Wise vs KOHO 2024

Claire Millard
Şeyma Mektepli
Last updated
April 18, 2024

If you’re in Canada and need a way to manage your money internationally, including spending and making cash withdrawals abroad, you may be wondering about Wise vs Koho. Wise is a global provider with multi-currency accounts and cards, while Koho is a local Canadian provider offering CAD account and global card services.

Join us as we explore Wise and Koho features and fees to help you decide if either suits your individual needs. This guide looks at Wise vs Koho accounts, cards and transfers, as well as handy information like limits and how to get in touch with the provider if you need support.

Summary: Wise accounts can hold 40+ currencies, with linked debit cards for payments and withdrawals in 150+ countries, and easy ways to receive payments from dozens of countries. Koho supports account balances in CAD only, but you can spend with your Koho card globally and earn cash back. If you choose one of the higher tier Koho accounts you may also qualify for no foreign transaction fees.

Wise may be better if you’re looking for a flexible allround option to manage your money, send, spend, hold and receive in dozens of currencies. Koho might suit you if you want to use a card primarily and would like to earn cash back as you spend.

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Wise Vs Koho: side by side

Wise and Koho don’t offer quite the same services, which might mean that one suits you better than the other based on how you need to transact. This guide covers the Wise vs Koho features in more depth - but to give you a bit of a picture as a starting point, let’s look at a features overview:

FeatureWise Koho
EligibilityPersonal and business customers in Canada and many other countriesPersonal customers in Canada
Account typesWise account for business or personalKoho has 4 different account plans with different features and fees
Multi-currency account features

Hold CAD and 40+ other currencies

Local account details available for 10 currencies

Accounts hold CAD only
Debit cards availableY - the Wise international debit cardY - all accounts have cards, although the specific card you get depends on the account tier
Earn cash back on spendingNY - amount you get depends on the account tier
Send payments to160+ countries, 40+ currenciesKoho accounts can not send international payments - Koho recommends using Wise to transfer internationally
Fully licensed and regulatedYY

So, to summarise:

  • Wise offers services to personal and business customers, Koho is for personal customers only

  • Koho has 4 different account tiers, Wise offers the same account features to all customers (personal vs business account features may vary slightly, though)

  • Wise has a multi-currency account to support 40+ currencies - Koho accounts support CAD only

  • Both providers offer payment cards which can be used globally

  • Koho has cash back on card spending, based on account tier, Wise does not

  • Wise offers international transfers, Koho does not - instead Koho customers are advised to use Wise for this service

  • Both providers are fully regulated and safe to use

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The important bits

Next, let’s take a comparison of Wise vs Koho on costs, features and reliability - we’ll dive into this in more detail later.

RatesWise exchange rate: Mid-market exchange rate with no markupKoho charges a 1.5% foreign transaction fee for card spending abroad - to avoid this, upgrade to the Extra or Everything plan, and pay a monthly fee

No fee to open an account, no ongoing fees

No fee to spend a currency you hold

Transfer fees vary by destination - from 0.43%

Fees vary depending on the account plan - monthly charges from 0 CAD - 19 CAD
Speed for international transfer More than 50% of payments are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hoursNot available from Koho
ServiceOnline, in app and by phoneOnline, in app and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensedFully regulated and licensed

Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, Koho has a 1.5% foreign transaction fee unless you upgrade to a higher tier account

Fees: Wise has no ongoing or account opening fee, but does have transaction fees based on your account use. Koho fees vary depending on the account you pick

Speed: Wise payments can be instant, with 90% arriving in 24 hours. Koho doesn’t offer international transfers

Service: Both providers offer service online, in-app and by phone

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated.

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Pros and cons

✅ Accounts support 40+ currencies
✅ Accounts for personal and business use
✅ Debit cards have no foreign transaction fee
✅ Mid-market exchange rates
✅ Send money overseas to 160+ countries 

✅Different account tiers depending on your spending 

✅All accounts have a linked card

✅Top tier accounts have no foreign transaction fee

✅Earn cash back on all spend - amount varies by plan type

✅Extras like credit building services available

❌ Transaction and currency conversion fees apply
❌ No cash back option

❌ Ongoing fees apply to higher tier accounts

❌ 1.5% foreign transaction fee applies unless you have an Extra or Everything account 

Wise Vs Koho: The verdict

Wise and Koho both offer great international payment cards, but their services and approach beyond this are quite different.

Wise is a global provider of multi-currency accounts for individual and business customers, and offers payment cards and mid-market rate currency conversion. It could be a good choice if you need to manage your money across currencies, send international payments or receive money in foreign currencies.

