set up automatic deposits.
  • HISA account holders can open a no-fee chequing account to access money from any CIBC ATM in Canada without a fee.
  • No transaction or service fees.
  • No minimum balance.
  • Immediate access to your money through withdrawals, Interac e-Transfer, transfers to linked accounts, and more.
  • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.

Our pick for best bonus offer + tiered interest rate

CIBC eAdvantage® Savings Account

CIBC eAdvantage® Savings Account

  • Interest Rate

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

  • CIBC’s eAdvantage® Savings Account can earn a healthy regular interest rate of up to 1.90%, which can be boosted to 5.60% through bonus interest and Smart Interest, which rewards you for saving at least $200 per month.
  • CIBC is a full-service multinational financial institution and one of the Big Six banks in Canada. Read our review for more details.
  • Regular interest rate: 0.65% to 1.90% earned on all balances.
  • Earn up to 5.75%.
  • 0.50% Smart Interest when you save at least $200 a month (up to a balance limit of $200,000).
  • 3.35% bonus interest rate for the first four months when you open your first account (up to a balance limit of $1,000,000).
  • Set up automatic transfers with AutoSave so you can grow your savings without even thinking about it.
  • Free online transfers between your accounts.
  • No monthly fee.
  • $5 fee for transactions, including debit purchases, CIBC withdrawals (including CIBC ATM), Interac e-Transfer transactions, cheques, pre-authorized payments, and bill payment.
  • Bank when, where and how you want with CIBC Online Banking® and the award-winning CIBC Mobile Banking® App.
  • Access to nearly 4,000 ATMs across Canada.
  • Use your mobile device to deposit personal or business cheques.
  • CIBC Smart Balance Alert™ gives you a heads-up when your account is short on funds. That gives you time to make a transfer and avoid a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee and a declined payment.
  • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.
  • To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident who is the age of majority in your province or territory. If you’re under the age of majority, apply by visiting a CIBC Banking Centre.

Our pick for best bonus offer

Manulife Bank Advantage Account

Manulife Bank Advantage Account

  • Interest Rate

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

  • The no-fee Advantage account offers high-interest savings and a generous promotional rate for new investors.
  • Manulife Bank has provided Canadians with branchless banking since 1993. Services include chequing and savings, credit cards, mortgages, loans, and investment accounts.
  • Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
  • No monthly fee.
  • Manage your money by phone, through online banking and a mobile app.
  • There are no fees to open an account, make deposits, or withdraw funds.
  • RRSPs, TFSAs and RRIFs are also available.
  • Deposits and withdrawals are free.
  • No minimum balance is required.
  • Eligible for CDIC deposit insurance.

Our pick for best bonus offer

RBC High Interest eSavings Account

RBC High Interest eSavings Account

  • Interest Rate

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

  • RBC High Interest eSavings Account offers a competitive interest rate on your deposit with no minimum requirements with free instant e-transfers to your other accounts at any time.
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is one of Canada’s Big Six banks providing banking, investment, and lending solutions to individuals and businesses since 1869. Read our review of RBC for more information.
  • Earn high interest on every dollar.
  • Free electronic self-service transfers 24/7 with no delay – Including ATM and unassisted telephone fund transfers, from this account to any other RBC Royal Bank personal deposit account in your name.
  • Free access to RBC Online, Mobile, and Telephone Banking.
  • No minimum deposit requirements.
  • The ability to set up a regular, automatic savings plan by arranging pre-authorized transfers from a bank account to your savings account.
  • Know what your money is up to with a digital service that can help capture all of your savings and investments in one place.
  • Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) provides deposit insurance against the loss of eligible deposits in the event of failure.

