Getting your credit/debit card in Canada

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 BMOScotiabankCIBCRBC 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.