Credit Cards

Prepaid Credit Cards (Continuously Updated)

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2022 6:11 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes

Prepaid Credit Cards (Continuously Updated)

This thread is updated regularly
Last Update: November 21, 2022


I noticed there have been people hunting prepaid credit/gift cards so I put into a list as below that are offered to Canadians. This thread is about prepaid Visa/Mastercard/AMEX/Union Pay brand card and not about secured credit card. While they are similar in nature, secured cards do affect credit score ratings whereas prepaid ones don't.

Note: Be aware most cards (whether reloadable or not) CANNOT be used for recurring charges (a.k.a. pre-authorized debit). This may result in your card being declined for certain online transactions even when funds are available on the card. If you intend on purchasing a card for online transaction, make sure to read the cardholder agreement and ascertain how the charges will be processed or you may be disappointed.

Read the FAQ here: prepaid-credit-cards-continuously-updat ... #p28496685

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada published a useful guide where you will find more info about the card products.
https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-cons ... cards.html

The only prepaid cards that are embossed (ie. with numbers raised on the card) are the BMO Travel MasterCard & Desjardins Visa Card (QC/ON only). All other cards are 'flat', only for electronic authorization only.

You can now find Prepaid Cards at:

Non-Reloadable ones No ID required [YMMV].

  • Visa
  • 7-11, London Drugs, Walmart, Circle K (Vanilla Prepaid Visa Card $35, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, 20-500 denominations) (Loading Fee -$4.95 to 8.95. Funds do not expire)
    https://www.vanillaprepaid.com/
  • Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, Safe-on-Foods, Rexall (The Prefect Gift Visa Gift Cards $25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, 200-500, 500 denominations) (Loading Fee -$3.95 to 9.95. Funds do not expire) Monthly Fees (after the first 12 months)
    https://www.theperfectgift.ca/
  • Canada Post (Canada Post Single Load Prepaid Card $25-500 denominations) (Loading Fee -$3.95 to 6.95. Funds do not expire)
    https://www.slpcard.ca/cholder/welcome. ... _locale=en


  • American Express
  • London Drugs (AMEX Gift Card $25, 50, 100 or 200) (Loading Fee $3.95-6.95. Funds do not expire) (issued by Peoples Trust)
    https://amexprepaidcard.com/

Reloadable Ones ID Required by law.



US Dollars/Euro/British Pound/Chinese Yuan card
Corporate Incentives - only available as bulk order
Last edited by cahk on Nov 21st, 2022 4:30 pm, edited 95 times in total.
Thread Summary
Most of the discussion in this thread is about PayPower—if we're discussing a card and not naming it, it's most likely that.

What is a prepaid card?
A prepaid card is a Visa/Mastercard/AMEX/Union Pay branded card where money had been loaded in advanced. Unlike a traditional credit card, there is no credit extended (i.e. no borrowing) and is available to anyone residing in Canada; whether or not you have credit history. You have the option of choosing a non-reloadable card or a reloadable card. The latter allows you to continue adding funds to the card, and in general, will allow for ATM withdraw and better protection than a non-reloadable card.

Why a prepaid card?
• Anonymity: You can purchase a non-reloadable card with cash/debit, and use any name and address to make a purchase.

• Security: When making a purchase on sites with unknown security status, a prepaid card can limit the damage that can be done. One might argue the Zero Liability extended on a regular card is sufficient. However, you should know zero liability has its own limitation. If your card is compromised on too many occasions, your financial institution may deny you coverage under the zero liability policy.

• Manufactured Spending: For some people with sufficiently high cash back or points reward program, the cost of the cards may be negated. You should know some retailers will not allow you to use a credit card to purchase a prepaid credit card due to fraud.

Any downsides?
• Any funds you put onto a card are not considered to be a “deposit”, and thus, do not enjoy protection from CDIC (which ensures you get your money in the event of a collapse of a financial institution)

• There is no refund on a non-reloadable card. It’ll cost you money to remove any balance from a reloadable card, if your card allows for it.

• You can expect customer service to be more minimal, and issues with merchants may take longer to resolve. Depending on the card you have, you may also have to pay a fee to speak with a live agent.

• Most prepaid cards are not chip-enabled. This may be a problem for some physical stores.

• Over the last 10 years that I have created this thread – cards have come and gone. You should aim to spend all the funds on your card well before the card expiry date (usually 3-5 years).