Our pick for best regular interest rate with cash back

KOHO Spending and Savings Account

KOHO Spending and Savings Account

  • Interest Rate

    No minimum balance required

  • Bonus Offer

  • Monthly Fee

Why we like it

  • This hybrid chequing-savings account earns up to 5.00% interest on savings and up to 5.00% cash back on purchases depending on the subscription plan selected.
  • KOHO is a virtual bank that also offers cash back prepaid Mastercards cards
  • Interest Rate varies by selected subscription plan. Essential Plan: 5%, Extra Plan: 5%, Everything Plan: 5%.
  • Monthly Fee varies by selected subscription plan. Essential Plan: $4, Extra Plan: $9, Everything Plan: $19.
  • The account comes with the KOHO prepaid Mastercard that earns up to 5% instant cash back on spending (depending on the selected subscription plan).
  • The mobile app comes with spending pattern analysis, budgeting, automated savings and a RoundUp! feature that helps you save money on every purchase.
  • No minimum balance.
  • Immediate access to your money through free withdrawals, e-Transfers, and more.
  • Eligible for up to $100k CDIC deposit insurance.

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Top HISA rates in Canada

These HISAs also offer higher-than-average rates. But unlike the accounts featured in our picks for best HISA, some of these HISAs are limited to residents of a single province. (Scroll horizontally to see more details about each HISA.)

Savings Account Interest Rate Monthly Fee Insurance
Achieva Financial Daily Interest Savings Account 3.50% $0 Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba
Alterna Bank HISA 2.25% $0 CDIC
ATB Financial High Interest Savings Account (Alberta residents only) 4.30% $0 Guaranteed under the ATB Financial Act
BMO Savings Amplifier Account 1.80% $0 CDIC
Bridgewater Bank Smart eSavings™ Account** 3.60% $0 CDIC
Canadian Tire High Interest Savings® Account** 3.70% $0 CDIC
Canadian Western Bank Summit Savings Account 1.40% $0 CDIC
CI Direct Investing High Interest Savings Account 3.75% $0 Canadian Investor Protection Fund
CIBC eAdvantage® Savings Account up to 5.50%* $0 CDIC
Coast Capital Savings High Interest Savings Account** 1.45% $0 CDIC
EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account** 4.00% $0 CDIC
​FirstOntario Credit Union High Interest eSavings Account (Ontario only) 1.70% – 1.80% $0 Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
Home Trust High Interest Savings Account (HISA) 3.40% $0 CDIC
Hubert Financial Happy High-Interest Savings Account** 3.35% $0 Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba
ICICI Bank HiSAVE® Savings Account 1.25% $0 CDIC
Kindred Credit Union High Interest Savings (Ontario only) 2.25 % $0 Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
KOHO Spending and Savings Account up to 5.00%* $0 CDIC
Laurentian Bank High Interest Savings Account up to 4.00%* $0 CDIC
Manulife Bank Advantage Account 2.60% $0 CDIC
MAXA Financial High Interest Savings Account 3.45% $0 Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba
Meridian Credit Union High interest savings account 2.05% $0 Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
Motive Financial Motive Savvy Savings Account 4.10% $0 CDIC
motusbank High interest savings account 2.05% $0 CDIC
National Bank of Canada High interest savings Account 1.60% $0 CDIC
Neo High-Interest Savings Account 4.00% $0 CDIC
Oaken Financial Savings Account 3.40% $0 CDIC
Outlook Financial High Interest Savings 3.45% $0 Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba
Peoples Group e-Savings 3.40% $0 CDIC
RBC High Interest eSavings 5.50% $0 CDIC
Saven Financial High-Interest Savings Account (Ontario only) 4.05% $0 Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account up to 6.05%* $0 CDIC
Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account up to 5.90%* $0 CDIC
Steinbach Credit Union High Interest Savings Account 3.55% $0 Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba
Tangerine Savings Account up to 6.00%* $0 CDIC
WealthONE Bank of Canada High Interest Savings Account 3.50% $0 CDIC
Wealthsimple Save 1.50% $0 CDIC

**Not available to Quebec residents. 

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Methodology

NerdWallet Canada selects the best high-interest savings accounts based on several criteria. Factors in our evaluation methodology include annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more. Only high-interest savings accounts available in more than one province are considered for this list.

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Guide to high-interest savings accounts in Canada

By Clay Jarvis and Siddhi Jahagirdar

HISA stands for “high-interest savings account.” Most banks and financial institutions in Canada offer HISAs. There are a few different types, including

What is a high-interest savings account?

A high-interest savings account simply offers a more attractive interest rate than other savings accounts that may be offered by the institution. The interest rate is applied to the entire balance in your account and is typically calculated daily but paid out monthly.

