You’ve probably seen the ads by now.

They’re colourful, simply designed and seemingly easy to use.

But is KOHO too good to be true?

*Spoiler Alert* No, actually.

They’re actually pretty cool and have some great perks.

What is a prepaid credit card?

Up until recently, prepaid credit cards have largely been kicking around the gift card section of your local grocery store, giving you preload options of $25 to $200 which need to be activated by the cashier.

You can also find them as an option at certain banks, with more freedom over your preload amount, but also a more involved application process.

These function as a hybrid between your debit and credit card – giving you more power over online purchases, but no effect on your credit score.

The store-bought versions usually aren’t reloadable, but they make a great gift if you don’t know what to give someone…but is it really worth it to have one you can use over and over again?

We’re here to tell you yes – it probably is.

KOHO is more than just a card you buy at the grocery store because “just cash” wasn’t a thoughtful enough gift.

They’re personalized, have no fees (or extremely low fees), full of perks, and (because of their sleek, user-friendly app) simple to use.

Related: Prepaid Visa Or Prepaid Mastercard ‒ Which Option Is Better?

What is KOHO?

This is a no-stress card that isn’t completely a credit card, but not a debit card either.

It’s a hybrid that has the best of both worlds – no fear of tanking your credit score and all the benefits of knowing you’re spending your own, hard-earned cash.

What’s the KOHO difference?

The fees. Every version of KOHO offers you these fee-tures:

  • Accepted worldwide (wherever Visa is accepted)
  • No minimum balance or account transactions
  • Choose your own card colour combination
  • 0.5% cash back on every purchase (called a PowerUp)
  • RoundUps​ – round your purchases to the nearest $1, $2, $5, or $10 and stash away the extra
  • No NSF fees – instead, you’ll get a reminder that there aren’t enough funds to cover your purchase or the money is pulled from your savings account (called a “Savings Goal”’).
  • No interest rates
  • Low FX fees at 1.5% (the usual is 2.5%)
  • Online purchases and connection to PayPal
  • Pay your bills using their bill payment feature
  • Fund your account using payroll direct deposit or Interac e-Transfer
  • Joint accounts (with a roommate, spouse, sibling – anyone)
  • Apple Pay compatibility

Regular KOHO vs. KOHO Premium

KOHO has two tiers: and .

The regular option’s best advantages are that it offers:

  • no annual fee,
  • 0.5% cash back on everything,
  • a 1.5% foreign transaction fee, and
  • boasts an international ATM fee of $2 – $3.

But if you’re going to be using this card regularly, it’s definitely worth looking into the premium tier.

It offers you:

  • 2% cash back on groceries, eating, drinking, and transportation,
  • 0.5% on every other purchase,
  • no foreign transaction fee,
  • increased spend and load limits,
  • price matching, and
  • free financial coaching.

What’s better than making even more cash while you’re spending it?

All of this for a low $84 annual fee (+30 day free trial!) in comparison to the rewards you could be cashing in on.

KOHO definitely gives the impression that they care about your money and how you handle it.

Fees

Below, we compare the two tiers and their fees so you can see what works for you and your spending:

KOHO Regular KOHO Premium
Annual fee $0 $84 (has 30-day free trial)
Rewards 0.5% cash back on everything 2% cash back on groceries, eating, drinking, and transportation
Then 0.5% on everything else
Foreign exchange fees 1.5% (a 1% savings over the norm) 0%
International ATM withdrawal $2 – $3 each 1 free per month
Daily transaction limit 15 20
Account balance limit $20,000 $40,000
ATM withdrawal limit $300/withdrawal
$600/day
$400/withdrawal
$800/day
Price matching No Yes
Free financial coaching No Yes
Interested? Get KOHO Get KOHO

Bonus: If you use our link, you’ll get an extra 1% cash back on all your purchases for 90 days.

There are also different limits for how much you can load on to the card depending on what tier you go with. Both are extremely reasonable for the everyday user.

Below is a comparison of the two:

KOHO Regular KOHO Premium
Maximums for loads (total) 20/day
60/month
$10,000/load
$10,000/day
$40,000/month
40/day
120/month
$15,000/load
$15,000/day
$45,000/month
Maximums for payroll loads 4/day
6/month
$10,000/day
$20,000/month
4/day
60/month
$10,000/day
$20,000/month
Maximums for e-Transfer loads 10/day
60/month
$5,000/day
$20,000/month
23/day
120/month
$10,000/day
$20,000/month

PowerUps

KOHO offers you instant cash back, or what they like to call PowerUps, for your spending at 0.5% on all your purchases.

BUT if you’re a premium member, you get a higher 2% cash back on groceries, eating, drinking, and transportation.

Within 1 – 2 business days (way sooner than an average bank), you’ll see it in a special tab marked “Savings.”

Plus you can get extra PowerUps that are combined with the base cash back you get back on all purchases.

For every pal you refer (up to a limit of 10), you can earn an additional 1% on every purchase for 90 days after that friend makes their first purchase.

You also receive an extra 0.5% cash back on every purchase for 90 days after you receive your first direct deposit from an employer (at a minimum of $500).

And if you thought you weren’t getting enough PowerUps – we’ve got you covered. Get KOHO using code “CCGBONUS” at sign up for either Regular or Premium and receive an extra 1% cash back for the first 90 days.

There are also Merchant PowerUps – a way to get even more cash back at participating merchants. Here are their current partners:

Merchant Additional PowerUps Total % for Regular Total % for Premium
Well.ca 1.5% 2% 2%
foodora 4% 4.5% 6%
Chefs Plate 3% 3.5% 3.5%
Greenhouse Juice 5% 5.5% 7%

The KOHO app

Built to be user-friendly and with a streamlined design, the KOHO app has a lot to be proud of.

It’s updated frequently at every 2 – 3 weeks (a lot of banks only do this every once in a while) and has features like:

  • Spend Insights: Real-time spending insights and expense categorization to see how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on.
  • Savings Goals​: The option to automate your savings by choosing to transfer a customizable amount daily, weekly, or monthly.
Plus up to $300 travel bonus.
Ends October 25th.

Is KOHO worth it?

That’s up to you and how you spend your cash.

It’s a great deal, no fuss and certainly an attractive program – especially if the feature to make online purchases draws you in.

If you have poor credit and can’t qualify for a top cash back credit card or if you’d rather avoid credit altogether, KOHO really can’t be beaten in terms of cash back rewards on your spending.

KOHO even states on their website:

“You get the most out of KOHO when you use your KOHO Visa for:

Everyday things: Morning coffee, lunch with co-workers, taxis, drinks with friends

Weekly things: Groceries, online shopping, yoga classes, clothes shopping

Monthly things: Select monthly bills: Cable/internet, cellphone, gym memberships”

One of the biggest (and only) downsides to this card is that it doesn’t help your credit score and that you have to reload it through e-Transfer or direct deposit.

So no matter what, you’re probably not going to be replacing your debit card…yet.

Want a real credit card instead?

If you’re looking for a low-fee card, we suggest the .

It’s our best no fee, cash back Visa for a reason. It offers you:

  • 0% foreign currency conversion charge on purchases abroad.
  • 1% cash back with every purchase.
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
  • Car Rental Collision Insurance and Purchase Security Insurance included.
  • Roadside Assistance at no extra cost.
  • No annual fee.

We want to hear from you!

Are the fee-tures worth it?

Are prepaid credit cards the way of the future?

Let us know in the comments below.