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A Simplii Financial Review for 2022

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Modern times call for modern solutions. That’s why digital banks like Simplii Financial have become commonplace among Canadians.

In this review of Simplii Financial, WealthRocket takes a deep dive into one of Canada’s most popular and reputable online banks while seeking answers to why many Canadians love banking with Simplii Financial. We’ll also provide a summary detailing the financial institution, its products, services, and more.

Simplii Financial Review: Overview, Products, Fees, and More

Simplii Financial is an exceptional online banking service. While it comes with a few deficiencies that might not make it one of the best banking options for everyone, it is ideal for those who have minimal banking and investing needs.

Let’s take a look at Simplii Financial below.

Simplii Financial: Overview

Simplii Financial is an online bank, which means it does not have any physical branches. As a Simplii Financial customer, you’ll have to do all of your business via online or telephone banking.

It is, however, just as legitimate as any major players in Canada’s financial landscape. Simplii Financial is a Schedule 1 Bank and insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). However, Simplii Financial is not available in Quebec.

There’s no shortage of exciting personal finance products available to Canadians through Simplii, which currently offers:

  • The Simplii Financial Chequing Account
  • Simplii Financial Registered and Non-Registered Savings Accounts
  • Simplii Financial Mutual Funds
  • Simplii Financial GICs
  • The Simplii Financial Visa Credit Card
  • Simplii Financial Mortgages

Finally, Simplii Financial has earned critical acclaim from Forbes magazine, which named it one of the World’s Best Banks in 2020.

Simplii Financial: Chequing Account

Simplii Financial‘s No-Fee Chequing Account is everything it says it is: a no-fee chequing account. This product offers unlimited, no-fee banking transactions, including bill payments, cash withdrawals, deposits, and Interac e-transfers.

That’s right! There are no monthly fees, minimum balances, or transaction limits when using this account. The account also comes with a free debit card and chequebook.

Furthermore, direct deposit and mobile cheque deposit is available via Simplii’s incredible mobile banking app, compatible with Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay.

Since Simplii Financial does not have physical branches, customers can access, deposit, and withdraw cash or cheques using over 1,000 CIBC ATMs across Canada.

Customer service is available via telephone and online options. So, if you have an issue, it will likely get resolved from the comfort of your own home.

Simplii Financial: Savings Accounts

Simplii Financial offers four types of registered and non-registered savings accounts.

Registered savings accounts offered by Simplii include:

  • Simplii Financial Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

Non-registered account options offered include:

  • Simplii Financial Savings Account
  • Simplii Financial High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)

Simplii Financial grants unlimited withdrawals and deposits from its TFSA, high-interest savings account, and traditional savings account.

Simplii Financial currently offers an interest rate of 0.10%* on all savings accounts. However, there is a promotional rate of 1.50%* until October 31, 2021.

*Rates current as of August 2021

Simplii Financial: Cash Back Visa

Simplii Financial offers one of the best credit cards in Canada for those who frequent restaurants and bars or those making daily purchases.

The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa offers a cashback program that’s pretty accessible for all types of spenders. The credit card offers 0.5%* cashback on all purchases, 1.5%* on gas, drugstores, and supermarket purchases, and 4%* cash back on purchases at restaurants and bars.

The annual percentage yield (APR) for this credit card currently sits at 19.99%*.

*Rates current as of August 2021

Simplii Financial: Investments

As a no-frills bank, Simplii Financial does not have the most colorful options when it comes to its investing products.

Currently, the bank only offers two investing options, including:

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
  • Mutual Funds

You can learn more about these investing options below.

  • Simplii Financial: Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). Simplii Financial offers non-registered and registered GICs. Registered GICs include TFSA GICs and RRSP GICs, along with traditional non-registered GICs.

Simplii offers GICs with terms ranging from one year to five years in length, with automatic renewability options available. The digital bank also provides GIC laddering as an investment option.

Simplii Financial’s GIC rates range from 0.49%* to 1.50%*. These rates are quite low for such a time-sensitive investment. Chances are, you’ll find better GIC rates from a bank like EQ Bank. Learn more in our EQ Bank review.

*Rates current as of August 2021

  • Simplii Financial: Mutual Funds

Simplii Financial offers Mutual Funds exclusively available in registered accounts, such as TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, and RESP account options.

There is quite the selection of portfolios. Simplii Financial Mutual Funds can choose between seven risk profiles on their index-fund portfolios, including:

  • Conservative: Conservative Income, Income, Income Plus
  • Balanced: Balanced, Balanced Growth
  • Growth: Growth, Aggressive Growth

Mutual funds with Simplii Financial require a minimum investment of $25, and cost a Management Expense Ratio (MER) that ranges from 0.95%* to 1.12%*.

*Rates current as of August 2021

Simplli Financial: Mortgages

Simplii Financial has recently introduced mortgage borrowing options that range from 2-year terms to 5-year terms.

Simplii Financial mortgages are available at a fixed-rate or variable rate, with the latter only available in a five-year term.

Rates range from 1.34%* to 2.24%*.

*Rates current as of August 2021

What is Simplii Financial?

Simplii Financial is the direct-to-consumer banking division of CIBC. It is a digital bank that operates exclusively online and is one of Canada’s most popular online-only banks.

The online bank was born in 2017, following the end of a business relationship between President’s Choice Financial and CIBC. It was formerly known as President’s Choice Financial, but today has rebranded as the PC Money Account.

Simplii Financial works exactly like any other bank, with the exception that no physical branches exist. All banking happens online, via mobile app, or through telephone customer service.

Additionally, Simplii Financial is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Funds in a Simplii chequing and savings accounts, or GICs, are protected by insurance for balances up to $100,000. This insurance is included and comes at no additional cost to the customer.

How Does Simplii Financial Work?

Accounts and products offered by Simplii Financial work like any other commodity offered by a financial institution, without restrictions or hidden fees.

Customers can sign-up for products online or via telephone, and manage their accounts through the Simplii Financial mobile app or their website. Because there are no physical locations, this allows the digital bank to provide cost-free banking.

Simplii Financial Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No fees: Simplii Financial does not charge any fees for its daily banking products. That means chequing and savings accounts come with no usage fees.
  • Wide variety of products: For people looking to keep all of their finances with one institution, Simplii Financial is a catch-all for saving and investing options. People who use Simplii can keep all of their investments under one hood, making it easier to measure progress, pay bills, transfer funds and much more.
  • Low-interest rates for borrowing: Simplii offers some of the lowest interest rates in Canada for their mortgage, credit card, and mutual funds.

Cons

  • No physical branches: Depending on your personal needs, no physical branches are available through Simplii. This factor hardly acts as a deterrent for many tech-savvy customers, but should still be considered if you value in-person banking.
  • Low-interest rates: While Simplii Financial offers low borrowing interest rates, it doesn't pay the best interest rates for its registered and non-registered savings accounts.

Our Final Thoughts

I have been a Simplii Financial customer for over eight years. I have no complaints about using their banking services.

Since Simplii Financial is a free bank account, I have saved almost $1,500 on banking services and fees. I have also received free chequebooks and bank drafts at my request.

I also really value being able to use CIBC ATMs at no cost and find their mobile app a cut above the rest.

That said, I only really use Simplii Financial to receive payments and make bill payments. All of my investing needs are met by EQ Bank or Wealthsimple, as they provide better products that perform better.

All in all, I highly recommend Simplii Financial.

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