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Last updated Jul. 5, 2024 by Peter Jakes

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, selecting the right credit card can substantially impact your financial well-being. Enter KOHO Mastercard, a standout in the Canadian market, renowned for its user-centric features, attractive cash back offers, and intuitive app interface. But the burning question is: Is the KOHO Mastercard worth it in 2023? This comprehensive review delves deep into its features, benefits, pros, and cons, helping you make an informed decision.

What is the KOHO Mastercard?

KOHO is a Canadian fintech company offering prepaid Mastercard options. It is not a conventional credit card but functions similarly with no annual fees and a suite of financial tools aimed at helping users save and manage their money better. Unlike regular credit cards, you preload money onto your KOHO card, enabling you to make purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Key Features

  1. Cash Back Rewards: One of KOHO Mastercard’s proudest features is its cash back rewards. Depending on your spending habits, you can receive up to 2% cash back on specific purchase categories like groceries, dining, transportation, and more.

  2. No Annual Fees: Unlike many high-reward credit cards, KOHO Mastercard comes with no annual fees. This allows users to maximize their cash back benefits without worrying about offsetting costs.

  3. Round-Up Savings: KOHO employs a unique round-up feature, which rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar and saves the difference. This micro-saving habit can accumulate substantial savings over time.

  4. Spending Insights: KOHO’s app offers real-time spending insights, helping users track their expenses and manage their budget effectively. The app provides an overview of spending categories, allowing users to make data-driven adjustments to their spending.

  5. Direct Deposit and Early Payroll: KOHO offers direct deposit features which can get you paid up to 3 days early. This can be particularly beneficial for budgeting and managing cash flow.

  6. Separate Savings and Spending Accounts: Users can separate their money into savings and spending accounts within the app, making it easier to save for specific goals while managing daily expenses.

  7. Financial Coaching: KOHO provides users access to financial coaching to assist in better money management, budgeting, and achieving financial goals.

  8. Security: Being a Mastercard, KOHO includes robust security measures such as instant account freeze, zero-liability protection, and touch/face ID login options.

Pros and Cons of KOHO Mastercard

Understanding the advantages and potential drawbacks can help you determine if KOHO Mastercard aligns with your financial needs.


  • No Credit Check Needed: Prepaid nature means no credit check is required, making it accessible for individuals with poor or no credit history.
  • Cost-Effective: No annual fees and no interest charges since you’re spending preloaded money.
  • High Cash Back Potential: Up to 2% cash back on essential categories can add up to significant savings.
  • Budgeting Tools: Real-time insights and spending notifications help with budgeting.
  • Early Payroll: Direct deposit users can benefit from getting paid earlier than traditional banking.


  • Limited Cash Back: Cash back is up to 2% only on select categories; other purchases may yield lower or no cash back.
  • Prepaid Nature: May not help in building credit as it’s not a credit card.
  • Accessibility: Requires funds to be preloaded, which can be a limitation compared to traditional credit cards that offer credit limits.

Comparison with Traditional Credit Cards

The KOHO Mastercard is unique in that it doesn’t fit snugly into categories of traditional credit cards. Its distinctive prepaid nature sets it apart, making it an attractive option for those looking to control their spending and avoid debt.

Traditional credit cards usually offer higher potential rewards but come with annual fees and require credit checks. They also offer the benefit of building credit history, which KOHO does not. However, KOHO’s user-friendly app and budgeting tools give it an edge for individuals seeking simplicity and financial control.

✓ Short Answer

KOHO Mastercard stands out with no annual fees, attractive cash back rewards up to 2%, and financial tools that aid in better money management. The prepaid feature makes it accessible without a credit check. While it won’t help build credit, it offers excellent budget control and early payroll via direct deposit.

Conclusion: Is KOHO Mastercard Worth It?

The decision on whether KOHO Mastercard is worth it largely hinges on your financial goals and habits. If you prioritize no annual fees, cash back rewards on essential categories, and advanced budgeting tools, KOHO Mastercard could be an excellent choice. Its prepaid nature ensures you avoid the dangers of accumulating debt, and its user-friendly app makes managing finances straightforward.

However, if building credit or achieving higher rewards is a key priority, exploring traditional credit card options may be more beneficial. Ultimately, the KOHO Mastercard excels in providing cost-effective, secure, and easy-to-understand financial solutions for a variety of users.


Q1: How do I apply for a KOHO Mastercard?

A: You can apply through the KOHO website or mobile app. The process is straightforward and doesn’t require a credit check.

Q2: Is there an overdraft feature?

A: No, KOHO Mastercard is a prepaid card, meaning you cannot spend more than what is loaded onto the card.

Q3: Can I use the KOHO Mastercard outside Canada?

A: Yes, you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted globally, though foreign transaction fees may apply.

Q4: How does the cash back work?

A: Cash back is automatically calculated and credited to your KOHO account based on your spending categories.

Q5: What security measures are in place?

A: KOHO provides instant account freeze features, zero-liability protection, and biometric login options.

Q6: Will using KOHO Mastercard improve my credit score?

A: No, since it’s a prepaid card, it does not report to credit bureaus, hence it won’t impact your credit score.

Q7: What happens if I lose my KOHO card?

A: You can quickly freeze your card through the app and request a replacement.

Q8: Is there a physical KOHO card?

A: Yes, you receive a physical card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Q9: Are there fees for certain transactions?

A: While there are no annual fees, some transactions like ATM withdrawals or foreign exchanges may incur fees.

Q10: What types of customer support does KOHO offer?

A: KOHO offers customer support via chat, email, and phone through their app and website.

In conclusion, the KOHO Mastercard blends convenience, robust features, and cost-effectiveness, making it a compelling choice for many Canadians. Evaluate your personal financial needs to determine if this card aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

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