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What You Need to Know

Whether you’re already in Canada or haven’t moved yet, you probably have many questions about the banking products that are available to you. We’ve put together the following information to help you settle in faster and get familiar with the basics.

Types of Bank Accounts in Canada

A chequing account and a savings account are the two most common types of personal bank accounts in Canada. As a newcomer here, you will most likely want to have both accounts.

Chequing Account

  • Designed for day-to-day banking, paying bills, making purchases, etc.
  • Deposit and withdraw your money at any time
  • Account balances do not usually earn interest

Opening a chequing account is one of the first things you should do when you arrive (or before you get here) so that you have convenient access to your money (and a safe place to keep it).

At RBC, you can choose from several chequing accounts. Whether you plan to live in Canada permanently, start a business, study as an international student, or work for a few years, we have an account for you.

Savings Account

  • Ideal for money you don't need access to every day
  • Account balances earn interest
  • Easily access your money when you need it

We offer a number of savings accounts, including the RBC High Interest eSavings account, available in both Canadian and U.S. dollars.

Tip: If your employer offers payroll deposit, set this up on your account so you can access your money as soon as it’s deposited.

Using a Debit Card (or Client Card)

When you open your bank account, you will receive a debit card. At RBC, we call this the RBC Royal Bank Client Card. It lets you conveniently and securely access your money from bank branches and ATMs; at retailers and stores; and through online, mobile and telephone banking.

Daily Withdrawal Limits

While you can always access all your money at an RBC Royal Bank branch, in order to protect your funds, we set a daily limit on withdrawals made at ATMs, purchases at retailers and transactions through RBC Online Banking. Your RBC advisor will tell you about your daily debit limits when you receive your Client Card.

RBC Royal Bank Client Card

How Cheques Work in Canada

Writing a cheque is a convenient way to make a payment from your account when cash, debit, or a credit card isn’t an option. (For example, you may have to pay your rent by cheque.)

Many of our bank accounts include cheques for free—and you can order them online or at your branch.

Tip: You may be able to use a cheque as identification and proof of your address when you’re setting up utilities and other services.

Understanding Cheque Holds

When you deposit a cheque at a bank in Canada, a hold may be placed on it, which means the funds will appear in your account, but you can’t access them right away. This is to ensure that the person who wrote the cheque has enough funds to cover the payment.

Hold Length for Different Cheque Types

Responsive Table Example #1
Type of Cheque Length of Hold
Cheque from an account at a Canadian branch from any Canadian financial institution. Up to 4 business days68
Cheque payable from a U.S. bank account. Up to 15 business days69
Cheque payable from a bank account outside Canada and the U.S. Up to 25 business days70
Tip: To cash a cheque, you may need to give your phone number and show photo identification.

Ways to Access Your Accounts

As an RBC Royal Bank client, you will have many safe and secure ways to access the money in your bank account. Here are a few of the most common ways:

Online, Telephone and Mobile Banking25

Check your account balances, transfer funds between accounts, send money to others and pay bills 24 hours a day, from anywhere using online, telephone and mobile banking.

ATMs (Automated Teller Machine/Bank Machine)

RBC has over 4,200 ATMs across CanadaAnother RBC site. In addition to being located at bank branches, our ATMs are in shopping malls, airports, gas stations and many other places.

Simply use your RBC Royal Bank Client Card at any RBC ATM to access your money. (You can also access your account from other banks’ ATMs, but there may be a fee to use that ATM.)

Bank Branches

Visit an RBC Royal Bank branchAnother RBC site during business hours to make withdrawals, pay bills and transfer funds.

Explore more of the convenient ways to bank at RBC.

The RBC Newcomer Advantage

We know that you and your family have unique needs. Let us help. With the RBC Newcomer Advantage1 you can get everything you need for a great financial start in Canada. We are Canada’s largest bank* and leading financial institution, and we’ve been providing advice and solutions to newcomers for over 148 years.

We Have the Right Account for You

Choose the type of account you’re looking for below to explore your options.

Personal Accounts

Easily pay bills, send money, withdraw cash and deposit your pay with one of the many personal accounts we offer to newcomers to Canada.

Student Accounts

Enjoy simple, convenient and affordable student banking, so you can focus on your studies and keep more money in your pocket.

Business Accounts

As you build a life and a business in Canada, an RBC business account can help your company reach its full potential.