Simplii Financial Review

Simplii Financial Review
  • Promotions
  • High Interest Savings Rate
  • No Fee Credit Card
  • GIC Interest Rate
  • Low Bank Fees
  • Ease of Use and Customer Service
  • Mobile App
  • Account Options
3.7

Simplii Financial Review Summary:

Simplii Financial is the online only branch of CIBC. So, if you are already a CIBC customer, it will be easy and convenient for you to maintain a Simplii Financial account. Just because it’s an online bank doesn’t mean it’s limited in its product offerings. Simplii offers high interest savings accounts, chequing accounts, GICs, mortgages and more.

Like other Canadian online banks, its fees are low, which is a good thing. Unfortunately this means sometimes things like the quality of customer service is compromised, which is a bad thing. That being said, Simplii is still relatively new and has made solid improvements before it first launched.

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.

Pros

  • Wide variety of banking options
  • Very convenient if you are already with CIBC
  • Excellent bonus and teaser rates
  • Low fees all around

Cons

  • Not the best at any particular area
  • Interest rate for savings and GIC much lower than EQ
  • Platform isn’t user friendly or easy to use
  • Customer service must be improved

If you are someone who prefers to do all their banking from the comfort of their home and doesn’t mind not being able to deal with face-to-face help if required, then online banking and high interest savings accounts are a good choice for you.

Simplii Financial (as it has been known since 2017) has been around for a number of years. 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.

Simplii Financial used to be PC Financial when CIBC and Loblaws were in a partnership together. However, after more than 20 years that partnership ended in 2017 and CIBC took full control of their online bank and rebranded to Simplii Financial as we know it today. 

While the bank has made improvements since the initial years of its rebrand, such as offering attractive interest rates, 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 3: 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. Free daily banking, which includes unlimited debit purchases, bill payments, and withdrawals, and you can send money for free via Interac e-transfer. Clients will also have access to more than 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada.  Overally, it’s similar to what Tangerine offers, but without some of Tangerine’s bells and whistles.

Right now, until October 31, 2022, new clients can take advantage of a special offer which allows you to earn up to $350 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.

You can add an additional $50 bonus if you open a high interest savings account as well (more on that below) then transfer and keep a minimum of $50/month for three months from your no fee chequing account to your savings account. 

Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account

As mentioned above, Simplii bank also offers a high interest savings account (HISA).

Occasionally they offer promotional rates to those looking to open an account although right now the Simplii rate is 0.40% interest on your daily balance. The current teaser rate stands at 5% and applies to any new account created between October 31st 2022 and January 31st 2023.

Obviously this is a far cry from EQ Bank’s 2.5% 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, they offer a lower 9.99% APR for purchases made during the first 6 months.

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% and the card also comes with free purchase security and extended warranty insurance. 

While Simplii’s credit card offer compares favourably to EQ’s non-offering, 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:

  •     Mortgages
  •     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

When it comes to customer service, this area seems to be a big downfall for Simplii Financial. Clients who used them back when they were still PC Financial were more than happy with their services, but there are a lot of comments and reviews about how, since the changeover, the quality of customer service is severely lacking.

Common types of complaints include delays in credit cards, errors made on accounts, difficulty getting a hold of customer representatives, etc. 

The overall take on Simplii Financial customer service is very different from that of Tangerine, which is renowned for its customer service.  This extends to the use of their mobile app, where Tangerine ranks much higher than Simplii in both the Apple Store and Google Play.

Simplii Financial Mobile App Review

What Simplii lacks in customer service, it makes up for in the quality of its mobile app. Currently the app has a 3.8 rating on the Google Play store with over 10k reviews, and a 4.1 rating with nearly 6.5k 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.

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 makes it easy to complete your banking tasks on the go and its savings and GIC rates are decent at the moment.

With all of that in mind, 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, definitely give Simplii Financial a run for its money. 

Kornel

Kornel Szrejber is the host of the Build Wealth Canada Show, and has been featured for paying off his mortgage in only 6 years while still in his 20s, and becoming one of Canada’s youngest retirees at the age of 32. He now runs a top personal finance and investing podcast created specifically for Canadians, as well as Canada’s largest personal finance and investing conference. There he interviews the top personal finance experts to share their best practices, tips and tactics when it comes to investing and financial planning in Canada.
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Angie
1 year ago

Agree with Kirt! Don’t waste your time with them, go with Tangerine! They are free and very professionnal at the opposite of Simplii that will charge for everything after you sign up with them!! And their customer services is a big joke! so unprofesionnal and awful to deal with !!

Phil
2 years ago

In the Simplii Financial Credit Card section, it should also mention “pre-authorized payments” as one of the 1.5% categories. It’s nice knowing that I’ll get back some of my overpriced internet and cell phone bills at the end of the year.

Terry Greenwood
2 years ago

I’ve been with simplii for years and am more than happy with them I love the free e transfer, i do admit when calling their customer service the wait times to get a person on the line can be ridicules, but since I rarely need to call them I can live with it.

Kirt
2 years ago

I would not recommend Tangerine. actually flipped over to them for a couple of years, had enough of their “borrowing rules” and brushing a guy like me off.

Simplii has more than helped me. And I’m glad I went back to them.