logo National Bank
Personal
Bank accounts
Credit cards
Borrowing
Mortgages
Savings and investments
Insurance
Wealth management
CLOSE

Banking in Canada

Key facts

Start off on the right foot

Are you a young adult or a newcomer to Canada? Learn the basics of financial management. If you have any questions, our advisors are there to help!

Useful tips for living and working in Canada

Man in a coffee shop taps his phone against a payment terminal

Carrying out your transactions

You should start by opening a chequing account for your day-to-day transactions: deposits, bill payments, etc. When you open an account, you'll get a debit card so you can withdraw cash and make purchases in stores. To make online purchases, you'll probably need a credit card.

Use online banking and our mobile app to manage your finances. Enjoy a number of useful features: transfer funds with free Interac® e-Transfers, use your smartphone to deposit cheques and make mobile payments via Apple PayTM or Google PayTM, and much more!

Opening an account

Working in Canada

To work in Canada, you need a social insurance number issued by the federal government. If you provide your employer with a specimen cheque, your salary can be deposited directly to your chequing account. You can get a sample cheque via National Bank online.

Taxes will be deducted from each of your paycheques, and you'll have to file a tax return by April 30 each year. You may get a tax refund, or be required to pay a balance. Need help? Contact an accountant or a specialized firm.

Get a bigger tax refund
Young professional woman working on her computer
Young professional woman working on her computer
Young professional woman working on her computer
Thumbs up icon

Quick tip

In Canada, sales taxes are not included in the prices shown in stores or online. Sales taxes vary from province to province.

Woman sitting in her dining room works on her computer

Growing your savings

To build your savings, you need to spend less than you earn. Drawing up a budget can help. Open a savings account, then set up regular automated transfers: this is called systematic savings.

For medium- and long-term projects (travel, children, retirement, etc.), a registered plan like an RRSP or TFSA will let you grow your savings interest free. N.B.: Funds held in some plans and investments cannot be accessed immediately.

Managing your finances
Magic wand icon

Tip

It's better with insurance! All our Mastercard® credit cards include purchase insurance, and some also provide travel insurance.

Building your credit history

You'll need a good credit score to rent an apartment, get a car loan or apply for a mortgage. How can you build your credit? Apply for a credit card and use it to make purchases. Some credit card types offer benefits such as cashbacks or rewards.

Check your credit card statement monthly and be sure to make the minimum payments before the deadline. Remember that interest will be charged on your unpaid balance. So the longer you take to pay off your balance, the more you'll owe! That's why it's best to pay your balance in full.

Build your credit history
Young woman in a store hands her credit card to a saleswoman
Young woman in a store hands her credit card to a saleswoman
Young woman in a store hands her credit card to a saleswoman
Young couple unpacks boxes

Buying a home

Are you planning to buy a house or a condo? To help you pay the purchase price, you can apply for a mortgage loan, which can be repaid over many years. The loan amount is equivalent to the value of the home, less your downpayment (an amount contributed by you and payable at purchase). You will also pay interest on your mortgage.

Before you buy a home, make sure you understand the associated expenses and responsibilities: property tax, professional fees, co-ownership fees, maintenance, renovations, insurance, etc. Knowledge is power!

How to buy a home
Newsletter icon

Get more information by email

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest offers and advice to power your ideas.

Little details that matter

Legal disclaimers

® INTERAC, the INTERAC logo and INTERAC e-Transfer are trademarks of Interac Inc. Used under licence.

™Apple Pay, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook Pro are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Inc. is not a sponsor or participant of National Bank Mobile Banking Solutions.

™ Android, Google Play, Google Pay, and the Android logo are trademarks of Google Inc. The use of these trademarks is subject to Google Inc.’s authorization policy.

® Mastercard is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Inc. Authorized user: National Bank.

Understanding your finances

Need help?

Make an appointment with an advisor.

Make an appointment

Telephone icon
Frequently asked questions icon