RBC Prepaid Visa: Information, Details, Review (Not a Credit Card)

I've already written a review summary of Canadian Prepaid Mastercards and Visa cards (often incorrectly called "credit cards").

Also check out the 2010 Guide to the Top 5 Canadian Prepaid Credit Cards. 

But I think that original article is a bit unruly, so here's an article that is JUST about the RBC Prepaid Visa

Royal Bank of Canada Prepaid Visa "Credit Card"

Update: It looks like you need to show two pieces of identification to purchase these, I'm not sure if that information gets documented or not. It is a bit odd, since you still have the option of registering it later. Maybe it is just to verify your age?

Firstly, RBC likes to call this a "Gift Card", so you might have better luck calling it that in a branch rather than a prepaid visa to avoid confusion. The product is relatively new, so not all tellers may be familiar with it. It is also possible that not all branches will have them in stock, so call ahead, you might have to go to a specific branch or ask them to order it in for you.

These should be accepted wherever Visa is accepted, but for some purchases, you might need to register your name and address (At the RBC Visa website), losing some of your anonymity. However, I'm not entirely sure you need to put your name and address, especially for online digital services, like iTunes, where you're not getting anything actually shipped to you. It is a good idea to register your card in case you lose it, or need to do a chargeback however.

RBC Prepaid Visa Card Fees

The card itself costs just $3.95, a pretty good bargain in the "anonymous" prepaid card world. After 6 months from purchase, they'll start charging you $1.50 per month. When the card expires, they donate the balance to their chosen Olympic charity, where they'll proceed to take all of the credit for your donation and likely never attribute any of it to you. I'm not sure if you get a tax receipt for this (I doubt it). 

Since it seems like you can only dispute a transaction if you register your name and address with the card, you might want to just buy 1 card for 1 transaction, if you value your privacy and are worried about the security of your transaction. $3.95 isn't a huge expense if someone could charge your account $400 and you'd have no recourse because you didn't register your card.

There is a currency conversion fee of 2.5%, which seems to be pretty standard in the regular credit card world.

There doesn't appear to be any predatory "50 cents to check your balance" or "$3465346363/month maintenance fee" on this card, which is nice.


Also, some payment processors can detect and block transactions that are from prepaid credit cards, I believe hotels sometimes do this. I don't think you'll have trouble purchasing at regular retail stores though. So if you buy a big prepaid card, be sure to be willing to spend it on something else if your first-choice retailer rejects it. 

The card can be purchased in any amount between $25 and $500 it seems. So it seems like if you know that a transaction will cost $47.77, you can buy a card for $47.77, but don't quote me on that. Having said that, the cards are only available in Canadian dollars, so you might have to add some amount to cover varying currency exchange rates.

Cards are NOT reloadable.

If you don't register your card with your name and address, consider any fraud your loss. 

The somewhat anonymous Canadian prepaid card choice.

RBC Prepaid Gift Cards need to be purchased in person from a Royal Bank Branch. They exist across Canada, so this shouldn't be hard, but you cannot buy them online, or through retail stores. However, I don't think you need to present identification. Nor do you need to fill out an application, it should be a "pay in cash and out in 10 minutes with the card" type of purchase. No activation of the card is required, but registering your name and address is optional if you so desire.

RBC Prepaid Visa Card Summary

  • Relatively anonymous, your name isn't on the card, but you do have to present ID to buy
  • Easy to buy (I think)
  • Reputable seller (you don't have to worry about them going under and losing your balance)
  • Low fees, especially if you spend your funds quickly
  • Remaining funds lost at expiry
  • Registerable if needed/desired
  • Only available in RBC Branches
  • Not reloadable
  • Cannot do cash advances
  • Could lose a lot of money if you choose to not register your name/address with the card and lose it

Do you need a RBC account to

Do you need a RBC account to obtain a RBC prepaid Card?

No. You don't need to have an

No. You don't need to have an RBC account with them.

RBC Prepaid Card

I am a huge spender when it comes to online shopping and I was wondering if you need a previous RBC account to obtain a RBC prepaid Card?

