Choosing an account

Choosing an account

A bank account helps you keep your money safe, manage your money more efficiently, and—in some cases—grow your money faster. But not every bank account offers the same features and benefits. By taking some time to explore your options, you can find the account that fits your needs best.

Chequing vs. savings

One of the first things you’ll want to do as a banking member is choose a bank account. The two basic account types are chequing and savings.

Both types allow you to deposit and withdraw your money at the ATM or a branch, pay bills, use online or mobile banking, and more. But there are important differences.

A chequing account gives you more flexibility and access to you money on a daily basis, but you’ll earn a lower rate of interest* (or no interest) and pay higher banking fees.

A savings account gives you fewer ways to access your money, but you’ll earn a higher interest and pay lower banking fees.

With chequing, you can:

  • Use cheques to transfer money or pay bills
  • Keep canceled cheques as a record of payment
  • Avoid using costly money orders or cashier’s cheques

With savings, you can:

  • Save money for the future or for emergencies
  • Earn interest and grow your savings faster

Depending on your banking needs, you may choose a chequing account, a savings account, or both. For example, you may wish to open a chequing account to deposit your paycheque, pay bills and access spending money, and a savings account to save up for a vacation.

*For more information on interest, visit the Understanding interest page.

Choose your best option

Financial institutions generally offer several chequing and savings account options, so once you choose a chequing or savings account, you’ll want to take a closer look to find one that fits your needs and preferences. For example:

Do you regularly withdraw cash at ATMs? Choose an account that offers unlimited, free ATM withdrawals—and make sure your bank has ATMs in locations that are convenient for you.

Do you like to do your banking at the branch? Choose an account that includes a certain number of in-branch visits, as some account options will charge an extra fee for in-branch service.

Do you like to use mobile banking? Choose a bank that offers a mobile banking app with the features you want, including fund transfers, a branch/ATM finder, and remote deposit.

Ask the right questions

Before you open a bank account, make sure you understand the fees you’ll pay and the services you’ll receive. Questions to ask include:

  • What are the monthly account fees?
  • How much interest will your money earn?
  • How many free transactions do you get each month?
  • What are the costs for additional transactions?
  • What other fees might you need to pay?
  • Do you need to keep a minimum balance in your account?
  • What special features or advantages are included?