What is a Senior’s Bank Account?

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Written by Enoch Omololu

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Banking can get complicated, especially as we age. But there’s good news – special bank accounts called senior’s bank accounts exist. 

They are designed for Canadian seniors, making money matters convenient for this age group. In this guide, we’re going to check out what senior bank accounts are all about, the best options available, and how to pick the perfect one. 

Main Highlights

  • Senior bank accounts are designed for individuals typically aged 60 to 65 and older.
  • They often come with low to no monthly fees, making them more affordable for seniors.
  • Some accounts also offer personalized financial advice, enhanced interest rates, unlimited transactions, and other perks.
  • Seniors need to understand the terms and conditions of their bank account to avoid overdrafts and other service fees.

Senior Bank Accounts Explained

Senior bank accounts are specialized banking services designed specifically for the older population, usually starting at 60 to 65 years old. Unlike regular accounts, these accounts are tailored to meet the unique financial needs of seniors. 

One of the key benefits of senior bank accounts is it they make managing finances easier. Many of these accounts come with online banking capabilities, making it easy to check account balances, pay bills, transfer funds, and keep track of your budget from the comfort of your home. 

Also, they may offer perks like complimentary cheques, drafts, paper statements, discounts on safe deposit boxes, bill payment reminders, and more. 

But big banks won’t automatically offer these accounts; you often have to request for one.

How a Senior Bank Account Works

When you reach the age of 60 or 65, most banks offer special bank accounts tailored for seniors. 

These accounts offer lower fees, higher interest rates, and easier banking requirements compared to traditional bank accounts.

Other perks commonly include:

  • No monthly fees or reduced monthly charges
  • Low maintaining and opening balance
  • Access to a debit card linked to your account
  • Use of online and mobile banking services
  • A certain number of transactions each month (some accounts offer unlimited transactions) 
  • Free paper statements
  • Certified cheques at no charge

Also, some banks go the extra mile. They might offer a cash bonus if you open a senior’s account and set up regular deposits and bill payments. Others provide discounts on various products, like free safety deposit box usage or waived credit card annual fees.

Best Senior’s Bank Accounts in Canada:

CIBC Smart for Seniors

Features: CIBC caters to seniors through its Smart for Seniors program, providing various benefits and discounts tailored to their specific needs. It offers:

  • Monthly fee discounts on Smart and Smart Plus chequing accounts
  • Free bank drafts and money orders for Smart for Seniors members
  • Free personalized cheques on a Smart Plus Account
  • Savings account holders enjoy discounts on safety deposit box rental fees
  • Seniors Support Center offering specialized assistance
  • Priority phone routing for individuals aged 75 and older

Fees: $0 fees for up to 12 transactions per month, and a monthly fee of $10 for unlimited transactions. The Smart Plus Account, on the other hand, has a monthly fee of $23.

Eligibility: 65 years old and above

RBC Advantage Banking for Seniors

Features: RBC Advantage Banking for Seniors allows customers to earn Avion points for every $10 spent in-store and online. 

Other perks include:

  • 1 book of 50 cheques is free; afterwards, fees apply
  • Bank drafts priced at $9.95 each
  • Online, mobile, and telephone banking services are free
  • EStatements are provided at no cost
  • Monthly paper statements are $2.25 without a cheque image and $2.50 with a cheque image
  • Non-sufficient free rebate once per calendar year
  • Optional overdraft protection ($5 a month) and safety deposit box (fees apply)

Fees: $7.95 per month

Eligibility: 65 years old and older

TD Unlimited Chequing Account

Features: TD Unlimited Chequing Account offers unlimited transactions per month and free Interac e-transfer transactions. Also, your TD Access Card can be used for online and in-person shopping, cash withdrawals, and ATM transactions wherever Visa is accepted. 

Other perks include:

  • Visa and Interac Zero Liability protection means no customer responsibility for any unauthorized transactions
  • No additional fee for using non-TD ATMs in Canada
  • Foreign ATM fees: $3 in U.S. and Mexico, $5 in any other foreign country
  • Use TD MySpend to track monthly spending and improve spending habits
  • Direct deposit for paycheques and mobile deposit for all other cheques
  • Access to the Simply Save program, which automatically transfers small amounts of money to a linked TD savings account when using your TD Access Card
  • CDIC protection for eligible deposits

Fees: $11.95 per month

Eligibility: 60 years old and above

BMO Practical Plan Account for Seniors

Features: BMO offers tailored plans for seniors via their BMO Practical Plan. Its perks include:

  • Unlimited Interac e-Transfer® transactions a month
  • Seamlessly add a savings account at no additional cost
  • Special discounts on all chequing accounts for seniors
  • Maintain a minimum daily balance to waive monthly Plan fees for Plus, Performance, or Premium Plans
  • $2 each in Canada, $5 each in the U.S., $5 each outside Canada and the U.S. for Non-BMO ATM withdrawals a month
  • Standard overdraft protection for $5 a month

.Fees: No monthly fees that come with 12 monthly transactions

Eligibility: 60 years old and above

Scotiabank Basic Bank Account for Seniors

Features: The Scotiabank Basic Bank account provides free banking for seniors. It offers:

