11 Best Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada (Sep 2022): Avoid Interest Charges

According to Mordor Intelligence, there were 90 companies in the prepaid credit card market in Canada in 2021, which was up 21% from the previous year.

If you’re on the market for a prepaid card yourself, you’re likely wondering which of these companies’ products will best suit your needs.

Whether you’re looking for good rewards, little to no fees or are after no FX fees to take advantage of during your travels, I’m confident something in this list of the best prepaid credit cards in Canada will fit your needs.

Best Overall
Koho Mastercard
Koho Mastercard
  • Instant cash-back on all purchases 
  • Interest paid on the entire balance 
  • 1.5% FX fee 
  • No credit check or income requirement 
  • Credit score building feature 
  • Amazing user experience and security 
  • No monthly or annual fee
Best Paid
Koho Premium
Koho Premium
  • 30-day free trial 
  • Up to 2% instant cash-back on purchases 
  • No FX fees
  • One free international ATM withdrawal per month
  • Free financial coaching and priority customer service
  • Great user experience and security 
  • $9 per month or $84 per year 
Best for Travel
Wise Multi-Currency Card
Wise Multi-Currency Card
  • Top up and spend at the real exchange rate
  • No FX fees 
  • Hold and spend in over 50 currencies
  • No-fee international ATM withdrawals ($350 each month)
  • In-app card freeze feature and top-tier security 
  • Sign up for a free Wise account here
    No monthly or annual fee 

What Is A Prepaid Credit Card?

A prepaid credit card is a payment card that is attached to either the Visa, Mastercard or American Express payment network.

It works similarly to a debit card in the sense that you can only spend the amount you have on the card, but it is not necessarily linked to a chequing or a savings account.

Prepaid credit cards do not affect your credit score, nor do they usually have any requirements regarding your credit score for eligibility. As you are not borrowing any money, you also do not have to worry about any monthly statement payments or interest charges.

All prepaid cards are widely accepted and can be great replacements for carrying cash or for travelling abroad.

Features To Look Out For Before Choosing A Prepaid Card

Prepaid Debit Card

In the past, prepaid cards had no rewards or perks associated with them and usually charged activation and/or reload fees. This has been changing in recent years with fintech companies offering no-fee prepaid cards with good rewards, cash-back and increased features.

As such, there are now a wide variety of prepaid cards on the Canadian market. Here are some features you should consider before getting one to ensure you make the best decision for your needs.

  • Activation and reload fees (or monthly/annual fees)
  • Security features (in-app freeze, PIN, zero liability, etc.)
  • Rewards, cash-back and perks
  • User experience (mobile application, ease of reloading the card, customer service, etc.)
  • Foreign-exchange fees and the exchange rate used
  • Ability to use the card at ATMs
  • CDIC deposit insurance
  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty
  • Eligibility requirements

Best Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada

Here are the best prepaid credit cards in Canada.

1. Koho Mastercard: Best Overall Prepaid Card

Important Features:

  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Instant cash-back on all purchases (0.5%)
  • Interest paid on the entire balance
  • 1.5% foreign exchange (FX) transaction fee (lower than the usual 2.5-3%)
  • No credit check or income requirement
  • Credit score building feature
  • Amazing user experience and security
  • Learn more and sign up for the free Koho Mastercard here

Koho is a financial technology company based in Canada. Their main product offering – the free reloadable Mastercard – is simply great.

This card offers instant cash-back, interest on your balance, low FX fees and an amazing user experience at no weekly, monthly or annual fee. You also have access to cool features to build your credit without actually taking out credit and manage and track your spending all in one place.

Although Koho is not a registered bank in Canada, they are partnered with a federally regulated Canadian bank, Peoples Trust, which holds the money you load onto your Koho card. This also makes it that your deposits are eligible for CDIC (Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation) insurance.

For increased security, Koho also offers a “lock card in app” feature that allows you to freeze your card to prevent misuse in the case of theft or misplacement.

We really think you can’t go wrong with this free Koho Mastercard for your day-to-day spending. You can learn more and sign up for it here.