• Your card is not guaranteed to work (see below)

Visa/Mastercard Debit?
The term “Debit”, in the Canadian context, refers to a Visa/Mastercard branded card linked to a bank account. For example, TD, BMO, CIBC, Scotiabank issue client cards that have the Visa/Mastercard debit functions that also acts as an Interac debit card (RBC issue virtual debit cards). Unlike a prepaid card, the Visa/Mastercard debit card deducts money immediately from your bank account. A Canadian Visa/Mastercard Debit card is only accepted by certain Canadian online retailers. A list of retailers can be found on Visa/MasterCard websites.

The term Visa/MasterCard “Debit”, in the American context, is the equivalent of a Canadian prepaid card.

Why can’t I get my card to work online?
1. You may not sufficient balance. If you wish to purchase an item for $20USD, not only will you need to account for the currency value to Canadian dollars, you will also need to factor in the currency exchange fee charged on most of the cards. Your merchant may also put a 'test charge' (usually around $1-2) the first time you use the card to make sure the card is active before processing your order. Finally, your card may also have additional POS fees.

2. You may not have registered your card. Your ability to register the card will vary between products. Some will allow only a postal code registration, others will allow for a full registration like a regular credit card.

3. You are trying to use your card on gambling websites. All prepaid cards will not allow gambling transactions.

4. You are trying to use the card on a website that requires pre-authorized debiting (known as recurring transaction). This could be for product subscription that charge on a regular schedule, but may also appear (to you anyway) like a regular purchase transaction. Some less-than-savory websites may try to authorize a recurring transaction without you knowing.

5. Read the Fine Print – each card has its own conditions and restrictions. Before you purchase a card, it is recommend that you visit the card website and read the cardholder agreement. You may otherwise end up with a card that does not suit your purpose. For example, a prepaid AMEX card can only be used in US and Canada – other international transactions will automatically be declined.

Which card is the best?
It will depend on your needs and wants. I suggest you compare prices (both for purchase and after purchase), ease of obtaining the card and the amount you wish to load on to the card. Some cards have extra perks that may benefit you.

I can’t get the card I want at the store you listed?
The availability of the cards will vary between stores – sometimes it is due to an inventory issue, other times the store no longer carries the item. You can try other stores of the same chain in your neighbourhood, or look for other suitable cards.

I could not get the card I want by paying with my credit card?
Owing to fraud concerns, some stores will not allow you to purchase a prepaid card with a credit card. Some RFDers will tell you to complaint to your credit card providers because the merchants are supposed to accept the card regardless. While that may be true, you are better off just going to a different store. Remember - the cashier you deal with are abiding by their employer’s policies. Don’t take your grievance out at them!

How come X/Y/Z card is not listed?
Feel free to let me know if you know a new card product. However, there are reasons why I don't list certain cards. For example, if they are offered by a foreign (i.e. US or European) financial institution. This is strictly a Canadian product listings. I also do not list cards that are "invite only" or in beta/limited run.
10516 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 9, 2006
1274 posts
131 upvotes
I could have sworn I saw a Muchmusic card commercial just the other day....

Thanks for the info!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes
mada726 wrote: It's anyone's guess if Myplash will shutdown.
Horizon Plus rolled out several prepaid card product that was eventually shut down in about a year of time. They include Viva, CoffeeTime, MyCard, etc.

MuchMusic stopped selling and (my guess) will eventually shut down as it has become 'standard procedure' for Horizon Plus to do that.
Sr. Member
Jul 20, 2007
801 posts
4 upvotes
Personally, I'd just hand to them an envelop with cash in it... ;)
Online discount brokerage(s) status:

=> QUESTRADE: Active (satisfied customer).
=> E*Trade Canada: Active (impressed so far).


