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An In-Depth Look at the Top Prepaid Cards in Canada

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Last updated on June 13, 2022 Comments: 96

We Canadians love our credit cards, but they aren’t right for everyone. A prepaid card can be an excellent payment alternative if you’d like to limit your spending and minimize debt, or if you simply don’t have the credit score to qualify for a regular credit card. And a good prepaid card today can be more than just a means of making purchases; the cream of the crop might earn cash back or rewards, offer budgeting tips, and protect you from identity fraud.

Prepaid cards are often confused with secured credit cards, and though these two card types do have some overlap in functionality, they also differ in key ways. We’ve assessed Canada’s best options for both card types below. Which is the right fit for you?

Best Prepaid Cards and Secured Credit Cards in Canada

Credit CardCard TypeCard FeaturesAnnual Fee
KOHO Prepaid Visa CardPrepaid0.5%–2% cash back on purchases and easy savings$0 (Basic) or
$84 (or $9/month) (Premium) / year
Mogo Visa* Platinum Prepaid CardPrepaidPlant a tree and earn bitcoin with every purchase$0
CIBC Smart Prepaid VisaPrepaidNo withdrawal fees at CIBC ATMs
Home Trust Secured VisaSecured Credit19.99% APR
Limit: $500–$10,000
Refresh Financial Secured CardSecured CreditNo credit check
17.99% APR
Limit: $200–$10,000
$48.95 ($12.95/annual fee + $3/maintenance fee per month)

KOHO Prepaid Visa Card

Prepaid Card for Cash Back Lovers

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The KOHO prepaid Visa card is the best prepaid option if you’re looking to stay on budget while still earning rewards. KOHO works almost like a debit card—the card is actually linked to your KOHO spending account and the amount you can spend on the card is determined by your account balance. But it acts like a cash back card in that you earn 0.5% cash back on all purchases, or 2% cash back in three categories with KOHO Premium. You can even earn 1.2% interest on your account balance if you set up a direct deposit.

There are no account fees and no minimum balance required with a KOHO account. Also note that you can earn an additional cash back amount (up to 5%) when you use your KOHO card at participating retailers. For example, you’ll get 3% extra cash back when you use your KOHO card at Pizza Pizza.

Key Features:

  • Perks: Earn 0.5% cash back (2% for three categories for Premium), earn even more cash back at select retailers, no fees for most transactions, Roundup feature to seamlessly save extra money
  • Withdraw Fees: KOHO itself does not charge any fees, but you could be charged $2–$3 depending on the out-of-network fee charged by the ATM.
  • Spending Limits: $3,000 daily limit
  • Interest: Earn 1.2% on account balance if you set up direct deposit
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee for a KOHO basic account; $84 (or $9/month) a year for KOHO Premium

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete KOHO Prepaid Visa Card review

Mogo Visa* Platinum Prepaid Card

Reloadable Card with a Green Twist

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The Mogo Visa* Platinum Prepaid Card (also called MogoCard) is a free reloadable prepaid card full of unique perks. Each card purchase earns 50 satoshis (the smallest units of bitcoin), which can be quite a lucrative perk depending on how bitcoin’s value fluctuates. And every time you use your MogoCard you’ll plant a carbon-sucking tree—for free. Mogo claims that by using your card eight times per month over a year the resulting trees planted will absorb a combined total of approximately 48,000 lbs of CO2 over their lifetimes, enough to make the average Canadian climate positive for one year.

The card also provides access to a handy app where you can track your transactions, get insights into your spending habits, and benefit from free monthly credit score monitoring and identity fraud protection. You can also set spending goals, instantly freeze your card if it’s lost or stolen, and more.

Key Features:

  • Perks: Plant trees and earn bitcoin with every purchase, free credit score monitoring, free identity fraud protection
  • Withdraw Fees: $1.50 domestic ATM withdrawal, $3.00 international ATM withdrawal; max $500 daily withdrawal
  • Spending Limits: Can spend up to $3,000 per transaction, up to $5,000 a day
  • Loading Limits: Max card balance of $10,000
  • Other Fees: No annual fee but there is a 2.5% foreign exchange fee and a monthly inactivity fee of $1.99 if you haven’t used your card in 365 days

Click here to apply for the Mogo Visa* Platinum Prepaid Card.

CIBC Smart™ Prepaid Visa* Card

A Rechargeable Present

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The CIBC Smart™ Prepaid Visa* Card is very easy to use: You just buy a CIBC Smart™ Prepaid Visa* Card through online or mobile banking, or at any CIBC Bank branch. Then you load it with at least $20 from your CIBC chequing, savings, or personal line of credit account. You must have a CIBC account to load the card and you can reload it online or at any CIBC branch. Cardholders enjoy online access to account details and pay no fees for CIBC ATM withdrawals in Canada. There is, however, a 2.5% fee for any non-Canadian dollar transactions.

Key Features:

  • Perks: Easy to buy and reload as long as you have a CIBC bank account, no credit check
  • Withdraw Fees: No fees to use card or make withdrawals at a CIBC ATM. Non-CIBC ATMs in Canada may charge an additional ATM withdrawal fee. There is a fee of $3.50 for withdrawals made at ATMs outside of Canada
  • Spending Limits: $3,000 daily spending limit
  • Loading Limits: You are allowed to put as much as $10,000 onto the card, with a max daily load of $3,000.
  • Annual Fee: $0

Best Prepaid Card Alternatives: Secured Credit Cards

Home Trust Secured Visa

Secured Credit at No Additional Cost

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The Home Trust Secured Visa requires no minimum credit score (most applicants are accepted) and you can choose from a wide range of security deposit amounts, ranging from $500 to $10,000. The card even features two different options for annual fees depending on what interest rate you want (pay a $59 (or $5/month) annual fee to get an APR of 14.90%, or no annual fee for 19.99% APR). Home Trust reports your account activity to Canada’s two credit bureaus so you can use the card to boost your credit score.

Key Features:

  • Perks: Easy approval, and payments are reported to credit bureau so could improve your credit score
  • Withdraw Fees: $2.50–$10.00 for Cash Advances from an ATM displaying the Visa or Plus logo located in Canada or $4.50–$15.00 for Cash Advances if the ATM is located outside Canada and the United States, depending on the amount of Cash Advance.
  • Spending Limits: None as long as you don’t exceed your credit limit
  • Deposit: Up to $10,000
  • Annual Fee and Interest: $59 (or $5/month) and 14.90% interest on purchases; or no annual fee and 19.99% interest on purchases

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Secured Visa review.

