Student accounts are provided by all major banks in Canada with specific services and facilities. Banks also see this as an opportunity to improve their client base and ‘catch them young’. Opening and maintaining the account is a simple process in Canada. The savings account fetches a higher interest rate than the other account types.
Any eligible person can open a student account by providing authorized identification documents such as Social Insurance Number, study permit, proof of enrolment with school and resident proof. Many banks provide low charge or no fee account facilities for students. Most banks do not have a constraint on the minimum amount required to start an account.
But some of them do charge a fee if the savings account does not maintain a minimum balance on a monthly average basis. Students have no minimum balance account options also to choose from. The savings account does not have any chequing privileges and will have only personal withdrawals. Depending on the age and spending pattern, credit card facilities are also offered to students.
The banks also provide international transfer options to cater to the large section of international students coming to Canada for studies. Students consider various factors like the distance from their institution, offers, and tie-ups before finalizing the bank.
The student-specific plans provide various calculators to help individuals plan for their minimum balance and monthly budget. Some examples are myFinanceTracker from RBC, Moneylogic from BMO, etc. All banks have students’ specific pages and brochures which present a wealth of information for understanding and comparison.
Banks also provide specific offers and fee discounts for student account along with facilities like phone banking, internet banking, ATM cards, unlimited transactions, preference for loans, mobile banking, shopping facilities, protection against unauthorized transactions, etc. But many of these privileges are limited to students pursuing full time recognized courses. The options to switch banks without affecting the credit ratings are also a possibility.
Students are also eligible for reward points, movie vouchers, etc. depending on their spending and savings patterns.