QuesTrader (a.k.a. Uncanny Wizard, President and CEO of http://stockmagic.wordpress.com )
Newbie
Dec 30, 2007
8 posts
I found out the hard way that Vanilla Mastercard gift cards can't be used online in Canada.. Does anyone know if progress is being made towards this?
Deal Addict
May 11, 2005
2008 posts
147 upvotes
Ajax, ON, Canada
InflictedFear wrote: I found out the hard way that Vanilla Mastercard gift cards can't be used online in Canada.. Does anyone know if progress is being made towards this?
Are you talking about online retailers in Canada or trying to do an online purchase at an American store while residing in Canada? If you don't understand on what I said, that's okay. I heard little about the Vanilla MasterCard, but not really get into it...lol
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2007
2905 posts
2 upvotes
oh wow thanks. been wanting this
Newbie
Dec 30, 2007
8 posts
mada726 wrote: Are you talking about online retailers in Canada or trying to do an online purchase at an American store while residing in Canada? If you don't understand on what I said, that's okay. I heard little about the Vanilla MasterCard, but not really get into it...lol
I'm talking about purchasing at an American store while residing in Canada.. I wanted to buy some clothes from some band sites, but the payment fails.. Are the Vanilla cards only to be used on Canadian online sites? If so, I just wasted $100 :P
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2007
2905 posts
2 upvotes
InflictedFear wrote: I'm talking about purchasing at an American store while residing in Canada.. I wanted to buy some clothes from some band sites, but the payment fails.. Are the Vanilla cards only to be used on Canadian online sites? If so, I just wasted $100 :P
you cant. the card u have is under canadian currency, u need american currency to buy american online stuff
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2007
2905 posts
2 upvotes
sorry for double post, i was going to edit, but i got a lag from doing that

can i ask if prepaid credit cards have an expiry date? if so, how long can the card be kept?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes
InflictedFear wrote: I'm talking about purchasing at an American store while residing in Canada.. I wanted to buy some clothes from some band sites, but the payment fails.. Are the Vanilla cards only to be used on Canadian online sites? If so, I just wasted $100 :P
Some american stores will only accept a US-based card but most will accept Canadian one as well. For one thing, does the store ship to Canada? If so, they should accept Canadian cards.

Why don't you get a card from Vancity (if you are in BC) or get one from Citizens Bank? Their cards can be registered (name, full address & phone number) and thus better chance of getting accepted.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes
aimfox wrote: sorry for double post, i was going to edit, but i got a lag from doing that

can i ask if prepaid credit cards have an expiry date? if so, how long can the card be kept?
All prepaid card product have expiry date like a regular credit card. They usually have about 1.5~2 years depending which product you choose to purchase. However, card companies will charge monthly fee at certain point (ie. 6 months or 12 months after activation) so you are better off using the card quickly, unless you are using the reloadable ones.
Newbie
Dec 30, 2007
8 posts
cahk wrote: Some american stores will only accept a US-based card but most will accept Canadian one as well. For one thing, does the store ship to Canada? If so, they should accept Canadian cards.

Why don't you get a card from Vancity (if you are in BC) or get one from Citizens Bank? Their cards can be registered (name, full address & phone number) and thus better chance of getting accepted.
Yes, the store had the option to ship to Canada, but no luck with the prepaid card. Oh well, looks like I'm sticking to Canadian online sites.

Thanks for the help.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2007
756 posts
1 upvote
I like the american system where you can get a debit card that acts as both a debit and credit card.

For example, at Bank of America you can get a debit card that has a credit card number on it. How it works is you can use it online as a credit card and the value of the purchase is just debitted from your bank account.

IMO It's nice to have.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes
canadiandollars wrote: I like the american system where you can get a debit card that acts as both a debit and credit card.

For example, at Bank of America you can get a debit card that has a credit card number on it. How it works is you can use it online as a credit card and the value of the purchase is just debitted from your bank account.

IMO It's nice to have.
It's a BAD idea. If someone steals your cc number, they can clean out your bank account in an instant. (Mind you if it's credit, you've zero liability whereas debit, you are out of luck)
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2007
756 posts
1 upvote
cahk wrote: It's a BAD idea. If someone steals your cc number, they can clean out your bank account in an instant. (Mind you if it's credit, you've zero liability whereas debit, you are out of luck)
not really. there's a 500-1000 limit on cc purchases. It's not that bad.
Newbie
Dec 30, 2007
8 posts
I just used the prepaid Vanilla Mastercard on Bestbuy.ca & Amazon.ca.

It worked, although it costs $1 per transaction.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes
InflictedFear wrote: I just used the prepaid Vanilla Mastercard on Bestbuy.ca & Amazon.ca.

It worked, although it costs $1 per transaction.
Usually companies tries to pre-auth a small amount of money (~$1) to see if the card is valid before actually allowing you to complete the order. The amount willl automatically be reverted (usually 7~10 days) unless the company specifically said they will charge you the $1 for x purposes.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2007
1811 posts
1164 upvotes
canadiandollars wrote: not really. there's a 500-1000 limit on cc purchases. It's not that bad.
Fraudsters can get all your data (ie. name, card number, expiration date, CVV2) and then create a fake card and then withdraw cash in ATMs, which will effectively clean out your bank account (unless, of course, you have thousands of dollars in your account)

Top