Simplii Financial Review: Best Online Bank in Canada?

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Looking to make the most of your savings in Canada? Consider an online bank. 

Online banks offer higher interest rates than traditional banks due to their lower operational costs. Also, they usually have no minimum balance and low banking fees that make banking affordable.

But which online bank should you choose amidst the increasing number of online banks in the country? 

One of the most popular online banks in Canada is Simplii Financial. This bank offers a variety of banking products ranging from a high-interest savings account, chequing account, USD savings account, cashback Visa card and more.

In this Simplii Financial review, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the bank including how it compares to some of its peers.


What is Simplii Financial?

Simplii Financial is a Canadian online bank and a division of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), one of the 5 Big Banks in Canada.

Simplii is a full-service online bank that provides access to savings, chequing, mortgage, borrowing, investment accounts as well as a Visa credit card.

The bank was founded on November 1, 2017, and has since set itself apart in the Canadian online banking industry, attacking almost 2 million clients. 

Ranked as one of Forbes’ World’s Best Banks in Canada for three consecutive years and 4-category awardee of Ipsos Financial Service Excellence Awards, it is obvious why Simplii is so popular in Canada.


Is Simplii Financial Legit and Safe?

Simplii Financial is legit and safe. This is because the bank offers excellent financial products and services backed by its over 150-year old parent company, CIBC.

CIBC holds your Simplii Financial deposits which are insured by the CDIC up to $100,000 per deposit category. 

In addition, Simplii Financial has an Online Security Guarantee that protects your personal information and account from compromise. 


Simplii Financial Products

As a full-service direct bank of CIBC, Simplii has you covered on all your banking needs. Below is a detailed view of Simplii current products and services.

1. Simplii High-Interest Savings Account

The Simplii High-Interest Savings Account is suitable for people looking for short-term higher earnings on their funds due to its special rates for new clients.

The standard interest rate of the account is 0.10% with a promotional rate of 2.20%. The promotional rate is applicable for up to $1,000,000 deposits.

The special rate on Simplii HISA is a limited time offer that ends by April 30, 2021, with the additional earned interest paid in May 2022 as a lump sum payment.

With no monthly fees, transaction fees, and minimum balance requirements, you can make the most of your savings with the Simplii savings account promotion.

Learn more: Simplii Financial HISA Review

2. Simplii No-Fee Chequing Account

As its name indicates, the Simplii No-fee Chequing Account has no monthly fees, Interac e-Transfer fees, bill payment fees, debit and withdrawal fees.

So if you’re looking for an account that lets you do your day-to-day banking without those pesky fees, the Simplii chequing account may be for you.

Simplii is currently offering a great promotion for the account that pays a bonus of $350 to new clients. Simply sign-up for the chequing account on or before May 31, 2022, and make at least a $100 direct deposit for three months in a row,.

However, you have to wait for five months after opening the chequing account to receive the $350 cash bonus. The following is a breakdown of the 2022 payment schedule:

Month of account openingMonth of receiving the cash bonus
FebruaryJuly
March August
April September
May October 

Like the Simplii savings account, the no-fee chequing account also does not have a minimum balance and it operates like a regular chequing account. 

Learn more: Simplii No-Fee Chequing Account Review

3. Simplii USD Savings Account

The USD savings account is a replica of the Simplii high-interest savings account tailored to individuals looking to save in US dollars. 

Like the Simplii savings account, the USD savings account has an interest of 0.10%. It does not also have a minimum balance, monthly fees, and transaction fees.

The Simplii USD savings account has a low foreign currency conversion rate, making it a great option for Canadians that do a lot of international money transfers.

4. Simplii Cash Back Visa Card

The Simplii Cash Back Visa card is a credit card with competitive cashback on groceries, gas and restaurant spending. 

You will earn a standard 4% cashback on up to $5,000 purchases with the card at restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. 

When you make your first $15,000 purchases with the card on grocery, drugstore and pre-authorized purchases, you will earn 1.5% cash back. 

