Surviscor Canadian Consumer Banking Experience Reviews - Canada's BEST and WORST Consumer Banking Rates and Fees Experiences

The BEST and WORST Consumer Banking Rates and Fees Experiences in Canada

motusbank provides the Best Overall Consumer Banking Rates and Fees Experience in Canada.

Finding, then acquiring, the best suited rates and fees for desired products amongst the dozens of available digital consumer banking firms is not an easy task. The glaring question is WHY? It could be the maze of confusion in water-downed product and the endless disclaimers associated with each relationship or the smoke and mirrors due to the marketing of products and services at consumer banking firms, big and small. The smaller firms must be aggressive to gain traction and do so with flashy sites and big announcements. Larger firms market the whole experience of being a customer and entice customers with additional add-ons to mostly distract from the less competitive rates that they offer.

When you think of rates at a consumer banking firm, what are your initial thoughts? In most cases, consumers think of their costs of borrowing and tend to think about mortgages, lines of credits and even car loan rates. While this report does not touch on car loans per se, the problem as we enter into 2024 is borrowing money is no longer almost free as it was years ago and these rates play a key role in every consumer's cost of living choices, especially younger consumers. Now, when you think of fees, does anything register as important? If not, it should. Consumers do care about fees, but the reality is, they are rarely fully versed on the fees, and extra fees, that occur while chasing the best borrowing rates or best investment or savings rates.

The great thing about rates, not so much the same when it comes to fees, is that many firms have moments of excellence, and the 2024 overall results prove that point. of the 24 firms reviewed, only one firm ranked in the same position as a year-ago while some firms moved up the rankings by as much as 7 ranks and others fell down the rankings by as many as 11 positions. The one firm that didn't move its ranking was strong>MOTUSBANK - owned by Meridian Credit Union, but that ranking was #1 and, in our opinion, offers the best well-rounded rates and fees across all the key products including chequing and savings accounts, registered accounts, investment products and mortgage interest.

There is one very important misconception for many Canadians each and every year, and no matter when in the year. If you think your bank provides overall competitive rates and fees, you are very mistaken. Sure, the big banks love to promote and market the relationship extras and in the larger picture of overall consumer banking experiences, the lower rates and higher fees may prove to be worth it.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group

Review Headlines

The Top 3 are All Non-Branch Firms

The top three firms are all NEO/Branchless firms and remain the same top three firms in 2024 despite some jockeying between second and third. MOTUSBANK has a strong lead and ALTERNA BANK moved into second place while Tangerine finished in third place.

The Best BIG BANK Ranks 15th - Again

Last year BMO BANK of MONTREAL finished as the best big bank at a not so impressive 15th position but this year RBC ROYAL BANK takes the dubious honour. BMO BANK of MONTREAL fell to 19th out of 24 firms while SCOTIABANK, CIBC rank even worse.

National Bank Ranks Last Amongst the BIG BANKS

NATIONAL BANK of CANADA, considered Canada's sixth big bank, finished 23rd out of 24 firms.

Meridian Credit Union is the Best Credit Union

MERIDIAN CREDIT UNION moved up 5 positions in 2024 to move into a tie for 5th overall and claiming the best credit union honour, slightly edging out CONEXUS CREDIT UNION. The strong showing compliments its affiliate MOTUSBANK's top overall ranking.

EQ Bank Mortgage Rates Remain Hidden

No window shopping allowed at EQ BANK when it comes to mortgage rates. One would think a mortgage company would be proud to show its stripes but that's not the case. It's hard to back the best rate promise without transparency.

PC Financial Barely Registers a Score

PC FINANCIAL is a niche player that only offers a basic savings account which is really an affinity program where the consumer is awarded points instead of competitive interest rates.

2024 Rates and Fees Experience Rankings

The 2024 results once again indicate less-competitive rates along with higher fees at the big banks, a wide variety of performance amongst credit union firms and more favourable rates and fees through Neo/branchless firms. Consumers should continually source out all available product in the marketplace, take a good look at the rankings to focus in on your current relationship(s), and take the time to seek out what they most likely are missing.

