Best GIC Rates In Canada (Jan 2023)

January 2, 2023
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Investing in the best GIC rates in Canada is not a great way to get rich, but it is a good way to safeguard your money. Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are a safe, secure investment with low risk and low reward: when you invest in GICs, you don't have to worry about stock market volatility, since the CDIC guarantees you'll receive at least your initial deposit back.

In this post, I break down what GICs are, the differences between GICs and other types of investments, the best GIC rates in Canada over 1-year, 3-year and 5-year terms, plus we get into a lot more. If you're considering investing in Canadian GICs, you're in the right place.

What Are GICs?

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are a form of investment that allows you to invest your cash with a financial institution for a set length of time. In exchange, you'll be paid a certain amount at maturity, which includes the money invested and the rate agreed.

Why Invest In GICs?

GICs are low-risk investments that complement a portfolio's fixed income component. They're also suitable for conservative investment portfolios or a portion of any portfolio's overall fixed income component. GICs are comparable to savings accounts in which you deposit money and earn interest each year according to the bank's terms and conditions: GIC rates are also similar to savings account rates.

However, unlike a regular savings account, a traditional GIC usually keeps your money locked up for the duration of the time specified in your agreement.

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One of the most important factors to look out for when choosing a GIC is the term. You have to keep your long-term plans in mind since your money might be locked-out for a long period.

Here's a list of the best GIC rates in Canada for 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year GICs.

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The Best GIC Rates In Canada

Best 1-Year GIC Rates In Canada

GIC ProviderRate
EQ Bank4.55%
Wyth4.49%
Oaken Financial4.40%
Hubert Financial4.40%
Achieva Financial4.30%
Steinbach Credit Union4.25%
Alterna4.10%
HSBC3.00%
Luminus Financial2.90%

Best 2-Year GIC Rates In Canada

GIC ProviderRate
EQ Bank4.70%
Wyth4.61%
Oaken Financial4.50%
Achieva Financial4.50%
Steinbach Credit Union4.40%
Hubert Financial4.40%
Alterna4.40%
HSBC3.40%
Luminus Financial3.00%

Best 3-Year GIC Rates In Canada

GIC ProviderRate
Wyth4.70%
EQ Bank4.70%
Achieva Financial4.65%
Steinbach Credit Union4.60%
Hubert Financial4.55%
Oaken Financial4.50%
Alterna4.10%
HSBC3.60%
Luminus Financial3.40%

Best 4-Year GIC Rates In Canada

GIC ProviderRate
Achieva Financial4.80%
Steinbach Credit Union4.75%
Hubert Financial4.75%
Wyth4.70%
EQ Bank4.70%
Oaken Financial4.50%
Alterna4.20%
HSBC3.80%
Luminus Financial3.60%

Best 5-Year GIC Rates In Canada

GIC ProviderRate
Steinbach Credit Union5.00%
Hubert Financial5.00%
Achieva Financial5.00%
Wyth4.80%
EQ Bank4.70%
Oaken Financial4.65%
Alterna4.30%
HSBC4.00%
Luminus Financial3.80%

Now, if you'd rather stick with a single financial institution for all your GICs, here are the best GIC providers in Canada.

The Best GIC Providers In Canada

EQ Bank GICs

EQ Bank is a branch of Equitable Bank, a fully online bank with 900+ employees across Canada. EQ Bank ranks highly for 3-year GIC rates, with a minimum investment of $1,000.

1 year4.55%
2 years4.70%
3 years4.70%
4 years4.70%
5 years4.70%

HSBC GICs

1 year3.00%
2 years3.40%
3 years3.60%
4 years3.80%
5 years4.00%

Wyth GICs

1 year4.49%
2 years4.61%
3 years4.70%
4 years4.70%
5 years4.80%

Alterna GICs

1 year4.10%
2 years4.40%
3 years4.10%
4 years4.20%
5 years4.30%

Luminus Financial GICs

1 year2.90%
2 years3.00%
3 years3.40%
4 years3.60%
5 years3.80%

Oaken Financial GICs

Oaken Financial, a branch of Home Trust, was launched in 2013, but its parent company was founded more than 30 years ago. Oaken Financial offers very balanced GICs, with all of them scoring well relative to other GIC providers in Canada.

1 year4.40%
2 years4.50%
3 years4.50%
4 years4.50%
5 years4.65%

Achieva Financial GICs

1 year4.30%
2 years4.50%
3 years4.65%
4 years4.80%
5 years5.00%

Steinbach Credit Union GICs

1 year4.25%
2 years4.40%
3 years4.60%
4 years4.75%
5 years5.00%

Hubert Financial GICs

Hubert Financial currently provides the highest GIC rates for 5-year GICs in Canada, which is an attractive option for many Canadians planning for future education or retirement expenses. Hubert's minimum investment is $1,000, and all of their GICs are insured by the CDIC.

