Mastercards are extremely popular because they’re accepted worldwide and can be used both online and offline. Now, thanks to prepaid cards, you don’t have to worry about your credit score as anyone can apply for and get approved for a prepaid Mastercard in Canada.
If you search the market, you will come across several prepaid Mastercard options in Canada. While they’re all designed to make shopping safer and easier, they differ in terms of limitations, features, and fees. In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the best prepaid Mastercards in Canada.
Read more about the best World Elite Mastercard credit cards in Canada
- KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Credit Card
- KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard
- BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard
- Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard
- Titanium+ Prepaid Mastercard
- H&R Block Advantage Prepaid Mastercard
- Multi-currency Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard
- STACK Prepaid Mastercard
- Vanilla Prepaid Mastercard
- Prepaid Joker Mastercard
KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Credit Card
- KOHO is a full-service app and reloadable prepaid credit card with no hidden fees.
- Get $20 when you sign up for a free KOHO account with code HARDBACON and make your first purchase*.
KOHO offers prepaid Mastercards in partnership with People’s Trust Bank. It is one of the best prepaid Mastercards in Canada with no minimum balance requirements and some exciting rewards.
The card is free to get with no monthly or annual fees, however, there are some other charges including foreign exchange fees (1.5%) when used internationally. Plus, the card charges you ¢75 for direct loads under $300.
Users can earn $20 for referring new users. The new user will also receive $20 for signing up.
The cashback program is quite impressive, offering up to 2% rewards for shopping at partner stores. The KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Credit Card is suitable for small and mid-sized purchases as the maximum point-of-sale (POS) amount per day is only $4,000. You can perform up to 60 transfers per month and use the app to keep an eye on your transactions. The mobile app is user-friendly and can transfer funds.
The card is reloadable and the company offers a variety of ways to deposit money. You can use any debit card to add money to your account. Moreover, the card supports bank transfers. It works with most Canadian banks including TD Bank, CIBC, and Scotiabank.
The highlight of this card is the ability to set up Direct Deposits. With this feature, you will be able to receive a portion of your payroll or government payments before the due date. This can be a great option for people who need some quick cash. Money added to your account will be credited from your next paycheque.
KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard
Fees: $9 per month or $84 per year
Maximum balance: $40,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $800
The KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard is quite similar to our first pick as it comes from the same company and is also issued in partnership with People’s Trust Bank. However, it comes at a cost. You will have to pay $9 per month for this card. In return, you’ll enjoy higher rewards and 0% foreign transaction fees.
This makes the KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard card a great choice for users who travel a lot or enjoy shopping at international stores. Also, direct deposits under $300 are free and partner stores like Buffalo, Baskin Robbins, Pizza 73, Attitude, Frank and Oak, Contiki, Bounce, and Kernels offer up to 5% cashback. All in all, you’d be able to recover your $9 in no time if you spend wisely.
While the maximum balance is the same as our first pick, the maximum load is a little higher at $60,000. There are no minimum balance requirements and the maximum POS amount per day is only $4,000. Everything else from app features to deposit methods is similar to the KOHO Prepaid Credit Card.
BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard
Fees: $6.95 per year
Maximum balance: $10,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $500
The BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard may not look very exciting on paper due to its high cost but it does have some cool pros. The Bank of Montreal (BMO) issues the card, which is one of the most popular names in the country. This makes the card extremely safe. Also, it offers a cash advance facility. Using this facility will cost you $5 both inside and outside Canada.
Expect to pay $3 per deposit. There is also an inactivity fee of $5 per month. This is higher than what other providers charge. On the plus side, you’ll be able to check your credit score for free and enjoy some good rewards at specific locations. Moreover, the bank allows users to issue cheques.
The card works at both international and local stores that support Mastercard. Swiping it abroad will cost you more as there’s a foreign conversion fee of 2.5%, which is the standard. International ATM withdrawals may also cost more.
The bank offers several deposit methods. The best option is to add money through your BMO account. Moreover, you can add your card as a bill payment option and pay through ATMs, phone, or online apps. Supported banks include Scotiabank, CIBC, PC Financial, BC Royal Bank, HSBC, Laurentian Bank, TelPay, and Alberta Treasury Board.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard
Fees: $15 (one time)
Maximum balance: $30,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $960
The Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard is a reloadable card that supports 7 currencies including Canadian Dollars, Euros, US Dollars, Japanese Yen, British Pounds, Mexican Peso, and Australian Dollars. The card is smart and will choose the right currency on its own. Plus, you’ll always have the option to move your money from one currency account to another without worrying about extra charges.
