The best GIC rates in Canada for 2023

Find the best GIC rates in Canada. Plus, everything you need to know about how they work.

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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 rates offered on guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) are higher than they have been in a long time. Currently, Canadians can purchase many GICs with rates in the mid-to-high 5% range. But Oaken Financial is unmatched, offering 6% on both 1-year and 2-year redeemable GICs. Below, you’ll find information on the best rates available right now. The best part? A member of our editorial team reviews these rates daily, so you can rest assured the information is accurate.

Best GIC rates in Canada

Banks, credit unions, trust companies and discount brokerages all offer GICs. Below, you’ll find the best rates available from a variety of financial institutions, including credit unions and Canada’s Big Six banks. The rates listed are for non-redeemable GICs held in non-registered accounts—the most popular type of GIC in Canada.

GIC provider 1-year2-year3-year4-year5-year
Achieva Financial5.50%5.60%5.70%5.20%5.20%
Alterna Bank4.90%5.10%4.95%4.95%4.95%
BMO5.00%5.30%5.00%5.00%5.00%
CIBC3.15%3.20%3.25%3.30%3.35%
EQ Bank5.45%5.30%5.10%5.05%5.00%
Hubert Financial5.75%5.75%5.25%5.05%5.05%
ICICI Bank Canada5.00%5.00%4.50%4.50%4.50%
LBC Digital5.40%5.30%4.90%4.90%5.05%
Meridian Credit Union5.45%5.40%5.10%5.00%5.00%
Motive Financial6.00%5.90%5.50%5.30%5.30%
National Bank5.15%5.15%4.90%4.90%4.90%
Oaken Financial5.75%5.60%5.40%5.15%5.15%
People’s Trust5.80%5.70%5.10%4.65%4.50%
RBC4.05%4.25%4.00%4.00%3.95%
Scotiabank5.00%4.30%4.10%4.45%4.35%
Tangerine5.25%4.20%4.10%3.90%3.85%
TD5.35%5.20%4.95%4.90%4.80%

Compare GIC providers in Canada

At a glance: Established in 1998 as a division of Manitoba’s Cambrian Credit Union, Achieva Financial is one of the country’s oldest online financial institutions. It offers registered and non-registered GICs, and all deposits are guaranteed without limit by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered; RRSP, RRIF; TFSA
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable
Terms available: 1 year to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: All deposits are guaranteed, without limit, by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba


At a glance: Alterna Bank is a digital subsidiary of Ontario credit union Alterna Savings and a partner with QTrade, making it a seamless option for those who want to access QTrade’s Guided Portfolios or to self-manage their investments through QTrade Direct Investing. At Alterna Bank, GICs are called eTerm deposits.

Minimum deposit: $500
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable only
Terms available: 1 year to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 is covered with CDIC


At a glance: With a history going back to 1817, this Big Six bank is the oldest in Canada. In addition to traditional GICs, BMO offers several unique products including an Air Miles GIC that lets you collect points and a market-linked GIC that you can focus on sustainable companies.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF; RESP; RDSP
Types of GICs available: Cashable; non-cashable; redeemable; partially redeemable; not redeemable; market-linked; foreign currency
Terms available: 30 days to 10 years
Interest paid: Monthly, semi-annually and annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: CIBC’s history goes back to 1961 when the Canadian Bank of Commerce (founded in 1867) merged with Imperial Bank of Canada (founded in 873). It currently serves more than 13 million customers. CIBC offers some GICs at a “bonus rate,” which generates more interest than the posted rate. Additionally, CIBC has a registered GIC designed for a life income fund (LIF) or locked-in retirement income fund (LRIF).

Minimum deposit: $500
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF; LIF
Types of GICs available: Cashable; redeemable; non-redeemable; market-linked
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: A trade name of Equitable Bank, which was founded more than 50 years ago, EQ Bank is a digital platform launched in 2016. With the 2022 acquisition of Wyth Financial, Equitable deepened its ties to Canadian credit unions. EQ Bank has a very wide variety of terms and types of GICs available, including a first-home savings account (FHSA) GIC.

