Oaken Financial vs EQ Bank: Which to Choose?

Oaken Financial and EQ Bank are both among the best online banks in Canada due to their competitive products and services.

While both banks share the common goal of providing customers with convenient, affordable, and accessible banking options, they have different approaches and strategies for achieving this goal.

As the popularity of online banking continues to grow, the competition between Oaken Financial and EQ Bank has intensified. 

Consequently, it becomes important to understand the similarities and differences between these two banks and how they fit into your banking needs.

In this Oaken Financial vs EQ Bank comparison, I cover everything you need to know about the two neobanks to make an informed decision.

About Oaken Financial

Oaken Financial is a neoba that was founded in 2013. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Home Trust Company, which is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). 

Oaken Financial is a digital-first bank, which means that it does not have any physical branches. 

All of its banking is done online or mobile app. This allows Oaken Financial to keep its costs low, which it passes on to its customers in the form of high-interest rates and low fees.

With this, Oaken Financial has attracted awards from several institutions making it a reliable digital bank. 

Oaken Financial Offerings

Oaken Financial offers savings accounts and GIC accounts. Let’s go over each of the accounts.

Savings Account

Oaken Financial’s savings account is one of the bank’s most popular products, offering customers a competitive interest rate, no monthly fees, no minimum balance, and unlimited transactions. 

With no minimum balance, you can open an Oaken Savings Account with as little as $1 and start earning interest immediately. 

The 3.40% interest rate offered by Oaken Financial’s savings account is typically higher than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money.

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

Oaken Financial offers a range of GICs with flexible terms ranging from 30 days to five years. With flexible GIC terms, you choose the term that works best for your financial situation. 

Oaken’s GICs offer competitive interest rates that are typically higher than traditional savings accounts.

The Oaken non-redeemable GIC rates vary per account type and term as shown below.

Moreover, the Oaken minimum deposit on GIC is $1,000 on registered and registered accounts and $10,000 on RIF GICs.

The following are the Oaken GIC rates as of the time of writing:

1. Oaken Non-Registered GIC Rates
a. Long-term GICs
1 year4.95%5.00%5.05%
18 months4.90%4.95%5.00% 
2 years4.60%4.65%4.70%
3 years4.20%4.25%4.30%
4 years4.15%4.20%4.25%
5 years4.05%4.10%4.15%
b. Short-term GICs
30-59 days2.25%
60-89 days2.25%
90-119 days2.25%
120-179 days2.25%
180-269 days2.25%
270-364 days2.70%
c. Cashable GICs Rates
30 days2.25%
90 days2.25%
2. Oaken Registered GIC Rates

Pros and Cons of Oaken Financial

Below are the main advantages and disadvantages of Oaken Financial compared to EQ Bank.


  • High interest on savings accounts
  • No minimum balance on savings
  • No monthly fees
  • Flexible GIC terms 
  • CDIC Protection


  • Limited financial products
  • High minimum deposit on RIF GIC
  • Limited GIC rates
  • No mobile cheque deposit 
  • No registered savings accounts 

About EQ Bank

EQ Bank is an online-only bank that was launched in 2016. It is a subsidiary of Equitable Bank, a Schedule I bank that has been in operation since 1970. 

EQ Bank’s focus is on providing customers with convenient, secure, and affordable banking services, including high-interest savings accounts, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), and international money transfers.

As an online-only bank, EQ Bank does not have any physical branches, which allows it to offer competitive rates and low fees to its customers. 

EQ Bank’s digital platform is user-friendly and offers a range of features, such as the ability to open an account online, transfer money between accounts, and pay bills.

The bank’s high-interest savings account, GICs, no-fee prepaid card, and international money transfer services provide customers with a range of options to manage their finances effectively.

Read Also: EQ Bank e-Transfer Limit 

EQ Bank Offerings

Below are the products and services offered by EQ Bank in addition to international money transfers and mortgage marketplace.

Savings Plus Accounts

EQ Bank’s savings account offers a high-interest rate on both registered and unregistered savings accounts. 

Its Savings Plus Account has no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and allows unlimited free transactions. 

Customers can also set up automatic savings plans and link external accounts to make deposits and withdrawals.

With a 2.50% savings rate, EQ Bank’s Savings Plus Account is often ranked among the high-interest savings accounts in Canada.

