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The best prepaid credit card in Canada will offer similar flexibility as traditional credit cards, without the strict eligibility requirements. Prepaid cards can be used to shop online, book hotels, and even purchase airfare tickets. 

You don’t need to have a strong credit score to get one, nor do you even need a bank account in many cases. As such, prepaid credit cards are very easy to get your hands on. 

Below we’ll take a look at some of the best prepaid credit cards available to Canadians to help make your choice a little easier.

The Best Prepaid Credit Card In Canada

Annual FeeMax. Card Balance
Neo Money™ card$0N/A
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard– KOHO Easy: $0
– KOHO Essential: $4/monthly or $48/annually
– KOHO Extra: $9/monthly or $84/annually
– KOHO Everything: $19/monthly
$40,000
CIBC Air Canada® AC conversion™ Visa Prepaid Card$0$20,000
Canada Post Prepaid Reloadable Visa® card$0$10,000
Wealthsimple Cash$0Varies
Eq Bank Card$0N/A
Neo Money

Neo Money™ card

If you’re looking for a prepaid card, but don’t like the idea of having to remember to load funds onto it, check out the Neo MoneyTM card. Neo has solved this common issue with prepaid cards by providing direct access to the full balance with no card loading required. This card offers high cashback on spending and high interest on your account balance 

The Neo Money™ card is a feature of the Neo Money™ account, which is a hybrid of a spending and savings account. When you open an account, you’ll get free access to the Neo Money™  card. 

Already have a Neo Money™ account? You can get a Neo Money™ card by logging into your account and selecting “card” from the main menu.

Card fees: No monthly or annual fee and free everyday transactions

Rewards rate: Earn an average of 5% instant, unlimited cashback

Min deposit: $0 

Max card balance: N/A (your Neo Money™ card is connected to your Neo Money™ account)

Extra features:

  • Earn unlimited cashback.
  • Earn 2.25% interest on every dollar in your Neo MoneyTM account.
  • Withdraw cash from any ATM worldwide.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard 

KOHO offers four full-service accounts, which all come with a prepaid Mastercard. The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard allows cardholders to earn cash back rewards on specific categories and extra cash back when they shop with KOHO partners. Simply load your funds onto your account via a direct paycheck deposit or through an Interac e-transfer (you can send yourself an e-transfer or you can send/accept one from a third party, like a friend or family member), then start spending. 

Depending on your financial habits, you can choose between four account types to find one that best suits your needs.

KOHO Easy Account & Prepaid Mastercard

Card fees: No annual fee.

Rewards rate

  • Earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation (gas, parking, rideshare apps, etc.).
  • Earn up to 5% extra cash back when you shop with certain KOHO partners.

Min deposit: no minimum balance

Max card balance: $50,000

Extra features:

  • Earn 3% saving interest on the entire balance in your KOHO account.
  • Free e-transfers.
  • No NSF fees.
  • Try a 30-day free trial of one of the paid accounts to get your credit score for free.

KOHO Essential Account & Prepaid Mastercard

Card fees: Has a monthly fee of $4 or an annual fee of $48

Rewards rate

  • Earn 1% cash back on groceries, transportation (gas, parking, rideshare apps, etc.), and eating and drinking.
  • Earn 0.25% cash back on all other categories.
  • Earn up to 5% extra cash back with select merchants.

Min deposit: N/A

Max card balance: $50,000

Extra features:

  • Earn 5% saving interest on the entire balance in your KOHO account.
  • Free e-transfers.
  • No NSF fees.
  • Get your credit score for free in-app.
koho extra

KOHO Extra Account & Prepaid Mastercard

Card fees: Has a monthly fee of $9 or an annual fee of $84.

Rewards rate

  • Earn 2% cash back on groceries, transportation (gas, parking, rideshare apps, etc.), and eating and drinking.
  • Earn 0.50% cash back on all other categories.
  • Earn up to 5% extra cash back with select KOHO partners.

Min deposit: N/A

Max card balance: $50,000 

Extra features:

  • Earn 5% saving interest on the entire balance in your KOHO account.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1 Free International ATM withdrawal each month.
  • Get your credit score for free in-app.
koho extra

KOHO Everything Account & Prepaid Mastercard

Card fees: Has a monthly fee of $19.

Rewards rate

  • Earn 2% cash back on groceries, transportation (gas, parking, rideshare apps, etc.), and eating and drinking.
  • Earn 0.50% cash back on all other categories.
  • Earn up to 5% extra cash back with select KOHO partners.

Min deposit: N/A

Max card balance: $50,000

Extra features:

  • Earn 5% saving interest on the entire balance in your KOHO account.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1 Free International ATM withdrawal each month.
  • Get your credit score for free in-app.
CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion

CIBC Air Canada® AC conversion™ Visa Prepaid Card

For the avid traveller, perhaps the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card might be something to look at, especially if you’re partial to flying with Air Canada. If so, this particular prepaid credit card might be a great option. You can fund your card with 10 different currencies, including the following:

  • Canadian dollars
  • US dollars
  • Mexican pesos
  • Euros
  • Swiss francs
  • British pounds
  • Australian dollars
  • Japanese yen
  • Hong Kong dollars
  • Turkish lira

By using your card in a local currency, you can avoid the expensive exchange rate when converting from Canadian to another currency. Locking in your exchange rate when you load the card means you won’t be subject to inflated rates when the need to convert your currency is required. This card offers a great alternative to carrying cash in different currencies when you travel and instead allows you to make purchases in the local currency of the location you’re in.

Card fees: No annual fee and no fees to order and load the card. 

