Introducing the Simplii Credit Card

Simplii Financial is an online-only bank that was formerly a subsidiary of PC Financial before being transferred to CIBC, one of the largest banks in Canada. Initially the bank was focused on providing no-fee daily banking services and claimed to be the first direct banking brand in Canada to offer unlimited free Interac e-Transfers to its customers. Simplii Financial followed up its bank account offering with the launch of the Simplii Credit Card in December 2020. The Simplii Credit Card is a cash back credit card with excellent rewards for cardholders and importantly has no annual fee. In the following sections we review the credit card and comparing it to other credit card offerings form financial institutions in Canada.

Key Features of The Simplii Credit Card

The Simplii Credit Card is a Cash Back Visa card that boasts no annual fee, is easy to qualify for and has excellent rewards benefits for cardholders. To qualify cardholders have to surpass an annual income threshold of $15,000 for your household. This is a summary of the card’s key features:

  • Cardholders can earn reward points for using their card on purchases in three ways:
    1. Spending at Restaurant, Bar and Coffee Shops: for eligible locations, you can earn 4% cash back with the Simplii Credit Card up to $5,000 of purchases per year.
    2. Spending on Gas, Groceries, Drugstore Purchases and Pre-Authorized Payments: for eligible purchases in any of these categories, cardholders can earn 1.5% on up to $15,000 of purchases per year.
    3. All Other Purchases: earn 0.5% on all other purchases. This is also the standard rate once you exceed the noted limits on Restaurant, Bar, Coffee Shops, Gas, Groceries, Drugstore Purchases and Pre-Authorized Payments.
  • Welcome Bonus of 10% Cash Back
    • In addition to the 4% cash back on eligible restaurant, bar and coffee shop purchases, new cardholders can receive 6% incremental cash back on purchases.
    • This offer applies to the first 4 months of being a cardholder and has a maximum of $500 of purchases, which represents up to $30 value. Importantly, this offer does not impact the annual spending limit for this category.
  • Introductory Low Interest Rate
    • New cardholders will only get charged 9.99% on purchases they make with the Simplii Credit Card in the first 6 months they have the card.
    • This represents a 50% discount on the interest rate normally charged and importantly only matters if you carry a balance on the card through each statement period.
    • Offer is available to consumers that become new cardholders and qualify for the offer between May 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022.

In addition, with the Simplii Credit Card you can add up to 3 additional cardholders free of charge, and these cardholders can contribute to your rewards spending. Cardholders also receive purchase protection and extended protection insurance with the credit card for items that are fully purchased using the Simplii Credit Card.

Simplii Credit Card Account Fees

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate on Purchases: 19.99%
  • Interest Rate on Cash Advances: 22.99%
  • Interest Rate on Balance Transfers: 22.99%
  • Cost to add an additional user to your account: $0
  • Over the credit limit fee: $29
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 2.5% of the converted amount of the transaction

Comparison vs. Other Credit Cards

One of the standout features of the Simplii Credit Card is the fact that it is a reward card that doesn’t have an annual fee. So its only fair when assessing the credit card to compare it to other options that also have a $0 annual fee:

Simplii Credit Card vs. Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card has no annual fee, currently offers 5,000 bonus points when you spend $750 in the first 3 months of having the card and also allows you to add additional users to the account with no charge. However, the main selling point of the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card in terms of rewards potential, is the ability to accrue 5 reward points for every dollar of spend using the card at Cinplex theatres and This is obviously a restriction that limits your ability to accrue points, especially relatively to the Simplii Credit Card. For this reason we think the Simplii Credit Card is superior to the the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card.

Simplii Credit Card vs. CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

In addition to having no annual fee, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card also charges $0 for each additional card. Currently the credit card offers new cardholders 10,000 Aeroplan points when they make their first purchase – there isn’t a specified amount needed which means you just have to use the card to earn the bonus. CIBC estimates the value of the 10,000 points to be $200. In effect, by just using the card you get $200 of value. In addition, with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card you can earn 1 point for every $1 spent on gas, groceries and with Air Canada. You also earn 2 points for every $3 spend on all other purchases. For consumers that value travel and or plan to travel often, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card is the superior option – this is mainly because of the $200 offer which more than offsets the lower points accrual rate. For consumers that don’t plan to travel as much the Simplii Credit Card is the better option.

Simplii Credit Card vs. BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

The BMO AIR MILES Mastercard has no annual fee and currently offers new cardholders 800 AIR MILES when they spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of opening the credit card which represents a value of $80. Cardholders can earn 3 miles for every $25 spent at AIR MILES Partners and 1 mile for every $25 spent on other items. The list of AIR MILES partners includes the following:

  • Gas Stations – Shell
  • Grocery Stores – Safeway, Sobeys, Metro, Foodland
  • Car Rentals – Budget, Alamo, National
  • Other – Staples, Samsung

As with most credit card decisions regarding reward points, it comes down to whether you believe you’ll be able to spend at a level that maximizes your points accrual. For the point of comparison if you were able to spend $10,000 at AIR MILES Partners each year, then in addition to your welcome points you would accrue 2,000 AIR MILES points or $200 in value. However with the Simplii Credit Card, if you spent $10,000 split evenly across the three points categories, you would accrue $200 in value, and can add on top of that $30 for the welcome bonus. For this reason we think the Simplii Credit Card is the better option for consumers out of the two cards.

Bottom Line: A Great No Fee Credit Card Option

The Simplii Credit Card is a valuable option for consumers seeking a no annual fee credit card with a generous reward scheme. It is also idea for consumers that are heavy users of their credit card for monthly spending, but also disciplined about paying off their balance (or the vast majority of it) each month, as the usage drives the accrual of reward points but carrying large credit card balances results in incurring interest at a high rate.