CIBC Financial HealthCheck Tips

As part of our commitment to help you achieve your financial goals, we now feature monthly tips and advice that can help you achieve whatever matters most to you.

Tip 1: Keeping track of your credit card spending

Keeping track of your credit card spending can help you make the most of a convenient purchasing tool. Now, every CIBC VISA card includes CIBC CreditSmart® - a suite of features that gives you the information and tools to make confident credit decisions that are right for your life. It provides you with:

  • Access to spend reports for easy organization of your spending to eliminate guesswork
  • Spend alerts and a personal spend manager for smart management to help you stay on track
  • Increased security with fraud and credit report alerts to protect you at all times

Best of all, these CIBC CreditSmart features are all available free!

We're ready to help you choose the CIBC VISA card that's best for you. For more information, come into your nearest branch and talk to a CIBC advisor, call 1-866-525-8622 or find out more about CIBC VISA cards.

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Tip 2: Choosing the right bank account

Choosing the right bank account can be a real money saver and can help you minimize your everyday banking costs. For example, do you make a lot of day-to-day transactions? Are you saving for something important? Do you need flexible, easy access to your funds? Select the CIBC bank accounts that best meet your needs and you'll find that they can also help you save money. Learn more about our additional savings opportunities if you are over 60 years of age, a student or a youth.

We're ready to help you choose the solution that's best for you. Visit your nearest branch and talk to a CIBC advisor or call 1-866-525-8622 for details.

Tip 3: Bank wherever, whenever!

Did you know that you can bank when you want, where you want? Your CIBC debit card is the key. It lets you bank online, by telephone, by bank machine or through wireless communications. With your unique card number and the passwords you choose, you have secure access to CIBC's full suite of banking services.

With your CIBC debit card, you can:

  • Access your CIBC accounts
  • Set up regular bill payments at your convenience
  • Make debit purchases

The CIBC Advantage Debit Card™ is chip-enabled, which means you can safely access your accounts to shop worldwide:

  • In Canada, shop in stores that accept INTERAC® Direct Payment
  • Internationally, shop at stores that accept Visa™ cards
  • Online, by phone or by mail order at:
    • most U.S. and international retailers that accept Visa cards
    • participating Canadian retailers that accept Visa cards

Take the next step and come into your nearest branch to talk to a CIBC advisor, call 1-866-525-8622 or find out more about banking with your CIBC debit card.

™ Trademark of CIBC
® Registered Trademark of CIBC
*Visa Int./lic. user
®INTERAC is a registered mark of INTERAC Inc.; CIBC is an authorized user of the trade-mark

Tip 4: An easy way to invest regularly

Whether you're saving for a downpayment on your next house, or for your retirement, investing regularly is an effective way to achieve your financial goals. Investing regularly has two benefits. First, it's easier for most people to invest small amounts on a regular basis, than to make one, large lump sum contribution. And second, it lets you benefit from compounding interest.

With a CIBC Regular Investment Plan®, a fixed amount of money is automatically withdrawn from your bank account regularly and invested. You choose the type of investment, how regularly you invest, and how much. You can start with as little as $25 a month!

To start saving today, come into your nearest branch to talk to a CIBC advisor, call 1-800-465-3863, or find out more about CIBC Regular Investment Plans.

® Registered Trademark of CIBC. CIBC is a licensee of the mark.

Tip 5: Your year-end financial "to-do" list

You may find yourself extremely busy at this time of year, as the holiday season approaches. Still, it's a valuable exercise to take a few moments to think about your finances and discuss them with an advisor, particularly since many important financial deadlines fall at the end of December. Depending on your circumstances, here are some things you may want to do before the end of the year:

  • If you're saving for a child's education, open or make a contribution to a Registered Education Savings Plan by the deadline of December 31
  • If you have an RRSP, check whether you've contributed your maximum this year
  • If you have had some major changes in your life this year - like getting married or having a child - talk to an advisor about how to manage your finances
  • If you're not saving or investing regularly, think about setting up a regular investment plan

Consider making it a habit to talk to an advisor about your finances every year about this time.

For assistance with your finances, visit your nearest branch and speak with a CIBC advisor or call 1-800-465-3863.

Tip 6: How to protect your identity and financial information during the holidays

The holiday season is one of the busiest shopping times of the year. If you're paying with your debit or credit card, it's important to know how to protect your financial or personal information from fraud. Here's what you can do to help keep your identity safe:

  1. Protect your PIN, and never let anyone else use it
  2. Review your credit card and bank account statements when they arrive; if there's any activity you don't recognize, contact your bank or card issuer immediately
  3. Before shopping online, ensure that the site is secure; if you have a VISA* card, look for the Verified by Visa® sign that confirms a cardholder's authenticity in real time
  4. Shred documents with your personal information on them, such as utility bills, credit card and bank statements, and unsolicited credit card applications, if you no longer need them
  5. Never share your personal information - such as your Social Insurance Number (SIN), bank account or credit card number - with anyone other than a government, bank or other official, or a merchant who needs the information to provide you with services

Providing tips for fighting identity fraud is just one way CIBC can help you be financially savvy. Achieve what matters most to you by speaking with a CIBC advisor today at a branch or by calling 1-800-465-3863.

* Visa International./CIBC licensed User.

Tip 7: Making a last-minute RRSP contribution

We all know itís important to contribute to an RRSP, but what if you just havenít had the time? Donít worry. There are still a few days to get your contribution in before the February 29, 2008 deadline.

