Simplii Financial Review
Simplii Financial Review
- High Interest Savings Rate
- No Fee Credit Card
- GIC Interest Rate
- Low Bank Fees
- Ease of Use and Customer Service
- Mobile App
- Account Options
Simplii Financial Review Summary:
Simplii Financial is the online only branch of CIBC. Their offerings include chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and more, with lower (or no) fees. CIBC customers who want to stay with their parent bank can save money and hassle by switching to Simplii Financial.
While Simplii’s fees are low like other Canadian online banks they fall short in some other areas. They especially struggle with the quality of customer service. That being said, the online banking world is always changing, and it wouldn’t take too many improvements to make Simplii a stronger contender for everyone, not just CIBC account holders.
In our Simplii Financial review, we’ll take a deep dive into this online bank, including its product offerings, interest rates, fees, mobile and web app features, and more.
- Wide variety of banking options
- Very convenient if you are already with CIBC
- Excellent bonus and teaser rates
- Low fees all around
- Credit card doesn’t stack up to Tangerine’s offerings
- Interest rate for savings much lower than EQ
- Mobile app isn’t the best
- Customer service must be improved
If you prefer to do all your banking from the comfort of your home and don’t mind not having access to face-to-face help if required, then a bank that offers high interest savings accounts is a good choice for you. But not all online banks are created equal.
Simplii Financial (as it has been known since 2017) has been around for a number of years, but how does it stack up to other online banks like EQ and Tangerine? In this Simplii Financial review, we are sharing our take on this online bank in terms of products, safety, and reputation so you can better determine if it’s the best online banking option for you.
What is Simplii Financial?
The name Simplii Financial is relatively new to Canada’s banking scene, but this company has actually been around for longer than you think.
For over two decades, Simplii Financial was known as PC Financial. However, when CIBC’s partnership with Loblaws ended in 2017, CIBC took full control of their online bank and rebranded to Simplii Financial.
While the bank has made improvements since the initial years of its rebrand, customer service still leaves a lot to be desired. Considering you can’t visit a branch to solve your issues, this can be a big problem. As time goes on, hopefully Simplii will commit to improving in this area as well.
Simplii Financial Products & Services
Simplii Financial bank offers several different products. However, for the purpose of this Simplii review, I’m going to focus on the main three: their chequing account, high interest savings account, and credit card.
Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing Account
The no-fee chequing account is one of the most popular products offered by Simplii Financial bank. There is no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement.
Simplii’s free daily banking, includes unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals, and you can send money for free via Interac e-transfer. Clients also have access to more than 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada. Overall, it’s similar to what Tangerine offers, but without some of Tangerine’s bells and whistles.
Right now, until February 29, 2024, new clients can take advantage of a special offer which allows you to earn up to $400 in bonus money. All you have to do is open a no-fee chequing account and set up a payroll or pension direct deposit of $100+ for three months straight.
Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account
Simplii bank also offers a high interest savings account (HISA) which has decent rates compared to some big banks, but they’re low in comparison to industry leaders like EQ.
Occasionally Simplii offers promotional rates to those looking to open a high interest savings account. The current teaser rate stands at 6% for the first 5 months, and applies to any new account created. However, right now Simplii’s base rate is only 0.40% interest on your daily balance.
Obviously this is a far cry from EQ Bank’s 3% interest rate, but it’s more than its previous .10%!
The benefits of the Simplii Financial HISA are:
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly or transaction fees
- Easy to set up automatic deposits
Simplii Financial Credit Card
Simplii Financial has a cash back credit card with a decent earn back rate and zero annual fees.
New clients who apply online or over the phone will receive 10% bonus cash back at restaurants and bars (up to $500 spend) during the first four months of card membership. As another added bonus, Simplii offers a free $50 digital gift card for SkiptheDishes with your first dining or delivery purchase of $50 or more.
After the welcome period, cardholders will earn 4% cash back at eligible restaurants, bars, and coffee shops (maximum spend $5,000/year) and 1.5% cash back on grocery, gas, and pharmacy purchases (up to $15,000/year). All other purchases will earn 0.50%. The card also comes with free purchase security and extended warranty insurance.
While the fact that Simplii has a credit card offer puts them ahead of EQ Bank (which doesn’t), it simply doesn’t match up to the #1-rated credit card that Tangerine brings to the table.
Other Simplii Products
Other products offered by Simplii Financial bank include the following:
- Borrowing (personal loans and lines of credit)
- Investments (including GICs, TFSAs and RRSPs)
- Global money transfers and foreign cash service
Simplii Financial Fees
Simplii Financial is known for its no-fee chequing and savings account, as well as their no-fee credit card. However, there are a few services and products that do have fees. These include the following:
- Foreign currency conversion: 2.5%
- TFSA or RRSP account transfer: $50 per transfer
- Inactivity fee: $20 per year
- Non CIBC ATM withdrawal: $1.50 (Canada) or $3.00+ (foreign)
- Overdraft fee: minimum $4.97
- Money order and bank drafts: $7.50
- Stop payments: $10-$16
- Stop Interac e-transfer: $3.50
- NSF fees: $45
Simplii Financial Customer Service
Customer service is a big downfall for Simplii Financial. Clients who used them back when they were still PC Financial were more than happy with their services. However, even years later we still hear regular complaints about how the quality of customer service has gone downhill since the rebrand.
Common types of complaints include delays in credit cards, errors made on accounts, difficulty getting a hold of customer representatives, etc. This puts Simplii Financial at a disadvantage compared to Tangerine, which is renowned for its customer service. If we could pick one area that Simplii really needs to work on, it would be this one.
Simplii Financial Mobile App Review
While Simplii’s customer service may be lacking, their app does get the job done. Currently the app has a 3.8 rating on the Google Play store with over 13k reviews, and a 4.1 rating with over 9k reviews on the App Store.
The mobile app allows users to transfer funds, check balances, send money abroad (with no fees although exchange rates apply), and more.
The apps functionality is basic, but easy to navigate, so users will have no trouble completing the transactions available. At times, there have been reported bugs and lags, but it seems those issues are addressed in a relatively quick manner.
Simplii’s digital platforms offer end-to-end encryption, so your account will be kept safe.
Long story short, Simplii’s app works, but it’s not as highly rated as Tangerine’s banking app on either iOS or Android, and EQ Bank’s Apple App Store ratings leave it in the dust. You won’t find any cutting-edge technology here.
Simplii Financial Review: FAQ
Simplii Financial Review Final Thoughts
Online banking is easy, convenient, and very cost-effective. As you’ve discovered in our Simplii Financial review, this particular online bank offers many of the same products you would find in a traditional brick and mortar bank. Its mobile app isn’t groundbreaking, but it makes it relatively easy to complete your banking tasks on the go, and its promotional offers and GIC rates are decent at the moment.
That being said, the rates and the customer service could certainly be improved. Considering that it’s connected to a major bank, it’s a bit surprising that Simplii is still lacking in these areas.
Our most highly recommended online banks, EQ Bank and Tangerine, still outpace Simplii in every area. Unless you’re determined to stick with a CIBC-affiliated bank, there are better options than Simplii Financial.