Savings accounts and chequing accounts are good, safe places to put money you will be spending soon. Money invested in these accounts is protected against loss – up to a limit.
Where can I open a savings or chequing account?
There are many places where you can open them. All of these financial institutions provide the same kinds of banking services for chequing and savings accounts, but they are run differently.
- Banks and trust companies are owned by, and make money for, people who own their shares.
- Credit unions and caisses populaires are owned and run by the members who bank there. Often, members share something in common, such as working at the same place, coming from the same ethnic group, or belonging to the same labour union.
You can also open an account like a bank account at some brokerage firms.
Tip: Credit unions and caisses populaires charge very competitive service fees compared to banks and trust companies. But they also may charge refundable membership fees to join.
Who can open a bank account?
Almost anyone. You don’t have to have a job or a certain amount of money. If you are under 18, you can open an account with the help of a parent or guardian.
Tip: You may have trouble opening an account if:
- You have a criminal record
- You can’t provide the kinds of identification (ID) they want
Remember: It’s fine to put money for a short time in a savings or chequing account.
Just don’t leave it in there too long. You may make more money putting it in other investments.
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.