Canada Post Prepaid Visa: 10 Reasons Why This Card Is Useful

May 19, 2020
prepaid cards for personal finance

Reloadable, no credit check requirement and no bank account needed, the Canada Post Prepaid Visa is ideal for students, travelers and anyone wanting to manage their spending. If you want one of these prepaid cards, all you have to do is go to your nearest Canada Post office.

However, if you want to apply for a prepaid card right now, online, one of the best options out there is the KOHO prepaid card.

Did you know that the Canadian Post Office offers its own prepaid card? One of the first things Canada Post promotes about the card is that it’s easy to use, worry-free and it’s great for travel. Does the card live up to these elements? Let’s take a look 

What is Canada Post Prepaid Visa? 

The Canada Post Visa Prepaid Card is a prepaid card which you can use globally in any country that accepts VISA cards as electronic payments for online and offline transactions. You can also use ATM facilities anywhere in the world. 

With this card, you:

  • Don’t need a credit check
  • Don’t need a bank account
  • Can reload it at any time, as often as you’d like
Canada Post Prepaid Card

Not sure if you want to sign up for the Canada Post Prepaid Visa? Here’s why this card may be ideal for you:

10 Reasons Why This The Canada Post Prepaid Visa May Be Good For You

#1- It’s A Great Choice For Canadians With A Low Or No Credit Score

If you have a score below 300, this means you are less likely to be approved for a credit card or loan. Since this is not a credit card, the card’s transactions are not reported to any Canadian credit rating agency because what you spend depends on what you have preloaded onto the card. Each time you use the card to purchase something, the exact amount is deducted from the balance. 

#2- It’s Affordable

You can purchase the card for $15 and reload it with a minimum of $25, and you won’t need to pay that initial fee evere again.

#3- You Don’t Need A Bank Account

Not all Canadians have bank accounts, and to get your Canada Post Prepaid Visa you won’t need one. To sign up for this card or to reload it, just bring your valid government-issued photo ID to a Canada Post office and get one or to reload your card instantly. You can pay in cash and you don’t need to have a bank account at all.

#4- Manage Your Money Through An e-Wallet App

The convenience of a mobile phone enables you to manage your expenditures, purchases and reloads of your Canada Post Prepaid Visa using the free e-wallet app – Zenwallet. Plus you can get this option either in VISA  or Mastercard, with the only difference being the service fee. The service for Mastercard is $2.80 per month and the VISA charges $3 for its monthly service fee. Also, if you’re wondering which payment provider is better, check out our post about visa cards.

#5- It’s Ideal For Travel And Online Shopping

This card is ideal when you are travelling and don’t want to carry cash. You can also avoid giving your personal information when shopping online and paying with this card since it isn’t connected to a credit card or bank account.

#6- You Can Budget And Manage Your Spending

The beauty of prepaid cards is that you can set monthly spending limits and ensure you do not exceed them. Overspending is easy with a credit card but with a prepaid, you can keep a limit. This system works for a college student or as a card option for your child’s allowance or for when they’re travelling. It’s also a great choice to manage business expenditures. 

#7- No Interest Charges

When you preload your card with your own money either by cash or by debit, you do not need to worry about any expensive interest charges. This is because it’s your own money, you’re never going into debt.

#8- Better Security

The Canada Post Prepaid Visa comes with enhanced security features such as the chip and PIN security plus Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, which provides additional protection from theft or fraudulent purchases. 

#9- You Get Extended Insurance

The Canada Post Prepaid Visa card also has purchase security insurance and an extended manufacturer’s warranty which makes it easier and safer to use this card to shop. You also get a 90-day window to repair, replace, rebuild or reimburse specific items purchased with the Canada Post Prepaid Visa 

#10- Send Money Easily

You’ll also be able to send money easily to family and friends with the FREE card-to-card transfer feature. This can be particularly helpful when you have someone abroad and they need money for an emergency, or to reload your kid’s card when they’re in college.

How Can I Buy & Activate A Canada Post Prepaid Visa?

You can walk into any Canada Post and pay $15 to get your card right away. To purchase the card, you need to show valid government-issued personal identification. 

Keep in mind that this is not a gift card so you can’t purchase this and give it to someone else. 

How Do I Activate My Canada Post Prepaid Visa Card?

Once you get your card, it’s time to activate it. 

To activate your card, all you have to do is call the Visa Cardholder Services at 1-844-590-8876 and follow the given instructions. Here is a quick step-by-step on how this works:

Time needed: 5 minutes.

  1. Call Visa Cardholder Services

    Call 1-844-590-8876 and enter your 16-digit card number when prompted.

  2. Authenticate Yourself 

    Enter your month and day of birth. Enter this information as MMDD (i.e. if you were born on December 4, you would enter “1204”).

