Alan"s Money Blog

Apr 13, 2007

High Interest Savings Accounts for Canadians

Good day! If you're a canuck like me and are tired of getting little to no interest on your Canadian Dollar denominated savings accounts, then you'll be glad you found this blog. Today I'm going to review three of the highest earning Canadian savings accounts available. In my opinion, a savings account that earns you high interest is a smart financial move to make. You never know when you need some spare cash for an emergency or just about anything. Put a decent amount of cash in it, and don't touch it! High Interest accounts are also perfect for those of you who are more conservative with your money. I certaintly take more risks with my money, and consequently earn a higher return, but even I have TWO savings accounts (with two of the institutions that I'll be reviewing below. So, without further ado, here is the review.

First one:

ING Direct

ING Direct Canada offeres an online "ISA" (Investment Savings Account) which (as of April 13, 2007) offer 3.50% per year. They also happen to have an US Dollar denominated savings account which yield the same interest (currently 3.50%). As I'm sure you're well aware of, ING is a major international bank, so you're money is as safe as it can be. Also they're insured by the CDIC (Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation) which will insure your money up to $100,000.

This account has the following features:

No fees
No service charges
No minimum balance
ABM card access (so you can withdraw your money anywhere in the world - fees apply)

You can withdraw your money anytime, anywhere without paying any fees or penalties
You can setup an automatic savings program
You can link your chequings account to your savings account (so you can deposit money into your savings account via the web interface)
You can withdraw money from your savings to your chequing account (no fee)

Features lacking:

You can't write a cheque; this is an online savings account only!

The process of joining is very simple and painless. All you have to do is follow the link that I'll give you, and complete a simple online form and once your account is approve YOU'LL GET $13 BECAUSE I'VE REFERRED YOU! YES FREE MONEY!

Follow this link:

You'll be asked for a referral code, so make sure you type this:


It is important that you type that code, otherwise you won't get your $13 bonus.

Ok, now on to the next one.

Second one:

ICICI Bank Canada

ICICI Bank Canada is a fairly new bank on the Canadian scene, but they're off to a good start by offering an excellent yield on your money. A little bit of background on them: They're the largest bank in India, and apparently they've decided to get a piece of the Canadian market (which incidentally has quite a large Indian population).

I've had an account with them a while back (I think a year ago) but I move all my money into a savings account with the institution which I will review next.

Here is their current offers:

Canadian $ savings account will earn you: 3.75% (p.a)
US $ savings account will earn you: 4.25% (p.a)

As you can see they offer a slightly better return when compared to ING Direct, but they don't offer any bonus. I think this one is great if you're a Canadian which happens to have US dollars they'd like to save. Another cool feature of ICICI is that they'll give you the ability to conveniently and economically transfer money to India, so if you have relatives of family there, this might be the best choice. As with ING Direct, you'll be charged no fees to deposit/withdraw your money, and you'll also get a debit card which is functional at just about any bank machine in the world (fees are involved here though)

Other features:

You can link your chequing account to your ICICI savings account so you can deposit money into your savings account via ICICI's web interface (no fee)
You can transfer money from your savings to your chequing account online too! (no fee)

Features lacking:

As with ING Direct, you won't get a cheque book, so you can't write a cheque with this account.

Ok, so if you're interested in this one click this link to join:


Achieva Financial

Achieva Financial is my preferred savings account, because it offers the highest interest savings account in Canada. There is small price to pay for this higher yield however, and it comes in the form of fewer features. Achieva Financial is based in Manitoba, in case you're curious.

Achieva's savings account currenly offers: 4.10% (p.a)

The difference between Achieva Financial's savings account and ING Direct or ICICI Canada is that Achieva's savings account is a full-featured account. You will receive a chequing book, you can pay your bills online, you can withdraw your money at just about any bank machine in the world.

The only negative point about Achieva's savings account is that they'll charge you higher fees for cheques/pre-authorized debits.

Here is their fee structure:

Account Fees Charge

Cheques/Pre-Authorized Debits
(First cheque or Pre-Authorized Debit per month free - each additional)

Personalized Cheques (First Order)
(Additional cheque orders may be subject to a charge)

ATM/Online Fees Charge

Credit Union ATM Deposits Free

Credit Union ATM Withdrawals $0.60

*Interac ATM Withdrawals (In Canada) $1.00

US ATM Withdrawals $2.50

International ATM Withdrawals $5.00

Interact Direct Payments $0.60

Bill Payment (Online or Touchtone) $0.50

ATM Card Replacement - Mishandling $5.00

*In addition to the .60¢ ATM withdrawal charge

Internal Transfer of Funds - Achieva Account to Achieva Account Charge

Touch-Tone $0.50

Online $0.50

Phone Request (Processed by a Achieva Customer service representative) $3.00

Administration Fees Charge Charge

Achieva Direct (automatic savings deposits from another institution) Free

Achieva Direct Deposit (deposit of payroll or government cheques) Free

Stop Payment - all information provided $7.50

Stop Payment - information incomplete $15.00

N.S.F. Charge $30.00

Chargeback - on cheques drawn on account holder $5.00

Duplicate copies of Statements or RRSP receipts $1.50

Official Cheques $5.00

Account Closing - Member Request within six months of opening $10.00

Dormant Account - 6 months* Account Balance
*Dormant account balances $25.00 and under

Ok, now on to the most important part, the interest rate! According to my research, Achieva consistently offers the highest interest rate of any Canadian institution, and I hope they keep it up. Check out this brief history of their rates:

Rates for the year 2007

Month Rate

Rates for the year 2006

Month Rate

To open up an account with them follow this link:

That's all for now, and I hope this has been of use to you! Take care.

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