This STACK Mastercard review covers how it works, its pros and cons, rewards, and how you can get a free $5 referral bonus when you sign up and fund your account with at least $300.
STACK is one of the best prepaid cards in Canada.
The STACK card and app continue the trend to save bank clients from having to pay ridiculous fees at every turn, as is evident in today’s traditional banking system. Another great reloadable prepaid card and app that functions like STACK is KOHO.
Update: STACK is shutting down on September 11, 2023. Its users can transfer their accounts to KOHO or open a new KOHO account to access the same benefits.
What is STACK?
STACK is a fin-tech company based in Toronto and founded in 2017.
The STACK Mastercard is not a credit card. Rather it is a reloadable prepaid card that makes it easy for you to spend money at home and abroad.
The company has a partnership with People’s Trust, a financial institution with more than $6.9 billion in assets under management.
*Closing down September 11, 2023
Up to $7.99 monthly fee
No FX fees abroad (terms apply)
Unlimited bill payments
STACK Mastercard Benefits
- No monthly account fees (terms apply)
- $5 sign-up bonus
- Free and fast STACK-to-STACK transfers
- Automated savings plan
- Free replacement card
- Free budgeting tool in-app
- Worldwide acceptability of Mastercard and Zero Liability Protection
- Everyday rewards
How Does The STACK Mastercard Work?
Opening a new STACK account is easy…it took me only about 3 minutes.
You will need your phone to download the STACK app and create an account after entering your basic personal details (No SIN is required).
After you receive your card in the mail, you can activate it and load funds using either Interac e-Transfer, Visa Debit, direct payroll deposit, or free STACK-to-STACK transfers. You can also load cash up at a participating Canada Post or retailer with your STACK QR code.
Since the STACK Mastercard is not a credit card, you do not need a good credit score to sign up.
There are many reasons why Canadians choose to add the STACK Mastercard to their wallet, from zero foreign transaction fees when travelling abroad to meaningful rewards on everyday purchases.
1. Monthly Fees: STACK has a $7.99 monthly fee that is rebated if you spend at least $350 each month.
2. No Foreign Exchange Fees: Banks make money from foreign currency transactions. In addition to the poor FX rate you get abroad, they also slap on a 2.5% – 3.5% foreign currency conversion fee.
While there are options to avoid FX conversion fees when you use a no foreign transaction fee credit card, there are no debit or prepaid cards in Canada that waive this fee.
Not so with STACK. When you pay with your STACK Mastercard, you pay ZERO foreign exchange fees if you make a minimum of $350 CAD monthly purchases. Note that only FX fees on up to $1,000 CAD of FX spent outside of Canada per month are reimbursed.
3. ATM Withdrawal Fees: There is a $1.99 fee for domestic ATM use and $2.99 for international ATMs. These fees are rebated if you spend $350 or more each month using the card.
4. Automated Savings: The STACK app makes it easy to set a savings goal, and it can automatically round up your purchases to the next $1, $2, $5, or $10 and save the difference. You can cash out your savings at any time.
5. Financial IQ: The STACK app has a financial IQ feature that analyzes your weekly and monthly spending and provides useful insight into how your money is being spent.
6. Everyday Rewards: STACK does not offer points or a cash back loyalty program. Instead, members receive offers they can easily redeem, such as free membership to Amazon Prime and discounts on coffee, groceries, and gas.
7. Receipt Capture: If you are tired of losing receipts, you can save them with STACK. After completing a purchase, select the transaction, and click the ‘+’ button to take a photo of your receipt.
Note that the STACK Prepaid Mastercard is now available in Quebec.
Get STACK by using my referral link to download the app to your smartphone and get a $5 welcome gift.
Is STACK Right For You?
If you are looking at cutting your transaction fees within and outside of Canada, the STACK Prepaid Mastercard comes in handy.
When abroad, it saves you the 2.5% foreign transaction fee and ATM withdrawal fees ($350 minimum spend with the card applies). You also get a fair currency exchange rate.
The app makes it easy to reach your savings goals through an automatic savings plan and the ability to round up your purchases. It is also great for getting a snapshot of your spending habits.
Are you wondering where all your money is going? The STACK app tells you where and when.
You get the occasional offer to save on your morning coffee, weekly groceries, gas, entertainment, and more. They offer great customer service, and you can chat with them via the app or call them at 1-877-STACK-01.
Lastly, you get cash bonuses when friends sign up using your referral link.
Downsides of STACK Mastercard
The downsides of the STACK Prepaid Mastercard are:
- It is not a credit card, so if you were hoping to use it to build a credit rating, that is not possible.
- It now requires a minimum monthly spend of $350 to get the monthly and FX fees waived. Otherwise, you pay the standard $7.99 and 2.50% FX fees, respectively.
- Also, FX fees are only reimbursed for a maximum of $1,000 CAD spent each month abroad.
- Lastly, you must load your new account with at least $300 to get the $5 sign-up bonus.
If you want the best prepaid card in Canada, look at the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard ($20 welcome bonus).
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation; Up to 5% cashback at select partners; Earn interest on your balance*.
Welcome offer: Get a $20 bonus when you load and make your first purchase (use promo code CASHBACK during sign-up).
Interest rate fee: 0%
Annual fee: $0
You can also check out my review of KOHO vs. STACK.
STACK Mastercard Review (Plus a $5 Sign-up Bonus)
Zero Monthly Account Fees
No FX Fees
STACK offers a reloadable prepaid Mastercard and app that helps Canadians to save on bank fees at home and abroad. Get a $5 welcome bonus when you sign up using the link below and fund with $300 or more.
- Get approved with any credit
- Can help you save on FX fees
- Hefty monthly fee
- Offerings are not as competitive when compared to KOHO
- Cash load has a fee