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Special banking products for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)

Military members can get access to bank accounts and financial services designed with their careers - and families - in mind.

Many perks come with serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) like education and training benefits and medical coverage, not to mention the pride of serving our country. But you also get access to banking products and financing options specifically designed to accommodate your unique lifestyle and family needs.

Access your military benefits with the CFOne card

CFOne cards for Canadian Armed Forces discounts and benefitsIn 2013, the CFOne card was introduced by the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) to make accessing military programs and services easier for current and former service people.

The CFOne card can be used to identify members of the Armed Forces so they can access special banking products and financial services from BMO, SISIP, and supportourtroops.ca.

Cardholders also get special pricing, perks and rewards points at more than 30 stores across Canada through the CANEX program. And, through the CFAppreciation program, military members are provided with reduced rates on vacations and loads of their everyday purchases. Visit cfaconnection.ca for more details.

Canadian Defense Community Banking

BMO Bank of Montreal logoBank accounts

Since 2008, BMO has been the Official Bank for the Canadian Defense Community. With the BMO Performance Chequing Account, the monthly fee is waived for members of the Canadian Defence Community. Features of this plan include:

  • An $0 number of monthly transactions.
  • Interac e-Transfers are $0.
  • $17.95 /month ($0 if requirements met). Note that convenience fees from non-BMO ATM providers may still apply.
  • You can keep the same account regardless of how many times you relocate.
  • Invite family members living in the same household as you to open their own no-fee account.

If you prefer to have a $0 out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee and free overdraft protection, choose the BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account instead. The monthly fee is reduced to $14.05 for members of the Canadian Defence Community (from $30.95).

Loans and mortgages

Besides handling your everyday banking needs, BMO provides CAF members with preferred pricing on student lines of credit, secured and unsecured personal lines of credit and mortgages.

Because CAF members may need to relocate frequently, BMO allows them to break their mortgages with no prepayment charges through the Integrated Relocation Program. Mortgage pre-approval rates are guaranteed for 130 days, and CAF members are eligible for mortgage protection even when serving on active duty during civil disorder or war. Interest rate buy-down options are also available – with this, you can lower your monthly mortgage payment by paying a fee (worth a percentage of the mortgage) to lower your interest rate.

Credit Cards

Every purchase made on one of BMO’s Support Our Troops Mastercards helps support the Armed Forces. Choose between the following 2 card options:

BMO Support our Troops CashBack Mastercard

BMO Support Our Troops CashBack Mastercard image

BMO Support our Troops AIR MILES Mastercard

BMO Support Our Troops AIR MILES Mastercard image

Other perks

BMO ATMs are available on military bases, wings and units for added convenience. Access your accounts and manage your money 24/7 through online banking and BMO’s Mobile Banking app. Plus, enjoy dedicated support at more than 80 designated Canada Defense Community Banking BMO branches.

Dive deeper Compare credit cards

SISIP Financial Services

SISIP exists exclusively to provide CAF members with financial guidance and solutions tailored to meet their unique needs. Products include:

SISIP logo

Insurance:

  • Term life
  • Long term disability
  • Critical illness
  • Accidental dismemberment
  • Travel
  • Home and Auto

Saving & investment:

  • Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • CF Group Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)
  • CAF Savings plans

SISIP advisors will help you create a budget, develop a savings plan and find products to meet you and your families’ needs. Financial solutions are available for each stage of your life including retirement.

What if I need emergency funds?

Supportourtroops.ca logo, icon onlyEmergency funds are available to veterans, reserve forces, regular forces and their families through Support Our Troops, the official charity of the Canadian Armed Forces. You can apply for any of the following loans or grants through your local SISIP Financial Counsellor.

  • Distress loan or grant. If you or a family member lacks the basic necessities of life or you’re unable to pay a personal debt due to sickness, accident, death or some other misfortune, you could qualify for a low-interest loan of up to $25,000 or a grant of up to $5,000.
  • Small preventive loan. You could get a loan of up to $5,000 for emergencies, urgent home repairs, prevention of financial distress, health and safety issues and education (if you’ve been denied a BMO CDCB Student Line of Credit).
  • Emergency grant. If you’re in financial distress, you could get up to $2,000 in immediate financial support (for crises occurring within 24-72 hours). Eligible situations could include being transported to a medical facility for emergency procedures, preventing eviction or foreclosure, preventing utilities such as heat or hydro from being disconnected and covering uninsured medical or dental emergencies.
  • Special needs grant. Families with special needs dependents can receive up to $1,000 for uninsured assessment and reassessment costs and up to $1,000 to help cover uninsured assistive devices, prescriptions, therapy, medical travel and respite care.

Visit supportourtroops.ca to learn more about available funding and to find out how to connect with an SISIP Financial Counsellor. You may also want to take a look at income support services offered by Veterans Affairs Canada.

The Education Assistance Loan Program (EALP)

Young man coding on his laptopIf unable to get approved for a BMO CDCB Student Line of Credit, current and former CAF members, their spouses and children may qualify for low interest educational loans starting at $500 with a 3.45% APR (on approved credit). Loan amounts are increased by increments of $500, with the maximum amount being $5,000 per year and $20,000 per lifetime. Repayment begins the month after funds are issued, and applicants can choose between 12-, 24-, 36-, or 48- month terms.

Studies cannot be for general interest but must lead to potential employment. Courses from recognized post-secondary institutions and adult re-training centres are eligible for funding as are Royal Military College courses (if not subsidized) as well as online and distance education courses. Applications are accepted year round and are available online at supportourtroops.ca or at your local SISIP office. Note that a credit check will be conducted when you apply.

Bottom line

Thanks to organizations like the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), BMO, SISIP and Support Our Troops, CAF members and their families can choose from a range of options designed to meet their banking needs.

Financing with special terms is available for CAF members looking to buy a home, relocate, go to school or get a credit card, among other things, and emergency funding is readily available to help cover unexpected and difficult circumstances.

Check out our guide to savings accounts or our guide on investments to learn more about growing your money.

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