CIBC Bank Review - Great Savings Account Option
Wondering if CIBC bank could be right for you? We’ve answered the most frequently-asked questions below.
- Local bank
- In-person service
- High-interest savings account
CIBC Bank in the U.S. is part of CIBC, which is based in Toronto. It’s one of the largest banks in Canada, but in the U.S. it has a much smaller presence. Its branches and ATMs are mainly available in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Its United States headquarters are based in Chicago. You can check out this page to find out if there’s a CIBC branch or ATM near you.
In an era when more banks are starting to become online-only or expand their online offerings, CIBC is still focusing on local, in-person service. It has a couple of account options that you don’t have to go into the branch to open. But most if its offerings do need to be opened in person. With those offerings, the current rates aren’t advertised online. So to find them, you’ll need to connect with your local CIBC branch before you go in to apply for an account.
CIBC has a variety of options for its customers, including personal and business checking and savings accounts, health savings accounts, retirement investment options, personal loans, and private wealth management services. In this review, we’ll focus on the main traditional banking products, including checking and savings accounts, as well as the bank’s HSA.
CIBC offers a couple of different checking account options, including:
- iCan Checking: This account doesn’t bear any interest, but it does offer an interesting cash-back program on some debit card purchases. It also offers monthly ATM fee refunds for non-CIBC ATMs, which can be helpful for customers who live outside of the bank’s main target areas.
- myChoice Checking: This interest-bearing checking account offers an interest rate bonus on related accounts and also has monthly ATM fee refunds. The account’s fees and interest rates vary depending on your average daily balance.
- EasyPath Access: This is an account designed to help you get control of your money by avoiding overdrafts and overdraft fees. CIBC Bank will stop transactions that would cause you to overdraw with this account.
Related: 4 Easy Ways to Avoid Overdraft Fees
Savings and Money Market Accounts
Again, CIBC USA has several savings including:
- CIBC Savings: This interest-bearing account has a relatively low minimum balance requirement of $250, and it bears more interest as your account balance increases.
- CIBC Agility Savings: This online-only savings account earns a higher APY at 2.39%. It has no maintenance fees, so it could be a great option if you’re looking for a place to stash your emergency fund. You must deposit at least $1,000 to open an account.
- CIBC Money Market: This account also earns a competitive interest rate and gives unlimited in-person withdrawals. It has a $50 minimum deposit to open an account.
This interest-bearing account gives you an easy way to use your HSA funds if you qualify, so you can make tax-deductible contributions and easily pay for your medical expenses with the account.
CIBC also offers traditional Certificates of Deposit, mortgages and home equity loans and lines of credit, car loans, IRAs, and products for small businesses and commercial operations. These products are available in person at the CIBC branches in the United States.
Finding the actual pricing of CIBC products and their interest rates can take some digging. Pricing is available online, but interest rates are not unless you can also open the account online. If you want up-to-date APYs on non-online-only accounts, you’ll need to call your local bank branch to find them.
However, with some digging, you can find the pricing for their checking and savings products online, including:
- iCan Checking: This account comes with several levels. You can move up through the levels by maintaining a higher daily average balance.
- Everyday: No account maintenance fee. Refunds up to $7 per month in foreign ATM fees.
- Plus: No account maintenance fee. Refunds up to $15 per month in foreign ATM fees. Offers 1% cash back on qualified debit card purchases, up to $10 per month.
- Premium: No account maintenance fee. Refunds up to $50 per month in foreign ATM fees. Offers 1% cash back on qualified debit card purchases, up to $20 per month.
- myChoice Checking: This interest-bearing account also is broken into levels depending on your daily balance and your overall relationship with CIBC, including additional account balances and loan balances. The interest-bearing account may have maintenance fees, including:
- Easy: $15 per month account maintenance fee.
- Everyday: No maintenance fee. Up to $6 per month in foreign ATM fees refunded.
- Plus: No maintenance fee. Up to $12 per month in foreign ATM fees refunded. Additional .05% interest rate bonus on related accounts. No annual fees for new home equity line of credit or overdraft line of credit.
