Getting your credit/debit card in Canada
Created by Angelina Liu
This is Angelina and I have been in Toronto for a month as an international student. Having your bank account is one of the most important things to do after you arrive. In this chapter, I would like to talk about how to open a bank account based on my own experience.
There are fine major banks in Canada, including BMO，Scotiabank，CIBC，RBC 和 TD. For those who have applied for GIC service in China, you need to go to the targeted bank to open a bank account. That’s the reason I went to Scotiabank. You need to make an appointment online and then you will get your email with time, location and your advisor. If you want to find banks within Mandarin service, you can enter your bank name on Google map and choose those noted ‘Mandarin
service’. Also, you need to write your demand when you make the appointment. Then go there according to your appointment with materials requested. As an international student, I need to bring my ID (passport), study permit and proof of address. If you have any bills that show your residence, you can bring it. If not, you can ask your landlord to write down a proof for you with his/her signature. My proof could be used as an example:
Proof of XXX’s Address
This is XXX(landlord’s name) and XXX(your name) lives with me from XXX(time). Our address is XXX and the postal code is XXX. My telephone number is XXX. Please reach out to me if you have any problem.
Then your advisor will help you fulfill almost all the process, including opening a bank account, getting your debit card and credit card. As an international student, you will get your debit card immediately and your credit card after ten days, which will be sent to you by mail. Advisors there are very kind and they will ask you to sign a lot of documents about the introduction of your bank account, different cards and privacy statement.
For my first account, I do not have choice for my GIC service. (But I heard that Scotiabank has cooperation with Canadian Cinema like Cineplex. So, I can have free film tickets with my points. Those film-lovers can grasp these opportunities.) I opened my second bank account in TD for its location. The details are similar with what I mentioned above. The only difference is that I asked my advisor to help me with my telephone app and I got guidance directly there. If you are not good at these high-tech stuffs, ask for help in-person.
These are my experience in opening bank account. Details of each card will be told by your advisors. Hope you finish this process without any difficulty.