Sunday, February 23

How to Use KOHO for Travel

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If you pride yourself as a savvy saver, but also have a passion for travel, take heart: your worlds are about to combine in the best way. Expenses are often the biggest hurdle when it comes to exploring the world. In fact, in many cases, the cost of travel is the only thing holding you back!

That’s why it’s essential to keep eyes peeled for travel tips that can cut your costs. This is where KOHO comes in. Implement these tips to your travel plan and you can see the world without breaking the bank!

What is KOHO?

KOHO is a cash-back card and budgeting tool that can help you save money. It functions like a prepaid Visa card, so it gives you the convenience of a credit card without the risk of spending money you don’t have! Inside the KOHO app, you can track your spending, set savings goals, and more. You’ll also earn 0.5% (or up to 2% with KOHO Premium!) cash-back on all your purchases. 

What more info? Check out a full KOHO Review: Spend Less, Save More, Budget Better!

KOHO Review

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Before you leave: set a goal & start saving

KOHO can be helpful at every stage of your trip, from conception to completion. Although a spontaneous adventure is romantic and definitely on the bucket list, your wallet will thank you if you think ahead.

Start your trip off on the right foot by creating a KOHO savings goal. Once you’ve decided where you’re going and when, you can start estimating the costs. Take a look at what type of residence you’ll be staying in, how much food costs in the area, and how much it usually costs to travel to your pre-decided destination. If you’re unsure of how big the final bill will be, you can always start with an estimate and edit your KOHO goal later. 

KOHO for travel

You can enter the dollar amount of your travel budget goal directly into KOHO, as well as adding a date you plan to reach it by. KOHO will automatically calculate how much you need to save, and you can choose whether you want to set money aside on a daily, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis. I personally like the daily savings feature because it’s the smallest amount so it feels the easiest!

When you’ve reached your goal, you can just cash out and go. You can take out cash from this savings goal and exchange the currency for spending on the trip as well. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself more knowing your trip isn’t on credit! 

Utilizing KOHO for travel

Remember to pack your KOHO card! Through the wonders of technology, the KOHO card cuts out a ton of the stress that comes with foreign exchange (FX). If you’re traveling somewhere that doesn’t use CAD, exchanging money can cost a huge amount in fees. But even more than that are the barriers that come with actually spending money whilst across borders.

When I spent time in Europe, we would always have to hunt down an ATM before we could eat. It was easiest to withdraw Euros directly from our bank account, but at the same time we didn’t want to travel with tons of cash on hand! God, I wish my mom had a KOHO card!

Load your KOHO card

With KOHO, all that hassle is virtually gone. If you don’t have KOHO already, it’s essentially a pre-loadable credit card combined with budgeting and saving services. It can be used to make purchases anywhere that accepts Visa, and the currency exchange will happen automatically. Just be sure to load the travel budget you’ve saved onto your card before leaving!

There are 3 ways to load money onto your KOHO card:

  • Set up a direct deposit from your paycheque (your money will show up in your KOHO account on payday)
  • eTransfer the money to your KOHO account from your regular chequing account (typically arrives in <2 hours)
  • Set up KOHO has a bill pay and transfer the money directly from your chequing account (arrives in 2-3 business days)

Essentially, you can swap KOHO out for your debit card while you’re gone! It will provide you all the convenience of using Visa, with none of the surprises. Keeping your travel expenses off your credit bills is sure to cut some stress, and you won’t have to hunt an ATM down every time you get peckish. 

KOHO Review

Taking money out abroad

But what if you do need cash? Whether it be street vendors, a night out, or a tourist attraction, it’s likely you’ll run into a situation where cash is more reasonable than credit. KOHO provides 1 free international ATM withdrawal per month, so the first time you take cash out after your plane lands won’t cost you a thing. 

traveling with KOHO

KOHO cards can be used to take out money at any ATM with a Visa Plus sign. Visa is the most used credit issuer world-wide, with 323 million card holders! For ATM withdrawals or day-to-day purchases, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find somewhere KOHO-compatible. Once you locate an ATM, withdraw cash from your KOHO just as you would back home!

