KOHO Essential Mastercard Review



Annual Fee


Annual Rewards


Intro Offer


Annual fee


Annual rewards


Intro offer


  • No annual fee
  • Prepaid card enables better budget control
  • Earn cashback rewards on purchases
  • App for tracking spending and savings
  • Round-up feature for automatic saving
  • No interest charges or overdraft fees
  • Instant in-app notifications for transactions
  • FDIC insured up to the card balance
  • Free trial of KOHO Premium


  • Not a traditional credit source
  • No credit building opportunities
  • Limited reward options compared to other cards
  • Potentially long e-transfer deposit times
  • International withdrawal and transaction fees
  • US dollar conversion fees
  • Lower acceptance than Visa or American Express

How you earn rewards

Each card earns rewards differently. Part of choosing your card is deciding what type of rewards you want to get. With KOHO Essential Mastercard, here’s how you earn rewards:

How much your rewards are worth

The dollar value of your rewards depends on the specific KOHO rewards program and what you choose to redeem your points for.

For KOHO Essential Mastercard in particular, if you spend $2,000.00 per month, here’s our estimated rewards earned depending on which reward you choose:

Calculating your annual rewards

$24,000.00 annual spending x $0.00% return on spending = $0.00 annual rewards

$0.00 annual rewards – $48.00 annual fee = $$-48.00 net annual rewards

Details and eligibility

Do I qualify?
Estimated Credit Score300 – 559
Interest Rates
Cash AdvanceN/A%
Balance TransferN/A%
Annual Fee$48.00
Extra Card Fee$0
Card typeMasterCard

Insurance coverage

KOHO Essential Mastercard Review

The KOHO Essential Mastercard is a prepaid credit card designed for users who want a convenient and straightforward method of earning cash back and managing their finances. This review will discuss the earning potential, four benefits, and two drawbacks of using this card, as well as any additional relevant information to assist potential users in making an informed decision.

1. Earning potential with the card: The KOHO Essential Mastercard allows users to earn cash back on their everyday purchases. Users can earn 0.5% cash back on all transactions, with no limitations or specific categories. This cash back rate can be beneficial for those who spend consistently across various categories.

2. Benefit 1: One major advantage of this card is the fact that it does not have any annual fees. This makes it a cost-effective option for users who do not wish to pay an annual fee for their card.

3. Benefit 2: The card also comes with real-time notifications, allowing users to track their spending and manage their budget directly within the KOHO app. These notifications can help individuals stay on top of their finances and avoid unnecessary expenses.

4. Benefit 3: The KOHO Essential Mastercard offers financial coaching tools via the KOHO app, which can be useful in helping users improve their financial habits and achieve their goals. This feature differentiates it from other credit cards that do not have similar educational support.

5. Benefit 4: The card has a useful RoundUp feature that allows users to round up purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically save the difference in their KOHO account. This feature can help users build their savings effortlessly over time.

6. Drawback 1: A significant drawback of the card is the absence of high reward categories typically offered by other cards, such as increased cash back for dining, travel, or groceries. Users who frequently spend in these categories may find the flat cash back rate less appealing.

7. Drawback 2: As it is a prepaid card, the KOHO Essential Mastercard may not be as widely accepted as traditional credit cards. This could limit the places where cardholders can utilize it, especially in foreign countries or at establishments that do not accept Mastercard.

In conclusion, the KOHO Essential Mastercard offers a straightforward and fee-free cash back experience, accompanied by useful features such as real-time notifications, financial coaching tools, and a RoundUp feature. However, it lacks higher reward categories and may not be accepted everywhere. Considering these aspects, potential users should assess how the card’s benefits align with their spending habits and financial preferences.

Not the right fit? You could consider the Rogers World Elite MasterCard. Or, if you’re looking for other options check out the Brim World Elite Mastercard, and the Brim MasterCard.


The KOHO Essential Mastercard offers a rewards program that grants users the ability to redeem their earned points for purchases within specific categories. These categories include cash back, merchandise, travel, and gift cards. The most popular redemption option for KOHO Essential users is to redeem their points as cash back, which can then be applied directly to their card balance. You can also choose to redeem your points for merchandise from a wide variety of retail partners, allowing you to shop for items such as electronics, home goods, and clothing. Travel options, including flights and hotel accommodations, can be redeemed through the KOHO travel portal, giving users flexibility in planning and booking their trips. Lastly, gift cards are available for redemption from a range of popular retail and dining establishments.

<p>The KOHO Essential Mastercard credit card does not charge any foreign transaction fees on purchases made in foreign currencies. This makes it a great option for Canadians who travel frequently or make online purchases from international merchants. Therefore, cardholders can enjoy hassle-free shopping and save on additional charges when transacting in a non-Canadian currency.</p>

The KOHO Essential Mastercard credit card does not have a minimum income requirement for applicants. This feature makes it accessible for various income levels, catering to a broader audience of potential cardholders.

Key benefits

  • Prepaid Mastercard
  • 0.5% cashback on all purchases
  • Integrates with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Load funds through e-transfer or direct deposit
  • Real-time balance updates with mobile app
  • Savings goals and budget tracking features
  • Partner offers with select retailers
  • 30-day KOHO Premium trial included
  • Custom security controls, e.g. card lock
  • Automated bill payments functionality

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