Read our review and check out the $60 sign-up bonus below!

One of our goals as a family is to be debt free. For a brief moment we were debt free, but then the credit card bills arrived and boom, we owed money again because of the purchases we made online.

Out of frustration, I suggested that we make a payment to the credit card immediately after each use. This way, if we make a payment, we won’t have any balance owing when we receive the bill. A good idea in theory, but neither of us seemed to be able to remember to do it. And this landed us back in debt land with a balance on our credit card.

After another hair pulling budgeting session trying to balance my budget with credit card purchases that were made over a month ago, I wanted to scream. How can we get ahead when we are buying things on the credit card and then paying for them over a month later? How can we budget for the things that are really important to us when we have to pay off purchases we made last month on a whim?

If only we could use cash for online purchases to ensure that we were not racking up more debt. Then I remembered, the KOHO card and app.

With the KOHO app, I can load the card with cash at the beginning of the month, and then use the KOHO VISA card for our online purchases, just like a credit card.

We won’t rack up more debt, and it makes us more mindful of our budget because when the card value is used up, we have to reload it. If we can’t reload due to budget restrictions, then I guess it’s time to stop and think. Can we afford it?

Not only can we use the card for online purchases, we can use it for our discretionary spending, like groceries, meals out, coffees, clothes etc. You can use it anywhere VISA is accepted.

Unlike our regular credit cards, which can seem like a bottomless pit at times, the KOHO card has it’s limits, and when you’ve spent your money, you have to stop and reload.

This reloading process, while inconvenient, is a great way to stop and be mindful of your spending and where you are at with your budget.

Everything is managed through the KOHO app, and you can monitor your spending by category and see where your money is going.

You can also set savings goals within the app, and also use the “round-up” feature to round up your purchases, putting the extra money into your savings goals.

So now for my review of the KOHO card and app. I have to admit, the onboarding process is a bit of a hassle. There are a few hoops you have to jump through to get set-up, activate your card (which looks just like a VISA, but cooler) and then load funds onto the card. But once you are set-up, it’s easy to use the card, just like any VISA. The only difference is the low limit (which you set, by loading it with your real, hard earned cash).

I’ll update this review as we continue to use the card, but I can already see how it’s going to help rein in our free wheeling online spending. At first blush, other than the onboarding process (which I am sure they will improve).

I’d love to see KOHO add the ability to have a joint account for couples that pool their money.

If you are looking for a no-fee or low interest credit card in Canada or ways to cut down on your credit card debt and become more mindful of purchases, give KOHO a try!


I’m loving this card so far, and now they have introduced “Power Ups”, a cash back program to reward you for your purchases. It’s a thing of beauty:

  • 0.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Bonus 0.5% cash back if you get your paycheque of $500+ automatically deposited
  • Bonus 1% for 90 days for referring a friend
  • Get 2% cash back instead of 0.5% when you choose the Premium plan, on groceries, eating, transportation

Read more about the KOHO card and how it helped me stay debt-free last Christmas. 

Sign-Up Bonus Up to $60:

Use our link and referral code: BILLCRUSH to get $20 when you complete your first purchase within 30 days. PLUS get a $40 account credit if you set-up your paycheque of $500 or more for direct deposit.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, we may receive a referral fee to help us keep the money saving content flowing free!