Still, high-interest savings accounts may offer a rate of return that’s lower than other investment options. Current rates for Canadian HISAs typically fall into the 1-2.50% range although some institutions may provide special promotional rates above 4%.

Savings account vs. chequing account

When determining what kind of bank account you need, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is whether to go with a savings account or a chequing account.

A savings account is generally used for funds you don’t intend on spending right away. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a place to stash cash and let it grow.

A chequing account is designed for everyday transactions. This is the kind of account most people use to pay for groceries and bills and have their paycheques deposited into. Because chequing accounts are intended for more high-volume use, they often come with monthly service fees and lower interest rates — if they pay interest at all.

How does a high-interest savings account work?

A HISA works similarly to any other savings account. When you deposit your money into an account at a bank or other financial institution, they may lend those funds to other clients. You have access to your money at any time, and to reward you for keeping your money in the account, the bank pays you a certain rate of interest.

High-interest savings account rules

While HISAs generally earn more interest than a regular savings account, they tend to be governed by more rules and include fewer perks. For example, most HISAs won’t come with cheques or debit cards, since they’re designed for savings and not daily banking. It might take one or two days to transfer money from your HISA to another account, and you might need to pay a fee for e-transfers from your HISA account.

Rules will vary from bank to bank, so be sure to read the fine print before opening a HISA. Generally speaking, a HISA is a good place to save toward your financial goals, and you should handle your day-to-day banking through your chequing account.

How high-interest savings accounts earn interest

HISA interest is usually presented as an annual percentage yield, but the interest is normally calculated daily and paid back into the account monthly.

This means you’ll earn compound interest (interest on the interest) in your HISA, which is ideal for helping your savings grow faster. For example, let’s say that you put $10,000 in your HISA with an interest rate of 1%, and then you don’t touch your account for one year. You will have earned $100.50 in interest by the end of the year, so your HISA will contain $10,100.50.

But know that interest rates are subject to change without notice, so make sure to check your account often so you know how much you’re actually earning.

High-interest savings account investment

As an investment option, a HISA presents very little risk. But that also means your rate of return is lower than what you might earn with other investments. A HISA is a good tool to have in your financial kit, but you may not want to rely on them alone for long-term savings goals, such as retirement.

High-interest savings account taxes

Like regular earnings, the interest generated by your HISA savings is considered taxable income by the Canadian Revenue Agency.

When you file your tax return, you’ll be expected to disclose the interest earned. That figure can be found in the return of investment income slip, known as a T5, your financial institution sends you each year.

The rate of tax you pay on the interest from a high-interest savings account is the same rate that’s applied to the rest of your earnings.

TFSA vs high-interest savings account

Even though high-interest savings accounts and tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) appear similar on the surface, they are typically used for completely different purposes.

A HISA is simply an account where you store your money and earn a higher rate of interest.

You can also save money and earn interest in a TFSA, but the money you deposit into a TFSA can also be invested in other products, like stocks, mutual funds and ETFs.

Your returns on TFSA investments are tax-free, whereas the interest earned by your HISA is not.

RRSP vs high-interest savings account

High-interest savings accounts and registered retirement savings plans, or RRSPs, are both places where you can grow your savings.

The money you deposit into your RRSP, and the income you earn from it, is treated differently than what goes into your HISA.

Unlike HISA deposits, RRSP contributions reduce your taxable income, which can significantly decrease your tax bill. The income you earn in an RRSP is typically tax-free, but when you withdraw money from the account, you’ll have to pay taxes on it.

GIC vs high-interest savings account

Another financial product similar to a high-interest savings account is a guaranteed investment certificate, or GIC.

With a GIC, you deposit money into a financial institution for a predetermined length of time in exchange for a guaranteed rate of interest. The length of GIC terms varies; some are as short as a month, others can be several years. The longer the term, the more interest you’ll typically earn.

With a HISA, you can withdraw your money anytime you like. With a GIC, you may be required to pay a penalty if you try to retrieve your money before the term expires.

Who should open a high-interest savings account?

A savings account is a critical component of a well-rounded financial portfolio. Having one allows you to organize your finances and keep your savings secure while putting money aside for major purchases and emergencies.

High-interest savings accounts are particularly valuable for people who want to give their savings a boost but who may lack access to investment vehicles that pay a higher rate of interest.

