Get the right account

Like everywhere else, you’ll need the local money to cover your expenses in your first few days in Saskatchewan, right from the airport. Taxi fare, hotel, phone calls, food, and other necessities will be purchased in the local currency. In most cases, a bank will give you a higher exchange rate on your currency than a foreign currency exchange facility at an airport. After the first few days in Saskatchewan, you’ll need to open and operate a bank or credit union account. This will enable you to keep your money safe, cash any checks you get, and facilitate money transfers between countries. You have several options when it comes to opening a bank or credit union account.   Banks Banks are governed by the federal government (the government of Canada), and the majority of them operate across the country. In Saskatchewan, there are frequently several bank options in cities and more than one in bigger towns. Some banks in Canada will allow you to open an account with them even before you arrive in the country. To know which banks allow this, you can easily check online, by;
  • searching for “newcomer opening a bank account in Canada” on the internet; and
  • after you locate a bank that permits you to open a bank account from your home country, check if the bank has a branch in Saskatchewan where you will be residing. You can get in touch with the bank by phone or email, or use mysask411.com to make the location check.
  Credit Unions  Credit unions are similar to banks in that they offer many of the same services, such as accepting deposits, lending money, and investing your money. The difference from banks is that Credit unions are governed by provincial laws, and their operations are limited to a single province. They are also member-owned, which means that if you have a credit union account, you are a part-owner who can partake in the earnings and vote on the Board of Directors.   In choosing the right bank or credit union account, you may need to consider the following about the financial institution options available to you:
  • How close is the location to you? Is it possible to access your account from different branches?
  • Does the bank or credit union provide all of the services you require (savings, investments, loans, bill payments, money transfers, and so forth)?
  • How much do services like using an ATM, cashing a check, transferring money, and converting foreign currency cost?
  • If you do not speak English, does the bank have someone who speaks?
  Financial Services: Cheques The cheques you receive must be cashed or deposited. Regular salary cheques and, in some situations, government cheques from Child Tax Benefits or the GST/HST Refund are examples of these. Through direct deposit, many of your cheques can be automatically deposited in your bank account if you make arrangements with your bank and employer. It is important that you update your mailing address with the offices/persons from whom you receive cheques if you move from one house to another.   Internet banking This service allows you to access your accounts from anywhere in the world using computers or mobile devices. You can use internet banking to pay bills and move funds between accounts.   International Transfers Banks and credit unions, financial institutions, and pay-day loan organizations are all options for transferring money to foreign countries. Because there is a fee involved with the service, you may want to shop around for the best deal. To transfer funds from abroad to Saskatchewan, you’ll need a bank draft payable to yourself from a foreign bank to a specific bank in Saskatchewan. While no paperwork will be required, transfers above $10,000 CAD may be reported to FINTRAC by the entity conducting the transaction. Be aware of potential fraud, and as with all foreign money transfers, only accept money from someone you know for legitimate reasons.