EDIT: As of June 2020, the Stack Prepaid MasterCard is available to residents of Quebec !
For those who travel internationally, it’s wise to travel with some local currency of the country you’re visiting. It’s always good to have cash to pay for taxi rides, hotel tips and street food as most of these places don’t accept credit cards.
The most common and straightforward way to obtaining the local currency is by withdrawing at a foreign ATM. But, using your debit card abroad for ATM withdrawals can be an expensive proposition. Most Canadian banks charge between $3 and $5 for using your debit card in a foreign ATM. Ouch!
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to withdraw cash from an ATM without annoying fees?
Well fortunately, there’s now the Stack Prepaid MasterCard which is available in Canada. It’s a reloadable prepaid card that you manage through a smartphone app to keep track of your spending and budget. Plus, be sure to read till the end of this article and I’ll explain how to earn $5 for free by signing up to Stack.
What makes the Stack MasterCard so unique is that it’s a prepaid card without any fees. Yes, you heard that right, NO FEES!!!
There are no monthly fees, no card replacement fees but also no foreign exchange fees and no domestic or international ATM withdrawal fees!
No ATM withdrawal fee
This means for travelers that you can obtain cash worldwide from your Stack account with no fee! Just find an ATM displaying the MasterCard, Cirrus or Maestro logo to make a withdrawal. You can find the closest MasterCard ATM here. This is very practical for when you arrive in a new foreign city and can immediately withdraw the local currency.
With Stack, you can withdraw from an ATM up to twice (2) per day up to a maximum of $500 per single ATM transaction. Also, keep in mind that the maximum monthly cumulative amount you can withdraw from an ATM is $2,000! This is something to remember for those who withdraw lots of cash in foreign countries but shouldn’t be a concern for most people.
Nonetheless, the Stack card helps you save on paying expensive bank fees although you still have to pay the unavoidable, small and negligible fee imposed by the local ATM.
No foreign exchange fee
Another consideration while doing an ATM withdrawal abroad is that most traditional Canadian banks charge a foreign exchange fee. This fee varies between 2.5% and 3.5% and even though it may look insignificant, if you’re doing many foreign ATM withdrawals, these fees start to add up.
But with the Stack card, there is no pesky additional foreign transaction fee. Instead, the exchange rate on foreign purchases and ATM withdrawals is the same as the MasterCard rate, which is very close to the mid-market rate. This means that you’re getting about the best rate possible between a foreign currency and the Canadian dollar saving you money in the long term.
Loading your Stack card
Since Stack is a prepaid card, it’s important to load it with Canadian dollars before your travels. You can load your Stack card up to a maximum of 4 times per day and 20 times per month. Also, the maximum card balance with Stack is $20,000.
There are different ways to load cash onto your card :
- Payroll Direct deposit – maximum load of $8,000 and takes 1-2 business days.
- Interac e-Transfer – maximum load of $3,000 and the transfer is usually quite fast.
- Bank Payee – Add Stack as a bill payee from your personal bank account. Transfers usually take between 2-5 business days.
- Cash Load – Load your card quickly using cash or debit at a participating Canada Post or other retailers using the Stack app’s Cash Load QR code. Note there’s a $200 minimum for cash loads and the transfer takes minutes to complete.
To learn more about how to load your Stack card, please click here.
Stack also has cashback offers with select Canadian retailers whenever you use your card for a purchase. For example, there’s sometimes small savings (like $1 off) with McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Tim Hortons and larger savings with 50% off your first order with chefs plate and $150 off Contiki tours.
Log in to your account to see what offers are available as they vary from week to week.
Sign up to Stack today to earn a free $5
Finally, you can earn a free $5 upon activating your Stack card using my referral link! Note that you must click on that link on your smart phone (Android or iPhone) to open and download the app to sign up.
Remember that Stack is a prepaid card so there won’t be any hit to your credit score when you apply. Stack will verify your identity and afterwards, it takes about a week to receive the physical card by mail. You’ll receive the $5 bonus once your physical Stack card has been activated in the app.
Also, if you lose or misplace your card, Stack allows you to freeze your account from within the app at any time keeping you safe from any unauthorized charges.
The Stack MasterCard is an absolute must for any Canadian traveler. This intuitive prepaid card has no fees including no foreign exchange fee nor any ATM withdrawal fee. Considerable savings can be had by using the Stack card for international ATM withdrawals and thus, it’s by far the best way to obtain local currency while traveling abroad.
Plus, Stack offers some discounts with certain Canadian retailers and also offers a free $5 bonus upon activation so don’t wait and sign up today!
Affiliate disclaimer: This review is based on my own personal experience with the Stack MasterCard and is not sponsored by them. My blog contains referral or affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.
Stack is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, please visit the Stack website.