Are you an international student pursuing a career in a Canadian university? Have you decided to move abroad, and looking for the Best banks in Canada for international students? Here we present to you an exclusive list of the most popular and top banks for international students in Canada.
International Students in Canada
As per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data, the year 2021 saw an influx of 450,000 new international students to Canada. That’s a huge number!
Of course, all entrants to Canada need access to good banking services with a Canadian financial institution.
Getting your finances in order is probably one of your biggest priorities when planning to study in Canada. From tuition fees, accommodation costs, and food budget, to pocket money. However, considering the sheer amount of financial institutions in the country, it can be hard to find banks for international students that suit your particular needs.
As a student, finding an affordable financial option is paramount. The ability to easily send money back home or process transactions in your home currency is a priority for international students. Therefore, choosing the perfect student bank account that offers you the best range of services and perks is paramount.
While each bank has its advantages and disadvantages, here are the 5 banks for international students studying in Canada.
Best Banks for International Students in Canada
Let’s grab important details on each of these banks, that are a favorite of an international student landing in Canada.
1. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is one of Canada’s biggest and the most popular banks. The bank has been around for over 150 years and offers fantastic deals for international students in Canada. It has over 4,000 ATMs, 1,100 branches across the country, and a mobile banking app as well. CIBC in partnership with SPC, is providing free SPC membership with discounts up to 30% off Canadian stores. These offers definitely attract international students, as they can save substantial amounts of money throughout their study years.
CIBC Smart for Students is their main offering for students that comes loaded with a bulk of deals and discounts.
CIBC Bank Account Benefits
CIBC also provides the following access for international students:
- No monthly banking fee.
- Free Interac e-transfers during your studies in Canada.
- You can also earn up to $150† when you open your first chequing account with CIBC Smart for Students subject to fulfilling certain conditions.
- International money transfers with a $0 transfer fee to more than 120 countries with CIBC Global Money Transfer.
- A no-fee student credit card which requires you to have no existing credit history.
- A refer-a-friend program that offers you $25.
Are you planning on sending money abroad to your friends and family during your studies? Or to your own bank account in your home country? Bank of Nova Scotia is one of the best options for you. Scotiabank ranks as the third largest bank in Canada by deposits and market capitalization. The bank has about 24 million customers with over 2,700 branches across the globe. They have a StartRight Program designed to make living and banking in Canada easier for international students.
Scotiabank Account Benefits
Here are perks you can take advantage of as an international student at Scotiabank:
- Unlimited no-fee international money transfers.
- Movie rewards program with Scene debit and credit cards.
- Free chequing account with no monthly fees.
- Free, unlimited Interac e-transfers.
- Grab an Unsecured credit card with a limit of up to $5,000 only.
- Scotiabank Student GIC Program.
Now, whether you move to Canada as a student or a Permanent Resident, you must have a complete financial checklist handy with yourself to guide you at the new place.
3. Bank Of Montreal (BMO)
Is sending money back home quickly and safely your top priority as an international student? Bank Of Montreal is here to help you achieve your goal. The bank’s partnership with Western Union is also an attractive feature. Their Money Transfer service through BMO Online Banking connects customers with over 200 countries and territories connected to the Western Union network.
Bank of Montreal provides a credit card for international students. You are eligible for these cards with proof of enrollment for the duration of your studies.
BMO Bank Account Benefits
BMO also offers many advantages for international students in Canada. They include the following:
- Free banking during your studies + one additional year after you graduate.
- Free and unlimited international transfers for one year.
- Great student credit card options with no annual fees, rewards.
- A standard interest rate on credit cards and free e-transfers.
- International student GIC program and free SPC Card.
- Free safety deposit box for one year.
4. Royal Bank Of Canada
If you think you will need regular access to cash and ATMs during your studies in Canada, RBC can make life easy for you. Royal Bank Of Canada is one of Canada’s big 5 banks. It has the most extensive combined branch and ATM network across the country. RBC’s rewards program allows you to earn points redeemable at Amazon and Starbucks. You can send money through Siri or iMessage with their e-Transfer options.
Additionally, their student bank account has no monthly fee for the first year.
RBC Bank Account Benefits:
Other advantages of using Royal Bank Of Canada include;
- No RBC fee to use other bank ATMs in Canada.
- Free banking account during your studies.
- A no-credit-history-required credit card.
- RBC’s Rewards program and credit limit of up to $2,000 only.
- Free Interac e-transfers during your studies.
- GIC program for students from India, Antigua & Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Saint Vincent, and others.
5. TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust is another giant in the Canadian banking industry. It has more than 2,000 branches and 4,000 ATMs across North America. The bank offers an International Student Banking package with no monthly fee. They also have no minimum balance requirement.
International students can open a savings account, credit card, and student line of credit. But, there is a transaction limit on the checking account. You also have to pay a fee for each debit card transaction.
TD Bank Account Benefits:
Here are some of benefits that TD Bank offers to international students:
- No application fees for international student GICs.
- Fee student savings account with a bonus interest rate for six months.
- No monthly fee for 25 transactions each month.
- You can get one monthly free e-transfer for six months.
- Free processing fee for study permit GICs.
- Student Credit cards available.
- Interac e-Transfers are included in your total of 25 free debits.
Note: The information given above is on “as is” basis. The benefits, fees, and other charges are subject to variation. Please check the respective bank’s official site for any changes thereon.
How to Open an International Student Account in Canada?
Opening a bank in Canada as an international student requires certain documents. Having everything you need before showing up for this appointment is paramount. These ensure you are set up with your banking as quickly and seamlessly as possible. It also avoids delay and rescheduling your appointment.
Documents for Opening an International Student Account in Canada
You will have to provide the following documents:
- International passport
- Study permit
- Proof of enrolment or letter of acceptance
- A valid passport, a Canadian Driver’s Licence, or a Canadian Government Identification card
- Travellers’ cheques
International Student Bank Account in Canada
Knowing why you need a student bank account determines the bank you use from the best banks listed for international students in Canada. Free banking fees for international money transfers and discounts are often hard to come by with traditional banks in Canada. Therefore, take advantage of these banks while studying in Canada.
Have you opened an international student bank account in Canada? Feel free to share your feedback and experiences on the same.