KOHO Review: 2021

Woman with a credit card talking on the phone

The cool thing about living in the future is that daily banking has kept up with the times. Modern personal finance products, like KOHO, give us spending and saving products the much-needed oomph! we didn’t know we needed.

In this KOHO review, Wealth Rocket looks at what KOHO and its products are all about. It also covers a KOHO Visa credit card review and how this popular Canadian neobank is reinventing the personal finance game.  

Table of Contents

Koho Credit Card

KOHO Credit

KOHO Credit Card

Sign Up for KOHO & get an extra 1% cash back on all your spending for 90 days

A KOHO and KOHO Visa Card Review: Personal, Premium, and Joint Programs

KOHO joins a growing list of neobanks (also known as online-only banks) that approach banking with a customer-centric business model.

KOHO currently offers three different tiers on its product roster: KOHO Personal, KOHO Premium, and KOHO Joint.

Let’s take a look at what each KOHO product has to offer Canadians like you.

KOHO Personal

KOHO Personal is the online bank’s staple product. It acts as a debit card and prepaid Visa, with a cashback reward program that rivals any credit card.

KOHO Personal’s more of a saving and budgeting tool rather than a spending one. Though it’s primary function is spending, KOHO users must load funds via Interac e-transfer or direct deposit via an external bank account.

KOHO Personal comes with no activation fee, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance requirements.

There are no transaction limits, unlimited bill payments, and unlimited bank transfers.

Though KOHO Personal does not offer a regular savings account at this time, their cashback makes up for the lack of interest, which, in many cases, provides a higher return than many banks.

Clients can reap the benefits of 0.50% on every purchase, with a higher percentile on purchases at select retailers, including Indigo, Pizza Pizza, Well.ca, and much more. Purchases made at participating retailers come with cashback rates ranging from 1% to as high as 25%.

KOHO also uniquely offers a RoundUp feature, allowing cardholders to round up purchases to any customizable amount, which allows them to save money on every purchase.

Did we mention that there are four beautiful, vibrant credit card options available?

There is a $20,000 deposit limit for a KOHO Personal account.

KOHO Premium

KOHO Premium, as you might have guessed, is the supercharged, amped-up option made available by KOHO.

Much like an annual credit card fee, KOHO Premium asks for $9 a month or gives newcomers the option to pay $84 every year, which comes with a $24 discount. There’s a free trial for the first 30 days, too.

More money, more perks; at least that's how KOHO Premium works anyway. In exchange for monthly or annual payments, KOHO provides a great interest rate of 2.00% on the following categories:

  • Food and Beverage: Restaurants and bars, take-out and delivery orders, coffee shops, and anywhere else serving anything delicious.
  • Groceries: Major supermarket chains, independent retailers, and everything in between.
  • Transportation: Public transportation, taxis, Uber, Lyft, gas, tolls, parking, and more.

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

The Premium package also provides access to certified financial coaching that can help customers build a custom budget and answer any questions related to their finances and taxes.

KOHO Premium offers a price matching program that lets people upload receipts and receive a price match if KOHO finds a better one on their behalf.

Available at both tiers, KOHO offers overdraft protection, which lends customers $100 until their next paycheque. (Talk about a solid friend!)

It also comes with all of the same perks as KOHO Personal. Not bad for $84 a year.

There is a deposit limit of $40,000 with a KOHO Premium account.

KOHO Joint

KOHO Joint is similar to KOHO Personal, 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.

What is KOHO?

KOHO is a neobank that offers three variants of a chequing account combined with a reloadable credit card, with cashback and round-up saving options.

In a similar fashion to a chequing account, KOHO users must add funds to their account to make transactions. However, a KOHO card is accepted anywhere Visa is. As a result, KOHO does not charge interest or require minimum payments, allowing customers to avoid revolving debt and budget extra effectively.

But wait, there’s more! KOHO offers some incredibly unique programs and features, such as its cashback program. It is available in two tiers: KOHO Personal and KOHO Premium.

KOHO Personal is a free digital bank account that earns 0.50% cashback, while KOHO Premium offers 2.00% for a monthly or yearly fee. There’s also a joint account option, which is identical to KOHO Personal.

While KOHO operates entirely online and does not have any branches, customers can access and monitor their funds using KOHO’s stunning mobile app or through its sleek website.

All accounts come with sleek debit card choices. It’s also compatible with Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.

How Does KOHO Work?

Using KOHO is as easy as spelling it. Since KOHO acts as a hybrid of a card and a credit card, you can use it anywhere that Visa is accepted. It works just like any other debit or credit card.

KOHO’s key features include its cashback options available at the Personal and Premium levels.

In essence, KOHO offers cashback at different rates: 0.50% for KOHO Personal and 2.00% for KOHO Premium.

KOHO also makes it easier to spend and save with its RoundUp features, which rounds up payments to the nearest dollar and saves it into dedicated accounts.

KOHO does not have any physical branches and works in partnership with Peoples Trust, a Canadian trust insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

The Peoples Trust holds finances on behalf of KOHO, meaning that your money is safe in the unlikely event that KOHO should go out of business.

Despite not holding customers’ funds, KOHO is a CDIC-insured institution, just like any other Schedule 1 bank.

KOHO Pros & Cons

KOHO is an exceptional personal finance product and budgeting account, though it does come with a few gaps that new customers should consider before signing-up.

Pros: The Good Stuff

Logo No fees and unlimited transactions: Need more be said?

Logo Cashback program: KOHO offers a cashback program that comes at a return rate rivaling most chequing accounts and credit cards on the Canadian market.

Logo RoundUp savings feature: While a KOHO savings account is not available (yet), setting savings goals is available through a feature that rounds up loose change. The feature is adjustable to the users' liking.

Logo Opulent card choices: KOHO brings the noise with four beautiful card choices, and even offers a luxurious titanium card (for only $50 and two sign-up referrals).

Cons: The Not So Good Stuff

Logo No registered account options: To be fair, KOHO is primarily a spending account, but there are no registered accounts available, meaning cash earned is taxable.

Logo Can’t build credit: Since KOHO is a prepaid card, you can't build credit using any of their products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sort of. KOHO Personal is free, while KOHO Premium comes with a monthly or yearly charge.

KOHO Personal is free to use and comes with a 0.50% cash return, as does KOHO Joint.

KOHO Premium comes with an annual fee of $84 or a monthly fee of $9. The annual upfront payment is $23 cheaper.

Unfortunately, no. While KOHO works as a Visa, it does not come with interest and can’t help improve your credit score since there is nothing to pay back.

Cards are preloaded and charged instantly, meaning there is no bill to pay and thus no way to let creditors know that you make payments on time.

KOHO is as safe as any other Visa credit card. It is not a credit card but rather a prepaid card.

If you lose your KOHO Visa card, you can lock your account through the KOHO app in a moment’s notice.

It is also CDIC-insured, meaning your money is insured if KOHO decides to kick the bucket, but that’s highly unlikely.

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