While it costs to buy your first card, additional or replacement cards are free of cost. You can reload your Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard online or by visiting your nearest Canada Post office. Issued by Peoples Trust Company, the card comes with some interesting benefits but can be a little costly as the company levies a variety of charges including a reloading fee ($3), inactivity fee ($2.80), cash-out fee ($20), and shortfall fee ($18).
You’ll be able to save money if you use one of the seven supported currencies, however, expect to pay a 3.25% foreign exchange fee when using a non-supported currency. The card is suitable for travellers. You will have to pay a 1.5% transaction fee when using it in Canada. There are no charges to swipe your card abroad.
Titanium+ Prepaid Mastercard
Fees: $6.50 per month (Standard) and $12.99 per month (Premium)
Maximum balance: $15,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $1,000
The Titanium+ Prepaid Mastercard is available in two versions: Standard and Premium. Both cost $9.99+tax to activate but the Premium version will cost you a little more in fee ($12.99 versus $6.50 per month). It does, however, offer some perks including free Direct Load ($2.99 for Standard) and free cash load ($2.99 for Standard).
The Premium version can be great for travellers as it offers a lower foreign transaction fee ($1.99+3% versus $2.99+3%). International POS transactions are also cheaper with the Premium card ($0.5+3% versus $0.00+3%). Unfortunately, local POS transfers with the Standard version will incur a fee of $0.5, which is a major con as most providers offer free POS transactions in Canada.
ATM transactions within Canada will cost you $1.99 for both cards. The Premium card offers free monthly statements. You’ll have to pay $1.99 to access your statement if you have the Standard card.
There are various deposit methods including some instant options. The Titanium+ Prepaid Mastercard supports card-to-card transfers. Plus, both cards come with free identity theft alerts and Zero Liability Protection.
H&R Block Advantage Prepaid Mastercard
Maximum balance: $10,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $2,500
The H&R Block Advantage Prepaid Mastercard is unique in a lot of ways. There are no monthly or purchase fees. However, there are a variety of other charges including an inactivity fee ($4.95) and ATM balance enquiry ($1.95).
You can reload money to your card for $3.95. The company offers several deposit methods including cheque-to-card transfers and bank transfers. Moreover, you will even be able to transfer money from your card to your bank account.
ATM withdrawals are free at DCBank cash machines. Expect to pay $3 per withdrawal when using other ATM providers. However, be careful when using the ATM as a decline will cost you $1.50.
The company offers free replacement cards and your funds are eligible for FDIC insurance. The H&R Block Advantage Prepaid Mastercard is one of the very few options that come with this facility. Plus, the company holds competitions and offers rewards from time to time. Check the website or use the mobile app for the latest information on available promotions.
Read more about free Canadian tax software to file your taxes online.
Multi-currency Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard
Fees: $15 one time fee
Maximum balance: $30,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $2,500
The Multi-currency Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard, as the name suggests, is a prepaid card that can handle up to seven currencies. Available options include Canadian Dollars, Euros, US Dollars, British Pounds, Mexican Peso, Japanese Yen, and Australian Dollars. You can lock the rate and switch between available currencies without any issue.
The card also supports other currencies but it will cost you 3.5% of the transaction amount. This is why it is best that you use the card only when buying using a supported currency as the foreign transaction fee is higher than what other providers charge. Moreover, you will have to pay a fee of $3,50 when withdrawing your money at an ATM or bank.
On the plus side, there are no monthly or yearly fees. Pay a one time fee of $15 and start using your card online or offline. The company offers free additional cards and it only costs $2 to load money onto your card. You can choose from a variety of deposit methods including some instant options.
There is also a mobile app that works on both Android and iOS devices. You can use it to keep a tab on your account and transactions. However, on the downside, you will have to pay 1.5% of the transaction amount to use your card in Canada. There are several other fees including cash out fee ($20), shortfall fee ($15), and inactivity fee ($2).
STACK Prepaid Mastercard
Maximum balance: $20,000
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: $1,000
The STACK Prepaid Mastercard is a no-fee card to help you save money while travelling. It’s a highly affordable card with no annual fee. Plus, ATM withdrawals in Canada are also free. You will, however, not be able to spend more than $5,000 per day.
