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Simplii Financial is an online-only bank owned by CIBC. It was formerly part of President’s Choice Financial, but was rebranded by CIBC when they dissolved their partnership with Loblaws. Loblaws retained control over the PC Financial Mastercard and PC Optimum rewards program, and CIBC kept the banking side of things.
- Simplii Financial credit card
- Simplii Financial bank accounts
- Simplii Financial mortgages
- Simplii Financial borrowing
- Simplii Financial investing
- Simplii Financial other services
- Simplii Financial: FAQ
Simplii Financial credit card
Let’s take a closer look at the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa card.
Simplii Financial credit card benefits
So, what does this cash back credit card have going for it?
No annual fee
One of the few upsides to this credit card is that it doesn’t cost anything to keep in your wallet. And while that is a benefit, the Simplii Financial Visa is only one of many no fee credit cards available.
Low introductory interest rate until Feb 2021
Right now the Simplii Financial Visa is offering a low introductory interest rate of 10.99% on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers until February 2021. If you’re the sort of person to carry a balance on your credit card, this might help save you some interest charges.
Again, however, there are other low fee credit cards available to Canadians, including some with much lower introductory interest rates for balance transfers. There might be a better credit card out there to help you battle any high interest debt you may have lingering on another credit card.
Want an example? The best balance transfer credit card in Canada is the
Want the simplicity of cash back with no annual fee? Here are our top no fee cash back credit cards, reviewed.
Simplii Financial credit card drawbacks
And what downsides should you be aware of?
Lacklustre welcome bonus
Right now the Simplii Cash Back Visa has a welcome bonus of 10% cash back at restaurants and bars for your first 4 months, up to $500 spent. And while the “10%” part sounds impressive, it turns out that, with the spending limit, it’s actually only worth $50.
And, that 10% includes what you would already be earning at restaurants, which is 4%. So, in reality, it’s only $30.
There are other cash back credit cards with significantly better welcome bonuses, with higher spend limits, and more flexible spending choices.
Middling cash back earn rates with low caps
With the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa, you’ll earn:
- 4% on restaurant, bar, and coffee shop purchases (up to $5,000 spent annually),
- 1.5% on gas, groceries, drugstore, and recurring bill payments (up to $15,000 spent combined per year), and
- 0.5% on all other purchases.
Even for a no fee credit card, these aren’t great earn rates. If you’re looking for a cash back card to help maximize how much money you can save, there are many other options available.
Minimal included insurance
While credit card insurance packages are often overlooked, they can actually be incredibly valuable.
The Simplii Financial credit card comes with only 2 types of included insurance: 1 year of extended warranty, and 90 days of purchase protection. Not a whole lot to get excited about.
No other perks and benefits
No fee credit cards usually have minimal added perks and benefits, but they’re not unheard of, and they can also be remarkably valuable.
The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa has none of these, however, putting it at the back of the pack.
5 alternative no fee cash back credit cards to consider
If you’re curious about some of these alternative credit cards, here’s a quick rundown.
|Credit card||Welcome bonus||Annual fee & income requirements||Cash back earn rate||Interested?|
||Earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months. (terms)||* $0
|Earn 1.25% unlimited cash back on all purchases||Apply now|
||Earn 5% cash back for your first 3 months, on up to $2,500 in purchases. (terms)||* $0
* Personal: $15,000
|* 3% cash back on groceries, up to $500 spent per month
* 1% cash back on recurring bill payments, up to $500 spent per month
* 0.5% cash back on all other purchases
* Personal: $12,000
|* 2% cash back in up to 3 categories of your choice
* 0.5% cash back on all other purchases
||Earn up to $200 in bonus rewards after your first purchases with participating retailers. (terms)||* $0
* Personal: $15,000
|* 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases||Apply now|
|* 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases||Apply now|
Simplii Financial cash back Visa: annual cash back earned
All these numbers are well and good, but it can be pretty confusing trying to figure out just how much you’ll earn with which card. Whenever we’re evaluating credit cards, we want more specific and concrete information.
To this end, we’ve created a hypothetical monthly spend for various categories, giving us a much clearer picture of just which credit card will earn the most rewards.
Of course, everyone’s spending habits are going to be a little different. This is just one example.
|Restaurants + food delivery||$150.00|
|Recurring bill payments||$200.00|
And here’s the end result, showing how much each of these no fee cash back credit cards will earn over the course of a year.
|Credit card||Annual cash back|
|SimplyCash™ Card from American Express||$300|
|Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa||$285|
|BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*||$282|
|Home Trust Preferred Visa||$240|
|Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card||$237|
The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa does well in this scenario, but not as well as the
And in addition to its higher rewards earn rate, the SimplyCash Card from American Express also gives you access to American Express Invites and Amex Offers, as well as a slightly better insurance package.
