The KOHO prepaid Visa card has been one of my go-to cards for budgeting, earning cash back, saving and paying with debit over the last several months. If you are new to KOHO, my complete KOHO review covers all the basics you can expect to receive when you sign up for a regular free account.
KOHO recently introduced the KOHO premium account which ups your cash back rewards, zeroes out foreign exchange fees, and offers several other VIP perks you don’t want to miss out on.
Read on to find out what KOHO Premium has to offer.
KOHO Premium Visa: Get $60 Free!
The new KOHO Premium Visa Card offers a 2% cash back, zero foreign exchange fees, free financial coaching and more. When you sign up for a new account and use my promo code FREEDOM20, you receive up to $60 in free cash.
What is KOHO Premium?
The basic concept behind KOHO is to help Canadians save on the ridiculous bank fees they pay every month.
When you sign up for KOHO, you get a reloadable Visa card and app that works like a debit card. The regular service comes with zero fees and you get:
- 0.5% instant cash back on all purchases
- An automatic savings plan
- Free joint accounts
- A generous referral rewards program that pays you up to $60 per referral and up to $3,000 in total
- Apple Pay
- Financial coaching
- 1.5% foreign transaction fee (as opposed to the 2.5% to 3% charged by your bank)
- Free e-Transfers and bill payments
- Multiple in-app offers and discounts e.g. free credit score, 4% cash back on foodora orders, savings on investment fees, and more
More recently, KOHO introduced a premium account for people who want to up the ante and get even more rewards. KOHO Premium offers the following benefits in addition to what you get with a regular KOHO account:
2% cash back: On groceries, eating and drinking, and transportation. Grocery spending includes all grocery retailers (large and small); eating and drinking include dining at restaurants, bars, coffee shops, fast-food, and food delivery services; and transportation expenses include gas, Uber, Lyft, parking, car rentals, public transport and more.
No foreign exchange transaction fee: Generally, banks charge a 2.5% to 3% fee when you use your cards to make a purchase that is denominated in foreign currency. This fee is 100% waived with a premium KOHO account, resulting in at least 2.5% savings upfront. A regular KOHO account charges 1.5% which is still a significant 1% savings over your bank.
Free financial coaching: Save on financial advice when you chat with KOHO’s in-house certified financial coach. You can ask about your taxes, investments, debts and other pressing questions you have.
Price matching: KOHO will scan your online purchase receipts and see if you could have gotten a better deal. If so, they refund the difference.
Higher “velocity” limits: As a regular KOHO user, you can withdraw up to $400 at an ATM per transaction. With KOHO Premium, the limit is raised to $800 per day and you can keep a balance of up to $40,000.
KOHO Premium: What’s The Fee?
My first reaction to the great benefits offered by the new KOHO premium account was – “Wow!” So, how much does it cost to take advantage of these VIP perks?
KOHO Premium is free for the first 30 days and then costs $9 per month. You can save by paying for the full year upfront at $84 per year to save $24.
Based on my personal usage of KOHO (use daily), I find the fee to be reasonable as the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Is KOHO Premium For You?
A regular KOHO account will save you money on your daily spending, bank transactions, and foreign currency purchases…all for $0 in monthly fees. You can take your savings a step further by opening a KOHO Premium account. That being said, whether the monthly fee makes sense for you depends on how you use your KOHO Visa Card.
The 2% cash back covers a wide range of everyday expenses – groceries, transportation, eating and drinking. If you spend more than $450 on these purchases every month, the $9 monthly fee or $7 (if you pay annually) is justified based on the cash back rewards alone.
If you do a lot of travelling overseas, the 2.5% saving on foreign currency transactions may more than cover your monthly fees. If your only aim is to not pay FX fees abroad, the STACK Mastercard (another prepaid card) or a credit card with no foreign currency transaction fees may be adequate.
KOHO cash back scenarios
Assuming you use your KOHO card to make purchases worth $1,000 every month and $800 can be attributed to groceries, dining and transportation.
Regular KOHO account:
- $1,000 x 0.5% cash back = $5 savings/month
KOHO Premium account:
- $800 x 2% cash back: $16 savings
- $200 x 0.5% cash back: $1 savings
- Total savings/month: $17
As a KOHO Premium user, you earn up to an additional $5 in cash back every month after deducting fees and the savings that you would normally earn with a regular account. Add in the price matching, free financial advice, premium new card and in-app offers, and KOHO Premium is worth taking a look at.
Whether you decide to sign up for a regular KOHO account or a premium one, you are likely going to save some money when you use KOHO. The data shows that an average KOHO user reduces their spending by 15% and save close to $500 within 3 weeks of signing up.
That makes sense to me, first, because people tend to spend less money when they use cash (debit) and, secondly, as I have previously stated, the roundup saving feature is “one of the savviest saving strategies ever invented.”
Give your savings a leg-up when you sign up by using my promo code “FREEDOM20” to get up to $60 free!