Rates & Fees Experience RankDigital Banking FirmExperience ScoreFull Company Review
1motusbank87 %View Company Review
2Alterna Bank81 %View Company Review
3Tangerine80 %View Company Review
4Manulife Bank of Canada75 %View Company Review
T-5Motive Financial73 %View Company Review
T-5Meridian Credit Union73 %View Company Review
7Conexus Credit Union72 %View Company Review
8Coast Capital Savings68 %View Company Review
9Vancity65 %View Company Review
10Desjardins64 %View Company Review
11Simplii Financial63 %View Company Review
12ATB Financial62 %View Company Review
13Alterna Savings54 %View Company Review
14Blueshore Financial52 %View Company Review
T-15EQ Bank51 %View Company Review
T-15RBC Royal Bank51 %View Company Review
17TD Canada Trust50 %View Company Review
18Servus Credit Union49 %View Company Review
T-19Laurentian Bank48 %View Company Review
T-19BMO Bank of Montreal48 %View Company Review
T-21Scotiabank46 %View Company Review
T-21CIBC46 %View Company Review
23National Bank of Canada43 %View Company Review
25PC Financial12 %View Company Review

The overall narrative of rates and fees is very consistent. Big Banks offer packages to distract from the less competitive rates and fees. Credit Unions promote ownership and collective goals, but most have inferior digital platforms. Neo Banks promote easy and that they have invented the new, and better, way to bank which are ridiculous statements. And discount banks promote no-frill relationships in exchange for competitive rates and better fees. Beware of the distractions and home in on your needs.

For more information on the categories reviewed and the depth of review in each category, click Rates and Fees Process and Methodology

See the Best and Worst Firms by Product

Go to Lessons Learned

Go to The Bottom Line

Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm

The BEST and WORST Firms - By Product

Firms must earn each and every ranking in Surviscor reviews due to the un-matched depth of review and analysis. Ranks are not given to firms like they are by sponsored ghost writers or false marketing pieces and messages, and Surviscor gives credit where credit is due. The hope is that all Canadian consumers hold their banking partner accountable to provide ultra-competitive rates and fees that match, or closely match, the best firms in each category.

The Consumer Banking Rates and Fees Experience review establishes the Best and Worst firms for rates and fees by measuring each firm against one another using like product and analytics. The areas of review include a look at five main products sold in Canada including chequing accounts, savings account, registered accounts, GICs/Term Deposits and Mortgages. The following tables provide a quick look at the best and worst firm for each product:


The category audits the transaction-based monthly account fees and interest rates associated with lowest-priced chequing account at each firm.

RankBEST Chequing AccountsRankWORST Chequing Accounts

The following firms do not offer Chequing Accounts:



The category audits the various transactional fees and interest rates associated with the standard non-registered savings account at each firm. This is the only category where all firms offer the product.

RankBEST Savings AccountsRankWORST Savings Accounts


The category audits the amount of interest earned on both an average TFSA and RRSP deposit account based upon an average account balance.

RankBEST Registered AccountsrankWORST Registered Accounts

The following firm does not offer Registered Accounts:



The category audits the amount of interest earned on a GIC / Term Deposit Investment based upon both short-term and long-term maturities and various investment amounts.

The following firm does not offer GICs/Term Deposits:



The category audits the amount of interest paid on both fixed and variable rate mortgages with <25-year amortizations based on posted rates and various principal investment sizes.

The following firms do not offer Mortgages:



The 2024 Consumer Banking Rates and Fees Experience review produced some interesting findings. Here is a quick look at the key points of discussion:

  • MOTUSBANK repeats as top firm
  • MERIDIAN CREDIT UNION is the top ranked credit union
  • MOTIVE FINANCIAL improved 7 positions from 2023
  • Branchless-Neo Banks account for the first 5 rankings
  • Only 1 Credit Union ranked outside of the top 14

  • BMO BANK OF MONTREAL now has 103 small-print legal notifications-up 3 from 2023
  • Only 1 of the 6 big banks failed to crack the top 15
  • SERVUS CREDIT UNION is the worst ranked credit union
  • LAURENTIAN BANK fell 11 positions from 2023
  • EQ BANK is not publicly transparent with its mortgage rates

Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm


Consumer Banking is a big maze of information overload, and what a consumer sees through its digital platforms is not always what is really happening. We use posted rates and ignore promotional and/or account bundling deals as the number of permutations and combinations is enough to make anyone abandon its research. These are some of the high-level lessons of note, some of which remain the same from 2023:

Rates and Fees are an Organized Mess

Finding a firm's full suite of products and services and the associate rates and fees that come along with them is usually a daunting task. If a rate is easy to find, usually its because the banking firm's marketing hooks are involved and they want a consumer to take note. The issue is that the regular rates often take some digging to find. Clear and defined internet searches can sometimes help versus using platform navigational items.

