In Your Corner: Interest rates are near an all-time low — where can you get the best return on your savings?

With restaurants closed and travel restricted, many Canadians have amassed significant savings since the COVID-19 pandemic began. By some estimates, Canada’s households are sitting on more than $ 170 billion in excess cash.

If you’re letting money collect dust in your chequing account, then you’re missing out on valuable interest and growth, says Janet Gray, a certified financial planner with Money Coaches Canada.

She recommends opening a high-interest savings account for those who have money they won’t immediately need.

The advantage of a HISA is in the name — you earn a high rate of interest on the money you keep in the account. The interest isn’t huge — the highest these days hover around 1.55 per cent — but the money is safe and guaranteed. Plus, it’s easy to pull money from most accounts if you really need it, says Gray.

Do some research before opening one, she advises. Compare rates from different banks using the “Your Banking” table in the Thursday Star or websites like and

“Look for the highest rates, look for low to zero fees, and check the interest paid monthly,” she says. “Just make sure you read the fine print.”

Another hint Gray offers? Check out the online banks.