We have put together a simple plan to help you set up a Canadian bank account as a newcomer in Canada. Managing your finances in a foreign country can be a daunting task to say the least, so use our helpful steps to get started on your Canadian working journey.
1. Get your SIN first!
Before getting a Canadian bank account set up, your starting point in Canada will be to get a SIN (Social Insurance Number). This is the number used to identify you as a worker in Canada. To obtain your SIN number you need to bring your passport and a copy of your approved VISA to a local Service Canada office. You cannot open a Canadian bank account without this number and there is no point even trying!
2. Shop Around for Incentives
The next thing you will want to do is to shop around for ‘New customer’ deals with the various competing banks. Often the bank will incentivize you to sign up for an account with them. Scotiabank have offered free iPads after six months of banking, TD Canada Trust bank have put bonuses of up to $200.00 into new accounts after a certain period. Now that you know there are incentives at some banks, just ask the account managers when you are liaising with them. If you don't ask, you won't get!
3. Clever Savings Schemes
They will also offer ways to put money into a savings account without having to physically go to the bank to do so. For example, TD bank takes a set amount every time you use your credit card and put it away in a savings account for a rainy day. There is no extra charge or interest to do this so it is a good idea, even if you are only saving the price of a cup of coffee per week.
Some of the largest banks include RBC, Scotia Bank and TD Canada Trust. Each of these banks offer different programs and tools for Newcomers to Canada, so it is worth checking them out individually. It is also worth noting that when you are taking cash out of a bank machine, the bank will charge you up to $2.00 per transaction fee if you do not have an account with them.
If you have suggestions for our finance tips, or more banking tips for non-residents in Canada, we would love to hear from you - email us at Canada@Taxback.com