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.
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. Both cards give you a cash incentive to sign up and the person making the referral also gets cash so it’s a win-win situation.
With KOHO, you can earn up to $60 when using a KOHO referral code. You get $20 after you load your card with any amount for the first time and an additional $40 when you set up a direct deposit of at least $500. The person making the referral gets $20. My KOHO referral code is CASHMONEY20 so use it now if you like free money.
With STACK, people using a referral link get $20, but the person making the referral gets $5 for the first 5 referrals, $10 for the next 5, and $15 for every referral after that. In other words, the person making the referrals needs to refer 10 people before they get their maximum payout of $15. I have a special STACK referral link where you’ll get $25 instead of the standard $20. Note that you must click this link via your mobile device for it to work.
Winner: Due to my special referral link with STACK, the person signing up would get $25 as opposed to $20 from KOHO. However, KOHO cardholders making referrals would come out ahead since they get $20 a referral as opposed to STACK where you cap at $15. KOHO also has that extra $40 when you set up a direct deposit so you could argue KOHO has the better referral bonus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 if KOHO or STACK were to fail, your funds would be returned to you. This is possible because Peoples Trust is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) which insures eligible deposits up to $100,000 per account.
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, your money is safe with both of these cards.
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 CASHMONEY20 now to get up to $60 for free.