How to open an EQ Bank joint account

EQ Bank joint account

EQ Bank joint accounts have been long-awaited and delayed at least a couple of times (from some time in 2019 and “end of” February 2020). As of June 25, 2020, EQ Bank joint accounts are finally here.

Setting up a joint account with EQ Bank is relatively straightforward and can be done completely online. Once you have an existing account, you can add someone to that account using the EQ Bank mobile app or your browser. Here’s how to do it in your browser.

After you’ve logged in, browse to your account and then click the “More options” button. In the resulting dropdown menu, click the “Convert to joint account” link.

EQ Bank: Convert to joint account link

Then, complete the form for converting the account, which includes accepting the terms and conditions.

EQ Bank: Joint account conversion form

Next, add the account co-holder’s name and email address, and a temporary security question and answer that they’ll have to complete later.

EQ Bank: Joint account co-holder information

Your part is done. The confirmation page states that the co-holder will have 2 weeks to accept the invite:

EQ Bank: Joint account invitation confirmation

The desired account co-holder will then receive an invitation email with some general instructions on how to accept the invitation.

EQ Bank: Joint account invitation email

Once they click the link in the email, if they are already an EQ Bank customer, they can skip the next few steps and essentially log in and click a few buttons to complete the process. If they’re not yet an EQ Bank customer, the desired account co-holder will have to go through the account creation process, beginning by setting an email address to log in with, and a password.

EQ Bank: New account setup first step

This will lead to a more complete sign-up form, where EQ Bank will collect their name and address, occupation information, Social Insurance Number, and more.

EQ Bank: New account setup second step

Next, the desired account co-holder must state the purpose of their account and agree to the terms and conditions.

EQ Bank: New account setup second step

Lastly for the general account setup, they will have to enter a confirmation code sent to their email address.

EQ Bank: New account setup email confirmation

At this point, they can immediately complete the joint account setup by answering the security question you’d originally set up when sending the invite…

EQ Bank: Joint account security question

… and they must agree to the terms and conditions of the joint account.

EQ Bank: Joint account terms and conditions acceptance

This process is complete, and you will both have access to the joint account!

EQ Bank: Joint account terms and conditions acceptance

Technically the account co-holder will now have at least 2 EQ Bank accounts, since their original account still exists. You as the original account holder and primary co-holder might still only have 1 EQ Bank account, since your original account was converted to a joint account.

Beyond the rate: avoiding NSF charges and managing chequing and savings account cash flow

Reflection of a toonie

Most chequing accounts pay little to no interest. Savings accounts can pay much higher interest, but don’t have the features that chequing accounts do. How do you maximize the features and convenience in your day-to-day banking without sacrificing earned interest?

You can choose a savings account that pays the highest interest possible, but to get the most out of your hard-earned money, you need to manage your both accounts: specifically, the cash flow between the chequing and savings accounts.

Who needs a chequing account?

One approach is to forgo a chequing account. Is having separate chequing and savings accounts an antiquated concept that banks perpetuate simply because they can? At EQ Bank, there is no chequing account — only a savings account (the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account) that provides some features more traditionally associated with chequing accounts, such as free bill payments and unlimited Interac e-Transfers®. You can also do pre-authorized debits and make external transfers to other bank accounts. However, EQ Bank does not offer a debit card, ATM/ABM access, or cheques, at least not yet.

Free internal transfers

At Motive Financial, its Cha Cha Chequing Account also offers free and unlimited Interac e-Transfers but is a more fully-featured chequing account. At Motive Financial and most other financial institutions, you can make unlimited and often instant transfers between chequing and savings accounts at the same bank. That way you can keep as much money as possible in your savings account, and only move cash to the chequing account when you need to, for example, write a cheque. But it can be a hassle to do these transfers even if it’s just a few more clicks. And you can get hit with NSF charges if you don’t keep enough money in your chequing account and forget about an outstanding, uncashed cheque. This requires careful management. While Motive Financial charges no chequing account monthly fee, there are other financial institutions that make you keep a minimum balance in your chequing account in order to waive the monthly or transaction fees — requiring even more management and lost interest.

Overdraft and coverdraft

If you don’t want to manage the cash flow between your chequing and savings accounts, here are 2 ways to make sure you’re automatically covered. The first is overdraft protection, which is essentially a line of credit attached to your chequing account. If you make a debit or withdrawal transaction from your chequing account that is more than the cash in the account, the bank automatically loans you the difference. Overdraft protection can have a monthly fee on top of the interest it charges you until you pay back the loan. Overdraft protection is offered at Alterna Bank, but Alterna also has something slightly different that you can set up with a 1-time phone call: coverdraft protection. Coverdraft protection is not a loan, but uses the savings account to back the chequing account. If you make a debit or withdrawal transaction from your chequing account that is more than the cash in the account, it will automatically “sweep” the difference from your savings account (presuming that you have enough cash in the savings account), preventing you from being hit with an NSF charge.

Financial institution features can make it easier for you to manage chequing account cash flow, whether that’s doing away with a chequing account altogether; offering a convenient no-fee chequing account with free and unlimited transfers to and from a savings account; or preventing you from getting hit with accidental NSF charges. This can be more important and potentially save you more money than an account with a higher rate!

Got more tips to share? Join the discussion about paying bills from a savings account that prompted this article!