A prepaid travel card is an excellent alternative to carrying cash around when travelling abroad.
When issued under a license by Mastercard or Visa, you enjoy security and can conveniently make payments in millions of locations worldwide.
The top prepaid travel card in Canada is the KOHO Mastercard. This review covers how it works and some alternatives.
Best Prepaid Travel Cards in Canada
With the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard, you earn cash back you can cash out anytime. And when you upgrade your subscription to the “Extra” plan, you don’t pay foreign currency transaction fees.
Other prepaid travel cards worth checking out include:
- Wise Debit
- CIBC AC Conversion Visa Card
- Wealthsimple Cash Card
KOHO Prepaid Travel Card
KOHO’s versatile prepaid cards are excellent for earning cash back anywhere in the world.
Compared to regular credit cards that charge anywhere from 2-3% in foreign transaction (FX) fees, you’ll only be charged 1.5% on non-Canadian dollar transactions with your KOHO card. And with KOHO Extra, the foreign exchange fee is completely waived.
With a free KOHO Easy Plan, you earn an unlimited 1% cash back on groceries and transportation (think public transit, gas, Uber, and more).
In addition to this, you get up to 5% cash back from select partners like Booking.com and Contiki.
It is easy to fund your KOHO Card using direct deposits or Interac e-Transfers.
KOHO pays 0.5% to 2% interest on your balance, so your money has a chance to grow as well.
Why is KOHO Great For Travel?
A prepaid card is a key component of your travel kit if you want to enjoy security and convenience while on travel status. It removes the need to carry cash on your person, and there’s no direct link with your chequing account, so your bank account won’t be drained in case of a loss.
With the KOHO Mastercard, you enjoy all these benefits, and the card is also accepted worldwide wherever Mastercard is accepted.
After opening a KOHO account, you get a virtual card and a physical card with different card numbers. You can easily lock and unlock both your virtual and physical cards in-app if needed to prevent access to your cards.
While your physical card is locked, you can still add and use your virtual card through mobile wallets like ApplePay, GooglePay, and Samsung Pay. And ordering a new physical card is easy with only a few clicks on the app.
KOHO Essential costs $4 monthly and comes with a 30-day free trial.
It offers 1% cash back on groceries, transportation, and restaurants, plus 0.25% cash back on all other purchases.
Interest paid on your balance is higher at 1.50%, and you get up to 5% cash back at participating retailers.
To get the most benefit from a Mastercard prepaid travel card, sign up for KOHO Extra at $9 monthly or $84 per year.
This plan includes access to 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, and transportation, plus 0.50% cash back on all other purchases.
It waives the foreign currency transaction fee when you spend abroad, which is a saving of 1.50%.
This KOHO package also offers one free international ATM withdrawal each month and pays 2% interest on your balance.
All KOHO prepaid travel cards come with Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy, virtual cards, and access to support via chat and email.
You can add them to mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay for easy payments on the go.
How To Get a KOHO Prepaid Travel Card
Visit the KOHO website to set up an account and download the app.
When you sign up using our referral link or CASHBACK promo code, you get a $20 bonus after completing your first purchase.
A virtual card is available instantly for use, and a physical card is sent to you by mail.
Alternative Prepaid Travel Cards in Canada
Other Mastercard and Visa prepaid travel cards you can use include:
A Wise debit card is linked to your Wise account and can be used to make payments wherever Visa is accepted.
You can make two free ATM withdrawals of up to $350 CAD monthly. Excess amounts incur a 1.75% fee.
If you have a multi-currency account with Wise, you can use the Wise Card to access these funds when abroad and pay in your preferred currency.
CIBC Prepaid Travel Card
The CIBC AC Conversion Prepaid Card holds up to 10 currencies at a time, including USD, CAD, EUR, AUD, and JPY.
One free ATM withdrawal is included each month, after which you pay a fee per withdrawal, e.g. $3.50 for Canadian dollars and $2.95 for U.S. dollar withdrawals.
Wealthsimple Cash Card
The Wealthsimple Cash Card is another Mastercard prepaid travel card for Canadians.
It does not charge extra fees for foreign spending and pays 1% cash back on purchases.
You can load your card using e-transfer or direct deposit.
A prepaid travel card comes in handy when spending abroad, offering better security and convenience than carrying cash.
To get the KOHO Card, sign up here and use our CASHBACK promo code for a $20 welcome bonus.
The KOHO Prepaid Travel Card is safe. Funds deposited in your account are insured by the CDIC within specified limits, and you also enjoy Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection. If your card is lost or stolen, you can lock it in-app to prevent unauthorized usage.
Many prepaid cards like KOHO work internationally and are accepted by millions of merchants worldwide.
A prepaid travel credit card is safer to carry around and can be used to access cash when needed.