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KOHO Prepaid Mastercard Review 2023

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An image of the KOHO prepaid credit card.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Rated 3.5/5 stars.

Rewards
  • 1-2% Earn up to 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, and dining out, depending on the plan you choose.
  • 0.25 - 0.5% Earn up to 0.5% cash back on all purchases, with three out of the four plans offered.
  • 0.5-4% Collect up to 4% interest on your balance, paid monthly, depending on the plan you choose.

  • Welcome Offer None
  • Annual Rewards $100
  • Annual Fee $0 (Easy); $48 (Essential); $108 (Extra); $228 (Everything)
  • Minimum Income Required None

The cool thing about living in the digital age is that daily banking has kept up with our ever-changing lifestyles. Modern personal finance products, like those from KOHO, give Canadian spending and saving products a much-needed oomph.

In this KOHO review, we take a closer look at KOHO’s four Mastercard plans so you can determine which prepaid credit card is right for you.

KOHO prepaid Mastercard: an overview

The KOHO Mastercard is a hybrid bank account and prepaid credit card. It combines the features of a chequing accountsavings account, and credit card into one flexible account, and is accepted anywhere Mastercard is.

Because the KOHO Mastercard is a prepaid credit card, you must pre-load funds to your account in order to make transactions. As a result, KOHO doesn’t charge interest or require minimum payments, allowing you to avoid the revolving debt of credit cards while budgeting effectively.

Currently, there are four KOHO prepaid Mastercard plans to choose from: KOHO Easy, KOHO Essential, KOHO Extra, and KOHO Everything. Below, we’ll take a look at what each plan has to offer and how they differ.

KOHO Easy

  • Fees: None
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Cash back rates:
    • Groceries and transportation: 1%
    • Cash back with partners: 1% to 5%
  • Interest on balance: 0.5%, paid monthly
  • Mobile wallet: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
  • Direct deposit: Yes
  • Credit Building feature: $10/month
  • Additional Features: RoundUps, Savings Goals
  • Balance limit: $50,000
  • FX Fees: 1.5%

KOHO Easy is the online bank’s flagship product. It acts as a combination of a debit card and prepaid card, with a cash back reward program that rivals any credit card. KOHO Easy is primarily a spending tool but also acts as a budgeting and saving tool as well.

Two staple features include instant cash back on groceries and transportation, and RoundUps. The instant cash back allows you to receive your cash back instantly. The RoundUps savings feature grants you the opportunity to round up each purchase by $1, $2, $5, or $10 and deposit the difference in your savings.

KOHO Easy comes with no activation fee, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance requirements. There are also no transaction limits, unlimited bill payments, unlimited bank transfers, and unlimited Interac e-Transfers. You can choose from four vibrant colour options for your KOHO prepaid card.

You can load funds via Visa/Mastercard debit load, Interac e-transfer, or direct deposit.

KOHO Essential

  • Fees: $4/month, or $48/year
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Cash back rates:

    • All purchases: 0.25%
    • Groceries and transportation: 1%
    • Eating and drinking: 1%
    • Extra cash back with partners: up to 5%
  • Interest on balance: 1.5%, paid monthly
  • Mobile wallet: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
  • Direct deposit: Yes
  • Credit Building feature: $7/month
  • Additional features: RoundUps
  • Balance limit: $50,000
  • FX Fees: 1.5%

A new addition to the KOHO account plans, KOHO Essential is a step up for those looking for cash back on all of their purchases and added interest on their savings.

For only $4 a month, or an annual fee of $48, you can earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation. On top of that, you can earn 1% on any food or beverage purchases and 0.25% on everything else.

KOHO Essential also offers triple the interest compared to the KOHO Easy account at 1.5%. And if you’re looking to build credit, this KOHO card offers a credit building feature for an additional $7/month. You’re guaranteed approval and can improve your credit score for no interest.

KOHO Extra

  • Fees: $9/month, or $108/year
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Cash back rates:
    • All purchases: 0.5%
    • Groceries and transportation: 2%*
    • Eating and drinking: 2%
  • Interest on balance: 2%, paid monthly
  • Mobile wallet: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
  • Direct deposit: Yes
  • Credit Building feature: $7/ month
  • Additional features: All features included with KOHO Essential, as well as no foreign transaction fees, priority user support, access to financial advisors, and one free international ATM withdrawal per month
  • Balance limit: $50,000
  • FX Fees: None

KOHO Extra is the amped-up version of KOHO Easy and KOHO Essential, charging an annual fee of $108, or a monthly fee of $9. There’s a free trial for the first 30 days, too.

In exchange for the annual or monthly fee, KOHO Extra provides 2% cash back on groceries (including major chains and independent retailers) as well as restaurants, food delivery, coffee shops, and bars.