If you’re saving for a shorter-term goal, like paying for a wedding, vacation or making a down payment on a car or home, a HISA may help you reach your goal a little sooner.

How to use a high-interest savings account

A HISA is a savings vehicle that you can use to grow your money for any number of reasons, including:

Starting an emergency fund

An emergency fund is money you set aside specifically for those unforeseen life events that require quick cash. Urgent medical issues, car repairs and storm damage to a roof or basement are just a few examples of sudden costs that your credit card may not be able to cover.

An emergency fund can also provide a lifeline if you or someone in your family loses a job and your household’s income takes a hit.

Emergency funds should be easily accessible, which is why a high-interest savings account can be a good place to store them.

Short-term savings goals

A high-interest savings account can also help you prepare for those just-over-the-horizon purchases that require a little extra saving.

If you know your car will need to be replaced in the coming months, or that your family wants to get together for a luxurious vacation next year, saving your money in a HISA well ahead of time can help you earn interest while planning to cover those costs.

Large but predictable expenses

Saving for major expenses is another goal a high-interest savings account can help you accomplish. Significant life events like retirement, post-secondary education, getting married or buying a home can require a healthy stack of cash. The higher yields offered by HISAs can help you build that stack a little faster.

How to choose the best high-interest savings account

Each bank or credit union has its own terms and conditions for high-interest savings accounts. Here are things you should consider when deciding where to stash your money.

Minimum deposit

Some high-interest savings accounts require you to make a minimum deposit when you open your account.

These deposits can as low as $25 or much higher, so be sure to read the fine print or ask a customer service representative what initial deposit will be expected.

Reputation and security

When choosing a HISA, first make sure you pick a reputable bank or credit union. It doesn’t have to be your usual bank, but make sure it has good reviews and is insured.

Financial goals

Also, think about why you’re opening the HISA. Are you saving for something in the near future, like a summer vacation, or something further away, like buying a house in five years? Make sure the account offers a level of accessibility that will meet your needs.

Interest rate

Next, make sure the account offers a good interest rate. It’s important to be mindful of “teaser” or “promo” rates versus regular rates. Many Canadian banks offer higher promotional rates when you first open a HISA, but those rates only last a short time (sometimes five or six months). After that, the interest rate drops, often quite significantly. An account with a high promotional rate isn’t always the best option, but if you can make a significant initial deposit or are only saving for the short term, it could still be the right choice to maximize earnings.

Service fees

Few things in life are free, even when it comes to saving your own money.

Having a high-interest savings account isn’t likely to cost you a regular monthly fee, but you might still have to pay for certain withdrawals or transfers. Some accounts offer a few free transactions every month, others allow you to avoid paying bank fees so long as your account holds a minimum monthly balance.

How to open a HISA

With plenty of online-only banks to choose from, opening a HISA is quite easy and can often be done in as little as five minutes.

To open a bank account, most financial institutions require account holders to be the age of majority in your province or territory and a resident of Canada with a permanent address.

Some financial institutions, like credit unions, may only offer HISAs to residents of certain provinces. For example, Quebec residents may not be eligible for all HISA offers.

If you meet the age and residence requirements of the bank you hope to open an account with, all you should need to do is:

  1. Provide your personal information, including your full name, mailing address and date of birth.
  2. Prove your identity and supply your social insurance number (SIN) for tax purposes.
  3. Provide a personal email address, particularly if you’re opening an account with an online-only bank.

If you need assistance or would rather open a HISA in person, be sure to choose a bank or financial institution that has physical branches. You can also usually get help from a customer service representative via phone or online chat.

Other types of investment accounts to consider

If you have long-term savings goals, you might also consider other investment options like:

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A high-interest savings account isn’t a necessity but can help you make the most of your savings. HISAs have plenty of great uses, they’re often insured, and there’s no chance of losing money. This makes them a great fit for shorter-term savings goals or holding any extra money you have on hand.

Yes, gains generated by a high-interest savings account will be taxed annually. Every year, your bank will send you a T5 slip that shows your interest earnings. You must submit this form along with your other income when you file your taxes. To avoid paying taxes on your savings, look into opening a TFSA.

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