KOHO vs. STACK | Battle of the prepaid credit cards

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

Over the last two years, KOHO and STACK have become quite the players when it comes to prepaid credit cards in Canada. It’s really no surprise since both of them offer low or no fees, rewards, referral bonuses, and access to two of the largest credit networks in the world.

The question is, which one is better? To be fair, both of them are very similar and are both great, but there are a few minor differences which may affect your decision when deciding which card to apply for. You can read my KOHO review and STACK review, but in this post, we’re going to look at KOHO Vs. STACK to see who comes out on top.


Referral bonus

It may seem odd that I’m starting things off with the referral bonus, but there’s a good chance this is how you heard about KOHO or STACK first. With KOHO, you’ll get $20 for when using my KOHO referral code is CASHMONEY or referral linkWith STACK, people using a referral link get $25, while the person making the referral gets $15. Please use my STACK referral link if you’re interested. Note that you must click this link via your mobile device for it to work.

Winner: If you want a straight cash payout, then STACK is the winner.

Accounts fees

Both KOHO and STACK have no account fees and no minimum balance requirement. You also get unlimited e-transfers with both prepaid credit cards.

STACK uses the Mastercard network and has no foreign exchange fees and no ATM withdrawal fees. KOHO uses the Visa network and charges 1.5% for any purchases made in a foreign currency. That said, if you upgrade to KOHO Premium which costs $84 a year, you get no foreign transaction fees and some additional benefits. 

Both cards don’t charge any fees for using an ATM, however, the ATM provider may charge you a one-time fee to access cash from their machines.

Winner: When it comes to fees, STACK Mastercard comes out on top since they don’t charge any foreign exchange fees. This feature alone makes STACK one of the cheapest ways to get foreign currency.

Rewards earned

With KOHO, you earn 0.5% cash-back on all your purchases. This is amazing since you’re earning rewards even though KOHO isn’t actually a credit card. KOHO also has a few offers from time to time such as 20% off when you file with TurboTax and $55 off Endy.

STACK doesn’t offer cash-back, instead, they focus more on perks and offers. Some recent offers include a free Spotify membership, $1 off $10 at Esso, $150 off Contiki trips, and $2 off purchases of $25 or more at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Winner: STACK technically comes out on top since their offers are worth significantly more than 0.5% but that only applies if you can take advantage of the offers. Some people may prefer the straight 0.5% that KOHO offers.

User interface

When it comes to the user interface, it’s a personal preference. KOHO keeps things minimal with quick access to your savings, activity, transfers and more right at the bottom of the screen. KOHO is a prepaid Visa card.

STACK on the other hand immediately shows you the latest offers as well as the latest stories from people using the hashtag #stackhacks. You can quickly see your own activity under the “you” tab but to access the rest of your account you need to click the $ or your profile icons. STACK is a prepaid Mastercard.

Both KOHO and STACK have chat support built directly within the app. It’s not a live chat, but their staff typically answer within a few hours. You also get real-time notifications with both cards so you can monitor your spending.

Users will also be able to take advantage of savings goals with both cards since you have the option to round up your purchases to the closest $1, $2, $5 or $10. The idea here is to help you save for your next goal such as a vacation or say a new outfit. Detailed spending reports are also available so you can take a look at where your money is going and make adjustments accordingly.

Winner: If you prefer a clean look, then KOHO comes out ahead. Those who are interested in offers and how other users are taking advantage of their offers may prefer STACK.


Both STACK and KOHO are partnered with Peoples Trust where your funds are held. Peoples Trust is a regulated financial institution with $7B in assets so that gives you an extra layer of security but technically speaking, both KOHO and STACK aren’t covered by CDIC.

STACK cardholders would have access to Mastercard’s zero liability coverage which protects you from unauthorized purchases while KOHO has Visa’s zero liability as a standard benefit.

Winner: It’s even

Final thoughts

There’s really no clear winner since both cards are similar. STACK does offer lower foreign exchange fees, but KOHO has a better referral bonus for those making the referral. Both cards aren’t anywhere close to the best travel credit cards in Canada, but that’s not a fair comparison. STACK and KOHO are prepaid cards and aimed at people who want to manage their money better while earning some rewards. Use my KOHO referral code CASHMONEY and get an extra 1% cash back for 90 days.

KOHO vs. STACK | Battle of the prepaid credit cards

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Stumblmer on June 30, 2019 at 5:17 AM

    It is incorrect/misleading to imply indirect CDIC protection/coverage to any KOHO or STACK balance. Being ‘underwritten’ by People’s Trust definitely lends credence to trust the holding of prepaid funds, but IIRC the T&C state account balance/s are not insured under/applicle for CDIC. Furthermore, CDIC is for bank/savings accounts and some specified financial instruments, not for any prepaid cards or FinTech services.

  2. justin on August 14, 2019 at 9:40 AM

    As for Canadian non-residents (Canadian Expats), KOHO allows you to keep your account, while STACK requires your account to be closed down. So in this case, if you plan on travelling more than 6 months away from Canada, then KOHO is the clear winner. The premium account may make sense, since it it $7/ month when paid upfront ($84/year) and provides 0% fx fees as well.

  3. Kitsune on September 19, 2019 at 4:05 AM

    I’m planning to get Koho today (and maybe also Stack later) and I want to use your referral code, but I’m confused from the code in your final thoughts section.

    I thought it would be CASHMONEY but the other is CASHMONEY20 or was that their prior offer of cash vs. the now cash back percentage? Thank you!

    • Barry Choi on September 19, 2019 at 7:55 AM

      Hi Kitsune,

      That was an old promo code, the current one is “CASHMONEY”

      I’ve updated the article, thanks for flagging it!

  4. Cindy on October 16, 2019 at 11:22 AM

    Would STACK be better for travelling across SE Asia?

    • Barry Choi on October 16, 2019 at 2:33 PM


      Yes since it has lower fees

  5. Jairo on January 12, 2021 at 7:23 PM

    if I want to send remittances from through a Spanish site (in euros), to my family in Cuba. What would be a better option?

    • Barry Choi on January 12, 2021 at 9:05 PM


      I don’t have experience with this so I can’t comment.

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