The Koho Premium Prepaid Mastercard is the top end card from People's Trust Company which is the parent company of Koho. The card is prepaid which means you don't have to have good credit to have it in your wallet. You simply fund it before using and you can only spend as much as you have loaded onto the card. The card does carry a monthly fee but it also provides the best reward earn rates of the two of cards offered in the Koho program. Not only that you can earn additional cash back when you refer people to Koho and here's a biggie - it comes with no Foreign Transaction fees so if you use the card to shop online outside of Canada or travel outside of Canada you won't be dinged with that 2 to 3% extra most cards charge on non C$ purchases.
The Koho Premium Prepaid Mastercard charges a $9 monthly or $84 annual subscription fee however you do get your first 30 days free to try it out. There is no welcome bonus outside of the free trial period but it does have the extra cash back bonus when you refer a friend.
As the card is prepaid there are no interest rates associated with it since you cannot run a credit balance.
You can also choose to pay $7 per month for their Credit Building feature and KOHO will report to the credit agencies to help you grow your credit rating over a 6 month period. This credit building feature is not available in New Brunswick, Quebec or Saskatchewan.
The card earns cash back as follows:
Redeeming is simple via Koho as you aren't actually redeeming. The cash back you earn based on the rates above are simply applied to your account balance within 2 to 3 days of the authorised purchase.
More prepaid credit cards don't offer any benefits at all but that's not the case with this card. Granted the benefits and features list won't be as long as those that you see on premium credit cards it is nice that they actually offer something extra with these cards.
Firstly and this an important feature - they don't charge Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases made in currencies outside of Canadian dollars. There are only a handful (nine at time of originally posting this) cards in Canada that have this feature and most are premium cards. So this is big bonus for this card and it will save you the 2 to 3% that most cards in Canada charge when you make purchases in foreign currencies. So whether you are travelling or shopping online this is a nice benefit to have to some a bit of cash.
The next feature the card comes with is a price match benefit. This is a little different than price protection we see on some cards where the credit card pays the price difference on something you buy that you find later for a lower price. Koho's is more of a monitoring service - you send pictures of eligible receipts and they will watch to see the item you bought drops in price. If it does they'll notify you and in most cases you'll have to go to the store to claim the price match however there are instances (namely online) where Koho can do it for you.
Recommended reading: No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards for Canadians
The best thing about this card is that you earn a decent rate of cash back on a prepaid card that is comparable to a lot of actual credit cards. Earning 2% back on the most important categories and up to 5% back at select merchants the cash back rewards can stack up quickly.
The no foreign transaction fees of course! Saving that 2 to 3% can be mean a lot of cash in your wallet if you shop online a lot or want to save when travel starts up again.
The $9 a month or $84 annual fee. It is a bit on the high side for a prepaid card - you would have to spend $450 per month on your card in the 2% back categories to break even on that fee. However make some purchases in foreign currencies, shop at the higher earn merchants and eclipse that $450 a month in spend and it can easily become worth it to pay that monthly fee.
It is essentially a debit card with rewards - you cannot run a credit balance as it is not a true credit card. You need to make sure you always have it loaded before utilizing and if you forget you might be sitting at the till with you purchase declined. And with etransfers taking up to 3 hours to show up on the card you don't want to be stuck without the item you wanted to buy.
The Koho Premium Prepaid Mastercard is definitely a competitive player in the prepaid or even secured credit market albeit not being a true credit card. It's most direct competitor is the Stack Mastercard which doesn't have cash back rewards rather they offer discounts at various merchants. There in lies the difference between Koho and Stack - Koho you will earn rewards everywhere, Stack you will not. . Overall the Koho Premium Prepaid Mastercard seems to fit the bill for a rewards card without being an actual credit card so if you are looking for a product like this this card should probably be at the top of your list.
Card Type: Prepaid Credit Card