KOHO Review

KOHO Review

Written by Priyanka Correia
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated September 20, 2022

KOHO is a fin-tech company that offers free reloadable prepaid cards that allow you to control and track your spending while still being able to enjoy the perks of having a credit card. Similar to a traditional bank, KOHO provides its users with a product that allows them to make purchases like they would on a debit card and earn cash back like they would with a credit card. This mix of credit and debit card features makes KOHO an innovative and powerful tool for many Canadians. 

What Kind Of Prepaid Cards Does KOHO Offer? 

KOHO’s prepaid credit cards are a hybrid of debit and credit cards. While this product allows users to make purchases with their own money, like a debit card, they also are able to earn cash back rewards like a credit card. Currently, KOHO has 3 types of prepaid cards to choose from.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

The KOHO prepaid credit card is KOHO’s original card. It has no annual fee and has no account fees including cost per transaction, NSF, and e-transfer fees. The only exception is the foreign transaction fees, which will cost you 1.5% per transaction. 

With the KOHO prepaid credit card, you can earn 0.5% cash on all purchases and up to 5% cash back when you make a purchase from select merchants. Additionally, if you refer a friend to KOHO you and your friend will get $20. To qualify for this bonus, your friend must sign up and make a purchase within 30 days of registering.

 If you’re looking to save extra cash, you can use KOHO’s RoundUps feature to automatically stash away money with every purchase. You can choose to round up your purchase to the nearest $1, $2, $5, or $10. Moreover, if you ever lose your card or suspect any fraudulent activity, you can use your KOHO app to lock your account.

  • No annual fee
  • 0.5% cash back
  • Extra cash back when you shop with certain KOHO partners
  • RoundUps
  • 1.5% foreign transaction fees
  • Free e-transfers
  • No NSF fees
KOHO Mastercard joint

KOHO Joint Prepaid Mastercard

KOHO Joint prepaid card is meant for those who would like to have a joint account with their partners, spouses, family, or any other person they’d like to share their finances and financial goals with. You can set goals and contribute to the account together. The joint account also helps keep both holders updated on spending with instant notifications and alerts when a purchase is made. Moreover, you’ll be able to earn 0.5% cash back on all purchases made. Similar to the regular KOHO prepaid credit card, you’ll also be able to earn up to 5% in cash back when you make purchases with select merchants. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the KOHO RoundUps feature to help reach your savings goals faster.

  • No annual fee
  • 0.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Up to 5% cash back with select merchants
  • Track expenses through the KOHO app
  • Get real-time notifications when a purchase is made
  • Automate your savings with KOHO RoundUps
  • Free e-transfers
  • No NSF fees
KOHO Mastercard premium

KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard 

With a fee of $9 a month or $84 a year, you can gain access to KOHO’s most prestigious card: the KOHO Premium prepaid credit card. While this card may have a significant fee, users can try out the premium version for free using the 30-day trial pass. Plus, it comes with a number of perks that may be worth the cost. This card provides a higher cash back rate of 2% on categories like transportation, groceries, and restaurants. All other purchases will earn you 0.5%. You can also earn an extra 2% cash back when you make purchases with merchants that are partnered with KOHO. This includes stores like Baskin Robbins, Pizza Pizza, Indigo, Chefs Plate, Frank and Oak, and many others.

Moreover, unlike its other two cards, this one comes with no foreign transaction fees, which will help you avoid around 2.5% in FX fees for each withdrawal. It also comes with a price-matching feature which can help save you money. This feature credits you the difference in price on items you’ve purchased that have dropped in price within a set time frame. You’ll also have access to a financial coach who provides advice on different financial topics such as debt, saving, investing, and budgeting. If you travel outside of Canada, you can take advantage of KOHO’s free international ATM withdrawal. Users get one free withdrawal each month, which can save them from a $2-$3 charge each month.

  • Has a monthly fee of $9 or an annual fee of $84
  • 30-day free trial
  • 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, and transportation
  • Extra cash when you make a purchase with select KOHO partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to KOHO’s in-house financial coach for financial advice
  • Save money with KOHO’s price matching feature
  • 1 Free International ATM withdrawal each month

How Does KOHO Work?

