Banking in Canada for Students

When you arrive in Canada, one of the first things you will want to do is to open up a bank account, and once you settle in, you may want to start investing. We analyzed offers by different banking providers in Canada as well as ways you can open an investing account and information on cryptocurrency for beginners. Dive into all you need to know about banking in Canada for international students.

Settling in Vancouver steps: Open up a bank account
By Uriel Mont

Index

Choosing a Bank | Banking in Canada as a Student

Which banking provider is the best in Vancouver, Canada?

There are many banking institutions in Vancouver that offer banking services for students in Canada. Typically, you’ll need Chequing and Savings accounts for your day-to-day spending. When you visit the bank, ask them about their Student Promotions. Some may have special discounts and deals at various stores for students.

Chequing Account: Shop, pay bills, send, and receive money, withdraw money from the ATM, and use your Debit card with this account.

Savings Account: This account allows you to loan money to the bank with an interest rate. As a result, your saved value increases overtime. Different banks have different rules and limits to this account.

Optional: You can apply to receive a credit card. Most banks will give students credit cards if they have proof of enrollment to an institution.

Top 5 Banks in Vancouver

Account Information

RBC Royal Bank

  • $0 monthly fee
  • RBC rewards
  • RBC Mobile – Student Edition
  • Open until 5 pm weekdays, 4 pm Saturdays.

TD Canada Trust

  • Most branches in Canada
  • $0 monthly fee
  • TD MySpend: track spending
  • 25 Chequing transactions per month
  • Open until 6 pm weekdays, and 4 pm Saturdays.

Scotiabank

  • $0 monthly fee
  • Post-secondary students only
  • 4 Free movies when you open an account
  • Open until 4 pm weekdays and Saturdays.

BMO

  • Oldest bank in Canada
  • $0 monthly fee
  • Earn up to $125 cash back (credit)
  • 25 transactions per month
  • Open until 5 pm weekdays, 4 pm Saturdays.

CIBC

  • $0 monthly fee
  • 4 ½ years account length
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Open until 5 pm weekdays, 4 pm Saturdays.

Please note that weekend hours may change depending on the branch location.

Other Banks in Vancouver

Coast Capital Savings

Vancity

HSBC


Banking in Canada for Students. Image shows a hand of man holding a credit card seated across a laptop
Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

Sending Money Internationally

There are cheaper alternatives to traditional WIRE Transfers via your bank. See the alternatives below and compare fees to determine the one that suits your needs:

PayPal

TransferWise

World Remit

Western Union


Banking in Canada for Students might mean you need to keep calculating to stay on budget, How about an investment account? Image shows a calculator, paper bills, coins, and a notepad.
By Olia Danilevich

Opening an Investment Account | Banking in Canada as a Student

Investment banking in Canada does not have to be hard for students. An investment account is different from a savings account. Typically, your savings account has a low interest rate (you earn very little) and your bank allows you to withdraw money from your savings account any time.

In contrary, a Certificate of Deposit (CD) offered by banks has a premium (high) interest rate in exchange to keeping your money for a previously agreed upon period. Usually, this predetermined period can be 6 months or more. A CD investment is one of the safest saving methods available; the return does not reduce or fluctuate.

Pros

  • Higher interest rate (compared to a savings account)
  • Rate of return is not risky and predictable
  • Provincially regulated if opened with a credit union

Cons

  • Money can’t be withdrawn before maturity without a penalty
  • Does not earn as much as stocks overtime
  • Rate of return is fixed even if the interest rates increase (during the term)

(For more info)


Image of stock exchange screen
By Pixabay

Investing in Cryptocurrency as a Student

Cryptocurrency transactions (like Bitcoin) provide a cheap and secure way to transfer and invest money.  First, you need to exchange real money for cryptocurrency. While it may be riskier compared to CD (explained above), cryptocurrency can also win bigger. You can begin trading cryptocurrency by signing up with one of the platforms listed below, and trade real world currency to virtual currency (cryptocurrency).

Top 5 Cryptocurrency Platforms

PlatformUser Experience Level
CoinsmartAdvanced
Wealthsimple CryptoBeginner
NDAXBeginner 
BitbuyAdvanced

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember that means you must file your taxes for your cryptocurrency investment return. This means you must show your return of investment as additional income. Learn more about reporting your cryptocurrency income here.

More from the GEC Blog

Managing your finances in a new country can be tricky. We hope this article helped you find some useful tips about Banking in Canada as a Student. Feel free to check out the rest of our resources below.