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Opening a new bank account is one of the first things newcomers need to do in Canada. It’s how you’ll receive your salary, pay your bills, and even make your everyday purchases. But what specific services do Canadian banks actually offer (and which bank should you choose)?
If you’re looking for a Canadian bank to get started with, our top recommendation is CIBC.
They provide amazing customer service, and have one of the best offers we’ve seen when it comes to prioritizing the needs of newcomers. Plus, their account opening process is so easy that it can be done in just minutes.
Keep reading to discover what banking services you can get access to as a newcomer.
You can deposit cash to your chequing or savings account <link to Understanding Canadian Bank Accounts article> in Canada. However, some banks have a limit on how much cash you can deposit, so make sure you contact your bank and ask about any limitations. Keep in mind, when you arrive in Canada, you have to declare any amounts of $10,000 or more.
If you are depositing large amounts of cash or even large cheques, it’s best to visit a branch and deposit it in person. Large amounts deposited via ATM’s or mobile banking may be held while the transactions are verified, so if you’re looking to use the money right away, it’s worth taking the time to go into the bank.
You can also bring an international money order to Canada and deposit funds to any CIBC banking centre near you!
Mobile and online banking
One of the best features about banking in Canada is the ability to easily access services on your phone or computer. Mobile and online banking lets you easily manage your money, and with the award-winning CIBC Mobile Banking® app you can easily pay bills, track your expenses get tips and advice on your monthly spending and even tap your phone to make a purchase.
With CIBC Insights, you can create healthier financial habits. You can keep track of your spending by setting limits on different categories (like fuel or groceries), and CIBC Insights will analyze your debit and credit card transactions and deliver personalized tips regularly to your feed. It’s like a free financial coach delivered through the CIBC Mobile Banking® app.
Moving money to Canada
If you have money sitting in your bank account back home, you can wire transfer that amount to Canada. If you have a CIBC account, you can easily do that by asking your bank in your home country to transfer money to your CIBC account
Whether you are looking to send money to someone here in Canada or transfer money back home, both domestic and international e-transfers allow you to do this easily from your phone, online banking or in a branch. Domestic transfers to someone in Canada are done through Interac e-Transfer® service. You simply enter an email address or phone number of the person you wish to send money to, create a security question and hit send. And if you have CIBC’s Smart Account for Newcomers, you get unlimited transactions1 including Interac e-Transfer® service.
However, if you’re thinking a little broader and planning to send money to loved ones internationally, there’s a solution for that too (and it’s a lot easier than you might expect). A CIBC Global Money Transfer is a safe way to send money to over 120 countries, including India, the Philippines, China, Nigeria and the United States. Even better, not only will you pay $0 in transfer fees2, you can actually get up to $300 back† after your first Global Money Transfer. Maybe that’s part of why so many newcomers are satisfied when they bank with CIBC.
Whether you are looking to start a new business in Canada or simply want to apply for school and need a loan, Canadian banks can help you. Depending on a few different factors such as how much you wish to borrow, and when you want to pay it back, you may be offered a fixed loan, or a revolving line of credit. When applying for a loan, make sure you understand all your duties regarding payments schedule, interest rates, and any other obligations.
If you haven’t yet established your credit history in Canada, here’s a helpful resource to help you understand how to get started.
As a newcomer, you may have many questions about banking services in Canada. For over 150 years, CIBC has been making it easy for newcomers to bank in Canada, supporting them to make their ambitions real, and with over 1,000 locations across the country, help is never far away. You can book a meeting with a helpful advisor in just minutes.
Brought to you by CIBC. General information not about CIBC Financial products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. CIBC does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.
1 The additional $1.50 service fee is waived for sending Interac e-Transfer transactions. Each Interac e-Transfer transaction you send counts as a transaction for calculating your monthly fee. Maximum dollar amount applies for Interac e-Transfer transactions. For details, review the CIBC Interac e-Transfer Terms and Conditions (300 KB PDF).
2 CIBC foreign exchange rates apply. A CIBC Global Money Transfer and a Foreign Exchange transaction counts towards your allowable transaction limit. Bank account transaction fees may apply. Must have a CIBC chequing account, savings account, eligible credit card or personal line of credit account to send a CIBC Global Money Transfer. Most transfers are completed within 1 to 3 business days. Only primary credit card cardholders can use their eligible credit card account to pay for the CIBC Global Money Transfer service. Review the CIBC Global Money Transfer Agreement (135 KB, PDF).
† If you have a CIBC personal bank account (savings, chequing or a personal line of credit) or an eligible CIBC credit card but have not yet tried CIBC Global Money Transfer (“GMT”), request a GMT transfer and you can receive up to $300 CA credited to your account depending on the amount of your first transfer: $50 CA credit for transfer amounts under $5,000 CA; $100 CA credit for transfer amounts between $5,000 CA to $14,999.99 CA; $175 CA credit for transfer amounts between $15,000 CA to $24,999.99 CA; $300 CA credit for transfer amounts of $25,000 CA and over. If you pay for a GMT using your eligible credit card, the maximum amount that can be transferred is $5,000 CA, which means the maximum amount of cash back you could receive is $100 CA. The credit will be applied to your CIBC account in 4 to 6 weeks. Use promo code GMTEVENT to claim offer. Offer ends 11:59:59 pm ET on October 31, 2023. CIBC may cancel or change the offer at any time without notice.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.