  • Includes 2 Interac e-Transfers; additional transactions cost $1 each after.
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Additional transactions beyond the free limit cost $1.25 each
  • Accountholders earn 1 SCENE point for every $5 spent on debit purchases; alternatively, Scotia Rewards points can also be earned.
  • Chequing Account options that have a $4 discount on monthly fees:
  1. Scotiabank Basic Plus Account: $7.95 per month with 25 free transactions
  2. Scotiabank Preferred Package: $12.95 per month with unlimited transactions

Fees: No monthly fee

Eligibility: 60 years old and above

National Bank The Total Chequing Account

Features: National Bank’s Total Chequing Account also caters to seniors. Its perks include: 

  • Access to all digital and counter transactions without limitations
  • Enjoy unlimited and free Interac e-Transfers
  • Credit Card Discount: Up to $150 off after enrolling in an eligible credit card
  • Monthly Fee Discount: Receive a $5.00 discount on the $28.95 monthly fee
  • Free Statements: Access free online statements and receive account statements by mail at no extra cost.
  • Receive 100 free cheques per year
  • Integrated Line of Credit available, offering up to $5,000
  • Pay conveniently with mobile or contactless payments using Apple Pay or Google Pay on your smartphone or Interac Debit contactless payments
  • Use mobile cheque deposit by taking a photo of your cheques through the National Bank app to deposit your funds in a few clicks.
  • Enjoy special rates for online trading services
  • Legal and estate assistance services are included.
  • Benefit from a free safety deposit box rental for the first year; subsequently, enjoy a $10/year discount for subsequent years.
  • Access overdraft protection services
  • Cheque Images: Access to cheque images for reference and records.

Fees: $23.95 a month and $0 with a balance of $6,000 and above

Eligibility: 60 years old and above

Canadian Western Bank Gold Leaf PLUS Account

Features: Canada Western Bank offers a dedicated bank account for seniors called the Gold Leaf PLUS account. Among its perks are:

  • Unlimited transactions
  • Choose between electronic or paper statements for free
  • Receive complimentary cheques 
  • Send money with free Interac e-Transfers®
  • Enjoy a $15 discount on safe deposit box rentals
  • Receive GIC interest monthly with no penalty

Fees: No monthly fee

Eligibility: 57 years old and older

How to Choose a Senior Bank Account

When picking a senior bank account, it’s crucial to consider a few key factors. Here’s a simplified checklist to help you make an informed decision:

Fees: Check if the account offers discounted or waived monthly fees. Consider whether the services provided justify the fee and be aware of any additional usage charges.

Location: Larger banks have more branches. Are there branches near you, or are you comfortable with online banking only?

Transaction Limits: Determine your monthly transaction needs. Some accounts have limits, while others offer unlimited transactions. Choose what suits you best.

Minimum Balance: Some banks require a minimum balance to waive fees. Consider if you plan on maintaining a high balance or prefer account flexibility.

Interest: For savings accounts, the interest rate matters. Decide if you want to grow your savings or need regular transaction accessibility.

Perks: Look for accounts offering beneficial perks like free money orders, bank drafts, or personalized cheques, especially if you’re paying a monthly fee.

By checking these factors, you can find a senior bank account tailored to your needs and preferences.

Pros and Cons of a Seniors Bank Account

Pros

  • Lower or Waived Monthly Fees: Senior accounts often come with reduced or eliminated monthly fees, easing financial strain.
  • Personalized Financial Advice: Seniors can benefit from tailored financial consultations, ensuring their unique needs are met.
  • Enhanced Interest Rates: Some accounts offer higher interest rates on savings, helping seniors grow their wealth.
  • Unlimited Transactions: Seniors can conduct unlimited transactions without incurring additional fees, making banking hassle-free.

Cons

  • Limited Availability of Certain Features: To enjoy other perks, you might have to apply for the bank’s other products, like credit cards.
  • Minimum Balance Requirements: Some accounts require maintaining a minimum balance, which might not be feasible for everyone.
  • Overdraft Fees May Apply: Overdraft fees could still be applicable in certain situations, so it’s essential to stay informed.

FAQs

Which bank is best for a savings account for senior citizens?

Several banks, including RBC, TD, and BMO, offer competitive savings accounts for seniors. It’s advisable to compare interest rates and terms before making a decision.

Is a debit card free for senior citizens?

Yes, many senior bank accounts offer free debit cards as part of their services. Some of the major banks that offer this service include TD Bank, Scotiabank, and RBC Royal Bank.

What bank has no monthly fees?

Banks like CIBC, Scotiabank, and TD offer senior accounts with no monthly fees, provided certain conditions are met.

Should I keep all my money in one bank?

Diversifying your accounts across multiple banks can provide added security. But, choose banks that offer senior-friendly accounts for maximum benefits.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has written about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, CBC News, Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, Financial Post, Bankrate, Forbes, Toronto Star, CTV News, and other personal finance publications. He founded Savvy New Canadians, one of Canada’s top financial education platforms.

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  • One of the best savings rates in Canada.
  • Access to free unlimited chequing account with $400 bonus.
*Terms and conditions apply. Limited time offer.