Koho has more of a focus on Canada, and has payment cards which earn cash back on all spending, as well as 4 different account tiers. If you spend with your card often you may choose to upgrade to an account with a monthly fee and more features - including no foreign transaction fee - if not, all overseas spending costs 1.5% extra.

Compare both options to see which works better for you - and read on for plenty more about Wise vs Koho features, fees and accessibility.

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About Wise and Koho

Wise was founded as TransferWise in 2011, and offers personal and business accounts to hold and manage 40+ currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked Wise debit card. You can also send money to 160+ countries with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees.

Koho offers accounts and cards for Canadian customers, which you can use to spend globally wherever Mastercard is accepted. You can hold CAD in your account, and you’ll earn cash back on your spending at home and abroad.

How do they work?

Wise lets you hold, send or receive foreign currency payments, and order a Wise card for easy spending and withdrawals at home and abroad. If you want to send an international transfer with Wise you get the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees. It’s free to spend a currency you hold in your Wise account - and Wise currency conversion for card spending is also good value, with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.43% instead of any foreign transaction fee.

Koho accounts can hold CAD. Add money to your account yourself or have your employer use Koho to deposit your salary - you’ll be able to pick the Koho account plan that suits your spending needs, and spend or withdraw at home and abroad with your Koho card. One of Koho’s key features is that you’ll get cash back on spending - at a rate that varies based on your account tier.

Wise Vs Koho fees

Let’s examine Wise vs Koho fees. As the services you can get are quite different the fees can vary a bit too - so do check the terms and conditions carefully before you sign up:

Open an account

No fee for personal customer 

42 CAD  for business customers

0 CAD - 19 CAD a month depending on the account tier you pick
Order a cardNo feeNo fee
Spend with your card

No fee to spend currencies you hold

Currency conversion from 0.43% when you don’t hold the right balance

No fee to spend CAD

1.5% foreign transaction fee for overseas spending unless you have a top tier account

ATM withdrawals2 withdrawals a month, to the value of 350 CAD free - 1.5 CAD + 1.75% after that

Out of network fees of 2 CAD - 3 CAD apply

Some account tiers may apply for a rebate for 1 withdrawal fee per month

Receive a payment

Free to receive payments in 10 currencies using local bank details

10 CAD fee to receive payments via SWIFT in CAD

4.14 USD to receive a USD wire (ACH payments are free)

No fee to receive CAD from your payroll department, employer or a government agency as a Direct Load or Pre-Authorized Credit (PAC)
Send a paymentFrom 0.43%Not available
Currency conversionMid-market exchange rate1.5% foreign transaction fee
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Wise Vs Koho: Which is cheaper for international payments? 

Koho does not offer international payments in its own right, but instead suggests customers use Wise. You can fund a Wise transfer using your Koho card, or you can use Wise to receive a foreign currency payment and convert to CAD to deposit to Koho for example.

Whether you’re using Wise to send money to or from Koho, or as a standalone service, you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees from 0.43% for any overseas payments. Transfers can be arranged online and in app, to 160+ countries.

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Wise Vs Koho: Exchange rates

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate if you need currency conversion either within your account, to send a payment, or to spend with your card. There’s then a conversion fee to pay, which is shown separately for transparency, and which starts from 0.43%.

Koho accounts support holding CAD only. If you spend overseas with your Koho card, you’ll get the Mastercard exchange rate with a foreign transaction fee of 1.5% unless you’ve upgraded to a higher tier account which waives this fee.

Wise Vs Koho: Which is faster?

If you’re sending money to a bank account, Wise transfers can be instant in about 50% of cases, and over 90% arrive in 24 hours. Koho doesn’t offer overseas transfers - check out Wise as a great alternative which can help send payments from Koho, or receive foreign currencies to a Koho account.

Wise Vs Koho: International transfer limits

Wise international transfer limits can depend on whether you have a personal or business account, and the currencies involved. Usually you can send around 1 million GBP or the currency equivalent - some payment methods have lower limits, which you’ll see in the app or online when you set up a transfer.

If you’re paying for your Wise transfer from Koho you’ll need to bear in mind that there’s a 4,000 CAD daily payment limit. If you want to send more than this you’ll need to pay for your transfer with a different Wise payment method - more on your options, next.

