The Best Bank Accounts that Reduce Credit Card Annual Fees

banks-of-canada-logos-in-clouds

While credit cards are the focus of a lot of our content due to the benefits they offer in the world of miles and points, bank accounts are arguably more essential to personal finance as every Canadian needs to have one. Similar to credit cards, there are a number of choices when it comes to both chequing and savings accounts in Canada (check out our bank account comparison tool for more details on the best options available). 

There are bank accounts with no monthly fees which is great for the frugal consumer, and there are premium bank accounts that charge fees but come with a wealth of benefits. One of these premium bank account benefits is the ability to reduce or even eliminate the annual fee on credit cards issued by the bank.

Let’s dive into premium bank accounts and take a look at the best bank accounts that reduce credit card annual fees for Canadians.

The Value of a Premium Bank Account

While there are a number of free banking options in Canada, such as the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account, most financial institutions offer at least one premium chequing account that is loaded with features all for one monthly fee.

personal banking sign

Customers can receive benefits such as unlimited transactions, no-fee ATM withdrawals, complimentary safety deposit boxes, money orders and cheques at no cost, and even more. Ultimately, many of the things that you would end up paying for with a non-premium bank account are free with a premium banking account, because instead of paying many individual transaction fees, you pay one monthly fee.

How to Reduce Premium Bank Account Monthly Fees

The majority of premium bank accounts in Canada waive monthly fees provided you hold a minimum balance in your chequing account. Each financial institution and chequing account has a different minimum balance requirement which we will identify in the below sections.

The most important aspect to remember is that if you are holding a minimum balance to waive bank account monthly fees, you must maintain that minimum balance for the entire month. If you drop below the required minimum balance to waive fees, even if only for a day, you will be charged the monthly fee.

There is of course an opportunity cost in keeping a sizable sum of money dormant in a chequing account simply to waive a fee, but it can be a good place to hold an emergency fund. For example, if you keep a balance of $4,000 in your chequing account and that results in the monthly fee of $17.95 being waived, that is an effective return of 5.3% on your money in the form of a fee rebate over the course of a year.

Bank Accounts That Reduce Credit Card Annual Fees

If you are interested in a premium bank account that waives credit card annual fees at the same institution, there are a wide number of choices available for Canadians.

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Bank of Montreal offers two chequing accounts that reduce or waive the annual fee on credit cards.

The BMO Performance Chequing account has a monthly fee of $17.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $4,000 at all times. Account holders will receive benefits such as unlimited transactions, free global money transfers, and one free withdrawal at a non-BMO ATM in Canada per month.

BMO Performance Chequing account holders can receive up to a $40 annual fee rebate each calendar year on an eligible BMO personal credit card. Account holders are only eligible for one credit of $40, even if they hold multiple BMO credit cards. 

The credit cards that are eligible for this annual fee rebate include the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard, BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard, BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard, BMO AIR MILES World Mastercard, BMO CashBack World Mastercard, and the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite card.

The BMO Premium Chequing account has a monthly fee of $30.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $6,000 at all times. Account holders will receive benefits such as unlimited transactions, a discount on safety deposit boxes, and unlimited free withdrawals at ATMs worldwide.

BMO Premium Chequing account holders can receive up to a $150 annual fee rebate each calendar year on an eligible BMO personal credit card. Account holders are only eligible for one credit of $150 per year, even if they hold multiple BMO credit cards. 

The credit cards that are eligible for this annual fee rebate include the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard, BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard, and the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite card.

Frugal Flyer offers cash back rebates on both BMO chequing accounts, so if you plan on opening an account, don’t miss out on this bonus by applying here.

Scotiabank

Scotiabank offers two chequing accounts that reduce or waive the annual fee on credit cards.

The Scotiabank Preferred Package account has a monthly fee of $16.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $4,000 at all times. Account holders receive benefits such as unlimited transactions and one free withdrawal at a non-Scotiabank ATM in Canada per month.

The Scotiabank Ultimate Package account has a monthly fee of $30.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $6,000 at all times. Account holders receive benefits such as unlimited transactions, free ATM withdrawals worldwide, and a complimentary small safety deposit box.

Both the Preferred Package and Ultimate Package accounts offer the same credit card annual fee rebate of up to $150 on an eligible credit card. This annual fee rebate will occur on the first eligible card that is opened after the bank account is opened and will be received a maximum of once per year even if the account holder opens multiple eligible Scotiabank credit cards. 

If you are mainly interested in the credit card annual fee rebate, the Preferred Package is the better choice due to the lower fees and lower minimum balance required to waive the fees.

The credit cards that are eligible for the annual fee rebate include the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite card, and the Scotiabank Value Visa card.

Frugal Flyer offers cash back rebates on both Scotiabank Package accounts, so if you plan on opening an account, don’t miss out on this bonus by applying here.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Royal Bank of Canada offers two chequing accounts that reduce or waive the annual fee on credit cards.

The RBC Signature No Limit Banking account has a monthly fee of $16.95 however there is no way to waive the monthly fee. Instead, account holders can lower the monthly fee to $5.00 through the Value Program Rebate. Account holders will receive unlimited transactions, one book of personalized cheques, six free bank drafts per year, and more.

