A Scotiabank vs. CIBC Comparison for 2021

A Scotiabank vs. CIBC Comparison for 2021

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If you're shopping for a new bank, two of the options on your list are probably Scotiabank and CIBC. These two major Canadian banks have both been around for generations and both offer a large variety of banking services. On the surface they look similar, but how do they compare? Let's take a closer look at this comparison Scotiabank vs. CIBC.

Table of Contents

Scotiabank vs. CIBC: Overview

Scotiabank and CIBC are two of the most reputable banks in Canada. They're also among the world's largest banks. Get a glimpse of these massive banking institutions and what they have to offer Canadians in the section below.

Scotiabank: Overview

Scotiabank is one of the "Big Five" Canadian banks and has more than 900 branches across the country. Customers trust Scotiabank for chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, and investing.

When you need cash in a hurry, you can access one of Scotia banks 3,500 ABMs. and if you're going to a hockey game, their name is probably on the building. It also owns Tangerine Bank, a direct-to-consumer online bank.

To learn more, check out:

CIBC: Overview

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, or CIBC for short, is another of Canada's largest banks with 44,000 employees that serve 10 million clients around the world. CIBC offers everyday banking products like chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment products at its 1,100 branches and online. It also owns Simplii Financial, an online bank with no monthly fees or restrictions.

Scotiabank vs. CIBC: Products

Two major banks like Scotiabank and CIBC come with no shortage of exciting banking products. Learn more about what products they have to offer below.

Scotiabank: Products

Scotiabank offers a full suite of personal banking products, as you would expect from a large bank.

Scotiabank clients can choose from a variety of chequing and savings accounts, apply for one of the bank's 16 different credit cards, and access loans for large purchases as well as revolving lines of credit.

For the future, Scotiabank offers a variety of investment products as well as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).

CIBC: Products

CIBC also offers a competitive product lineup with everything you need for your personal finances.

For daily banking, CIBC has eight chequing accounts to choose from including dedicated options for students and seniors.

For spending, you can choose from CIBC’s 21 credit cards including the very popular CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card.

CIBC offers a variety of mortgages and loan options. And you can save your money with one of CIBC’s registered and non-registered savings accounts, or a full suite of investment products.

The Winner: Products

It’s a tie. CIBC and Scotiabank both offer a full selection of products and services for all of your banking needs.

Scotiabank vs. CIBC: Chequing Accounts

Chequing accounts are a fundamental building block to a strong financial foundation. Learn more about Scotiabank and CIBC's chequing account options below.

Scotiabank: Chequing Accounts

Scotiabank clients can choose between five chequing account offers.

Its entry-level account costs $3.95* per month and includes twelve transactions and free Interac e-Transfers.

For $16.95* per month, you can sign up for the Preferred Package which includes unlimited transactions.

And if you want a premium bank account with all the bells and whistles, the Ultimate Package includes lots of features for $30.95* per month.

Seniors can get a monthly discount of up to $4* off, and all chequing customers can avoid the monthly fee by maintaining a minimum balance.

*Rates current as of September 2021

CIBC: Chequing Accounts

CIBC offers eight chequing accounts, starting with the CIBC Everyday Chequing Account, which includes 12 monthly transactions, but no Interac e-Transfers, for $4* per month.

With a few more features, the CIBC Smart Account includes 12 transactions and Interac e-Transfers for $6.95* per month.

Additional transactions are $1.25* each but capped at a total monthly fee of $16.95*. For unlimited banking, the CIBC Smart Plus Account costs $29.95* per month and adds features like free ATM withdrawals worldwide.

Students can access a free unlimited chequing account and seniors can get a discount of up to $6.95* per month.

*Rates current as of September 2021

The Winner: Chequing Accounts

With more choices, a mid-tier account with flexible fees based on usage, and a better senior discount, CIBC has a slight edge over Scotiabank when it comes to chequing accounts.

Scotiabank vs. CIBC: Savings Accounts

Savings accounts are crucial when it comes to planning a financial future. Let's look at how Scotiabank and CIBC compare when it comes to providing tools for your future.

Scotiabank: Savings Accounts

On the surface Scotiabank’s Momentum Plus Savings Account looks like a great deal, offering up to 1.80%* interest. Take a closer look however and you'll notice that it's not easy to actually get that rate.