Other notable features of the account are highlighted below: 

  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • Free bill payments and mobile cheque deposits
  • Access to cheap international money transfers
  • Joint savings option
  • CDIC protection 

That being said, EQ Bank also offers TFSA and RSP savings accounts that come with a higher interest of 3.00%. These accounts have no monthly fees and allow you to save automatically.

US Dollar Account

EQ Bank’s US Dollar Savings Account allows customers to hold US dollars in their accounts and earn interest on their savings. 

The account offers a 2.00% interest rate with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and offers competitive exchange rates. 

Customers can convert CAD to USD through this account with a cheap exchange rate. As with the regular savings accounts, the EQ Bank USD account is also covered by the CDIC. 


EQ Bank offers GICs with terms ranging from 3 months to 10 years. The non-renewable GICs offer some of the best GIC rates and come with no monthly fees.

Customers can choose between registered or non-registered GICs and enjoy high GIC rates and flexible terms.

With a $100 minimum deposit requirement, EQ Bank makes GIC investing more accessible. 

That being said, below are the EQ Bank GIC rates on registered and non-registered accounts.

GIC TermRate
3 months2.65% (3.10% on registered and)
6 months3.60%
9 months3.75%
1 year4.75%
15 months 4.75%
2 years4.65%
27 months 4.60%
3 years4.50%
4 years4.25%
5 years4.20%
6 years3.50%
7 years3.50%
10 years3.50%

Prepaid Card

EQ Bank also offers a no-fee reloadable prepaid that can be used to make purchases online or in-store.

Customers can load funds onto the card through their online banking platform and can withdraw funds from any ATM that accepts Mastercard. 

The prepaid card comes with no monthly fees and no foreign exchange fees, making it an affordable option for international travel or online shopping.

For every purchase you make with the card, you will get 0.5% cashback. You will also earn 2.5% interest on your account balance.

Even more interesting is the fact that the card doesn’t charge ATM fees and inactivity fees etc. This makes it a worthy no-fee prepaid card.

Pros and Cons of EQ Bank

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of EQ Bank compared to Oaken Financial: 


  • No monthly fees
  • Free transactions
  • Mobile chequing deposit 
  • Multiple products 
  • Access to registered accounts on savings and GICs
  • No savings minimum balance required
  • Low GIC minimum deposit 
  • Low-cost international money transfers
  • CDIC protection


  • Limited savings rates

Oaken Financial vs EQ Bank: Which to Choose?

Profile Oaken FinancialEQ Bank
ProductsNon-registered savings accounts, and GICaRegistered and non-registered savings accounts, GICs, USD account, and prepaid card
Interest in a savings account3.40%2.50% (3.00% on TFSA & RSP)
Registered accountsOn GICs only On savings and GICs 
Minimum balance on savings account NoneNone
Minimum balance on GIC$1,000$100
Monthly feesNone None
Transaction feesMone$0
Deposit protectionCDICCDIC
Available inAll parts of Canada All parts of Canada 

Choosing between Oaken Financial and EQ Bank depends on the individual’s banking needs and priorities.

Both banks offer unique products and services that cater to different customers, so understanding the differences between the two can help in making an informed decision.

From the above comparison, it’s obvious that Oaken Financial is more suitable for customers looking for high-interest savings accounts.

On the other hand, EQ Bank is a good choice for customers looking for a high-interest on GIC accounts or looking to save in registered and USD accounts

EQ Bank also offers a wide range of other products, including a USD account, prepaid card, international money transfers, mobile cheque deposit, and mortgage marketplace. This makes EQ Bank a one-stop shop for online banking.

Overall, both Oaken Financial and EQ Bank offer competitive products and services that can meet the banking needs of different customers. As such, you can’t go wrong with either of the banks.

However, it’s important to evaluate your banking needs and consider several factors (such as products and interest rates) to make an informed decision. 

But if neither of the two suits your need, then you should consider the following options:

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About John Adebisi

John Adebisi is a CPA, FCCA and MBA holder with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance. He has over a decade of experience in writing personal and business finance content for audiences across North America, Europe, the UK and Africa. In addition to his writing experience, he also has a strong background in financial research and analysis, giving him a unique perspective of the financial markets. John derives pleasure in helping people make smart financial decisions, and he believes that knowledge and experience can be valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn how to manage their money.

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