Canadians sought help in budgeting, spending, saving, earning cashback, rebuilding credit, and other financial-related concerns. Insert KOHO Mastercard – a reloadable card with its app that aims to solve these money matters.
For the record, KOHO is not another financial institution or bank. Instead, it is a financial technology company that’s breaking barriers in vertical banking, saving you from paying all those extra and unnecessary fees at every turn.
Financial chaos can be a real thing – whopping credit card balances, pesky monthly fees, increasing interest payments, unwanted overdrafts, failed overall budgeting, and close-to-nothing savings accounts – confusing, indeed! Financial simplification, savings rate increase, and FREE money management – all using the KOHO app! It is free to download, then join right away. Read our Koho review below to learn more about this service.
What is KOHO?
A Canadian fintech company, KOHO, was founded by Daniel Eberhard and was launched last 2017. One primary goal is to salvage Canadians from the ridiculous monthly payment of banking fees – with some considered the highest worldwide!
KOHO is afintech company that offers Canadians a free reloadable prepaid card that allows you to control your spending and keep the benefits of a credit card while still enjoying the benefits of a credit card. KOHO provides its users with a product similar to a traditional bank that allows them to shop with their debit card and earn back money with their credit card.
In addition, KOHO wants to create easier budgeting and saving scheme average for Canadians to be on top of their financial game without needing drastic lifestyle changes.
KOHO has partnered with People’s Trust, a federally regulated bank in Canada. Since it is not a bank or financial institution, KOHO made the smart move to partner with the world’s best – Mastercard, and one federally regulated company, Peoples Trust. These three massive forces work hand-in-hand in holding funds loaded on cards safely protected by CDIC.
With a Koho card, you can make purchases from your favourite retailers, earn money back, round up your purchases to save the change and access premium features that give you extra benefits. Read on to understand how Koho works and discover the company’s fantastic benefits. Koho has a physical prepaid Mastercard card and a built-in mobile app to control your spending.
How a Koho Account Works
KOHO provides reloadable or prepaid Mastercard Cards and a handy app integrated with the card. Both help you have effortless budgeting, knowledgeable spending, and automatic saving.
Account opening is as simple as 1-2-3s and will not take more than five (5) minutes of your precious time. Setting up your account allows you a choice among Mastercard Cards that will work like a debit card. These cards will give you flawless spending ability but, at the same time, encourage responsible savings, too, or what they call “a smart spending account.”
The first and probably the easiest way to start your card’s usage is by depositing funds through e-Transfer. Users can set up direct loads, either to be all transferred or only a portion, from their paycheques onto their KOHO Card.
How to Use Your Koho Prepaid Mastercard
Koho is a unique hybrid card that offers you the best of both worlds. It is more than just a prepaid card that you can purchase in the grocery store; it is a personalized card full of features and perks to inform users and allow them to get money back for their purchases. It uses the built-in features of prepaid cards and combines them with hybrid and credit/debit cards.
Once your KOHO card has been loaded, you can start your wise spending immediately! Go from paying your coffee, groceries to your automatic monthly bill deductions, and the KOHO card got your back. Also, get 1.20% interest earnings towards your entire balance by only setting up a direct deposit to your account.
Our Koho prepaid Mastercard review has determined that this is no ordinary prepaid Mastercard. It can be used like a regular credit card, but you must have the funds in your account to cover the transaction, so it operates as debit cards do. But it also gives you access to the credit builder, a savings account, purchase insurance, and purchase rewards.
But wait, there’s more! The KOHO app also gives easy-to-understand insights based on your spending patterns, letting you correctly set goals in savings and helping you reach them.
KOHO: What You Can Get from Using It
(Everything is listed in Canadian dollars)
Free Chequing Account
- Load up your free chequing account to use your prepaid MasterCard
- Includes unlimited free e-transfers
- It works like a regular bank account
- No monthly account fees or annual fee
Zero Monthly Fees
- $0 monthly fee charges for your account
- A new or, when lost, a replacement card
- Interac e-Transfer service
- Bank fund transfers are electronically done
- Cash withdrawals within the KOHO ATM network – over 8,500 ATMs
- And so much more!
Earn 0.5% Cash Back Rewards
- Cash back rewards earnings when spending your “cash.”
- PowerUps, or earn 0.5% cash back bonus every time you spend
- No need for any credit card to enjoy loyalty rewards!
- Sign up for KOHO Premium, and earn up to 2% cashback!
- Get extra cash back rewards on eligible purchases
- Sets your saving goals and helps you reach your goals using the KOHO Mobile App
- Supports the RoundUp – one of the savviest strategies in saving available
- Allows some money-saving for every purchase by rounding up spending to the nearest $1, $5, or $10 while keeping the difference
1.20% High-Interest Savings Rate
- Set up a direct deposit on your account and earn at a 1.20% rate for your entire balance (both savings and spending)
- Presents your spending categories and how much goes to each category
- Shows spending comparisons to other KOHO users
- Better budget and have significant financial steps pertinent to reaching financial freedom.