2. Koho Premium: Best Paid Prepaid Card

Important Features:

  • $9 per month or $84 per year
  • 30-day free trial
  • More instant cash-back on your purchases (up to 2%)
  • No foreign exchange (FX) fees
  • One free international ATM withdrawal per month
  • No credit check or income requirement
  • Free financial coaching and priority customer service
  • Great user experience and top-tier security
  • Learn more and sign up for Koho Premium here

The free Koho Mastercard also has a “premium” sister that has a monthly fee of $9 (or $84 per year upfront.) While we recognize that a paid card is not ideal, the features you get with it are quite worth it, especially when you consider that most other prepaid cards have a fee anyway and do not offer cash-back or other features similar to Koho or Koho Premium.

Koho Premium’s biggest offering is increased cash-back on your daily purchases. While you still get 0.5% on all of your purchases, you earn quadruple the regular cash-back (2%) on all of your groceries, eating & drinking, and transportation expenditure.

Koho Premium also offers good perks for travel as well as priority customer service.

3. Wise Multi-Currency Card: Best Prepaid Card for Travel

Important Features:

  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Top up and spend at the real exchange rate (no FX fees)
  • Hold, spend and get paid in over 50 currencies
  • No-fee international ATM withdrawals ($350 each month)
  • In-app card freeze feature and top-tier security
  • Sign up for a free Wise account here

The Wise Multi-Currency Card is by far one of the best money tools to have during your travels. In just one prepaid card, you can spend and hold up to 50 different currencies, eliminating the need to carry large amounts of cash.

Wise also allows you to spend and top up at the real exchange rate without the markups that characterize FX transactions at most financial institutions.

Wise is also great for sending money abroad with very little and transparent fees. You can sign up for a free Wise account here, after which you can request your Wise Multi-Currency Card.

4. BMO Prepaid Mastercard: Best Big Bank Prepaid Card

BMO

Important Features:

  • $6.95 annual fee
  • Top up through your bank or BMO online banking/mobile application
  • Mastercard Zero Liability
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection

If you’re looking for a prepaid credit card from a big bank, the BMO Prepaid Mastercard is your best bet. At an annual cost of $7, you can make in-store or online purchases, use ATMs, have access to extended warranty and purchase protection and be protected through Mastercard’s Zero Liability program.

With this card, you have two options to top up.

If you already have a BMO chequing or savings account, you can transfer funds through your digital banking. With this method, your funds will be available nearly instantly.

If you do not bank with BMO, on the other hand, you can transfer funds from your regular bank account as if you are making a bill payment. With this second method, your funds will be available in two to five business days.

5. American Express Prepaid Card: Best Prepaid Card to Gift

American Express logo 2

Important Features:

  • No monthly fees
  • No customer service fees
  • Funds do not expire
  • Available in denominations of $25, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000
  • Issued by Peoples Trust Company according to a license from American Express

This Prepaid Card by American Express can be the perfect cash replacement for yourself or your loved ones as a gift. It has no monthly or customer service fees and is available in the denominations of $25, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000. The funds on the card also do not expire, which is a great bonus.

You can use the American Express Prepaid Card in Canada, the United States, or anywhere else where AmEx is accepted. Please note that this card is not eligible for zero liability, and it, unfortunately, cannot be used at ATMs.

6. MogoCard: Best Prepaid Card for Positive Environmental Impact

Mogo

Important Features:

  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Free identity fraud protection
  • Every transaction results in one tree planted
  • Bitcoin and crypto rewards with every transaction
  • Carbon neutral
  • Encourages saving
  • Good user experience
  • Sign up for Mogo here

Want a prepaid card that also makes a positive environmental impact? Most people won’t relate the two to one another, but the MogoCard is changing that.

Each time you use your MogoCard, you not only win good rewards, but you also help plant trees and contribute to saving the environment.

The MogoCard also supports and encourages the good financial health of its users so that they can make better financial decisions for the future.

7. Wealthsimple Spend Card: Best Prepaid Card For Stock And Crypto Rewards

Important Features:

  • Get 1% back in cash, stock, or crypto when you spend
  • Get 1% interest in your savings account
  • No foreign exchange (FX) fees, minimum balance fees, or ATM fees
  • No credit check or any other qualifications required
  • Up to $100,000 insurance protection through CDIC

Big into investing? The Wealthsimple Spend card lets you redeem your cash-back rewards for stocks or cryptocurrencies of your choice. You also earn a flat 1% interest into your savings account and don’t have to worry about foreign exchange, minimum balance or ATM fees.

