If you are looking to spend cash, avoid credit, and still earn the rewards that typically accompany credit cards, reloadable prepaid cards from KOHO, STACK, and Mogo may suit your needs.
The best-prepaid cards available in Canada allow users to save on bank fees, earn cash back automatically, and enjoy real-time insights into how their money is being spent.
Similar to prepaid credit card options in Canada, these cards allow you to easily shop wherever Visa or Mastercard is accepted, and you can only spend the money you load on them. This is helpful if you are trying to combat overspending.
This KOHO vs STACK prepaid card comparison covers their offerings, benefits and downsides, plus a further comparison to the MogoCard.
KOHO vs. STACK vs. MOGO
|Prepaid Cards||KOHO Prepaid Mastercard||STACK Prepaid Mastercard||MogoCard|
|Monthly fees||None for regular||$0 to $7.99||None|
|Earn interest||Up to 2%||None||None|
|FX fees||0% to 1.5%||0%||2.50%|
|Rewards||Up to 5% cash back and in-app discounts||Multiple in-app discounts||Plant trees when you spend|
|Automatic savings||Available (roundups and saving goals)||Available (roundups and saving goals)||–|
|Referral bonus||$20 sign-up bonus||$5 sign-up bonus||–|
|Partner bank||People’s Trust||People’s Trust||People’s Trust|
|Build credit||Credit building program||No||No|
|Other perks||Joint accounts and KOHO Premium||Free replacement card and No ATM withdrawal fees||Offset carbon emission|
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
KOHO offers a free prepaid and reloadable Mastercard (formerly KOHO Visa) and app that makes banking easier, cheaper, and more fun.
Opening an account is easy, and once set up, you can easily load funds using e-Transfer or Payroll deposit and start enjoying the following benefits:
- No monthly fee for the basic KOHO account.
- Earn up to 5% cash back on purchases. Cash back is credited to your account in 1-2 business days. KOHO Premium and KOHO Essentials (paid subscriptions) offer higher cash back rates on select categories of purchases.
- Earn interest on your balance when you set up direct deposit.
- Automatically round up your purchases to the nearest $1, $2, $5 or $10, and save the difference. For example, if you spend $3.25 on coffee, you can save $0.75, $1.75, or $6.75.
- Real-time insights into your spending to help your budgeting efforts.
- Set up pre-authorized debit, pay bills, and accept payroll deposits easily.
- Earn $20 per referral when you share your KOHO referral code.
- Enjoy Mastercard’s acceptability worldwide.
- Get free financial advice from a certified financial coach.
- Free joint accounts
- In-app support
- Available in Quebec
- Note that if you use your KOHO Mastercard to conduct foreign currency transactions, you can expect to pay a 1.5% fee (except for KOHO Premium).
Sign up for a KOHO account here ($20 bonus with CASHBACK referral code).
The KOHO referral code CASHBACK is automatically added to your new account when you use the link above.
STACK Prepaid Mastercard
The STACK prepaid Mastercard and app is a powerful combination that can save you money, particularly if you travel abroad frequently.
It took me about 3 minutes to open a free account and access the following benefits:
- No monthly fee ($7.99 fee starting in January 2023 if you don’t spend at least $350 each month)
- No ATM withdrawal fees.
- Referral bonus – get a $5 bonus when you sign up and fund your account with $300 or more.
- Instant cash back on everyday purchases, including gas, groceries, and entertainment. They have partnerships with Amazon, Foodora, Lyft, Netflix, Spotify, Adidas, Reebok, and many others.
- Automatic savings plan using the innovative roundup feature.
- Real-time insights into your spending habits with Financial IQ plus instant notifications when you spend, save, send or receive money.
- Enjoy Mastercard’s acceptability worldwide.
- No foreign exchange fees – this is a 2.5% to 3% upfront savings when you make purchases in foreign currencies.
There’s a minimum monthly spend of $350 CAD to get the “no FX fee” benefit, and it is limited to $1,000 FX spending. If you don’t meet this spending threshold, a standard 2.50% FX fee applies to foreign purchases.
You can easily load up your account with cash using Interac e-Transfer, Visa Debit, direct payroll deposit, or STACK-to-STACK transfer.
Mogo Visa Prepaid Card
Mogo offers various financial services, including personal loans, cryptocurrency trading, mortgage loans, credit monitoring, and credit scores.
It also has a Mogo Platinum Visa Prepaid card which offers the following benefits:
- No monthly or annual account fees
- Easy budgeting, in-depth tracking of your spending, and real-time transaction notifications
- Free credit scores when you get the prepaid card
- Carbon emissions offset on your spending
Note that there is a $1.50 fee for domestic ATM withdrawals and $3 for international ATMs, a $1.99 inactivity fee, and a 2.5% fee for foreign currency purchases.