- Easily accomplish multiple tasks usually done by your bank for you
- Set up payroll deposits, transfer money to investment accounts, automate bills payment, and more, all at ease
- Provides invaluable live in-app support chat function
- Reach real customer service reps from 9 am-5:30 pm EST, all days of the week
- Access KOHO with Apple Pay using iOS devices.
- Add KOHO to your Apple Wallet, and no need to bring out your physical KOHO card when shopping in-store
- Have any inquiries about setting up KOHO in your Apple Wallet? Easily reach support via the app or talk to them at 1-833-793-3372
Financial Coaching from Experts
- Access free financial advice through the KOHO app when a direct payroll deposit is set up on your account
- Have any questions about investing, debt, savings, or budgeting? Then, take advantage of this financial coaching at your fingertips.
Awesome Referral Program
- When you refer a friend to sign up for KOHO, you receive a $20 bonus. Refer up to 10 friends and get more!
- Early access up to $100 of your paycheque up to 3 days before you get paid, a service is provided for free.
- Also, opt-in get $100 instant cash immediately for up to 15 days with additional access to a financial coach for only $5
The Power of KOHO Joint Accounts
KOHO now offers a free KOHO Joint Account and Prepaid Mastercard for people who want a financial partnership with a close friend, beloved spouse, trusted roommate, or loyal sibling. Open a KOHO joint account without the hassle of visiting bank branches and completing long, complicated forms.
Shared KOHO account holders get their personal KOHO accounts together with their joint accounts. Some perks that come with this type of account are the same such as:
- Reloadable prepaid Mastercard card
- No fees
- Tracked expenses
- Real-time updates on Joint accounts and their spending notifications
- PowerUps, with instant 0.5% cash back on every purchase
- Shared savings goals you have and can set, contributing to your goals together
- No charge e-Transfers
- No charge for instant KOHO-to-KOHO transfers
- Personal account spending privacy and more
KOHO Safety and Legitimacy
As indicated on the KOHO website, they partnered with a trusted third-party provider, the Peoples Trust Company, to hold your funds. Peoples Trust is a Vancouver-based member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. Generally speaking, the CDIC insures up to $100,000 worth of deposits per category. In addition, KOHO takes pride in being backed by some of the most prominent financial institutions in Canada, such as Drive Capital, Greyhound Capital, National Bank of Canada, and Portag3 Ventures, among others.
What is a Prepaid Credit Card?
In more recent years, the gift card section of any local grocery store has essentially kicked up in terms of the presence of prepaid credit cards. Its shoppable capabilities give you plenty of preload options from $25 to $200, easily activated once you arrive at the cashier. Certain banks and financial institutions also provide this option to spenders, having more freedom over the preload amount, but require a more involved application process.
The Koho Prepaid credit card has a hybrid function between the usual debit and credit cards. This duality gives more power over online purchases, not affecting your credit score. On the other hand, those store-bought versions typically don’t have reloadable features but often make great gifts when confused about what to give to someone.
But think about this idea for a second – will it be worth it to have one card you can use repeatedly? Well, you’re in luck! So today, we’ll tell you – yes, it probably is possible.
Presenting the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard – more than just a card from grocery stores, especially those “just cash” you thought were thoughtful enough gifts. This guaranteed credit card is personalized, has extremely low to no fees, is rich with perks and benefits, and is user-friendly because of its sleek, simple-to-use associated app.
KOHO Premium is available for a monthly or annual fee.
Committed to providing only the most satisfactory services possible, KOHO Premium is also an available service for people who want access to additional benefits like:
- 2% cashback -best card for dining out at restaurants, buying groceries and transportation expenses.
- No foreign currency transaction fees – save the usual 2.5% to 3% with no FX fee that most credit card providers charge.
- Free financial coaching – weekly money tips, one-on-one coaching sessions, get answers to troubling personal finance questions.
- Price matching – get the best deals on purchases, with a guaranteed cashback credit to your account if there will be better purchase deals elsewhere.
- Snappy new card – ‘premium’ design in every way!
- Higher limits (e.g., take out $400 per ATM transaction, with a daily max of $800. Have an account balance of $40,000 instead of $20,000.)
- 30-day free KOHO Premium trial – free for the first 30 days, with a $9 monthly fee after or an $84 annual fee paid in full, a savings of $24.
KOHO Credit Builder
On the lookout for building your credit score? KOHO credit building is the perfect option for you! They offer the ‘Credit Builder,’ an optional service that helps grow and develop your credit score over six (6) months.
