If you search the web for prepaid cards in Canada, you will definitely come across the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard. The opinion on this card is divided, yet it’s still widely distributed. Some people buy this card from grocery stores with their credit card as a way to hack the system for more points because the purchase is considered a grocery purchase by their credit card issuer. But, is it a wise choice when you will have to pay $9.95+tax to get it off the shelf and also pay a monthly fee? We’ll answer this and many questions in this PayPower Prepaid Mastercard review. Let’s get started.
What is the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard?
The basic PayPower Prepaid Mastercard is a non-reloadable card issued by Peoples Trust Company. However, you can easily upgrade the card to be reloadable, allowing you to use it as many times as you need without buying a new card every time the funds run out.
The card works both online and in person. Moreover, the card is internationally accepted and will work at all physical and online stores that support Mastercard.
When you first order a card, you will get a Single Load Prepaid Card with a maximum balance of $500. This can be converted into a reloadable card by creating an account and registering the card online. Those who want more can even get a Power Plus PayPower Prepaid Mastercard that offers better flexibility but requires additional verification.
Alternatively, you can get a digital reloadable card that you get instantly and can start using right away. You just need to download the PayPower app, create an account, and provide some information about yourself. The card will then be immediately issued and you can load it with funds right away.
How does the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard work?
Since it is a prepaid card, it will work for as long as you have enough money on it. Simply swipe it at physical stores, withdraw from ATMs like you would using a debit card, or enter card details online to shop. The card looks like any other traditional credit card and comes with a card number, expiry date, and security code. You can use the card wherever Mastercard is accepted, in stores, online, and abroad.
Where can I get a PayPower Prepaid Mastercard?
There are two ways to get a PayPower Prepaid Mastercard: online or at a physical store. One is instant and single-load, the other takes a little longer but is reloadable. Let’s take a look.
In physical stores
You can buy physical PayPower Prepaid Mastercards in stores near you like grocery stores, convenience stores, retailers, and even gas stations. Popular names include Canada Post, Canadian Tire, Circle K, Husky, KATZ, Joe’s Variety Store, etc. Visit the PayPower site and use their interactive map to find a retailer near you who sells PayPower Prepaid Mastercard.
There, you’ll get your card on the spot. These cards come activated so that you can use them right away. You will not have to provide credit details as no credit checks are required to get this prepaid card in Canada. Cards bought this way are Single-Load Prepaid (SLP) unless you create an account and register it on the PayPower website.
You can also get a digital or physical PayPower Prepaid Mastercard by going to the official website and creating an account. They’ll gather some information about you and need to verify your identity. The card will then be mailed to you and should arrive in about a week.
You will need to activate your physical card right after you receive it in the mail. You can do this by choosing the ‘Activate My Card’ option from the dashboard or by calling the team at 1-800-982-1258.
You will also be asked to create a personal identification number (PIN) code when you upgrade your card. You can continue to use this PIN or change it using the interactive voice response (IVR) menu. Complete the process by going to a nearby Mastercard-supported ATM and checking your balance.
3 levels of PayPower Prepaid Mastercard to choose from
The PayPower Prepaid Mastercard offers 3 levels to choose from to better suit your needs and goals. Whether you’re seeking a one-time use option or a high-capacity reloadable card, there’s a PayPower level for you. Dive into the detailed features of each tier to determine the best fit for your spending habits and financial requirements.
Level 1: The Black Single-Load Card
Upon purchasing a black PayPower Prepaid Mastercard at a retailer, you get a Single Load Prepaid Card. This card is immediately usable until the funds are depleted.
Having said that, the single-load card is more limited in what it can do. As is, you can only make in-store purchases until the funds run out. If you want to use the card for online shopping or paying bills, then you need to create an account on PayPower.ca and register your card.
You can have as many single-load PayPower Prepaid Mastercards as you want. But if you want to use the same one over and over again, or access more features, then you need to upgrade it to a reloadable card.
The total amount you can load on this card: $500.
Level 2: The Reloadable Card (Black or White)
Not only can the reloadable PayPower Prepaid Mastercard be used over and over again, it comes with more transaction options. With this card, you can have your paycheque directly deposited onto it, pay bills, use ATMs, set up an auto-reload feature, and even transfer money between your PayPower Accounts.
However, you can only have 1 reloadable card per account. Here’s how to get a reloadable PayPower Prepaid Mastercard:
Physical card from a store: If you bought a black single-load PayPower card from a store, you can convert it into a reloadable card by signing into your PayPower.ca and activating the reload feature. To do this, you’ll be prompted to provide additional personal details for identity verification. Upon successful verification, your card transforms into the Reloadable PayPower card that you can use, reload, and use again as many times as you want.
The total amount you can load on this card: $2,500.
