What Services or Incentives do Banks offer Newcomers?

If you are new to Ontario, you will find that opening a bank account can be beneficial in many ways. But before you open one, you may want to look at some of the available newcomer bank packages in Ontario. Each bank offers different incentives depending on their unique plans. Special programs are offered by:

If you are banking with a credit union you can approach your bank officer to ask about any special services for newcomers.

What do these newcomer packages offer?

Each plan is unique, but most generally offer:

  • A savings or chequing account free of charge for a set period of time.
  • A free safe deposit box for a set period of time.
  • Easier access or automatic approval to obtain a credit card to build up credit rating in Canada.
  • Higher interest rates on savings plans and investment programs. Some banks include preferred rates for mortgages.

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

Each bank defines a newcomer in a different way and so eligibility for newcomer programs differ based on this definition. Here are some available definitions:

You are a newcomer if you have arrived in Canada less than:

  • Royal Bank of Canada: one year or from 1-3 years if you are transferring from another bank
  • HSBC: three years
  • CIBC: two years
  • Scotiabank: three years

What should I bring with me to the bank?

  • A valid passport
  • Your Permanent Resident card or Confirmation of Immigration Status in Canada, which may include your Landing papers.

Are there any other available services for newcomers offered by banks in Ontario?

  • Services in other languages
  • Some banks have plans for international students and foreign workers
  • Banks provide helpful guides to settling in Canada