The 8 Best Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

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    Prepaid cards allow people who cannot get traditional credit cards to make purchases regardless of their credit score. Moreover, a prepaid credit card can serve as an alternative to debit cards or as a means to reduce the risk of fraud when shopping online. They also offer a range of attractive features that were not available a few years ago. These include cash back rewards, the ability to create and deactivate virtual cards, earning interest on the funds deposited, and several other benefits. Without further delay, here is our compilation of the top prepaid credit cards in Canada:

    Prepaid Cards
    Best For
    Building Credit
    Replacing Your Debit Card
    Restaurant and Shopping Cash Back
    Switching to Regular Credit
    Insurance Benefits
    Multi-Currency Shopping

    KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Credit Card – Best for Building Credit

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”604aaa18e770040140f2203e”]

    The KOHO Mastercard prepaid card is one of the best prepaid credit cards in today’s current market. It has all the benefits of a typical credit card with the exception of interest charges. You can use your prepaid card anywhere Mastercard is accepted and directly charge the card with the amount you want to use via the KOHO app. KOHO offers a free prepaid credit card account called the Easy plan.

    The Easy plan has no annual fees or charges linked to the account. It offers 1% cash back on groceries and transportation. You also earn 3% interest on your entire balance. There is no annual fee, but it does charge a 1.5% conversion fee for foreign currency transactions.

    While prepaid cards have no impact on credit scores, KOHO offers a tool to build credit. For $10/month with the Easy account, their Credit Building program reports your progress to the main credit bureaus in Canada. You can increase your score within six months. All you need to do is make sure you have the funds in your KOHO account every month ($10). You will be able to see your progress directly in the app.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    Other Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.

    EQ Bank Card – Best Debit Card Alternative

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”63d2cb6a18196b6d2e1928c2″]

    The EQ Bank Card can be your new best friend. First of all, it is completely free. That means no monthly fees, no additional foreign currency fees and free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada, and unlimited free Interac e-Transfers. Indeed, if you are ever charged fees when taking out money with your card in Canada, EQ Bank will reimburse them to you within 10 business days.

    On top of that, you can earn money with your EQ Bank card. You get 2.5% interest on your balance (or 4% if you direct deposit your pay in your account). Plus, you get 0.5% cash back on all your purchases. You can use your card everywhere Mastercard is accepted and even get your paycheque deposited directly in your account, making the EQ Bank Card a superior alternative for anyone who uses a debit card. In order to get one, all you have to do is set up a Personal Account from EQ Bank and then charge your card with funds.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit score (estimated)Fair (600+) – Soft credit check to open an EQ account
    Minimum incomeNone
    OtherBe a client of EQ Bank.
    Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen and provide a social insurance number.

    KOHO Extra Mastercard – Best for Travel

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”604aaa18e770040140f2203e”]

    The Extra is available for $9 per month. You can get a free 30-day trial. With this account, you get 2% cash back on groceries, transportation, eating and dining, and 0.5% on everything else. You also get 4.5% interest on the first $1,000 of your balance, and 3% on the rest.

    The KOHO prepaid Mastercard helps you earn more money and save it by rounding up your purchases and putting the difference directly into an automated savings account. The card is available in a virtual format, which is ideal for online shopping. Finally, the KOHO application acts as a budgeting tool allowing you to easily track your income, expenses and balance updates in one place.

    You can use this feature to automatically contribute a fixed amount on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to save for you next trip with KOHO. You can make travel purchases and you will never pay foreign transaction fees. This plan also entitles you to one free international withdrawal per month. The KOHO prepaid Mastercard earns 6% on, as well as up to 2% cash back on dining and eating out abroad when you subscribe to the Extra plan.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    OtherBe a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.

    Neo Money Card – Best for Cash Back

    [Offer productType=”SavingsAccount” api_id=”60fee79313fd2f260ff90749″]

    If you’re tired of measly cash back rates, or worse, no cash back at all, the Neo Money Card is a great choice for both new and current Neo Money account holders. It’s super easy to use since the funds come straight from your Neo Money account. This means no more loading up the card manually. Plus, there are no monthly or annual fees to worry about.

    When you make your first purchase at any of the Neo partner stores, you can get up to 15% cash back! After that, you still get an average of 5% cash back at partners like Herschel, Contiki and Pet Planet. Plus, every dollar in your Neo Money Account earns 2.25% annual interest!

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    Other criteriaBe a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.
    Provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and a photo of Canadian identification.