Simplii Financial bank accounts
But Simplii Financial isn’t just about a credit card. They also offer bank accounts, including a no fee chequing account.
Simplii Financial no fee chequing account
The core features offered by the Simplii Financial chequing account are:
- no monthly fee,
- no minimum balance,
- unlimited free debit transactions, bill payments, and withdrawals,
- free Interac e-Transfers, and
- free access to over 3,400 CIBC ATMs across Canada.
Simplii Financial high interest savings account
Simplii Financial also has a high interest savings account where you can earn 0.20% on every dollar, calculated daily and paid into your account monthly.
Like their chequing account, there is no minimum balance required, and no monthly or transaction fees. And while this sounds great, the fact is that there are many other high interest savings accounts with higher interest rates where you’d be better off stashing your money.
Get 2.50% interest for 5 months when opening a new Tangerine Savings Account.
Simplii Financial mortgages
If you’re looking to buy a house or your mortgage is up for renewal, Simplii Financial has some mortgages on offer as well.
There are 5 mortgage options at Simplii Financial:
- high-ratio mortgages,
- fixed-rate mortgages,
- variable-rate mortgages,
- cash back mortgages, and
- convertible mortgages.
A high-ratio mortgage is any mortgage where the total amount loaned is more than 80% of the value of the property. For example, if your down payment is less than 20% of the price of your house, your mortgage is considered “high-ratio” and you will have to buy mortgage default insurance.
Simplii Financial offers only 5 year fixed or variable options for a high-ratio mortgage, with a special rate slightly lower than their regular mortgage rates.
Fixed-rate mortgages lock your mortgage rate in for the entire term, which gives you peace of mind knowing that your mortgage payments won’t go up during that time. On the other hand, they also won’t go down, so you could lose out on some potential savings.
Variable-rate mortgages are a bit more unpredictable, but if interest rates drop, you will save money. If interest rates go up, however, you’ll end up paying more. That’s part of the risk.
Cash back mortgages are just that, a mortgage that has a slightly higher rate, but where the lender pays you a lump sum at the end of your mortgage, based on the cash back rate.
Finally, a convertible mortgage is a short-term mortgage that allows you to convert to a long-term fixed rate at any time.
How do Simplii Financial’s mortgage rates compare?
Mortgage rates tend to fluctuate frequently, but as of this writing, these are the mortgage rates currently advertised on various bank websites.
|Bank||Fixed mortgages||Variable mortgages|
|Simplii Financial||* 2 year – 10 year
* 2.12% – 6.25%
|* 5 year: 1.90%|
|TD||* 1 year – 10 year
* 2.19% – 5.60%
|* 5 year closed: 2.15%
* 5 year open: 3.60%
|RBC||* 1 year – 25 year
* 2.09% – 7.450%
|* 5 year closed: 2.13%
* 5 year open: 4.98%
|CIBC||* 1 year – 10 year
* 2.24% – 6.09%
|* 3 year flex: 2.45%
* 5 year flex: 2.45%
* 5 year open: 4.25%
|BMO||* 1 year – 10 year
* 3.09% – 5.8%
|* 3 year open: 4.15%
* 5 year closed: 2.45%
|Scotiabank||* 1 year – 10 year
* 3.09% – 5.89%
|* 5 year closed: 2.65%
* 5 year open: 5.75%
Simplii’s rates really aren’t anything special, so you might be better off to just talk to your regular bank about what sort of mortgage rates they may be able to offer.
Simplii Financial borrowing
Simplii Financial offers a number of different borrowing products aside from mortgages.
Simplii Financial personal line of credit
A personal line of credit is a flexible borrowing option that gives you access to funds when you need them, and allows you to pay it back as quickly as you like.
Simplii Financial’s personal line of credit acts exactly like a bank account, really, with free unlimited Interac e-Transfers, debit transactions, bill payments, and other transactions.
A personal line of credit will often have a better interest rate than a credit card or other type of high interest debt. This can be a good option for doing your own debt consolidation to get a lower interest rate.
You will have to pay back $50 or 2% of the balance every month, whichever is greater.
Simplii Financial secured line of credit
A secured line of credit is similar to a personal line of credit, only it will generally have a lower interest rate because the account is secured by something of value, such as your house.
Like the personal line of credit, Simplii Financial’s secured line of credit comes with the flexibility of only borrowing however much you need with flexible repayment options. It also comes with free unlimited transactions.
Simplii Financial personal loan
A personal loan is less flexible than a line of credit, in that you simply borrow a certain amount at a particular interest rate, and you repay it over a set period of time.
Personal loans can be a great way to deal with assorted outstanding debts, however, because it allows you to turn them all into a single, predictable monthly payment, usually at a lower interest rate.
