Quick overview of the Neo Financial JA Money Card

The Neo Financial Junior Ambassador Money card, or the Neo JA Money card, allows teens to practice responsible spending and access financial insights and budgeting tools with the Neo app. The prepaid Mastercard also gives cardholders quick finance lessons in the Junior Achievement Knowledge Hub, part of the Junior Achievement of Canada non-profit organization for youth.

Alongside the wealth of learning opportunities, this card offers a robust cash back rewards system valid at any of Neo Financial's 10,000+ partners, empowering teens to earn as they spend. What's more, there is no monthly fee for this card, and standard transactions are free, fostering financial independence.

However, the prepaid JA Money Card may offer less cash back than a typical credit card, as cash back offers can vary across partners. The card won't allow teens to start building credit but will set them up to understand credit in adulthood.

Who’s the JA Money Card for?

The JA Money Card is designed for teens aged 13 and older who are just starting to find their footing in personal finance. As a prepaid Mastercard, there’s virtually no risk of overspending, and with no annual fee, younger cardholders can get used to a rewards system without paying for perks. The JA Money Card benefits those in high school the most, as post-secondary students could benefit more from a standard student credit card.

Pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • Earn up to 5% average cash back with flexible redemption

  • No income requirements

  • No monthly or standard transaction fees

Cons

Cons

  • Doesn’t build credit

  • No welcome offer

  • Minimum spend amounts on cashback categories

  • Foreign transaction fee of 2.5%

  • Rush Access Card replacement fee of $29 if you lose the card

How to earn rewards on the JA Money Card

Cardholders must spend at any of Neo’s 10,000+ partners to earn cash back rewards. Restaurants and food delivery apps deliver the highest rewards, while all other categories offer a base rate of 2% cash back. The earn rates and spending categories are as follows:

  • Earn 5% average cash back at restaurants and on purchases made on food delivery apps such as Uber Eats.
  • Earn 2% cash back at clothing and footwear stores such as Dynamite and JD Sports; bookstores and eBook retailers like Chapters and Kobo; game and entertainment stores like PlayStation and Steam and health and fitness locations like GoodLife Fitness and Anytime Fitness.

The Neo app shows you where to find more than 10,000 partners so you can plan your spending accordingly. Remember, there may be caps on the amount of cash back you can earn, and you may need to spend a minimum amount to start earning cash back. So, it's a good idea to regularly double-check the offer details in the Neo app. 

How to redeem rewards with the JA Money Card

Redeeming your cash back rewards is simple. Your Rewards Wallet in the Neo app carries all your accumulated cash in one spot. The money is paid out instantly once you’re ready to use it. You can decide whether you want it to go towards a gift card or merchandise purchase in the Neo Store or directly into your Neo Everyday account.

JA Money Card insurance coverage

Currently, there are no insurance benefits with this credit card.

JA Money Card key benefits

  • Earn 5% average cash back at Neo partners in the restaurant and food delivery app category.
  • Gain financial confidence with budgeting tools and custom insights through the Neo app and short lessons in the JA Knowledge Hub.
  • No monthly fees, transaction fees (excluding foreign transactions of 2.5%), or annual fee. 

Extra benefits

  • Each time you use your card, a donation is automatically sent to the Junior Achievement of Canada non-profit organization 一 but not on your dime. You’ll support youth success just by using the card.
  • Get notified when money enters or exits your account. You can always freeze or unfreeze your card if you see fit.
  • All prepaid deposits are eligible for Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CIDC) protection up to $100,000, and all payments are secure.
  • You can secure your account with Face ID, fingerprint lock, and two-factor authentication, such as a code sent to your phone and a password.

JA Money Card eligibility criteria

  • Must be a Canadian resident of 13 years of age or older outside of Quebec and 14 years of age or older in Quebec.

What people have to say about this card

According to djino on Red Flag Deals, there has been a technical issue with signing up for the JA Money Card in the past, but this is likely rare. The JA Money Card is also presented as a possible way to cash out sign-up promotions from other accounts for Quebec residents

How the JA Money Card compares

JA Money Card vs. EQ Bank Card

EQ Bank Card

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3.0

Fair

Suggested credit score

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Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Fair

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Fair

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

cash back on purchases

0.5%

interest on your balance

2.5%

Purchase APR

0.00%

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee

0.00%

While both cards are prepaid Mastercards, the JA Money Card offers more cash back (2%-5% vs. 0.5%). You’ll earn 2.25% interest through your Everyday account, but if you opt for a high-interest savings account (HISA), you can earn 4% interest on what you don’t spend. Suppose cashback is your priority, and you’re below the age of majority in your province. In that case, the JA Money Card may be both preferable and your only option between the two cards in terms of eligibility. 

However, the EQ Bank card has no foreign transaction fees and offers up to 4% interest on your loaded balance until you spend it. But it only offers 0.5% cash back. If you plan to purchase in another country or currency and add recurring direct deposits to your linked account, the EQ Bank Card could pay off more.

