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 up credit rating in Canada.
  • Higher interest rates on savings plans and investment programs. Some banks include preferred rates for mortgages.

Which banks have newcomer baking 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 defines a newcomer in a different way.

Depending on the bank, you are a newcomer if you have arrived in Canada less than:

  • Royal Bank of Canada: five years
  • HSBC: five years
  • CIBC: five years
  • Scotiabank: three years
  • BMO: five years
  • TD: five years

These definitions may vary if you're a permanent resident, international student, or foreign worker so make sure to check with the bank to confirm you're 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, so try to call ahead if this is available to you and set up an appointment ahead of time to ensure there's a translator present.