We've done some research comparing GICs. We've chosen to include a sampling of GICs from various banks. They are sorted by interest rate.
Our table does not include any special promotions, only the regular rate.
These are real product offerings.
Updated September 5, 2020.
Use our tables as a guide and remember to do some research on your own.
When researching GICs, www.ratesupermarket.ca or www.ratehub.ca can be useful. You can filter GICs by their interest rate to quickly find the highest paying ones within each maturity.
Observe how much the rates change for each additional year of maturity. You should expect proportionately higher rates if you invest for longer periods - but for various reasons not all banks offer all terms and in some maturities their rates may not be as competitive as in other maturities. This is important both when you choose the provider for a single-maturity GIC and when you are creating a GIC ladder.
Be sure to click on any buttons that say ‘legal disclaimers’, ‘learn more’, ‘additional features’, 'view details', or on the numbered notes on some key words because that’s where you find the details.
Be flexible about maturity of the GIC you're buying. Always check the interest rate on a slightly shorter GIC - for example, if you want a 5-year GIC and found a provider with a good rate, check its 4-year rate. If the 5-year rate is only slightly higher than the 4-year, you'll likely be better off buying the 4-year GIC. You'll earn almost as much as on the 5-year but you get your money back sooner.
HOW TO USE GICS?
If you know when you’ll need the money, say 4 years down the road, you can buy one GIC that matures shortly before the date you need the money.
Alternatively, you can build a GIC “ladder”, assuming you have enough savings to meet the minimum for a few GICs. Laddering means that you buy a few GICs, each maturing in a different - 1 year from now, 2 years, 3 years, etc. When the GICs mature, you can either reinvest the money by buying another GIC (for example, with a maturity that places it at the end of the ladder) or use it.
It's easy to keep up with your GICs.
The key thing is to remember when they mature.
Own your GICs, step-by-step.
The higher, the better (for the same maturity).
As with savings accounts, smaller banks often offer higher rates than the Big 5 banks.
Maturity (also called 'term')
Maturity refers to how long your money will be invested.
It's the smallest amount of money you can buy a GIC for.
The smaller, the better - you can put your money to work sooner.
GICs (guaranteed investment certificates) are similar to savings accounts, except you can't withdraw your money whenever you want.
Instead, your GIC ‘matures’ on a certain date. That's when you get your money back, along with any interest you earned.
Interest on GICs is relatively low but should be higher than on savings accounts (because you give up the flexibility of being able to withdraw at any time).
The GIC interest rate is a percentage - divide the interest you receive by the amount you invest. It's usually expressed as an annual rate.
Look for the highest possible interest rate in the maturity you need. Make sure you have enough money to meet the minimum size.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY A GIC?
Banks are not just for chequing and savings accounts, or credit cards. You can buy investment products like GICs directly from banks.
Both large and small banks (as well as trust companies, which are similar to banks) issue GICs. There are 2 convenient ways to buy them:
You need to be 18/19 (age of majority) to buy GICs.
Learn how to buy GICs.