CIBC Prepaid Visa Review: Two Cards, Two Choices

May 20, 2020
Blog
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No unnecessary fees, simple and easy signup. That’s what you can expect from either of the two CIBC Prepaid Visa Cards. One basic card to help you manage your spending and one travel card that can be reloaded in 5 different currencies. These cards are ideal for students, travellers and anyone wanting a quick and easy prepaid card.

This card is touted as a card that makes shopping easy-breezy for you. You can shop worldwide online and offline, use VISA Paywave even for small purchases, and basically spend on your own terms. There are two CIBC Prepaid Visa cards that you can sign up for which are:

  • CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa Card
  • CIBC Smart Prepaid Travel Visa Card

The CIBC prepaid cards enable you to top-up your car with your money. It works like a debit card, with credit card convenience. This makes it easy for you to shop anywhere inside and outside Canada. 

With the CIBC prepaid cards, you don’t need to worry about overdrawing your funds. You spend as much as you have on your card. The limit is the amount you’ve topped it up for, which is ideal if you are tracking your budget and want to make sure you spend only what you want on your card. 

Prepaid cards like the ones offered by CIBC also have no impact on your credit score and unlike a credit card, there are no interest charges. 

With CIBC prepaid visa cards, you get prepaid cards in each of the five different currencies offered. You can purchase them at CIBC Banking Centres, and through CIBC Online Banking and the CIBC Mobile Banking App.


What’s The Difference Between The Two Cards?

Both cards are very similar and offer similar benefits. The only real difference is the fact that one is intended to be used inside Canada, while the other one is intended to be used abroad. Let’s dive into the details to show you what I mean:

CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa Card

CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa Card

The CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa Card gives you a secure method of shopping in Canadian dollars anywhere VISA is accepted. You can reload them online or at any CIBC banking centers, as often as you like. There is no time limit for your funds- they do not expire- however, the card itself has an expiry date. You can use your card on any online stores, physical stores and make a purchase via phone. To help you track your spending and keep up-to-date with the funds you have on your card, you can set up SMS or email notifications

The CIBC Prepaid Visa Perks

These are the most important perks you’ll get with the CIBC Prepaid Visa card:

  • Easily reload your card anytime
  • There is no minimum age required. However, you must have a valid Canadian address and provide 2 pieces of identification to purchase the card. 
  • Minimum reload amount- $20
  • The maximum balance amount is $10,000 
  • Daily Withdrawal Limit- $1,000
  • Free cash withdrawals at CIBC ATMs within Canada
  • The ATM cash withdrawal fee is waived for one withdrawal outside of Canada per month

Additional Perks Of The CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa Card

Apart from the perks detailed above, here are some of the general benefits of signing up for a CIBC prepaid visa:

  • No Interests: The card does not incur any interest over time
  • Worldwide use: Like a credit card, you can use it all over the world, as long as VISA is accepted
  • Contactless Visa PayWave: Contactless payment means you can use this card to pay for small purchases a lot quicker than before.
  • Credit Score: You don’t have to worry about your prepaid affecting any credit rating or store since you only use the money that’s on the card. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no way you can overdraw with this card. 
  • No expiry: The funds do not expire but the card will. But don’t worry, because you will be sent another card before your card expires
  • No Age limit: You can sign up for either of the two Smart Prepaid Visas at any age, even if you’re under 18 years old. 
  • No CIBC Bank Account Needed: You can get the CIBC prepaid even without a CIBC bank account

Who Is This Card Suitable For?

The good thing about this card is that there is no reload fee nor is there any maintenance fee, unlike other options like the Canada Post Prepaid Visa card. The fact that there is no age limit makes this card a great way to cultivate good money management habits in young children. This card is ideal for students in college, university, and school. As a parent, you can load their cards with a weekly or monthly allowance and not worry about the card overdrawing. 

CIBC Smart Prepaid Travel Visa Card

CIBC Smart Travel Visa Card.

The CIBC Smart Prepaid Travel Visa card was designed with the active traveller in mind. This card is ideal for when you travel outside Canada as you can get this card in:

  • British Pounds
  • US Dollars
  • Euros
  • Mexican Pesos.

The exchange rate is locked in when you load your funds to your card. This means you can purchase things with your card without worrying about different exchange rates when you travel. 

Keep in mind that the first withdrawal at a CIBC bank outside of Canada is only free once a month. All other subsequent withdrawals are charged a fee. You can also withdraw from your card in any other of the four foreign currencies of the country you visit (UK, Mexico, US, or Europe). 