Refresh Financial Secured Card

Low-Barrier Credit Access

Apply Now

The Refresh Financial Secured Card offers guaranteed approval to anyone who can meet its basic eligibility requirements (being age of majority and making at least a $200. The card comes with a $48.95 ($12.95/annual fee + $3/maintenance fee per month) annual fee, and has a purchase interest rate of 17.99%. The card also features free online financial management courses. Watch out for some unexpected fees like a $0.50 bill payment fee, $5 ATM withdrawal fee, a $2 monthly fee for inactivity, and a 3.5% foreign transaction fee.

Key Features:

  • Perks: Helps build credit score, provides educational resources for personal finance, lower than average purchase interest rate of 17.99%
  • Withdraw Fees: $5 fee for ATM withdrawals
  • Spending Limits: None, but can’t exceed credit limit (the security deposit you made). If you do exceed it, you will be charged $5 for the first time and then your card will be cancelled.
  • Deposit: Up to $10,000
  • Annual Fee and Interest: $48.95 ($12.95/annual fee + $3/maintenance fee per month) annual fee; 17.99% purchase interest rate

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Refresh Financial Secured Card review.

*This card is owned and issued by DirectCash Bank pursuant to license by Visa International. The Visa Brand is a registered trademark of Visa International.

How Do Prepaid Cards Work?

Like traditional debit and credit cards, prepaid cards can be used to make online and in-person purchases, or to withdraw cash from an ATM. They’re a great asset for budgeting, because you load a prepaid card with whatever amount of money you wish and can’t spend beyond that amount until you load the card again. For example, if a cardholder adds $500 to a prepaid card and spends $200 on a hotel reservation or night out, then they can spend a maximum of $300 more before the card becomes unusable and must be reloaded. 

Some other key things to remember about prepaid cards include:

  • They’re not debit cards. Prepaid cards are sometimes mistakenly referred to as ‘prepaid debit cards.’ A prepaid card is not interchangeable with a debit card, however, as unlike a debit card a prepaid card is not connected to a checking account.
  • They’re not credit cards. The term ‘prepaid credit card‘ is also thrown around quite a bit, but prepaid cards do not work like credit cards, as their purchases are not subject to interest charges and their use is not reported to credit bureaus. Spending with a prepaid card therefore has no influence on your credit score, positive or negative. 
  • There’s no free lunch. While a prepaid card might not charge an annual fee, it’s still intended to make a profit for its issuer and may charge fees to load money onto the card, make ATM withdrawals, etc. Be sure to read the fine print.

Related: How to Create the Perfect Budget

Where to Buy Prepaid Cards

A wide variety of Canadian financial institutions offer prepaid cards today, including some of the Big 5 banks, as well as a number of newer competitors. The easiest way to get a prepaid card is to apply for it online (check out our links above) and receive it by mail—this will likely be the only way to receive prepaid cards issued by smaller institutions. Bigger banks may issue their prepaid cards in person at a branch, and they may require you to have a bank account with them as a prerequisite to get their prepaid card.

Most (but not all) prepaid card issuers require cardholders to be at least the age of majority in their province. Requirements other than that are scant, which make prepaid cards a viable payment solution for those with a shaky credit history, or those with no credit history at all.

Related: Tips on Building Credit History for New Immigrants

Prepaid Card Pros

  • Facilitates easy cashless payments
  • No credit check for approval
  • No interest charged on purchases
  • Helps with sticking to a budget, because you can never spend more than what you’ve loaded onto the card

Prepaid Card Cons

  • Will not improve your credit score
  • Some charge fees for loading funds, ATM withdrawals, etc.
  • Typically earn less rewards/cash back and have fewer value-added features than top unsecured credit cards.

How Do Secured Credit Cards Work?

Secured credit cards require you to make a deposit up front, and the deposit amount usually matches the spending limit you’re given by the card issuer. Note that the card’s security deposit isn’t used to pay off the card’s balance each month. Rather, the deposit acts as collateral to ensure you pay off your debts. You’ll get the deposit back when you close the account, provided your balance is paid off and the account is in good standing.

Secured credit card balances are subject to interest, but consistently paying off your card balance by its due date will allow you to evade interest charges, as well as improve your credit score over time.

With a secured credit card, it’s important to note:

  • A credit check may be required to get a secured credit card, but the eligibility barriers are very low, and the vast majority of applicants are accepted.
  • Unlike a prepaid card, with a secured credit card your purchases will be subject to interest, so you need to stay on top of paying off your balance each month.
  • As cardholders pay their secured credit card bill each month, or at least make the minimum payment, their credit score will gradually increase.

Secured Credit Card Pros

  • Can build up your credit score
  • Greater flexibility than a reloadable prepaid card because you don’t need to instantly spend your own money
  • You can set your own credit/spending limit via the security deposit you decide to make.

Secured Credit Card Cons

  • Charges will be subject to interest if you don’t pay off in full each month.
  • Could damage your credit score if used irresponsibly.
  • May charge annual fees

Here’s a table to help summarize the differences between prepaid cards and secured credit cards:

ItemPrepaid CardSecured Credit Card
FeesLikely no annual fee, but fees may be charged to reload the card or make ATM withdrawalsMay or may not have an annual fee + fees for cash advances, foreign transactions, etc.
Credit LimitsYou can only spend whatever amount you add to the cardYour security deposit becomes the card’s credit limit
Credit ScoreWill not affect your credit scoreWill affect your credit score
Interest RatesPurchases are deducted immediately; you can’t carry a balanceYou can carry a balance and thus can be subject to interest rates

Should You Get a Prepaid Card?

Even if you count yourself among those who prefer to be unbanked, these days it’s virtually impossible to make all your transactions in cash. Prepaid cards can be a fitting middle ground if you’ve sworn off credit and debit cards, but still want the convenience of cashless payments. A prepaid card can also be a useful tool for those who’ve had chronic problems repaying their credit card balances and are planning to set stricter limits on their spending.

That said, if you’re looking to set spending limitations and simultaneously improve your credit score, you might elect to go with a secured credit card.

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Author Bio

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites.

Article comments

Ed Arvelaez says:

Here’s an important distinction between debit cards and prepaid cards that is worth consideration (and that so far, I have not seen researched anywhere on the internet):

Some merchants charge a fee when a credit card is used, which is not charged when a debit card is used. So, do prepaid cards incur this fee? This usually applies to merchants that deal with cash-like transactions (e.g. Paying rent with a credit card, WesternUnion transfers, etc).

Do merchants and points of sale see prepaid cards as debit cards or are they seen as credit cards? Does this vary by merchant or does it vary by card issuer?