The funds deposited to your Wealthsimple Spend account are also eligible for CDIC insurance up to $100,000.

You can download the Wealthsimple app and start using your card in as little as five minutes –  there is no credit check or income requirements for eligibility. Learn more and sign up for Wealthsimple here.

8. Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard

Canada Post

Important Features:

  • Hold and spend in seven different currencies (Canadian Dollars, US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollars, and Mexican Pesos)
  • Free replacement cards
  • Available at Canada post locations
  • $15 purchase fee, $3 reload fee
  • Mastercard Zero Liability and Global Assistance
  • Top up at the post office or online

The Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard may feel a bit old school, but it actually has advanced quite a lot in recent years. You can load one or all of the seven currencies above into your account and can spend wherever Mastercard is accepted.

The customer service behind this card is also fantastic. If you happen to lose your card during your travels, Mastercard will ship you a new one before your holiday is over (if possible) or send you emergency cash to make the process as simple as possible for you.

You can get this card from your local post office. It costs $15 to buy and $3 every time you reload.

9. STACK Prepaid Mastercard

Stack Logo

Important Features:

  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Cash-back at more than 140 retailers across Canada
  • Mastercard Zero Liability and in-app card freeze feature
  • No domestic or international ATM fees
  • Early pay-day feature
  • Up to $100,000 CDIC insurance protection
  • Cash-back on purchases and ATM withdrawals abroad

STACK is a Canadian fintech company that offers a prepaid Mastercard with no fees, including on foreign exchange. They also offer good cash-back at more than a hundred retailers as well as good perks through STACK travel.

You can learn more about STACK in this Koho vs. Stack comparison.

10. H&R Block Advantage Prepaid Mastercard

HRBlock Logo

Important Features:

  • Free to activate, $2.99 monthly fee after 30 days
  • Free cash withdrawals at DCBank ATMs
  • Online bill payments
  • Instant email or text alerts of purchases
  • Load your tax refund to start, then reload at Canada Post ($3 reload fee) or through Interac e-Transfer
  • Online portal for financial tracking, bill payments and e-Transfers

I would recommend this card to you if you get your taxes done at H&R Block and would like instant access to your annual tax refund. You can then continue reloading and using this card for in-store or online purchases.

This card offers innovative features that some prepaid cards may not, such as bill payments and Interac e-Transfers. There are, however, some fees associated with the card, which include:

  • $3 reload fee at Canada Post locations
  • 3.50% foreign currency admin fee (FX fee)
  • $4.99 card replacement fee
  • $3.95 Interac e-Transfer fee from your prepaid card to a bank account

As this card charges a higher-than-usual FX fee, I would not recommend it for travelling. You should check out Wise for travel, instead.

11. Vanilla Prepaid Visa or Mastercard

Important Features:

  • Purchase at large retailers such as Walmart, London Drugs, or Best Buy
  • Available in various denominations up to $250 (+activation fee up to $8)
  • 2.5% foreign exchange (FX) service charge
  • No ATM use or bill payments

The Vanilla prepaid cards can be good cash replacements to be used in Canada or as gifts for your family or friends. They do not require a PIN to be used and can prove to be safer than carrying large amounts of cash.

I do not recommend these prepaid cards for travel as there is a 2.5% FX fee associated with each transaction. Other than that, they can be great options for yourself or as gifts for your loved ones.

Conclusion

Best Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada

There are various options for prepaid cards in Canada.

Whether you’re looking for one to travel with, gift, or simply replace the cash in your wallet, something in today’s list should be able to meet your needs.

If you’re interested in prepaid cards to avoid interest payments, low-interest credit cards may also be a great option for you. If that’s the case, check out this post on the best low-interest credit cards in Canada.

Photo of author
Selin is a seasoned personal finance and sustainable banking expert with several years of experience working in Canadian credit unions, both in the branch networks as well as the head office. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, she's also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers youth community and is either working with kids or travelling when she is away from her computer.

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