KOHO vs. STACK: A Comparison

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KOHO vs. STACK: A Comparison

Written by Corrina Murdoch
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood

Updated September 15, 2021

KOHO vs. STACK: A Comparison

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Budgeting Prepaid Cards Review

Prepaid cards blend the benefits of credit and debit cards in a way that enables consumers to access online services and keep control over their money. Many use prepaid cards because poor credit precludes them from getting a credit card. Alternatively, many opt to use prepaid cards as a money management tool, since these cards only let you spend the funds you actually have. 

Whether you need a prepaid card or plan to have one as an extra tool in your financial arsenal, it’s important to choose a reliable company. Two of the industry leaders in the prepaid card arena are KOHO and STACK. When it comes time to choose the best option to keep in your wallet, the key is doing your research and gaining a thorough understanding of both cards. 

What Are Prepaid Credit Cards?

While prepaid credit cards have the word “credit card” in it, it is not a credit card. It is a reloadable card that you add money to, and then use to make purchases online or in-store. Prepaid credit cards are similar to debit cards wherein the balance you add to the account acts as your spending limit. Once you’ve exhausted your funds, you’ll need to reload the card to continue using it.

Pros

  • It’s easier to track spending and set budget limits.
  • It’s easy to get. There are no credit requirements to get a prepaid credit card.
  • Many prepaid credit cards have no annual fee.
  • Some prepaid credit cards let you earn rewards such as cash back or store discounts.
  • You don’t have to worry about accumulating debt. Prepaid credit cards force you to only use money you actually have, which can help you reduce debt, budget better and save money.

Cons

  • Prepaid credit cards don’t help with credit building. Since you’re simply using your own money, no payments are reported to the credit bureaus.
  • Prepaid credit cards often lack the extra perks of a credit card like travel insurance, purchase protection, extented warranty and more.

KOHO vs. STACK At A Glance

Both companies have substantial merit for customers looking to get a prepaid card. To determine which is best for you, it helps to look at the features side by side.

KOHOSTACK
Card TypeVisaMastercard
Monthly FeesNoneNone
Interest1.2%None
ATM FeesNoneNone
NSF FeesNoneNone
FX Fees1.5% (none for KOHO Premium)None
Interac E-Transfer FeesNoneNone
SecurityZero Liability InsuranceZero Liability Insurance
Rewards0.5% cashbackAvailable discounts
Special Features– Round-up
– Automated savings
– Financial advice
– Direct deposit
– Optional joint accounts
– Early payroll
– Financial advice
– Round-up
– Automated savings
– Tab-splitting
– Direct deposit

KOHO Features vs. STACK Features

Two of the most popular prepaid card companies are KOHO and Stack. Though most prepaid cards share a lot in common, in the spirit of competition, each company has unique features designed to make it more desirable to consumers. 

KOHO

KOHO Features

Using the Visa network, KOHO works in partnership with Peoples Trust to offer a secure prepaid credit card service that can be used internationally. The company is backed by investment businesses such as Drive Capital and Portag3, businesses that assure the funds on the cards. It offers a host of features, including: 

  • No monthly charges or non-sufficient funds fees
  • Half a percent cash back on any and all purchases 
  • Software to assist with budgeting funds 
  • A zero liability insured security feature
  • 1.2 percent interest on any deposits made
  • Optional joint account services with the card
  • Automated savings options such as round-up features
  • Early payroll to let you access up to $100 of payroll three days before you get paid 
Learn More
Stack Credit Card

STACK Features

Backed by the Mastercard network, this business connects to an online app (available on both Google Play and the App Store). In partnership with major companies like Amazon, Lyft, and Spotify, it uses a reward-based structure to incentivize customers to use its services. Keeping this focus, Stack provides a wide range of offerings such as:

  • No withdrawal fees, NSF charges, or fees to do an ATM withdrawal
  • Zero percent transaction fees on foreign purchases
  • Discounts on products through partnered businesses
  • Security in the form of zero liability insured services 
  • Software to help consumers budget their funds
  • The ability to split your tab using the card
  • Direct deposit services for your paychecks 
Learn More

KOHO vs. STACK: Rewards And Bonuses

KOHO and Stack both offer rewards, though in different styles. Depending on how you plan to use the card, you will likely prefer one of these companies. 

KOHO Rewards And Bonuses

This company offers 1.20 percent interest on all deposits made. It also offers 0.50 percent cash back on all purchases made using the card. If customers upgrade to KOHO Premium, you can get a full 2 percent cash back on select purchases. With this card, you can also get an extra one percent cash back for every referral. 

STACK Rewards And Bonuses

The focus on the Stack reward system is based on discounts offered through major companies. Clients can get access to special offers on services like Netflix and Spotify. The discounted items ranging from groceries to food delivery services. Additionally, they offer a five-dollar bonus when you sign up for the card. 

Check out how you can earn more rewards with the drop app.

KOHO vs. STACK: Budgeting And Financial Tools

Despite the many similarities, in each service category, there are differences between the features offered by Stack and KOHO.

Automated Savings

Both services offer automated savings services and the ability to make direct deposits. Both companies enable consumers to automatically save by rounding up each purchase. Users can round up their purchases by $1, $2, $5 and $10. Meaning if you spend $2.30, the rounding feature can put aside $0.70, $1.70, $2.70 or $7.70. 

Financial Advice 

Both KOHO and STACK offer financial advice to their users. Currently, only premium KOHO users can access the Financial Coach through the KOHO in-app chat. All KOHO Financial Coachs are accredited financial counsellors and can provide advice on any number of topics including investing, debt management, and budgeting. 

