KOHO Savings Account Review: Features, Cons & Alternatives

The KOHO savings account is one of the most popular online savings accounts offered by Fintech companies in Canada. 

Depending on the KOHO plan you subscribe to, this savings account allows you to earn up to 5% interest on your entire balance and 5% cash back on your purchases, which are often better than what traditional banks offer. 

This review article covers the KOHO savings account’s features, downsides, and expected fees. 

KOHO Savings Account Features

KOHO offers 4 versions/plans of its savings account, namely the Easy, Essential, Extra, and Everything plans. 

The Easy plan is completely free to use. On the flip side, the Essential plan costs $4 a month, the Extra plan costs $9 monthly, and the Everything plan, which offers the most features, costs $19 per month. 

Below are the features you can expect from these KOHO savings account plans. 

3% to 5% interest rates

All paid KOHO plans allow you to earn 5% interest on your entire balance. The only free plan, which is the Easy plan, slightly limits interest earnings to only 3%.

Up to 5% cash back

How much cash back you can earn when using your KOHO savings account for purchases varies depending on your chosen plan. 

Here’s a brief rundown of how much cash back each plan offers: 

  • Easy plan ($0/month): 1% cash back exclusively on groceries and transportation. 
  • Essential plan ($4/month): 1% cash back on groceries, transportation, and eating & drinking, as well as 0.25% cash back on all purchases. 
  • Extra plan ($9/month): 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, and eating & drinking, as well as 0.5% cash back on all purchases. 
  • Everything plan ($9/month): 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, and eating & drinking, as well as 0.5% cash back on all purchases. 

Note: You can earn up to 5% cash back when you shop at one of KOHO’s partnered merchants using the KOHO app. 

Open a Free KOHO Account and get a $20 Bonus.

No minimum balance

All KOHO savings account plans have no required minimum balance. You can keep any amount from $0 to $200,000 in your account.

Virtual and physical Mastercard

Every KOHO savings account plan has instant free access to a virtual prepaid card and an optional physical Mastercard. These cards can be used just like any “debit” card, but their cash back perks make them more of a credit card alternative among users. 

Optional Credit Building Program 

KOHO also offers paid secured and unsecured Credit Building programs to its account holders. 

The monthly fee for this program ranges from $5 to $10, depending on your KOHO plan. It’s reported that the average KOHO user can increase their credit score by as much as 22 points in just 3 months through Credit Building. 

KOHO Savings Account Downsides 

The KOHO savings account is known as a “hybrid” account that allows you to manage your spending and savings in just one place. While this feature is convenient, it can also make it easier for you to spend money that could otherwise stay in your savings long-term. 

Moreover, if you exclusively want to use the Easy KOHO plan as a free savings account, there are a few alternatives that can offer higher interest rates. 

Fees to Expect From a KOHO Savings Account

These are the fees you can expect when using a KOHO savings account: 

  • KOHO plans’ monthly subscription fees: $0 to $19 per month.
  • Optional Credit Building fee: $5 to $10 per month. 

Since KOHO doesn’t own any ATM, you will be charged a $2 to $3 out-of-network fee when you withdraw from ATMs that support Mastercard. If you’re not subscribed to the Everything plan, you can also expect 1.5% FX fees when making international transactions. 

How to Open a KOHO Savings Account

Opening a KOHO savings account is as simple as applying for a plan through the company’s official website and following the on-screen prompts to complete the application process. 

Once your account has been verified and you’ve already deposited funds into it, you can immediately use your virtual KOHO card to make purchases while you wait for your physical Mastercard. 

Learn more about the KOHO referral program.

KOHO Savings Account vs Alternatives 

Here are the KOHO savings account alternatives you may also be interested in.

EQ Bank Personal Account

Similar to the KOHO savings account, the EQ Bank personal account acts like chequing but allows you to earn as much as 4% interest on your balance, just like a savings account. 

Despite having zero monthly fees, this account lets you enjoy everyday transactions such as paying bills, withdrawing money, and sending or receiving Interac e-Transfers for free.

Neo Financial High Interest Savings Account 

The Fintech company NEO Financial also has a High Interest Savings Account that offers up to 4% interest on your balance with no minimum deposit threshold.

It has zero monthly fees and allows you to open up to 10 separate accounts to make your saving journey more organized and manageable.

Simplii Financial

Unlike KOHO’s hybrid savings account, the no-fee Simplii Financial’s High Interest Savings Account is built exclusively to save money. 

It lets you earn anywhere from 0.40% to 5.50% of interest, depending on how much your account balance is and allows you to set up automatic deposits to continuously grow your savings. 

Also read: KOHO Canada Reviews

Leave a Comment