Personal Finance

Best prepaid toppable credit card to use for online payments?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 6th, 2020 10:02 pm
[OP]
Member
Jan 26, 2020
317 posts
65 upvotes
Canada

Best prepaid toppable credit card to use for online payments?

How often have we heard horror stories of people that have signed up for something then not been able to cancel their subscription? The answer to this, I think, is to use a prepaid card and only top it up when you need it keeping it at zero or low balance most of the time. What should I look for? And do these features have particular names? Like is toppable even used? Without knowing the terminology I can't search online very well. Another reason for wanting a prepaid card bought with cash is privacy. But how do you pay for it with cash online? Crypto?
14 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
9262 posts
10798 upvotes
Vancouver
There's Koho, Mogo, and Stack. They're free to get and have no reloading or transaction fees. You can load them with Interac e-transfer from your bank. Takes ~10-60 minutes. You can also load Mogo and Stack with bill pay from your bank, 1-3 business days. Stack can also be loaded at Canada Post with cash or debit (minimum $200), funds are available instantly. Mogo cards haven't been available for quite some time, but they're supposed to be available again sometime "this spring."

I have a $2 balance on my Koho card, I use it to sign up for online free trials that auto-charge you once the trial period is up. The $2 is just enough to authorize the small amounts requested to check that the card is valid, but will reject any larger charge. Useful for when I forget to cancel the free trials.
[OP]
Member
Jan 26, 2020
317 posts
65 upvotes
Canada
Your $2 scheme is rather ingenious! Thanks - great news. Especially being able to load up with cash. Otherwise there really is no privacy. Too bad its so much though!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
1035 upvotes
Kelowna
Kiraly wrote: There's Koho, Mogo, and Stack. They're free to get and have no reloading or transaction fees. You can load them with Interac e-transfer from your bank. Takes ~10-60 minutes. You can also load Mogo and Stack with bill pay from your bank, 1-3 business days. Stack can also be loaded at Canada Post with cash or debit (minimum $200), funds are available instantly. Mogo cards haven't been available for quite some time, but they're supposed to be available again sometime "this spring."

I have a $2 balance on my Koho card, I use it to sign up for online free trials that auto-charge you once the trial period is up. The $2 is just enough to authorize the small amounts requested to check that the card is valid, but will reject any larger charge. Useful for when I forget to cancel the free trials.
@MichaelZZZ's comment about the $2 scheme being "rather ingenious" peaked my interest, so I wasn't sure at first if it was in OP's post or yours, @Kiraly. I must admit, I hadn't considered this use case for free trials. It's a good idea. How often, though, have you encountered the pre-authorized verification charge being larger than $2.00?

Also, someone prepaid credit cards charge an annual inactivity fee where there is a balance on the card and no inactivity fee where there is a zero balance. So, one needs to be mindful of that if using, say, Mogo, and they intend on keeping a $2.00 balance. Make sure you move that $2.00 off the card and back on again every 11 months or so.

Cheers,
Doug
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
9262 posts
10798 upvotes
Vancouver
MichaelZZZ wrote: Your $2 scheme is rather ingenious! Thanks - great news. Especially being able to load up with cash. Otherwise there really is no privacy. Too bad its so much though!
There’s no actual anonymity, because all three cards have your name on them just like a credit card. If you’re looking for truly anonymous then you’ll have to settle for prepaid cards from the grocery store which are non-reloadable and have high activation fees.
Sr. Member
Jul 16, 2019
715 posts
731 upvotes
dmehus wrote: Also, someone prepaid credit cards charge an annual inactivity fee where there is a balance on the card and no inactivity fee where there is a zero balance. So, one needs to be mindful of that if using, say, Mogo, and they intend on keeping a $2.00 balance. Make sure you move that $2.00 off the card and back on again every 11 months or so.
For Koho, inactivity fees are more annoying. You have to make a transaction every 90 days to avoid a $1 fee. They don't begin doing this until after your first year, though. And you can't get around this by having a $0 balance:
If there is no activity on the Card for ninety (90) consecutive days and the Balance on the Card is $0.00 or negative, we will put the Card into a suspended state so that no other transaction can be processed. Please call customer service if you wish to continue using the Card.
If the Card has a Balance of $0.00 or negative and there have been no transactions for one hundred and twenty (120) days, we may close the Card.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
1035 upvotes
Kelowna
someweirdo wrote: For Koho, inactivity fees are more annoying. You have to make a transaction every 90 days to avoid a $1 fee. They don't begin doing this until after your first year, though. And you can't get around this by having a $0 balance:
@someweirdo Oof, good thing I have a zero balance. With that, I will be closing my card, then.

At the moment, I don't find any of the prepaid credit offerings compelling and have no use for any of them. Mogo is the most compelling, but if the physical card + 1.5% cashback is subject to invitation, then that's a no-go.