The CIBC Prepaid Travel Visa Perks

Here are some cool benefits with this card:

  • You can get the card and load it with the currency of your choice. The currencies that are available are Euros, Pesos, Pounds and US Dollars
  • A convenient and secure way to shop while you’re traveling outside of Canada
  • Lock in your exchange rate when you load your card to avoid unexpected foreign exchange fees
  • Minimum load amount- Euros (€13), Pesos (Mex$ 250), British Pounds (£10) and US Dollars($15) 
  • Maximum balance amount – Euros (€6,500), Pesos (Mex$13,000), British Pounds (£5,000) and US Dollars($7,000) 
  • Daily withdrawal limit – Euros (€650), Pesos (Mex$13,000), British Pounds (£500) and US Dollars($700) 
  • Free cash withdrawals at CIBC ATMs within Canada
  • The ATM cash withdrawal fee is waived for one withdrawal outside of Canada per month

Additional Perks Of The CIBC Smart Travel Prepaid Visa Card

Apart from the perks detailed out above, here are some of the general benefits of signing up for a CIBC smart travel prepaid:

  • No Interest: The card does not incur any interest over time
  • Worldwide use: But like a credit card, you can use it all over the world, in five different currencies as long as VISA accepted
  • Contactless Visa PayWave: Contactless payment means you can use this card to pay for small purchases 
  • Does not Affect your Credit Score: You don’t have to worry about your prepaid affecting any credit rating or store since you only use the money that’s on the card. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no way you can overdraw with this card. 
  • No expiry: The funds do not expire but the card will. You will be sent another card before your card expires
  • No Age limit: You can sign up for either the Smart Prepaid or Smart Travel Prepaid at any age, even for those under 18 years old. 
  • No Residency Needed: The residency requirement is not needed which means you don’t have to be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident to be eligible for the CIBC card. This is extremely useful for travellers travelling to Canada
  • No CIBC Bank Account Needed: You can get the CIBC prepaid even without a CIBC bank account

Who Is This Card Suitable For?

For the traveler coming to Canada: If you are traveling to Canada and staying for a few weeks or a few months, the Smart Prepaid Travel Visa is great to have since you do not need an existing CIBC account or proof of residency.

For Canadian travelers traveling outside Canada: This card is ideal If you do not want to carry cash around and prefer the convenience of a credit card but without the debt. This card is beneficial for Canadians traveling to Europe, the US, UK, or Mexico since this card can be purchased and loaded with one of these currencies. It makes it easier, safer, and more secure to shop. 


Is shopping Online Using The CIBC Prepaid Card Secure? 

Since this card is verified by VISA, it also comes with VISA’s zero liability policy. You can shop with peace of mind since this policy helps protect you against any fraudulent purchases. You also will not be held responsible for purchases made if your card is lost or stolen. For added protection, CIBC also monitors suspicious transactions on your card.

How Do I Get A CIBC Prepaid Visa Card?

If you already have a bank account with CIBC, you can visit their website, log into your account via their mobile app or website, or even visit any CIBC banking center to purchase the card. 

If you are not an existing CIBC account holder, you can purchase the card in the currency of your choice by visiting any CIBC banking centers.

How Do I Activate My CIBC Prepaid Visa card?

Your card is immediately activated as soon as you get it and you’ve signed the back. When you purchase the card from the banking center, you get a PIN on the spot.  If you order your card online, the PIN is mailed separately to you. 

What Fees Come With The CIBC Prepaid Visa Card?

Fee Concept
Currency USD EURGBPMXN
Customization Fee $5.95 CAD $4.50 USD
ATM withdrawals (at CIBC ATMs within Canada) Free FreeFreeFree
ATM withdrawals (outside Canada)No fee will be charged for the first ATM withdrawal in each month. $2.50 €2.25 £2.00 $50.00
Card replacement (lost or stolen)$10.95€9.95£7.95$199.95
Card replacement shipment by courier (optional)$11.00€10.00£8.00$200.00
Foreign transaction fees 2.5% 2.5%2.5% 2.5%

How Many Prepaid Cards Can I Purchase?

CIBC allows a maximum of 5 prepaid cards. You can purchase one in each of the available currencies.

Alternatives To The CIBC Prepaid Visa Card

The CIBC offerings on prepaid cards are pretty basic. The points that they score the most would be on convenience, no unnecessary fees, and the simplicity in applying for the card. However, if you are  looking for prepaid cards with a wider range of benefits, here are some you can look into:

The Koho Prepaid Visa Card

The KOHO Prepaid Visa 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.

The Canada Post Prepaid Visa

Canada Post Prepaid Card

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. Like the CIBC prepaid cards, this card is ideal if you are travelling and don’t want to carry cash. 

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
  • It comes with purchase security insurance and an extended manufacturer’s warranty 

The main downside to this card is its maintenance fee at $3.00 and reload Fee at $3.00. 

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.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply for or buy this card online. You’ll have to go to your closest Canada Post office with a valid ID to purchase one.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a starter card as a student, or for your child- the CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa card is an ideal choice. There are no unnecessary fees tied to the card and you can withdraw as many times as you want from a CIBC ATM in Canada. Just top up the card as much as you can afford and you spend based on what you have on the card. 

The CIBC Smart Travel Prepaid Visa is really ideal for travelers who are visiting any part of Europe, the UK, the US, and Mexico. Topping up the card with your desired currency means no surprise foreign transaction fees. 

Both cards offer the convenience of making purchases online and online without the need to carry cash around. This card is straightforward, no confusing terms and conditions, and includes all the necessary perks a person would want in a prepaid card. 



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