If you’re looking for a prepaid card for shopping and paying bills, you have more options than ever. But I’d recommend taking a closer look at the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard.
It’s got a lot going for it, potentially making it a good option for you.
Read on to find out what I think about the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard, including its pros and cons, fees, limits, and more.
Who is PayPower?
PayPower provides prepaid cards in Canada, and the card issuer is Peoples Trust Company.
It has a single-load Mastercard, but you can upgrade it to a Reloadable card and continue loading funds onto it.
What is the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard?
You can use the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard the same way as debit or credit cards, such as buying products in stores and online wherever Mastercard is accepted.
However, it is not a debit card because it is not linked to your bank account. And unlike a credit card, it does not lend you money or charge interest. Instead, you load your own funds onto the card and then spend them.
One of the things that makes it different from many other prepaid cards is that you can buy the card in retail locations as well as order it online.
The Single Load Prepaid Card has a maximum balance set at $500. You can use this balance and then dispose of the card or convert it into a reloadable option when you create an account and register it.
If you upgrade to the reloadable card, you can use it to pay your bills, withdraw cash from ATMs, and more. You can then load it with funds in stores, online, or using an Interac e-Transfer. There is also another version called the Power Plus PayPower Prepaid Mastercard.
The card is available in many stores across the country. You can also get a digital card directly from the mobile app, and this is the same reloadable PayPower Prepaid Mastercard but in digital format.
If you want it to be reloadable, you have to upgrade the service and provide additional information, which includes an ID check. This will involve a soft credit check, which does not affect your credit score.
You can also use any of the card versions with mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay for added convenience.
The app has a bill payment service, so you can pay directly from within the app with a registered reloadable card. You can schedule future payments via the app if you want to use the card to pay your bills.
You can download the mobile app for iOS or Android devices to get started, and enjoy free transfers to and from other PayPower account owners.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard Benefits
- Easy to obtain in stores around the country.
- Option to upgrade to a reloadable card.
- The digital reloadable card is easy and convenient to use.
- All cards work with Google Pay and Apple Pay.
- You can add funds quickly and easily via the app or in-store.
- The app comes with tools to track your spending.
- You can use your card to pay bills and set up future payments.
- The card can be used internationally.
Downsides to the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard
- There are several fees you may need to pay to use the card and access its features.
- It can be expensive to use the card for international transactions.
- The card is not available to residents of Saskatchewan.
- The single-use card is very basic, and you will need to upgrade to the reloadable card to use most of the features.
- You will not receive rewards like cashback for using the card.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard Fees
The PayPower Prepaid Mastercard is not free, but you can buy the basic version in a store and start using it right away.
If you want the reloadable version, you have to pay a monthly fee, which is deducted directly from your balance once a month.
There are also fees for replacement cards, foreign currency transactions, and more. You can find all the fees on their website, but here’s a summary of the main fees:
|Card Purchase Fee||$9.95|
|Monthly Inactivity Fee||$2.50 (unless card is converted to reloadable)|
|Monthly Maintenance Fee||$4.95|
|Load Funds Fee||$1-$6.95 (Direct Deposits are free)|
|ATM Withdrawal (International)||$3.95 + 3% FX Fee|
|Card refund / cancellation cheque balance fee||$10|
How to Activate the PayPower Mastercard
Activating the PayPower Mastercard is a simple process. When you receive it in the mail, just log in to the app using your details and click on the button to activate the card.
How to Check Your PayPower Balance
You can easily check your PayPower balance at any time via the app. Simply log into the app, and you will be able to see your balance there.
You can also check your balance using an ATM.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard Limits
There are some limits to be aware of, and you can see all the limits on the PayPower website here. Here are some of the most important for the PayPower Reloadable Mastercard:
|Maximum Load per Transaction||$500-$2,500|
|Maximum daily combined load limit||$10,000|
|Maximum daily spend at point-of-sale||$2,500|
|Maximum daily ATM withdrawal||$250|
|Maximum daily withdrawal (spend & cash)||$2,500|
PayPower Reload Locations
One of the benefits I find with using the PayPower Mastercard is that you can reload it at various physical locations if you don’t want to add funds via the app. Just go to a location where you can load it up and pay to load it directly.
You can use the Find Retailers tool on the website to find places to reload your card.
You can sometimes reload your card using a PayPower QR code or a Digital Barcode in the app.
PayPower Prepaid Mastercard Alternatives
The PayPower Prepaid Mastercard is not the only prepaid card available in Canada. I’ve used several of these cards, and here are a few of my favourites for earning rewards:
KOHO Easy Mastercard
The KOHO Easy Mastercard is free to use, and you can earn 1% cashback on transportation and groceries as well as 0.5% interest on your balance.
It comes with free e-Transfers, features like savings goals, and you can upgrade to a paid plan if you want.
KOHO Easy Prepaid Mastercard
$20 sign-up bonus after first purchase
Earn up to 5% cash back
0.50% savings interest on your balance
$0 monthly fee
Neo Money Card
This is a bank account and prepaid card where you can earn 2.25% interest on your savings. You can also earn unlimited cashback at an average of 5% when you spend with over 10,000 partners.
It has no annual fees, and you can access ATMs where Mastercard is accepted. You can also track your spending and pay bills via the app.
Neo Money Account
Unlimited 5% average cash back
No monthly fees + $20 bonus
2.25% non-promo interest rate paid on balance
Unlimited free transactions
Get a Mastercard for payments online and ATMs
Access to a no-annual-fee credit card
EQ Bank Card
You can earn 0.5% cashback on all purchases with the EQ Bank Card and earn interest on your balance, too. It also provides free ATM withdrawals and refunds you if the bank charges you at ATMs in Canada.
It has no FX fees or hidden fees. However, this card is not available in Quebec.
EQ Bank Card
Earn 2.50%* interest on your balance
0.50% cash back on purchases
No monthly account or FX fees
Free ATM withdrawals
Is the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard for You?
If you’re looking for a simple and convenient way to spend your money using a card, the PayPower Prepaid Mastercard is an option to consider.
The ability to get it in retail stores and use it once without upgrading your account is useful. The option to convert it into a reloadable card is also useful if you want to use it more regularly.
There are no perks or rewards for using it, like cashback, which is a shame, and the high fees can be avoided with alternatives.
Check out the other options I covered, like the KOHO Easy Mastercard and Neo Money Card. These may be better alternatives, depending on what you need.
You can use your PayPower Mastercard to withdraw cash from ATMs if you have upgraded to the reloadable card.
The maximum balance is set at $2,500 for the PayPower Mastercard, and the maximum daily spend is also limited to $2,500.
You can check your PayPower Mastercard balance at any time via the mobile app. You may also be able to check your balance using an ATM.
Related: Prepaid cards vs. credit cards.