Prepaid cards do a very good job of saving one’s fortune and allowing greater mobility. Many organizations in Canada offer prepaid cards including Canada Post. The company has joined hands with Mastercard to offer Cash Passport that works like a regular credit card but with some additional perks and limitations.[sc name=”cta_koho_en”][/sc]
In this Canada Post Prepaid Rechargeable Mastercard review, we'll have a look at one of Canada's most popular prepaid cards and conclude if it’s worth a buy. Let’s get started:
Introduction to the Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard
The Cash Passport from Canada Post is a prepaid card that uses the growing Mastercard network. This means you’ll be able to use it at any online or physical store that supports Mastercard. In addition to this, it also works at all Mastercard-supported automated teller machines (ATMs) including international ATMs.
It works like a typical debit or credit card and even looks like one. The card has all the required details printed on it including your name, card number, and CSV code. You’ll use it just like a regular card, either by swiping it or entering the required details.
But, it isn't a credit card and does not come with the ability to borrow money. As a result, it will not impact your credit score. This means there’s no risk of getting into debt.
The card is specifically designed for travellers and comes with some great benefits including support for multiple currencies. This can be of great help for card owners who travel a lot. Supported currencies include:
- Canadian Dollars
- British Pounds
- American Dollars
- Australian Dollars
- Japanese Yen
- Mexican Pesos
Issued by Travelex Card Services Limited, the card is distributed through Canada Post.
Introduction to Canada Post
Since not many people know the issuer, Travelex Card Services Limited, it's the name and brand of Canada Post that adds value to the card. Since Canada Post isn't a bank, it doesn't handle any of the transactions and they're all conducted through Vancity Community Investment Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vancity Credit Union, the biggest credit union in Canada. This is very important because transactions performed through the card follow the bank's security and privacy policies. It does not offer financial services, which is why many people get confused about this card.
As mentioned earlier, Canada Post’s name is associated with the card only for legitimacy reasons. Since people know Canada Post, they are more likely to trust the card. The good thing is that you will not have to go to the bank or issuer to settle issues and, in most cases, Canada Post will look into things for you.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard costs, penalties, and fees
Affordability is one of the major reasons why so many people choose prepaid cards. Since this is advertised as a card for travellers, it is designed to make it easy to shop internationally including international online stores. Still, there are some applicable fees. Here's a breakdown:
Sign up fee: $15
Reloading fee: $3
Local use fee: 1.5%
International use: 0%
Foreign exchange fee: 3.25%
Currency transfer: Exchange rate (not fixed)
Inactivity fee: $2.80
Shortfall fee: $18
Cash out fee: $20
ATM withdrawals: CAD 3
Unlike some other prepaid cards in Canada, this one is not free to get. You will have to purchase'the card for $15. Also, it is important that you understand all associated fees. This card comes at a higher foreign exchange fee than most prepaid cards in Canada.
You will not have to pay an exchange fee on supported currencies, but you will have to pay 3.25 percent when you use an unsupported currency. This can be a bummer since most banks charge a 2.5 percent foreign transaction fee for all currencies. On the positive side, you can save a lot of money if you only use supported currencies.
Another thing to consider is the local use fee, which is 1.5 percent. We suggest that you don't use this card locally if you want to save money as there are no international use fees. You can compare credit cards in Canada and pick a suitable option for local use.
Some of these fees you can avoid by being smart. An inactivity fee, for example, is only charged when your card goes unused for 12 months with money in it. Consider using your card every now and then to avoid inactivity charges.
Similarly, cash out fees can be avoided by not cashing out your full balance at a time. It will cost a hefty $20. Shortfall fee is charged when your balance goes below zero. This is a rare occurrence but try to avoid it.
How does the Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard work?
The Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard works like any other debit or credit card. Just make sure to keep it loaded so you can use it without any issues. Since this card doesn't let you borrow money and there's no overdraft option, you will not be able to spend more than what your card holds.
The card makes it easy to deposit money and shift between seven supported currencies. You will only have to pay the calculated exchange rate that is decided by the bank. This will allow you to spend in local currencies whether you’re shopping online or at a physical store.
There are no extra requirements to use this card. Your card must be valid and you must enter the required information such as the CSV code when using it. If there are any issues then consider getting in touch with customer support.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard features
Here’s all that you need to know about this prepaid card from Canada Post.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard comes with some special discounts for users. These change from time to time so check the website for the latest discounts. Examples include low prices when using Canada Post services.
This is one of the few prepaid cards that support multiple currencies. Most popular currencies are included. This makes the card a great option for travellers including people who travel for business. You can save foreign conversion charges that are usually 2.5 percent of the amount spent.
The card comes with 24/7 Mastercard Global Assistance. You can get in touch with Mastercard if you ever have any issues. Help is available round the clock and the team is professional.
Canada Post offers back up cards that you can use in case your card goes missing. Also, back up cards can be given to family members. Get in touch with the company to request a backup card. Policies on issuance are not very clear.
Recurring and pre-authorized payments
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard is one of the few prepaid cards with this feature. You can set it up for recurring payments such as subscriptions. This can be a great way to take some worries off your head as you will not have to remember to make timely payments. They’ll be made for as long as you have enough balance.
Security and protection
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard comes with Zero Liability Protection that guards card owners against fraud. In addition to this, the card uses chip technology and pin protection to ensure there’s no unauthorised use. The pin is independent and not linked to your bank account.
This is a smart card and it knows which currency to use based on your location. For example, if you are in the UK, it will automatically choose GBP without you having to do any manual work. This is a great feature as it ensures you get to save money whenever you can.
You will get access to online banking, i.e.: the ability to check your balance on the go. The dashboard provides some valuable insights including transactions that are updated every few hours. This can be a great way to understand your spending habits.
