Simplii Financial Review

Offers an impressive array of financial products, including their no-fee bank account.

WRITTEN BY
Lisa Rennie
Updated September 15, 2020


RATING

Formerly owned by PC Financial, Simplii Financial was rebranded after it was taken over entirely by CIBC in late 2017 following the ending of the partnership between the bank and Loblaw’s (PC’s parent company). While PC still holds its Mastercard product, the company has gotten out of the online banking businesses. Following the change, about two million PC Financial customers moved over to the online-only bank, which has become one of the most trusted digital banking platforms in Canada.   

Simplii Financial offers an impressive array of financial products, including their no-fee bank account and a variety of loan and investment products. 

Let’s take a closer look at Simplii Financial’s many products and services to help you determine if this online bank is right for you. 

What Accounts Does Simplii Financial Offer?

As mentioned, Simplii Financial offers a number of banking products, including the following.

High-Interest Savings Account

  • No minimum balance 
  • 0.30% daily interest
  • No monthly fees
  • No transaction fees
  • Automatic deposits

No-Fee Chequing Account

  • Free daily banking
  • No monthly fees 
  • Earn interest up to 0.15%
  • No minimum balance
  • Unlimited debit purchases
  • Unlimited bill payments
  • Unlimited withdrawals
  • Free access to CIBC ATMs across Canada
  • Direct payroll and pension deposit
  • Overdraft protection
  • Account to account transfers

Mortgages

  • Low overall costs
  • 2.51% APR on 5-year fixed-rate mortgages
  • 2.24% APR on 5-year variable-rate mortgages
  • 2- to 10-year terms for fixed-rate mortgages
  • Flexible payment options
  • Mortgage refinancing, transfer, and renewals

Loans

Personal Loans

  • Prepay some or all of the loan amount with no penalty
  • Creditor Insurance
  • Competitive interest rates

Personal Line of Credit

  • Flexible borrowing options
  • Free unlimited Interac debit transactions, bill payments, withdrawals, and cheques
  • Low monthly repayment options of $50 or 2% of the balance, whichever is greater
  • Creditor insurance

Secured Line of Credit

  • Pay interest only on what you use
  • Withdraw only what you need
  • Unlimited debit transactions, withdrawals, and bill payments
  • Easy and flexible repayment options 
  • Support from a loan specialist

Investment Accounts

RRSP Savings Account

  • Tax-advantaged growth of invested funds
  • No minimum balance or deposit
  • Competitive rates
  • Principal and interest are always guaranteed
  • Earn 0.30% interest

GICs

  • Get risk-free returns
  • Higher rates than what big banks offer, as high as 1.85%
  • Start with as little as $100
  • Interest can compound automatically 
  • Guaranteed rate for the entire term
  • Eligible for registered and non-registered plans

Tax-Free Savings Account

  • Earn 0.30% interest
  • Tax-free growth of funds, even when you withdraw
  • Online option for TFSA investing
  • No monthly fees
  • No fixed terms
  • No minimum deposits

Mutual Funds

  • Invest with as little as $25 a month
  • Management fee discount
  • Choose from 7 index fund portfolios
  • Include mutual fund products in your RRSP, TFSA, RRIF, or RESP

Cash Back Visa Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • 10.99% on cash and purchases until your February 2021 statement (then pay a rate of 19.99%)
  • 22.99% cash interest rate
  • 10% bonus cash back at restaurants up to $500 for 4 months (4% cash back after that; available only to clients who enrol online or through telephone banking)
  • Great rewards at restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores — no limit to the cash back you can earn
  • Up to 3 additional cardholders can be added to earn cash back faster; set spending limits
  • Chip and pin technology
  • Real-time fraud alerts by text, email, and phone 
  • Pay with your phone through mobile wallet 
  • CIBC Payment Protector Insurance
  • CIBC Emergency Travel Medical Insurance

Pros and Cons of Online Banking at Simplii Financial

Pros 

  • Several financial products offered. Many online banks come with slim pickings in terms of the types of products offered. But Simplii’s product offerings are vast, so you really don’t have to go anywhere else to get what you need out of an online bank.
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance. Your Simplii Financial chequing and savings accounts come with no monthly fees, unlike what the big banks tend to offer.
  • Free Interac e-transfer. Send funds quickly and track your payment at no cost.
  • High interest. Earn interest as high as 0.50% with your chequing account and up to 0.30% on your savings account. 
  • Free and unlimited access ATMs. Use over 3400 of CIBC’s bank machines across Canada at no charge.
  • Automatic savings plan. Maintain a budget and grow your savings automatically with minimal effort.
  • Cash-back credit card. Take advantage of a rewards card, all without having to pay an annual fee. 
  • Unlimited number of debit transactions. Purchases, withdrawals, and bill payments are free and unlimited with the Simplii debit card.
  • Free personalized cheques.
  • Security. Your money is held by CIBC, a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which allows up to $100,000 to be insured.

