6 of the Most Popular Online Banks in Canada

Last updated on June 19th, 2024 at 07:12 pm

Popular Online Banks in Canada

Since convenience is hard to beat, it should come as no surprise that more and more Canadians are also turning to online banking, whether through online bank portals or mobile banking apps. To help you choose an online bank in Canada, our team at Remitly put together this guide.

These days, it’s standard to make the most of our transactions online. Takeout, groceries, clothing, household items—we can get just about anything we desire with a simple click of a button. Online banking extends that trend, and these banks have embraced it.

Top Online Canadian Banks

Check out these banks in Canada that are well-known for their online offerings. Plus, find tips for choosing the right online bank for your needs.

EQ Bank

EQ Bank is the online banking arm of Equitable Bank. Its online savings account interest rate makes it stand out from the crowd. At the time of this writing, the interest rate on the SavingsPlus online banking account was 2.50%, which was higher than the rates offered by many other traditional banks and any online Canadian bank.

There are several additional benefits to this high-interest savings account. These include no monthly or annual fees, no minimum balance requirements, and free Interac e-Transfers. You can also pay bills with the account for free.

EQ Bank’s online banking offerings include a tax-free savings account and multiple investment account options like GICs and RSPs. Their online banking services also allow you to apply for one of over 2,000 different mortgage products online.

The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insures bank accounts at EQ Bank, so you don’t have to worry about the security of your transactions.

Manulife Bank

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company owns this direct bank. They provide online chequing and savings account options, loans, mortgages, and investment accounts.

As of May 2023, their lineup of accounts includes:

  • Advantage Account: A savings account that pays an interest rate of 2.85% and has no monthly fee or transaction fees, provided you maintain a balance of at least $1,000. If your balance falls below the threshold, you still receive that high interest rate, which sets Manulife apart from many other virtual banks.
  • All-in Banking: This account provides unlimited free transactions and includes a no-fee chequing account as long as you save at least $100 per month in the linked online savings account. Besides unlimited debit purchases, you can transfer money quickly through an online and mobile banking portal and app.
  • Tax-Free Advantage Savings: This TFSA pays an interest rate of 1.20% and gives you easy access to your money when you bank online.
  • US$ Advantage Account: Unlike many other online banks, Manulife doesn’t charge account fees for their US% Advantage account and still pays an interest rate of 0.50%.

Manulife Bank offers free ATM use at thousands of machines nationwide through The Exchange Network partnership with other banks in Canada. You can handle all of your banking services like bill payments, transferring money, and depositing funds.


Motusbank is a completely online bank that offers a full range of services virtually. The big difference between Motusbank and other banks like EQ Bank is that they don’t have shareholders.

Meridian Credit Union owns Motusbank. Credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned by their customers. Normally, they provide chequing and savings accounts to people who meet certain criteria. Customers who are eligible to open bank accounts then get a share of ownership in the credit union.

Although a credit union owns Motusbank, there aren’t any restrictions on who can open a virtual bank account with them. The arrangement means that Motusbank can put customers’ needs first when developing new online bank accounts, setting rates for monthly fees, and so on. Because of this, the institution is one of Canada’s most competitive digital banks and frequently earns top marks from customers who often name it one of the best online banks in Canada.

You can take advantage of several different products at Motusbank that have low or no monthly account fees for things many other banks in Canada charge you for. For example, they don’t assess any fees on their chequing account, and they participate in THE EXCHANGE® Network, Canada’s largest surcharge-free ATM network. As of this writing, they also have zero transaction fees on high-interest savings accounts and cheques.

If you’re looking for help planning for your future, Motusbank online bank offers virtual financial planning services to help you grow your wealth and save for retirement. They will work one-on-one with you to assess your budget, spending habits, and short- and long-term goals to help create a plan to get you where you want to be financially.


Simplii is a direct bank that is 100% virtual. They are owned and operated by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), one of the most well-known financial institutions in Canada and around the globe. As a result, many people feel secure doing their online banking with Simplii.

As of May 2023, their No Fee Chequing Account offers the following benefits:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Unlimited transactions every day
  • Free bill pay services
  • Free money transfers from the online-only bank account using Interac E-Transfer
  • Free withdrawals at more than 3,400 CIBC ATMs

The online bank also offers a High-Interest Savings Account with the following features:

  • Competitive interests rates based on average daily balance
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly fees
  • No transaction fees
  • Ability to set up automatic deposits

With just two main account offerings, Simplii is a great option for those who want a straightforward Canadian online bank. Besides their simple online chequing and online savings accounts, Simplii also offers investment options like TFSAs, GICs, and RRSPs.

Simplii’s credit card option has an introductory interest rate of 9.99% for the first year, plus cashback bonuses and benefits. You can also apply for a fixed-rate or variable-rate 25-year mortgage. Simplii’s financial experts can help guide you through your financial planning if you need help figuring out how or where to get started.


One of the most well-known solely online banks in Canada is Tangerine, a direct bank that doesn’t have a single brick-and-mortar branch. Specializing only in online banking saves the company on operating costs.

