CIBC Smart For Students Account Review 2022

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by Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

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An excellent student chequing account like the CIBC Smart for students account can help you save on banking fees while you are attending college or university.

CIBC is not the only bank with a student account. Other banks also like RBC, Scotiabank, BMO, and TD also offer them.

This CIBC Smart for Students account review covers how it works, its benefits, downsides, fees, and alternatives.

CIBC Smart for Students Features

No monthly fee: You don’t pay a monthly account fee.

Unlimited free transactions: Get unlimited transactions including debit purchases, withdrawals, Interac e-Transfer transactions, pre-authorized payments, and bill payments

Free SPC+ membership: You can apply for a free SPC membership and get access to student-specific discounts at over 450 brands (both online and in-store).

Save on gas: You can link your CIBC card with Journie Rewards and save when you purchase gas at participating Ultramar, Fas Gas, and Chevron locations.

Free credit score check: CIBC clients can check their Equifax credit score for free.

Access to online banking: Use the CIBC Mobile Banking App to manage your finances on the go.

Access a credit card: You can apply for a CIBC student credit card and pay no annual fees.

CIBC Student Bank Account Benefits

CIBC is one of the best banks in Canada.

Using your CIBC student account, you can access almost 4,000 ATMs across Canada and 1,100 banking centres.

The CIBC Smart for Students account has no monthly account fees if you are a student who will graduate at age 25 or older.

If you will graduate from post-secondary school before turning 25, you can open a CIBC Smart Start account instead.

If you are a newcomer to Canada, you can take advantage of the benefits offered by a CIBC international student account.

CIBC Student Account Requirements

To qualify for a CIBC Smart for Students account, you must be a Canadian resident and be able to show proof of enrollment at an eligible post-secondary school. If you are an international student, a study permit (IMM 1442) is also required.

The CIBC Smart for Students account is for individuals who expect to graduate at age 25 and up.

To qualify for a CIBC Smart Start account, you must be under age 25 and residing in Canada. You can open this account starting at age 13.

CIBC Smart for Students Fees

This account has no monthly fees to open and maintain. That said, service fees may apply to score transactions

Paper statement$5
Non-CIBC ATM withdrawals in Canada$2
Bank drafts and money orders$9.95
Personalized chequesFee varies depending on style and quantity
Outgoing wire payments$30-$80/payment
Incoming wire payment$15
NSF fees$45 each
Safety deposit box$60-$400/year depending on size
FX fees2.50%

Other fees may also be applicable.

Related: CIBC Void Cheque Sample.

CIBC Smart For Students Account Review

CIBC vs Scotiabank vs. TD vs. RBC Student Accounts

FeaturesCIBC Smart for StudentsRBC Advantage BankingScotiabank Student Banking Advantage PlanTD Student Chequing
Monthly fee$0$0$0$0
Debit transactionsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
e-Transfer transactionsUnlimitedUnlimited (999 cap/month)UnlimitedUnlimited
Non-bank ATM fee in Canada$2 (1 free each month)Free (ATM operator may charge convenience fee)$2 each$2
Foreign ATM fee in the U.S.$3 each$3 each$3 each$3 each
Foreign ATM fee (other countries)$5 each$5 each$5 each$5 each
Other featuresAccess to a free SPC+ membershipUp to $39 rebate on credit card annual feeEarn Scene+ rewards points; $75 welcome bonusNo monthly fee on overdraft protection; earn extra Stars at some Starbucks locations
ReviewLearn moreLearn moreLearn more

CIBC Smart Account for Student Alternatives

Some of the best student bank accounts in Canada include:

Simplii Financial Student Account

The Simplii Financial No Fee Chequing Account offers many ‘premium’ perks and you pay no monthly fees whether or not you are a student.

It includes unlimited free transactions and you can pair it with a savings account and a no-annual-fee credit card.

For a limited time, new Simplii customers get a $350 bonus when they open a chequing account and set up direct deposits for 3 consecutive months.

Scotiabank Student Bank Account

The Scotiabank Student Advantage Plan has no monthly account fee.

It offers unlimited transactions and you can open an account if you are a full-time student at a post-secondary school in Canada or the U.S.

Learn more about what it offers and how to get a welcome bonus.

EQ Bank

You can pair the free EQ Bank Savings Plus Account with any of the other student chequing accounts on this list.

It offers one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada, plus you get access to unlimited debits and Interac e-Transfers.

This online bank also offers guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) for growing your deposits in both registered (TFSA and RRSP) and non-registered accounts.


Best Banking Offers in August 2022

Get a free chequing account and a *$350 cash bonus*

Unlimited free debits and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly account or transaction fees.

$350 cash bonus when you deposit $100 for 3 months.

Earn a high-interest rate on your savings (3% interest rate offer).

No monthly or minimum balance is required.

Earn cash back on purchases & grow your savings ($20 bonus)

Free reloadable prepaid card and budgeting app.

Up to 2% cash back on all purchases and 5% at brand partners.

1.20% savings interest on your entire account balance.

Get 3-day early access to $100 of your paycheque for free.

$20 bonus after using the card for your first purchase (use CASHBACK referral code at signup).

Best no-fee cashback credit card with a $150 bonus

Earn 2% unlimited cash back in three spending categories.

Get a $150 welcome bonus with $1,000 spending in first 2 months.

0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

1.95% low balance transfer rate and insurance coverage benefits.

Earn high interest rates on your savings at 2.25%

Earn up to 225x the interest offered by other banks.

Pay no monthly or annual banking fees.

Combines savings and chequing account features.

Includes unlimited free debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers.

Get access to a no-fee credit card with up to 5% cashback.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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  • Earn up to 225x more than other banks!
  • Get 2.25% interest rate* on every dollar.
  • No monthly fees and unlimited free transactions.
Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
  • Earn up to 225x more than other banks!
  • Get 2.25% interest rate* on every dollar.
  • No monthly fees & unlimited transactions.
Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.