Our Disclosure

The content on this website includes links to our partners and we may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. This may impact which products or services we write about and where and how they appear on the site. It does not affect the objectivity of our evaluations or reviews. Read our disclosure.

KOHO Extra (Premium) Review: 5% Cash Back and No FX Fees


Fact Checked

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

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 Extra card account (previously KOHO Premium) increases your cash back rewards, eliminates foreign currency transaction fees and offers several other VIP perks you don’t want to miss out on.

This KOHO Premium review covers what the prepaid Mastercard has to offer.

What is KOHO Extra?

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 free reloadable Mastercard and app that works like a debit card and offers rewards. You can subscribe to a paid plan (Easy, Essential or Extra) for even more perks.

The Easy account (regular KOHO) comes with zero fees, and you get:

  • 1% instant cash back on groceries and transportation
  • Up to 5% cash back at select partners
  • $20 sign-up bonus when you use our promo code CASHBACK
  • An automatic savings plan
  • 0.5% savings interest on your entire balance
  • Access to Credit Building for $10/month

Optionally, you can upgrade to the middle-tier KOHO account called Essential, for $4 per month or $48 annually. The Essential account comes with the following features: 

  • 1% cash back on groceries, transportation, and dining out
  • 0.25% instant cash back on all other purchases 
  • Up to 5% cash back at select KOHO partners
  • Earn 1.5% interest on your entire balance 
  • Access the Credit Building feature for $7/month 
  • $20 sign-up bonus with our promo code CASHBACK

Both the Easy and Essential KOHO accounts include features like:

  • Free joint accounts
  • A generous referral rewards program that gives you $20 per referral and up to $1,000 in total
  • 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 checks, an extra 3% cash back on Pizza Pizza or 1% on Indigo, savings on investment fees, and more
  • Access to Credit Building and Instant Pay (get up to 50% of your daily paycheque early)

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

KOHO Premium (now KOHO Extra) 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.

On any other purchases not in those categories, you’ll earn 0.5% unlimited cash back. When shopping at partner stores, the cash back rate is as high as 5%.

No foreign exchange transaction fee: Generally, banks charge a 2.5% to 3% fee when you use your cards to make a purchase denominated in foreign currency. This fee is 100% waived with a KOHO Extra account, resulting in at least 2.5% savings upfront. The Free and Essential KOHO accounts charge 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 $305 at an ATM per transaction. With KOHO Extra, the limit is raised to $810 per day, and you can keep a balance of up to $50,000.

KOHO Premium Visa Card and App Review
Source: Koho.ca

What Does KOHO Extra Cost?

How much does it cost to take advantage of these VIP perks?

KOHO Extra 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 Extra Worth It?

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 Extra account. That being said, whether the monthly fee makes sense for you depends on how you use your KOHO Mastercard prepaid 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 not to pay FX fees abroad, the STACK Mastercard or a credit card with no foreign currency transaction fees may be adequate.

KOHO Extra Cash Back Example

Assuming you use your KOHO card to make purchases worth $1,000 every month and $800 can be attributed to groceries, dining, and transportation.

Assuming you use your KOHO card to make purchases worth $1,000 every month and $800 can be attributed to groceries, dining, and transportation.

KOHO Easy account:

  • $800 x 1% cash back = $8 savings
  • $200 x 0% cash back = $0 savings
  • Total savings/month: $8

Essential KOHO account:

  • $800 x 1% cash back = $8 savings
  • $200 x 0.25% cash back = $0.50 savings
  • Total savings/month: $8.50

KOHO Extra account:

  • $800 x 2% cash back: $16 savings
  • $200 x 0.5% cash back: $1 savings
  • Total savings/month: $17

This scenario does not consider the higher cash back rates available at KOHO partners, which can be as high as 5%.

As a KOHO Extra user, you earn up to an additional $8.50 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 Extra is worth looking at.


Whether you decide to sign up for a Free, Essential, or Extra KOHO account, 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.”

Get a $20 cash bonus when you sign up here and make your first purchase with the card.

Related: Best KOHO Mastercards.

Best Credit Offers in December 2023

Enjoy up to 5% cash back at over 10,000 retail locations ($25 Bonus)

Get a $25 bonus when you are approved for the Card.

Earn unlimited average 5% cash back at 10,000+ participating stores.

No annual account fees.

Guaranteed instant approval credit card with 600+ credit score.

Get this guaranteed approval credit card for any credit score ($25 bonus)

Get an instant $25 welcome bonus.

Earn 5% unlimited average cash back at thousands of locations.

Guaranteed approval for poor and bad credit scores. Takes 3 minutes.

No monthly fees and up to 15% cashback on your first purchases.

Earn up to 5% cashback while growing your balance + $20 bonus

Best free prepaid reloadable Mastercard with $20 bonus (after adding $50+).

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back at over 10,000 stores.

No credit check and free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Earn 2.25% interest on your entire balance.*


Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

Free financial education

Expert advice

Free resources

Detailed guides

4 thoughts on “KOHO Extra (Premium) Review: 5% Cash Back and No FX Fees”

  1. Gravatar for Jack

    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.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Jack: Yes, KOHO Premium waives the 2.5% foreign transaction fee when you spend CAD abroad.

  2. Gravatar for Abiola Afuwape

    What are the eligible retailers for the price matching feature?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @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.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.