Opening a bank account in Canada

Chapter 2: How do I choose a bank account in Canada?

Published: 08-02-2022



How do I choose a bank account in Canada?

There are many banks in Canada. Here are some of the most common ones (non-exhaustive list):

  • Caisses Populaires Desjardins (Quebec and Ontario only)
  • NBC (National Bank of Canada)
  • RBC (Royal Bank of Canada)
  • TD (TD Canada Trust)
  • CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)
  • BMO (Bank of Montreal)
  • BNS (Scotiabank)
  • BLC (Laurentian Bank of Canada)

Despite some of their very regional names, these banks can be found all over Canada with the exception of the Caisses Desjardins, which currently only has branches in Quebec and Ontario.

Check the presence of banks in Canada

A first criterion should be to find out if the bank you wish to choose fits in with your Working Holiday project in Canada.

For example:

  • If you want to spend the majority of your WHV in Quebec and/or Ontario, you’ll have no problem opening an account with Desjardins! There are lots of branches here, even in the smallest towns and villages. You will easily be able to withdraw money from ATMs and do your banking from there.
  • If you wish to travel across Canada a lot and/or settle in Manitoba, it may not be a good idea to open an account with Desjardins. It would be better to choose a bank that is found in this territory.
  • If you wish to settle in a rural area of Canada and already have the location in mind, check which branches are in the village first.

These are important points to consider because if you make withdrawals from ATMs at banks other than your own, you may have to pay additional withdrawal fees.

Compare the offerings of each bank

Banks in Canada generally offer different banking packages. The number of monthly transactions (such as payments in stores and ATM withdrawals) is limited in the basic packages, which are also the least expensive.

Another criterion of choice may be the possibility (or not) of getting a credit card allowing you to make online purchases and to build your credit history (this is mentioned in further detail below in the “Credit Check” section.

In partnership with, the National Bank of Canada offers you:

  • Up to 3 years with no fixed monthly fees
  • The possibility of having a Mastercard credit card
  • A welcome gift of $50 when you mention the pvtistes promotion
Chapter 2 of 5


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