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EQ Bank vs. Simplii Financial | 2024 Comparison


Fact Checked

EQ Bank and Simplii Financial are online-only banks in Canada. Both financial institutions offer personal accounts, including savings and investments in registered and non-registered accounts.

If you are looking to cut your banking fees and earn a reasonable interest rate on your savings, a digital bank or credit union appears to be your best bet these days.

That said, digital banks pose their own challenges.

This EQ Bank and Simplii comparison covers their features, benefits, downsides, rates, and fees.

How EQ Bank Works

EQ Bank is the direct banking arm of Equitable Bank, a Schedule I Bank with over $63 billion in assets under management.

Its financial products lineup includes:

1. Personal Account: This high-interest savings account offers a 4.00% interest rate on every dollar. Compared to the 0.01% to 1.90% rate offered by many big banks, you earn up to 250x more with the EQ Bank Personal Account.

This hybrid account includes:

  • No monthly account fees
  • Free and unlimited debits and bill payments
  • Free Interac e-Transfers
  • CDIC protection up to $100,000 per insured category, per depositor
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • Free mobile-cheque deposits

2. EQ Bank Notice Savings Account: If you want to earn a higher interest rate without locking in your funds in a 1-year GIC, the Notice Savings account could be for you. This account pays 4.50% or 5.00% interest, depending on whether you choose a 10- or 30-day notice period for withdrawals. It has no minimum balance and no monthly fees.

3. Guaranteed GICs: You can use a GIC to save for short- and long-term goals. EQ Bank’s GICs have terms ranging from 3 months to 10 years and offer competitive interest rates.

The minimum deposit in a GIC account is $100.

4. TFSA and RRSP Accounts: EQ Bank clients can save or invest using a TFSA or RSP account and enjoy tax-free or tax-deferred returns.

Here’s a review of EQ Bank’s TFSA.

5. International Money Transfer: You can send money abroad directly from your EQ Bank Account. The service is up to 8 times cheaper than what you’d pay at a Big-5 bank and is offered in partnership with Wise.


How Simplii Financial Works

Simplii Financial is a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). It was established in 2017 and has almost 2 million customers.

Simplii accounts include:

1. Chequing Account: This no-fee chequing account pays interest on your balance and has no monthly fees. It supports unlimited free debit purchases, bill payments, and free access to 3,400+ CIBC ATMs across Canada. For a limited time, you can also get a $400 cash bonus when you open an account and meet the requirements.

2. Savings Account: This account pays a regular rate that starts at 0.40%, supports automatic savings, and has no minimum balance. A higher promotional interest rate offer is available now and then.

3. Credit Card: The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card is one of the best no-fee cash back credit cards in Canada.

It offers:

  • 4% cash back on restaurant, bar, and coffee shop purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, and pre-authorized payments
  • 0.5% cash back on everything else

To qualify for this card, you need a minimum annual personal/household income of $15,000 which is a low barrier.

4. Investment: Simplii customers can invest in registered (TFSA or RRSP) and non-registered plans using its savings or GIC products.

5. Personal Loans and Mortgages: You can apply for a personal loan, secured line of credit, or mortgage loan.


EQ Bank vs. Simplii Breakdown

Savings Interest: EQ Bank offers a much higher interest rate on its savings account, up to 5.00% vs. the 0.40% offered by Simplii if you have a small balance. Using simple interest, if you deposit $1,000 in your EQ Bank account, you will earn approximately $50 after a year. For Simplii, your return is $4.

Chequing Account: EQ Bank Personal Account is a hybrid account that supports mobile cheque deposits, free bill payments, transfers, and Interac e-Transfers. It also offers a Mastercard that offers free ATM withdrawals across Canada. It does not provide paper cheques.

Simplii Financials’ chequing account offers traditional cheques if you still use them. Also, its customers can access CIBC’s ATMs for free.

Are they Safe? Both EQ Bank and Simplii are owned by CDIC-member institutions. This means your deposits are eligible for insurance against insolvency up to $100,000 (should either firm become bankrupt).

Fees: EQ Bank and Simplii have no-fee savings accounts. Service fees that may apply to a Simplii chequing account include stop payments, overdraft fees, NSF fees, drafts, and non-CIBC ATM withdrawals.

Customer Support: EQ Bank’s customer support is available by chat and phone 7 days a week (8am-midnight ET). Simplii’s phone support is available 24/7, while chat is 7am – 12am ET (Monday to Friday) and 9am – 6pm ET (weekends and holidays).

Referral Program: Simplii Financial has a referral program that pays you $50 per referral with no limits. You can refer friends and family using your EQ Bank referral link and earn up to $500 in total rewards. Your friends get $20 each.

 EQ BankSimplii
Monthly account fee$0$0
HISA rateUp to 5.00%0.40% to 5.5% tiered regular
Free transactionsUnlimited debits, bill payments, and Interac e-Transfers (for Personal Account)Unlimited debits and bill payments
Free Interac e-TransfersYes (for Personal Account)Yes
CDIC insuranceYesYes
Learn moreVisit EQ BankVisit Simplii

Related: Best Canadian Online Banks.

Top Banking Offers for July

Get the TOP spending and savings account with 5% rewards and $20 bonus

Instant approval and a $20 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cashback on purchases while paying no fees!*

Earn 5.00% interest on your entire account balance.

Free debits, e-Transfers, bill payments, budgeting app, and access to credit building.

Earn a regular 5.00% interest on your savings account

Earn up to 5.00% interest on every dollar when you set up a 30-day notice.

Free access to a hybrid account with unlimited transactions & e-transfers.

Access to a prepaid card that pays 0.5% cashback on all purchases.

No monthly or annual account fees; free ATMs in Canada.

Stop paying monthly fees with a free chequing account + $400 bonus

Get $400 cash bonus when you direct deposit $100 for three months.

Unlimited debits, online bill payments and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly account or transaction fees.

Get a high interest rate on your savings (6.00% interest rate offer).


Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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2 thoughts on “EQ Bank vs. Simplii Financial | 2024 Comparison”

  1. Gravatar for Jeffrey

    You messed up the math for how much you’ll make a year with eq Banks rate $10,000 at 1.25% would be about $125 a year not $12.50 and it’s apy so slightly more as it compounds monthly

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jeffrey: Yes, that should read $1,000 and not $10K. Yes, for the APY, but the idea is to keep things simple. Cheers.

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