Looking for the best Simplii Financial review? Search no more as this comprehensive guide is for you. Having started in 2017, even though operational before that, Simplii Financial has taken the online banking world by storm. And by being a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), this connection explains its vast popularity.
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Last Updated: Mar 17, 2023
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The Simplii Financial digital banking platform operates under the CIBC. With that, you can rest assured you are dealing with a safe bank that’s regulated and law compliant. Moreover, the platform’s notable feature is the no-fee chequing account and cashback features. However, the service is not available in Quebec, limiting the residents from accessing their services.
By the end of this Simplii Financial review guide, we hope you will have learned all there is to know about this financial platform. And so with that, let us get a detailed view of the brand.
When choosing a digital financial institution, you want one you can trust to handle your finances, thus selecting the best in the market. Ideally, you will spend time knowing what each available option best stands out for.
Our Simplii Financial review looks at what makes Simplii Financial a viable option for your banking. And the reasons include
Since Simplii Financial operates under the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, its company parent, all your deposits are insured. Typically, your deposits are tied to the ones at CIBC, if you have any, and are under the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.
These deposits are maxed to $100,000, but there are seven insurance categories. So you are looking at a maximum of $700,000 in insurance. What’s more, this is an automatic insurance cover, activated after making the deposit.
The importance of security for online banking users is priority number one. This is why we’ve highlighted the top-notch security features in this Simplii Financial review.
Being an online financial platform is not easy, seeing the high rate of cybercrime spreading over the globe. However, Simplii Financial takes security measures seriously, monitors online account activities, and uses firewalls and 128-bit encryption.
And even after the May 2018 security breach, the company still stands strong. According to Simplii Financial, they cover 100% of the losses incurred in case of such an occurrence.
Since Simplii Financial operates under the CIBC, a federally chartered bank, its operations are fully monitored. The law-compliance bodies monitoring Simplii Financial include the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).
The OSFI is in charge of laying and implementing financial regulations ensuring Canada’s financial stability. On the other hand, the FCAC promotes financial education and consumer protection through banking institutions.
As people move toward the digital world, more tasks are being done online, whether shopping, communicating, or spreading the news. Simplii Financial being an online program uses this gap to bring banking closer to your hands.
With Simplii Financial, you can now forget the tiring trips to the banks since you can do all your banking on the go. This is made easy through the mobile app you can install on your smartphone for banking convenience.
Moreover, this mobile app is available to Apple and Android users. So, you will not have any challenges accessing the platform or using it on your smartphone.
As is the norm with many platforms looking to earn more customers, having a referral program is essential. Moreover, these programs are usually incentivized to motivate the existing customers to invite more people into the platform.
Simplii Financial has not lagged in this, and as an existing customer, you can invite friends and family. That said, you get a $50 bonus when your referral deposits at least $100 six months after opening the account. They also have to maintain a balance of $100 for 30 days.
As with any brand review, highlighting the pros and cons a customer expects to meet is crucial. Here are the pros and cons our Simplii Financial review touches on.
We’ll begin with the pros we feel are vital to mention in this Simplii Financial review.
As with typical banking institutions, you get a specific cap of $2500 on daily withdrawal limits. This limit can be demeaning if you intend to withdraw a large amount of money.
However, Simplii Financial addresses the issue and allows you to exceed your daily withdrawal limit. All you have to do is phone the institution and request a temporal lift beforehand, and they will gladly allow the lift.
With the Simplii Financial credit card, you can enjoy unlimited cash back on select outlets and restaurants. Moreover, this is a no-fee card allowing earn cash back of up to 4% per year.
If you are a person who frequents restaurants and makes some grocery shopping trips, then this card is for you. Also, note that it has an enticing introductory rate of 9.99%.
Being a subsidiary of one of the central Canadian banks, Simplii Financial has all the services you can get in typical brick-and-mortar banks. Most of the services offered on this platform correspond to those at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
For instance, Simplii Financial’s global money transfer service corresponds to CIBC’s international money transfer service. Unlike the usual fees incurred in physical banking institutions, these products and services are offered at no extra cost.
A bank overdraft comes in handy when you want your bank to issue a cheque on a short-term notice. Unlike bank overdrafts in the usual banks, which must confirm if your account has the amount requested first, Simplii Financial’s overdraft request is online.