RBC Signature No Limit account holders can receive up to a $48 annual fee rebate on an eligible RBC credit card annually. Eligible cards and the amount that will be rebated include:

rbc-avion-visa-infinite-review-featured-image

The RBC VIP Banking account has a monthly fee of $30.00 however there is no way to waive the monthly fee. Instead, account holders can lower the monthly fee to $11.95 through the Value Program Rebate. Account holders will receive unlimited transactions, a $60 annual rebate on a safety deposit box, free personalized cheques, 12 bank drafts per year, and more.

RBC VIP Banking account holders can receive up to a $120 annual fee rebate each calendar year on an eligible RBC personal credit card. Account holders are only eligible for one credit of $120 per year, even if they hold multiple RBC credit cards. 

The RBC credit cards that are eligible for this rebate include the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card, RBC Avion Visa Platinum card, RBC Rewards Visa Preferred card, RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold card, RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card, RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard, and the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard.

Frugal Flyer offers cash back rebates on both RBC chequing accounts, so if you plan on opening an account, don’t miss out on this bonus by applying here.

TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust offers two chequing accounts that reduce or waive the annual fee on credit cards.

The TD Unlimited Chequing account has a monthly fee of $16.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $4,000 at all times. Account holders will receive unlimited debit and Interac e-Transfer transactions at no cost.

td unlimited chequing account information

The TD All-Inclusive Banking account has a monthly fee of $29.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $5,000 at all times. Account holders will receive unlimited transactions, a free safety deposit box, and complimentary certified cheques, money orders, and personalized cheques.

td all inclusive banking account information

Both the TD Unlimited Chequing and the TD All-Inclusive Banking accounts offer the same one-time credit card annual fee rebate of up to $139 on an eligible credit card. This annual fee rebate can only be received once even if the account holder has multiple eligible TD credit cards. The rebate will be applied towards the credit card with the highest annual fee, and may take up to 2 monthly statements from when the annual fee was charged to be applied.

If you are mainly interested in the credit card annual fee rebate, the TD Unlimited Chequing account is the better choice due to the lower fees and lower minimum balance required to waive the fees.
The eligible TD credit cards that can receive this annual fee rebate include the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum card, TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite card, TD Platinum Travel Visa card, and the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card.

National Bank

National Bank offers two chequing accounts that reduce or waive the annual fee on credit cards.

The National Bank Connected Chequing account has a monthly fee of $15.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $4,500 at all times. Account holders will receive unlimited transactions and free ATM withdrawals at Exchange network ATMs.

The National Bank Total Chequing account has a monthly fee of $28.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $6,000 at all times. Account holders will receive unlimited transactions, free ATM withdrawals at Exchange network ATMs, and up to 100 personalized cheques per year.

The National Bank Connected Chequing account can receive a one-time annual fee rebate of up to $30, whereas the National Bank Total Chequing account can receive a one-time annual fee rebate of up to $150. The bank account must be opened before applying for an eligible credit card and the rebate will be applied within 90 days of activating the card.

The credit cards that are eligible for the annual fee rebate are the same for both chequing account types and include the National Bank World Elite Mastercard, National Bank World Mastercard, National Bank Platinum Mastercard, Syncro Mastercard, and the ECHO Cashback Mastercard.

CIBC

CIBC has one chequing account that reduces or waives the annual fee on credit cards.

The CIBC Smart Plus account has a monthly fee of $29.95 which is waived by holding a minimum balance of $6,000 at all times. Account holders will receive unlimited transactions, unlimited withdrawals at ATMs worldwide, and complimentary personalized cheques, bank drafts, and money orders.

cibc smart plus account information

Smart Plus account holders can also receive up to a $139 annual fee rebate towards any eligible CIBC credit card and up to three authorized users on the eligible card will also receive up to a $50 annual fee rebate.

Eligible CIBC credit cards include the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card, CIBC Aventura Gold card, CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite card, CIBC Dividend Platinum Visa card, CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege card, and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card.

Is It Worth Pairing a Credit Card with a Premium Bank Account?

Absolutely, if you already hold a premium bank account with a financial institution, it would make sense to add a credit card if there is one that you would derive value from based on your personal financial needs and habits. 

The argument becomes even more compelling if you can have the annual fee completely wiped out, as opposed to only reduced, as a benefit of the bank account. This means you could end up holding an incredibly valuable card such as the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card and benefit from the airport lounge passes and no foreign exchange fees all without paying an annual fee!

The value-add in this combination will depend on the person and the credit card/chequing account offerings of the bank as some combinations are much more valuable than others, but it can be an easy way to further optimize your personal financial situation and to cut back on fees.

Conclusion

If you already have a premium bank account at a financial institution, consider opening a credit card with them as well to benefit from the reduced or rebated annual fee. Similarly, if you already hold a credit card with a certain bank, opening a premium bank account might be worth it to reduce the annual fee on the card if you plan on holding it long-term, provided you can get the monthly bank account fee waived.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

Previous

Review: Nagasaki Marriott Hotel

Guide to the Breakfast Benefit for Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members

Next

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated according to our comment policy. Your email address will NOT be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 comments on “The Best Bank Accounts that Reduce Credit Card Annual Fees

  1. This article needs to be refreshed with updated data since all the banks adjusted fees and minimum balance required earlier this year.
    For example, Scotiabank Ultimate Package chequing account now requires $6K minimum balance to waive monthly banking fees (and credit card annual fee); it also rebates 1 qualified credit card annual fee every year as long as the chequing account and plan remains open. This is identical to most others banks’ highest plans, except TD (lower minimum balance) and RBC (different rebate structure). It’s the 2nd tier banking plans only rebate first year annual fee.

    Reply