Personal Finance

What are the lowest fee Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada?

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  • Oct 26th, 2020 2:39 am
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Dec 13, 2016
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What are the lowest fee Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada?

I'm on the lookout for some prepaid credit cards, and I'm curious what others are using out there and what might be the cheapest options? The fees seem to range wildly depending on what/where you're buying it

Ideally looking for something I can buy at the store, doesn't have to be re-loadable necessarily.

Thanks in advance!
21 replies
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Feb 14, 2002
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The best deal is probably the Stack Prepaid Mastercard. You can load it via Interac for free. If you use an online referral, you can get $20 to start - so yeah, they pay you $20 to get it.

I don't think you can find it in stores but you can order a free card online. They have a rotating list of deals although they're usually pretty small deals, like get $1 off if you spend $10 in gas. It has no FX so you save money buying things in foreign currency, and you can withdraw funds from ATMs for free (although the ATM itself may charge a fee).
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Anything you get at the grocery store is going to come with activation fees ($4-$10), and anything reloadable from the grocery store is going to have monthly fees (~$5) on top of that.

+1 for Stack. There's also Koho which is similar. No fees to get, keep, or spend with.

That said, I have drained the balances of all of my prepaid cards and put them all away in a drawer. In this economic climate I don't trust any of these companies to not go bankrupt and take any balance on the card with them. Remember that balances on these cards are not protected by CDIC or provincial deposit insurance.
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r2edline wrote: I'm on the lookout for some prepaid credit cards, and I'm curious what others are using out there and what might be the cheapest options? The fees seem to range wildly depending on what/where you're buying it

Ideally looking for something I can buy at the store, doesn't have to be re-loadable necessarily.

Thanks in advance!
If you are looking for the lowest % of fee, then it is the Onevanilla prepaid M/C from 7-11 stores. The fee is $7.95 + taxes. The max load value is $500 each card. So it is less than 2% for $500.
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Also Revolut for withdrawing money from foreign ATMs and foreign currency shopping and transferring money to foreign bank accounts. It's not convenient for large amounts of money however, due to account being frozen or extra possible fees for large transactions. It'll also be good for peer to peer transfers once it's out of beta. Its still in beta in Canada so there's a waiting list to get one.
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Jul 18, 2017
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Kiraly wrote: Anything you get at the grocery store is going to come with activation fees ($4-$10), and anything reloadable from the grocery store is going to have monthly fees (~$5) on top of that.

+1 for Stack. There's also Koho which is similar. No fees to get, keep, or spend with.

That said, I have drained the balances of all of my prepaid cards and put them all away in a drawer. In this economic climate I don't trust any of these companies to not go bankrupt and take any balance on the card with them. Remember that balances on these cards are not protected by CDIC or provincial deposit insurance.
KOHO is partnered with Peoples Trust. If KOHO goes down, Peoples Trust (which is CDIC insured) returns the funds. https://help.koho.ca/en/articles/298669 ... ic-insured

I still understand being wary though. I love KOHO and use Stack as well. I use Koho for targeted spending; if I'm going out for food, drinks, or purchasing something. I'm not totally set on having my payroll deposited onto it, and I'm lucky that Scotiabank gave me their top chequing package for free.

I love the cashback feature. I use Stack for subscriptions (Spotify, Amazon, etc) and my own credit card for things like gas and phone bill.
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How are Stack and Koho different?

Do both Stack and Koho only give you a single credit card number that never changes? It's not like a VCC where you can generate one, delete it, generate another right? Or even have 5 active numbers at a time right?

What is the absolute cheapest prepaid card, not percentage wise, but the absolute lowest activation fee and lowest load amount? (other than stack and koho that is)

Also, any promos for stack and koho now? Should i wait for a better promo? (i remember stack gave 1 year Netflix previously)
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fightbriz wrote: How are Stack and Koho different?

Do both Stack and Koho only give you a single credit card number that never changes? It's not like a VCC where you can generate one, delete it, generate another right? Or even have 5 active numbers at a time right?

What is the absolute cheapest prepaid card, not percentage wise, but the absolute lowest activation fee and lowest load amount? (other than stack and koho that is)

Also, any promos for stack and koho now? Should i wait for a better promo? (i remember stack gave 1 year Netflix previously)
KOHO is a VISA product.
Stack is a MASTERCARD product.

they are both re-loadable credit cards with the spending limit set to the amount you have loaded on them.
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905P4N6 wrote: KOHO is a VISA product.
Stack is a MASTERCARD product.