To decide what to invest in, you and your advisor need to consider a number of factors, including:

  • Your investment objectives (Safety? Income? Growth?)
  • Your comfort level with risk (the likelihood that your investment will fluctuate in value)
  • Your level of investment knowledge
  • How long you have to invest
  • The other types of investments you have, both inside and outside your RRSP (your portfolio)

A quick alternative: ďParkĒ your RRSP contribution for the short term in a GIC or money market mutual fund, which will offer you the flexibility to change investment types when you have more time to evaluate your long-term goals. Youíll get your tax deduction, and youíll have time to set up an appointment with a financial advisor to discuss the best place for you to invest for the long term.

Visit your nearest branch or call 1-800-465-3863 to speak with a CIBC advisor about your options. You might also wish to ask about setting up a regular investment plan, so you donít have to worry about the deadline next year.

Tip 8: Our top financial tips for travellers

March is a favourite time of year for Canadians to travel, especially for those with children who get a week off for March break. If youíre planning to get away, take a few minutes before you go to organize your finances.

Make sure your bills are paid on time. If there are bills that need to be paid while you're away, pay them before you go. Or better yet, sign up for automatic bill payment using Online Banking.

Donít carry too much cash. Cash is easily lost or stolen. Use a bank machine if you can, and pay for your purchases with your debit or credit card. Using a credit card will provide you with a record of what youíve spent.

Make copies of important information. Take a photocopy of your credit cards and other identification, and keep it in a separate location in case the originals are lost.

Notify your credit card issuer. Let your card issuer know in advance when youíre going away and how long youíll be gone. That way, they wonít flag your purchases as unusual.

Remember that when you're away from home, even a small accident can become a big expense. CIBC Emergency Travel Medical Insurance can protect you from unexpected out-of-pocket medical costs - no matter where in the world you're travelling.

Talk to a CIBC advisor today and determine which products are best for you. Visit a branch or call us at 1-800-281-9109.

Insurance products are provided by various third party companies. CIBC Emergency Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance is underwritten by Co-operators Life Insurance Company. All CIBC Travel Insurance Products are administered by TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators Ltd.

Tip 9: Discover new tax credits that could save you money!

It's that time of year again - time to dig out your tax receipts, sharpen your pencil and tackle your taxes.

When you're filling out the sections for credits, be sure not to overlook these 3 tax credits - which are new or have increased for 2007.

  1. Employment tax credit: If you worked for someone else in 2007, you can claim a 15% federal tax credit on employment earnings to a maximum of $1,000.
  2. Tax credit for public transit: The costs of weekly, monthly and annual transit passes and electronic transit fare payment cards now qualify for a non-refundable tax credit. Transit costs for both spouses and any children under 19 can be claimed by either spouse.
  3. Children's fitness tax credit: If you have a child under the age of 16 who is enrolled in an eligible fitness program (such as soccer, hockey or dance), up to $500 of the program fee qualifies for a tax credit.

These are just a few examples of tax savings that can easily be overlooked.

Achieve what matters most to you by speaking with a CIBC advisor today at a branch or by calling 1-800-465-2422.

Tip 10: Expecting a tax refund? Put it to work for you

If you're expecting to receive a tax refund this year, it's tempting to spend it all on something spur-of-the moment. Instead, why not put it to better use by improving your financial situation? Here are 3 options to consider:

  1. Contribute to your RRSP. If you have contribution room available, putting your refund back into your Registered Retirement Savings Plan has two big benefits. First, it's tax-deductible so it lowers your taxable income for 2008. Second, it will immediately start earning tax-deferred returns that can compound over time.
  2. Pay down debt. If you're carrying high interest debt from month to month, paying it down - or off! - could save you a substantial amount in interest charges.
  3. Add to your non-registered portfolio. If you've maximized your RRSP and don't have any debt, consider putting your refund where it can generate growth over the long term.

If you're expecting a tax refund, talk to a CIBC advisor. Together, the two of you will discuss your financial situation and goals, and weigh all your options, so you have the information and advice necessary to make the financial decision best for you. You can speak to a CIBC advisor at any branch, or call 1-800-465-3863.

Tip 11: Get more for your money with your everyday banking

Getting cash from a bank machine. Booking a trip online with your credit card. Paying your cable bill with pre-authorized payments. If you're like most people, you use your chequing account and credit card almost every day.

You can ensure that the banking products you use meet your needs while giving you maximum value toward the things that matter to you most. Here are some ways to get the most value from your banking:

  • Understand how you bank. Do you write a lot of cheques? Do you get cash from your chequing account frequently? A chequing account that offers unlimited transactions for a flat fee could save you money and help you budget, because you'll know exactly how much it will cost each month.
  • Do your homework. Find out what's new with the banking products you use the most. If you collect travel points, for example, did you know that you can earn points with certain chequing accounts? In addition, there are credit cards that let you earn extra points when you shop at gas stations, grocery and drug stores. Some even offer benefits such as a travel concierge service, or travel medical insurance.
  • Take advantage of the expertise that's out there. Banks can be a valuable source of information. A CIBC advisor would be pleased to discuss your everyday banking needs with you. By working together, you could ensure you're getting more for your money just from the banking you do everyday.

You can speak to a CIBC advisor at any branch, or call 1-800-465-3863.