It is a good idea to research the different types of student accounts available in Canada so that you are familiar with the charges and costs associated with having a bank account. Most banks and credit unions waive monthly fees or per transaction fees on their student accounts, but some only give a few free transactions (e.g. three free ATM/ABM withdrawals a month, anything above that is charged). In some cases, if you withdraw from an ATM/ABM other than your home bank, you can be charged a service fee.
Please note that Canada has discontinued the use of traveller’s cheques.
Additionally, you might want to use Google Maps to find a bank that is close to your permanent accommodation or close to the University. The major banks are as follows:
- Bank of Montreal (BMO) bmo.com
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) cibc.com
- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) hsbc.com
- TD Canada Trust (TD) tdcanadatrust.com
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) rbcroyalbank.com
- Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) scotiabank.com
- ATB Financial (ATB) atb.com
In most banks, in order to open an account as a student you will require:
- Study permit
- Confirmation of enrollment letter from the University
- Evidence of a home address in Edmonton
- SIN Number
Please note that each bank may have it’s own requirements. It is a good idea to try to phone beforehand to find out what documents they need to open a Student Bank Account. Most banks are also very responsive over email.
Types of Accounts
- Savings Accounts earn high interest, but have high fees for spending. You cannot write cheques.
- Chequing Accounts have lower interest and lower fees for spending. They allow cheque writing. Cheque books are usually charged
- Combination Accounts have some interest. They allow a number of cheques per month.
Most banks will offer you a debit card and a credit card. Please be aware of the charges associated with your credit card.