Koho was founded in 2017 in Vancouver and is a prepaid Visa card service coupled with an application that aims to replicate certain features similar to a bank account. Hardbacon is a Canadian fintech founded in 2017 in Montreal. Hardbacon aims to help its users get richer by managing their money better in three areas: planning, budgeting and investing. Hardbacon and Koho are therefore two apps that help you with your personal finances, although the two apps have different functions and target audiences.

Koho: the advantages

Unlike Hardbacon, Koho offers prepaid Visa credit cards, allowing its users with a credit score to continue to be able to shop online, among other things. Like Hardbacon, Koho allows its users to see where they are spending their money, automatically categorizing transactions made on the Koho card.

In addition to this payment method, Koho has two features that are not offered by Hardbacon, RoundUps, and PowerUps.

Roundups round up your spending to the nearest dollar of your choice. For example, if you make a purchase of $2.25, an amount of $0.75 will be saved automatically. The app deposits money you set aside this way into a sub account.

Koho also offers you the chance to obtain PowerUps. These are cashback rewards provided when you make purchases at certain merchant partner locations. The cashback is automatically deposited into your account one or two business days after purchase. Note, however, that there are special features with these discounts. For example, the purchase of food should be done in-store or directly on the merchant’s site and not through a third party like Uber Eats.

Koho: the disadvantages

Unlike Hardbacon, Koho does not provide any functionality  enabling its users to better manage their budgets. Although the application categorizes the expenses made with the Koho card, you cannot set limits by expenditure category or receive notifications in case you exceed the limits of an expenditure category.The other disadvantage of Koho over Hardbacon is that the app, beautiful as it is, was designed with the assumption that its users’ only financial institution is Koho. In fact, Koho’s features will be especially useful for those for whom Koho is the only “bank account” and who keep their savings in Koho rather than investing it.

Hardbacon, for its part, was designed with the belief that Canadians use multiple financial institutions. Also, Hardbacon’s budget, planning and investment tracking features work regardless of what financial institutions its users do business with. Unlike Koho, Hardbacon allows its users to sync any Canadian bank or investment account to the app.

How much does it cost?

The basic version of Koho is free, including your first prepaid Visa card. However, currency exchange fees are charged if you make online purchases in US dollars. Koho does, however, offer a Premium card at a cost of $84 per year. The latter allows you to obtain discounts of up to 2% on your purchases. In addition, with the Premium card, there are no exchange fees, and you can make one free withdrawal abroad per month.

The basic version of the Hardbacon app is free. However, Hardbacon Premium costs $99.99 per year. This version gives you access to premium stock data, a performance report including a proprietary portfolio score, stock alerts, and more.

Koho or Hardbacon?

We can therefore say that the two applications don’t have the same objective. Koho offers online banking services, as well as an automatic savings and rewards program. Hardbacon, for its part,  is an application that provides its users with a 360-degree view of their personal finances through planning, budgeting and investing features. Koho is therefore suitable for users with a bad credit score who want to use their prepaid card as their main financial institution. Hardbacon, for its part, will suit anyone who wants to make better financial decisions and get rich, no matter what financial institutions they do business with.


If you liked this article, you’ll definitely like Hardbacon’s mobile app, which links to your banking and investing accounts, helps you plan your financial goals, budget, and invest better. The basic version of the app is free, but you can do more with Hardbacon Premium. As a loyal reader of our blog, you can get 10% off any Hardbacon Premium subscription. To take advantage of this promotion, use promo code BLOG10 when subscribing through our website.

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