How can I get a Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard?
You can get a Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard by visiting your nearest Canada Post office. All branches issue the card and you will not have to undergo any scrutiny or provide credit reports to qualify. Your card will be issued in minutes.
Make sure to carry a valid identity document such as your password. Canada Post does not usually ask for address proof. However, to be on the safe side, it might be a good idea to carry one. It should not be older than 90 days. While applications are rarely rejected, if there are any issues with your application you may be asked to submit additional documents.
You will be asked to pay the fee that you can pay in cash or through your card. You must be at least 16 years-old to apply for a card. Activate your card once you receive it and add money to it so you can start using it.
You will not be able to use the card online or at physical locations till it’s activated. You can activate it by calling 1-866-760-1543. The system will ask you to enter your new card number. You'll need to provide additional details such as your date of birth, and you will be asked to choose a 4-digit code.
Select a code that’s hard to crack but easy for you to remember. Once done, you can start using your card. It will get activated right away. Also, you will have the option to change this PIN later on through the website or by getting in touch with customer support.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard: pros and cons
Like any other product, this card comes with both pros and cons. We’ll mention both to help you get a true picture.
- It is very easy to apply for
- Takes only a minute to top up
- One of the few prepaid cards that support recurring and pre-authorised payments
- Canada Post will replace your lost, stolen or damaged card for free
- Support split payments
- Cannot be used to build credit
- A little expensive
- Doesn’t work at automated machines including pay-at-the-pump gas stations
How to add money to the Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard
Since you cannot use your card until you top it up, it’s important to be aware of all methods. You can add money to your card by visiting your nearest Canada Post office. Your first deposit can be as high as $500. You can choose to pay via cash or card. Money will get added to your account right away.
In addition, you can add money through a bank transfer by adding your card as a bill. This method can be a little slow and money will take up to 3 days to show up in your account. Almost all top banks can be used for this purpose.
Another option is to use e-transfers using third-party services such as ZenWallet. This method usually takes up to 1 day. Also, those who have any other Canada Post prepaid card can also perform card-to-card transfers. This method is quick and usually takes only a few hours.
Consider adding money to your card before you go abroad so that you have enough balance to spend during your stay. Adding money to your card from abroad can be a little difficult as you may not find a Canada Post branch abroad. You will still, however, be able to use the web to deposit money.
Canada Cash Passport limits
Like most prepaid cards, this one also has some limits on how much you can spend in a day or how much your card can carry at a time. Here’s a breakdown:
Maximum withdrawal in 24-hours (bank): $240
Maximum withdrawal in 24-hours (ATM): $960
Maximum load per 24-hours: $8,500
Maximum 24-hour spend: $4,000
Maximum yearly load: $30,000
Maximum Card balance: $8,500
The purpose of these limits is to protect your interest and reduce the risk. There are currently no ways to increase these limits. However, the bank may update some in the future. Those who want more can look at other prepaid cards in Canada. It is important that you compare all options and pick a card that meets your requirements.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Canada Post Cash Passport card.
It may be worth it only if you travel abroad or shop online using currencies that this card supports. Otherwise, it will end up being too costly. You may be able to find better cards if you intend to shop in Canada or in unsupported countries.
You will automatically get a replacement card within 45 days of expiry and your balance will move to your new card. Contact the company if you don’t receive your card within 45 days. Also, if you are in a hurry then you may reach Canada Post to request a card a few days before expiry.
Yes, the Canada Post Cash Passport card works at all Mastercard-supported ATMs around the world. However, remember that there may be additional charges for using your card at an ATM including bank charges.
Alternatives to the Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard
If you think the Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard is not for you, here are some alternatives that may be better for you.
STACK Prepaid Mastercard
The STACK Mastercard is a prepaid credit card with no fees and can be used to make purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs. It is perfect for those who want to control their spending but don't want to sacrifice the convenience of having a credit card.
KOHO Mastercard® Prepaid Card (formerly KOHO Prepaid Visa)
This reloadable card has many of the same benefits as traditional credit cards and more. It allows you to pay your bills or any purchase that accepts Mastercard in-store or online. In addition to its many options, there is a premium version with even more benefits such as best price refund, no foreign conversion fees, and better cashback offers than other cards of the same type.
Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid Card
Use your Mogo Visa Platinum anywhere Visa is accepted. Plus, get access to many benefits like credit score checking, budget automation and even identity theft protection all for free.
Compare the different prepaid credit cards and choose the one that suits your needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of a reloadable prepaid card?
A reloadable prepaid card is often a more convenient way to spend money. It's like a debit card but without the associated bank account. You can combine the benefits of today's most popular payment options – credit cards, debit cards and cash – into one easy-to-use card that lets you reload as often as you like.
Where can I buy prepaid credit cards?
There are a variety of places to buy prepaid credit cards. The best place to get the right card is online. Check out our list of the best prepaid credit cards.
How do Visa Prepaid cards work?
Visa Prepaid cards are an easy, convenient and affordable way to pay. You can use them anywhere credit cards are accepted, without needing a bank account or credit card.
Can I withdraw money from a Visa Prepaid card?
Prepaid cards can be used to withdraw money from certain ATMs. They are subject to a network fee.
How does a prepaid travel card work?
Prepaid travel cards are a great way to save money on airline tickets and other travel expenses. They are accepted worldwide depending on the network used, for example Visa, Mastercard or Amex.
Can I use a prepaid card on Amazon?
Yes, you can use a prepaid card on Amazon and most merchants accept Visa or Mastercard.
Does Uber accept prepaid credit cards?
Yes, Uber accepts prepaid credit/debit cards.