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Open a bank account

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:

In most banks, in order to open an account as a student you will require:

  • Passport
  • 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

  1. Savings Accounts earn high interest, but have high fees for spending. You cannot write cheques.
  2. Chequing Accounts have lower interest and lower fees for spending. They allow cheque writing. Cheque books are usually charged
  3. 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.