Banking in Canada: Where do you start?


Published on January 18th, 2023 at 08:00am EST


You’ve just come to Canada – and so much is new and different here. That includes doing banking and getting easy access to your money when you need it.

On arrival in Canada, opening a bank account is one of the most important things you’ll need to do. But the choices can be complicated. Which accounts? Where? Who will best understand your needs as a newcomer? Banking in Canada is likely to be quite different from banking in your home country.

This article will make the transition easier for you!

Learn more about our TD New to Canada Banking Package

What Bank Accounts Will You Need in Canada?

The best way to begin your Canadian banking journey is by opening three important types of accounts: a chequing account, a savings account, and a credit card. We will explain all three of these in detail below.

To open these accounts, you’ll first need to provide some basic forms of identification verifying your legal name, as well as your Canadian address and phone number in order to complete your account profile. You will be asked to show official government identification, such as a passport, driver’s license or another form of government-issued ID, and for certain things you may also need to provide your landing papers, study permit or work permit.

Here are two simple steps to take to begin banking in Canada:

Step 1: Understand the difference between a Chequing and a Savings account in Canada – and how to use them

In Canada, there are two types of personal deposit accounts: a chequing account, and a savings account. Most new Canadians may want both. Let’s do a quick comparison between the two.

A chequing account is an account used for regular, daily transactions. This includes buying groceries, paying bills, rent as well as auto-deposit transactions such as having your employer deposit your salary directly into your account. Your account can be accessed through a debit card to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or bank branches, and can be used to make purchases in stores and through online shopping.

Chequing accounts generally don’t pay interest. They may include a monthly fee along with a fee for transactions, such as withdrawals, cheques, bill payments, and purchases. Look for a chequing account that includes the right number of monthly transactions you think you will need. Even better, you will find some chequing accounts that come with unlimited transactions, such as the TD Unlimited Chequing Account – a great option if you think you may have a lot of transactions.

A savings account is used for setting aside money you don’t need right away. For example, you may wish to save for education, buying a home, paying for a vacation or a wedding, and for when the unexpected happens – like a car breakdown. Unlike chequing accounts, savings accounts do pay you interest, so only withdraw from them wisely for a rainy day or a life milestone. The money you leave in this account will gain interest – that’s extra money that will grow in your account to help you save for your future goals.

You can choose from one of TD’s three savings accounts to achieve your savings goals:

  • TD Every Day Savings Account
  • TD ePremium Savings Account
  • TD High Interest Savings Account

Learn more about banking for newcomers to Canada

Step 2: Apply for a Canadian credit card

A credit card is a card that can be used to make purchases, pay bills or depending on the card, withdraw cash. The simplest way to think of a credit card is as a type of short term loan. When you open a credit card account, your credit card company gives you a set credit limit. Based on that limit, your credit card allows you to borrow funds to make purchases and pay for them later.

Getting a Canadian credit card has many advantages. Having good credit is important in Canada as it may assist you when applying for a home mortgage, a loan, or renting a home or apartment. A good way to build credit is to apply for a credit card. Using your credit card regularly and paying it off each month can help to build your credit history. Having a credit card also makes it easy for you to make purchases and, in some cases, receive rewards on what you spend.

If you’re looking for your first Canadian credit card, it’s important to understand how different cards work and how to use them to your advantage.

TD offers a wide variety of credit cards with different perks and exciting rewards.

Ready to choose your Canadian Bank? Look to TD first.

TD goes the distance to treat newcomers like family. Our TD New to Canada Banking Package is our welcome package for you, and a great place to start.

This package offers savings and benefits on chequing accounts, savings accounts, as well as international money transfers. Everything in it has been created specifically with newcomers’ needs in mind.

Once you arrive in Canada, simply book an appointment with a TD Personal Banking Associate to get started. They will help you with your Canadian banking needs and answer any questions you may have.

Find your closest TD branch here.

Our multilingual representatives and Personal Banking Associates are ready to help guide you through our products and services to ensure you find your way with ease. You can also find out more through our New to Canada Welcome Booklet – available in 11 languages.

Your financial journey in Canada begins here

Why Choose TD?

150 years helping Canadians:

TD has a proud history of delivering financial solutions to Canadians for more than 150 years. We also bring a century of experience helping newcomers navigate the unique challenges of the Canadian banking system.

With over a thousand branches and a reputation for excellence in financial services, we have become one of the largest and most trusted banks in Canada, now serving 16-million Canadians.

We offer online support and resources of interest to newcomers on topics like banking basics, moving to Canada, credit score essentials and more. We also serve you in more than 60 languages at our more than 1,100 branches. We are open longer hours for your convenience. We have thousands of ATMs across Canada to help you take care of your everyday banking quickly and easily.

Ready to Bank?

Apply for TD’s New to Canada Banking Package today.

Book an appointment to talk to a TD Personal Banking Associate about the TD New to Canada Banking Package. You can book online right away, or visit our website to learn more.

Legal Disclaimer: Information provided by TD Bank Group and other sources in this article is believed to be accurate and reliable when placed on this site, but we cannot guarantee it is accurate or complete or current at all times. Information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon in that regard. This information is not to be construed as a solicitation to buy. Products and services of the TD Bank Group are only offered in jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale. All products and services are subject to the terms of the applicable agreement. The information in this article is subject to change without notice.





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