As an international student in Canada, an important aspect of your living will depend on the banking option you choose for your financial needs. This will be a vital tool for you over the next few years, hence it is a good idea to choose one that is tailored for students and offers the best range of services and perks. Some of the things you may want to consider include;
- What type of account will best suit your needs (savings, chequing, investment etc),
- Number of transactions you may be doing monthly,
- Whether you’ll need credit (e.g. credit cards),
- Access to student discounts,
- Distance of your bank branch from your residence/campus, among other considerations.
Operating A Bank Account
There are certain conditions tied to opening and operating a student bank account in Saskatchewan and other provinces across Canada. Take a look at some of the conditions you should be aware of;
- you may be able to open an account online before you enter Canada, but once you enter you must make a physical appointment in order to submit necessary documents and confirm your identity.
- you may be required to present a valid student ID.
- depending on the financial institution, you may be required to show your study permit, proof of enrolment in a post-secondary program, a valid passport, and/or a Canadian Driver’s License, or a Canadian Government Identification card.
- while you’re free to deposit any amount, if you’re depositing $10,000 or more at once, the bank will report it to FINTRAC.
Banks For International Students
Most of the big banks in Canada all offer student banking options with a variety of benefits like no monthly fee, unlimited free monthly debit card transactions, free Interac e-transfer transactions and no charge when using other banks ATM. Some of the most recommended banks for international students in Canada include;
- Scotiabank: Best for International Money Transfers and Movie/Cash-Back Rewards.
- CIBC: Best for Student Discount Perks and International Student GICs.
- BMO (Bank of Montreal): Best for Student Credit Cards.
- TD Canada Trust: Best For No-Fee Study Permit GICs And Student Savings Accounts.
- RBC (Royal Bank of Canada): Best for Free ATM Access.
Majority of these banks have online banking services and mobile apps for simple and secure banking wherever you may be. Be wary of monthly transaction limits as they could cost around $1 when you go over the limit and use your debit card. Although your banking needs might change after you graduate, the above listed banks with their various student bank accounts are tailored to make your time as a student worthwhile when it comes to finances.