KOHO and Wealthsimple are two of Canada’s most popular financial technology companies.
The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard is the best-prepaid card in Canada, followed closely by the Wealthsimple Cash Card and STACK Mastercard.
In addition to its prepaid card, Wealthsimple also offers an array of financial products.
This KOHO Mastercard vs. Wealthsimple Cash comparison covers their features, pros, cons, fees, limits, how they work, and more.
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple
I provide an overview of their service offerings to understand better how these companies compare.
What is KOHO?
KOHO is a fintech company with a goal to change how traditional banking works. It offers a prepaid card (KOHO Mastercard) that works alongside its other financial products i.e.
- KOHO Earn Interest
- KOHO Credit Building
- KOHO Premium, and
- KOHO Early Payroll
KOHO has partnerships with both Mastercard and Peoples Trust. It is also backed by large investment firms, including Drive Capital and Portag3.
What is Wealthsimple?
Wealthsimple is the top online wealth management firm in Canada, with more than $15 billion in assets under management.
Since its founding in 2014, the company has expanded its operations from robo-advising to include:
- Self-direct stock trading (Wealthsimple Trade)
- Crypto trading (Wealthsimple Crypto)
- Tax return filing (Wealthsimple Tax)
- Savings accounts (Wealthsimple Save)
- P2P money transfers (Wealthsimple Cash)
- Prepaid Visa Card
Wealthsimple is backed by top investment firms, including Power Financial Group and Allianz X. Learn more about it in this review.
KOHO Mastercard vs. Wealthsimple Cash: Prepaid Cards
This article will focus on the prepaid cards offered by both KOHO and Wealthsimple, plus their corresponding features.
KOHO Easy Mastercard
KOHO’s prepaid card was previously licensed by Visa; however, it is now offered under a Mastercard license.
This card is available in four formats: a regular KOHO Easy Card, KOHO Essential, KOHO Premium, and a joint account. The standard KOHO Card has no monthly or annual fees.
Users earn 1% cash back on grocery purchases and bill payments and up to 10% cash back at select partners.
When you sign up for the card, you can choose from four colour designs. You also get a virtual card you can easily add to Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.
For even more features, you can upgrade to KOHO Premium and earn higher cash back rates while paying no-FX fees abroad.
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
$20 sign up bonus after first purchase (use promo code CASHBACK)
Earn up to 5% cash back
Up to 4.00% savings interest on your balance
Unlimited Interac e-Transfers
Wealthsimple Cash Card
The Wealthsimple Cash Prepaid Visa is linked to your Wealthsimple Cash account and app.
Like KOHO, you get both a physical and virtual card and can easily add them to your preferred wallets.
You earn 1% cash back on all purchases made using this card, and it has no annual fee.
Wealthsimple Cash Card
1% cash back on all purchases
Free money transfer app
Access to virtual and physical card
Verdict: The KOHO Mastercard offers more features and benefits than the Wealthsimple Cash Card.
That said, you can benefit from having both Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards in your wallet.
KOHO Mastercard vs Wealthsimple Cash: Savings Account
Using the KOHO Card and app, you can earn up to 2% interest on your balance.
This is easily one of the highest savings interest rates in Canada.
In addition, your KOHO account also works as a hybrid bank account with chequing features like free Interac e-Transfer, bill payments, and more.
You can use the KOHO card to make withdrawals at ATMs in addition to POS and online transactions.
Wealthsimple Cash does not pay interest on your balance. If you have excess cash in your account, you could open a Wealthsimple Save account, move your funds there and earn a 1.00% interest rate.
Interac e-Transfers are not offered by Wealthsimple Cash.
Verdict: KOHO does better on this metric with high-interest rates on every dollar.
KOHO Mastercard vs. Wealthsimple Cash: Cash Back Rewards
With the regular KOHO Mastercard, you earn competitive cash back on most purchases. The KOHO app also features several retailers with cash back offers of up to 10%.
If you upgrade your account to KOHO Premium, you earn unlimited 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, and transportation purchases.
The Wealthsimple Cash Card pays 1% cash back on all purchases.
Verdict: Regular KOHO = Wealthsimple Cash Card.
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple Prepaid Cards: Credit Building
If you want to rebuild or improve your credit score, KOHO offers a credit-building service for $7 to $10 monthly.
You can easily opt in for this service using the app and see improvements within six months.
The Wealthsimple Cash Card does not impact your credit score.
Verdict: If you need to improve your credit score, KOHO is the better choice.