Cons 

  • Not available in Quebec

Overview of Accounts

Simplii Financial High-Interest Savings Account

FeatureDetails
Monthly Fee$0
Minimum BalanceNone
Interest Rate0.30%
Transaction Fees$0
Special FeaturesAutomatic deposits

Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account

FeatureDetails
Monthly Fee$0
Minimum BalanceNone
Interest RateUp to 0.15%
Debit purchasesUnlimited
Bill paymentsUnlimited
WithdrawalsUnlimited
Access to CIBC ATMs across CanadaFree
Direct payroll and pension depositYes
Overdraft protectionYes
Account to account transfersYes

Simplii Financial Mortgages

TermFixed-Rate Mortgage Posted RateVariable-Rate Mortgage Posted Rate
2-year2.89%
3-year3.79%
4-year4.39%
5-year4.89%2.45%
7-year5.39%
10-year6.25%

Simplii Financial Loans

Personal LoansPersonal Line of CreditSecured Line of Credit
-Prepay some or all of the loan amount with no penalty-Creditor Insurance-Competitive interest rates-Flexible borrowing options-Free unlimited Interac debit transactions, bill payments, withdrawals, and cheques-Low monthly repayment options of $50 or 2% of the balance, whichever is greater-Creditor insurance-Pay interest only on what you use-Withdraw only what you need-Free unlimited debit transactions, bill payments, withdrawals-Easy and flexible repayment options 

Simplii Financial Investment Accounts

FeatureRRSP Savings AccountGICsTax-Free Savings AccountMutual Funds
Interest Rate0.30%Up to 1.85%0.30%Depends on funds invested in
Minimum DepositsNone$100None$25 per month
Special Perks-Tax-advantaged growth of invested funds-Principal and interest are always guaranteed-Risk-free returns-Guaranteed rate for the entire term-Eligible for registered and non-registered plans-Tax-free growth of funds, even when you withdraw-Online option for TFSA investing-Management fee discount-Choose from 7 index fund portfolios-Include mutual fund products in your RRSP, TFSA, RRIF, or RESP

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Credit Card

FeatureDetails
Annual Fee$0
Purchase Interest Rate19.99% (promotion of 10.99% until February 2021)
Cash Interest Rate22.99%
Cash Back Rewards10% bonus cash back at restaurants up to $500 for 4 months (4% cash back after that; available only to clients who enrol online or through telephone banking)
Additional Card HoldersUp to 3
Security-Chip and pin technology-Real-time fraud alerts by text, email, and phone -CIBC Payment Protector Insurance
Mobile WalletYes
Travel Medical InsuranceYes

What Customer Support Does Simplii Financial Have Available?

Simplii Financial offers a few ways to get in touch with a live customer service representative:

  • By phone: 1-888-723-8881
  • By email: talktous@simplii.com
  • By live chat: Available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 12 am EST, and Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 9 am to 6 pm EST

How to Open an Account With Simplii Financial

Opening an account with Simplii is rather straightforward and not much different than opening an account with another online bank. You can either apply over the phone or online and will be asked a few standard questions, such as your name, date of birth, SIN, and type of account you’d like to open. 

You may need to verify your identity and current address by supplying a driver’s license, government-issued photo ID card, or other document with proof of identity and address. To do so, you may be asked to visit the nearest Canada Post office and show your identification in person. 

Is It Safe to Bank With Simplii Financial?

Yes, it is safe to park your capital with Simplii Financial and entrust your personal information with the digital bank. Simplii’s association with CIBC and its insurance with CDIC means that up to $100,000 of your money will be protected should Simplii go under. Plus, Simplii’s robust encryption and security system mean your personal information will be strongly protected against potential hackers. 

Who is Best Suited For Online Banking With Simplii Financial?

Simplii Financial may be a suitable online banking platform for those who:

  • Want to make their banking experience more convenient
  • Like the one-stop-shop aspect of banking with all banking and investing needs in one spot
  • Need a tool that can help them achieve their savings goals 
  • Appreciate the security of CDIC insurance and encryption tools
  • Are looking for no-fee banking products

Final Thoughts

Simplii Financial is probably one of the best online banks in Canada. With its myriad of banking and investing products, outstanding customer service, and affiliation with a CDIC-insured bank, you’ll get the best of all worlds, all while being able to do all your banking from the comfort of your home. If you’re looking for a digital banking platform to entrust your money with, Simplii Financial is worth a look.