You only have to ask for the overdraft online and walk into one of the CIBC’s branches to pick up the product. Moreover, some customers claim to have gotten their overdraft within a day, which is faster than other banking institutions.
Examining the cons of the platform is just as critical as investigating its pros. Therefore, we break down the cons of this online banking service in our Simplii Financial review section.
The first con our Simplii financial review covers is its unavailability to Quebec residents. Even with the backing of a central banking institution, it is not yet clear why the coverage is lacking.
Maybe it is because of the province’s stricter laws, or the platform plans to extend to the area soon. This thus locks many of the potential Quebec customers from using the services, prompting them to look elsewhere.
Simplii Financial’s operations are purely based online, and no brick-and-mortar branch is associated with it. The communication is only conducted through the online platform or the phone contacts available. This limits the needs of those customers who value face-to-face banking.
While this factor may not be a significant barrier to most tech-savvy Canadians, it is essential to consider the non-tech-savvy individuals. However, since this is a digital arm of the CIBC, customers can only direct any questions they have to the parent institution, which can be challenging.
Most online banking platforms offer customers higher interest on their savings than typical physical banks. However, Simplii Financial still lags in this aspect since it provides a mere 0.1% interest rate on savings.
This is insignificant compared to its peers/competitors like Neo Financial, which offers 1.55% or LBC Digital, which offers 1.4%. Customers looking for better interest in their savings can turn to other platforms for this low-interest feature.
Simplii Financial caps daily withdrawals at $2500 on the CIBC’s ATMs. So if you tend to handle large withdrawals, you might find this limit demeaning.
Moreover, you can also face cash access challenges if you live in an area where the CIBC does not provide its ATMs. This barrier can lead customers away from the platform to other convenient competitors.
According to our Simplii Financial review research, the platform limits investment options to Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and mutual funds. While these can be viable investment options for some, they are not for others.
Moreover, the returns from the GICs are meagre since there is no risk involved. On the other hand, you may find the high MERs on the mutual funds non-conducive for your investment portfolio.
Now that you know the pros and cons of this online financial platform, which services and products are offered? The following list in our Simplii Financial review details what you can expect.
Searching for a new house can be challenging for new home buyers, especially if the finances do not align with expectations. However, Simplii is here to sort your mortgage needs with its five types of mortgages.
This mortgage option follows the current mortgage rates in the market. So if the interest rates go up, you pay more; however, if the interest rates lower, you will pay low-interest rates.
In this selection, your mortgage interest rate stays fixed over the entire period. It won’t matter if the rates go up or down, and while this sounds like an excellent option, note that you miss on potential savings when the rates dip.
This mortgage option is an instance when the bank has to loan you over 80% of the home value. You will get five years of fixed or variable options with this mortgage type and a slightly lowered rate than the typical rates.
This comes as a short-term mortgage offer with the potential to turn it into a long-term fixed rate.
This mortgage option has a higher rate than the rest. However, you get a cash back at the end of the mortgage based on the lender’s terms.
The common types of mortgage options Simplii Financial offers are fixed and variable. Their interest rates average 2.14% for fixed and 1.45% for variable mortgages. If you are unsure which mortgage option is right for you, their website has educational resources to help solve the issue.
The best aspect you can expect from a financial institution is the availability to invest your money. This is why it’s such a vital offering to highlight in this Simplii Financial review. Simplii has various financial investment opportunities like:
The platform’s HISA accounts offer a return of 0.10%, which gets calculated against every dollar invested. Moreover, this interest is calculated daily and paid into your account every month.
Another aspect to note about this account is that no monthly or transaction fee is involved. There is also an introductory higher rate given to new customers for a specified period until reverted to the standard rate.
GICs typically work to give you a return over a specified period. The period can extend from one year up to five, with some banks’ GICs depending on how the market performs.
With Simplii Financial, the offered GICs stretch from one to five years and usually have low returns. Here is a table showing how the returns average over the period.
|Period (year)||Percentage Rate (%)|
This is a closer to real investing option in which Simplii Financial’s mutual funds’ managers manage your investment. It is essential to note that this option is riskier but has the potential to earn significant returns over prolonged times.