Simplii Financial creditor insurance
If you do borrow money from Simplii Financial, you have the option of purchasing Creditor Insurance. You’ll have to pay a small premium for this in addition to your regular loan or line of credit payments, but it protects you in case of job loss, disability, or death.
Simplii Financial borrowing interest rates
Unfortunately, Simplii Financial does not advertise any of its borrowing product interest rates beyond their mortgages. This is disappointing, because it makes it difficult to really evaluate these products in any concrete way.
Simplii Financial investing
The flip side of borrowing? Investing. And Simplii Financial has an array of investing products as well.
Simplii Financial RRSP savings account
This is a registered savings account, similar to their high interest savings account, in that it has no fee, and requires no minimum deposits or balance.
You’ll earn 0.2% on the daily closing balance, which is then paid into your account on a monthly basis. Because it’s an RRSP, you will not pay tax on the accrued interest.
If you’re really interested in saving for retirement, which RRSPs are for, there are other, potentially more lucrative options you might consider. Other banks have savings accounts with higher interest rates, or you could invest in mutual funds or other similar investments.
0.2% return just isn’t that great.
Simplii Financial GICs
Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are a way to get a guaranteed return on an investment over a set number of years.
Some banks offer a wide range of GICs, often with special features that can lead to potentially higher payoff in the end. TD, for example, offers a 5 year “stepper” GIC where the interest rate goes up every year for 5 years. Or their market growth GICs, whose performance is tied to how the market performs over a number of years.
Simplii Financial’s GICs are just the bare minimum of simplicity, with low returns as a result. They’re guaranteed, but their payoff is minimal. At the time of writing, their GIC rates ranged from 0.897% for a 1 year GIC to 1.243% for a 5 year GIC.
Again, there are simple high interest savings accounts available at other banks that have higher interest rates (although those are not guaranteed to stay as high as they are).
Simplii Financial TFSA
Simplii Financial’s TFSA is exactly the same as their RRSP savings account. It gives you a place to stash some money where it can earn tax-free interest. It also has no monthly fees, fixed terms, or minimum deposits.
Simplii Financial mutual fund accounts
Simplii Financial’s mutual fund accounts are closer to real investing, in that when you open an account you select one of a variety of available portfolios, based on your risk tolerance.
Then you simply deposit money into that account, and Simplii Financial’s mutual fund managers take care of the rest. It is higher risk than any of their other options, but mutual funds can earn significantly more money over time.
You can hold your mutual funds in a registered savings plan, as well, such as an RRSP or TFSA, which is a smart way to build your savings for retirement without having to pay taxes on the gains as you go.
Looking to boost your retirement savings? Why not use your cash back rewards?
Simplii Financial banking services
And there’s more. Simplii Financial also offers a couple other banking services to its clients.
Simplii Financial mobile payment
Simplii Financial supports most major digital wallet services, including:
- Apple Pay,
- Google Pay, and
- Samsung Pay.
Digital wallets aren’t a new idea, but it’s a nice option that lets you leave your cards at home if you like. And they’re as secure as your phone, which is a nice thing.
Simplii Financial global money transfer
Simplii Financial also offers an international money transfer service, with no transfer fees or deductions.
You can send money directly from your Simplii bank account to any of over 90 countries around the world, including China, India, the U.K., the Philippines, and the U.S. For the full list, see Simplii’s website.
Simplii Financial foreign cash
And, if you ever need to order foreign currency, Simplii’s got you covered there as well. While you have to be a Simplii client to use this service, they offer competitive exchange rates and charge no extra fees or delivery costs.
With free delivery to the nearest Canada Post office in your area, you can get your money in as few as 1 to 3 days.
The bottom line
And there you have it, a quick overview of what Simplii Financial has to offer.
In terms of a bank there’s not really a lot to get excited about. You can almost certainly find a better cash back credit card, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Their no fee chequing account is a solid choice, but their high interest savings account leaves a lot to be desired.
All in all, Simplii Financial is a generally lacklustre offering backed by one of Canada’s biggest banks.
Simplii Financial: FAQ
Who owns Simplii Financial?
Simplii Financial is owned by the CIBC bank. It was formerly the banking side of President’s Choice Financial, but CIBC and Loblaws dissolved their partnership in 2017. Loblaws retained the PC Financial Mastercard lineup and PC Optimum rewards program, and CIBC kept the rest, rebranding it to Simplii Financial.
Is Simplii Financial President’s Choice?
Simplii Financial was the banking side of President’s Choice Financial until 2017. At that point Loblaws and CIBC dissolved their partnership, and CIBC rebranded the part they retained as Simplii Financial.
What is Simplii bank?
Simplii Financial is an online-only banking service owned by CIBC. It used to be part of President’s Choice Financial until 2017, but was rebranded as Simplii Financial when CIBC and Loblaws dissolved their partnership. Loblaws kept PC Mastercards and the PC Optimum rewards program, and CIBC kept the rest.