In Canada we call a chequing account, while in US, checking. Despite different names, they are much similar in many ways. In order to be efficient, banks usually charge a monthly fee for maintaining chequing accounts, or, you keep more than minimal balance (1 to 2 thousand) to waive the fee. In last decade, the Internet has changed how people live. It has changed how people do the banking too. Many financial institutions set up virtual or direct banking divisions. It does not require brick-and-mortar branches. All the transactions are done electrically. The savings on physical presence are passed to customers in forms of high interest rates, no monthly maintenance fee, and so on. In Canadian market, my favorites are as following:
No. 1. President's Choice Financial. It has pavilions in "Real Canadian Superstores", where you can actually talk to bank staff. They may help you open accounts, setup online banking, etc. Though they do not take deposits or withdrawals. All the checquing and savings accounts are free. Best feature is: all the cheque books are free too. (In 2017 CIBC and President's Choice discontinued cooperation. The CIBC direct financial division changed its name to Simplii Financial and closed pavilions in superstores.)
No. 2. Canadian Direct Financial. It offers free chequing and savings accounts. First cheque book is free and additional is chargeable. Best feature: its savings account interest rate is the highest, currently sitting at 1.75%, while President's Choice only 1.05%. Be aware of the catch: while transferring from Savings to Chequing is totally free, other forms of debits on Savings are free only once per month. All the debits on Chequing is absolutely free.
No. 3. Tangerine. This one is much similar to the President's Choice. Best feature: it offers electrical verification when adding external accounts. When adding other financial institution accounts, Tangerine will do TWO small deposits to that account. After 2 to 3 business days, the two deposits show up in other financial institution's online banking. Then you key them in Tangerine online banking to complete the adding process. That's it.
No. 4. Some local credit unions offer free chequing accounts too.
加拿大的银行称支票户头叫 Chequing, 与美国同行的称呼 Checking 不同，但是做法上有很多共同点。为了减少低余额的户头占用银行资源，银行通常会收取管理费，每个月几元到几十元不等。或者余额达到一定数量（通常一两千元）就可以免除每月的管理费。
Internet 的兴起让 纯 online bank 有了可能。这些 online banks 没有实体分行，所以能减少费用。无实体分行，给需要柜台服务的客户添了一些麻烦，正好靠免除管理费来弥补。愿意靠 internet, ATM 来处理账务的人，就可以享受免费的支票户头了。在加拿大，常见的有：
1. President's Choice Financial. 这个为首选，因为它依托 Real Canadian Superstore, 有广大的超市网络。在超市里设有亭子。开银行户头要填表，所谓 paper work, 怕麻烦的话，就去亭子请工作人员填写。之后，开通网上银行，转账、付款在网上银行进行；取现金到ATM. 它还有一个独一无二的特点：它所有的支票本都是免费 order.
2. Canadian Direct Financial. 它是加西银行的 Direct Banking 部门。开户就得自己网上填表，或者打印、填好，寄去，没有面对面的工作人员服务。它的第一本 cheque book 免费，之后要收费。好在现今社会用到支票的机会不多，一本可以用好久。它的最大好处是，再开一个储蓄户头，储蓄户头的利率目前最高，1.75%。 储蓄户头与支票户头之间转账算内部转账，免费。特别注意：从储蓄户头取现，或者转去其它银行，每个月只免费一次。从第二次起要收费。
3. Tangerine. 这是以前的 ING Direct. 号称给加拿大银行带来革命的虚拟银行。现在的 owner 是五大银行之一的 Scotiabank. 它目前吸引我的特色有：用手机给支票照相就可以存支票；添加其它银行户头，靠存两次微小的转账，然后验证这两次的数额，即可。其它银行添加 external bank, 还需寄去 void cheque. 一来麻烦，二来无法添加储蓄户头。Tangerine 可以添加它行的储蓄户头。
4. 一些信用社 credit unions. 如 coast capital savings. Manitoba 有很多信用社开立了 online bank divisions. 全加拿大（除法语省）的居民都可以申请。缺点是，它们的存款不是 CDIC 公司保险，是另外的公司。优点是保险额度是无限的，不仅仅像 CDIC 的首十万受保险。
I settled down in Vancouver 8 years ago. Like all the immigrants who come to Canada to pursuit a new life in this free and strong land, I am especially interested in financial products. I believe, by using proper bank accounts, we can greatly enhance our financial lives.