Peoples Trust Company's affiliate Peoples Card Services, L.P., doesn't mind being the administrative service provider and card issuer for Koho, Mogo, Stack, Revolut, and Wealthsimple Cash because their wholesale card fees generate, presumably, decent non-interest income for Peoples Group. ;)

Cheers,
Doug
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
9262 posts
10798 upvotes
Vancouver
dmehus wrote: At the moment, I don't find any of the prepaid credit offerings compelling and have no use for any of them. Mogo is the most compelling, but if the physical card + 1.5% cashback is subject to invitation, then that's a no-go.
Mogo was running full-page ads in the Vancouver Sun in January, advertising that their card is "coming this spring." They're obviously planning to open it up to everyone sans invitation soon.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
1035 upvotes
Kelowna
Kiraly wrote: Mogo was running full-page ads in the Vancouver Sun in January, advertising that their card is "coming this spring." They're obviously planning to open it up to everyone sans invitation soon.
One of their essentially free ads that get from Postmedia due to a recently extended marketing partnership. Postmedia gets shares and warrants to purchase shares in Mogo Inc. and Mogo, in turn, gets digital and print advertising in Postmedia papers for no or little cash outlay. :)

FWIW, they have been saying it's coming later this year for a year or two. :P

Cheers,
Doug
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
1498 posts
1091 upvotes
Toronto
dmehus wrote: @someweirdo Oof, good thing I have a zero balance. With that, I will be closing my card, then.

At the moment, I don't find any of the prepaid credit offerings compelling and have no use for any of them. Mogo is the most compelling, but if the physical card + 1.5% cashback is subject to invitation, then that's a no-go.

Peoples Trust Company's affiliate Peoples Card Services, L.P., doesn't mind being the administrative service provider and card issuer for Koho, Mogo, Stack, Revolut, and Wealthsimple Cash because their wholesale card fees generate, presumably, decent non-interest income for Peoples Group. ;)

Cheers,
Doug
Mogo is only paying 1% starting June 1.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
1035 upvotes
Kelowna
Bull Dog wrote: Mogo is only paying 1% starting June 1.
@Bull Dog Well, darn, that sucks. Looks like when I get a new full-time job, I will be sticking with a credit card for the bulk of my spending. Leaning towards the Mortgage Architect or Mortgage Intelligence Cash Back credit cards from Collabria since they have 2% on gas and grocery (versus just grocery or gas) with no annual fee.

Cheers,
Doug
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
1498 posts
1091 upvotes
Toronto
dmehus wrote: @Bull Dog Well, darn, that sucks. Looks like when I get a new full-time job, I will be sticking with a credit card for the bulk of my spending. Leaning towards the Mortgage Architect or Mortgage Intelligence Cash Back credit cards from Collabria since they have 2% on gas and grocery (versus just grocery or gas) with no annual fee.

Cheers,
Doug
@Doug - Mortgage intelligence :
5% cash back on everything you buy at home improvement stores* (for the first 100 days)
2% cash back on groceries
1% on all other purchases

I didn't find any Mortgage Architect credit card online

Stick with Tangerine Mastercard - no annual fee, both cards have 2% cash back on 2 personalized categories, 3 if you have a bank account with Tangerine
plus if you qualify for the World Mastercard you also get:
Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®
Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
Mobile Device Insurance
Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey ( but pay for entry )
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
1035 upvotes
Kelowna
Bull Dog wrote: @Doug - Mortgage intelligence :
5% cash back on everything you buy at home improvement stores* (for the first 100 days)
2% cash back on groceries
1% on all other purchases

I didn't find any Mortgage Architect credit card online

Stick with Tangerine Mastercard - no annual fee, both cards have 2% cash back on 2 personalized categories, 3 if you have a bank account with Tangerine
plus if you qualify for the World Mastercard you also get:
Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®
Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
Mobile Device Insurance
Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey ( but pay for entry )
Yeah, most, or all, Collabria cards have those extras, I think. Sorry about Mortgage Architect—think that's a real mortgage broker brand, but got them confused. I meant Mortgage Alliance. It, too, is 2% on groceries (https://www.collabriacreditcards.ca/aff ... mastercard).

Easy way to look up Collabria issuers - www.collabriacreditcards.ca - and type in either 'bank', 'mortgage', 'financial', or 'group' to find out any non-credit union issuers of Collabria cards. You can see SBI Canada Bank and First Nations Bank of Canada, as well as Mortgage Alliance, Mortgage Intelligence, and Verico Mortgage Group are the five non-credit union issuers of Collabria cards. ;)

As for Tangerine, that's a no go. 0.5% on all other purchases. That's below my threshold. So, I'm going to move to have a combination of Scotiabank SCENE Visa, Mortgage Alliance MasterCard (nicer design than Mortgage Intelligence), and maybe Walmart Rewards MasterCard or Triangle World MasterCard if I can get invited easily by a CT representative. Not interested in regular CT Triangle MasterCard.

Cheers,
Doug

Top