If you’re thinking of travelling or finding yourself travelling often, KOHO Extra comes with no foreign transaction fees and one free international ATM withdrawal per month.

KOHO also offers zero-interest overdraft protection called Cover. For $5 a month, Cover gives you up to $50 in overdraft in case you’re tight on funds. You’ll also get access to a financial coach, who can give you advice on all things money. It also comes with all of the same perks as KOHO Easy.

KOHO Everything

  • Fees: $19/month, or $228/year
  • Minimum balance: None
  • Cash back rates:
    • All purchases: 0.5%
    • Groceries and transportation: 2%
    • Eating and drinking: 2%
    • Up to 6% extra cash back at selected merchants
  • Interest on balance: 4% APR, paid monthly
  • Credit Building feature: $5/month
  • Additional features: All features included with KOHO Essential, as well as Interac e-transfers.
  • Balance limit: $50,000
  • FX Fees: None

Similar to KOHO Extra, KOHO Everything works well for travellers and offers no foreign exchange fees and one free international ATM withdrawal per month.

Like the name suggests, KOHO Everything includes all of KOHO’s features, like cash back, interest on your balance, credit building, and Interac e-transfers.

The best feature of KOHO Everything is that it acts as a high-interest savings account, allowing you to earn 4% interest on your balance.

KOHO cash back partners

With a KOHO prepaid credit card, you can earn extra cash back on purchases at select retailers, including:

lightbulb icon
  • Altitude Sports: 4%
  • Baskin Robbins: 5%
  • Branch: 2%
  • Contiki: 5%
  • iQ: 2%
  • Kernels: 3%
  • Rakuten Kobo: 2%
  • Natura Market: 2%
  • Open Farm 4%
  • PhoneBox: 2%
  • Pizza 73: 3%
  • Pizza Pizza: 3%
  • TenTree: 3%
  • The Last Hunt: 2%
  • Well.ca: 1.5%

How to load your KOHO card

There are three ways to load money onto your KOHO card:

  1. Interac e-Transfer. You can initiate an Interac e-Transfer from your banking institution (i.e. BMO, RBC, etc.) or deposit funds directly into your KOHO account from Interac’s portal.
  2. Direct deposit. A convenient way to routinely fill your account with money is to set up automatic payroll deposits. As with any direct deposit, you must provide your employer with your KOHO account information.
  3. Debit card loading. The debit card load method is a way to load funds onto your card without using your existing bank’s online portal. You’ll need an existing Mastercard Debit or a Visa Debit, however. Within the KOHO app, you add either your Mastercard Debit or Visa Debit card and draw funds directly from that card each time you wish to transfer money.

Remember that you don’t have free reign to load, spend, and transfer money as you please — various limits apply to each account type.

Can I withdraw cash from my KOHO account?

Yes, you can withdraw cash from your account using your physical KOHO card at an ATM.

While KOHO won’t charge you for a withdrawal, you may incur a $2 to $3 out-of-network fee, depending on your location. KOHO does, however, impose daily ATM withdrawal limits.

Can I get a joint KOHO account?

Yes. KOHO Joint is similar to KOHO Easy, except that it allows two people access to share one account.

On a KOHO Joint account, you can add one other person to the account. Whether they’re your partner, family member, friend, or anyone you trust sharing money with, anyone can manage your finances with you— just make sure it’s someone you trust, as the person whose name is on the account has the sole power to close the account.

Can I switch KOHO plans?

Yes. If you’re not satisfied with your current plan and want to try a different one, you can make the switch.

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll have to first cancel your current plan and then sign up for a new plan. There is no seamless plan upgrade feature available from KOHO just yet.

To cancel your existing plan, simply open the KOHO app, click My Plan, and then click Unsubscribe. Then, when the end of your billing cycle rolls around, sign back up for the plan you want.

Our final thoughts

KOHO offers a range of prepaid Mastercard plans to cater to different financial needs and lifestyles.

If you’re looking for a simple, fee-free solution with excellent cash back rewards, KOHO Easy is the ideal choice. It gives you the convenience of a prepaid card with instant cash back on groceries and transportation, along with handy budgeting features.

If you’re looking for more comprehensive benefits, including increased cash back on various purchases and a credit-building option, KOHO Essential is a step up at an affordable monthly fee.

If you’re a frequent traveller who wants superior cash back rates, no foreign transaction fees, and access to financial advisors, KOHO Extra is a great fit.

And lastly, KOHO Everything is perfect for individuals who prioritize savings, offering high-interest rates on balances, along with all the features of the other plans.

The choice depends on your financial priorities and lifestyle preferences.

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