Open a bank account will be one of the first decisions you will have to take when you arrive in Canada. Why do you need an account in Canada? To collect the salary (if you plan to work), pay bills, rent, have a few savings or save on commissions by managing the money from another Country.
If you come for a short time period (less than 6 months) and you haven’t plan to work, open a bank account in Canada maybe is not worthy for you. Consult your trust bank before you come to Canada, about the commissions they charge to withdraw at an ATMs abroad. You should also check the exchange rate they use, the cost or extra commission for transactions in other currency, etc. Some banks offer a service where you can withdraw money twice per month with your card from any international ATMs with no commission.
If you are going to stay a medium-long term (6 months or more) our recommendation is to open a Canadian bank account.
The most representative banks in Canada are RBC – Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC, Scotiabank, BMO Bank of Montreal and TD Canada Trust – Toronto-Dominion Bank. The most common accounts are Checking-Check Account, Savings Account, Savings current account – Checking-saving account and Time deposits – Term deposit. Before opening one of these accounts, be aware of maintenance fees and interest. You can start by looking at their website, you will surely find a lot of information that will help you decide on one or the other.
The documents you will need to open a bank account in Canada are:
– Two identification documents: DNI, Passport, Driving License, etc.
– Visa: You must present your original student visa or work permit.
– Mailing Address
– e-mail address
– If you are going to open an account to collect your payroll they can also ask for the Canadian social security number, known as SIN number – Social Insurance Number
If you come to study in Canada you can benefit from all the advantages that financial institutions offer to students. Zero maintenance fees or lines of credit with less interest among others. Bank of Montreal offers free banking services and a free SPC card that offer discounts at different establishments. Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia) in addition to the free services offers the possibility to watch Cineplex movies with its Scene Points card. Compare the benefits of different accounts and banks and choose the one that best suits your needs.
For more detailed information about savings accounts and other useful tips, download our Welcome Guide here, enter your email and we´ll send it to you by email. It’s that easy!