The platform has seven mutual fund investment opportunities, but they are categorized into three tiers: balanced, growth, and conservative. Meanwhile, here is a table detailing the seven mutual fund portfolios offered at Simplii Financial.
|Mutual Funds Portfolio||MER (%)||What’s Offered|
|Growth||1.11||Income – 20% Growth – 80% Savings – 0%|
|Aggressive growth||1.12||Income – 10% Growth – 90% Savings – 0%|
|Balanced||1.09||Income – 50% Growth – 50% Savings – 0%|
|Balanced growth||1.11||Income – 35% Growth – 65% Savings – 0%|
|Conservative income||0.95||Income – 80% Growth – 5% Savings – 15%|
|Income plus||1.05||Income – 62% Growth – 35% Savings – 3%|
|Income||1.03||Income – 75% Growth – 20% Savings – 5%|
An RRSP savings account is best when looking to save your retirement finances and accumulate interest simultaneously. This platform offers a 0.2% monthly and the best aspect about it is that this interest is not tax-charged.
No monthly recurring fees are involved, and no minimum deposit or balance terms. Moreover, the interest and principal amount deposited is usually guaranteed.
Simplii Financial’s TFSA account functions like its RRSP counterpart. You get to save your money and accumulate tax-advantaged interest rates. Moreover, you also enjoy the no monthly fees, deposits, and no minimum balance privileges.
The platform has a couple of banking services offered to its customers. These are the typical banking services you can expect to find in brick-and-mortar banks. And they form part of the essential services offered by Simplii Finance. Hence, they are a crucial part of this Simplii Financial review.
Simplii Financial’s banking services include:
With Simplii Financial’s global money transfer, you can send money quickly to 130+ countries globally. Moreover, this service is offered at no extra cost and only takes one to three business days.
You can send up to $30,000 within a 24-hour duration. Using this service is as simple as;
So how does Simplii Financial make money since this service is free? By being under the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Simplii follows the bank’s currency exchange rates. They make money on the spread incurred during the currency conversion.
Are you looking forward to a vacation out of Canada? You will need some local cash usable in your destination country, and Simplii Financial is here for you.
The foreign exchange service is offered exclusively to Simplii Financial’s clients, and you can request up to $2,500 at a go. Moreover, you can have the cash delivered to your home or have the platform post it to the nearest post office at no cost. Simplii Financial has a quick processing rate, and you can get your requested money within one to three days upon request.
The support of mobile payment methods is one booster factor an online banking platform can offer. This service is handy when you have an expenditure or bill to pay but leave or forget your credit/debit card.
The platform supports digital payment methods like
This is the most notable feature Simplii Financial gets attributed to. Unlike typical banking institutions charging an average of $4 to $30 on a chequing account, Simplii Financial offers it free.
Some of the features you can expect on this account include:
When you opt for Simplii Financial’s cash back visa card, you get entitled to earning various cash back returns on your spending. Here are the perks you can expect with this card.
It won’t cost you to keep this card stashed in your wallet. Moreover, with cash backs averaging up to 4%, it is worth getting it.
This privilege allows adding up to 3 more cardholders and helps you earn your cash back rewards quicker.
The earnings you get back are as follows:
Cash back when you conduct an international transfer using the card.
The charges on unpaid balances accumulate at an annual rate of 22.99% on advances and 19.99% on buys. However, the issuance of this card depends on your credit score, age and residence, and a $15,000 minimum annual income.
Apart from the mortgages offered on the platform, other loan services are worth noting. These services include:
When met with financial obligations needing immediate fulfillment, the first choice for many is to take a personal loan. Luckily, Simplii Financial has you covered with its personal loan offers.
The website does not disclose the platform’s loan offers, charges, and penalties. However, note that the Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) will depend on the loan amount taken.
Here is a step-by-step guide on applying for a personal loan through Simplii Financial.
4. Select the Personal Line of Credit option and fill out the qualification questions.
5. Specify the amount you wish to borrow and provide the loan purpose.
6. Fill in the personal details questionnaire, including your employment status and income details
7. Finalize the application by agreeing to the platform’s terms and conditions. You will also have to use your autogram to sign the application by hand.