Debit cards issued by TD, for example, say “VISA debit” while BMO issues debit Mastercards. However, Stack MC and Mogo VISA are prepaid.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Ed,
Financial transactions made with plastic are all subject to interchange fees charged by the payment processor. Debit card processing fees are typically lower than credit card processing fees. Prepaid cards that use these the payment networks (whether they’re a debit or credit product) are also subject to the same fee schedule. Here’s MasterCard’s interchange rates and fees, and Visa’s interchange fees for your reference. Hope that helps to answer your question.

Tisana Scanlan says:

What are the options for a reloadable prepaid card in US$ and CAD$ to travel that is not associated with a bank account? Is there one with a high limit on it, over 10K to use in Mexico or Costa Rica for a six month trip?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Tisana,
Here’s our take on the best prepaid cards available in Canada. While you can’t load the card with USD, a prepaid KOHO will only charge you 1.5% on foreign transactions rather than the usual 2-3% fee (if you’re using the free account). If you opt for KOHO premium, you’ll still need to load CAD but they’ll waive the foreign transaction fees all together and bump up your cash back rate. Safe travels!

DWK says:

Can one use non-reloadable prepaid gift cards to pay for something over the phone? I suppose the seller would only need to have the card number, expiration date, CVV code (on the back), and the fund amount, to complete the transaction? And if this is possible is this risky for the buyer and/or seller in the sense that there might be no funds left on the card (seller risk) or that the seller may take more funds from the card that was agreed upon (buyer risk)?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

You should be able to use a non reloadable prepaid gift card to pay for something over the phone. Assuming you don’t have enough funds on the prepaid, the interaction would be similar if you wanted to split the transaction over two credit cards- you’d have to advise the seller how much to charge to your prepaid (so as not to incur any NSF fees, depending on your card’s terms and conditions). Both the seller and buyer will incur some risk, but ultimately, as long as you’re clear in your intent and communications I’m sure any seller would work with you to get you the product you’re looking for.

peter says:

I’m trying to find reloadable prepaid card that works online and atm and can be purchased using cash. Also it can be purchased in store without openings other account or credit check. Just like getting a gift card but a reloadable and works on atm.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Peter,
It’ll be difficult to find a prepaid card that can use an ATM without having to create an account. While a prepaid gift cards might allow you to make ATM withdrawals, it’s really hit or miss depending on who issues the card. Not sure if what you’re looking for exists in the Canadian market, but I’d be happy to stand corrected. Good luck.

Patricia says:

Canada Post pre paid visa in which I have, is being discontinued. You can load till sometime in October, any finances on your card as of some time in December will be mailed to you via a check. I just found this out when I loaded mine today. (06/11/2021)

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Patricia,
Sorry to hear that and thanks for the heads up. Hope we’re able to help you find a worthy replacement.

Mike says:

Are there any pre paid credit cards (or secure cards) in Canada that can be put in a Corporate name with employee name for company expenses?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Mike,
Look into Commercial Prepaid Credit cards. They’re offered by both Mastercard and Visa and will give you a way to address business expenses with the features you’d expect from a prepaid card.

Laurie says:

I want a prepaid card just for online purchases. I have 2 cards with a high limit that I pay off every month and do not want to use them in case I get scammed. It has happened once but never want that again. What is best with no fees? I do not want to purchase the prepaid online I do not do any online banking.

Daniel at GreedyRates says:

Hi Laurie,
Your high limit credit cards may come with zero liability coverage to help protect you against fraud should you find your cards are compromised. Given your experience, you could consider the KOHO prepaid Visa- it can give you all the benefits of a credit card with the safety of a prepaid with no annual fee. You will, however, have to sign up and manage your account online.

Bella says:

How do I use a vanilla prepaid visa at the store? Please. So Im buying something for $300. I have two gift cards both are $150 each. Do I say” hi I will pay with credit $150 on this card”. See the problem is i don’t know what to do at the terminal. I say I would like to pay with two credit card both $150 and than what. There is no PIN number. I swipe it? Oh god someone explain step but step. Thanks

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Bella,
If you want to use your Vanilla Visa Prepaid Card in person with a retailer, simply present the card at the counter at the time of purchase. The retailer or you will swipe the card and the cost of the item, including taxes will be deducted from the card. After that, the card will be returned to you so you can use the remaining balance on a future purchase or if the purchase empties the card, it will be thrown out because they are not reloadable. In the event, two Vanilla prepaid cards have two separate balances on them and you want to use them both towards a purchase, simply make that known at checkout and they will swipe one card and then when the remaining balance of the purchase appears on the register, they will swipe the other. It works exactly like a gift card, but is accepted at any retailer where Visa is accepted.

Andrea says:

I want to get a prepaid visa or mastercard but my concern is..will they do credit checks to qualify you?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Andrea,
Since you’re not borrowing money, the credit issuer will not do a credit check for a prepaid card. In fact, the only type of prepaid card that affects your credit is a secured card. This is a card where you prepay to create your credit limit and then as you use the card and pay back the limit, it gets reported to the credit bureau so you can rebuild your credit.

Rocque says:

Sadly, through this article, and others online, it seems the ‘links’ are not verified before posting of the article.
I.E. The Scotia Bank link to ‘prepaid credit cards’ sends you to Scotia Banks DEBIT CARD page (and I’ve YET to find anything on Scotia Bank’s site FOR ‘prepaid credit cards’. This is probably because Scotia Bank DISCONTINUED their ‘prepaid credit cards’ in 2019, deactivating ALL such cards as of Sept. 30, 2019. (so much for ‘updating’ the article. (
There is a .pdf (not actually found ON Scotia Bank’s linked webpage, found it through a seperate search) re: prepaid credit cards. (even the BANKS can’t be bothered with removing information on the internet that isn’t valid anymore)
CIBC’s ‘prepaid credit card’ REQUIRES some form of finacial institution’s account as it can only be ‘reloaded’ online (the ONLY ‘in person’ site one can reload their prepaid card at is TORONTO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Yes, that’s right (verified with ‘customer service’) you can ONLY reload your card, in person, at Pearson Intl., so if you live IN Toronto or anywhere else in Canada, you have to travel to PEARSON to reload your card in person. (essentially, CIBC requires a bank account to reload the card, thus, forcing you to get a CIBC account (unless you want to incur ‘transfer fees’).
And of course, there’s the Post Office card, there’s all the fees attached to Canada Post’s card. NOT to mention, you have to fulfill their ‘acceptable ID’ policy (gov’t issued photo ID, or the very specific list of ‘if you don’t have photo ID’ documents). Though easily reloaded at any Post Office, there’s fees for nearly everything including purchases (1.5% of purchase, MasterCard only. And that’s after they charge you $2.80/month service fee, $3 reload fee, $20 ‘gimme my money back’ fee (claiming your balance back from the card), the card PURCHASE fee, etc). So ‘in total’, just to use the card once will cost $37.80 ($15 to buy, first ‘reload’ is included with purchase, $2.80 first month service fee, $20 to get the balance BACK that you didn’t spend) PLUS 1.5% of the price of what you purchased ONE TIME (MasterCard only, Visa doesn’t charge a ‘transaction/purchase’ fee so they’ll cost you $38 (their service fee is $0.20 more/month)). So, basically, ~$38 to use the card just ONCE.
I want a prepaid credit card, with NO bank account association AT ALL, for online purchases (security concerns) without being ‘penalized’ for being TOTALLY detached from ANY bank account (or need for ‘online banking’). I.E. load a card, in person, with cash (I’m ok with a fee for that) without NEEDING some kind of ‘other’ account and NOT being GOUGED $40 JUST to have $100 on a ‘secure’ form of online payment. I know, impossible, ‘banks’ gotta make their money (and if ‘its’ not a bank, its ‘ok’ to gouge canadians, thx Canada Post).

