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BMO Prepaid Mastercard Review and Alternatives in 2024

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The BMO Prepaid Mastercard is one of the top prepaid cards in Canada.

It offers the flexibility of a credit card when you pay for purchases online and abroad and ease of application, which is a key feature for prepaid cards.

This BMO Prepaid Mastercard review covers how it works, fees, limits, how to apply, and alternative cards.

BMO Prepaid Mastercard Overview

The BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard is a prepaid card offered by one of Canada’s largest banks, the Bank of Montreal.

This card works just like a regular credit card, except you can only spend money you have loaded onto the card.

As a prepaid card, you can’t overspend, thus saving you from paying high interest fees.

As a Mastercard, you can use the BMO Prepaid Card at more than 30 million locations worldwide. This also means that cardholders enjoy Zero Liability protection against fraudulent use.

BMO Prepaid Mastercard

Rewards: N/A.

Welcome offer: N/A.

Interest rates: 0%

Annual fee: $0

BMO Prepaid Card Benefits and Features

Easy to use: BMO customers can load funds to their cards through online banking and the BMO mobile app.

Globally accepted: You can use this card worldwide like a credit card to make payments and withdrawals.

No interest fees: Since you can only spend money loaded on the card, there are no purchase or cash advance interest rates.

Extended warranty and purchase protection: This card extends the manufacturer’s extended warranty for up to one additional year. Items purchased using this card are also protected for some time against theft or accidental damage.

Credit score: Access your free BMO Credit Score (TransUnion) via online banking or the mobile app. The CreditView dashboard also provides access to your credit report and a credit score simulator.

Financial insights: Track your spending using the BMO app and get alerts when transactions are posted to your BMO Prepaid Mastercard.

How To Apply For The BMO Prepaid Mastercard

Unlike applying for a BMO credit card, the requirements for the BMO Prepaid Mastercard are less strict.

You can visit their website to submit an application.

To qualify, you must be at least the age of the majority in your province (i.e. 18 or 19 years old) and not have declared bankruptcy in the last seven years.

After receiving your physical card in the mail, you can activate it by visiting the online activation portal or by calling the number on the card.

How To Load Your Card

You can load funds on the BMO Prepaid Travel Card using the following:

  • Online or mobile banking
  • ATM
  • Telephone banking

You can also load your card using the bill payment feature from a non-BMO bank account. Funds are available within 2-5 business days.

If you need to change your PIN, visit a BMO branch or call 1-800-263-2263.

Related: Best Mastercard Prepaid Cards in Canada.

How To Check Your Balance

Easily check the balance on your prepaid card using your BMO online banking or the mobile app.

You can also check how much you have left using an ATM or by calling 1-800-263-2263.

BMO Prepaid Mastercard Review & Alternatives

BMO Prepaid Mastercard Fees

The BMO Prepaid Mastercard has a $6.95 annual fee. While this is a low fee, you could waive fees entirely on your prepaid card by opting for the Neo Money card instead.

Other fees that may apply include:

  • Supplemental card: $6.95 each
  • Dishonoured payment: $40
  • Foreign currency conversion: 2.50%
  • Statement request: $5
  • Card balance refund processing fee (cheque): $10
  • Card balance refund processing fee (electronic or direct deposit): $3
  • Cash advance fee: $5
  • Inactivity fee: $5 per month

BMO Prepaid Mastercard Limits

The minimum load amount for this card is $100. The maximum load amount is $10,000.

If you are sending funds from another financial institution, the maximum amount you can load has to be under $1,000.

Pros of BMO Prepaid Mastercard

The BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard has a low annual fee.

It is easy to qualify for as you don’t need to have a good or excellent credit score.

The card is accepted at millions of locations worldwide, and cardholders enjoy Mastercard’s Zero Liability protection.

If you are trying to avoid paying interest on your credit cards, a prepaid card can help achieve this.

Cons of BMO Prepaid Mastercard

  • Does not improve your credit score because it is not a credit card
  • It is not a fee-free prepaid card
  • Your funds are not eligible for protection by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC)
  • Does not offer cashback rewards
  • Cards expire after three years and have to be renewed manually

Alternatives to the BMO Prepaid Mastercard

The following cards can be used in place of the BMO Prepaid Mastercard. They offer rewards and do not have annual fees.

KOHO Mastercard

The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard ($20 bonus offer) is a prepaid card you can use alongside its money transfer and budgeting app, KOHO.

Cardholders earn up to 5% cash back on purchases made using the card, plus they earn up to 5% interest on their balance.

Unlike regular prepaid cards, KOHO users can sign up for an optional credit-building service to increase their credit scores. All credit profiles are accepted, and approval is instant.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Card 2

$20 welcome bonus after first purchase (use CASHBACK promo code during sign-up)

$0 monthly fee*

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back

Get 5% savings interest on your balance

Unlimited Interac e-Transfers and debit transactions

Free budgeting app and access to credit building

EQ Bank Card

The EQ Bank Card is a reloadable prepaid card with no annual and monthly fees. It earns 0.5% cash back on all purchases plus pays you interest on your balance.

Users also enjoy free access to ATM withdrawals and 0% FX fees when they make payments abroad.

EQ Bank Card

eq bank card-img

Earn up to 4%* interest on your balance

0.50% cash back on purchases

No monthly account or FX fees

Free ATM withdrawals

Neo Money card

The Neo Money card is one of the best-prepaid cards in Canada. It offers a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Average of 5% cash back on purchases at partner stores
  • Earn 1% interest on your savings balance
  • Automated savings
  • Physical and virtual cards with compatibility with popular payment wallets
  • CDIC protection for your funds
  • No monthly or annual fee, and more

When you sign up for the card, you earn up to 15% cash back on your first time purchases at Neo partners.

Neo Money card

Rewards: Earn an average of 5% cash back at over 12,000 retail partners and a guaranteed minimum of 0.50% (up to $50 monthly); Earn 1% interest on your account balance.

Welcome offer: Earn up to 15% cash back on your first-time purchases.

Interest rate fee: 0%

Annual fee: $0 (no monthly fees)

BMO Prepaid Mastercard FAQs

Is the BMO Prepaid Mastercard a credit card?

No, the BMO Prepaid Mastercard is not a credit card, and you can’t use it to build credit.

How do I renew my BMO Prepaid Mastercard?

Following expiration, you can renew your BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard by calling BMO at 1-800-263-22

Related:

Best Credit Offers in June 2024

Get the top savings and spending account and stop paying costly bank fees ($20 Bonus)

Save on fees and access unlimited transactions, eTransfers & bill payments.

Get a $20 instant bonus after completing your first purchase.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back and up to 5% interest on your balance.

Guaranteed instant approval with any credit score + free budgeting app.

Get this guaranteed approval credit card for any credit score ($25 bonus)

Get an instant $25 welcome bonus.

Earn 5% unlimited average cash back at thousands of locations.

Guaranteed approval for poor and bad credit scores. Takes 3 minutes.

No monthly fees and up to 15% cashback on your first-time purchases.

Stop paying monthly fees with a free chequing account + $400 bonus

Get a $400 cash bonus when you set up a qualifying direct deposit.

Unlimited debits, online bill payments and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly or annual account fees.

Earn a high interest rate on your savings (6.00% interest rate offer).

Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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2 thoughts on “BMO Prepaid Mastercard Review and Alternatives in 2024”

  1. Gravatar for Trese O

    Will this new surcharge fee be added to a purchase made on a BMO prepaid card?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

      @Trese: It can technically be applicable since it’s a Mastercard.

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