Do I Need a No-Fee Bank Account?

What Is a No-Fee Bank Account, And Why Do I Need One?

There’s good news and not so great news. The good news is that Canada’s national banks continue to enjoy record profits. The news we wish was different is that a chunk of those bank profits come from service fees paid by customers like you.  That’s right. You don’t just pay banks for keeping your money safe, but for a range of their services. Sometimes, you may be forking over your hard-earned cash for services you don’t even use. From savings accounts to chequing accounts, debit cards, credit cards, loans, mortgages, and ATM facilities, banks may charge you for several services. Let’s take a closer look at what these bank fees may include.

What services do I pay for?

Monthly Account Fees

Banks may charge you a monthly fee for your account. Depending on the type of account, you may pay as much as $30 or more per month. These types of bank fees are usually charged for accounts that offer greater functionalities like a chequing account. But the added flexibility comes at a price.

Transaction fees

Most banks charge a fee for every transaction you make. There may be a certain number of free transactions you can perform every month. But banks usually limit these transactions to only three to five per month. Once you cross the specified limit, they’ll charge a fee. Whether it’s buying groceries with your card or withdrawing cash from ATMs, transactions add up. And that means, bank fees you may have to pay add up too.

Minimum Balance Fees 

Another cost you may not think of immediately is the requirement for minimum balances. If you do not keep this minimum required amount in your account, banks charge you a fee or fees for transactions. For example, banks could offer you free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers if you maintain a certain monthly balance in your account. If you drop below your minimum balance, there go your free Interac e-Transfers. On one hand, you cannot use your own money so that you maintain the minimum balance. On the other hand, if you do not maintain the minimum balance, you have to pay fees. It’s a lose-lose situation for customers.

ATM Fees

ATMs make banking convenient. However, banks may charge a fee if you use their ATMs too many times in a given period. They may also charge you every time you use an ATM belonging to another bank.

Paper Statements

Banking has shifted to digital and e-statements are a great option to save on paper and avoid filing. But sometimes you need a paper statement (for example, to submit paperwork for an application). Banks may charge you a fee for your paper statement to cover printing and delivery costs.

Product Fees

You may even have to sign up for certain products or services that you don’t want or need. Banks may opt you in for such services without taking consent or providing information. So, without even knowing it - or wanting the product - you will be charged a fee.

While some of these bank fees give you the ability to make use of a bank’s services, is it fair for you to be paying as much as $360 per year for them? Did you say no? We think so too.

At Innovation we’ve taken a different approach. We understand how frustrating it can be to pay to access your own money.  Customers are tired of all the bank fees, restrictions, and fine print. Not to mention the unnecessary charges for products and services they don’t want or need. No wonder 43,000+ Canadians have chosen to do free banking with Innovation. How? We offer them a no-fee bank account.

What is a No-Fee Bank Account?

As the name suggests, a no-fee bank account is a free banking account. You don’t have to pay any bank fees to use this account. Finally, you can keep your money safe and save it too. 

An Innovation No-Fee Bank Account comes with many advantages:


You can save as much as $360 per year with a no-fee chequing account. Imagine, all that money that was going towards a bank’s revenue can now go into your own pocket - or account. What will you buy with an extra $360 a year?

No minimum balance

Remember that lose-lose situation we spoke about earlier? With a No-Fee Bank Account, it gets transformed into a true win-win for you. You can spend or save as much of the money in your account as you please. Your money, you decide. And if you spend it all? No problem! You won’t have to pay any bank fees.

Free ATMs Across Canada

You can use a wide network of ATMs spread across the country. Use any ding-free ATM and you will never have to pay any kind of ATM use surcharge. You can also use ATMs as many times as you want. Limits are for people who aren’t Innovation members, not you. 

Free & Unlimited Interac e-Transfers

Speaking of no limits, you can enjoy unlimited Interac e-transfers. Of course, each of your transactions will be absolutely free. Send and receive as many as you like each month. Talk about truly free banking!

No-fee banking is free banking. With so many benefits, you may think a no-fee chequing account is difficult to get. But it’s really simple.

In fact, we automatically switched 23,000 members to our No-Fee Bank Account when we created it. We didn’t wait for people to switch, so they could save money right away. We delivered on our Responsible Banking promise that puts our members first.

Long-time Innovation member Karen Kyle was pleased, but not surprised, to discover she’d been switched to a No-Fee Bank Account without even asking. “It’s hard for people to imagine that they could have a bank that does the right thing in this day and age, but that’s what Innovation does. I’m proud to be a member.”

How do I apply for a No-Fee Bank Account?

Applying for a No-Fee Bank Account at Innovation is really simple. You can apply online and there are only a few eligibility requirements.

  • Age - You need to be over the age of 18 to apply online. If you’re under 18, give us a call at 1.866.446.7001 and we can help you over the phone.

  • Residency - You are eligible to apply if you are a Canadian resident. However, we do not currently offer free banking to residents of Quebec.

  • Social Insurance Number - You need to provide your SIN if you would like to apply online. It is not required to open an account with us. If you do not want to provide your SIN, you can visit one of our branch locations or call 1.866.446.7001 for more information.

That’s it. Easy, right? We believe good things are for good people, like you.

While you won’t be paying any fees on your No-Fee Bank Account, there are other benefits to being an Innovation member. We’re committed to Responsible Banking. That means, we use our bank profits to make life better for our members, our communities, and our world.

Profit Sharing

Our members get part of our profits every quarter. We are a credit union, and our customers or members are part-owners of the credit union. This entitles them to a part of our profits every quarter.

Great Products & Services

Our members get to use products like a no fee chequing account, enjoy a wide network of free ATMs, and get attractive rates on loans and mortgages. We also offer online banking and a convenient mobile app.

Earn Rewards

In addition to saving money when you bank with us, you will also earn money! Our rewards program, Member Rewards, is one of the best credit union rewards programs in the country. It allows you to earn money simply by doing your everyday banking with us. (Quite a far cry from paying for transactions, don’t you think?)

Give Back

We also give back to the communities we serve. In 2020 alone, we gave back $505,000 in sponsorships and donations, $33,000 in scholarships and spirit awards, $21,400 in donations to charity by staff. We do our best to live up to our commitment to Responsible Banking. By banking with us, you will give back to your community too. You will support an institution that uses its revenue to do good things, not line their own pockets. Every time you bank, you know you’re also helping the people around you.

Whether it’s giving back, earning or saving as much as $360 per year, you too can join approximately 51,000+ Innovation members who don’t pay any bank fees. Interested in saving hundreds each year, helping yourself and your community? Open a No-Fee Bank Account with us today.