Rewards rate: n/a

Min deposit: No minimum

Max card balance: $20,000 

Extra features:

  • Fee ATM withdrawals within Canada.
  • No conversion fees.
  • Manage your card via the AC conversion App. Use it to check your balance, track your spending and transfer money from one currency to another.
  • With the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion card, you can spend like a local while travelling and while at home. Shop on global e-commerce sites using your foreign currency and avoid exchange fees.
  • Refer a friend and you’ll both get $10 once your friend successfully applies for the card.
Canada Post Card

Canada Post Prepaid Reloadable Visa® card

The Canada Post Prepaid Visa card allows consumers to take their money with them without having to carry cash. The card can be preloaded with funds and then spent wherever Visa is accepted. It can be used to make purchases both in-person and online but doesn’t come with the typical sky-high fees of your average credit card. 

Funds can be loaded onto the Canada Post Prepaid Visa card online or at any Canada Post location. 

Card fees: The card costs $10 to buy, and then requires a $3 monthly fee. There’s also a $3 charge for loading funds and withdrawing funds from an ATM. 

Rewards rate: n/a

Min deposit: $25

Max card balance: $10,000 

Extra features:

  • No transaction fees
  • 2.5 % foreign transaction fees
  • Visa Zero Liability Policy
  • Manage your card via the Canada Post Prepaid Card app. You can use it to check your balance, view your transactions and reload your card.

Wealthsimple Cash

Wealthsimple Cash is a prepaid Mastercard you can use to hold cash and use to make purchases. You can also use the card to pay bills such as your hydro bill or credit card bill. It’s basically an everyday spending account, which you can manage using the Wealthsimple app

You can open a Cash account by downloading the Wealthsimple app and creating an account. You’ll need to be a resident of Canada and be at least the age of majority in your province of residence. A valid phone number is also required to open the account.

Card fees: No annual fee.

Rewards rate: Earn 1% back in cash, stock or crypto on your spendings.

Min deposit: $0

Max card balance: The deposit limits will vary by each account holder.

Extra features:

  • Earn 4% in savings interest on your account balance.
  • If you travel and make purchases abroad, you won’t be charged any FX fees.
  • Wealthsimple Cash offers an auto-invest feature. It lets you direct deposit your paycheque to your cash account and then auto-invests it through stocks, ETFs and crypto.

EQ Bank Card

Canadians with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account or Joint Savings Plus Account should consider checking out the EQ Bank Card. Especially if they are in the market for a prepaid credit card or unable to access a traditional credit card. 

To access the EQ Bank Card you must sign up with EQ Bank and open a Savings Plus Account. Once you have funded your account you can transfer money to your EQ Bank Card. You’ll earn saving interest on the money in your Savings Plus Account and you can earn cash back on all the purchases you make with your EQ Bank Card. There are no fees and you can make free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada. 

Card fees: No annual fee.

Rewards rate: Earn 0.5% cash back on every purchase.

Min deposit: N/A

Max card balance: N/A

Extra features:

  • Free ATM withdrawals.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Looking for the best credit card options?

How Do Prepaid Credit Cards Work?

As mentioned, prepaid credit cards can be used similar to how regular credit cards are used. Not only can you use your card to make in-store purchases, but you can also make purchases online or over the phone. Some cards may even offer you points or cash back rewards with every purchase you make. 

The biggest difference between prepaid credit cards and traditional credit cards is that with the former, no credit is extended. Instead of having a credit limit to spend within, a prepaid credit card requires that you deposit a certain amount of your own money, and then spend up to that limit. In this way, you’re spending your own money rather than borrowing it.

The Best Prepaid Credit Card In Canada: Pros And Cons

There are many different pros and cons to using a prepaid credit card in Canada.

The Best Prepaid Credit Card In Canada: Pros 

  • Easy to get approved for. You don’t need a strong credit score or a high level of income to secure a prepaid credit card. 
  • Can be used like a traditional credit card. You can shop online like you would with a regular credit card. 
  • Helps you avoid overspending. If you’re prone to credit card debt and spending way more than you should, you can use your prepaid card to place a very low limit that you won’t be able to spend over.
  • Can be a great tool for kids. Prepaid credit cards are a safe way for children to learn how to manage their money.

The Best Prepaid Credit Card In Canada: Cons 

  • Cannot be used to build credit. Your payment history is not reported to the credit bureaus.
  • May come with various fees. Certain prepaid cards have transaction fees or even monthly fees that need to be paid.
  • Not widely accepted. Certain stores may not accept prepaid credit cards. Whereas traditional credit cards are often accepted in most stores and restaurants. 

Final Thoughts

Prepaid credit cards make it convenient for low-credit consumers to get access to a credit card without having to meet stringent approval criteria. If you lack the credit strength and income needed to get approved for a regular credit card but still want the convenience of shopping with plastic, then a prepaid credit card may be right for you. 

Prepaid Card FAQs

Can I build my credit with a prepaid card?

No, you can’t build your credit with a prepaid card because your payments aren’t reported the the credit bureaus. With a prepaid credit card, you’re not being lent any credit, instead, you’re using the money you load onto the card. However, certain cards do come with extra features that can help you build your credit. For example, when you open a KOHO account, there’s an optional credit-building feature you can subscribe to for a fee. 

When is a prepaid credit card necessary?

If you don’t have good credit and have had trouble trying to get approved for a regular credit card, then a prepaid card may be appropriate. While prepaid cards cannot be used to build credit because payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus, they can be used much like a credit card. 

What do I need to get an unsecured credit card? 

Consumers who have good credit and a strong income will likely be able to get approved for a conventional credit card. But those who either have no credit built yet or have a bad credit history may find it difficult to get approved. Further, a strong income is also typically required for unsecured credit card approval. 
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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