This loan option gives you quick access to funds whenever you need them. Moreover, the interest rates on the personal line of credit loans are better than on other debts and credit cards.
With Simplii Financial’s credit service, you get limitless payments, transfers, and transactions. Note that a 2% or $50 monthly fee is involved in your loan balance.
This service is similar to the personal line of credit; however, it’s attributed to a lower interest rate. This lowered interest comes from having tied the service to a valuable asset like your house.
You also get limitless transaction frequency and the ability to borrow as much as you want with flexible repayment terms. The service attracts a $150 one-time payment for the registration, security, and appraisal.
The quality of services and products a particular institution offers matters. As a customer, you want to make a one-time decision, not one to which you will revert later.
For that reason, our Simplii Financial review cannot be complete without touching on the platform’s service quality. Here is a breakdown of the product and service quality to expect.
Simplii Financial’s professionalism can be regarded as above average, seeing it is an online banking institution. It strives to offer more banking suites, unlike other online banking platforms.
Moreover, the fast information processing allows you the banking convenience needed. And this is evident with the reduced fees across their products and fast money international transfers.
Simplii Financial resulted from a 2017 split between CIBC and Loblaw. And since its operations are monitored and regarded under the CIBCs books, you can rest assured of total legitimacy.
Moreover, the institution has received several notable awards. The awards include the 2020’s Forbes best world bank for two years in a row and four categories in 2021’s Ipsos Financial Service Excellence Awards.
Again, safety and security are vital aspects customers look for in an online banking service. And these are often the features many want to learn about when reading a Simplii Financial review.
Since Simplii Financial operates under one of the central Canadian banks, it is under the FCAC and OSFI regulations. Moreover, when you deposit funds into a Simplii Financial account, you are subject to CIBC’s deposit insurance.
The platform also uses 128-bit encryption, online-activity monitors, and firewalls for enhanced safety. With these security measures, you are guaranteed top safety and security when engaging with the platform.
As is the norm in banking institutions, customers’ details are needed for Know Your Customer (KYC) identification. Simplii Financial collects its customers’ details per the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce policies.
They also collect information from third-party sources, for instance, government records, credit bureaus, and public agencies. Moreover, the platform has taken measures to keep customer details confidential and the individuals knowing these details confidential.
Since Simplii Financial is an online-based banking institution, getting started on the platform is pretty straightforward. Moreover, you can open an account through the mobile app, which eases the process.
Here is the step-by-step guide on getting started with Simplii Financial.
If you are confident that Simplii Financial is not suitable, having a list of other options is essential. Here is a list of institutions similar to Simplii Financial worth checking out.
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Like Simplii Financial, Tangerine offers a variety of banking options for its customers. It is also owned by one of the big five banks of Canada, Scotiabank.
Tangerine has services like:
With Tangerine, you get zero annual and monthly fees on most banking services. Moreover, you can use a mobile app to do your transactions, so convenience is always guaranteed.
However, like Simplii Financial, this platform is online-based and has no physical branches available. Also, note that you get a 50-page cheque book which, upon exhausting the cheques, you will have to pay to get another.
Moreover, this platform is available to almost all the Canadian provinces, including Quebec. It has also been operating since 1997, which indicates that it’s a trustworthy Simplii Financial alternative option.
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This platform is an online subsidiary of the famous Canadian bank, Equitable Bank. EQ Bank started in 2016 and is inclined to offer investment and savings options for its customers.
Notable products and services offered in EQ Bank include:
There is a high savings account with the potential to earn you more interest rates than what typical banks offer. And like Simplii Financial, most of its services and products come with low to zero fees.
There is also a referral program where you can earn bonuses of up to $50 for every successful referral you bring into the platform. And similar to Simplii, this platform is unavailable to Quebec residents.
The downside of EQ Bank is the limit placed on your savings account, which is set at a maximum of $200,000. It also lacks the credit/debit cards typical online banking platforms offer and limits you to having an account with the parent bank to access its services.
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Another alternative making it to our Simplii Financial review alternative list is the Innovation Credit Union. This online-based financial institution started in 2007 and has gained over 57,000 members.
