3V Visa Cash Card: Alternative to the Traditional Prepaid Mastercard/Visa?

3VCash is a new product on the Canadian Market.

How 3VCash Visa Card Works

3vCash Vouchers are a bit more directed to the needs of the prepaid Visa/Mastercard market: Those that only need a card to buy online, but can't because they don't have a credit card. 3VCash's product isn't even a regular card with a magnetic strip, you get a PIN which you register online, and then get a virtual credit card number, expiry and CVV2. So you can't buy things unless it's online/catalogue order. It's just like buying prepaid airtime where they print off the PIN code right on the spot for you.

In my opinion, buying online is one of the better reasons to use a prepaid credit card. I don't understand why people use them instead of cash/debit when buying things from a regular brick-and-mortar retailer, nor do I understand why people give away prepaid cards as gifts: They're like cash, but more inconvenient, wow... what a wonderful gift.

Buying online can often save you A LOT. Although it should be said that you can link up Paypal to a bank account and buy off Ebay that way. If you're willing to put in the time, Ebay can often be the cheapest source for easy-to-ship goods, but DealExtreme can be cheaper, depending on what the item is.

Technically you need to be at least 16 to have a 3vCash voucher, but I'm not sure how they actually enforce that. Presumably they ask at some point in the process, but I'm not sure where they actually verify it.

Convenient Purchasing Options

3VCash can be purchased at any Esso gas station, or Canadian Tire gas station. A 3vCash.ca search of my postal code on their site turned up a number of convenience stores too. So, as or more conveniently than any bank prepaid card. So far so good!

Watch out for the VERY short Expiry Dates!

I'm big on watching out for fees, so let us see what 3VCash charges, and how the compare to the usual suspects, like BMO and RBC (unfortunately, Canadian Tire's Prepaid Mastercard didn't last long).
  • Cards expire after 3 months, and then costs $1.95 to transition to another 3Vcash number, or $4.95 to a bank account
  • Monthly fee of $2/month starts after card expires (ie: 3 months). So be careful and transfer it to another card as soon as your 3 months are almost up
  • Reasonable and sliding fee scale:
  • $20 - No Fee
  • $30 - $2.95 Fee
  • $50 - $2.95 Fee
  • $100 - $4.95 Fee
  • $150 - $4.95 Fee
  • $250 - $4.95 Fee
  • $500 - $4.95 Fee   

When to 3VCash and When to BMO/RBC

So, if you need to buy something one-off online that isn't that expensive and will use up the funds quickly, 3VCash seems like a good way to go. Purchasing options are very convenient (and more private/anonymous than a bank).
If you're going to be a regular purchaser of things online and offline, then the BMO Travel Mosaik Prepaid Mastercard is a better choice, just $9.95 to start, but good for 3 years, and no monthly fees if you use it.
If you're going to buy expensive stuff online, RBC's Prepaid Mastercard might be a better way to go. It costs $3.95, but you get the actual physical card, so when you have just $20.33 left on it, you can hop over the the grocery store and spend every last cent on it. They're also going to expire a lot later than 3 months, with no monthly fees for the first 6 months.

Just be careful and don't use the card to buy something online with 3vCash and do an in-store pickup: They'll ask to see the card when you pick it up and laugh you out of the store :)

I have used it for buying

I have used it for buying online games on Steam (or maybe it was Desura) and that works. I've heard, but not tested, that it also works in the istore and google play store
So I think it works in some bigger stores, but it's wise to google it first

3V Fees increased, Canada Post gift cards now better deal

The fees have changed on 3V and are much higher. The Canada Post gift cards are now a better deal (you can buy increments - $99.99 instead of $100 saves you a dollar in fees). I thought it was too good to be true when I came across the 3V fees on your page. Turns out it was.



Card not working online! FIX

With ANY prepaid card (reloadable or onetime non-reloadable) you have to set your POSTAL code with the issuer. Normally it is easy as to "register" the card with the website on back or call in to "set" your postal code.

Reason - AVS - most merchants use an Address Verification System. This is to try and prevent fraud and expensive merchant charge-backs. You must use the same POSTAL CODE for the BILL TO online that is on "file" with that card.
95% of the time if not done correctly - ANY online transaction will FAIL. Some times if BILL TO and SHIP TO are not the same - IT WILL ALSO FAIL. Cause of this some cards may allow MORE than one postal code to be "on file". Specially if you have letters to a mail box and parcels to your home and/or business address!

Good Luck!

Yes. Or better said tried to.

Or better said tried to. Unfortunately majority online retailers (at least those who I tired) doesn't accept this card and at the end of transaction you'll get an error. If you do online research you'll see I wasn't alone.
So consider it more another online scam than a real pre-paid card. :(


Has anyone use these 3V vouchers?
Kindly post, thanks!

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