Physical card ordered online: Alternatively, you can order a reloadable PayPower Prepaid Mastercard online directly through the PayPower website. During this online transaction, an identity verification will be conducted. Once verified, a white-coloured reloadable PayPower card will be sent to your mailing address.
The total amount you can load on this card: $2,500
Level 3: Power Plus PayPower CArd
The premium version of PayPower Prepaid Mastercard, called Power Plus, includes all the same features as the lower-tier reloadable card, but you have much higher transaction limits. To upgrade your reloaded card to Power Plus, you will need to go through a second verification process, called Know Your Customer or KYC for short. This enhanced verification is a safety measure due to the advanced privileges that come with Power Plus.
The total amount you can load on this card: $10,000.
Features of the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard
The PayPower Prepaid Mastercard brings a unique blend of convenience and security, offering a reloadable prepaid solution ideal for managing funds or online shopping. Here are some of the key features you can expect:
Easily check your balance and track spending through the mobile app available on both iOS and Android devices. Use the app to order new cards and manage existing accounts. Moreover, use them to make deposits and transfer funds. However, we have found reports of regular crashes and issues with some features.
The newest versions of the PayPower cards can now be added to your Google Pay and Apple Pay digital wallets. The compatible cards are the single-load PayPower, the reloadable PayPower, and the digital reloadable PayPower. Unfortunately, older versions of these cards cannot be added to your digital wallet, such as Power, Power Reloadable or Power Plus cards.
Made popular by the likes of KOHO and other prepaid card providers, direct deposit is a feature that allows users to have their paycheques deposited directly onto their reloadable card. Request this feature through the app and provide the given number to your employer. The feature will be activated in a few days without you having to submit additional forms. Money will appear in your account just as it gets deposited.
Since it is a Mastercard, you can use it to pay all kinds of bills that accept Mastercard. There is a small fee of $1.95 per bill payment, but it is capped at $1,000 per day.
You can even schedule future payments. This is a great feature as very few prepaid cards come with the ability to schedule bills on a future date. However, be careful as you will not be able to edit the scheduled date and your only option will be to delete a pending bill and create a new one.
The card can be used to shop at international stores but you will have to pay a 3% foreign transaction fee. Since the card can only support CAD, this fee will be charged no matter which international currency the transaction takes place in. Also, it doesn’t work in around 30 countries including Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Qatar, Ukraine, and Lebanon.
PayPower supports internal transfers. You will be able to send money from one account to another. These transfers are free and instant.
Costs & Fees of the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard
Most people choose prepaid cards as they’re easy to get and safe to use. Still, there are a variety of fees and costs associated with the use of prepaid cards. Here’s a breakdown of fees you will be expected to pay if you own and use a PayPower Prepaid Mastercard:
For the reloadable PayPower Prepaid Mastercard, you are expected to pay a monthly maintenance fee that’s deducted from your balance on the 1st of the month. You will not be able to use your card if there are not enough funds on it to cover the fee.
On the plus side, there’s no fee to access your account information. Email notifications and access to live agent calls are free. You can even use the ATM to check your balance without having to pay a fee.
However, ATM fees can be a little complicated to understand because PayPower does not have its own ATMs and the provider may charge a small fee whenever you use their ATM. This fee can be up to $3 in Canada and up to $5 abroad.
You will have to pay $10 to get a replacement card in case of theft, damage, or loss. Also, while the card is accepted internationally, there will be a foreign exchange fee of 3%. Most companies charge around a 2.5% foreign conversion fee and PayPower appears to be on the expensive side.
In fact, KOHO offers a prepaid card that does not charge foreign transaction fees for Extra and Everything Plan subscribers. It might be a good idea to consider KOHO and other similar options if you wish to travel or shop abroad.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard load & transaction limits
Like any other card, the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard has some limits. These limitations are there due to legal obligations and security reasons. Here’s a breakdown:
As evident, this card is suitable for small to medium purchases. We suggest that you go for the Power Plus card as it has lower limitations and no additional charges.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard: pros & cons
Here are some of the main pros and cons of PayPower Prepaid Mastercard:
|Easy to get in-store & online||Expensive to buy|
|Many load options||No rewards, such as: cash back, miles, or points|
|It is very easy to set up direct deposits||There are a variety of fees including monthly charges & transaction fees|
|Single-load card easily upgraded to Reloadable card||International transactions are very costly|
|The card is accepted globally||Single-load card use is extremely limited|
|Safe to use||Limited to one reloadable card per account|
|Can have unlimited single-load cards||Customer service is very poor|
|Not available in Saskatchewan|
Since buying this card doesn’t impact your credit score, some people buy PayPower cards with a rewards credit card at grocery stores to gain points or miles as purchasing a PayPower card qualifies as grocery spending. The card can then be used to buy anything and discarded after use. The company allows buyers to own as many single-load prepaid cards as needed but only one reloadable card.
