KOHO Extra review 2023
KOHO / KOHO
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- Saving money
- High interest rate
- Cash back rewards
- No foreign transaction fees
- Saving money
About KOHO Extra
The KOHO Extra Card is the upgraded version of the “OG” card. It works exactly the same way and offers all of the features as the standard KOHO Prepaid Mastercard®, like the ability to preload cash, use the card just like a credit card, and earn cash back on your purchases. But the Extra version takes it an extra step and comes packed with extra features and additional benefits.
For starters: Earn up to 6% extra cash back when shop with partnered merchants. Earn 2% cash back on the transportation, groceries and eating & drinking; 0.5% on everything else. KOHO Extra also comes with other benefits, such as no foreign transaction fees.
The downside is that KOHO Extra costs $84 (or $9/month) annually. But the rewards and benefits cancel out this cost, demonstrating this card offers value. Plus, you can “test drive” it for free for the first 30 days to see if it’s for you.
Key benefits of the KOHO Extra card
Here are the key benefits of KOHO Extra:
Get cash back rewards
With KOHO Extra, you earn 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, food delivery, bars, coffee shops, and transportation, including Uber and Lyft. Earn 0.50% cash back on all other card purchase categories. You can also earn up to 6% extra at partnered merchants. That’s better than what’s offered by some of the best cash back credit cards.
So let’s say you spend $15,000/year on groceries alone. That works out to $300 cash back with KOHO Extra, whereas you’d only get $150 cash back with the standard KOHO. Your yearly food bill would pay for the annual fee, and then some.
Earn extra cash back from partners
If you’re a KOHO Extra subscriber, you can score additional cash back when you use your KOHO card at participating retailers (up to 6% with booking.com). For instance, Pizza Pizza offers all KOHO users an additional 3% cash back, but as a KOHO Extra user, you’d fetch more cash back. The specific value of each will vary by partner, and the extra Cash back is automatically added to your account within 1-2 business days.
Credit building by KOHO
If you have a low (or non-existent) credit score, it makes qualify for the very tools that will help you build your credit like the best credit cards, a mortgage, and personal loans. If you find yourself in that position, KOHO’s Credit Building is a good option for building a good credit score. When you apply for Credit Building through KOHO, you will be issued a Line of Credit from KOHO. The limit of this line of credit will depend on your risk. Each month KOHO will remove a portion of the dedicated funds, and report this as a repayment to a major credit bureau, which will positively impact your credit score. This service costs $10 per month with KOHO Easy with a minimum subscription of six months, but with KOHO Extra that drops to $7 per month (a savings of 30%).
No foreign transaction fees
Whether you’re travelling abroad or making international purchases from home, transaction fees charged by your bank or credit card add up over time. With KOHO Extra, you won’t pay a dime — it waives the standard 2-3% foreign exchange fee charged on purchases made outside of Canada or an international retailer. It’s true that you can get a no foreign transaction fee credit card, but most come with an annual fee above $100. It makes the fee for KOHO Extra all the more alluring.
One free international ATM withdrawal per month
Those $5.00 charges from your bank just for withdrawing your own money in an international ATM are annoying and costly. But with KOHO Extra, you get one free international ATM withdrawal monthly.
Higher withdrawal limits
You can take out $400 per withdrawal, up to $800/day with KOHO Extra, which is double the limit with the standard KOHO.
High interest-earning threshold
KOHO Earn Interest allows you to earn saving interests on your entire KOHO account balance. With the KOHO Extra version, you will earn 2.00% interest on all balance (no minimum deposit requirement).
Slick new card design
KOHO Extra comes with a new card design that is slicker than the standard KOHO. While we don’t recommend choosing a financial product based on the look alone – a stylish card is undoubtedly a benefit of KOHO Extra. However, this card is optional and you can stick to one of the four two-toned standard KOHO cards if you prefer.
Other standard benefits
In addition, you’ll also have access to all the regular KOHO Prepaid Mastercard® benefits, including:
- No everyday banking fees: Pay no everyday fees typically associated with banking, no interest, no e-transfer fees and no NSF fees.
- Joint accounts: Share a standard KOHO account with your significant other and earn even more. Joint accounts aren’t available for KOHO Extra yet, but stay tuned.
- RoundUp: Round up purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit the excess into savings.
- Goal setting: Free budgeting software with savings goal setting.
Drawbacks of KOHO Extra
The drawbacks are few, but definitely something to consider before signing up.
The first is the annual fee of $84 (or $9/month). But if you’re cash-strapped, you can opt for the free KOHO Prepaid Mastercard® version or get a no annual fee credit card that offers some rewards. You just may have to accept a lower cash back earn rate in return.
Secondly, KOHO Extra caps your deposits at $40,000, which limits your ability to earn interest. If you’re a savvy saver, look at EQ Bank instead. The Savings Plus Account offers a 2.50%* everyday interest rate and can hold up to a maximum of $200,000 in deposits. It also offers no everyday banking fees, free Interac e-Transfers®, free day-to-day transactions, and cheap international wire transfers.
* Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.