After the promotion, you will earn 0.5% cashback on every other purchase with the Visa card.

In addition, Simplii offers a promotional cashback of 10% of the first $500 in eligible restaurant, bar and coffee shop purchases with the Simplii Financial Cash Back credit card during your first 4 months. This means you’ll receive up to an extra 6% in cashback – a $30 value.

Besides the promotional cashback, you will also get an introductory APR on purchase of 9.99% during your first six months of card membership. This is way less than Simplii’s 19.99% standard rate on purchases.

In addition, the Visa card has travel medical insurance, Purchase Security and Extended Protection Insurance.

You need to have at least $15,000 in gross household income to qualify for the Simplii Visa card.

Learn more: Simplii Financial Cash Back Review

5. Simplii Borrowing

Simplii has a wide collection of borrowing products ranging from personal loans, secured lines of credit, personal lines of credit and creditor insurance.

As expected, your loan eligibility depends on your card history and other financial information. But to qualify for Simplii personal line of credit, you need to have over $20,000 gross household income with no bankruptcy in the past 7 years.

Depending on your credit history, Simplii can approve you an average of $5,000 personal line of credit with daily interest. 

6. Investment Products

If you’re looking to invest in GICs, mutual funds, TFSA savings account and RRSP savings account, Simplii has some of the best offerings in the market. 

The Simplii™ Invest Mutual Fund Accounts is great for anyone looking to invest in a well-diversified investment portfolio in a hands-off manner. It has 7 different portfolios from income, balanced, growth to aggressive portfolios. 

So irrespective of your risk appetite, there’s probably a portfolio that meets your needs.

 7. Mortgages

If you’re looking to buy, refinance, renew or transfer your mortgage, you should consider the Simplii Mortgages with their competitive mortgage rates. 

You can choose from different types of mortgage terms on Simplii, ranging from variable mortgages and fixed-rate mortgages, and across different terms.

Simplii currently has a mortgage promotion that pays up $3,000 cash back when you get a new mortgage or move your existing loan to the bank.


Does Simplii Have Fees?

Simplii doesn’t have annual fees, Interac e-Transfer fees, ATM fees, bill payment fees, debit purchase and withdrawal fees.

Meaning, you’ll be able to do most of your everyday banking without worrying about fees. However, the bank has the following fees that you can avoid in most cases.

ServiceFee
Foreign currency conversion Variable-rate + 2.5% of the converted amount
Overlimit fee$29
Inactivity feeThe lesser of $10 or the complete current credit balance
Transaction receipt copy fee$5
Statement copy fee$30
Cash advance fee $5 each
Dishonoured payment fee $45 each
Balance transfer/dishonoured convenience cheque fee$45 each

Pros and Cons of Simplii Financial

The following are the pros and cons of Simplii Financial you need to consider before signing up with it. 

Pros

  • High promotional rate: Enjoy a 2.20% competitive promotional interest rate that will boost your earnings as a new client of Simplii. 
  • Freebies: Bank with Simplii without worrying about annual fees, Interac e-Transfer fees, ATM fees, bill payment fees, debit purchase and withdrawal fees. 
  • No minimum balance: Start saving with any amount you have without the pressure of minimum balance. 
  • Full-service bank: Access all your financial needs in one dashboard and save yourself the cost and stress of operating multiple bank accounts.
  • Safety: Bank with peace of mind knowing that you’re dealing with an award-winning bank with CDIC protection. 

Cons

  • Low standard interest: If you’re looking for high-interest savings account for long-term earnings, you have to look elsewhere because Simplii’s standard savings interest rate is way below other high-interest savings accounts in Canada

How Do I Open a Simplii Financial Account?

Opening a Simplii account takes only a few minutes as you can apply online or by phone. 

However, you need to meet the following requirements before you can open a Simplii account:

  • Be a Canadian resident (excluding Quebec)
  • Reach your province/territory age of majority
  • Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) 
  • Have no bankruptcy in the past 7 years (for a personal line of credit)
  • Consent for Simplii to get your credit report
  • Have over $15,000 minimum gross household income for a Visa card application and over $20,000 for a personal line of credit application.

