KOHO Review: Best Prepaid Visa For Saving

February 5, 2020
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KOHO: Reloadable, powered by Visa with lots of benefits and financial tips to help you reduce your spending.

Find everything you need to know about Canada's best-prepaid Visa for saving money.

An app that gives you a prepaid visa and helps you save money? Yes! And it is none other than the Koho prepaid reloadable card. Here's all you need to know about it:

What is KOHO?

KOHO is a Prepaid reloadable card and app powered by Visa that gives you real-time insight into your spending, helps you set saving goals, gives you financial tips and claims to reduce your spending and that, within 3 weeks, you’ll be spending 15% less and saving nearly $500.

You should use KOHO if…

  • You need to keep your spending on track with specific budget categories.
  • You’d like to have some help making sure you have cash available for bigger purchases.
  • You want the convenience and acceptance of a credit card but don’t want to worry about debts.
  • You’re looking for an easy way to manage a big part of your budget.
  • You’d like to have a joint account.

How To Get Your KOHO Card

Getting your KOHO card is a simple 10-minute process:

  1. Signup for an account on their website or app (they have an android and iOS app).
  2. Add money to your KOHO account via direct deposit, e-transfer or a linked bank account
  3. Add your KOHO card to your digital wallet and use it with Apple Pay, or wait for your KOHO card to arrive in the mail.
  4. You can also start making digital purchases with your KOHO Digital Card! This Digital card is the one you get as soon as you open the account.

How does KOHO work?

  1. You get a physical card with a chip and pin to keep your personal information secured.
  2. To load funds onto your card, send an e-transfer or link your bank account to your Koho account. Your money will be ready for use shortly.
  3. Koho will also act as a savings account helping you keep track of your spending and sending you notifications when you make a purchase. It sets each purchase into different categories so you can keep track of your spending patterns.

KOHO vs. KOHO Premium

KOHO’s standard account is totally free. But for those who want additional benefits, KOHO Premium is also a great choice. Here's how the two accounts stack up:

• No annual fee.
• 0.5% cash-back on all purchases.
• Automated savings goals.
• Round up each purchase to the nearest $1, $5, or $10.
•Real-time spending insights.
• Micro-savings are applied towards your saving goals.
• Set up as many savings goals as you wish (It will give you an estimate of how long each saving goal will take you).
• Free for 30 days then $9 per month or $84 per year.
• 2% Cashback on groceries, eating and drinking, and transportation.
• Free financial coaching.
• Higher velocity limits. (You can take out $400 at an ATM, for a max of $800 per day)
• New card design.
•One free international ATM withdrawal per month  

Three Other Special Benefits

Special Benefit #1: Spending Tips

With KOHO, you’ll get tips based on your spending pattern, e.g., suggestions on where to get a cheaper breakfast. These tips are relative to other users’ spending habits, meaning that it uses its database to compare your spending habits and present you with better, cheaper choices.

Special Benefit #2: Spending Alerts

As you keep using KOHO, it will get data on your spending pattern and give you an average of how much you spent weekly, monthly and yearly. And if the app sees that you’re going above your average spending, it will send you a notification encouraging you to stop spending.

Special Benefit #3: Price Matching

Send your receipts for recent purchases and let KOHO scan them to check for any price drops or if it’s being sold for less somewhere else. If it finds a lower price, it will help you have the difference credited to your account!

Are There Any Fees?

There are no fees for using KOHO. The regular account is free, your 0.5% cashback and other perks are also free. The only fees you’ll have to pay are:

  1. If you choose to subscribe to KOHO Premium: $9/month or $84/year.
  2. 1.5% on Foreign Transaction Fees: If you use your regular KOHO card when traveling, this fee is for every transaction outside Canada.

Is KOHO A Debit Card Or A Credit Card?

While KOHO is powered by Visa, it is not a credit card. It works more or less as a prepaid Visa card. As you can tell from all the features mentioned above, with KOHO you get the convenience of a Credit Card without worrying about drawbacks or over-drafting. Another great thing about it is that it is ideal for those looking to watch their spending and save money.