This is a great feature to use if you don’t have a good credit score. Poor credit history is not a factor for credit builder eligibility, quite the opposite. Koho’s credit builder tool does not use a credit check and will improve your score with every major credit bureau in Canada.
You can opt-in for the KOHO Credit Builder using the app at a reasonable monthly fee. Get a no-fee and no-interest credit line, with KOHO deducting a portion of these funds monthly and getting reported automatically to the credit bureaus.
This fantastic credit-building feature works well in 6-month cycles.
Is KOHO Worth It?
KOHO may be your best option for the following reasons:
More Money Saved
- Average KOHO users reduce spending by 15% and save nearly $500 three (3) weeks following their sign-up, bringing you closer to your money.
- Provides real-time information and shows your money spending, helping you budget better -using practical features like savings plan and RoundUp.
- It pays 1.20% interest on your balance, which is great for reaching your money goals, especially if you need savings for a wedding, vacation, emergency fund, etc.
Great Fees Saver
- Payless banking fees using online banking options (like Tangerine and EQ Bank) and non-bank options (like KOHO vs Tangerine)
- Though it may not meet all your banking needs, KOHO can help save a lot in fees with free Interac e-Transfers.
- No foreign transaction fee if you are travelling.
Travel Best Friend
- Use outside of Canada and save on foreign transaction fees
- Pay only 1.5% (or 0% with KOHO Premium)
- Use your card to book hotels, rent a car, shop online and in-store, etc.
Online Banking Ease
- Provides your desired convenience if you love or are comfortable using your phone or tablet in doing financial transactions
Downsides Worth Mentioning
KOHO does not and will not be a complete alternative for your bank.
Examples like TFSA, RRSP and RESP accounts may not be ideal for your investing needs using KOHO cards and require you to do business elsewhere. However, investment accounts with Wealthsimple are more straightforward with KOHO because your accounts can be directly funded utilizing the app. In addition, further app integrations are already in the works that will make your banking easier.
KOHO cards have limited loading options and daily transaction limits.
Your maximum card balance is $20,000, with a $3,000 daily limit on transactions, and your daily ATM withdrawal limit is $600. These limits may be reasonable based on the opinion of others and may not even pose any problems to the average user.
Secured credit cards can offer you much higher credit.
Security Funds are required up-front
To spend money and pay bills with your Koho credit card, you must have the funds in your bank account with KOHO.
Is Koho Legit?
The average Koho user has rated Koho highly, and the Fintech company continuously invests in their platform. We would say if you can find good use of Koho’s features, it would be great. Koho is legit. There is no annual fee to use a variety of services.
Koho Prepaid Mastercard Card has a budgeting and tracking tool in its app that lets you limit your spending and inform you about your purchases. It is not an alternative for those who have difficulty obtaining a regular credit card, but it is intended for those who want to keep control of their spending. Koho is perfect if you are looking for an account that combines the convenience of a cashback Mastercard card with the return on a high-interest savings account.
Will my credit affect KOHO and its services?
A: No, it won’t. KOHO is not a credit but a prepaid Mastercard card and does not impact your credit score in any way possible. Your credit limit is set by the amount of cash you have in your Koho account.
Koho is, in some ways, a secured credit card, as you must carry enough funds to cover your purchases. The one major upside is cash advances before a paycheque.
How can I get a KOHO referral code?
A: If you want a $20 welcome bonus cash, you must use an existing KOHO client’s referral code. In the past, KOHO has been kind to have provided referral codes that customers can use unlimited times to earn cash. So, watch out for specific promotions like this in the future – you never know!
Is KOHO free?
A: Does Koho cost anything? No, there are no annual fees for the basic service! The standard KOHO account is free and offers a 0.5% cash back when your card is used for debit purchases. Also, earn up to 5% cashback when you opt-in for offers from select brands. In addition, get KOHO Premium for only $9 monthly and enjoy making 2% cashback for a maximum of three categories, paying no FX fees – yes, you can!
In addition, all your transactions are posted on the KOHO app so that you can earn cash back and see your rewards in real-time, up to 0.5% cash back on all your purchases.
Will KOHO help me build my credit?
A: For the record, KOHO is a prepaid credit card, not a credit card. Although it allows you to earn rewards much like a premium credit card, your spending using your KOHO card is not submitted to credit bureaus and will not impact your credit score. But you can opt-in for a Credit Builder service offered by KOHO if you are searching for ways to build your credit score.
You can sign up for Koho’s Credit Builder service to improve your credit score.
What is KOHO Premium?
A: Being the newest service offered, KOHO Premium provides 2% cashback on expenses on groceries, eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, food delivery, coffee, and the likes, and transportation-related expenditures like gas, uber bookings, public transportation, etc. In addition, KOHO Premium has no FX fees and offers free financial coaching, price matching, and an exceptional snappy new card design. Gas credit cards are handy when you spend a lot on fuel.
