If you’re reading my KOHO Review, that likely means you’re already a KOHO user. If you happen to be a new user, KOHO is one of the best prepaid cards in Canada.
In this article let’s take a look at what is KOHO, what does does it offer on the table and then take deeper dive into KOHO Premium and what is it all about. Let’s get started.
What is KOHO?
KOHO is a free pre-paid, reloadable card and integrated app that gives you real-time insights into your spending. By using the app you can watch where your money goes and spend without guessing.
Within 3 weeks, the average KOHO user reduces their spend by 15% and saves nearly $500.
1. KOHO is free to join. It takes less than 5 minutes to sign up for after downloading it from the App Store or Google Play. All you need is a Canadian bank account to send your first e-Transfer from.
2. Your KOHO card is a pre-paid Visa card that you can use wherever Visa is accepted (worldwide!).
3. Sign up within the KOHO app for iOS or Android. Your KOHO card will come within 15 days. You’ll get real-time insights on all your transactions and can use the app to send free e-Transfers, pay bills, and set Savings Goals.
4. KOHO has the sweetest gosh darn User Support Team in all of finance, so feel free to reach out via our in-app chat.
Well to summarize, banking is pretty complex and robotic. KOHO make’s it simple and human. A full-service account with no hidden fees for everyday spending and tomorrow’s savings.
What is KOHO Premium?
Now that you know what KOHO is all about, let’s look at its premium benefits.
KOHO Premium is a type of KOHO Account that comes with several add-on features in addition to what you get with a regular KOHO Account.
As the name implies, KOHO Premium is KOHO’s premium service. It comes with a reasonable monthly or annual fee but are the additional benefits you get with this service worth it? Keep reading my KOHO Premium review to find out.
KOHO Premium Benefits:
Free for 30 days then $9 per month or $84 per year
2% cash back on groceries, eating & drinking and transportation
No foreign exchange fees
Free financial coaching
Higher “velocity” limits
New card design
When I first saw the list of benefits, I wasn’t that impressed but that’s because I was comparing them to some of the best travel credit cards in Canada.
The thing is, KOHO isn’t a traditional credit card, so when I compared them to similar cards (which I’ll go into further details below), I quickly realized that KOHO Premium is impressive.
People will be turned off right away by the monthly fee of $9 but when you sign up for it annually it’s just $84 a year which works out to be $7 a month. That’s a pretty good price to pay for the extra benefits.
KOHO Premium Cashback and Transaction Fees
The new 2% cash back is what will appeal to people the most. Regular users get 0.5% cash back on all purchases, but this new 2% rate applies to groceries, eating & drinking and transportation.
Similar to the American Express Cobalt card, eating and drinking applies to food delivery, bars, coffee shops and more which is a great way to earn points fast.
Transportation covers Uber/ Lyft, taxis, gas, highway tolls, parking and more so you can see how you could earn points fast.
Although I would have loved to see no foreign exchange fees for all users, I’m excited that KOHO premium has introduced this.
The regular foreign transaction fee on KOHO is 1.5% (which is lower than the industry average of 2.5%), but now you’ll just pay the lowest rate possible when making purchases in a foreign currency.
The included price matching is interesting since not many credit cards offer this. If you look into the details, you can actually send KOHO your past receipts from online purchases and they’ll search for you to see if there was a better price available. If there was, you’ll be credited the difference.
The final remaining benefits include free financial coaching where you can ask an expert any questions you may have about things such as taxes, investing and more. Higher “velocity” limits just means you can take out more money every day at ATMs and you can carry a higher balance. You’ll also get a new card which has a higher end design compared to the regular card.
What Are KOHO RoundUps?
RoundUps help you save as you spend. Every purchase you make with your KOHO card will be rounded to the nearest $1, $2, $5 or $10 (you choose the amount).
For example, if your purchase is $2.25, RoundUps will save $0.75, $1.75, $2.75 or $7.75 for you automatically based on which RoundUps amount you choose!
Those extra amounts are put aside in your Savings so you can cash them out at a later date!
You can check how much you have already saved, change your RoundUps amount anytime and Cash Out by going to: Savings > RoundUps
Lastly, to keep track of your Cash Out activity, our RoundUps History under Savings > RoundUps > Show history will allow you to do just that!
Just a quick heads up, the separation between your Spendable and your RoundUps and Savings are a visual separation.
This means that although on your KOHO app, they are in different sections, when it comes to transaction, your KOHO account is all one account. If you have $10 in your Spendable and $5 in your RoundUps and $2 in a Savings Goal and make a purchase for $17, this transaction will pull funds from your RoundUps and Savings Goal.
KOHO Vs. Others
As a prepaid credit card, KOHO’s main “competition” is STACK since it’s also a prepaid card.
That said, STACK doesn’t have a premium service like KOHO has introduced so it’s not fair to compare the two. I suppose if all you care about is no foreign transaction fees, then STACK comes out ahead, but with any comparison, you need to look at all the benefits.
You could also argue that KOHO premium’s 2% cash back is comparable to a cash back credit card. The Tangerine Money-Back credit card gives you 2% back on up to three categories, has no annual fee and is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada, but it’s still not fair to compare the two since KOHO is not a true credit card.
You can use your KOHO card to pay for anything that uses the Visa network, but your payment history doesn’t get reported to the credit bureaus.
Some people will also say that there are many other credit cards out there that offer better signup deals and give you more benefits, but again, KOHO is a prepaid credit card so it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
People who use KOHO typically are usually more interested in things such as managing finances. A big welcome bonus or travel insurance is likely on the lower end of their priority list.
My KOHO review is positive.
KOHO has taken their card to the next level by introducing a higher tier service. Remember, you can test it out for free for 30 days trial.
Please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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Hey, I’m Sagar from Toronto, Canada.
I am a self-taught, motivated Canadian Personal Finance Blogger who loves writing articles about Savings, Investing, Stocks & ETF reviews, Side Hustles, Frugal Living, Credit Cards and Retirement Planning. Husband. Father. Software Developer. Web Designer. Hiking Enthusiast.