The best bank accounts for side hustles in Canada

The best bank accounts for side hustles including options with no fees, unlimited transactions, rewards, high interest, and no foreign exchange fees.

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The best bank accounts for side hustles in Canada

If you have a side hustle, like selling on Etsy or delivering food, you’re in good company. According to a new study by H&R Block, a full 28% of Canadians are taking on short-term or freelance work to make ends meet. With record inflation and a high cost of living, having more than one source of income may help you pay your bills or give you a little extra spending money. Getting the right bank account for your side hustle could help you stretch your earnings even further. 

Whether you’re looking for a true business package or a dedicated account for your side job, you’ll want to know about fees, transaction limits, interest rates and perks. In this article, we’ll give you the rundown of the best chequing accounts and savings accounts to consider so you can make the most of your earnings.

Our picks for the best side hustle bank accounts in Canada

CategoryBank account
Best personal bank accounts for side hustles• Wealthsimple Cash
• Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account
• EQ Bank Personal Account
Best business bank accounts for side hustles • Alterna Small Business eChequing Account
• Scotiabank Select Account for Business
• TD Every Day Business Plans

Why trust us

MoneySense is an award-winning magazine, helping Canadians navigate money matters since 1999. Our editorial team of trained journalists works closely with leading personal finance experts in Canada. To help you find the best financial products, we compare the offerings from over 12 major institutions, including banks, credit unions and card issuers. Learn more about our advertising and trusted partners.


The best personal bank accounts for side hustles 

If you just want to earn some extra money for bills or discretionary expenses, and you don’t see your side job becoming a full-on business one day, you might want to consider opening a regular chequing or savings account for your side hustle rather than a business bank account. You could save on the added fees that sometimes come with business bank accounts. Plus, it’s not required that you open a business account if you have an unincorporated side-hustle business, or you are a sole proprietor. The accounts below offer generous welcome bonuses or pay decent interest on your deposits, so you can earn some extra cash to give you a little boost.

Wealthsimple Cash 

Wealthsimple Cash is a chequing account that makes the most of your money by offering boosted interest rates and giving you a simple path to investing. Get 1% back when you open the account, and boost it to 3% when you direct deposit over $500 from each of your paycheques and 4% when you have $100,000 total in all of your Wealthsimple accounts. As a no-fee account, Wealthsimple Cash comes with lots of benefits like free Interac e-Transfers (up to $5,000 daily), bill payments and no foreign exchange fees. Plus, unlike business accounts, it offers 1% back on purchases made with the card, which you can choose to accept as cash back or as an automatic investment in stock or crypto. Not a true business account, this package requires no special registration. 

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • # of free transactions per month: Unlimited, with daily Interac e-Transfers capped at $5,000, and weekly e-Transfers capped at $10,000
  • Interac e-Transfer fee: $0
  • Fees for ATM use: $0
  • Perks: No foreign exchange fees; no overdraft penalties; automatic reinvestment; up to $300,000 in combined Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) coverage

Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account*

From no monthly fees to unlimited transactions, including Interac e-Transfer, you get all your basic banking needs with this account. Plus, you can open as many savings accounts as you want using the bank’s intuitive web site or mobile app, which makes it simple to keep finances separate and take advantage of more competitive interest rates. Simplii Financial is currently offering account holders 5.9% on eligible deposits in the high-interest savings account for the first five months. Account holders also get free transactions at CIBC ATMs. New chequing account holders can get up to $400 when they make an eligible direct deposit of $100 or more for three months in a row. Simplii offers the highest promotional interest rate from the accounts on this list, and the $400 bonus is quite generous, so you can get a bit more cash in your pocket if you’re just starting out in your side hustle.

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • # of free transactions per month: Unlimited Interac e-Transfers, debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals
  • Interac e-Transfer fee: $0
  • Fees for ATM use: $1.50 per domestic withdrawal; $3 charged per international 
  • Perks: Mobile banking app; free transactions at CIBC ATMs; up to $100,000 in CDIC coverage


EQ Bank Personal Account*

If you’re comfortable using an online bank, you’ll want to consider the zero-fee EQ Bank Personal Account for the unlimited monthly transactions, unmatched interest rate, 0.5% cash back when using a reloadable prepaid card, and free access to any ATM in Canada. At 2.5%, this is the highest regular interest rate on this list. Plus, you can get 1.50% bonus interest when you direct deposit your pay—for a total of 4% interest. As this isn’t a true business package, you can open it as a sole proprietor.