Issued in partnership with People’s Trust, this prepaid Mastercard offers several deposit options including card-to-card transfers. You can get approved for a new card in seconds and get access to a virtual card right away through the mobile app available on both iOS and Android devices. We suggest that you pay some attention to the app as it has some cool features including some great financial tips.
A unique thing about this card is its automatic savings system that, when enabled, will round the amount to a maximum of 10 dollars above the actual price. The difference goes into your savings account and you can use it to make more purchases. In addition, The STACK Prepaid Mastercard also offers rewards and discounts including some exciting cash back offers. The company has partnered with over 150 stores with some offering up to 5% discounts. Those who enjoy discounts can also look at the exclusive STACK Travel platform that offers up to 20% discounts on hotel rooms.
Vanilla Prepaid Mastercard
Fees: One time activation fee starting as low as $3.95
Maximum balance: $250
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: N/A
The Vanilla Prepaid Mastercard is unlike any other Mastercard prepaid card on this list. This is a non reloadable card, which means it will be of no use once it gets exhausted and you will have to get a new one. You can choose a preloaded card from different denominations. Available options include $25, $50, $100, and $250.
These Mastercard prepaid cards are free to purchase but there is an activation fee depending on the value of the card. It starts as low as $3.95 and goes as high as $8.95. We must mention that this card isn’t for everyone as the maximum balance isn’t very high. On the plus side, it is among the easiest to get. You can get your card from retailers like Walmart and use it both online and offline.
The card doesn’t come with any rewards and is a great option for people interested in giving prepaid cards to children. You’ll be able to control their spending without any worries. The card is not usable to withdraw money at an ATM. Also, you’ll be able to get your balance transferred to a new card if it expires with money on it.
Prepaid Joker Mastercard
Fees: One-time activation fee starting as low as $7.95
Maximum balance: $500
Maximum ATM withdrawal per day: –
The Prepaid Joker Mastercard is another non-reloadable prepaid Mastercard in Canada that gives you the option to choose from different denominations including $25, $50, $100, $200, and $500.There is a one-time activation fee: $7.95 for cards under $200 and $9.95 for cards over $200. The balance on the card does not include the activation fee.
Issued by the Peoples Trust Company, the card is available in two variations: digital and physical. You can apply for the digital card online and visit one of 11,000 retail and grocery stores offering physical cards including TGP, Sobeys, Metro, and Canadian Tire. The digital card can only be used online and the virtual cards can be used at both physical and virtual stores.
There are no rewards and the card doesn’t support ATM withdrawals; however, it works both inside and outside Canada. You will have to bear a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% when using it abroad.
Best Prepaid Mastercard Cards in Canada For 2022: Frequently Asked Question
We have covered some of the best prepaid Mastercard options in this review including the likes of STACK Prepaid Mastercard and BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard. We suggest that you compare all these options based on features, limitations, fees, and rewards. Pick a card that fits you the best, i.e.: The Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard can be good for travellers.
Prepaid cards are not designed to build credit and will not impact your credit score. This is why providers don’t ask for credit information when issuing prepaid cards. A credit card can be the right option for people interested in building credit.
You can own and keep as many prepaid cards as you’d like; however, some companies do put limits on how many cards an individual can own.
Almost all prepaid cards in Canada come with an expiry date. Once expired, your existing card will be considered useless and you will have to apply for a replacement card. Some issuers offer free replacement cards and some will charge you a fee. Any existing balance will be transferred to your new card.
The process is straightforward. Choose your desired card, visit the official website, sign up for an account, and provide the required details. You will be asked to submit personal information including your name and address. In some cases, identity documents may also be required as some prepaid cards are only for Canadian residents and citizens.
In some cases, you may also have the option to visit select stores to get your card. Virtual cards are usually available right away but physical cards can take up to a week to arrive since most companies sell them via mail. This is why it is important to have a residential address in Canada.
Prepaid cards offer high security and are known for safety features such as chip and PIN technology. Some also come with additional options such as the ability to activate SMS notifications, Zero Liability Protection, and insurance coverage.
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About The Author: Arthur Dubois
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing.
Arthur invests in the stock market but doesn’t pay any fees because he uses National Bank Direct Brokerage online broker and Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor. He pays for his subscriptions online with his KOHO prepaid card, and uses his Tangerine credit card for most of his in-store purchases. When he buys bitcoins, it’s with the BitBuy online platform. Of course it goes without saying that he uses the Hardbacon app so that he can manage all of his finances from one convenient place.
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