As a student studying in a post-secondary school and even after crossing the age of 19, you can avail of special discounts on bank accounts that make banking convenient and economical.
Pre-requisites for Opening a Student Chequing Account
To avail of the special discounts and other perks of the student bank accounts, you need to prove that you’re enrolled full-time in a post-secondary program at a recognized school or educational institution including CEGEP, community college, or university. Individual banks may have other qualifying conditions including an age limit of between 18 and 25 years.
Top 5 Best Student Chequing Accounts in Canada
Here are the top examples of the best student chequing accounts – just so you can get an understanding of what kind of offers you can get.
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage account. It is ideal for students looking for additional perks like: Zero monthly fees No limit on debit transactions Includes a SCENE rewards program that allows you to earn points which you can redeem for free movies at the Cineplex Entertainment Theatre where you conduct daily transactions
Specification: Scotiabank Basic Plus Bank Account
The Tangerine Chequing Account has been designed especially for basic online banking. Here are the perks you can expect: Chequing account with zero fee that also earns you interest Facility for the quick switching of funds to other accounts with the “switch assistant”
Specification: Tangerine No Fee Daily Chequing Account
If you’re a Canadian citizen, you can get the CIBC Advantage for Students cards. However, if you’re an international student, you will be asked to submit copies of your passport, study permit, and one other form of identification: Here are the positives of choosing this card: Zero monthly fee No limit on transactions and debit purchases
Specification: CIBC Everyday Chequing Account
Advantages of a Student Chequing Account
Student chequing accounts have features intended to assist post-secondary students to economize on fees for the duration of their school term. They have several other positives such as:
- Low or zero monthly fee
- Provision of an unlimited or large number of debit transactions each month
- A fixed number of no-cost email cash transfers
- Limited or no restrictions on the initial deposit or minimum balance requirements
- Partial refunds on the annual fees of particular credit cards
- An overdraft without interest
- No fees to pay every month
- Unlimited transactions (Although this feature varies from bank to bank)
- A chequing account (This, too, is subject to bank’s discretion)
- 24-hour access to your account
- Mobile banking
- Debit purchases across Canada or even outside of Canada
- Online recording of transactions
- Bill payments
- Money transfers
- Withdrawals (over-the-counter and through ATM)
How to open a Student Chequing Account
To apply for opening a student chequing account, you’ll need to submit this paperwork:
- Two distinct proofs of identification
- Proof of full-time enrollment in a post-secondary program
Most banks allow students to maintain the student’s chequing account for four years which is the duration of most university and college programs. In case you continue your education and need to hold the account, you must submit a fresh application for the account including proof of enrollment.
Choosing the Student Chequing Account that Best Meets Your Needs
Before you apply for opening a student chequing account, you may want to explore the different functions you intend to use the account for:
- Need for an unlimited number of transactions or a fixed number like, say, 30 each month
- Option to pay the monthly fee for unlimited transactions or transactional fee for using other accounts
- Need for ATM access depending on whether you’ll be using the machine close to the campus or your student accommodation. Or, if you prefer online banking.
Average Cost to have a Student Account in Canada
You do not need to make a deposit of any amount to open a student account. However, you do have to present some documents as part of the bank’s requirement. Normally, the documents needed are the following:
- Proof of identification (This can be a passport, visa or driver’s license)
- Proof of enrolment issued by the university or college in which you are enrolled (This can be course timetable or student identification card)
- If you are an international exchange student, you may need to present your Study Permit (IMM 1442) or Temporary Resident Visa
What are the typical Student account interest rates & fees?
Some of the top banks offering attractive student account features include CIBC, BMO, RBC, Scotiabank and TD. Each of these banks charge no monthly fee but their transaction limits vary. CIBC offers unlimited number of transactions while BMO offers 30 transactions per month and a fee of $0.60 for each extra transaction. TD and RBC on the other hand offer 25 free debit transactions and a fee of $1.00 and $0.65 respectively for every additional transaction. Scotiabank seems to be the best of all the banks as it offers unlimited transactions, but at a fee of $1.25. A detailed comparison on other features is necessary so as to choose one that best suits your needs.
What are the benefits of a Student account over a regular account?
There is a special kind of student account as offered by many popular banks. This is designed for those who have enrolled in a four years university degree. These accounts give educational loans with a minimum rate of interest. This offer is even extended after the graduation period without additional fees or interests and with the amount being lower than the regular personal bank accounts.
A student is given up to 10 years to pay these debts. This might help the students who can’t afford to enroll in an expensive course. Some banks have collaborations with universities so that the students can pay their tuition fees directly from their bank accounts in a secure way.
There is another special benefit for the students. Some local banks offer credit cards/ debit cards for them with extra privileges. These cards usually bear no annual fees and have some minimum expenditure plans. Students are allowed to use these cards for free when they use more than a certain amount.
Some accounts have finance tracker embedded which helps the students to monitor their account activity and manage their monthly expenses wisely. Banks like Scotiabank, CIBC, TD Canada Trust, Laurentian Bank, etc. have their own optimized schemes for students.
Moreover, accounts specially designed for the students to relieve them from the tension of financial management. Thus, they can focus fully on their studies and perform well enough.
How does a Student Account Work?
Student accounts are provided by all major banks in Canada with specific services and facilities. Banks also see this as an opportunity to improve their client base and ‘catch them young’. Opening and maintaining the account is a simple process in Canada. The savings account fetches a higher interest rate than the other account types.
Any eligible person can open a student account by providing authorized identification documents such as Social Insurance Number, study permit, proof of enrolment with school and resident proof. Many banks provide low charge or no fee account facilities for students. Most banks do not have a constraint on the minimum amount required to start an account.
But some of them do charge a fee if the savings account does not maintain a minimum balance on a monthly average basis. Students have no minimum balance account options also to choose from. The savings account does not have any chequing privileges and will have only personal withdrawals. Depending on the age and spending pattern, credit card facilities are also offered to students.
The banks also provide international transfer options to cater to the large section of international students coming to Canada for studies. Students consider various factors like the distance from their institution, offers, and tie-ups before finalizing the bank.
The student-specific plans provide various calculators to help individuals plan for their minimum balance and monthly budget. Some examples are myFinanceTracker from RBC, Moneylogic from BMO, etc. All banks have students’ specific pages and brochures which present a wealth of information for understanding and comparison.
Banks also provide specific offers and fee discounts for student account along with facilities like phone banking, internet banking, ATM cards, unlimited transactions, preference for loans, mobile banking, shopping facilities, protection against unauthorized transactions, etc. But many of these privileges are limited to students pursuing full time recognized courses. The options to switch banks without affecting the credit ratings are also a possibility.
Students are also eligible for reward points, movie vouchers, etc. depending on their spending and savings patterns.