Wealthsimple Cash Review: Earn 1.9% on Your Money

Wealthsimple Cash is a new spending and saving account announced in early 2020—and I’ve received more emails about it and whether it’s a good fit for people than pretty much any launch in recent memory.

That makes sense, because it’s not just a savings account or just a spending account. Wealthsimple Cash is a bit of both, so there’s a lot to consider when it comes to figuring out how it fits into your personal finances, and if it does in the first place.

So without further ado, here’s my unfiltered current review of Wealthsimple Cash.

Note: I personally use Wealthsimple Cash for some of my money management, so this review is based on my personal experience. The links in this review are affiliate links, and if you sign up I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.

What is Wealthsimple Cash?

Wealthsimple Cash is a new saving and spending account from Wealthsimple. It launched early in 2020 with a combination of features that are available now, and ones that are coming soon. It replaces the previous Wealthsimple Save accounts.

Currently, Wealthsimple Cash offers:

  • High interest rate on every dollar in the account. Wealthsimple Cash pays 1.9% interest as a “non-promotional” rate. That’s among the best rates out there, and beats your typical big-bank savings account by 1% or more, including some of the major online-first banking options.
  • No monthly fees and no minimum deposit amount. Enough said.
  • Joint accounts. You can easily set up a joint Wealthsimple Cash account with anyone, and it’s even easier if you’re both already using Wealthsimple—I was able to set one up with my husband in under 5 minutes.

And the spending features, which are coming soon and will be available first to people with existing Wealthsimple Cash accounts, include:

  • Free ATM withdrawals. You can use your Wealthsimple Cash card to withdraw cash from ATMs across Canada for free. Wealthsimple will reimburse any ATM charges (up to a limit).
  • Free bill payments and e-transfers. Two must-haves on any spending account—you need to pay your bills and e-transfers have become a preferred way of sending money pretty much anywhere in Canada.
  • No foreign exchange fees. When you’re travelling (or shopping online in the US) Wealthsimple Cash will waive foreign transaction fees. This can mean big savings of up to 2.5%.
  • A metal spending card. You’ll be able to use your Wealthsimple Cash card anywhere credit cards are accepted. 
  • Direct deposit. You can have your paycheque deposited directly into your Wealthsimple Cash account if you want.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay. Once you get your card, you can set it up with two of the biggest digital wallets right away.

Who can use it?

Wealthsimple Cash is available to all Canadians.

Who should use it?

Currently, Wealthsimple Cash is a great upgrade to Wealthsimple’s savings accounts. If you’re looking for a high-interest rate account—especially if you’re already a Wealthsimple client—it’s a great option.

As you can see above, Wealthsimple launched Cash with a lot of features “coming soon,” including a tungsten card attached to your account so you can spend directly from your account anywhere that takes credit cards. If you want to be first in line for those features, Wealthsimple Cash is also a great fit, because people with existing accounts will be first in line to get them. 

How do you open an account?

Opening a Wealthsimple Cash account is easy. It’ll only take you a few minutes, and you can sign up here if you’re not a Wealthsimple customer already. 

If you already use Wealthsimple, just log in to your account and you should see the option to open a Cash account on the homepage.

What’s the best part?

The two real draws to Wealthsimple Cash are the interest rate and the ease of use. 1.9% is a good interest rate, and not entirely out of line with what you’d earn on a GIC right now—but you can access your money anytime without a penalty. Plus, setting up an account is dead-simple if you’re a Wealthsimple client or not. 

Another bonus: Joint. Accounts. My husband and I love us some fintech tools, and we’re classic early adopters, but that has meant a really fragmented view of our shared savings over time. We made it work because we loved our high-interest savings accounts, but it made for additional effort to understand how much we had between the two of us for things like our shared emergency fund and home maintenance savings. It took us just minutes to set up and fund two joint Wealthsimple Cash accounts, and now we can finally see how much we have in each account altogether.

Lastly, if you’re close to getting Wealthsimple Black—additional perks and lower management fees one you contribute $100,000 total to your Wealthsimple accounts—it might be worth moving some savings over just to hit it and lower your fees from 0.5% to 0.4% (or snag that free Priority Pass membership).

What’s the worst part?

Right now, the worst part about Wealthsimple Cash is that the list of features they launched aren’t all available yet. If you were most excited to see the spending features and the tungsten card, those won’t be available for a little while, and there’s no set date Wealthsimple has shared publicly. That said, those features will be available to people with Wealthsimple Cash accounts first, so it might still be worth opening one—you’ll just have to wait a little while to get the full list of spending features.