If you want to earn 2% cashback in all three categories without paying an FX fee, you can choose the Koho Premium and pay $9 monthly.
The Koho Premium account helps you earn more money than the regular Koho standard program, which rewards you with 0.5% cash back on every purchase. For example, if you know you spend $10,000 a year on expenses such as groceries, and restaurants, take the cash income in the premium account to $200, compared to $50 in the regular account.
How does KOHO make money?
A: KOHO can do their operations without charging fees to their customers because Mastercard shares some of the commissions they receive from merchants with KOHO when cards are used to make payments or purchases in-store and online. Referred to as interchange fees, these commissions have parts they return to customers through the 0.5% cashback feature. Win-win indeed!
Can I use KOHO to rent a car?
A: Of course, using KOHO to facilitate transactions similar to your credit card can include using it for car rental payments. The KOHO Mastercard prepaid card is accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted worldwide. Quickly add the KOHO Mastercard card to your Apple or Samsung wallet and make payments on the fly.
When you make an online purchase, you will be asked to pay with a debit or credit card, and you can choose a loan. The best travel credit card in Canada has many perks for car rental, and Koho has a tremendous free maps app that accepts Koho Mastercard and saves all in one place. In addition, when shopping online for a car rental, you can use any accepted Koho Mastercard.
Can I make money withdrawals using KOHO?
A: Easily use your KOHO Prepaid Mastercard card in making ATM withdrawals carrying the Mastercard Plus ATM logo. Make sure to select “credit” when asked to identify the type of card you are using by the ATM. However, ATM withdrawal fees may apply, so better take note of that information.
Is Koho debit or credit? Select “credit” at ATMs, but the cash withdrawal is free, like debit cards.
Does the Koho Prepaid Mastercard Appear With Credit Bureaus?
No. Prepaid cards do not require a credit check and are not registered with any credit bureau.
Does Koho Have Foreign transaction fees?
There are no foreign exchange fees when using the Koho card, and they also have free international ATM withdrawal.
How Fast Can I join?
The typical approval period for credit cards is three to four weeks, but you can have your Koho in 10 days. According to the Koho Review, the Koho Credit Building Tool, which will charge $7 a month, will be introduced in 2021.
Can I Earn Interest With Koho?
KOHO Earn Interest is a prepaid card that provides competitive interest rates on savings and cash-back rewards on purchases. As a result, students, new loan users and lazy borrowers can benefit from cash rewards without the high fees of standard credit cards. The Koho Earn Interest Prepaid Card is now one of the best-prepaid cards on the market with no hidden fees, account opening fees, e-transfer fees, minimum balances or minimum deposits.
This in-depth review will examine how Koho earns interest works, including its key features, pros and cons, and what you need to do to open an account. The banking service is a partnership between Peoples Trust and is insured by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. Deposit insurance allows users to obtain emergency benefits directly from their account on Koho Financial Inc. To get the benefits of KOHO Earn Interest, you don’t have to worry about a minimum balance or deposit.
KOHO Banking in Canada: Is It an ‘A-Yo or an ‘Oh No?’
We hope you enjoyed our KOHO review. We think it is one of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada that also gives you a bank account to use.
With everything said today on the table, the KOHO prepaid Mastercard Card and KOHO mobile app are worth saying ‘A-Yo’ to, especially in helping Canadians earn cashback on all purchases. There may be ‘Oh Nos,’ and these events can be subjective depending on each person. But I think it’s pretty clear how wonderful a product KOHO is in terms of overall performance. Sign up now and discover why KOHO is an ‘A-Yo’ for your finances.
Koho offers a free card that gives you 0.5% cashback on your purchases, various savings tools to help you save more, and clear insight into your spending through its app. You can also add the Koho Mastercard Prepaid Card to your Apple or Samsung wallet to pay on the fly. Once you top up your Koho card, you can use it to pay the same way as a regular Mastercard card, which accepts standard credit cards.
In other words, Koho is like a Mastercard debit card in that you can top up your own money, but it does not borrow and has the added benefit of earning cash like a standard rewards card. In addition, there are no activation fees or other fees to open and maintain a Koho account. A better description of Koho would be a digital output account with a physical card and an app.
Once you spend, the Koho app allows you to analyze your spending, set savings goals and check your balance. Then, use your Koho card to pay for coffee, groceries and your monthly bill wherever Mastercard is accepted. After selecting a credit, you will be prompted to identify the card you use at the ATM.
If you want to try a prepaid card, Koho is an excellent option to help you achieve your goals and manage your budget. You can use the regular Koho card and app or the new Koho Save function for free. Dacă you want to upgrade to Koho Premium, it would cost $9 a month or $84 a year or 24% of your savings if you are paid annually.
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