The Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard holds multiple currencies and can be used to make payments at millions of locations worldwide.
This Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard review covers how it works, its fees, limits, and alternatives.
What is the Cash Passport Mastercard?
The Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard works like a regular credit card, except you can only spend money you have loaded onto it.
It accepts 7 currencies, including:
- Canadian Dollars
- US Dollars
- British Pounds
- Japanese Yen
- Australian Dollars
- Mexican Peso
When making a payment in one of the currencies, the right currency is automatically selected. If you don’t have a balance in the local currency, another wallet is chosen to process the transaction.
The Cash Passport is issued by Peoples Trust Company under license by Mastercard.
Canada Post also used to offer a Prepaid Visa Card. The Canada Post Prepaid Visa was issued by Vancity Community Investment Bank. However, this card is now discontinued as of December 31, 2021.
How To Apply for the Cash Passport Mastercard
To get a Cash Passport Mastercard, simply visit your local post office to purchase one.
The process is seamless as they don’t need to do a credit check. Whether you have excellent or bad credit does not matter, as this is a prepaid card.
After activating the card, you can load or reload cash to your card at over 600 Canada Post locations or online.
Create a Mastercard My Account online to view your balance, check your transactions, and move money between wallets.
You can also use the Zenwallet mobile app to manage your card.
Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard Fees
The fees you should be aware of when using the Cash Passport include:
- Buying a card: $15 CAD
- Reloading the card: $3 CAD
- Inactivity fee: $2.80/month
- Using the card in Canada: 1.50% of transaction amount
- Using the card abroad: 0%
- Foreign exchange fee: 3.25%
- Cash over the counter fee: CAD 3.00, USD 2.50, EUR 1.90, GBP 1.70, JPY 275, AUD 3.00, MXN 32.00.
- ATM withdrawals: CAD 3.00, USD 2.50, EUR 1.90, GBP 1.70, JPY 275, AUD 3.00, MXN 32.00
- Cash out fee (if claiming back balance from card): $20 CAD
- Shortfall fee (if a payment drops your balance below zero): $18 CAD
Cash Passport Mastercard Limits
The following limits apply to the Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard:
|Maximum withdrawal per 24 hours (at a bank)||CAD 240|
|Maximum withdrawal per 24 hours (ATM)||CAD 960|
|Maximum spend at merchants per 24 hours||CAD 4,000|
|Maximum load/reload per 24 hours||CAD 8,500|
|Maximum total load per 12-month period||CAD 30,000|
Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard Benefits
- The Cash Passport Mastercard can help you save on foreign currency conversion fees
- While you pay $15 CAD for your first card, an additional or “back-up” card is free. Replacement cards are also free.
- It is easy to apply and qualify for
- Cardholders are covered by Mastercard Zero Liability as per its terms and conditions.
Cons of the Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard
The Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard has several limitations and downsides, including:
- It is not designed for use within Canada, and you pay a fee equivalent to 1.50% of transaction amounts at Canadian merchants.
- It does not offer cash back rewards, unlike KOHO or Wealthsimple Cash Card.
- There’s a $15 fee to get the card and a $3 fee each time you load.
- If your card hasn’t been used for 12 months, a monthly inactivity fee applies.
- There are fees for ATM withdrawals and cash withdrawals at a bank.
- The Cash Passport is prohibited in Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Crimea. Transaction requests will be declined in these countries.
- A 3.25% FX fee applies when you pay with a currency that’s not on your card and when a local currency balance is insufficient.
Cash Passport Mastercard Alternatives
The following cards can be used in place of the Cash Passport Mastercard to save on FX fees and earn rewards.
This list includes both prepaid cards and credit cards that waive foreign currency exchange fees.
Cash Passport Mastercard vs. KOHO Premium Mastercard
The KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard card has no foreign exchange fees and also offers:
- 2% cash back on groceries, restaurants, gas, and transit
- 0.50% cash back on all other purchases
- Up to 5% cash back at KOHO partners
- One free international ATM withdrawal each month
- Price matching
- Access to priority support and financial coaching
- This card has a $9 monthly fee or costs $84 annually
You can also opt for the regular KOHO Prepaid Card and pay a lower 1.50% FX fee while benefitting from 1% cash back on grocery purchases, a free budgeting app, and access to a savings account that pays interest on your balance.
You get a $20 bonus when you get the KOHO Card and make your first purchase.
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
$20 sign up bonus after first purchase (use promo code CASHBACK)
Earn up to 5% cash back
Up to 2.00% savings interest on your balance
Unlimited Interac e-Transfers
KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard
$20 sign up bonus after first purchase (use CASHBACK promo code during sign-up)
Earn up to 5% cash back
2.00% savings interest on balance
Unlimited transactions, no FX fees
Cash Passport Mastercard vs Scotiabank Gold AMEX Card
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is one of the best no foreign currency fee credit cards in Canada.
This card waives the standard 2-3% FX fee, plus you earn Scene+ points on every purchase as follows:
- 5 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, food delivery, and entertainment purchases
- 3 points per $1 spent on gas and transit
- 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
In addition, cardholders benefit from comprehensive travel insurance coverage, complimentary Priority Pass membership, and several other premium perks.
The Scotiabank Gold AMEX has a $120 annual fee.
Scotiabank Gold American Express
Rewards: Earn 5x Scene+ points/$1 on grocery, restaurants, food delivery; 3x points/$1 in gas & travel; 1x points/$1 everything else.
Welcome offer: Get up to 40,000 points ($400 value).
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.
Annual fee: $120
Cash Passport Mastercard vs. CIBC AC Conversion Visa
The CIBC AC Conversion Visa Card is another prepaid card you can use to hold multiple currencies (10 types).
You can load up to the equivalent of $20,000 CAD in your choice of currencies, with a daily maximum load amount equivalent to $3,000.
For a limited time, the AC Conversion Card offers 1% cash back on all purchases.
Learn more about how it works in this review.
Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard vs. Wealthsimple Cash Card
If you are looking for a prepaid card that offers cash back rewards and low fees, the Wealthsimple Cash Card may be for you.
This prepaid Visa card pays 1% cash back on all purchases.
Users also get access to a free money transfer app that sends money instantly to other Wealthsimple Cash app users in Canada.
While Wealthsimple does not charge a fee when you make purchases abroad, standard Visa currency conversion fees (~2.50%) apply.
Cash Passport Mastercard vs. Wise Debit Card
The Wise debit card is connected to your Wise multi-currency account, and you can use it to hold up to 54 currencies.
While you need to convert currencies, it is done using the real mid-market rate.
There is a $10 fee when you order the Wise Card; however, there are no ongoing monthly fees. Also, it is free for business accounts.
Learn more about the Wise multi-currency account in this review.
If you are looking for a card to cut your FX fees, the Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard can help, but it is not the best option out there.
You can save money and gain more flexibility by using a no-FX credit card or one of the other prepaid cards on this list.