Minimum deposit: $100
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; FHSA
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable
Terms available: 3 months to 10 years
Interest paid: Annually or at maturity for registered accounts
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: Manitoba’s Hubert Financial is an online-only financial institution offering a range of GICs that are fully guaranteed with no limit by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba. It is a division of Access Credit Union, which merged with Sunova Credit Union and Noventis Credit Union on July 1, 2022.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable; 1 year quarterly term is cashable
Terms available: 1 year to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: All deposits are guaranteed, without limit, by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba


At a glance: Part of a global banking brand, ICICI Bank Canada offers redeemable and non-redeemable GICs available in both CAD and USD. The latter is a great way to invest in a currency other than Canadian dollars, in preparation for a trip or simply to diversify your portfolio.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP
Types of GICs available: Redeemable (CAD and USD) and non-redeemable (CAD and USD)
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years (non-redeemable); 1 year to 5 years (redeemable)
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: LBC Digital is the online banking division of the Laurentian Bank of Canada, a CDIC-insured financial institution founded in Montreal in 1846. It only offers non-registered and non-redeemable GICs.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable
Terms available: 1 year to 5 year
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: Meridian is the largest credit union in Ontario and the second largest in the country. In 2019, it launched its digital arm, motusbank. Among its many unique offerings is the three- or five-year Raise the Rate GIC that allows you to increase your interest rate before your term is up.

Minimum deposit: $100
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF
Types of GICs available: Cashable; redeemable; non-redeemable: market-linked
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Eligible deposits in registered accounts have unlimited coverage through the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). Eligible deposits in non-registered accounts are insured up to $250,000 through the FSRA.


At a glance: Motive Financial is an online-only division of Canadian Western Bank, founded in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1988. It’s a member of the CDIC.

Minimum deposit: $500 for RRSP GICs; $1,000 otherwise
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable
Terms available: 4 months to 10 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: With more than 425 billion in assets, National Bank of Canada rounds out the country’s Big Six list of largest banks. Despite focusing primarily on servicing eastern Canada, National Bank of Canada’s products, including GICs, are available to clients across Canada.

Minimum deposit: $500
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RESP; FHSA
Types of GICs available: Redeemable; non-redeemable; market-linked; foreign currency
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: Oaken Financial is the direct banking arm of Home Trust and was launched in 2013. It operates almost completely online (there are a few bricks-and-mortar offices in the country). Oaken is a member of the CDIC.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable; cashable
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: People’s Trust, a division of Vancouver-based People’s Group, has been in operation since 1985. It is a member of CDIC.

Minimum deposit: $1,000
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: Founded in 1864 as Royal Bank of Canada, RBC is one of the largest banks in the world and a Big Six bank in Canada. It offers a wide range of products including market-, equity-, and interest-linked GICs, as well as USD GICs.

Minimum deposit: $500
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF; RESP; RDSP
Types of GICs available: Cashable; redeemable; non-redeemable; market-linked; foreign currency; interest-linked; equity-linked
Terms available: 1 day to 10 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: A Big Six bank in Canada, Scotiabank serves more than 25 million customers globally. It has a range of GIC products, including market-linked, and customers who bank with its Preferred Package or Ultimate Package also receive higher interest rates on some GICs.

Minimum deposit: $500
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF; RDSP
Types of GICs available: Cashable; redeemable; non-redeemable; market-linked
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Semi-annually and annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: Tangerine, a subsidiary of Scotiabank, is one of the largest online-only banks in Canada. Tangerine offers several types of GICs, including a USD GIC with no monthly fee.

Minimum deposit: Not specified
Account types available: Non-registered GICs; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF
Types of GICs available: Non-redeemable; foreign currency
Terms available: 90 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


At a glance: A Big Six bank in Canada and one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., TD serves more than 27.5 million customers worldwide. In addition to the regular GIC products, TD also has several time-limited special offer GICs that may have higher interest rates than traditional GICs, available for both registered and non-registered investments.

Minimum deposit: $500
Account types available: Non-registered; TFSA; RRSP; RRIF; RESP; FHSA
Types of GICs available: Cashable; non-cashable; market-linked; foreign currency; special offer
Terms available: 30 days to 5 years
Interest paid: Annually
Availability: Canada-wide
Deposit insurance: Up to $100,000 with CDIC


What is a GIC?

Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) are termed loans you make to a bank or other financial institution. When you purchase a GIC, you agree to a specific term (period of time) during which your deposit will remain with the bank. In return, the bank offers you a guaranteed interest rate. You can usually invest in a GIC for as little as $500, and there’s typically no fee associated with buying one. Certain types of GICs allow you to withdraw some or all of your money early.

GICs must be purchased within an account. There are many types of accounts to choose from, including non-registered accounts (such as a cash or margin account) and registered accounts, like an RRSP, TFSA, first home savings account (FHSA), registered education savings plan (RESP) or registered retirement income fund (RRIF). Investments in these accounts carry different tax implications, so consider speaking to an advisor or your financial institution if you’re unsure which is right for you. Once you’ve opened the account, buying GICs is pretty simple.

Video: GICs for all life stages

Types of GICs available in Canada

There are many different kinds of GICs, but these are the most common.

Short-term GICs take less than a year to mature. The principal is guaranteed along with an advertised rate of interest. These products are a good way to get a bit more out of your investment without sacrificing much liquidity.


