Technology has made it easy for you to spend your money. Thankfully technology can also help you save it. The following saving apps and investing apps can help you set goals and manage your spending by automatically setting money aside to save or invest, or providing a better picture of what you are spending your money on and when.
Compare apps that reward you for your spending
*How we picked the best savings and investing apps
We considered how easy these savings apps and investing apps are to use, perks you can receive from using them, and how fast you can grow your savings. We looked at details like interest rates, fees, rate of return and functionality.
These savings apps and investing apps are not representative of the entire market. No single app will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before deciding which one is right for you.
8 apps that help you save or invest your money
Ampli is a free cashback app launched in 2019 by RBC, Canada’s largest bank. Link debit and credit cards from over 130 financial institutions, and immediately begin spending at 50+ participating brands to earn between and cash back on qualifying purchases.
Use the app to find out about special cash back offers, some of which are tailored specifically to you based on your spending habits. You must earn a minimum of $15 to cash out, which costs $0. Complete in-app challenges to earn entries into Ampli's monthly Dreamstakes contest, where you could win cash or money-can't-buy experiences (no purchase necessary).
Stack is a Toronto-based company that offers a prepaid credit card and an app to help you manage your spending. You load money onto a Stack Prepaid Mastercard and then use it to buy stuff like you would use a debit card or regular credit card.
When you use the Stack card, you are eligible to receive cash back rewards and discounts at various partner brands in Canada.
KOHO is very vocal about the fact it does not charge many of the fees associated with so-called “Big Banks” in Canada. You don’t pay an annual fee like you do for many credit cards or bank accounts. And you don’t have to pay a charge for every transaction over a set minimum each month, like you do with many chequing accounts. KOHO has partnered with Visa to access the Visa Plus ATM network to let you withdraw cash with your card.
KOHO also offers cash back rewards for using its card. If you make a lot of transactions, KOHO’s round-up and cash back features can help you save money.
Investing is an important part of any financial plan, but it can be a difficult and daunting subject. The Moka investing app invests your spare change in stocks and bonds as part of a personalized portfolio.
So for example, when you buy a cup of coffee for $1.85 with your debit card, Moka will round up the amount to the nearest dollar – $2.00 in this case – and invest the extra 15 cents.
Wealthsimple is a Canadian online investing company that features low costs and automated investing to help grow your money. Wealthsimple is sometimes called a “robo-advisor,” meaning your investments are managed by algorithms programmed to maximize the return on your investment. This differs from traditional financial advisory firms that employ humans to manage your money.
One of the advantages of using software or investing apps to make investment decisions is that it is cheaper than hiring humans to do the same work, the premise being that the algorithm can make better investment decisions than people can.
Originally ING Direct Canada, Tangerine was bought by Scotiabank in 2012. It bills itself as Canada’s premier online bank, trading on its association with one of Canada’s Big Five traditional banks to lend some heft to that claim. Tangerine offers no-fee chequing and savings accounts, as well as competitive interest rates. Tangerine calls itself an online bank, but it does have a handful of “cafes” in Canada’s biggest cities that function as bank branches.
EQ Bank is an online only bank that is similar to Tangerine, and many other so-called online banks in Canada. It checks all the prerequisite boxes: a high-interest savings account you can use for many of your chequing account needs (for example, making direct deposits and transferring funds), no fees, unlimited transactions and an easy-to-use saving app.
CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar)
CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar) is another Canadian online investing company that works similar to Wealthsimple. It uses software instead of human fund managers to constantly rebalance your portfolio – in other words, tweaking the investment mix by buying and selling assets – depending on the level of risk you are comfortable with. The amount CI Direct Investing charges you to manage your money depends on how much you invest with the firm. For example, you pay 0.6% of your total portfolio each year, up to $175,000. The costs decrease the more you invest. Like other investing apps, its interface is easy to use.
Some of these apps were designed to help you save money directly by automating the savings process. Others help you avoid some of the fees associated with traditional banks or money managers. The ones that work best for you will depend on your own personal financial situation.
Frequently asked questions