Aaron Broverman says:

That’s some good sleuthing Rocque. The type of card you need is the Vanilla Visa or Mastercard. You can just buy them at Wal-Mart and they come in several denominations, the highest of which is $250 but if you want, you can buy multiple cards or transfer the balance. The Visa card has a balance limit of $500 but the Mastercard has a limit of $200. The card carries a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% if you’re using them in another country.

Dawna says:

I have plans to import a vehicle to Canada from the US. There seems to be fees and it is slow. I am thinking that a prepaid card might be a better way to go. A good exchange rate is a motivation for me as well low to no fees. The car is $8900 USD. what would be your card recommendation?

Dawna says:

to clarify … wiring money has fees and it is slow.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Dawna,
There are only a few prepaid cards that can carry a balance of that size. The BMO Travel Prepaid Credit Card has a fee of $6.95 and a load and balance limit of $10,000 CAN. The HR Block Advantage Card has a load and balance limit of $10,000 as well and no fee.

jean-marc Paquet says:

Hi, I have a comment and a question.
I use a BMO prepaid Mastercard, it has an annual fee of only $6.95.
The only thing I dislike is that when I make a bank transfer from my RBC account it takes 4-5 days for the funds to be credited to my prepaid card. I was wondering if other prepaid credit card users have the same problem or if it is only a RBC-BMO problem?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Jean-Marc,
Unfortunately, every prepaid card on the market has a gap between when you put money on and when it is credited. The length of the gap varies depending on the card. The shortest one I’ve seen is the Canada Post reloadable Visa which has a 1-3 business day waiting period.

Stephen Clarke says:

Canada Post ‘Visa’ card is being ‘Discontinued’ as of Dec. 31, 2021, ‘i’ just ‘happened’ to learn by Logging In. NO other communications had informed me of this. Period. I ‘suppose’ that ‘They’ just were Not making ” Too much and Never Enough” with some of the Highest fees charged!?? trumpfers!!

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Stephen,
Indeed, Canada Post did announce (on their website, at least) that they would be discontinuing their prepaid Visa offering by the end of the year. That’s unfortunate that they haven’t reached out to their cardholders with any comms yet. Here’s hoping that that message will get out sooner rather than later as the date approaches and that you’ll find a worthwhile replacement.

Mahatma says:

Here in the US, you can reload almost any prepaid debit cards in almost every groceries store. Is it the same in Canada, or do you have to go to a specific location? I’m asking because I’ll be coming to Canada soon and will need one specific with Canada. Thank you.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Mahatma,
There is one general prepaid Visa and Mastercard that you can buy at Walmart Canada locations. It’s called a Vanilla Prepaid card and comes in both Visa and Mastercard editions.The mastercard comes in $25, $50, $100, $200 denominations (fees range from $3.95, $4.95, $5.95, $6.95, respectively) and the Visa comes in $25, $50, $75, $150 and $250 denominations with the same fees and both cards charge a 2.5% fee on foreign transactions. Other prepaid cards are available at Canadian banks, but you have to apply through the bank or the card’s website. These cards can come in any denomination you want depending on how much you want to load on. Visa cards include the CIBC Smart Prepiad Visa Card, KOHO and Mogocard. The Mastercards are Stack and The BMO Prepaid travel Mastercard. Google any one of these cards to find out how to apply or click the links in the above article.

brady says:

I am looking for a card that is capable of sending money transfers thru western union online. I have a canada post card which will not perform a wu transfer

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Brady,
Try using an online conduit like World remit that way you can use any payment method you want. Goggle world remit and try downloading the app.

Donald Legg says:

I have had a KOHO card for over a year and have found it to be the best there is. Absolutely no fees and you make money my depositing and buying. Would be my first choice if you need a card.

Aaron Broverman says:

Awesome Donald, I’m sure they will appreciate this ringing endorsement and our readers will appreciate the recommendation.

Aaron Broverman says:

Awesome Donald, I’m sure they will appreciate this ringing endorsement and our readers will appreciate the recommendation.

Nicole says:

Hi! Great article- I wanted to buy a laptop that’s over 3000$ and I was wondering which prepaid card would be best?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Nicole, good question.
I would go with either the KOHO or Stack. KOHO if you want a flat cash back rate on your laptop and Stack if you want rewards. If this is for a single high dollar item like a laptop, I’d probably lean more towards the KOHO for cash back. Stack offers cash back too but it is cash back on your stack card toward more purchases using the card. KOHO offers more flexible saving options but the cash back rate isn’t super high of course. Still it’s better to have the flexibility rather than being locked into a rewards system if this is a one and done use transaction just for this laptop. If you want to continue using a prepaid card regularly, than the stack card provides more reward value for ongoing spending on the card.

Michael Jones says:

If I order a CIBC AC CONVERSION CARD in how many days I will receive it ?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Michael,
Since I don’t work for CIBC, I can’t tell you exactly when you’ll get your CIBC AC Conversion Visa Card. However,if you don’t receive it within 7-10 business days call 1-800-
482-8347 or 1-647-749-5148. 7-10 business days is typical for most credit card applications, but the terms and conditions of this card say they reserve the right to take longer, especially if they need more information to assess your application.