How to load money onto your PayPower Prepaid Mastercard
When you buy a physical card from a retail location, you can load it on the spot with up to $500. You can do this with a debit card or credit card.
If you purchase a reloadable card online or have converted your single-load into a reloadable card, then you have to create a PayPower account to be able to add money to your new card. Both digital and physical reloadable cards can be loaded in several different ways, such as:
- In-app & in-store by: Visa Debit, Mastercard Debit, or credit card
- In-app & online by: Interac eTransfer
- In-store by: PayPower QR code
- In-app by: Digital Barcode
- Direct Deposit: have your paycheque directly deposited onto the card
- Card-to-card: you can transfer money from your single-load card(s) to your reloadable card.
Doing this is easy through the app. All you have to do is register the card to your account. Once done, you will be able to add money to your account. Supported methods include Interac e-Transfers and your debit/credit cards or credit card.
Deposits can be completed through the app. Alternatively, you can visit a supported retailer and ask for money to be added to your account. Some stores may also have special QR codes that can be used to make a deposit. In addition, card-to-card transfers and direct deposits are also possible.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard alternatives
For those seeking alternatives to the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard, there are several other options worth considering. The cards featured below offer the same functions but with the added benefit of greater flexibility, lower fees, and rewards.
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
Currently, the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard is one of the best prepaid cards in Canada. It provides the advantages of a rewards credit card but without the risk of debt or interest charges. It can be used wherever Mastercard transactions are accepted, and funds can be loaded onto it via the KOHO app or by eTransfer from your existing bank account. KOHO provides a variety of account packages depending on the rewards you want: Easy plan (free), the Essential ($4/mo), the Extra ($9/mo), and Everything Plan ($19/mo).
The card is free and most of your daily transactions are free. Depending on the plan you choose, you can earn up to 6% cash back on eligible card purchases plus bonus cash back at KOHO partners, as well as up to 4% interest on your entire balance. You can also use KOHO to help build credit by subscribing to the Credit Building plan. Extra and Everything subscribers enjoy no foreign transaction fees as well as one free international ATM withdrawal per month.
Not only is the Neo Money Card a great prepaid card option, it’s also one of the best cash back cards on the market. So if you want to bank as much cash back as possible, the Neo Money Card could be an ideal choice. This card is free with no annual or monthly fees and offers a hassle-free user experience with both a mobile app and a web browser platform.
For each first purchase you make at a Neo partner merchant, you earn up to 15% cash back! Most of your daily purchases will provide an average of 5% cash back, and a guaranteed minimum of no less than 0.5% cash back. Plus, every dollar in your Neo Money Account earns 2.25% annual interest and offers unlimited free daily transactions.
EQ Bank Card
The EQ Bank Card could become your new go-to financial tool. It’s free with no annual or monthly fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no charges for ATM withdrawals anywhere in Canada. In fact, should you incur any fees while withdrawing money with your card from a Canadian ATM, EQ Bank will refund you the fee within 10 business days.
Additionally, the EQ Bank card allows you to earn interest and cash back. Your balance earns 2.5% interest until it’s spent, and you also receive a 0.5% cash back on all your card purchases. The card is widely accepted wherever Mastercard is used. To get one, open a Savings Plus Account with EQ Bank, request an EQ Bank card, and load your card with funds.
FAQs about the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard:
You can check your balance by going to a nearby ATM, logging to the dashboard, or through the mobile app. You will even be able to see your spending habits, through the app, which can give you a better idea of your financial situation.
You can contact PayPower customer support by email or by calling 1-888-633-9432. Live chat is also available – 8 AM to 8 PM ET Monday to Friday and 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM ET Saturday and Sunday. However, agents are not very well informed and can take a while to solve issues.
You can get a new card by visiting a supported retail store like Canada Post, Canadian Tire, KATZ, Joe’s Variety Store, etc. Alternatively, you can request a card online through the PayPower website and it will be sent to you via mail.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard is a reloadable card issued by Peoples Trust Company. The card works both online and in-store. Moreover, the card is internationally accepted and will work at all physical and online stores that accept Mastercard.
First, you need to create an account and register your card in order to reload it. Then, you can reload your card online with a credit card, Visa/Mastercard debit card, by eTransfer, or by setting up direct deposit to have your paycheque deposited directly onto the card. Alternatively, you can add money to your card at a participating retail location such as Canada Post, Canadian Tire, Circle K, KATZ, etc. Some cardholders may also have the option to transfer money from a bank account.
Yes, PayPower is a legitimate company. It’s a prepaid Mastercard that allows you to load money onto the card and then use it for purchases where Mastercard is accepted. However, like with any financial product, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions, including any fees, limits, and restrictions that may be associated with using the card.
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