Long-term GICs have terms of one year or more, and they typically have higher interest rates than short-term GICs. Investors can buy long-term GICs to generate monthly income, perhaps using a GIC laddering strategy with staggered maturity dates.


These GICs are typically available for short one-year terms, and you’re free to cash out early after a 30- or 90-day closing period. Cashable GICs are perfect for people who think they may need access to their money but want to invest to get a higher guaranteed interest rate than what a regular bank account offers. While the trade-off for greater flexibility is usually a lower interest rate, cashable GICs can be a smart way to protect yourself against interest rate fluctuations. If interest rates rise, your money won’t be locked in at a lower fixed rate for long. On the other hand, if interest rates fall, a GIC might prove to be better than a savings account, allowing you to lock in at a higher percentage.


Redeemable and cashable GICs are very similar. Some banks use the terms interchangeably, so it’s prudent to check each product before purchasing it. That said, in many cases the difference is that a redeemable GIC allows you to access your money before the end of the term—without a waiting period—but the GIC may be subject to an early-redemption rate that can drastically cut the interest you receive.


As the name suggests, a non-redeemable GIC cannot be cashed out prior to the end of its term without incurring a penalty. However, non-redeemable GICs tend to offer higher interest rates, so they may be ideal for those wanting a secure investment over a fixed amount of time.


Registered GICs can be held inside registered investment accounts like RRSPs, RRIFs and TFSAs, which are tax-sheltered. In the case of an RRSP or RRIF, you’ll be taxed in the year that you withdraw the funds, and with a TFSA, you’ll never pay tax. However, there are limits on how much you can put into these accounts each year, depending on the type of account. (For example, check your TFSA limit here.)


These are GICs not held inside a registered account. So, it’s essentially the opposite of the registered GICs described above—the GIC interest you earn will be added to your income and taxed according to your tax bracket. There is no limit on what you can invest in non-registered GICs.


This type of GIC performs according to a specified equity index, and it only guarantees your principal deposit. With one foot in a GIC and the other in the stock market, these products may be right for those looking for a slightly higher amount of risk with the possibility of greater rewards.


These are GICs in currencies other than Canadian dollars, usually U.S. dollars. Foreign-currency GICs might work well for someone who travels frequently or receives income in another currency.


GIC pros and cons

Pros

  • GICs are very low-risk, since your principal investment is guaranteed to be paid back.
  • You’ll receive a guaranteed rate of interest when the GIC matures—no need to worry about market volatility.
  • GICs are eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) coverage, if purchased at a CDIC member institution. This means your principal is safe even if the financial institution fails.
  • You can hold GICs in both registered and non-registered investments accounts.

Cons

  • Your money will be tied up in the GIC until its maturity date, unless you cash it in early (perhaps paying a penalty) or you choose a redeemable GIC (likely with a lower interest rate than a non-redeemable GIC).
  • The interest rate you earn on a GIC may not be high enough to keep up with inflation. According to the Consumer Price Index, the current inflation rate in Canada is 3.1%.

Are GICs safe?

GICs are popular investments because they offer guaranteed returns. The financial institution selling the GIC is legally obligated to return the initial investment along with the agreed-upon interest. If the institution fails, additional protection comes into play. Many GICs in Canada, including foreign-currency GICs, are covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) for up to $100,000. Provincial insurers also provide coverage, with varying limits.

ProvinceCoverage
AlbertaThe Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) covers 100% of all deposits, plus accrued interest, made with credit unions in Alberta.
British ColumbiaThe Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (CUDIC) covers 100% of all deposits made with credit unions in British Columbia.
ManitobaThe Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba (DGCM) covers 100% of all deposits made with credit unions and caisse populaires in Manitoba.
New BrunswickThe New Brunswick Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (NBCUDIC) covers up to $250,000 per deposit type, including term deposits and GICs.
Newfoundland and LabradorThe Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) covers up to $250,000 per deposit type, including term deposits and GICs.
Nova ScotiaThe Nova Scotia Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (NSCUDIC) covers up to $250,000 per account type, including term deposits and GICs.
OntarioThe Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO) covers up to $100,000 (including interest and dividends) in term deposits and GICs, plus offers unlimited protection for deposits held in registered plans.
Prince Edward IslandThe Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (CUDIC) covers up to $125,000 in GICs and term deposits, plus offers unlimited protection for deposits held in registered plans.
QuebecL’Autorité des marchés financiers covers up to $100,000 in GICs, plus up to $100,000 in savings in registered plans.
SaskatchewanThe Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) covers 100% of all deposits made with credit unions in Saskatchewan.
Video: How the Bank of Canada’s interest rate affects you

How to buy a GIC

GICs are available from banks and other providers. But before you contact a GIC issuer, it’s important to decide how much you’d like to invest. Minimum investments can range from $100 to $5,000, depending on the institution. So the amount you’d like to invest will narrow down your options. Then, shop around for a variable or fixed rate and decide on the accessibility and flexibility you wish for the funds. Finally, once you know your requirements, contact the financial institution of your choosing to start the process of purchasing. Here’s what you need to know about the different methods of purchasing GICs.

