KOHO Credit Card: The 2023 Prepaid Mastercard Review

By Nick Robert

Did you know that there is a KOHO credit card? It’s a reloadable, prepaid Mastercard that you can earn cash back on groceries, bills and up to 5% when you shop with their partnered stores.

KOHO Credit Card: Overview of KOHO card options

Currently, there are three KOHO card options available to Canadians:

All three of those cards are prepaid credit cards and offer you cash back on groceries, bills and more with no or a low annual fee, depending on which card you select

How does the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard work?

The KOHO card is a prepaid credit card with the functionality of a credit card and a debit card. It works like a debit card because KOHO is not extending you credit. You will need to load money into your KOHO account through an e-transfer or direct deposit. This will prevent you from getting into credit card debt, as you can only spend the money you already have.

As a prepaid MasterCard, it has all the functionality of a regular Mastercard.

  • Earn cash-back rewards on eligible purchases

  • Widely accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted

  • Earn cash back on grocery purchases from Costco and Walmart

  • Set up automatic bill payments

  • Available on apple pay

  • No fees at merchants (even if they pass credit card fees on to consumers)

As the KOHO card is a prepaid credit card, there are some differences from a regular credit card.

  • Easier to qualify for because they are not extending you credit

  • No need to check your credit score

  • It won’t improve your credit score

If you are not looking for a prepaid credit card, click here for the best credit cards in Canada.

KOHO Easy Prepaid Mastercard:

The KOHO Easy prepaid Mastercard is their value card option. It doesn’t have as high of cash-back rewards and earns you less interest on your account balance, but it has no monthly fee or annual fee.

KOHO Easy credit card


  • 1% cash-back on groceries (including Costco & Walmart), bills & services

  • Extra cash-back at partnered merchants

  • Earn 0.5% interest on your prepaid account balance

  • Credit building available for $10/month for six months

  • No monthly or annual fees

  • Virtual card

KOHO Essential Prepaid Mastercard

The Essential prepaid credit card from Koho comes with all of the functionality of the Easy KOHO card, but it increases your interest earned on your account balance with a small monthly fee.

KOHO essential prepaid card


  • 1% cash-back on groceries (including Costco & Walmart), bills & services, eating & drinking

  • 0.25% cash-back on all other purchases

  • Extra cash-back at partnered merchants

  • Earn 1.5% interest on your prepaid account balance

  • Credit building available for $7/month for six months

  • $4/monthly fee or $48 annual fee

  • Virtual card

KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard

The KOHO Premium prepaid card is the card with the most functionality. The KOHO premium card builds on the functionality of the essential card but adds even more benefits (but with a higher annual fee).

KOHO premium credit card


  • Earn 2% cash-back on transport, groceries (including Costco & Walmart), eating & drinking

  • 0.5 cash-back rewards on all other purchases

  • Extra cash-back at partnered merchants (up to 5%)

  • Earn 1.2% interest on your prepaid account balance

  • Credit building available for $7/month for six months

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • 1 free international withdrawal per month

  • Fees: $9/month or $84 annually

KOHO Roundups & their Cash-back program explained

Roundup program

On all of Koho’s cards, they offer “Roundup” on purchases to help you save even more money. You can roundup a purchase to the nearest $1, $2 or $10 increment. If you purchase something for $0.25, you can set aside $0.75, $1.75 or $9.25 into a savings account.

You can use this feature to start saving for a vacation and not have to worry about it. If you do not have enough in your account balance to pay for a purchase, you can use the roundup savings to make a purchase.

Cash-back program

Depending on which KOHO card you have (KOHO Easy, KOHO essential, or KOHO premium) and what you purchase, you will earn between 1-2% cash-back on purchases. Unlike other credit cards that can take months to earn cash-back rewards, KOHO cardholders will see their cash-back in their account in 1-2 days.

Additionally, KOHO has partnered with many great merchants to earn you even more, cash back. Here are some of the top KOHO partner merchants:

  • Altitude sports

  • Baskin Robbins

  • Branch

  • Chefs Plate

  • Contiki

  • Frank & Oak

  • iQ

  • Indigo

  • Kernels

  • Rakuten Kobo

  • Open Farm

  • Well.ca

  • And more


Recently, Canada has changed to allow merchants to pass along credit card transaction fees to customers. By using any KOHO card, you will not incur any of the transaction fees. This is one way that KOHO saves you money vs other credit cards.

With the KOHO premium card, you do not have to pay foreign transaction fees. If you make a foreign transaction, use your KOHO premium card.


The KOHO app makes it easy to budget and track your spending. You can preload your spending money to ensure you do not overspend. Use the KOHO app to get balance updates and spending insights quickly. The KOHO app also provides free financial coaching to help you meet your financial goals. There are plenty of free personal finance resources available online.

How to improve your credit score with a KOHO card

While this card will not improve or hurt your credit score the way a regular credit card would, the KOHO easy, KOHO essential and KOHO premium cards offer a credit building service for $7-10/month for six months, depending on which card you have.

KOHO builds your credit by opening a small line of credit and taking a small portion of funds to make on-time payments for that line of credit. By extending you credit and making the payments on time and in total for six months, KOHO is adding positive credit history to your credit profile and helps build your credit score.

Build your credit

KOHO Credit Card conclusion

If you are looking for the best-prepaid credit card available in Canada, you need to check out the selection of KOHO cards available. With many advantages of a credit and debit card, without the risk of overspending and racking up debt, this is a great card option for cash-back, beginners and students.

If you are not looking for a prepaid card but still want cash-back or a card for students, there are many options.

Nick Robert

About the Author

Nick Robert is the founder and creator of Nickrobert.com. I created this website to educate Canadians about everything related to personal finance. As a Chartered Professional Accountant & Chartered Accountant, I have worked with many Canadians to achieve their personal finance goals.

To contact me, you can visit my contact page to email me directly, or you can visit and participate in my subreddit. Let me know about any topics you would like me to cover. If you are interested in guest posting on this website, message me through the contact page.

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