5 Best Banks for International Students in Canada

5 Best Banks for International Students in Canada

Every year, thousands of people go to Canada for studies. Research by ApplyBoard, states that over one million international students were in Canada in 2023. And this number increases with each passing year. 

One of the challenges that international students face is knowing the right bank to keep their money in Canada. It's more difficult for very new international students who have no prior knowledge of what banks to use. For a financial decision like settling on a good bank as an international student in Canada, you need proper information to make informed decisions. 

Interestingly, international students can open bank accounts even before arriving in the country. However, there needs to be guidance on what banks to choose. In this post, we'll be looking at 5 of the best banks that international students in Canada can use.

How to Open Bank Account in Canada for International Students

The first step is to find the bank that you want to operate with as an international student in Canada. After this, you'll need to decide the bank account you're going to open. There are two main types for you— the Chequing account and the Savings account. Ideally, you are to have a Chequing account because that allows you to easily send money, withdraw money, shop online, etc. It is an everyday-use kind of account, compared to the Savings account. It also comes with no monthly fees. 

The savings account— just like the name— allows you to save money. As much as you are a student and you may not see yourself being able to save so much, having a savings account will do you a lot of good. There may be times when you'd have extra money to save. Instead of spending it all, it'll be good to save it for the rainy days. Anytime you need to use some money from the savings account, you can transfer it to your chequing account so that you can spend. 

To open a bank account in Canada, you'll need at least two means of Identification (ID). You can choose from your passport, study permit, letter of acceptance, Canadian government identification card, etc. 

Depending on the bank you have chosen to open your student account with, there may be slight differences in the requirements. So, check with your bank to be sure exactly what their requirements are. 
Want to see how it works yourself? Download the app and create an account for free here.

5 Best Banks for International Students in Canada

There are many recommended banks for international students in Canada. However, what we want to look at in this section are the best banks. Let us look at the five best in Canada, especially for international students.

Scotia Bank.

Scotia Bank gives a $100 cash bonus as a chequing account intro offer. On their website, you'll see a statement that says, "Everyday banking made easier with Scotia chequing accounts". Scotiabank's customer service is also 24/7.

There are different account types that you can explore, but as an international student, you need a chequing account. As stated earlier, you can also decide to get a savings account so that you are careful with money. Remember that as an international student, you're far from home. You do not want to be financially stranded; make it a habit to save too. 

Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank, also offers a $100 cash bonus. Just like the other banks, you can open both chequing and savings accounts at TD Bank, so that you can carry out your transactions seamlessly. They also offer financial advice to help you stay on top of your finances while at school. So, if you are not sure of exactly where to begin, go on their website and book an appointment session. 

Royal Bank of Canada.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC),  also offers no-fee transactions to you as an international student. In addition, you get to enjoy things like virtual visa debit for secure online shopping, and free interac e-transfer transactions, among many other benefits. With its online banking option, you can stay up-to-date and save time by making your transactions online. RBC does not offer cash bonuses. 

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is one of Canada's largest banks and has been there for over 150 years. One good thing is that it has locations close to every campus in Canada. It is easy to operate with, as it has fast service, no fees, and can be used digitally. As an international student in Canada, you can earn up to $130 cashback with student banking. It also gives unlimited free monthly debit card transactions. 

The Bank of Montreal, Canada.

With The Bank of Montreal (BMO), during your studies and one year after you graduate, you don't get to pay monthly fees. You also get to enjoy student discounts on certain brands that they have teamed up with. Talking about no monthly fees, there is however a limit to the amount of free transactions you can make each month. You can bank online, with your ATM, or go to a BMO branch. 

Want to see how it works yourself? Download the app and create an account for free here.

Wrapping Up.

These are not the only banks in Canada. But in this post, we have selected the five best banks you should try as an international student in Canada. The banks listed above are easy and friendly for international students in Canada.

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