What services or incentives do banks offer newcomers?

Many banks offer deals to newcomers who want to open a new account with them.

What deals do banks offer newcomers?

Each bank's package is unique, but most generally offer:

  • No monthly fee for a set period of time (e.g., one year).
  • A cash welcome bonus (e.g., $50 for opening an eligible account).
  • A free safe deposit box for a set period of time.
  • Easier access or automatic approval to obtain a credit card to build a credit rating in Canada.
  • Higher interest rates on savings plans and investment programs. Some banks include preferred rates for mortgages.

Which banks have newcomer banking packages?

Almost all the major banks in Ontario offer newcomer banking programs. Compare and contrast the following packages before deciding which bank to use:

You may also want to consider a local credit union to bank with, like:

How do I know if I’m eligible for these packages?

Each bank has different eligibility criteria and defines a newcomer differently. 

According to most banks, you are a newcomer if you have been living in Canada for 5 years or less from the time you open your account. Some banks also allow you to open an account before you arrive. 

The criteria may vary if you're a permanent resident, international student, or foreign worker. Check with the bank to confirm your eligibility. 

What should I bring with me to the bank?

To open a new account, you should bring:

  • SIN
  • Proof of status (e.g., Permanent Resident Card, temporary permit, landing papers, etc.)
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bill, phone bill, lease, etc.) 
  • Proof of student status (e.g., student ID), if applicable

Many banks offer services in different languages. Call ahead to book an appointment and ask if a translator can be present.