1 year4.40%
2 years4.40%
3 years4.55%
4 years4.75%
5 years5.00%
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How To Buy GICs In Canada

#1 Decide How Much You Want To Invest

With most GICs, the contract terms will tie up your cash for the term specified. You'll have to pay the penalty if you withdraw your funds early. If you believe you may need access to your money sooner rather than later, consider purchasing a redeemable or cashable GIC that can be redeemed without cost at any time.

#2 Choose A Type Of Interest Rate

You can choose fixed GIC rates if you want a certain interest rate for the whole term of the GIC. If you're confident in the prospect of changing interest rates, an index-linked or market-linked GIC might be a better fit for you.

#3 Do Your Research

Choose which of the GICs we listed suits you the best. Compare and look for the most competitive GIC rates available, and talk to different banks and financial institutions before committing.

#4 Choose A Financial Institution And GIC

Once you've chosen the type of GIC that better suits you, it's time to choose the provider. Keep in mind that even though the big six banks have bigger brand recognition, their rates aren't as good as some of the online banks we mentioned.

Pros of GICs

  • Predictable: Rates are usually agreed upon when you buy GICs, and the financial institution guarantees how much you're getting.
  • Versatile: GICs come in different sizes and shapes. Different rates, different terms, there's a GIC for everyone.
  • Protected: Deposits are protected by the CDIC or a comparable institution. Worst case scenario, you receive your deposit back.

Cons of GICs

  • Rates: Some GIC rates are lower than high-interest savings accounts (HISAs), which means you're locking up your money and getting a worse rate.
  • Liquidity: If you need to withdraw your money, you may be penalized for early withdrawal or not get your money at all.
  • Returns: You won't be seeing huge returns with a GIC.
  • Minimum investment: This varies, but it generally starts at $500.

Difference Between GICs And Other Investment Options

GICs vs. High-Interest Savings Accounts

GICs and high-interest savings accounts (HISA) are similar investment options. They're both low-risk, low-reward investments that rely on interest paid annually.

The distinction is that most GICs have a set rate and term. In contrast, HISAs features an interest rate that varies constantly and allows the flexibility to withdraw funds at any time.

Financial institutions—and GIC providers—tend to offer interest GIC rates slightly higher than high-interest savings accounts, so it may be worth going for a GIC if you can afford to lock in your money for a longer period of time.

GICs vs. Mutual Funds

Guaranteed Investment Certificates and mutual funds are very different investment options. Mutual funds have a much higher potential for reward and a higher risk.

In a mutual fund, your money is linked to the stock market, whereas with GICs, you have a guaranteed return, and the CDIC guarantees your initial investment.

Another important difference to consider is that the financial institutions that provide mutual funds have an associated management expense ratio (MER) – usually between 0.5%-1.0%. If you want to invest in the stock market, we recommend going for Exchange-traded funds – these usually have lower fees than mutual funds and are also a good way to diversify your investments.

GIC vs. Bonds

The most significant distinction between GICs and government bonds is that the government guarantees your investment rather than a bank or other financial institutions. Bonds are much more flexible: you may sell your government bonds if the necessity arises. Non-redeemable GICs – and GICs in general – are considerably more limiting.

Are GICs Worth It?

GICs are an outstanding choice for people who have savings they know won't be needed for a while. They're a low-risk, low-reward investment choice. Some of the most common scenarios where you might want to put your money on a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) are:

  • Your child will soon be attending college or university, and you want to put your money somewhere safe.
  • You're planning a trip or other major purchase. Locking your money may help prevent you from using it for other things.
  • You don't feel comfortable enough to invest in the stock market.
  • You're struggling to meet your short-term savings goals. Using a GIC to make your money harder to access can help you save money.
  • You're retired and want access to the funds for living expenses. In this case, you'd use a redeemable GIC.

In Summary

Investing in the best GIC rates in Canada is not a great way to get rich, but it is a good way to safeguard your money. Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are a safe, secure investment with low risk and low reward: when you invest in GICs, you don't have to worry about stock market volatility, since the CDIC guarantees you'll receive at least your initial deposit back.

In this post, I break down what GICs are, the differences between GICs and other types of investments, the best GIC rates in Canada over 1-year, 3-year and 5-year terms, plus we get into a lot more. If you're considering investing in Canadian GICs, you're in the right place.

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