Once you meet the above requirements, you can proceed to open a Simplii account by phone at  1-888-723-8881 or online through the steps below: 

  • Visit the Simplii sign-up page
  • Select your preferred account/product
  • Confirm that you’re a resident of Canada
  • Select the purpose of opening a Simplii account
  • Provide the required information (such as full name, DOB, email, SIN, address, etc.)
  • Verify and login into your Simplii account.

Simplii Financial vs EQ Bank

Key FeatureSimplii FinancialEQ Bank
Saving accounts interest0.10% standard rate and 2.20% promotional rate1.25% standard rate. No promotional rate
Annual fee, Interac e-Transfer and bill payment feesNoneNone
Regular chequing accountYesN/A
USD Savings AccountYesYes
GIC accountYesYes
Mutual fundsYesN/A
Credit card and ATMYesN/A
Deposit protectionCDICCDIC

EQ Bank is one of the top alternatives to Simplii Financial due to having similar products that are competitive.

As the online banking arm of Equitable Bank, EQ Bank is one of the most reliable and best online banks in Canada when it comes to high-interest savings accounts. 

Founded in 2016, EQ Bank offers a 1.25% interest on savings accounts without minimum balance, annual fee, Interac e-Transfer and bill payment fees.

While the EQ Bank savings account doesn’t have a promotional rate, you will earn more with it in the long run than with the Simplii savings account.

Since EQ only supports mobile chequing deposits and bill payments, you have to rely on Simplii Financial if you’re looking for a standard chequing account.  

With no credit card, ATM access, mutual funds, EQ Bank has fewer financial products compared to Simplii Financial’s full suite of banking products and services.

In the end, you can’t make the wrong choice with either of the two online banks so far you choose the one that supports your banking needs.

Preferably, read this Simplii vs EQ Bank comparison for a detailed comparison of how both banks compare. 

Learn more: EQ Bank Review


FAQs on Simplii Financial Review

Is Simplii Financial a good bank?

Simplii Financial is a good bank in terms of its high promotion rate on a savings account, free Interac e-Transfers and bill payment fees. 
Simplii is also a good online bank if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your banking needs such as savings account, chequing account, mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, credit card and investment accounts. 

How secure is Simplii Financial?

Simplii Financial is as secure as any other online bank in Canada. Besides protecting your personal information using industry best practices, your deposits up to $100,000 on Simplii are insured by the CDIC.

Can you deposit a cheque online Simplii?

Yes, you can deposit a cheque online on Simplii using a mobile cheque through the Simplii app available on Google Playstore and App Store.

Does Simplii Financial have an overdraft?

Yes, Simplii no-fee chequing account has overdraft protection with up to a $5,000 limit. However, overdraft interest and fees apply. 


Verdict on Simplii Financial Review

My Simplii Financial review is largely positive. The bank offers a strong line-up of products with competitive features and benefits for Canadians looking for online alternatives to the big banks.

Unfortunately, its standard interest rate on the Simplii High-interest savings account is well below that of many of its peers including EQ Bank.

Nevertheless, Simplii Financial is a worthy alternative to the big banks since you can meet most of your banking needs with one of its products.

Now that you have a better understanding of Simplii Financial and how it compares to its top competitor in Canada. The question is, is Simplii perfect for your needs?

Understanding your banking needs and comparing different online banks will help you make an informed decision. If you need more help, let me know in the comment below.

But if Simplii fills all the boxes of your banking requirements, don’t hesitate to sign-up before the Simplii promotions ends.

Found this Simplii Financial review helpful? Kindly explore our existing blog posts to learn more about other best financial products and services in Canada.

Simplii Financial Review
4.5

Summary

Simplii Financial is a full-service online bank that provides access to savings, chequing, mortgage, borrowing, investment accounts as well as a Visa credit card.

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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