KOHO Premium Review – Up To 2% Cash Back and No FX Fees

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by Enoch Omololu

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Advertiser Disclosure

The KOHO prepaid Visa card has been one of my go-to cards for budgeting, earning cash back, saving money, and paying with debit over the last year.

If you are new to KOHO, my detailed KOHO review covers all that you can expect to receive when you sign up for a regular free account.

A KOHO premium account increases your cash back rewards, eliminates foreign currency transaction 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.

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 account comes with zero fees and you get:

  • 0.5% instant cash back on all purchases
  • $20 sign-up bonus when you use our promo code CASHBACK (applies automatically)
  • An automatic savings plan
  • 1.20% savings interest on your balance when you set up direct deposit
  • Free joint accounts
  • A generous referral rewards program that gives you a bonus of 1% cash back on all purchases for 90 days.
  • Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay
  • 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, an extra 3% cash back on Pizza Pizza or 1% on Indigo, savings on investment fees, and more
  • Access to Credit Building and Early Payroll (get a portion of your paycheque 3 days early for free)

If you want to up the ante and get even more rewards and flexibility, a KOHO Premium account is what you are looking for.

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 Visa Card and App Review

What Does KOHO Premium Cost?

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 (almost 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 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.

Conclusion

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 saves 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 the promo code CASHBACK for a $20 cash bonus.

KOHO Premium Visa: Get Up To 2% Cash Back Free!
4.8

Summary

The new KOHO Premium Visa Card offers up to 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 CASHBACK, you get a $20 cash bonus!

Best Credit Offers this month

One of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

Get 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 purchase categories.

Get 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

1.95% balance transfer offer for 6 months.

Free prepaid reloadable Visa card.

Access to a portion of your paycheque 3 days early.

Free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Credit building available with a subscription.

1.20% savings interest on every dollar balance.*

Get the best rates from multiple lenders.

Borrow up to $50,000 regardless of your credit score.

Pre-approvals offered in as fast as 5 minutes.

Low interest rates starting at 9.9% (or 1.90% for auto loans).

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

4 thoughts on “KOHO Premium Review – Up To 2% Cash Back and No FX Fees”

  1. Hi there,
    Similarly to STACKED MasterCard, does KOHO Premium provide No FX Fees when withdrawing cash at ATM when travelling abroad and within Canada.

    Thanks, and lemme know.

    Reply
    • @Abiola: There are tonnes of retailers on their list…probably close to 100. Some of the top retailers include Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Costco (online), Home Depot, London Drugs, Lowe’s, Staples, Walmart, etc.

      Reply
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