And hey, your money will earn 1.9% while you wait, which does not suck

Wealthsimple Cash compared to other spending and saving options

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about whether you should use Wealthsimple Cash or another service. It makes sense, because Wealthsimple Cash sits somewhere in between spending tools and savings tools, so you could realistically use it for either or both. 

I can’t tell you specifically if Wealthsimple Cash is better for you than these options, but I can tell you what you should be thinking about when comparing them.

Should I use Wealthsimple Cash or EQ Bank?

When Wealthsimple Cash came out with their headline-grabbing 2.4% interest rate, EQ Bank raised their rates to 2.45% that same week. As of right now, Wealthsimple Cash has lowered their rate to 1.9%, and we’re waiting to see what EQ Bank does in response to the Bank of Canada rate cut. Competition to pay higher interest rates on your savings is only good for us (aka savers) but it can beg the question: which one is a better fit for your savings?

Related: Read my full EQ Bank review.

Wealthsimple Cash is a good fit if you want to—in the future—be able to spend directly from your account with a card, or you might need immediate access to the money. It’s also a great fit if you already use Wealthsimple, or if you need a joint savings account, because EQ Bank doesn’t yet offer them.

EQ Bank is a great fit if you use international money transfers, need free email money transfers, or you specifically don’t want to be able to spend your money as easily. There’s power in keeping your savings separate and less easily spendable, which is why I’ll continue to use EQ Bank for my personal savings that I don’t want to see every day or touch unless it’s truly an emergency.

Lastly, Wealthsimple Cash accounts are protected under CIPF insurance, whereas EQ Bank accounts are protected under CDIC insurance. There are nuances between the two, and it’s worth doing your own research into them if you’re concerned about what protections there are for your money. 

Should I use Wealthsimple Cash or KOHO?

Wealthsimple Cash is closest in terms of current-and-future features to KOHO, because they are both new hybrids that offer great savings rates on accounts that you can spend from. 

Related: Read my full KOHO review, and make sure to use code HALFBANKED if you sign up to get an extra 1% cashback for 90 days.

In terms of currently-available features, KOHO is further along than Wealthsimple Cash, and they offer more spending features than are announced for Wealthsimple Cash—notably, cashback on your purchases and an app that helps you understand and manage your spending. 

However, KOHO is not covered by CDIC or CIPF insurance. For that reason, if you have a large balance you might feel more comfortable keeping it elsewhere, but again—do your own research on the insurance issues. 

Should I use Wealthsimple Cash or a credit card?

Your credit card can be a powerful tool to earn rewards, whether you like to get cash back, travel rewards, grocery rewards, or a combo platter of the above. Many credit cards also come with perks like mobile device insurance (like the Tangerine World Mastercard) or travel insurance (like this list of the best credit cards with travel insurance). 

If you’re comparing Wealthsimple Cash to a credit card for your spending needs, make sure to consider whether the money you’re keeping in your Cash account is earning more interest than you’d otherwise earn in rewards. It might make sense for smaller spending amounts that you wouldn’t earn much in rewards on with a credit card, or accounts where you hold a lot of money, but it may not be as rewarding for everyday spending as your normal credit card. 

That said, another great use case is the fact that Wealthsimple Cash is more aligned to the concept of a debit card than a credit card. If you have trouble sticking to paying off your credit card every month, but you like the convenience, a Wealthsimple Cash account might be a good fit.

How much does it cost?

Wealthsimple Cash is free to use. 

Overall Wealthsimple Cash review

Overall, Wealthsimple Cash is an exciting new product that has already had a positive effect for savers across Canada. When standard interest rates go up, especially when led by a big company like Wealthsimple, it’s good for everyone.

I personally did move some of my money over to Wealthsimple Cash, because I fit the profile of who should use Wealthsimple Cash: I’m already a Wealthsimple client, I trust them and the CIPF insurance they offer, and I wanted a joint account with another Wealthsimple user. (Plus, moving our joint emergency savings is getting me much closer to Wealthsimple Black someday.)

However, many of the features announced at launch are not yet available, so if you’re only in it to replace your entire chequing account, you can’t do it yet. That said, it’s still a fantastic savings rate on an easy-to-use account—which is better than many products out there. 

Wealthsimple Cash Review: Earn 1.9% Interest Right Now
  • Savings Features
  • Spending Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Perks and Rewards
4.4

Summary

Wealthsimple Cash is a strong savings account with coming-soon spending features that will make it a unique offering that bridges the gap between spending and savings accounts.