High Rates Do Not Translate to Chequing or Savings Accounts

Once again, we should all give this some thought. As rates rose, mortgage rates, loan rates, and lines of credit rates, rose as well and at similar increments. Now switch your thinking to deposit and day-to-day transactional accounts that require balances to get preferred rates. The research indicates that consumers receive next to nothing in terms of cash balance compensation compared to the percentages charged to borrow.

Chequing Accounts are for Transactions

Consumer banking firms have long been warning of the demise of cheques, but the truth is, a consumer banking customer better have a chequing account if they plan to perform day-to-day transactions in an account. The reality is there are little cheque-based activity and if you hold any kind of substantial cash balance in the account, forget about the banking firm paying you appropriate interest.

What is considered a chargeable transaction?

We don't like starting a lesson with a question but when it comes to transactional costs, it is important you know where you will be dinged in any type of account, sometimes with a fee as high as $5 per transaction. A transaction can be primarily defined as an ATM/ABM action or use, a Debit Card transaction, an internal transfer of funds, a bill payment, an Interac money movement, an international money movement, and a mobile wallet payment.

Don't Confuse a Traditional and a Registered Savings Account

As we scour the websites looking for rates, this is one of the most frustrating lack of clarity items we find. Banking firms love to market the highest number they can, so they focus on showing Investment rates provided through TFSA, RRSP and the newest FHSA accounts which are really investment accounts with government tax implications thus the use of term registered. Don't kid yourself, these are investments with no opportunity to transact or move money around once invested and traditional savings accounts' interest rates do not even come close to matching those of the registered accounts.

Non-Registered Savings Accounts have Limitations

Be careful when it comes to non-registered savings accounts as you will be told they are free, and they pay a fraction of the interest paid in registered-savings accounts. The research indicates that outside of a few neo banks, no-fee savings accounts are not designed to allow consumers to perform day-to-day transactions without incurring huge fees. In most cases, firms charge between $1-$5 for debit card purchases and bill payments and $1-$1.50 for Interac money transfers. The $0 fee quickly adds up to big fees if you use this account for everyday life.

Marketing Focuses on the Smallest of Differentiations

All consumer banking firms, big and small, are constantly marketing to you and the messages focus on the smallest of differentiations and obviously ignore the largest of gaps that exist between most offerings. Those gaps exist and you need to be aware of the shiny new freebies to become a customer and the limited time promotional rates that are very limited. Choose a financial partner, or partners, that satisfies all your digital needs.

BMO Bank of Montreal now at 103 Small Print Notices

In 2023 we pointed out that we were not sure if BMO BANK of MONTREAL's 100 small print notices were impressive that they want full disclosure. Now that the number is at 103, ridiculous is our word of choice and the number represents a much larger issue that the marketed products and the services have a lot of overlap and confusion. On behalf of everyone, we beg BMO BANK of MONTREAL to stop with the nonsense and of equal importance, the other firms to stop as well.

Finding, then acquiring, the best suited rates and fees for desired products amongst the dozens of available digital consumer banking firms is not an easy task. The maze of confusion in water-downed product and the endless disclaimers associated with each relationship has never been more apparent. The smaller firms use flashy sites and big announcements. Larger firms use relationship bundling and additional add-ons to mostly distract from the less competitive rates.

Glenn LaCoste, President and CEO of Surviscor Group

Go back to the 2024 Rates & Fees Experience Rankings


In a landscape of fluctuating and unpredictable interest rates, even minor distinctions can catch attention, yet may lack transparency. Our "Between the Lines" analysis does precisely as the title implies: it offers guidance through the intricacies of product marketing campaigns, while illuminating the merits of each product within every firm. Not all comparisons between firms are straightforward, and posted rates may not fully reveal the true picture. It's crucial for consumers to stay alert to posted rates, promotions, and special offers often tailored to new customers or products.

The Surviscor DISCLAIMER

Surviscor prides itself on acknowledging and highlighting firms for both exemplary and subpar experiences. Canadians diligently earn their money, underscoring the importance of aligning with a consumer banking partner that meets all of their needs. It's imperative for Canadian consumers to hold all firms, regardless of size, to rigorous standards of customer service and affordability. Ultimately, consumers wield the power, not the consumer banking firms.

Explore other Surviscor Rankings

This review is only one of many Surviscor yearly digital experience reviews for Online Self-Directed Brokerage and Consumer Banking firms. Take a look at your current firms, firms you always thought about using, and maybe you'll even find a new firm to consider.