STACK also provides financial advice through their customer support channel. Simply use the in-app chat or call STACK’s customer service line to find someone to speak to. 

Payroll Lending

KOHO offers early payroll lending and the ability to keep joint accounts where Stack doesn’t. When sign-up for KOHO’s early payroll service, you’ll be able to access $100 three days before you get your paycheque.

Split The Tab

Conversely, STACK lets you split the tab, which is a service not offered through KOHO. With STACK you can instantly request a money transfer from your friends and family to split the tab.

KOHO vs. STACK: Account Fees

An important consideration when assessing which prepaid card company you plan to use is the cost of holding your account with the services. Among the things to keep in mind are:

  • Annual fees: This is the cost of keeping your card active year over year. Both KOHO and STACK don’t have either a monthly or an annual fee. 
  • Foreign transaction fees: KOHO has a 1.5 percent foreign transaction fee, though it drops to zero when the customer upgrades to KOHO premium. Stack, on the other hand, has no foreign transaction fees. 
  • ATM fees: Neither Stack nor KOHO has withdrawal fees, though there will likely be a fee to withdraw funds from the ATM itself. 
  • NSF penalties: KOHO and Stack both avoid non-sufficient funds fees altogether.

Basically, the key difference in terms of the cost lies in foreign transactions. If you are likely to complete a lot of international purchases, then Stack may be a more suitable card. However, if most of your spending is domestic, KOHO is still worth investigating. 

STACK vs. KOHO Security Features

Since the companies are regulated, both have the same security features in place. These help to keep your money secure. The protections in place include: 

  • In-app card-locking: If you misplace your card, or in the event of theft, you can simply navigate to the smartphone app and lock your account. This prevents any further spending on the card. As with other financial companies, you can also speak to customer service to have another card issued. 
  • Zero Liability Protection: This security feature means that, if a charge was not authorized by the cardholder, then they are not liable for the charge. Basically, if someone spends money on your prepaid card without your knowledge or consent, you are entitled to reimbursement. 

STACK Or KOHO: Which Is Better? 

Each of these cards is popular amongst consumers for good reason. Ultimately, it depends on your spending and earning habits, as well as your priorities. Whether you prefer incentives in the form of rewards or cold hard cash, they are only significant if you use the card. To reap the benefits of either card, you need to use it regularly. Because of this, it is better to choose just one and focus your financial energy on maximizing the benefits you can get from it by utilizing the card as much as possible. 

Choose KOHO If:

You prefer Visa, like cash rewards, and shop local. 

While everyone’s personal finances are unique, certain situations will benefit more from one of the cards. KOHO focuses its incentives on cashback. When you make purchases, a small percentage of the amount you spend is credited back to your account. Choose this option if you tend to shop at places that accept Visa since, otherwise, you can’t use the card. Also, be sure that the majority of your spending is domestic. The value of cashback is virtually eliminated by the foreign transaction fees. However, the early payroll offering and the absence of fees make this card perfect for money-minded individuals.

Choose STACK If:

You like special deals, discounts, and prefer MasterCard.

Stack prioritizes discounts through popular vendors. It has agreements with known brands like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and DoorDash. This card is ideal for those who shop at places that won’t accept Visa such as Costco. Additionally, if you tend to make a lot of purchases internationally. It offers all of the standard services including budgeting software; which, when used in conjunction with the round-up automated savings feature, can have a lot of financial benefits. The card has no fees and is accepted at most places that take prepaid cards. Useful for those who have subscriptions with its partners, Stack is well-suited to those who want to get rewarded for spending. 

KOHO vs. STACK FAQs

Does KOHO or STACK allow you to automate your savings?

Both KOHO and STACK have an automated savings feature that allows users to round up their purchases to the nearest $1, $2, $5 or $10.

Should I get KOHO or STACK?

Both KOHO and STACK are very similar in nature. They are both prepaid credit cards that offer rewards, savings and tools to help you better manage your money. However, one of the main differences between them is that STACK is a Mastercard that offers rewards in the form of discounts and charges lower foreign transaction fees. On the other hand, the KOHO card is a Visa that offers cash back rewards on purchases. As such, you should choose the STACK card if you like to shop outside of Canada and enjoy hunting for deals. If you prefer cash back rewards and enjoy shopping locally, you should choose KOHO.

Can I earn rewards with KOHO or STACK?

Yes, you can earn rewards with both KOHO and STACK. KOHO allows users to earn between 0.5% to 2% cash back on all purchases depending on the type of KOHO card they get. Similarly, STACK users can earn rewards through exclusive discounts and promotions through their list of partners.

Can I withdraw money through an ATM with KOHO?

Yes, you can withdraw money from any ATM with KOHO for a cost of $2-$3 dollars. The charge varies according to the ATM network you choose to withdraw money. KOHO users can withdraw money at any ATM.

Is STACK safe to use?

Yes, STACK is owned by Peoples Trust Company a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Moreover, it has Zero Liability Protection and an in-app locking feature that allows you to free your account in the event you lose your card or suspect fraud.

A Word On Prepaid Cards

The best part of prepaid cards is that they are low risk and high reward. You can’t spend more than you have, there is no risk of harming your credit, and companies actually offer incentives to encourage you to spend. As long as you choose the card whose services are geared more toward your spending habits, you can save money without making any sacrifices. 


Rating of 5/5 based on 5 votes.

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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