    Neo Secured Credit – Best Secured Card to Go from Prepaid Cards to Traditional Credit

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”6209e06d9c5f4c05c0de0111″]

    The Neo secured credit card is a great way to build your credit up and, in our opinion, is the best secured credit card in Canada. There is no credit check required to get this card, and approval is guaranteed as long as you are a Canadian resident, the age of majority in your province is residence, and submit the security funds. The minimum security deposit is just $50 and there is no annual fee.

    The main difference between the Neo Money and the Neo secured cards pertains to your credit score. Neo Financial is now reporting secured card transactions to TransUnion (credit bureau). This can help you build (or damage) your credit score.

    Neo secured credit cardholders can earn up to 15% cash back for each first purchase they make at a Neo partner merchant. If your monthly average cash back is less than 0.5% across all your purchases, Neo will top you up. Examples of the 10,000 participating merchants include Earl’s Restaurants, Harry Rosen, and Netflix. Basically, perks are the same accross all Neo cards, making them some of the best cash back credit cards on the market.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    Other Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.
    Provide security funds.

    The BMO Prepaid Mastercard – Best for Insurance Benefits

    [Offer productType=“CreditCard” api_id=“64e78b312bb7ed64e70ab29a”]

    The BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard is another good payment card prepaid with your own money. You can top it up and use it anywhere Mastercard cards are accepted, all while being protected against fraudulent use. This makes it a safe payment method. It’s called the BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard but it can be used at home too.

    This card allows you to pay for purchases by making a minimum deposit of $100 in advance. At any time, it can hold up to $10,000. This card has an annual fee of $6.95 but has no interest on purchases and cash advances. Prepaid cards do not usually offer insurance, but with BMO, you enjoy extended warranty and purchase protection.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    Other Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.

    The Wealthsimple Cash Card – Best Prepaid Card for Investors

    Annual fees: $0

    Cashback: 1%

    Interest on balance: 4%

    The Wealthsimple Cash card comes with the Wealthsimple Cash account. With no minimum balance, you get 4% interest. Moreover, the Cash card has no monthly fees and no foreign exchange fees. If you make a purchase abroad, only the currency conversion rate of the payment network applies.

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53d2134d1911503113cafa”]

    You also earn 1% cash back every time you use your card. You can choose to have your rewards automatically reinvested for you in stock or crypto. This feature is very practical for people who already have or want to open a Wealthsimple Trade or Invest account. Otherwise, you can get your rewards in cash.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    Other Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.

    The CIBC AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card – Best for Shopping in Multiple Currencies

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”61819e0b3775394336ca7113″]

    Frequent travelers will also be interested in the CIBC Air Canada Conversion Visa prepaid card. The biggest advantage of this card is that you can load up to 10 currencies on it. In addition to the Canadian dollar, you have access to US, Australian and Hong Kong dollars, the euro, the British pound, the yen, the Turkish lira, the Swiss franc and the Mexican peso. Not only will you have no additional conversion fees, but you can also lock in an exchange rate every time you top up your card. There is, however, a 2.5% foreign transaction fee for purchases in an unsupported currency, as well as ATM withdrawal fees outside of Canada.

    There’s no fee to order the card, no fee to activate and load it and no conversion fees when you make a purchase. You can top up your card through the AC conversion app (maximum $3,000 at a time) or on the website and transfer funds between currencies. The card cannot exceed a maximum balance of $20,000 at any time. The app also allows you to track your spending. You can get your card online or at a CIBC branch. Please note that this card is credited in the currency in which the purchase was made.

    Eligibility RequirementsDescription
    Credit scoreNone
    Minimum incomeNone
    OtherBe a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
    Have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.

    Methodology: Selecting the Best Prepaid Cards

    In order to compile this list, we took many factors into account. First of all, it is essential to consider the annual or monthly fees charged by prepaid card issuers. Most cards that made this list are free, although some charge foreign transaction fees or other occasional fees.

    Next, to reach the top of our list, a card must offer certain rewards, like cash back or interest on your balance. The best prepaid cards, in our opinion, also give you access to additional features and offer flexibility and innovation. This is why you find fintechs at the top of the list.

    Finally, know that all the cards on this list are relatively easy to get and are accepted almost everywhere. We indicate the pros and cons of each card in its description.

    FAQs about Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada

    Where to buy prepaid credit cards?