JA Money Card vs. Mydoh Card

RBC Mydoh

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Poor

Suggested credit score

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Pros

  • Free to use

  • Fund visa bank, credit card or interac e-transfer

  • Kids can earn and learn about money

  • Parents see the transactions

Cons

  • Parents should be tech-savvy

  • Saturdays are the only day for automatic allowance

  • Kids need regular access to phone or tablet

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Poor

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

Pros

  • Free to use

  • Fund visa bank, credit card or interac e-transfer

  • Kids can earn and learn about money

  • Parents see the transactions

Cons

  • Parents should be tech-savvy

  • Saturdays are the only day for automatic allowance

  • Kids need regular access to phone or tablet

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Poor

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee

2.50%

Neo’s JA Money Card and RBC’s Mydoh Card both offer teens the opportunity to build their financial literacy, but the parent closely monitors the Mydoh Card, which is more of a familial convenience for allowance than a personal finance tool to grow money. Plus, the Mydoh Card has no cash-back rewards system and offers no interest on savings. 

Since the JA Money Card offers up to 5% cash back, the option to make either 2.25% or 4% interest on your account balances, and a sense of individuality apart from parents, it’s better suited for older teens. In contrast, the Mydoh Card is better for kids and young teens.

JA Money Card vs. KOHO card

Koho Mastercard

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3.9

Poor

Suggested credit score

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Pros

  • A no-fee account option

  • Earn up to 5% cash back on your purchases

  • Accepted worldwide, wherever Mastercard is accepted

  • Four account tiers, so there’s something for everyone

  • Earn interest on your account

  • RoundUps feature helps you save

  • Financial coaching is available

  • Features like Credit Building (to help you build your credit history) and Cover (to protect you from overdrawing your account)

  • Compatible with Apple Pay

  • Joint account option for families and couples

Cons

  • No physical branches or tellers

  • No RRSP, TFSA or RESP accounts

  • Customer service not on par with the big banks

  • Missing some banking features, like wire transfers, currency exchanges and multiple lines of business like financial planning, mortgages and insurance

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Poor

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

Pros

  • A no-fee account option

  • Earn up to 5% cash back on your purchases

  • Accepted worldwide, wherever Mastercard is accepted

  • Four account tiers, so there’s something for everyone

  • Earn interest on your account

  • RoundUps feature helps you save

  • Financial coaching is available

  • Features like Credit Building (to help you build your credit history) and Cover (to protect you from overdrawing your account)

  • Compatible with Apple Pay

  • Joint account option for families and couples

Cons

  • No physical branches or tellers

  • No RRSP, TFSA or RESP accounts

  • Customer service not on par with the big banks

  • Missing some banking features, like wire transfers, currency exchanges and multiple lines of business like financial planning, mortgages and insurance

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Poor

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

cash back on groceries and transportation

1%

interest earned on your account balance

3%

Purchase APR

0.00%

Cash Advance APR

0.00%

Annual Fee

$0

KOHO’s Essential plan is the most comparable to the JA Money Card, as it’s KOHO’s only no-monthly-fee plan linked to a KOHO Cardーthat is, only if you sign up for recurring direct deposit. The KOHO Card offers 5% interest on your account balance, which beats the Everyday account’s 2.25% and the HISA’s 4%. KOHO also has a signup bonus right now, offering $75 to spend at NBAStore.ca.

The JA Money Card has a higher base cash back rate (2% vs. 1%), but both cards reach 5% cash back depending on the category of your purchase and where you shop. If you plan to sign up for direct deposit and focus instead on building your savings rather than earning cashback, the KOHO card is preferable. If you’d rather earn cash back and are too young to qualify for the KOHO Card, the JA Money Card is better suited.

Card JA Money Card KOHO Credit Card
Annual fee None $48 or $0 with recurring direct deposit
Benefits In-app budgeting and insights, 5% average cash back on restaurants and food delivery, no monthly fee, notifications for account activity, option to grow money with a HISA at 4% 5% interest on account balance, option to pay for credit building, no monthly fee with direct deposit, 1%-5% cash back, in-app savings goals feature.
Review You’re reading it! KOHO review
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The KOHO Card is a good option for older teens once they hit the age of majority in their province. The JA Money Card can prepare younger teens for money management and give them the confidence to build their savings when they have more income to grow.

Is the JA Money Card worth it?

The JA Money Card is worth signing up for if you’re a young teen eager to gain financial independence, learn how to use a rewards system and grow your money. Though other standard credit cards and prepaid Mastercards offer more interest or higher cash back, they may come with a monthly fee or make it easier to overspend. Since the JA Money Card is for those 13 and older (14 and older for Quebec residents), it provides a good amount of experimentation without requiring too much responsibility, all with no monthly fees.

Michelle Bates Freelance Writer

Michelle Bates has seven years of writing experience and has been writing and editing personal finance content since 2021, specializing in credit cards, home and auto insurance and mortgages. She is the former associate editor at WealthRocket and spent close to two years as an editor and writer for rate comparison website RATESDOTCA, where she wrote data-driven reports and edited freelancers’ articles. Her work has been covered by notable Canadian news sources like the Financial Post, The Globe and Mail, CTV News and Narcity.

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