Amit says:

I am looking for a prepaid travel card. What is better between AC conversion card and Canada Post Cash Passport, considering that I would travel atleast once per year. As I have read through both of them, what I understand that Cash Passport has a better exchange rate as it is dominated by Mastercard (which is 1%) over the CIBC conversion rate. But Cash Passport charges fee for every money load that we do and also charges in inactivity card.
Let me know what is the best option?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Amit,
Thanks for writing.You are right. Between the two, I would go with the CIBC AC Conversion Card because it has no fees, you can load up to $3,000 a day (Cash Passport only gives you $240) in up to 10 currencies. (Cash Passport only gives you 7) CIBC promises no conversion fees and even though the exchange rate may be higher on the AC conversion card, I still feel you’ll be spending more on fees in the long run on Cash Passport, which cancels out the better exchange in my opinion. Even if the exchange rate is higher with CIBC AC Conversion, at least you can lock it in when you load the currency, so you don’t deal with fluctuations.

Mrs Parker says:

I’m simply trying to find a way to figure out my balance on my Visa pay as you go credit card, what is the site name? I have money coming back on my card for a cancelled order, I need to keep an eye on it to make sure the finances are returned.

Aaron Broverman says:

Mrs. Parker, I would love to help. Can you tell me the name of your card and the issuing bank? There are many Visa Pay as You Go Cards out there and I want to make sure I give you the right website for your specific card.

N8 says:

Hey I’m needing to do some travelling and book several motels along my way. I find that many hotels/motels need an actual Visa Card and won’t allow for Visa debit cards in Canada.
If I get say a KOHO pre paid will this allow me to use this type of card. (I would of course have it topped up.)

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi N8,
You can use KOHO to book hotels. Here’s KOHO’s official take on the matter. Remember, your card will need to have enough to account for any pre-authorization hold. Safe travels.

Andy says:

Hello, I will be travelling in Europe but need someone back home in Canada to manage some financial expenses. I was wondering if there is a card (loaded debit card or loaded credit card) available that could work like this: The card is in my friends name in Canada. We both have a copy of the card. I load funds onto his/her card while i am in Europe (i guess, in Euros) and they have access to the funds i loaded on the card back home in Canada, to may payments/purchases or cash withdrawals. I anticipate I’ll be loading thousands of Euros on the card at a time, for various financial arrangements between me and my friend. Does a card like that exist? And do you know if they allow for up to $CDN 9K equivalent or so be loaded from a Euro zone country? I like this option since it doesn’t require a secure wire transmission of funds, and because i am not really carrying around ‘cash’. if i or my friend ‘lose’ the card, we just report it stolen and order a replacement card. Assuming no security breach, the funds are still associated with the card even though it might have had to be replaced.

Comments / suggestions are appreciated

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Andy,

Unfortunately, we aren’t familiar with any holistic solutions that offer all the features you describe. What you’re essentially talking about is a joint account that can operate in multiple currencies or ignore foreign transaction fees, which is something that’s available in any bank either European or Canadian but only within those borders. Remember that any cards associated with a European account, where you’ll be depositing from, will be denominated in their home currency. We’re also highly doubtful that a European bank will let your friend (a non-resident and non-Visa holder) become a joint accountholder or even get a supplementary credit card.

Regardless, we can’t confidently recommend anything because we don’t operate in the European market. When you get a bank account after moving, you’ll probably just have to eat the fees for transferring Euros to your Canadian bank (exchange and deposit fees), and then have your friend get a card associated with that account. If it’s for business reasons, we recommend asking a financial advisor about how to get around most of the red tape involved. Best of luck!


Timea says:

Its called Trucash. by DCR Strategies. Please look them up

Julie says:

We have used MOGO to put funds from a business account onto the card so my husband can keep track of his Per Diem money when he travels. MOGO just did and update and now we have to use a new transfer platform or a TD Visa Debit Card (personal account) to move the money. We have tried the E-transfer and it won’t work. I’ve searched for other solutions and the CIBC AC Conversion card looks really good…it doesn’t accept CAD dollars right now. What is happening? Has the CRA locked out the ability to put CAD dollars on any platform? Really need help as he is overseas and we can’t reload the MOGO card anymore.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Julie,

Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear your husband is having a difficult time finding the most opportune payment method for his work trips. If he’s overseas right now and MOGO is not letting you send him money, there’s little you can do in the short term except pay the foreign transaction fees and look for a better solution for the next trip. Since CIBC’s AC Conversion card isn’t working for you, can we suggest you check out the Canada Post Prepaid Visa? It’s a Visa and is therefore accepted worldwide and easily reloaded, so this could prove a simple yet useful way for him to track his per diem spending.

Mastercard also has a great multi-currency card called the Cash Passport, which you should also do some research into. Though we don’t currently have any reviews of the card up, we’re never above recommending an outside brand if it suits the reader. It seems like you’d be able to load your CAD through this card, as you would with the Canada Post Visa, and then spend it abroad without the same kind of financial obstacles. Hope that helps!


Eddy says:

Is there a card that accepts email transfers

Nate Siegel says:

Hi Eddy,

Appreciate the comment. We’re not aware of a card that can make payments through email, unless you mean an Interac e-Transfer, which is indeed one of the easiest and most accessible ways to send money. Almost as simple as email, the Interac e-Transfer is supported by most major banks and will be available with a bank account from these banks, but it’s used largely for sending money easily to a savings or chequing account. Best of luck!


Graham says:

The way I read the OP is in the opposite direction. I also want to know if I can reload a card by sending an Interac e-Transfer to the CC account

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Graham,
Yes, some prepaid cards give you the opportunity to load them with e-transfer like the Canada Post Reloadable Visa, a Stack card and a Koho Card.

Garrett says:

Great information, thank you! I’m wondering if there is an option for a pre-paid card or a visa/MasterCard gift card from a gas station or grocery store, which allows you to pay for other credit card bills or other bills in general? Example: Can I use a $100 VISA gift card to apply to my existing VISA or MasterCard credit card balance? Or my Line of Credit?

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Garrett,

Thanks for your comment. If you have cash to pay for a gift card, then why not use it to simply reduce your balance? You can deposit it to a bank account and then pay your credit card bill with that account, or simply visit the bank which issued your card (it might be the same one) and present the teller with cash. Otherwise, there’s nothing keeping you from doing it this way if that’s what you prefer.

Canada Post has a prepaid card that you can pick up at locations across Canada, called the Canada Post Prepaid Reloadable Visa. It’s a Visa, so you’ll be able to pay bills and do other things with it, as you would any other debit or credit card. We imagine the same thing applies to payment on a line of credit balance, but we suggest simply checking with an agent or representative. Best of luck!


