All chequing accounts are set up to do pretty much the same thing: let you get your money out quickly and easily when you need it. Fees will vary from account to account. You can open a chequing account at most banks, trust companies, or credit unions. There are two main types:
- Regular chequing accounts If you deposit money into the account, you may be paid a very small amount of interest. Some chequing accounts charge a fee each time you pay with a cheque, use your debit card, or take money out of a bank machine (ATM) or branch. Others charge a flat monthly service fee.
- Combined chequing and savings account With this account, you earn a small amount of interest and you can also write cheques. You will likely get less interest than with a regular savings account. And, you often have to pay higher fees when you write cheques.
What features may I be able to get?
- Direct deposit: Your workplace can deposit your pay right into your account.
- Pre-authorized debits (PAD): You can have money taken out of your account automatically each month to pay bills or to save and invest.
- Debit card: In any store that displays the Interac logo, you can use your ATM card to pay for items or get cash when you shop. The money is taken right out of your bank account.
- Bank Machine/Automated Teller Machine (ATM) access: You can use your bank card at bank machines to make deposits, pay bills, move money between your accounts, and get cash.
- Telephone banking and Internet banking: You may want the option of doing your banking from home or work by using the telephone or Internet. You will have to contact the bank's service centre and arrange a special password before you can use these services.
Remember: Chequing accounts are not a good place to save money
Once you find the type of account that is right for you, keep just enough money in it to cover what you plan to spend over the next little while. If you have extra savings, invest them somewhere else where you can make your money grow faster.
offers a free survey of interest rates for savings and chequing accounts from banks and other companies across Canada.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.