Chequing account fees
Make sure you know what fees you will pay before you open an account – and don't pay for services you don't need.
4 types of fees
1. Transaction fees
You may be charged when you make purchases with a debit card, withdraw cash or pay bills. If you have a lot of transactions each month, it may be cheaper to pay a flat monthly fee.
2. Service fees
You may be charged when you move money between accounts, update your balance or have the bank mail your cancelled cheques and monthly statements.
3. Minimum balance fees
You may be charged a fee if your account balance falls below a certain amount. If your balance stays above the minimum, you may pay no fees.
4. Fees for NSF cheques
You will be charged an NSF (not sufficient funds) fee if you write a cheque and you don't have enough money in your account to cover it. This is also known as bouncing a cheque. It is illegal in Canada to write a cheque when you know it's going to bounce.
Do you have a lot of transactions each month?
If you're paying for each transaction separately, it may be cheaper to pay a flat monthly fee instead.
How to lower your chequing account fees
1. Assess your banking needs
Will you write lots of cheques, or will you pay most of your bills online? Will you make frequent deposits or just a couple each month? Will you bank mainly on the Internet, use your debit card or go to a bank branch to use a teller? Find out if you are being charged for these services and how much.
2. Look for special deals to get the services you need
Many financial institutions offer special chequing account packages for a set monthly fee. Find out if a package will be cheaper than paying for each transaction separately.
Compare account fees and charges
Financial institutions compete for your business. It's worth shopping around to compare fees and packages. Use this Banking Package Selector Tool to compare chequing account fees and charges across Canada.