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • # of free transactions per month: Unlimited Interac e-Transfers, debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals
  • Interac e-Transfer fee: $0
  • Fees for ATM use: None, you get free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada
  • Perks: A high 2.5% interest rate; 0.5% cash back when you use the card; no foreign exchange fees; mobile banking app; free access to every ATM in Canada; up to $100,000 in CDIC coverage

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The best business bank accounts for side hustles 

If you have a growing business or customer base as a side hustler (think freelancers, online shop owners, dog walkers and other services) or you think you could benefit from additional support and resources for small businesses, consider opening a business bank account. While they may have slightly higher fees than the personal bank accounts listed above, using a business bank account can simplify your taxes, give you access to a business credit card, or even help connect you with loans or government funding programs to help you expand your business.

Alterna Small Business eChequing Account

If you keep a minimum of $3,000 in this account at all times, the account is free, but even without that, it’s a manageable $5 per month. Unlimited online debit and credit transactions and free incoming e-transfers keep your costs low, and you get six free Interac send or request money transactions per month. You don’t need to be an incorporated business to get this account, so it’s suitable for sole proprietors. Customers may also be able to access a small business line of credit or small business loans through Alterna’s partnership with Driven. You will have to provide information like your business license number and CRA business number, among other details, in order to sign up. 

  • Monthly fee: $0 with a minimum daily balance of $3,000, or $5 per month
  • # of free transactions per month: Unlimited internet debit and credit transactions, and incoming e-transfers 
  • Interac e-Transfer fee: Free incoming plus six free outgoing per month ($1.50 after that)
  • Fees for ATM use: $2.25 charged per withdrawal through Interac; $3.00 charged per withdrawal through Accel, Cirrus and Maestro (U.S.); $5.00 charged per withdrawal through Cirrus and Maestro (International)
  • Perks: Free access to more than 3,300 ATMs in The Exchange network; a range of mobile payment solutions; access to small business loans; eligible deposits insured by CDIC for up to $100,000 


Scotiabank Select Account for Business

For people whose business is rapidly growing, and especially those who want to bank with Scotiabank, this account offers an easily scaled banking package. Sole proprietors are eligible to open this account, but keep in mind you will need to provide your business registration information. You do not need to have a trade name to qualify for the account (you can operate under your own legal name.) With the Scotiabank Select Account for Business, you can start with Plan A that offers 25 monthly transactions, including funds transfers between accounts, debit transactions and e-Transfers, 50 deposits, and up to $6,000 in cash deposits for $20 monthly. Account holders can switch to Plan B, Plan C or the Unlimited plan as needed. All monthly fees will be rebated with a minimum balance, starting with $20,000 for Plan A. The unlimited account requires a $75,000 balance or a monthly fee of $120. Additional services for business owners include access to loans or a line of credit, and specialized support via Scotia Advice+ for small business owners at your local branch (or virtually).

  • Monthly fee: $20 (Plan A); $40 (Plan B); $75 (Plan C); $120 (Unlimited)
  • # of free transactions per month: 25 (for Plan A), additional transactions are charged at $1.50 each (additional e-Transfers are $1 each)
  • Interac e-Transfer fee: $1 each after limit
  • Fees for ATM use: $1 each after limit
  • Perks: Mobile banking app; up to $100,000 in CDIC coverage

TD Every Day Business Plans

If you want the security of working with a big bank, especially if you already have accounts with TD, take a look at the TD Every Day Business Plans. Similar to the Scotia offerings above, these business accounts scale with you and carry slightly lower monthly fees and a limited number of transactions, and sole proprietors are eligible for the accounts. The entry level Every Day A costs $19 per month and includes 20 transactions per month. This can be waived by holding $20,000 in the account. Additional features for small business owners include tools like a cash flow and profit increase calculator, business plan templates, a start-up costs spreadsheet, and access to information about government funding through Fundica. Small business owners can access loans and lines of credit by contacting a TD small business account manager. You will need to provide information about your registered sole proprietorship, including your registration number and business license in order to sign up for the account. 