However, unlike a credit card, with KOHO you cannot spend money that you don’t have. Hence why it is a prepaid Visa. KOHO helps you create a budget and tracks your spending habits. This isn’t something that usual credit cards do!

If you're looking for an actual credit card instead of a prepaid card, you may be interested in our posts on:

Choosing the best travel credit card in Canada.

How to choose the best Mastercard credit card in Canada.

Choosing the best cash back credit card Canada has to offer.

How does KOHO make money?

You may feel a bit weird and apprehensive regarding this “too good to be true” card that charges no fee. You must be wondering: but how do they make money? Well, that is pretty easy. KOHO makes its money like most payment cards: from its transactions. Typically, credit card companies charge fees that range from 2-3% approximately to merchants that accept cards. Well, is from these transactions that KOHO gets its money. Just merchant fees, not so crazy right? 

What Is The Virtual Card For?

KOHO adds a virtual card to your account, which may confuse some. However, this card is another added benefit of using KOHO! Say you lost your physical card and you have to lock it. Well, what you can do, in this case, is to charge all your automatic bills to your virtual card instead.

So, basically, your virtual card lets you access your money in your account even when you don’t have access to your physical card. You can set up your virtual card for regular bills and websites and your physical KOHO number will work for these too. This extra virtual card is ideal for digital purchases.

KOHO Joint Accounts

KOHO also offers Joint accounts that let you get all the perks and benefits of KOHO, except amplified by sharing it with someone else. So, you get to have all the comfort of a prepaid credit card, track all your spending, save for goals, and earn cash-back while you share your account with someone else.  

The best thing is that you don’t even have to use KOHO joint accounts with a romantic partner! You can open a joint account with pretty much anyone you need to share expenses with. This is ideal for roommates, co-parents, etc.!

How do Joint Accounts work?

Opening a KOHO Joint Account is beyond easy. All you need is two people with personal accounts and you’re set.

If one of you already has a KOHO account…

… And want to invite someone to create the account:

To invite someone to create a Joint Account with you, tap the ‘More' tab > ‘Joint' > ‘Create a Joint Account.' After entering their email, they’ll receive an invitation with instructions.

….And received an invitation, what should you do?

You must click the “Get Joint Account” button in the invitation email. Another way to accept an invitation is by typing ‘More' tab > ‘Joint' > ‘Accept an Account Invite.' Once you’ve done that, proceed to your referral code for the Joint Account.

Can you use KOHO to build your credit score?

The short answer is yes. And here’s why:

In the first place, you don’t need to spend a ton of money with a credit card to build a high score. All you need is to keep your balance very low. 33% or less of your total available credit, that’s the magic number according to Credit Bureaus.

But how do you build your credit score with KOHO? Pretty simple: If you’re lucky enough not to have any loans or mortgage, then you’re already winning. Just keep it simple and set a few stable recurring expenses to pay with your credit card each month and use your KOHO card for everything else. That way you’ll be sure to not go over the 33% threshold, keep your expenses in check and build a high score while you’re at it.

Worth mentioning….

  • With the Joint account, you can both add funds to the account in the same way as to your individual account, except that now it’s shared. You’ll both earn cashback, you can set up a round-up for purchases and create shared savings goals.
  • All of your joint activity will be visible to the other account but your personal account will remain private. You can go between both accounts using the app.

So, whether you join bills to manage things like groceries and utilities, or you’re saving up for a vacation together, joint accounts are one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to do so.

The Bottom Line

So in summary, with KOHO, you get two cards (one Digital, one physical), an account and many benefits while you are able to learn how to plan your budget, get to know your spending habits, improve them and all this just with the help of a prepaid Visa. The fees are almost non-existing and only with KOHO Premium, you need to pay 84% yearly which is also not bad, considering all the benefits.

Now you know everything you needed to know about one of the best prepaid visas for Canadians, we want to know what you think. Have you used it? If so, what uses did you give it. Let us know! We love hearing from you.

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