they are both re-loadable credit cards with the spending limit set to the amount you have loaded on them.
But they only offer you a single credit card number right? Like you can't create multiple cc numbers right?
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Feb 18, 2019
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fightbriz wrote: But they only offer you a single credit card number right? Like you can't create multiple cc numbers right?
Both Stack and Koho will give you 1 virtual card number, on top of your physical card number.
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can someone give me a few reasons why I should keep my stack card?
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." -- Edward Land
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faken wrote: can someone give me a few reasons why I should keep my stack card?
It's free
You don't benefit in any way by closing it as opposed to stashing it in a drawer
No FX fees
They offer discounts on various items regularly (although small, they're still discounts)
If you don't fully trust something you're signing up for, use a pre-paid card like Stack so there's no risk (leave only a few dollars on it).
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Shaner wrote: It's free
You don't benefit in any way by closing it as opposed to stashing it in a drawer
No FX fees
They offer discounts on various items regularly (although small, they're still discounts)
If you don't fully trust something you're signing up for, use a pre-paid card like Stack so there's no risk (leave only a few dollars on it).
oh there's discounts?

thank you so much!
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." -- Edward Land
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Jan 12, 2011
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what is the lowest fee (%) prepaid credit card in Canada that can be bought with cash?
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kailjm wrote: KOHO is partnered with Peoples Trust. If KOHO goes down, Peoples Trust (which is CDIC insured) returns the funds. https://help.koho.ca/en/articles/298669 ... ic-insured

I still understand being wary though. I love KOHO and use Stack as well. I use Koho for targeted spending; if I'm going out for food, drinks, or purchasing something. I'm not totally set on having my payroll deposited onto it, and I'm lucky that Scotiabank gave me their top chequing package for free.

I love the cashback feature. I use Stack for subscriptions (Spotify, Amazon, etc) and my own credit card for things like gas and phone bill.
Same situation with Stack which is also partnered with Peoples Trust.

Stack Guarantee Link

Is STACK covered by CDIC?
STACK accounts aren't deposit products and so aren't covered by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). However, because the funds loaded are held by Peoples Trust, a regulated financial institution with $7B in assets, cardholders are protected if STACK ceases operations. If STACK were to fail, all funds are returned to cardholders by law. It should also be noted that Peoples Trust holds the funds, and STACK builds the technology and experience to manage and spend it.

Additionally, we take the security and integrity of our business very seriously, and through our partnership with Mastercard, we also offer Zero Liability to our cardholders, so you are covered for any fraud or other unauthorized purchases made with STACK.
Last edited by Bull Dog on May 16th, 2020 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Bull Dog wrote: Also Revolut for withdrawing money from foreign ATMs and foreign currency shopping and transferring money to foreign bank accounts. It's not convenient for large amounts of money however, due to account being frozen or extra possible fees for large transactions. It'll also be good for peer to peer transfers once it's out of beta. Its still in beta in Canada so there's a waiting list to get one.
I withdraw my recommendation for Revolut. If you do anything other than small transactions their internal fraud algorithm will flag you and freeze your account, and you are left with having to upload all the documents that pertain to fund loading onto your Revolut card. There is no support to phone if your account gets frozen, and they can choose to not talk with you on your chat app if they don't want to. Try relying on that if you are abroad or have lots of money sitting in the account which you need for other purposes.
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Stack also has a new bill pay feature, which is a nice touch bringing it one step closer to a "hybrid bank account" such as Wealth Simple Cash was aiming to be. So if for example you were locked out of your bank account you could still pay your bills with money you had in the Stack account.

I'm hoping we get some more European hybrid account like cards in the future such as Monzo or N26 like they have in Europe, or Transferwise Debit Card hopefully will show up, or maybe Wealth Simple Cash will introduce more features soon.

@dmehus or @titaniumtux or @Gtaphotog or @bylo or @rhw123 may have some insightful comments about whether a hybrid account card like WealthSimple Cash is better than Stack or Koho. I don't think I would ever trust a hybrid account card to be my main bank account because I'd be worried about getting my account drained in a foreign country if my card got compromised.
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bonjour tout le monde, "STACK Mastercard has finally launched in Quebec!" Smiling Face With Open Mouth
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i bought the american express prepaid card at the no frills grocery store. $25 denomination, and the activation fee is $3.95, so you pay total $28.95, no taxes are added. there are no additional fees after purchase and it's non-reloadable
activation fees table:
$25 : $3.95 fee
$50: $4.95 fee
$100 : $5.95 fee
$200 : $6.95 fee
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oicthat2013 wrote: i bought the american express prepaid card at the no frills grocery store. $25 denomination, and the activation fee is $3.95, so you pay total $28.95, no taxes are added. there are no additional fees after purchase and it's non-reloadable
activation fees table:
$25 : $3.95 fee
$50: $4.95 fee
$100 : $5.95 fee
$200 : $6.95 fee
Those are the same fees Charged by Vanilla prepaid Visa & MC.

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