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Published July 9, 2024

3 Best Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

The best prepaid cards are reloadable, earn rewards, have minimal fees, and allow you to make in-store purchases, pay bills online, send e-transfers and more.

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

A prepaid card, sometimes referred to as a “prepaid credit card”, can serve as a budgeting tool or an easy way to make online or in-store purchases. Some even earn rewards.

Make the most of this widely accepted payment method by learning more about Canada’s best prepaid cards.

Best prepaid cards in Canada

Best prepaid card for: Cash back

Neo Money™ Card


$0

5% average cashback

$0

$200,000
Our take
Why we like it

The Neo Money™ Card is a no-fee prepaid Mastercard linked to the online bank’s popular high interest savings account. Earn 4.00% interest on your funds in the Neo Money account and enjoy an average of 5% cashback on transactions at partners in the Neo rewards network.

Pros
  • Build your savings with competitive interest on funds held in the Neo Money account.
  • Free Interac e-Transfers, bill payments and mobile bank-to-bank transfers.
  • Earn an average of 5% unlimited cashback at thousands of Neo partners, which includes local businesses.


Cons
  • The cashback you receive will vary depending on where you shop, but you can expect at least 0.5% cashback every month with Neo’s minimum cashback guarantee.
Card details
  • Get high interest on your savings and high cashback when you spend with your Neo Money™ card.
  • Earn unlimited cashback – Get an average of 5% cashback at over 10,000 partners across the country, in real-time, with no monthly limits on how much cashback you can earn.
  • Instant access to your balance with no card loading required.
  • Free everyday transactions and no monthly fees.
  • Withdraw from any ATM worldwide.
  • 4.00% interest on every dollar.
  • Enable the Auto-Save feature to set up automatic savings and register your email to instantly deposit Interac e-Transfer® requests in your Neo Everyday account.
  • Take the pain out of bill pay by setting up automated payments from your Neo Everyday account.
  • Customers can get up to 4% cashback on all purchases at Shell gas stations and convenience locations when they use their Neo Credit, Neo Secured Credit or Neo Money™ card. Earn 2% cashback at the pump or convenience store locations. Earn 4% cashback on transactions made through the Shell App. Offer available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Boost these offers by 50% when you add Everyday Essentials perks to your card.

Best prepaid card for: Credit building

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard (Essential Plan)


$48

1%-50%

$0

$200,000
Our take
Why we like it

With Cashback on eligible purchases, the ability to earn interest on your balance and discounted rates for credit building add-ons, this is not your typically prepaid card.

Pros
  • Low annual fee of $48 ($4 per month).
  • Ability to earn 5% interest on your balance.
  • Ability to earn between 1% and 5% cashback on eligible purchases.


Cons
  • Credit-building option is not included for free.
  • No insurance coverage.
Card details
  • Sign up for a KOHO account with code NERDWALLET and get $40 when you make your first purchase!*.
  • Earn 1% cash back on groceries, eating & drinking, and transportation. Plus, up to 50% extra cashback from select merchants.
  • Earn 5% interest on both your spending and savings account. Your funds will also be eligible for CDIC insurance. Interest rates are per year, calculated daily, paid monthly, and can change at any time without notice.
  • Choose from one of four exciting card colours. Receive both a physical and virtual card.
  • Start adding funds and shopping online while you wait for your physical card to arrive in the mail. No need to budge from your couch to make online purchases. Just use your virtual card!
  • Card Security – KOHO provides a different card number to help protect your physical card number when you’re shopping or booking services online
  • Add your KOHO card to Apple, Samsung or Google Pay
  • Automate your savings with Goals and RoundUps. Rounding up every purchase lets you stash away some savings, while Goals make it easier to save for whatever it is that makes you happy
  • Lock in savings with Vault that keeps the funds you don’t want to spend separate from your spendable balance
  • Create custom budgets and track your spending habits. Know where you’re at in real time with instant notifications every time you spend.

Best prepaid card for: Novice investors

Wealthsimple Card


$0

1%

$0

Unlimited
Our take
Why we like it

Beginner investors interested in learning more about building wealth will feel right at home with the Wealthsimple Card, a no-fee prepaid Mastercard that earns 1% cash back on purchases. Use the rewards to support your TFSA, invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto, or fund your linked spending (Cash) account, where you can send, spend and receive money instantly with the Wealthsimple Cash app.

Pros
  • Use a Visa or Mastercard debit card to instantly deposit up to $3,500 per day (up to a maximum of $35,000 per month).
  • Effortlessly build an investment portfolio by transforming cash back rewards into stocks, ETFs or cryptocurrency deposited directly into a trading account.


