Moving to a new country comes with a whole ‘start from scratch’ scenario. Parents help you manage finances at home and keep a track of credit card bills. They also have a savings account set aside for long-term goals. With a new beginning comes newer challenges. One thing international students in Canada can do is open a local bank account, other than the one where one receives the GIC.
Opening an account with the local bank comes with a lot of benefits- including the account just being used as a savings account. Major local banks in Canada, say Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto- Dominion (TD) Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal (BMO), etc, provide a lot of benefits to students like zero monthly charges. Depending on the bank, students can earn cashback, use their scene points, and reap the benefits. Why do students hesitate to have a separate account in a local bank?
Well, most of the students who come to Canada are entirely dependent on the GIC that they receive- which is normal. However, to manage expenses and make the best out of services provided by these banks, one can simply set up a bank account with them.
Source: Dufferin County
We are here to help you open a bank account in Canada with easy steps-
Do your research to select the Bank
It is understandable how every other person would suggest a different bank. You might be stuck between ‘this got better benefits, but this one seems to be more trustworthy. We understand, and so .. the best solution would be to do your research, or even better, go to the nearest bank possible- as it might be more convenient for you.
Carry your Documents
Bank representatives usually ask for two Identification proofs to help you set up an account with them. Documents like Passport, Study/ Work Permit, Letter of Acceptance, and Lease Agreement are considered valid ID proofs.
Select your Account type
After the verification process, the bank helps you set up an account. There are three types of accounts to consider-
Chequing: for daily use, Savings: to store money for a longer period and earn interest
Foreign Currency account: for those who would like to possess a different currency, other than CAD.
Saving: an account to put in money for savings.
The bank will provide you with a debit card with a four-digit PIN after the account is opened. You can use it to withdraw money from ATMs.
Apply for a Credit Card
Credit cards are like a nightmare if the bills aren’t paid on time. In Canada, maintaining a good credit score helps with a lot of things, including renting or buying an apartment. A good credit history helps in building credibility. Banks give you a credit limit of 1000 CAD which helps with expenses.
One might also be eager to send money home. Opening a bank account with a local bank helps to easily transfer money home as well. Almost all the major banks provide the ‘International Money Transfer’ option, which helps you send money home securely. One can simply head to their mobile application and send money easily.
Author: Prathiusha P (email@example.com) has worked as a Creative Copywriter, now based in Toronto, Canada.