Most new immigrants are concerned about which financial institution to use. This is necessitated by the urge to ensure your money is safe and you are getting the best deal available. Due to this, most immigrants spend a lot of time on the internet researching and hoping someone would recommend “the best bank” and give a good unbiased justification for the recommendation. As most things in life, the word “best” is relative, so you may never see such an article. In most cases, it takes coming to or living in Canada to understand why most articles cannot out-rightly recommend any bank as the best.
We are not going to recommend any bank either because every bank has its peculiarities that makes it unique. In the search for the best bank, one of us opened accounts with three of the top five banks and still was not able to decide which bank is the best. We can confidently say that most banks in Canada are good and reliable. You just have to decide which of the bank packages is best suited for you. We would advise you to visit the Immigrant community forum to see what banks other immigrants are using and the reason for their choice.
Several banks have packages with benefits and rewards specifically tailored for newcomers. These benefits range from free credit cards to transaction fee waivers etc. In the near future, we will do a comparison of the different newcomer packages offered by the top banks. In the mean time, we have listed eight banks that have special accounts for new immigrants and included links to the newcomer package. It is important to note that most banks offer USD denominated accounts so you have a choice of opening a USD account if your funds (cash, cheques or drafts) are in USD. Do not forget to get your social insurance number before going to open a bank account.
Other important topics coming soon are building a good credit history, insurance companies, etc. Pleasecontact us if there is any bank you would like us to include in the list.