    Prepaid credit cards are usually purchased in advance and are not linked to any bank account. These cards can be purchased at stores, gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores or online. For example, KOHO and CIBC AC Conversion Visa cards are available online.

    What is a prepaid credit card?

    A prepaid credit card works like a debit card, but with the benefits of a credit card. Unlike a credit card, you can’t spend more than your available funds, but you have the possibility of booking a night at a hotel, renting a car or shopping online. A prepaid card does not help build your credit history.

    Can prepaid cards be used online?

    You can use most prepaid cards online. Certain store-bought prepaid cards are not valid online, so you have to read the terms and conditions on the card before you buy it. Some online merchants may not accept a prepaid card, but that is on a case-by-case basis.

    How do I activate a prepaid card?

    The activation process varies depending on the prepaid card you choose. Some cards can be purchased online and activated with the first purchase, while others can be purchased and activated at the same time. When you purchase your prepaid card, check the activation terms and conditions that come with it.

    How do I know how much is left on a prepaid card?

    Depending on your card, you can check your balance online or on the app. When you make a purchase, the cashier can tell you how much is left on it, or the balance can be displayed on your bill. You can find out how to check your balance when you get your card.

    How do prepaid credit cards work?

    Prepaid credit cards work by loading funds onto the card in advance, which can then be used for purchases in Canada or when you travel, until the balance is depleted.

    How to get a prepaid credit card?

    You can get a prepaid credit card by purchasing one from various retailers, online platforms, or financial institutions that offer them. No credit check should be done.

    Can you build your credit with a prepaid credit card?

    Prepaid credit cards typically do not help build credit because they do not involve borrowing money or hard credit checks. However, secured credit cards are easy to get and they help build your credit.

    Is a prepaid credit card a good idea?

    Whether a prepaid credit card is a good idea depends on your specific financial needs and goals. They can be useful for budgeting or as a payment option if you don’t have a traditional credit card. To make sure you get the best card for your needs, compare credit cards.

    Are prepaid cards credit cards?

    Prepaid cards are not credit cards in the traditional sense since they don’t provide a line of credit. They only allow you to spend the funds you have loaded onto the card.

    Are prepaid cards credit or debit?

    They are neither, or both! They function like a debit card, but they are not directly linked to you bank account. You have to load money on the card before you can use it. They sometimes offer the same perks as credit cards, such as cash back.

    Are prepaid credit cards accepted everywhere?

    Prepaid credit cards are generally accepted anywhere that accepts major credit cards, but some merchants or service providers may have specific restrictions or limitations.

    Are prepaid credit cards safe?

    Prepaid credit cards are generally considered safe since they are not directly linked to your bank account and have limited liability for unauthorized transactions.

    Can I book a hotel with a prepaid credit card?

    You can usually make travel expenses with a prepaid card. Whether you can book a hotel with a prepaid credit card depends on the hotel’s specific policies. Most hotels will accept prepaid cards, but some may require a traditional credit card.

    Can I buy a prepaid credit card with PayPal?

    It is possible to buy a prepaid credit card using PayPal on certain platforms or through specific providers, but availability may vary. Please note that PayPal offers its own prepaid card.

    Can I get a prepaid credit card at my bank?

    Some banks offer prepaid credit cards, such as BMO. You may be able to get one from your bank, but it’s advisable to check with your bank for their specific offerings.

    Can I rent a car with a prepaid credit card?

    You shouldn’t have problems renting a car with a prepaid card, although it depends on each rental car company’s policy. Some may accept prepaid cards, while others may require a traditional credit card. Please note that traditional credit cards may offer car rental insurance, which prepaid cards do not offer.

    Can I use a prepaid credit card for Amazon Prime?

    Prepaid cards are a payment method accepted by Amazon. Using a prepaid credit card for Amazon Prime or other online purchases generally works as long as the card is affiliated with a payment network like Visa, Mastercard or American Express and has sufficient funds to cover the purchase.

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    Maude Gauthier is a journalist for Hardbacon. Since completing her Ph.D. in communications at University of Montreal, she has been writing about finance, insurance and credit cards for companies like Fonds FMOQ and Code F. As a responsible user of credit cards, she can spend hours reading the fine print to fully understand their benefits. Because of their simplicity, she developed a preference for cash back cards. After suffering steep increases with her former insurer, she can now proudly say that she saved hundreds of dollars by shopping around for her auto and home insurance. In her free time, she reads novels and enjoys streaming popular shows (and possibly less popular shows, like animal documentaries).