When moving to Canada, one of your first preoccupations is going to be money. And if you want to keep and save your money, you will need to open a bank account in Canada.
Whether you come from Europe, the USA, Africa or Asia; keeping your bank account in your country will soon become very costly. Indeed, if you want to avoid bank charges and other expensive fees, you will have to open a bank account in Canada as soon as you get all the needed papers.
Several banks will offer you to open a bank account in Canada, it’s never easy to choose one when we don’t know the system. The choice of a bank will mainly depend on you. Everybody has a different opinion on banks and, just like telephone companies; everybody has a little story to tell on how to choose a bank or to avoid one like the plague! (To name the main ones: RBC, BMO, HSBC, Scotia Bank, TD, Banque Nationale, CIBC, Caisse Desjardins, Banque Laurentienne)
A few things are good to know when you open a bank account in Canada:
- If you come from Europe, you might be surprised as, the banking system is different. Indeed, only debit cards are directly linked to your bank account; while credit cards grant you a credit.
- ATMs (cash points) are very useful as you can find them in stores, restaurants, on the street…but can cost you a lot of money as you will be charged between 1.5 and 3 dollars for each withdrawal
- Cheques and transactions are not free
Here is a list of documents required to open a bank account in Canada:
- Visa / work permit
- Letter from your employer