Learn more about it in this MogoCard review.
KOHO vs. STACK Comparison
My review of the KOHO Mastercard, STACK Mastercard, and MogoCard is positive, and I keep all three in my wallet.
From a monthly or annual fee standpoint, all three cards offer a no monthly account fee service (for STACK, note the spending requirement). If you travel abroad often or make purchases in a foreign currency, the STACK Mastercard’s 0% foreign exchange fee is easily a savings of 2.5% to 3% (assuming you spend $350 every month).
KOHO Mastercard charges a 1.5% fee on FX transactions, and Mogo Visa levies the typical 2.5% fee.
If you prefer to go with either KOHO or Mogo, you can match them up with a no-FX credit card to take care of the foreign currency exchange charges. Or, you can choose KOHO Premium and have all FX fees waived.
STACK and KOHO do not charge ATM fees; however, the ATM provider you use may charge a fee. As for Mogo, you can expect to pay $1.50 to $3 for ATM transactions.
Looking at rewards, I like the cash back I receive every time I pay for purchases using my KOHO card. The cash back shows up in my account 1-2 days after the transaction, which is great. This is in addition to KOHO’s other in-app rewards that can be as high as a 10% discount.
Also, your cash balances in KOHO earn interest and grow over time.
STACK has exclusive offers and promotions that change from time to time, for example, $5 off your grocery purchase, $150 off Contiki trips, savings on Amazon Prime, etc.
Mogo offsets your carbon footprint when you spend using the card. This is great for the environment.
If you are concerned about the security of your funds, KOHO, STACK, and Mogo all use People’s Trust Company which is a CDIC-insured financial institution. Also, Visa and Mastercard protect you from unauthorized transactions with Zero Liability Protection.
Lastly, I like free money, and KOHO offers free money when you refer friends. KOHO will pay you a $20 bonus per referral.
Benefits of a Prepaid Visa or Mastercard
There are many reasons why individuals choose prepaid credit cards over regular credit cards.
1. There are no monthly or annual fees: You can avoid the $100 or more in annual fees that come with many credit cards.
2. You don’t need good credit: For your credit card application to be approved, your credit score must meet the minimum requirement set by the credit card provider. However, prepaid cards do not pull up your credit score, and even if your credit profile is damaged or you don’t have a credit history, you can still obtain one.
3. It is easier to budget: If you are always overspending and racking up debt and interest costs on your credit card, prepaid cards can help you deal with your spending problem since you can only spend what you have.
4. You can still earn rewards: When you choose one of these best paid prepaid cards in Canada, you will earn rewards on your spending similar (and in some cases, even better) to a credit card.
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I prefer my KOHO and STACK prepaid cards to plain vanilla Mastercard and Visa gift cards which are not reloadable and may cost you in fees.
If you’d like to sign up for KOHO, Mogo, or STACK, you can use the links below.
Sign up for KOHO ($20 welcome bonus with our referral code CASHBACK)
Tell us about your experiences with the apps in the comments!
7 thoughts on “KOHO vs. STACK vs. MOGO: Prepaid Cards in Canada for 2023”
Thanks for the info! However, your STACK affiliate link only connects me to the Google Play store page, even if the app is already downloaded. It does not provide the credit.
@Nathan: The $25 bonus is credited after you have activated the card you receive in the mail. Simply click on the link, download the app, create your account and wait for your physical card. Activate it once received.
Please note that the MOGO card does NOT offer any rewards. You say that they offer “1.5% cash back on CAD purchases and 3% cash back on foreign currency purchases” however this is NOT TRUE, there is ZERO cashback on all purchases.
While Stack and Koho do have some benefit (Stack has 0% Forex and $0 ATM Fee and occasional decent fixed cashback rewards, and Koho offers everyone 0.5% cashback and $0 ATM fee) there is literally NO benefit or reason to choose the Mogo card!
@Mike: You are right – they updated the reward offer for their prepaid card. I have updated the article.
They do offer cashback now in the form of Bitcoins. Whatever 2% is equivalent to in Bitcoins at the time of transaction is what they are giving.
The Mogo rewards are by far the best, 2% cashback + they offset 1lb of CO2 for every dollar you spend. For me this checks off two boxes, I get rewards and I am doing something to help the planet, this puts the Mogo card way ahead of the other 2.
Mogo has no rewards other than “planting trees.” Like seriously?