Pros and cons of KOHO Extra
- 2% cash back on on groceries, restaurants, food delivery, bars, coffee shops, and transportation
- 0.5% cash back on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- No everyday banking fees
- Credit Building by KOHO optional paid add-on
- Earn interest
- $84 annual fee
- Deposits capped at $40,000
How KOHO Extra compares
The benefits above sound great, but are they worth the cost of $84 (or $9/month) annual fee? Here’s how KOHO Extra compares to a regular KOHO Easy account, and some of the other top prepaid cards and apps.
|Detail||KOHO Extra||KOHO Easy||Wealthsimple Save||STACK|
|Cost||$84 (or $9/month)||$0||$0||$0|
|Features||Higher cash back than KOHO Easy; No Foreign exchange fee and 1 free international ATM withdraw per month||Earn up to 5% cash back extra at partnered merchants, round-up deposits||Earn interest on deposits||Discounts with participating partners like Amazon, Netflix, etc.|
|Foreign transaction fee||No, 0%||Yes – 1.5%||N/A||No|
|Interest on deposits||2.00% interest on all balance (no minimum deposit requirement)||0.50% interest on all balance (no minimum deposit requirement)||0.5%||No|
|Learn more||Get KOHO||Get KOHO||Wealthsimple Save review||Visit site|
While KOHO Extra is the most expensive choice of the options we reviewed above, it also offers the best cash back rewards, one of the highest interest rates on deposits (KOHO also offers a paid KOHO Essential version that offers 1.50%), and the most extensive suite of add-on features and benefits.
KOHO Extra vs. KOHO Easy
Is KOHO Extra worth the extra $84 (or $9/month) annually for the potential 2.0% cash back along with the other potential benefits?
With the standard KOHO Easy: Earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation. Earn up to 5% extra cash back when shop with partnered merchants.
But if you upgrade to the KOHO Extra credit card, you would earn 0.5% cash back on your discretionary spending, and 2% cash back on groceries, entertainment, and transportation. And earn up to 6% cash back with eligible partners.
You’ll earn more overall by choosing KOHO Extra.
With most cash back credit cards, it’s smart to calculate the minimum amount you’ll need to “break-even” on the annual fee. With the KOHO Extra card, you’ll need to determine how much you’ll need to spend before it’s sensible to upgrade your card from the KOHO base version and whether your spending habits meet that threshold.
KOHO Extra vs. STACK
When it comes to calculating the rewards offered by STACK, it’s less straight forward, since they offer discounts off specific services instead of a cash back rate. Here are some examples of offers on their website right now:
- 20% off travel booked using your Stack card
- $1 off at Walmart
- $1 off per week on groceries
- 15% off Keurig purchases
- 70% off your first four plates from Chef’s Plate
- 20% off at Frank and Oak
With STACK, it’s difficult to make an “apples to apples” comparison, but it’s safe to say that depending on which retailers you shop at, you’ll save at minimum between $5 – $10 per month, for a total of $60 – $120 per year. Still, you’ll come out further ahead with KOHO Extra.
KOHO Extra vs. Wealthsimple Save
Although Wealthsimple Save is a great product, it’s not really comparable to KOHO Extra Card. It’s primarily a high-interest savings account, whereas KOHO Extra is multi-functional.
Wealthsimple Save’s 0.5% interest rate is decent compared to other high-interest rate savings accounts, but doesn’t beat out the savings interest offered by KOHO Extra. Also, you don’t get perks like cash back rewards.
The bottom line: Wealthsimple Save is a solid option for savers. But KOHO Extra is a multi-purpose app that offers the convenience of a hybrid savings and chequing account with a range of benefits, including cash back on purchases.
Who is KOHO Extra best for?
If you want to earn 2% cash back and have a hard time staying on budget when using a cash back credit card in Canada, KOHO Extra might be a good option for you.
If you’re a frequent traveller, KOHO Extra is a good addition to your pocketbook since it offers no foreign transaction fees and one free international ATM withdrawal a month.
That said, if you aren’t planning to use your KOHO card for daily spending, or are looking to build your credit score, KOHO Extra may end up being more costly than beneficial. Because KOHO isn’t a typical credit card, it doesn’t report to Canada’s credit reporting agencies, and so won’t help you improve your credit score.
If you aren’t sure, KOHO Extra offers a free 30-day trial for new users. The trial will give you enough time to test-run your KOHO Extra card and the services that come with the KOHO Extra membership. If you aren’t convinced by the end of the 30-day trial, cancel your KOHO Extra membership and continue using the basic (and free) version of KOHO Easy.
The verdict: Is KOHO Extra worth it?
KOHO Extra is packed with various features and benefits that make it one of the strongest prepaid, reloadable cards in Canada, but there is a monthly fee to access these features. The cost $84 (or $9/month) annually. If you spend more than $4,200 per year on groceries, entertainment, and transportation, you’ll maximize your cash back if you choose KOHO Extra. If you don’t meet this threshold, you’ll need to consider your spending habits, as well as how often you would use the additional features like free international ATM withdrawals to determine whether KOHO Extra is right for you.Apply now for the KOHO Extra
If you’re debating the options, take a look at our article about KOHO Extra vs. STACK.