Banks in Canada charge fees based on the services they provide. The fee to open an account will differ between banks. When looking for a bank, focus on the monthly service charges, telephone and computer banking options, transaction charges, and interest rates to find the bank whose services best meet your needs.

Opening a Canadian bank account remotely

To help you settle your journey in Canada faster and save time, do your research in advance to find a bank that meets your needs and allow remote banking setup options. Many banks are providing remote services at this time.

There is one bank on-campus: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that may offer remote banking setup with certain conditions:

Pay your international tuition through your educational institution’s website

Not sure which visa office is responsible for issuing you a study permit? Search locations

Do I need to open a Canadian bank account?

If you are only in Canada for a short time (such as one academic term) and do not plan to work or receive any scholarships, then you may choose not to open a bank account. However, you must be able to access funds from back home to pay student fees and living expenses (via money transfers, using debit cards, and/or credit card).

If you do not have a Canadian bank account, you can pay UCalgary student fees (such as the UPASS charge) using Global Pay. View video below.



How do I open a Canadian bank account?

To open a Canadian bank account, you'll need to visit a bank in-person and bring official identification with you: 

1. Your passport or birth certificate 
2. A second piece of identification (e.g. study permit) 
3. Any money that you'd like to deposit
4. Your UCalgary student ID card (UNICARD)

The bank staff will help you apply for an account. Remember to ask about a student rate or plan (often student accounts don't have to pay fees while you're studying). 

Which bank should I open an account with?

Choosing a bank

You should choose a bank based on the services they provide or what is important to you. 

  • Is there a fee to open an account? 
  • Are there monthly service charges? 
  • Does the bank provide online banking services? 
  • Are there transaction charges or interest rates? 
  • Where is the physical bank located and is it convenient for you? 

Banks on or near campus

There are several banks located within walking distance to campus or located on-campus. 

In MacEwan Student Centre:

There are also several automatic teller machines (ATMs) on-campus, including machines for these banks: CIBC, TD Canada Trust, ATB, RBC, Scotiabank, and Bank of Montreal.

Banks located around the University of Calgary.