In addition to requiring an Ultimate Package chequing account, you’ll also need to avoid making any withdrawals for a full year to get the top interest rate. In reality, Scotiabank savings account customers can expect around 0.20%* to 0.50%* interest, a subpar but fairly standard rate among major banks.

CIBC: Savings Accounts

The CIBC eAdvantage Savings Account is CIBC’s leading offer, with an introductory rate of 1.20%* for the first 120 days. After that, however, you’ll end up with CIBC’s base interest rate of 0.05%* (that’s one-half of a penny per year for every dollar saved).

The Winner: Savings Accounts

Despite its confusing formula, Scotiabank’s Momentum Plus Savings Account offers customers a chance to earn at least some interest. But both banks are far from being the best savings account in Canada.

If you're looking for a better savings account rate, check out Wealth Rocket's EQ Bank review.

Scotiabank vs. CIBC: Credit Cards

Scotiabank and CIBC offer a seemingly endless variety of credit cards. Learn more about their most popular products below.

Scotiabank: Credit Cards

Scotiabank is frequently awarded for having some of the best credit cards in Canada.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, for example, has some of the most generous travel rewards on the market.

If you prefer cashback, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card pays up to 4%* cashback on purchases.

And if you carry a balance, you can get the Scotiabank Value Visa Card with a low interest rate of 12.99%*.

*Rates current as of September 2021

CIBC: Credit Cards

CIBC offers 21 different credit cards with a mix of travel rewards, cashback rewards, low interest, and no-fee options. The low-interest CIBC Select Visa Card charges just 13.99%* interest.

Those who qualify can earn Aventura or Aeroplan points with CIBC’s Visa Infinite cards. And the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card offers 4%* cashback on gas and groceries.

*Rates current as of September 2021

The Winner: Credit Cards

It’s a tie. Both Scotiabank and CIBC offer a range of credit cards with only subtle differences, meaning that while one person might get a better deal from Scotiabank, another might get a better deal from CIBC.

Scotiabank vs. CIBC: Investing Products

If you're looking to make your savings work harder for you, investing is the route to take. Scotiabank and CIBC offer a variety of investing products. Learn more about what they have to offer below.

Scotiabank: Investing Products

Whether you’re saving for retirement with your RRSP or TFSA, passively investing to make your savings grow faster, or actively trading, Scotiabank has you covered.

You can directly purchase investments like mutual funds and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), work with an advisor to build a portfolio, or actively manage your own investments with Scotiabank's popular iTrade platform.

CIBC: Investing Products

CIBC has everything you need to save for your future. You can open an RRSP or TFSA, choose one of their mutual fund “portfolio solutions", or actively trade using the CIBC Investors Edge platform.

You can invest with CIBC online, with an in-branch financial advisor, or with a mobile investment consultant who will come to you.

The Winner: Investing Products

Both banks offer a nearly identical suite of investing products, but CIBC gains a slight edge with the offer of in-person advice without having to go to a branch.

Our Final Thoughts

When comparing CIBC vs. Scotiabank, there’s no clear winner. Both banks offer a very similar product lineup and their best credit card offers are nearly identical.

CIBC offers better chequing account options, while Scotiabank has a better savings account. And while both banks offer a similar set of investments, CIBC’s mobile investment advice is a feature you can’t get from Scotiabank.

Rather than choosing one bank to do all your banking with, consider picking and choosing the best products for you. There’s no reason you can’t have a CIBC chequing account and a Scotiabank savings accounts, and a mortgage with another bank, if you’re getting the best deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Scotiabank and CIBC offer very similar products and services, with a few key differences.

CIBC has a slightly larger network of branches and ABMs than Scotiabank.

CIBC has more selection and better discounts on chequing accounts than Scotiabank. And Scotiabank has a better savings account offer than CIBC.

Scotiabank and CIBC are two of Canada’s largest banks with global operations and billions of dollars in assets under management. Both are members of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which protects your deposits in case the bank becomes insolvent. But that’s unlikely to happen as both banks have AA credit ratings.

Scotiabank and CIBC both offer unlimited global transactions with their top-tier chequing accounts, however, Scotiabank also offers two rewards credit cards with no foreign exchange fees, making it the better choice if you like to travel.

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