Snazz says:

Hi, the link to the CIBC Air Canada Conversion card doesn’t seem to work? It just takes me to the personal banking page of the CIBC website. So there’s not detailed info even visible on this option. Where can I find out more on that card? Snazz.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Snazz,

Appreciate the comment. We’re reviewing the card again and will reinstate the link once it’s been appraised versus the other cards that have now entered the market in the same tier. In the meantime the CIBC AC Conversion card still has an active web page, so we assume that it’s still available and encourage you to send in an application—through us or otherwise!


Linda says:

I had a Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa and loved it. I was very upset when they discontinued it. I’m now looking for an alternative. Any suggestions. Please do not say Canada Post – they charge an arm and a leg. KOHO seems to be a mobile app only. I need something that uses the computer not the mobile app and is reloadable from my Scotiabank account. I would prefer a Visa since I have a Mastercard credit card. Thanks for any help or suggestions.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Linda,

Thanks for the comment. We’re also bummed about the discontinuation of Scotia’s Prepaid Reloadable card, and will offer some suggestions of what to replace it with. Be forwarned that if you want to reload the card from your Scotiabank account, then few cards we know of will make it as easy as it used to be with your Scotia card. Home Trust has a Secured Visa that lets you easily adjust your security deposit and get a matching limit—this could work. Another suggestion is the CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa, which can be obtained at any mobile banking center, or online or via their mobile app. It can be reloaded at CIBC mobile centers, which are relatively common, or online if you’ve set up a CIBC account. You might consider just getting a CIBC account just for this card if you use it often anyway. Good luck!


Barb O says:

We will be travelling overseas this winter, what would be the best prepaid card to take with us. Most countries accept USD so we want it to be in US funds, but we live in Canada.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Barb,

We’ve got just the card for you. One of the prepaid cards that readers love is the CIBC AC Conversion card, which is a card used to both purchase other currencies in CAD at live rates (at which point you’ve preloaded money in that currency) and to spend that currency with. You can load up to 10 different currencies onto the card at once, in a sum of up to $20,000, so it’s one of the best way to carry around money when abroad as its compact, safe, and super flexible. Use it in London, in France, in the USA, wherever, and you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees because it automatically uses the correct currency (as long as it’s preloaded). The best part is that you can choose to load currency onto it when rates are favorable in anticipation of a trip you know is coming, locking it in at the most opportune time.

GreedyRates Staff

Douglas Peng says:

The Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa has been discontinued as of May 2019. Check Scotiabank’s website.

Nate Siegel says:

Hi Douglas,

Very true! We simply need cardholders who still carry the Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa to know that they’ve got time to withdraw their money before the September 30th cutoff. This time is valuable to use in preparation for the card’s discontinuation, for things like picking up a Canada Post Prepaid Reloadable Visa!


Serge says:

As far as I can tell, the info might be a bit dated. The Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa for instance is being phased out; existing cards will be deactivated on September 30, 2019. The last day to reload existing cards was June 10, 2019.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Serge,

Thanks for pointing this out. As there is still over a month until existing cardholders are unable to use their remaining balances on the Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa, we’re keeping this article up as a warning. The last date to deposit was indeed June 10th, but Scotia members need to know when their card will truly be deactivated and what to do in the meantime: for instance, organize their recurring bills and transfer them over to a different card, and more. If this applies to you as well, take care of the necessary preparations and have an application for your new card at the ready, so that the September deactivation goes smoothly. Good luck.


Rob says:

The Scotiabank prepaid visa will be discontinued as of October , 01, 2019.
All cards will be deactivated and anual fees and any cash loaded on the will be returned to your daily account at Scotiabank if you have one, otherwise a check will be issued if the amount is over $25.00. If you don’t meet either, you will have to contact a branch to receive your refund.

This is no longer an option.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Rob,

Thanks for the comment. You’re right that the card is going to be discontinued soon, and Scotia has closed applications. We’ve simply left the card up on our site to provide a warning and instructions to those who already have the card and who want to know the last date they can withdraw their funds (September 30th, 2019). Right now there’s no harm in leaving it as is, because applications are closed anyway, but thanks for looking out!


Felix says:

Just found out the hard way: the Canada Post Pre-Paid Visa card CANNOT be reloaded through Paypal, which is a pain.

You can add it to your Paypal account, and the option to reload it shows up, but it won’t finalize and says “denied” when you try to reload it. I just called and they confirmed on the phone that the only way to reload it is at the post office or through a bank. Would have considered something else if I’d known.

Also sites like this don’t specify which cards can and can’t be reloaded through Paypal, which would be nice to know.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Felix,

Thanks for the comment, and we’re really sorry to hear you encountered these issues with the Canada Post Prepaid Visa! It’s annoying that PayPal could be connected to the card yet prevented from working—seems counterproductive to us. Regardless, if you’re so unhappy that you need to reload it at the post office or at a bank, then you can explore any of the other prepaid cards in Canada and make sure they’re compatible with PayPal before applying. This can be accomplished with a quick phone call to the bank.

In our experience, you’ll have better luck with cards issued by Canada’s bigger banks, or a similarly well-connected financial institution. Banks are better able to provide a network of complementary services for their products (things like PayPal), so we’d recommend looking at a card like the Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa. If they don’t allow direct transfers, then you can at least link your PayPal account to a bank account and then transfer from PayPal to the bank, and then reload your card using your bank balance. Call Scotia and let us know how the process goes. Good luck!


Stefanie says:

Scotiabank has cancelled their program, please update the article to reflect this
Dear customer,

This is to notify you that the bill payment relationship between SCOTIA PREPAID and Scotiabank has been terminated. Consequently, you can no longer make payments to SCOTIA PREPAID through Scotiabank. SCOTIA PREPAID has been removed from your payee list and any future-dated or recurring payments to this payee will be rejected.

Please go to pending transactions to delete any payments you may have scheduled. If you have any questions please contact SCOTIA PREPAID directly.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Stefanie,

Thanks for the heads up! Your last date to use the balance on your card is September 30th, 2019 so you’ll still have a few more months with your Scotiabank Prepaid Visa. Two weeks ago was the last day (June 10th) that you could’ve reloaded your card, so whatever is on it currently is all you’ll get. This means that you’ll need to do a thorough checkup of your finances to determine which bills are attached to your Prepaid card and switch them over to a new one.

