Paying too much in interest fees is a surefire way to land yourself in financial trouble. We’ll discuss whether or not this card is the answer to that problem in this CIBC Select Visa Card review.
Enjoy low interest on new balances and 0% interest on balance transfers for your first 10 months.
|You Are Interested If||You feel you spend too much on interest charges on your credit cards and want to change that.|
|Brief Description||The CIBC Select Visa Card is a low-interest credit card option that could save you a lot of money if you’re prone to carrying a balance on your card.|
|Main Requirements||While you’ll be able to get this card with just a small monthly income and fair credit, you should also be willing to pay the modest annual fee involved.|
|Card Type||This is a low-interest card that also enables cost-effective balance transfers.|
Fees and Interest
|Purchase Interest Rate||Purchases on this card will normally be charged 13.99% interest.|
|Cash Advance||Cash advances also incur 13.99% interest.|
|Balance Transfer||Outside of the introductory period, balance transfers are also charged 13.99% interest.|
|Income Requirements||It takes just $15,000 in income to qualify for this card.|
|Household Income Requirements||The $15,000 requirement can be made up on a household basis in this case.|
|Annual Fee||There is a $29 fee you have to pay each year to get this card.|
|Welcome Bonus||When you first apply for this card, you’ll get the chance to make a balance transfer that will accrue 0% interest for up to 10 months.|
|How To Earn Points||This is not a card with a reward system, so there are no points to earn.|
|Benefits||This card comes with $100,000 of Common Carrier Accident Insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.|
About CIBC Select Visa Card
The interest rates on this card are the first thing we will cover in this CIBC Select Visa Card review. This is CIBC’s low-interest credit card option, and it fills that role reasonably well. The 13.99% interest that this card charges on all types of balances is undeniably lower than the 19.99%-22.99% that most other cards will charge you. If you carry a $1,000 balance on this card instead of one that uses the typical 19.99% interest rate, you’ll save about $166 over the course of a year after factoring in compounding interest.
Your chances to save don’t end there, though. If you happen to have an existing balance on another card, you can transfer that balance to this card instead and pay an incredible 0% interest on it for 10 months. This offer is conditional on you making your regular payments on time, so it’s important that you exhibit good behaviour if you want to take advantage of this possibility. You must also initiate your balance transfer immediately upon applying for this card in order to take advantage of this offer – don’t forget to fill out that part of your paperwork before submitting it or you’ll miss out.
The fact that this is not a free card is somewhat unusual given that it is by definition targeted at people without much money to spare. Having to pay that fee subtracts from the total financial benefit this card can give you, and although it’s not incredibly high, that does sting a little. The primary purpose of this card is to save you money, after all. This is especially unpleasant considering that this card doesn’t actually allow you to save that much to begin with. There are many other low-interest cards available from other Canadian providers, and the rates on many of them are lower than what this card can offer – sometimes by a large margin.
Another expected but somewhat disappointing part of this CIBC Select Visa Card review is the sparse collection of benefits being offered here. The purchase protection and extended warranty coverage that almost every credit card includes is still here, but other than that, the only benefit you’ll receive is $100,000 of Common Carrier Accident Insurance. This coverage only kicks in if you or your other dependents are killed or dismembered on a public transit vehicle, which obviously doesn’t happen very often. You can also buy some additional insurance coverage, namely Emergency Travel Medical Insurance and CIBC Payment Protector Insurance. Both of these are more useful, but since they don’t come free, they can’t be counted as upsides to this card.
The CIBC Select Visa Card is a middling offering on Canada’s low-interest credit card market. It’s a decent card, particularly if you also consider the 0% interest balance transfer offer. However, it doesn’t have anything unique or particularly good to recommend it over other cards.
CIBC first began in 1961 as an amalgamation of two of Canada’s largest banks at the time, and they have only grown in influence from there. For such an established pillar of financial power, they have a surprisingly rich history of innovation. They were the first chartered bank in Canada to develop a smartphone app for their customers’ use, as well as the first to introduce Visa debit cards to the Canadian market. Most recently, they launched the direct banking subsidiary Simplii Financial, a new style of bank providing online-only services to Canadians for lower fees. They are also a proud partner of the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus.
What We Think
The one thing we keep coming back to in this CIBC Select Visa Card review is that while this card is technically beneficial if you want to save on interest fees, it just isn’t the best option to fulfill those needs. You can get other cards with lower interest rates fairly easily, and many of them are free on top of that. This option might be good for you if you find you can’t get any of those other cards, but unless you’ve already struck out on those other applications, you should set your sights on something better for the time being.