Using a KOHO card is simple. First, you’ll have to create an account by signing up online. Once you have your account set up you can add money to your virtual card in the KOHO app via Interac e-Transfer or through automatic payroll deposits. Once you have money in your account you can use your virtual KOHO prepaid credit card through the KOHO app as you would a debit or credit card.

You can use your digital KOHO card to make purchases online and even in-store if they have the payment system to accept virtual prepaid cards. You could also link your virtual KOHO card to your digital wallet like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

Any purchase you make will earn you 0.5% cash back or 2% on groceries, restaurants, and transportation if you get the premium card. KOHOs prepaid credit card offers a balance between the accessibilities of a debit card and the rewards of a credit card. Moreover, with KOHO you can use its app to track your spending, check your balance, stay on track to meet your financial goals. 

How Much Does It Cost To Open An Account With KOHO?

Depending on the type of prepaid credit card you choose it can cost you anywhere between 0$ and 9$ a month. While KOHO’s prepaid credit card and joint prepaid card are free, KOHO’s premium prepaid credit card costs $9 a month. However, if you choose to pay for a year, you’ll get a discount of $24, which equates to a yearly fee of $84.

KOHO Card Product Details Overview

KOHO Premium Prepaid MastercardKOHO Prepaid MastercardKOHO Joint Prepaid Mastercard
Monthly Account Fee$9$0$0
Foreign Transaction Fees0%1.5%1.5%
Cost Per Transaction$0$0$0
NSF Fee$0$0$0
E-transfer Fees$0$0$0
Rewards– Earn 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, and transportation.  
– Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
– Earn extra cash back with select merchants
– Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
– Earn extra cash back with select merchants
– Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
– Earn extra cash back with select merchants
Budgeting and Tracking ToolYesYesYes
App AccessibilityYesYesYes

Pros And Cons Of Using KOHO

When you sign-up for KOHOs prepaid credit card, you’ll notice the pros far outweigh the cons. Below, we’ve listed the benefits and drawbacks of using KOHO’s prepaid cards. 


  • Fast and easy application process – Opening an account with KOHO is easy and only takes a few minutes. Simply start by creating an account by entering your email address and a few personal details. Once you’re registered, you’ll get a virtual prepaid credit card, which you can begin using through the KOHO app immediately.
  • No monthly fees – KOHO’s prepaid credit card has no monthly fees unless you opt for their premium card. 
  • No transaction fees – With KOHO, you can make as many transactions as you want without having to worry about different transaction fees such as Interac e-Transfer, ATM withdrawals, and electronic fund transfers. The only fee they charge is foreign transaction fees, but this can be waived if you opt for its premium card.
  • Earn cash back – Unlike a typical debit card, you can earn 0.5% cash back with KOHO’s prepaid credit card and 2% with its premium card. Moreover, you can earn 1.2% on your account balance if you set up a direct deposit in your account. 
  • KOHO extra cash back– You can also earn extra cash back when you make purchases from select KOHO partners.
  • Money management tools – Track and budget your spending with real-time data through the KOHO smartphone app. You can also compare your spending habits to other KOHO users to see how your financial habits stack up.
  • Automated savings – Accelerate your savings with the automated RoundUp feature. Round up each purchase to the nearest $1, $2, $5 or $10.
  • Financial Advice – If you opt for KOHO’s premium card, you’ll gain access to a financial coach who can provide you with sound advice on different financial topics. You can access your financial coach by simply going to the KOHO in-app chat and including  #coach to get started. KOHO’s Financial Coachs are all accredited financial counsellors who can provide advice on debt, investing, saving, and budgeting
  • Third-party E-transfers – Third-party e-Transfers are now available. With it, you can accept e-transfer to your KOHO account from your friends and family. 
  • Instant Pay – KOHO also offers users the ability to cash out up to 50% of the pay they earn each workday, every day. 