We’re suggesting that cardholders who come to us with this news check out the similar, yet slightly different Canada Post Prepaid Reloadable Visa. Unfortunately, you won’t get to enjoy the free reloads (they’re $3 each), but we’re currently preparing a list of alternatives for when the Scotia card is actually discontinued later this year. Thanks again and good luck!


M says:

The Scotia prepaid visa if it has a balance at the end of Sept and it has not been used Scotia will be sending out a cheque to the card holder I just talked with them Yesterday

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi M,

Thanks for the update. That’s good to hear and more logical than the sparse information we’ve been able to get ahold of so far, which indicated that customers would be risking their cash by not emptying their cards before September 30. In fact, not reimbursing customers by cheque would likely be illegal in Canada, so glad you came to comment and provide further guidance. With our earlier comment, we didn’t mean to insinuate that Scotia would be keeping the money depositing into their customers’ prepaid cards, but it is important to take care of the transfer before you lose access (you can never tell how easy the claim process will be).

With a recent press release published by Scotiabank we can see that it now says, “We will be
communicating with you about how you can claim any funds that remain on your card after deactivation.” That’s somewhat of a relief, so now the only thing you need to worry about is what prepaid card you’ll replace it with! Might we recommend the Canada Post Reloadable Visa? Check it out and let us know what you think.


Nazir Yar says:

Hi! I want to rebuild my credit via a secured credit card and would like a few different options so I could study the good and the bad of each card. Could you please help me. At the moment I use my debit MasterCard for online purchases and have also used vancity’s prepaid credit card which costs only two dollars and could be filled with up to four hundred bucks.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Nazir,

Great questions, we’ll certainly try to help. First, if you’re trying to rebuild your credit then you need to be using credit—not debit! While banks do pay attention to debit transactions, it doesn’t involve risk or borrowing, so the effect on your credit will be exponentially better even with a secured credit card. The Vancity card isn’t cutting it, unfortunately, because if it has a maximum credit limit of just $400, then you’re restricting yourself needlessly. What if you need to pay an online bill or make a purchase that’s more than $400? The card is out of the question.

In these cases, and also as general advice for those who want to raise their credit score, a secured credit card like the Home Trust Secured Visa is recommended. It comes from a reputable and well-known bank and offers a credit limit between $500 and $10,000 contingent on a security deposit. Grab one of these secured cards via an online application and then use it responsibly—don’t max the credit limit out immediately and take months to repay your deposit.

Let the bill for 30% of the limit come due and pay it off each month, as well as your other balances. Keep your other credit cards open to avoid getting hit with temporary credit score reductions and to keep your utilization ratio up as well. If you need any other assistance, our vlog on credit scores could be helpful, or otherwise email us at [email protected] and we’ll respond ASAP.

GreedyRates Staff

cuddywifter says:

Hi there, thanks for the info. The Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa is being discontinued in September 2019, so you may want to update this article. I have one, and am currently looking for a replacement, which is what brought me here.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Cuddywifter,

Appreciate the heads up for our other reader about the soon-to-be discontinued Scotiabank Prepaid Reloadable Visa. Scotia sent out a warning to cardholders that if their account wasn’t closed by September 30, 2019 that it would automatically close them without any remuneration for the funds you lost. This is super important for this reason, but notable that the September date is the last of four crucial dates regarding this card and also the Scotia SCENE Prepaid Reloadable Visa.

On June 10, 2019 this is the last day you can reload your card, and also the last day that bill payments from third-party financial institutions will be accepted. On July 1, 2019 Scotia will stop issuing replacement cards, and then finally on September 30, 2019 you’ll lose access to the card completely (and the funds along with it). Be sure to spend them before this date!

If you’re looking for an alternative card, then check out Canada Post’s Prepaid Reloadable Visa. It’s almost identical to the Scotia one, but instead of free reloads you’ll be charged $3 each time. You can control the relative cost of this fee by depositing more, less often, of course. Otherwise, it can also be used to transfer money to other people’s accounts for free, by using the handy online portal.


Catalina P. says:

As owner of a small trucking company, I like to give my drivers a prepaid credit card to pay for hotels, meals and small repairs (like flat tires) and parts purchasing on the road. The idea is to have a track record of expenses for each unit ( receipts do get lost) and to save my drivers to call me every time for a small purchase since I’m also out working and not in cell range all the time. The thing I don’t understand is why it take so long to reload funds to the cards, when in this day and age, everything is instant. The other thing I learned, Scotia Bank will not issue cards to card holders with a PO Box address. Well, I live in rural BC, Canada, like thousands other Canadians. There is no door to door mail service out here. Any suggestions?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Catalina!

Great question, and thanks for providing context as well. If your drivers are on the road and you want a way to easily reload their prepaid cards, then you should check out the CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa. There’s no prepaid card as flexible as this one, which offers acceptance virtually everywhere and simple, free online reloads from one admin account. You’ll be able to easily get a visual on your employee expenses and then reload their cards individually from a remote location (like the trucking HQ or even your home).

Unfortunately, we’re unsure if CIBC has the same rule about P.O. boxes that Scotia does. This is probably something you should check with them over the phone before getting several copies for your employees, but it’ll take no time at all. Let us know how it goes and how your employees like the cards. We’re sure they will!


Richard S. says:

You might be able to setup a remote “mailbox” at a business that provides “street addresses”. I have done that for my business for 10 years. Should cost between $100-$250 per year.

Joe Doe says:

I’ve been doing this for years, it’s great especially in the day and age of no privacy you can set up a google account, lets say under the name Joe Doe use a prepaid card to make purchases on google play (like a VPN) make eBay purchases under the same name (for things like prepaid sim cards) set it up cell plan etc. Online bus and train tickets etc you can then move around and communicate freely.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Joe,

Interesting comment! Your perspective on prepaid cards is much appreciated, and yes, if you value anonymity yet still want the same financial flexibility afforded via regular credit cards, your strategy is sound. You can absolutely go into a store, pay for a prepaid card with cash, and then use it to purchase connected services like a cell phone and phone plan. Paying for goods is another matter entirely, because to have something shipped to you, you’ll still need to provide an address and other personal details. However, for buying a VPN service, things on eBay, or “goods” that exist only online like in-world videogame items, it’s a winning tactic.

You’ll also want to get non-reloadable cards only, as you likely know. For other readers worrying about the safety of their online communications and identity, it’s important to know that reloadable prepaid cards usually require more personal data to purchase. Non-reloadable cards usually only require a name and address, and as long as that’s the same info you give to the merchant when paying, it’s all above board. While we can’t expressly condone some of the other tricks to using prepaid cards, you can read more into it online from other sources. Good luck “Joe” – and stay safe!