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Wise Vs Koho: Payment methods

If you want to use Wise to send an international transfer, or if you’re topping up your account yourself, you can choose from:

  • direct debit (EFT)

  • online bill payment

  • debit/credit card

  • wire transfer

  • Interac e-Transfer

  • Wise account balance

Wise card Vs Koho card

Wise international debit cards have no order fee and no ongoing charges. Koho offers cards which vary depending on the account tier you pick, and which all include cash back on spending - here’s a summary of some of the key features of both option:

Provider cardCard features
Wise card
  • No card order fee and no ongoing fee

  • Free to spend a balance you hold in any of the 40+ supported currencies in Wise account

  • No foreign transaction fee, currency conversion from 0.43%

  • Spend in 150+ countries

  • Some free ATM withdrawals monthly before fees apply

Koho card
  • Different cards based on account tier

  • All cards earn cash back on spending - higher earning opportunity for higher tier accounts

  • 1.5% foreign transaction fee applies to some account tiers

  • 2 CAD - 3 CAD ATM fee applies for all withdrawals

  • Some account tiers can ask for a rebate of the fee paid for one international ATM monthly

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Wise Vs Koho cards: Where can you use them?

Both the Wise card and the Koho card can be used wherever the issuing network is supported. The Wise card is usually issued as a Visa or Mastercard, which are both very broadly supported internationally. Koho cards are on the Mastercard network.

Supported currencies

Wise accounts can hold 40+ currencies and come with local account details for 10 currencies.

Koho accounts hold CAD only.

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Ease of use

Creating an account: Wise accounts are opened and operated online or using the Wise app.  Koho accounts can also be opened online or in app

Making a transfer: Wise international payments can be made online or in-app. Koho doesn't offer overseas payments - use Wise instead

Ways to send money: Wise transfers can be funded by direct debit (EFT), online bill payment, debit/credit card, wire transfer, Interac e-Transfer and Wise account balance. Koho doesn't offer overseas payments, but you can make a Koho to Koho payment from your balance, or send a local CAD Interac transfer

Languages: Wise and Koho both offer support online, using the app, and by phone.

Minimum & maximum amounts: Wise limits depend on which currencies you send to and from, and how you pay - typically where limits apply they’re set at around the equivalent of 1 million GBP per transfer. Koho limits when paying for a transfer by card through Wise are 4,000 CAD a day


Wise and Koho are both safe and fully regulated providers.

In Canada, Wise is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and uses strong digital security measures on all accounts and transfers. As a global company Wise is also overseen by a selection of bodies all around the world.

Koho offers services through partnership with Peoples Trust, and card services through Mastercard - both of which are safe and reliable.

Wise Vs Koho: customer service

The easiest way to get support for both Wise and Koho is to log into your account online or in the provider app and start a chat. The service team can then advise you about your issue, and give you further contact details or phone numbers if you need to speak to a specific department about your query.

Conclusion: Comparing Wise and Koho

Wise and Koho are safe and reliable providers in Canada - but what they each do is a bit different, which will likely mean that one suits you better than the other.

Wise has a broad suite of multi-currency and international features, including accounts that support 40+ currencies and cards which you can use globally with the mid-market rate, no foreign transaction fee and low currency conversion costs from 0.43%.

Koho accounts only support holding in CAD but you can use your card globally. There are different account tiers to choose from - all of which offer some cash back on your card spending. The features and fees you pay will depend a lot on the account you pick - you can choose a product with no monthly fees and relatively limited features, or upgrade for a monthly fee, to get more features and some fee waivers.

Use this guide to decide if either provider works for you, based on your own specific needs.

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KOHO vs Wise in Canada FAQ

What is the difference between Wise and Koho?

Wise has multi-currency account and card services for individual and business customers, and offers international payments to 160+ countries. Koho focuses on CAD accounts with linked cards you can use to earn cash back and for local and overseas spending. Which is best for you depends on the type of account you need and how you’ll transact.

Which is better: Wise or Koho?

Wise and Koho have different focus areas and will suit different customer needs. Wise accounts support 40+ currencies with no ongoing costs and low, transparent transaction fees. Koho only supports CAD for holding, but lets you earn cash back on card spending at home and abroad. The right one for you depends on your priorities.

Is Wise or Koho cheaper?

Both Wise and Koho have their own fees which vary based on the services you need. Wise accounts have no ongoing charges and offer mid-market exchange rates with low conversion fees from 0.43%. Koho accounts may have monthly fees depending on the tier you pick, plus some transaction charges which vary based on your account type.

Is Wise or Koho faster for international transfers?

Koho does not offer international transfers and instead suggests customers use Wise. More than 50% of Wise payments to bank accounts are instant and 90% arrive in 24 hours.

How many currencies do Wise and Koho support? 

Wise accounts can hold 40+ currencies and offer local bank details for 10 currencies. Koho accounts can CAD only, but you can use your card globally.