Tangerine is a division of Scotiabank and used to be known as ING Direct. When it launched in 1997, it was the first bank to introduce no-fee, high-interest savings accounts in Canada.

Today, you can cover all of your personal banking needs with Tangerine. They offer digital banking (online and via mobile device), credit card accounts, mortgages, and investment accounts such as GICs.

For those who prefer to have many options for savings accounts, Tangerine is one of the best online banks in Canada, with multiple offerings, some of which have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. Their No-Fee Daily Chequing Account offers unlimited free daily transactions, overdraft protection services, and the free use of more than 44,000 ATMs worldwide.

Many online banks in Canada don’t offer business accounts or have only limited options available to account holders. Conversely, Tangerine has a variety of business savings accounts to choose from, so small businesses can enjoy the convenience of online banking.

You can also grow your savings with RRSP, tax-free savings accounts, and RIFs available through Tangerine online bank.


While WealthSimple is not an actual bank, it is an intriguing option for Canadians looking for unique investment opportunities.

Customers can choose from a wide range of products, such as individual investment accounts, RRSPs, RRIFs, Tax-Free Savings accounts, LIRA, Business, Joint, and cryptocurrency trading.

WealthSimple is known for its DIY trading. Users can take advantage of no-fee accounts and learn to trade stocks. Their target market is millennials interested in putting their money on autopilot while learning about the process. They offer educational resources for individuals looking to learn more about investing, personal finances, taxes, and more.

The benefits and drawbacks of using an online bank in Canada

One significant advantage of an online bank is that most online banks charge no or very minimal fees for everyday banking. Banking is a breeze when you can handle all of your personal finances on your computer or mobile device.

Online banks offer lower interest rates on loans because they have fewer overhead costs, fewer employees, and no physical locations to upkeep. The same factors allow online banks to give higher interest rates on savings accounts and to provide more flexibility with chequing accounts.

For all the benefits of choosing online banks, there are some limitations that you need to be aware of before you open a savings or chequing account online.

For example, online banks usually only offer some of the banking products that a traditional bank may offer, missing things like mutual funds or personal loans. You may find a bank online that provides the specific banking, investment, or lending product you desire, but it may take some research.

Another big drawback of online banks is a lack of personal service. Online-only banks may still offer multiple ways to get help when you need it, such as live chat or 24-hour customer service by phone. However, some people simply prefer being able to head into the branch location of a traditional bank to talk to someone face-to-face.


How to choose an online bank in Canada

We’ve introduced you to some of the best online bank account options and top online banks in Canada, and there many other online banks you can explore.

With so many options, you may wonder how exactly to choose just one online bank to do business with. Fortunately, the process can be simple when you consider the following.

Are you ready for online-only?

Are you comfortable using an online-only bank? If so, standalone 100% online banks may help you earn more interest on your savings, enjoy more flexibility with your chequing account, and qualify for lower interest rates on loans.

Want the ability to talk to someone in a branch as needed? Look for an online banking arm of a traditional bank that enables you to do both in-person and virtual banking.

What are the fees?

How much will having a bank account with the online banks you’re considering cost? Are there:

  • Monthly or annual fees for having an account
  • ATM fees for withdrawals
  • Teller fees for visiting a branch office
  • Transaction fees
  • Fees on domestic or international money transfers
  • Fees to pay bills or access an online banking portal
  • Fees to order cheques for your chequing account

Sometimes, online banks may not charge any monthly fees or other fees at all. Some will waive fees for digital bank accounts if you maintain a minimum balance, have multiple bank accounts with the virtual bank, or arrange for direct deposit into your bank account.

How is the customer service?

Who is there to help you when you have questions? How can you contact customer service, and what are the hours that help is available?

Check out reviews on third-party sites to find out what customers say online banking with different financial institutions is like. Reading reviews can give you a good feel for the level of service that online banks in Canada provide.

What are the security features?

Is the online bank a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation? While it’s not common, credit unions and traditional and online banks can fail, so it’s good to know that your money is safe if the worst happens.

Also, investigate the security measures that the online bank employs. Could you sign up for two-factor authentication to safeguard your account? Does the online bank use a high level of encryption to protect your sensitive data? Have they experienced any major data breaches in the past?

While we’re discussing safety with online banking, here are a few things that you can do to protect your chequing account or savings account regardless of which of the online banks you choose:

  • Choose a unique password that is difficult to guess but easy for you to remember
  • Never give your password to anyone
  • Don’t display your password near your computer at home
  • Avoid saving your password in your computer, laptop, or mobile device in case of loss or theft
  • Change your password frequently
  • Double-check that any emails or texts that you receive are actually from your online bank before clicking links

As you consider the security measures online banking services provide, look into how the financial institutions protect you from fraud. Do they guarantee that you’re not liable for transactions? How easy is it to report fraud or to notify the online bank of a lost or stolen debit card?

Find the best online banks for you

Now that you’re familiar with some of the best online banks in Canada and know how to compare online banks, you’re ready to find one to open your chequing account or savings account. Research your online banking options and take the first steps toward being able to access your bank account anytime, anywhere.

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, over 5 million people have used our secure mobile app to send money with peace of mind.
Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.