  • Monthly fee: $19 (Every Day A); $39 (Every Day B); $72 (Every Day C)
  • # of free transactions per month: 20 (for Plan A), 60 (Plan B), 120 (Plan C), additional transactions are charged at $1.25 each
  • Interac e-Transfer fee: 2 free transfers per month; $1.50 after limit
  • Fees for ATM use: $1.50 after limit
  • Perks: Mobile banking app; $10 monthly fee rebate on overdraft protection; up to $100,000 in CDIC coverage

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Frequently asked questions

As a general rule, you have to show that you have a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation to open a business bank account, especially with a major bank.

The best business account for you is going to depend on what you need most. If you want to avoid monthly and transaction fees altogether, you should look at packages like the EQ Bank Personal Account, but be aware that this is not a true business account. If you want the perks of having your business name on your documentation, keeping separate accounting, and having the option to pay yourself as an employee, you’ll want to look at business packages. Some, like the Alterna Small Business eChequing Account, are free if you keep a minimum amount at all times.

Some business accounts aren’t open to sole proprietors, as they require your business to be incorporated. While you don’t have to have a separate business account, it can be helpful for keeping your accounting organized. Keep in mind that business bank accounts can come with monthly fees or transaction fees, while many personal bank accounts can have no fees. Note that if you begin earning $30,000 or more annually, you are required to register for GST and HST, and you will likely need a business bank account. You are required to register your business if you operate under a business or trade name instead of using your own legal name. Learn more about side hustle taxes.

Business bank account fees are tax deductible in Canada. Make sure to keep track of any charges and fees you incur for processing payments.

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Our methodology: How we determined the best bank accounts

The MoneySense editorial team selects the best banking products by assessing the value they provide to Canadians across various categories. Our best bank accounts for side hustles ranking is based on an extensive list of features, including transaction fees, interest rates, welcome offers, support for small businesses and self-employed people, and any extra perks like cash back or rewards. Our rankings are an unbiased source of information for Canadians. The addition of links from affiliate partners has no bearing on the results. Read more about how MoneySense makes money.

Do side-hustlers need a business account?

While limited (incorporated) companies are required to have a business account in Canada, most side-hustlers can legally use their personal accounts. Still, business accounts come with several benefits such as allowing you to build credit in your business name, having the ability to keep business and personal monies separate, saving you time during tax season, and adding professionalism to your activities.

You don’t necessarily need a business account for your side job, though. You can sign up for a regular chequing or savings account in most cases, but it’s important to look for perks and features like no fees, unlimited transactions or welcome offers that can help grow your earnings (rather than take away from them). That’s why we put together a list of the best bank accounts for your side hustle, including regular personal banking accounts and some business bank accounts so you can compare the options yourself. 

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What is a sole proprietorship?

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned by one person. If you’re a side hustler, you might choose this designation for your business. You can choose to register your sole proprietorship under your own legal name, or you can apply to use a trade name (a business name that is different from your own name, like “Sam’s Sandwiches”)—but you’ll have to provide some information about your business to your provincial government. In some cases, you may receive a federal business number once you register. 

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Why do I need to open a business bank account for my side hustle?

Chances are, you don’t. If you operate under a business name, it’s required, but if you work casually under your own name as a sole proprietor or side hustler, it’s not necessary. That said, business accounts do have benefits (and you don’t always have to be an incorporated or even registered business to use them). 

If you decide to open a business account, you’ll benefit from separate personal and business accounting, be able to track your revenue and spending, and possibly have a lower tax rate than if you filed individually. Plus, accepting and making payments through a business looks more professional to your customers.

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What do you need to open a business bank account? 

While you might be able to start the process of opening a business account online, you may also need to bring some documentation to the bank in person. In general, you’ll need:

  • Personal identification
  • Your business registration or license (and trade name, if applicable)
  • Partnership registration, if applicable
  • Articles of incorporation, if applicable

Your best bet is to call ahead and get a list for your specific situation. 

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About Keph Senett

About Keph Senett

Keph Senett writes about personal finance through a community-building lens. She seeks to make clear and actionable knowledge available to everyone.