KOHO vs Wealthsimple: Limits
The following limits apply to a regular KOHO account:
- Daily maximum load: $20,000
- Monthly maximum load: $40,000
- Maximum card balance: $40,000
- Daily POS limit: $4,000
- Daily ATM limit: $600
- Maximum amount/transaction: $4,000
- ATM limit per withdrawal: $300
- Maximum direct deposit (per transaction): $20,000
- Daily maximum e-Transfer (outbound): $3,000
- Daily maximum e-Transfer (inbound): $5,000
- KOHO-KOHO transfer limit (per transaction): $1,500
- Daily KOHO-KOHO transfer (inbound): $2,500
- Daily KOHO-KOHO transfer (outbound): $2,000
Visit KOHO to check other limits. Also, note that Premium accounts get higher limits.
Limits for the Wealthsimple Cash Card include:
- Daily maximum spending limit: $5,000
- Maximum ATM withdrawal (per transaction): $500
- Maximum daily ATM withdrawal: $1,000
KOHO Card vs. Wealthsimple Cash Card: Fees
While Wealthsimple Cash is free, these fees may apply and be charged by third parties:
- Currency conversion fee: typically 2.50%
- ATM withdrawal fee: typically around $3
A standard KOHO account is free, and you don’t pay NSF fees, e-Transfer fees, or account fees.
For currency conversions, a lower 1.50% fee applies (typically 2.50%), and $2-$3 is charged by out-of-network ATMs.
KOHO Premium users pay a $9 monthly fee or $84 per year. In exchange, they earn up to 2% cash back and:
- FX fees are waived
- Price matching
- Free access to a financial coach
- One free international ATM withdrawal per month
KOHO Essential users pay a $4 monthly fee and earn more cash back and higher interest rates than the Easy Card.
Verdict: KOHO Mastercard = Wealthsimple Cash Card.
KOHO Mastercard vs. Wealthsimple Cash: Early Payroll
**No longer offered** Get access to $100 from your paycheque three days early for free using KOHO.
You can extend this further to 15 days for a $5 fee and also get access to a financial coach for the same length of time.
Wealthsimple Cash does not offer early payroll.
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple: Security
Wondering whether the KOHO and Wealthsimple prepaid cards are safe?
KOHO is used by over 500,000 Canadians. It keeps your deposits with Peoples Trust, a federally regulated bank, and your funds are eligible for the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insurance.
Your Wealthsimple Cash and Save account deposits are held at a CDIC member bank and are protected up to specific limits.
Both financial institutions use encryption and bank-level security to protect your information.
Verdict: KOHO = Wealthsimple.
KOHO App vs. Wealthsimple Cash App: Money Transfer
Using KOHO App, you can send and receive unlimited Interac e-Transfers for free. You can also transfer money to other KOHO users instantly using their email.
The Wealthsimple Cash app allows you to send and receive money from anyone with a Cash App account.
You can either use their username (i.e. Dollar $ign) or phone number.
Wealthsimple Cash does not offer Interac e-Transfers.
Verdict: The KOHO app is more versatile for sending money electronically.
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple Card: Customer Support
You can reach Wealthsimple’s customer support by chat, phone, and email.
You can reach KOHO’s customer support by chat in-app and by email.
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple: Promotions
When you sign up for KOHO here, you get a $20 bonus after making your first purchase with the card (use our referral code CASHBACK).
For Wealthsimple Cash, there is no bonus when you open an account.
Here are some Wealthsimple promotions:
- Wealthsimple Trade ($25 with a $200 deposit)
- Wealthsimple Invest ($25 with a $500 deposit)
- Wealthsimple Tax
Pros and Cons of the KOHO Prepaid Card
- Cash back rewards on all purchases
- Free account
- Access to your paycheque early
- Access to credit building
- High interest savings account
- Joint accounts
- Safe and reputable financial institution
- Free budgeting app
- Not a credit card and does not impact your credit score unless you pay for “credit building”
Pros and Cons of the Wealthsimple Cash Prepaid Card
- Free prepaid card
- Instant money transfers in Canada
- Cash back rewards on all purchases
- Access to other Wealthsimple products
- Not a credit card and does not affect your credit score
- No savings interest on your balance
KOHO vs Wealthsimple Prepaid Cards: Conclusion
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple: Which should you choose?
While the KOHO Mastercard offers more benefits and rewards, you could benefit from carrying both cards in your wallet.
Earn up to 10% cash back when you spend and easily send Interac e-Transfers anytime without worrying about fees.
KOHO vs. Wealthsimple FAQs
You can’t use the Wealthsimple Cash Card to make payments in about 51 countries, including Cuba, Albania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, and Belarus.
You can’t use the KOHO Card in about 52 countries, including Albania, Belarus, Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Romania, etc.