Services and products offered to the customers include:
Similar to Simplii Financial, the platform’s no-fee chequing account comes with no yearly or monthly fees. The account gives you privileges like no minimum balance, unlimited debit/credit card transactions, and Interac e-Transfers.
With the Innovation Credit Union Visa Infinite Card, you get entitled to earn rewards and redeem the points earned through purchases. The same applies to other cards like the Travel Rewards Visa Gold Card and the Centra Visa Gold Card.
Unlike Simplii Financial, this online banking platform reaches Quebec residents and most Canadian provinces. There is also a physical branch located in Saskatchewan, operating from Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
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Our last alternative in this Simplii Financial review is Coast Capital Savings, which is active in bettering the communities. The platform stands out for its informed financial advice to members and holds them as prime shareholders.
Services you can expect to meet at this platform include:
Like Simplii Financial, Coast Capital Savings has investment options such as GICs, mutual funds, TFSA, and RSPs, allowing you to earn interest on investments. Moreover, most of the products and services offered come with low to zero fees in annual and monthly terms.
The downside about this financial institution is that you only get a regular debit card to run your transactions. This is unlike most online banking platforms offering extra credit and debit card perks, including cash back rewards.
Coast Capital Savings has a broader reach than Simplii Financial, as it covers Quebec and other Canadian provinces. It is also open to entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses through the Business loans feature.
The need for a trustworthy financial institution is an issue demanding extreme attention. While various digital banking institutions are available in Canada, settling for the perfect one is challenging.
This is why we compiled this in-depth Simplii Financial review guide to educate you about this famous digital banking institution. The guide has covered all you need to know about Simplii Financial, including products and services offered, pros and cons.
Alongside that, a review cannot be complete without a list of alternative options. We have listed four viable alternatives if you feel Simplii Financial does not meet your needs. And with that, we wrap up our Simplii Financial review hoping you now understand how the platform works. It is now up to you to make an informed online banking decision. Thanks for checking out our Simplii Financial review.
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Yes, Simplii Financial is directly related to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada (CIBC). This platform is the online arm of the bank and operates under the institution's terms and policies.
No, you cannot open a business-affiliated account with Simplii Financial at the moment. There are no business accounts offered, leaving you with the option of choosing to open a personal account.
Yes, the platform operates under one of the big-5 Canadian banks. Its operations and proceeds are accounted for under the CIBC's books and follow the OSFI and FCAC regulations.
It is unclear why Simplii Financial is unavailable to Quebec residents, and neither are there any disclosed plans for this expansion. However, note that this platform is not the only one not operating within Quebec's borders.
No, CIBC and Loblaw worked together since 1997 to offer PC Financial to their customers but split in 2017. This split led to the birthing of CIBC's Simplii Financial, which has no affiliation with PC Financial.
Yes, the platform is known to have various enticing offers for its customers. These offers include higher introductory interest rates, sign-up bonuses, and referral bonuses, amongst other promotions.
No, this platform does not have any physical ATMs in the country. However, since it is a subsidiary of CIBC, its customers are free to access any of CIBC's 3400+ ATMs.
Simplii Financial makes foreign cash deliveries within one to three business days. Moreover, you can pick up the cash at the local postal outlet or have the parcel delivered to your home.
At the moment, Simplii Financial does not have any physical customer support. However, they provide their contact details on the online platform, which you can use to contact customer support.
No, while both are online banking platforms, they operate as different entities/competitors. Scotiabank owns Tangerine, while Simplii Financial belongs to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Yes, the platform performs a hard credit check whenever you apply for any offered services. This action is likely to affect your credit score by a small margin.
This platform is an online-based banking institution offering products and services like traditional banks. The services and products offered include loans, investments, money transfers, and credit cards.
You can deposit funds into a Simplii Financial account through the mobile app or CIBC's bank ATMs. Moreover, the bank has over 3400 ATM outlets, and the mobile app is available to Android and Apple users.
No, as is the norm in banking institutions, providing your personal details is mandatory. This protocol helps the bank tie the account to your name and contact you in case of any issues warranting your attention.
To qualify for Simplii Financial's personal loan, you must be a Canadian resident, having reached the proper age. You also need to have an annual income averaging $15,000, not declared bankrupt within seven years, and not reside in Quebec.