  3. Verification

    Once your information has been verified, you’ll be:
    – Advised that your card is now active.
    – Advised of your current card balance.
    – Assigned a 4-digit PIN. Remember and record this PIN and keep it separate from your card at all times.

  4. Change Your Pin

    Change your assigned PIN to a number you can easily remember, or skip to step 5. Using your touch-tone phone, follow the prompts to enter your own 4-digit PIN.

  5. Record Your Pin

    When you have recorded your PIN, hang up. Your card is ready to use. You can obtain your PIN at any time by calling Visa Cardholder Services at 1-844-590-8876 or through the free zenwallet app, available for iOS and Android

You can reload your card to $500 at one go, with the minimum reload at $3. 

How Do I Reload My Canada Post Prepaid Visa Card?

You can reload your card at any time and have instant access to your funds. To reload, you can:

  • Visit any Canada Post location and top up with cash
  • Debit money into your card
  • Online bank transfer to ‘Canada Post Visa Card’
  • Use the free zenwallet mobile app 

Keep in mind that your funds are instantly available if you make the transaction at Canada Post. All other options require 1 to 3 days for the funds to reach your account. 

With the card, you can also instantly transfer funds to your card to any other Canada Post Prepaid Reloadable Visa card. To do this, you need the recipient’s card number. 

Are There Any Fees for the Canada Post Prepaid Visa Card?

Yes, there are certain fees and limits for the use of this card. Apart from the one-time purchase fee of $15, there is a maintenance fee of $3.00 and a reload fee of $3.00 for each time you reload. This means on a monthly basis your deduction from the card is:

Maintenance Fee: $3.00

Reload Fee: $3.00

Total:  $9.00

The maintenance fee is deducted at the beginning of every month. The reload fee is based on the number of times you reload so the figure above is just for a 1 time reload per month. 

Other Fees

  • $2.00 fee for ATM withdrawal within Canada
  • $2.00 fee for ATM withdrawal outside Canada
  • 2.5% for foreign transaction fee 

Who benefits from this card?

Despite the unnecessary fees associated with the card, parents of college or university students, or those with children who are traveling abroad,  find this card to be practical, especially where spending limits are concerned. This card is also ideal for travelers who do not want to carry cash around and prefer the convenience of a credit card but without the debt. There is no risk of overspending or overdraft and it presents a very unique and practical way of transferring money. Of course, if you have bad credit and you want to curb your spending, this card is extremely useful. 

Alternatives To The Canada Post Prepaid Visa

This card does not have any rewards system, it does not have any points accumulating and no travel insurance coverage either. If this is something you’re interested in, you may want to look at these other options:

If you are looking for a student card with great discounts and rebates:

SPC Card

This is not a debit, prepaid, or credit card. The SPC (Student Price Card) is a loyalty card designed especially for students to help them save money. The card offers discounts and deals in Canada for items such as food, fashion, shoes, tech, and more!

Students who have this card stand to gain student discounts at hundreds of retail stores and restaurants throughout Canada. The card is a fee-based annual loyalty program that begins from August 1 to July 31 the following year. All you have to do to get your students’ discounts at participating stores is to show your SPC card or your app to the cashier. It works the same way for online purchases at checkout. On the other hand, if you want a credit card together with the SPC benefit, you can apply for the BMO SPC Card (which is a cashback credit card) or CIBC SPC Credit Card. 

If you want to try another prepaid card:

KOHO Prepaid Visa

KOHO is a Prepaid reloadable card and app powered by Visa that gives you real-time insight into your spending, helps you set saving goals, gives you financial tips and claims to reduce your spending and that, within 3 weeks, you’ll be spending 15% less and saving nearly $500. This card does not have any annual fees however there are fees if you choose to subscribe to a premium KOHO account which is $9/month or $84/year and the transaction fee is 1.5% for every transaction made outside Canada.

If you’re looking for an actual credit card instead of a prepaid card, you may be interested in our posts on:

  1. Choosing the best travel credit card in Canada.
  2. How to choose the best VISA credit card in Canada.
  3. Choosing the best cashback credit card Canada has to offer.

Final Thoughts

The reason this card does not come with a rewards system or a points accumulation system is perhaps due to the fact that it is geared to help you manage your finances better and in that sense, spend less or spend only what you have in your card. A rewards or point system may just be an unnecessary reason to use your card. That said, the fees on the card are an average of $9.00 a month which is quite a lot. However, the convenience of the card, the ability to reload and transfer money makes this card useful as a prepaid. Plus if you have a bad credit score or no bank account, this card is extremely handy and practical to have. 

However, if you want to apply for a prepaid card right now, online, one of the best options out there is the KOHO prepaid card.

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