  • Online/by phone: You will either have an existing account set up with the financial institution or will have to submit an application and pieces of identification to verify your identity, including your Social Insurance Number (SIN). Once the account is created and linked to your primary funding source (like a chequing account), the principal investment is withdrawn and the GIC is issued. The rate table above can connect you to some of the top options in Canada right now.
  • In person: You can go into a branch to purchase a GIC. Once again, the process is easier if you already have a profile set up with the financial institution, but if not, you’ll need to make an appointment with pieces of ID, including your SIN, complete an application and follow the institution’s process to fund and issue your GIC.
  • Deposit brokerage: Deposit brokerages help you do the research and are tuned into the best options on the market today. They also know which GIC issuers are eligible for CDIC coverage, to ensure your investment is protected in case of a bankruptcy. They work with multiple banks, so you can dig through an assortment of rates and terms to find the option that works best for your needs. The broker is paid by the financial institution. Consumers should always pay the financial institution directly—not the broker. As brokers often bring multiple consumers’ investments to banks, those consumers are sometimes able to benefit from better rates—similar to the benefits of shopping in bulk. 

The best time to buy GICs

The best time to buy a GIC is when you’re saving up for a goal, like school tuition, a down payment or a trip. But it can also be good to invest in GICs when you’re feeling risk-averse. You might be considering a GIC as a way to balance your portfolio or to generate some passive income in retirement or if you’re taking time off work to raise your family, for example. While GICs don’t tend to have the highest interest rates of all the investment vehicles available to Canadians, they do offer a low-risk way to store money while earning some interest.

If you’re considering adding a GIC to your portfolio, you’ll want to pay attention to a few key numbers. The interest rate of the GIC itself is a good starting point. Generally, the higher the interest rate, the more attractive the product. It also pays to look at the likely rate of inflation or deflation you can expect during the term, to determine whether that factor is likely to eat into your profits or enhance them. If you find that the numbers work out, a GIC can be an excellent no-risk investment for a set period of time.

Frequently asked questions

GICs and term deposits are different names used for secured investments, meaning you are guaranteed to receive your initial investment at the end of the term. According to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the primary difference is the length of time your money is locked in: term deposits typically carry shorter terms than GICs.


Typically, GICs with long terms, such as five years, offer better interest rates than those with shorter terms, such as one year. When the opposite occurs, you have what’s called an “inverted yield curve,” explains Jason Heath, a fee-only, advice-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) at Objective Financial Partners Inc. in Toronto. “It happens when interest rates are expected to go down significantly in the future,” he says. “Sometimes, it suggests a recession is coming.”


Yes. Most people don’t even think of negotiating when it comes to dealing with their bank, but having an in-person conversation can really pay off, particularly for those who have established relationships. If you’re unhappy with the GIC rate your bank is offering, ask for a better one. There’s no guarantee you’ll get it, but you can also shop around for a better GIC rate.


GICs may pay interest monthly, semi-annually, annually, at maturity or on a predetermined date. In addition to the payout schedule, you’ll want to understand how interest is compounded for the GIC you’re considering. 

  • With simple interest, the bank pays interest on the initial principal only. This means that if you invested $100,000 into a two-year GIC with a 1.25% return, you’d receive $1,250 in interest every year. So at the end of year two, the interest payout will total $2,500.
  • With compound interest, the bank pays interest on the initial principal and the interest earned at every interval. For the same investment as above, with compound interest, you’d earn $1,279.19 in interest after one year, and $2,515.52 at the end of the two-year period. That’s an extra $15.52. 

Remember that you are agreeing to the terms (the principal and how interest will be paid) when you sign the GIC contract. Once that’s done, you cannot change the terms and conditions. The payout terms will affect the amount of interest you will ultimately earn, so it’s important that you review them carefully. 


Whether or not the interest earned on a GIC is taxed depends on the type of account in which it is held. If you hold a GIC in a registered account, such as a TFSA or RRSP, the interest accumulates tax-free—although with an RRSP, the taxes are deferred until you withdraw the money from the account. If you hold a GIC in a non-registered account, such as a HISA, the interest income is treated as other forms of personal income and taxed at your marginal tax rate.


Read more about GICs:

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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.
About Justin Dallaire

About Justin Dallaire

Justin Dallaire is the senior editor at MoneySense.ca. He was previously an editor at Strategy magazine and has a master’s degree in journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University.