Real-time notifications

One of the most difficult parts of traveling on a budget is keeping up with the foreign exchange rates. Knowing how much you’ve spent in terms of your own currency is essential in order to fully understand how much you’re losing!

But when you use KOHO to travel, you’ll get real-time notifications in CAD. This means every time you make a purchase abroad, KOHO will let you know how much you’ve spent in terms you can better understand. If you used KOHO to save for a travel budget ahead of time, this makes it so easy to keep your spending on track. 

To stay “on-budget” you could move the money that was already in your general Spendable (before you cash out), into a savings goal to keep it separate until you get back.

Apple Pay

If Apple products are your preference, there’s yet another way for you to make KOHO work for you. KOHO cards are now compatible with Apple Wallet!

As long as Apple Pay is accepted, you don’t even need your physical card with you to make in-store purchases! All you have to do is take a picture of your card and verify your email, and these two spending tools are married as one. You can use Apple pay wherever it’s accepted. 

Although Apple Pay isn’t quite as universal as Visa, it’s still an option in thousands of stores worldwide. Tapping your phone and directly accessing your specifically saved travel fund cuts out half the steps of tracking your spending. But perhaps pack your physical card just in case!

KOHO joint accounts for travel

Looking to take a trip with a family member, friend, or significant other? Shared trips can cause a lot of stress, specifically when it comes to splitting the finances. Luckily, KOHO recently introduced joint accounts for spending and saving. This is perfect because you need the ease of KOHO to even out the complexity that is sharing money with another person, especially when you add the stress of travel! The speed and user-friendly format make it better than other joint account services such as Splitwise. The best part? Your other joint account holder doesn’t need to be a romantic partner. You can open a KOHO joint account with anyone. 

You and your travel partner could open a free joint account dedicated to your trip. The two of you could set a budget and make individual contributions to save beforehand. And then once the time comes, each of you can use your KOHO card to access the funds abroad! It’s as simple as that.

Extra Fees

Now for the less-fun part. Foreign exchange fees can put a huge damper on the joy of travel, but fear not! KOHO has found a way to help with this too. For transactions abroad, KOHO charges a 3% foreign exchange (FX) fee based on the transaction value, but KOHO Premium only charges 1.5%.

travel with KOHO

Additionally, this 1.5% is charged by Visa, rather than KOHO themselves. They don’t add any fees on top of this nor do they profit off of the 1.5%. Although cheaper than other options, you might still want to avoid these fees by using cash or doing larger, less-frequent withdrawals. 

KOHO Premium for travel!

Although KOHO’s basic plan is great for a stress-free vacay, KOHO premium takes that even further. KOHO premium just launched at the end of May, and many of their VIP perks are perfect for frequent flyers. 

KOHO Premium members have their FX fees completely covered. Beyond this, one foreign ATM transaction is offered per month. As far as day-to-day transactions go, you no longer have to hold back. And situations where cash is needed are much easier to navigate! These qualities combined with the array of other premium perks could truly take the stress out of your trip! 

When you first sign up for KOHO premium, it’s free for the first month and then $9/month after that. With a 1.5% transactional FX fee, it wouldn’t take long for it to pay for itself! You can read more about KOHO Premium’s Major VIP Perks here

Warning! KOHO doesn’t work everywhere

Unfortunately, KOHO’s reach isn’t infinite. There is a select list of countries where KOHO is unusable for fraud protection reasons, which is to be expected. Before using KOHO to travel, check to ensure your traveling somewhere safe! KOHO’s list of blocked countries is here for reference

Whether new to KOHO or a Premium member, your vacation is bound to be less stressful if you use your KOHO app along the way. As always, stay safe, and happy touring! 

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About Author

A professional writing student at York University, Toronto. A newbie in the world of personal finance, but writing with MAG I've got the perfect teacher! Literary nerd, writer, and coffee enthusiast.

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