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Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard Review 2024

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The Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard holds multiple currencies and can be used to make payments at millions of locations worldwide.

This reloadable prepaid card can help you avoid paying foreign currency exchange fees when spending currencies other than Canadian dollars.

This Canada Post Cash Passport Mastercard review covers how it works, its fees, limits, and alternatives.

Cash Passport Mastercard Overview

The Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard works like a regular credit card, except you can only spend money you have loaded onto it.

It accepts seven currencies, including:

  • Canadian Dollars
  • US Dollars
  • Euros
  • 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:

LimitsAmount
Maximum withdrawal per 24 hours (at a bank)CAD 240
Maximum withdrawal per 24 hours (ATM)CAD 960
Maximum spend at merchants per 24 hoursCAD 4,000
Maximum load/reload per 24 hoursCAD 8,500
Maximum total load per 12-month periodCAD 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 Neo Money 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. EQ Bank Mastercard

The EQ Bank Mastercard has no foreign exchange fees and also offers:

  • 0.50% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual or monthly fees
  • Free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada
  • No FX fees

You also get access to a high-interest savings account that pays up to 4$ interest on your balance and includes unlimited free transactions.

EQ Bank Card

Rewards: Earn 0.50% cash back on all purchases and up to 4.00% savings interest on your entire balance.

Perks: Free ATM transactions in Canada, no foreign currency transaction fees abroad, and unlimited transactions.

Interest rate fee: 0%

Annual fee: $0

Cash Passport Mastercard vs KOHO Extra Mastercard

KOHO Extra (Premium) Prepaid Mastercard

Premium prepaid card in Canada

Annual fee: $9/month or $84/year

Rewards: Earn 1.5% cashback on 3 spending categories, and earn 0.5% cash back on other purchases. Up to 5% cash back at partner retailers. Get paid % interest on your balance.

Welcome offer: $20 welcome bonus when you sign up using the CASHBACK promo code and make your first purchase.

Interest rates: 0%

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
N/A

None

koho extra premium card-img

On KOHO’s website

  • Earn up to 5% cash back on purchases at partnered merchants and a higher minimum cash back rate on most purchases.
  • Earn 5% high interest on your balance.
  • No foreign exchange fees.
  • Get priority user support.
  • Get access to a financial coach to answer financial questions.
  • Get one free withdrawal per month at an international ATM.
  • Easily subscribe to credit building and improve your credit score.

Earn up to 5% cashback

No foreign exchange fees

No interest fees

Earn on your balance

Has a monthly or annual fee

Cash back rate is not as high as some cards

The KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard offers cashback on all purchases and pays interest on your balance. Waivers for foreign exchange fees and a free international ATM withdrawal make it a suitable option for travellers.

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

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 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 Mastercard 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.

Conclusion

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.

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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 “Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard Review 2024”

  1. Gravatar for Jeff J.

    The Canada Post Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard is a terrible card – Not recommended. It’s constantly declined, despite having sufficient funds, and a completed profile with valid personal data. When you call them to ask why it’s being declined they say they will “email you back in 48 hours” and when you finally do get an email all the email says is the transaction is declined.

    Every time you use it you have to cross your fingers that you won’t look foolish.

    Try something else.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

      @Jeff: Unfortunately, this prepaid card tends to get a ton of complaints.

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