  • Foreign transaction fees – KOHO charges 1.5% in foreign transaction fees. While this is a lot lower than most credit cards, it doesn’t make it ideal for travelling unless you get the premium card.
  • No effect on credit score – KOHO is a prepaid credit card, meaning payments are not reported to the credit bureaus, so there’s no impact on your credit. If you’re looking to build your credit, KOHO does offer a credit building product. You simply need to subscribe to their Credit Building Program for a low monthly fee of $10. 
  • Atm withdrawal limit – You can only withdraw $600 from ATMs
  • Spending limit – You have a daily spending limit of $ 4,000

KOHO Credit Builder

If you have trouble accessing affordable credit due to bad credit, KOHO can help you build your credit history through its Credit Building Program. Their credit building program is a credit-building line of credit with a $10/month subscription fee. You can renew every 6 months depending on your credit goals or cancel at any time. When you subscribe, KOHO will automatically deduct a $10 subscription fee from your account each month and report these “payments” to a credit bureau. There’s no hard credit check.

Get Your Credit Score For Free With KOHO’s Credit Building Tool

Moreover, when you subscribe to KOHO’s Credit Building services, you’ll get your credit score for free and have access to their Credit Building page on the KOHO app. This page allows you to track the changes to your credit score each month. If you’d like to take advantage of this low-cost credit building service, simply register through the KOHO app to get started.

How To Open An Account With KOHO

To create an account with KOHO, you’ll have to fill out an online application with a few details. It’s a 5 step process that’ll take you as little as 5 minutes to complete.

  • Step 1 – Enter your email address and create a password for your account.
  • Step 2 – Provide some basic personal information including your name, job, phone number, and address. 
  • Step 3 –  Select one of the three available colour schemes for your card.  
  • Step 4 Re-confirm your address, so KOHO can mail you your card. 
  • Step 5 – Once you’ve completed your online application, KOHO will send you a link to their app which you must download and login in to in order to complete your accounts set-up. 

When you fill out your online application, make sure you have a copy of any 2 of the following documents to verify your identity. 

  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Work permit
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement

Who Are KOHO’s Prepaid Cards Best Suited For?

KOHO prepaid credit cards aren’t just an alternative to those having a hard time securing a regular credit card, but it’s also meant for those who want to better control their spending. The KOHO prepaid credit card comes with budgeting and tracking tools on their app that you can use to limit your spending and alert you on all your purchases. Moreover, students, new credit users and bad credit individuals can enjoy cash back rewards without the high fees that typically come with a regular credit card

KOHO Prepaid Credit Card FAQs

Can I build credit with KOHO’s prepaid cards

While KOHO’s prepaid credit card acts like a credit card, it is not a real credit product. Purchases made on your card use the money you’ve loaded into it. As such, these payments are not reported to the credit bureaus and thus it cannot help you build credit. But, KOHO does offer a Credit Building Program to help its clients improve their credit, learn more here

What’s the purpose of a prepaid card? 

Prepaid credit cards are a great alternative to traditional credit cards because they can be used in the same way but are don’t come with any specific approval requirements. Users preload their cards with cash and therefore won’t be tempted to overspend.

Can I use my KOHO prepaid credit card online? 

Yes, you can use your KOHO prepaid credit card both online and in-store.
Is KOHO free?
Yes, KOHO is a free prepaid credit card that you can use to spend and save money. With it, you can earn interest on your balance and cash back on your purchases. Moreover, you can also speed up your savings with their automated RoundUp savings feature. You can also opt for their premium account for a fee for extra perks like higher cash back and access to a financial coach. 

Can I withdraw cash from my KOHO card?

Yes, you can withdraw cash from your KOHO prepaid credit card. To withdraw cash, you’ll need to select credit as your type of card. While KOHO does not charge any ATM fees, you may be charged a $2-$3 dollar fee by the ATM. 

Is KOHO Safe?

Yes, KOHO is just as safe as any other big bank in Canada. They’ve partnered with People’s Bank; a federally regulated CDIC-insured financial institution, to store their user’s money. Moreover, they have additional security measures like their in-app card locking feature.

Bottom Line

While there are many prepaid credit cards available on the market, the KOHO card comes with a number of perks including the ability to earn cash back, budget, and track spending. If you’re in the market for a prepaid credit card, check out KOHO, it literally costs you nothing. 

Priyanka Correia is a Marketing Coordinator and personal finance expert at Loans Canada. Priyanka completed her Bachelor's degree in Marketing at Concordia University and has published work that has been mentioned in various news media. She is passionate about money management and educating Canadian consumers about how to take control of their financial lives.

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