Cons
  • There’s no brick-and-mortar location for Wealthsimple customers, so you need to be comfortable managing your money with an online-only company.
  • $5,000 per day spending limit; ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 per transaction/$1,000 per day.
  • Cash rewards invested into cryptocurrency are subject to Wealthsimple Crypto’s 1.5-2% fee.
Card details
  • General fees and features: Wealthsimple does not charge any fees to use the Wealthsimple Card.
  • Currency conversion fee: Mastercard will determine the applicable exchange rate from the range of rates available in wholesale currency markets for the applicable processing date, which may vary from the rate Mastercard itself receives.
  • ATM withdrawals: Wealthsimple does not charge any fees for withdrawing cash, but you may see a standard ATM withdrawal fee (usually about $3.00) when you make a withdrawal at an ATM. ATM Withdrawal limits are $500 per transaction and $1,000 per day.
  • Reload methods: Add funds to your card by making a deposit via a linked bank account, a wire transfer, your Visa or Mastercard debit card, or an institutional transfer to move an account from another institution.
  • Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases. Cash back rewards can go directly into your Spend account, be added to the cash balance of a stock trading or crypto trading account, or be used to auto-purchase the cryptocurrency of your choice in your crypto trading account. Use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted — in-store, in apps, or online. Pay bills, use direct deposit, and e-Transfer.
  • The Wealthsimple Card is available as part of the everyday spending account, which comes with both a digital and physical card that you can manage right from the Wealthsimple app.
  • Use the app to manage your rewards and spending preferences, or lock your card if something happens to it. Your balances are all updated in real-time, too — even if you’re using the physical card.
  • Add your Wealthsimple Card to Apple, Samsung or Google Pay digital wallet.
  • Use the Wealthsimple Cash app to send and receive payments to anyone else who uses the Cash app without paying fees. You can also send money to people who don’t have the Cash app yet. They will receive a prompt to download the app and claim the money you sent them.
  • Your money is protected for up to $100,000 through CDIC.
  • To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident with a Social Insurance Number of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
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Methodology: How we evaluate cards

NerdWallet Canada selected the best prepaid cards based on overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation methodology include: features specific to prepaid cards (such as minimum and maximum deposit, maximum reload amount in a 24-hour period, ATM access, insurance benefits, digital wallet compatibility, and more); fees (such as annual fees, foreign exchange or conversion fees, among others); reward value (considering any earn rates, reward structures, and other benefits); and the intro offer (assessing any welcome bonus, waived fees, referral programs, and other promotions for new customers. Only reloadable prepaid cards that are available online were considered for this list.

    Summary of the best prepaid cards

    CARD NAMEBEST PREPAID CARD FORANNUAL FEE
    KOHO Standard Prepaid Mastercard - Essential Subscription PlanBest for: Credit building.$48 (optional credit-building services can be added for $10 a month).
    Neo Money™ CardBest for: Cash back.$0.
    Wealthsimple CardBest for: Novice investors.$0.

    Best Credit Cards in Canada

    Compare all different credit cards side-by-side and find out the best card that will meet your need with special perks and benefits

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    What to know about prepaid cards

    In this section, we’ll help you navigate the world of prepaid cards by exploring the following topics:

    What is a prepaid credit card?

    Prepaid credit cards aren’t technically credit cards because you’re not borrowing the money. Instead, they function similarly to debit cards and gift cards in the sense that you can only spend the money you already have.

    You might hear them referred to as “reloadable credit cards”, “pay-as-you-go credit cards” or “prepaid cards”, but they generally all work the same way.

    How do prepaid cards work? 

    Instead of borrowing money, you load funds onto a prepaid card and then use it to make purchases. How much money you load onto the card determines the total amount you can spend.

    There are two varieties of prepaid cards: 

    Once you’ve received a prepaid card and added funds to it, you can use it to make online and in-person purchases wherever the card’s payment merchant (Visa, Mastercard or American Express, for example) is accepted. 

    Types of prepaid cards

    There are several different types of prepaid cards available, so it’s a good idea to know what they are and how they work.

    Prepaid card maintenance

    Using a prepaid credit card requires a little work on your end. You’ll have to:

    Where to buy prepaid cards

    Prepaid cards that have set limits can be purchased at some grocery stores, drug stores and gas stations. A few banks and credit unions offer reloadable cards online and in person. 

    The most common way to obtain a prepaid card is by securing one through an online-only bank. These cards tend to carry more features, like rewards and spending insights. You can generally apply for these cards online in a few minutes, and they get shipped right to your address, so there’s little effort on your end.

    How much does a prepaid card cost?

    Closed-loop cards, such as gift cards, generally have no fees: you just need to pay for the amount you load onto the card.

    Open-loop cards, however, typically charge some sort of fee. Some may come with an activation fee, charge an annual or monthly fee regardless if you’ve used your card or not, or require you to pay a fee whenever you reload funds to the card. 

    Choosing the best prepaid card for you

    The essential features to consider when choosing a prepaid credit card include:

    Other considerations might include:

    Getting the most out of your prepaid card

    A prepaid card can come in very handy for both online and in-person shopping. And since using one doesn’t typically affect your credit score, it can be a relatively low-risk way to make purchases.

    Who can benefit from using a prepaid card?

    Pros of prepaid cards

    Cons of prepaid cards

    Alternatives to prepaid cards

    » MORE: The best credit cards for bad credit

    What Reddit has to say

    To find the best prepaid cards in Canada, NerdWallet’s credit card experts reviewed the details of numerous products available on the market. But our Nerds know it can also be helpful to hear what everyday cardholders think. We took to Reddit to find out what users are saying across multiple threads.

    As of this writing, Redditors suggest that some of the best prepaid cards come from issuers Wealthsimple and Neo Financial, both of which made our list. However, feelings are mixed on KOHO, largely due to reports of poor customer service. Some users also recommend cards that didn’t make our list, such as the EQ Bank Card.

    Frequently asked questions about prepaid credit cards

    What is the best prepaid credit card in Canada?

    The best prepaid cards in Canada offer convenience, low costs and perks. See above for our top picks.

    Is getting a prepaid credit card a good idea?

    Prepaid cards can be useful for making in-person and online purchases if you don’t have, or can’t get approved for, a traditional credit card or bank account. There are no interest charges associated with prepaid credit cards, so they aren’t likely to add to your overall debt load.

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