Chequing accounts are a safe, convenient place to keep money that you plan to use for day-to-day spending or to pay bills over the short term. You can open a chequing account at most banks, trust companies and credit unions.
Use your chequing account for spending not saving. If you don't need the money in the next few months, look for a short-term savings option that will pay you a higher return.
How chequing accounts work
- Deposits – You can deposit any amount of money at any time. You can also get your employer to deposit your pay directly into your account.
- Withdrawals – You can get money out of the account easily and quickly by using a debit card, withdrawing cash at a bank machine (ATM), withdrawing cash through a branch teller, writing a cheque, paying bills online, either one at a time or through automatic monthly payments, and moving money from one account to another. There may be daily limits on how much you can withdraw and the number of withdrawals.
- Interest – You will earn little interest, if any, on the money in your account. Savings accounts pay slightly more interest.
- Fees – Fees will vary, depending on the type of account you choose.
- CDIC protection – Your money is protected, up to set limits, through the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This doesn't apply to U.S. dollar accounts.
Use your chequing account for spending not saving
If you don't need the money in the next few months, look for a short-term savings option that will pay you a higher return.