- Premium: No maintenance fee. Up to $25 per month in foreign ATM fees refunded. .08% APY bonus on related accounts. No annual fee for home equity line of credit or overdraft line of credit. One overdraft/NSF fee refund per statement cycle.
- Prestige: No maintenance fee. Up to $50 per month in foreign ATM fees refunded. 1.0% APY bonus on related accounts. No annual fee for new home equity line of credit or overdraft line of credit. One overdraft/NSF fee refund per statement cycle.
- CIBC Savings charges a fee of $3 per quarter if the account balance falls below $250 for any one day in the statement cycle. It also charges $10 per withdrawal transaction if you exceed the limit of six per month.
- CIBC Agility Savings charges no monthly account maintenance fee, and there is no minimum balance.
- CIBC Money Market charges a $15 per month fee if the daily account balance falls below $2,500. It also charges $10 per transaction if withdrawals exceed six in a monthly statement cycle.
Currently, the CIBC Agility Savings account is the only one you can open online. You can apply for this account through CIBC’s website, and it’s a simple application much like any other savings account application. They’ll get your personal information, and also find out how you want to fund the account. Keep in mind that you need a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open this account.
To open any other CIBC USA account, you’ll need to visit a branch in person.
CIBC’s website notes that it obtains information from users online through their forms, and that information is protected using bank-level security and encryption. CIBC doesn’t share its customers information with other companies, and it uses the latest online encryption to protect your online bank account.
CIBC U.S. offers a nice mobile app where you can manage your accounts online. So even if you have to open an account in person, you can do most of your account management online.
If you live near a CIBC branch, you can get great customer service in person, and this is really what the bank is geared towards. You can also access customer service via their toll-free number or online. The website or mobile app is available to do some of your banking, or you can bank via telephone to check your balances, make transfers, etc.
Pros and Cons
- Great high-interest savings account: The Agility account is a great option if you’re looking for a high-interest savings account for an emergency fund or another purpose. At 2.39% APY, it rivals many of our favorite online savings account options.
- Personalized service for locals: If you prefer to do your banking in person at a branch where you know people and you live near a branch, CIBC could be a great option.
- $1,000 minimum deposit for Agility account: Many high-yield online savings accounts do have a minimum deposit, but they’re all over the map. The $1,000 required for the CIBC account is higher than many, but also not as high as some accounts with a lower APY. If you already have your emergency fund built up, this may not be a dealbreaker, but it’s something to be aware of.
- Very limited availability: The Agility account is the only one that’s available solely online, so if you live outside of the very select area where CIBC has branches, you may be out of luck. And if you open accounts there but then move, you’ll likely have to move your banking, as well, since their branches and ATMs aren’t available in most states.
If you’re specifically looking for an online-only savings account with a high-yield, check out our list of the best high-yield online savings accounts right now. We also recommend CIT Bank’s Savings Builder account offering 2.10% APY with $100 minimum opening deposit plus $100 monthly deposit. It’s a great incentive to build up your savings. This is a good option if you’re just getting started and don’t have a bunch of money to open an account with, in spite of the slightly lower APY.
Read more: CIT Savings Builder Review – NEW 2.10% APY
As far as checking accounts go, there are plenty of free options on the market, as well as great online-only checking accounts that have a broader base of free ATMs. If your daily checking account balance will likely be too low to score a fee-free option from CIBC, look elsewhere for an account that you can get with no monthly maintenance fees.
CIBC’s Agility account is a great option for anyone in the U.S. who has at least $1,000 to put into a high-yield online savings account. But its other account options are best for those who live in the general vicinity of a CIBC branch and who prefer in-person banking to online-only options.
CIBC is a great option for local Illinois residents and those who live in surrounding states near a CIBC branch. Their Agility account, the only online-only offering, is also great for anyone from the United States. But watch out for their sometimes-tricky fee structure that depends on your overall relationship with the bank, including your account balances.