Janice Marquis says:

Is there a 4 dollar one to buy? I have had royal account for over 20 years and the odd time I used to buy a royal bank prepaid visa for 3.99 from the royal bank but they got rid of that card! Too bad as it was helping my credit some! I don’t have credit cards for 15 yrs now but the odd time I see something I want to order online like now there are 2 items I need a prepaid visa or mastercard with a low fee rate to buy like 4 bucks with no fees. Do any exist now? I used to buy these cards at Shoppers and I know Money Mart also sells them too. There are thousands of people like me who don’t have credit cards but use these prepaid cards often they don’t want the high fees of credit cards and also no one can steal your cards. My boyfriend also does not have a credit card, he started a vending machine business and could really use one of these cards as at times the items he buys are on sale and he runs out of money a few times a month due to the high cost of living now in Ontario. He has 15 locations right now but all his money goes for his gas and if the machine breaksdown, and buying the stock to fill the machines so for example his whole monthly cheque is gone in 2 days! His family is rich but they only help so much you know millionaire family lol. What card would be good for him at times he buys new vending machines and travels to say Toronto with cash to buy it and I told him don’t do that, that is scary you could be robbed! So what would you suggest would be the best card for him in this case. Oh he deals with the Scotia Bank! Thanks! people don’t want cheques anymore either they take too long to cash out.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Janice,

Thanks for the awesome comment. If you’re looking for a prepaid Visa or Mastercard that’s accessible just by picking it up and depositing, you should try the Canada Post card, which you can find in any Canada Post around the country. This prepaid card will do for online purchases and quick deposits both, as it comes with a companion application that’ll let you manage it on-the-go. Another option that will be more relevant to you and your boyfriend is secured credit cards, which are a more permanent solution that’ll let him make a larger deposit ($10,000 for example) and then use it on a card as a regular credit limit. He’ll be able to use a secured card like the Home Trust Secured to pay his vendors, fill up the truck and more without needing to suffer the potential denial that happens when applying for unsecured credit. Be careful to treat a secured credit card like any other card, however, including prompt payments on your balance because they affect your score too!

The AC conversion card listed here is another good option, as he’ll be able to deposit up to $20,000 on the card rather than the $10,000 limit imposed by Home Trust. This will also be a safer way to operate given the threat of theft, as using the card requires a PIN. He may also consider a basic Business Mastercard, once he’s ready for unsecured credit, as it’ll let him turn his everyday expenses into cash back or rewards. Best of luck in your fledgling business!


Joe Doe Number 2 says:


Does the Canada Post Prepaid Card require valid/legal name / address check matching identification?

Are there any non-reloadable visa/mastercards with a bigger limit (i.e. $300-$1000)

This is for anonymous use.


Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Joe Doe,
The Canada Post Prepaid card requires a valid Canadian address even if you are not a Canadian citizen.There are many available at higher limits but you must apply for them online and they no doubt require identifying information. These are Stack, Mogo, KOHO, BMO Prepaid Travel Visa and CIBC Smart Prepaid Travel Visa. Your best bet for anonymous use is the Vanilla prepaid card which can be bought at Walmart Canada locations. However, the highest denomination available is a Visa for $250.

OttawAl says:

I have an Amex card upon which I will get a boatload of bonus points if I hit a spending threshold within 3 months. I don’t think I will make the threshold because Amex is not accepted in many places I shop. Is there any way to buy a prepaid Visa or MC using my Amex card, without incurring high fees?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi OttowAI,

Interesting comment! Unfortunately, most credit cards with bonuses that require you to meet spending milestones will only apply eligible spending to your total. We’re not sure which Amex card you hold, but regardless, we are sure that there’s a section in the fine print dedicated to what constitutes ‘eligible spending’. For all issuers, the “loophole” of buying prepaid cards or gift cards is closed in an airtight manner. It might feel clever to buy something with one card’s credit limit that essentially represents the same flexible purchasing power, but it won’t when you receive your statement and figure out that your plan was for naught. Good try though—and sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Just do you best to meet the spending requirements, and don’t force it if you can’t, because then you’ll burn up any benefits you would have gained from the bonus. Good luck!


iago says:

Looks like this can only be used where VISA is accepted.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Iago,

The prepaid cards listed in this article are all Visa cards, which means that they’re issued by Visa and therefore won’t work in a place that doesn’t accept Visa as a payment method. In this regard it works the same as any credit card, so if you have a prepaid Visa, be sure to double check that the merchant you want to redeem it at will accept! Thanks.


CVandergrift says:

This is aggravating………
I have a friend in Canada I send money gifts to sometimes and he has problems getting cash from the MoneyGram stores up there, plus he doesn’t have a car.

I thought would have him get a prepaid debit card in his name, and I would just reload it instead of using MoneyGram, since they don’t have their own cards.

You’d think these companies would be smart enough to have special cards for this kind of thing.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey CVandergrift,

What an interesting comment—thanks for sharing. If you’re trying to send money to a friend in Canada, then it’s impossible to avoid some type of exchange or a payment method outside our structured financial system. If you’re sending him dollars, it requires some exchange into CAD for it to be useful to your friend, and this requires a bank. If you could buy a card for someone unrelated to you and simply put money on it that they could use, then this would circumvent the global payments system that’s required for a society with financial accountability and transparency. We recommend going with Western Union or using a service like PayPal to send money gifts to friends in other countries.


Phil says:

CIBC Smart Visa Prepaid card cannot be used as a gift card. This is stipulated on the CIBC page for the card…so you can’t give it to somebody else for their use.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Phil,

That’s correct. Merchants consider the card a prepaid card, which is more like debit than a gift card. This means that if you apply for it, it will require some personal information from you so that others can’t use it—just you. This is a good thing; usually if you misplace a gift card, anyone can pick it up and use it. If you lose your prepaid Visa card, you wouldn’t want someone to go to the store and buy clothes with it, would you? They can’t because like a credit card, the merchant will check your ID to ensure they match. Stay safe!


Joe says:

Merchants never check your idea when using a credit card.


The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Joe,

When you go into a store to buy something with your credit card, the person behind the counter is sometimes required by their employer to ask for an accompanying ID with your credit card. They want to make sure you’re not committing fraud, and this system works on your behalf as well. If your card is somehow stolen, you’ll want the same merchant to ask the thief for your ID as well. In fact, this standard is usually enough to prevent fraudsters from doing much more than buying small-ticket items. Does this make sense? If we misunderstood your statement, let us know. Thanks.

GreedyRates Staff