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Wealthsimple vs EQ Bank vs KOHO: Hybrid Accounts in Canada


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The increasing popularity of financial technology companies like Wealthsimple, EQ Bank, and KOHO, with their hybrid account offerings, is good news for consumers who are cashing in on great rates and lower banking fees.

A hybrid account is a high-interest savings account combined with a chequing account and used to conduct everyday bank transactions, from purchases to bill payments.

EQ Bank Savings Plus, Wealthsimple Save, and KOHO are three of the most popular hybrid accounts in Canada offering high-interest rates, unlimited free bill payments and e-transfers, no minimum balance and other features.

Find out in this post what other benefits they offer Canadians and how each compares to the other.

EQ Bank Savings vs. Wealthsimple Save vs. KOHO

Financial ProviderWealthsimpleEQ BankKOHO
Account nameWealthsimple SaveEQ PersonalKOHO Essential Account
Interest Rates1.50% (higher for Cash account)4.00% interest5.00% interest
FeaturesLow-fee investing, free online brokerage service, online tax returns, fee-free cash account, no monthly account fees or minimum balanceDeposit money, make bill payments, send unlimited e-transfers, no monthly account fees, no minimum balance required, unlimited debits and bill payments, unlimited electronic fund transfers; unlimited free Interac e-Transfers, free ATM withdrawals$0* monthly fees for the Essential account, free unlimited transactions and e-Transfers, up to 5% cash back when you shop; credit-building, cash advances, free credit score checks, direct deposits
CDIC ProtectionYesYesYes

Below is a comparison of the three most popular hybrid accounts in Canada as well as their other features and perks.

EQ Bank Personal Account, Wealthsimple Save, and KOHO are hybrid accounts that combine savings and chequing features in ways we haven’t seen before.

Interest Rates: EQ Bank generally offers the higher interest rate, followed by KOHO.

The savings rates available through these hybrid accounts often beat anything the big banks. Even better, they are not teaser rates.

Flexibility: EQ Bank Savings, Wealthsimple Cash, and KOHO offer free and unlimited transactions and electronic bill payments.

One-Stop Solution: When you bank with KOHO, you still need a separate bank for your investments (e.g. TFSA and RRSP accounts) as it does not offer these accounts. With EQ Bank, you can save inside a TFSA or RRSP account. With Wealthsimple, you can also invest in low-cost ETFs.

Insurance: EQ Bank, KOHO, and Wealthsimple Save keep your funds with custodians who are CDIC members. CDIC protects your deposits from member firm insolvency up to $100,000.

Other Features and Perks:

An EQ Bank Personal Account can send money abroad through Wise. It also offers a US Dollar Savings Account. If you request the free EQ Bank Mastercard, you can earn 0.50% cash back on all your purchases with the card.

Wealthsimple also offers a roundup option that automatically invests your spare change and a free platform for trading stocks and ETFs, aka Wealthsimple Trade.

KOHO pays cash back on eligible purchases, and the app can automatically round up and save your spare change.

Hybrid Bank Accounts in Canada

Last year, 76% of Canadians conducted most of their banking online. So, the rise of digital banks and hybrid online accounts appears to be a natural evolution of the banking and financial industry as a whole.

While online-only banks like Tangerine and Simplii have been paying interest on chequing accounts for some time, a hybrid account takes convenience a step further.

They offer a more fluid approach to saving, spending, investing, and banking in general.

If you keep a high chequing balance at your traditional bank to avoid the expensive monthly account fees, you now have alternatives.

1. EQ Bank Personal Account

eq savings plus account 125x

EQ Bank is the online banking arm of Equitable Bank, a Schedule I bank in Canada.

Their EQ Bank Personal Account is a hybrid account that allows you to deposit money, make bill payments, send unlimited e-transfers and earn a high-interest rate.

Here are some of its top features:

  • A high-interest savings rate… one of the best non-teaser rates you will find in Canada
  • No monthly account fees
  • Unlimited free bill payments and electronic fund transfers
  • Unlimited free Interac e-Transfers
  • Free mobile cheque deposits
  • No minimum balance required
  • Cheap international money transfers
  • Deposit protection by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC)
  • Joint accounts available

You will be hard-pressed to find better interest rates in Canada that are not promotional or only available for a limited period of time.

Note: This account is not available in Quebec. There is also a maximum balance of $200,000 per customer.

EQ Bank Personal Account


Earn up to 4.00% interest

No monthly account fees or minimum balance

Unlimited debit transactions and e-Transfers

Free cashback card & no ATM fees

Supports mobile cheque deposits

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Koho savings account-img

KOHO is one of the most popular free online hybrid accounts in Canada.

Along with its snappy prepaid Mastercard and app, KOHO offers access to a bunch of perks, including cash-back rewards on purchases.

Your KOHO account also offers:

  • 1% cash back on grocery, restaurants, gas, and transportation
  • Pays 5% interest on your balance
  • $0 monthly for Essential when you meet the eligibility
  • Free unlimited transactions and e-Transfers
  • Automatic savings via Roundup
  • Joint accounts
  • Access to a Credit Builder Program
  • $20 welcome bonus

3. Wealthsimple Save

Wealthsimple is Canada’s most popular online wealth manager, with over $15 billion in assets under management.

The company offers low-fee investing in registered and non-registered accounts, a free online brokerage service, online tax returns, and, more recently, a fee-free cash account.

Wealthsimple Save offers:

  • A competitive interest rate
  • No monthly account fees or minimum balance
  • CDIC protection up to specified limits

Wealthsimple Save is available in all provinces and territories of Canada. Learn more in this review.

In addition to Wealthsimple Save, you can also open a Wealthsimple Cash account and transfer money instantly to anyone on your contacts list who has one. Wealthsimple Cash pays a higher interest rate.

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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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