I bought this card this week

I bought this card this week and the lady told me they no longer charge you 1.50$ per month after 6 months so there is no monthly fee whatsoever until the expiration date.

I was asked my name and address but didn't have to show an ID.

No doubt this is the best prepaid card in Canada, i will no longer use the Canada post one.

Which Cdn. Cards allow a US address when registering it??

Does the RBC prepaid VISA gift card purchased in Canada allow you to use a US address when actually registering it??
In other words, to make it match up for those who have a US mailing address or box which can be used for online purchase shipments or recurring monthly deductions for things like Sat Radio, TV, Netflix, etc??

Or, does anyone know which if ANY Canadian issued prepaid VISAs, MC's or gift cards allow for a US address when actually registering it online??

Can any of these be used for DISH NETWORK recurring monthly sub?

Has anyone had any experinece with either the RBC or any other prepaid VISA being able to be used for setting up the Automatic monthly automated payment for something like Dish Network Satellite Service??

I would like to be able to set up a basic Dish Network account but with receivers I have purchased outright. I do not want a 2 year contract with receivers rented from Dish. New customers need to provide a credit card number and if you want to get extra freebies like the HD for Life promo, you are required to set up Paperless Billing with automatic monthy withdrawl.

Can a prepaid card like this work for this arrangement? It doesnt have to necessarily be reloadable. I would have one loaded up with enough funds to cover 1 years worth of subcription.

So to summarize the ramble... Can PREPAID VISA's be used to set up automated recurring monthly payments?


CVC Codes

I read that all purchasing cards have a CVC code on them. Mine doesn't seem to have one. It's a Bank of Montreal Debit card. I've been waiting for ages to purchase something online myself.

CVC codes on debit cards

Interac debit cards don't have CVC codes on them, only credit cards do. European or US debit cards (which work on the Visa/Mastercard system) may have them though.

US Dollar Visa gift card?

I live in Canada and want to get a US Dollar Visa gift card to give to someone in the US - can I get one here? Or does anyone know of a US online store selling Visa gift cards who will ship to Canada?

shipping to US

I can't find any information about whether or not any cards can be shipped to the US. No responses to emails sent. Any ideas? I'm taking a trip to a place where US backed cards are not accepted.

RBC gift card didn't work at Shoppers Drug Mart

I received three $25.00 RBC gift cards (not the vanilla one) when I signed up for cell phone plan. I registed one of the $25.00 gift cards online, checked the balance online and over the phone and it was fine. Also signed the back of the card. I was at Shoppers to purchase something in cosmetics which was $30.00 and planned on paying the rest in cash.The cosmetician said it was denied. I don't recall her swiping it through the debit type machine? Maybe scanned it or punched in the code?Anyways I couldn't purchase the item. Are there only certain places that take Visa Gift cards? They sell these at SDM.

The VanCity cards are way

The VanCity cards are way better than RBC as they have no monthly fees at all and are only $2. Canada Post cards also have no monthly fees so why are you saying RB is better? their monthly fees are a ripoff


Just wondering if you need id to buy the rbc prepaid card?

Works With PayPal

I can confirm the RBC prepaid credit card works with PayPal, PayPal requires a credit card with a valid street address, with the RBC prepaid card you have to go online to their website and register the card under your name and address. Works 100%

RBC Prepaid Visa - ID Required?

I phoned my local branch and she said that ID is required to buy the RBC prepaid gift card if you do not have an account. Denominations are in multiples of $25 up to $500.
Having to show my ID and linking my name to the card sucks, can anyone confirm that they got the card without ID as the article says?

Background check..

I'm curious as to weather you can use this card as a 'background check' credit card..? I want to get onto a cell phone plan, and most places require a credit card check..As it has the credit card name on it, is this possible, even though it is a 'gift card' ?? Thanks.

Probably not, the merchant

Probably not, the merchant does an in-depth check on the card which will show up as prepaid, and therefore the merchant probably won't accept it as a part of their credit check. If they did, people would be signing up for phone plans with "free" iPhones and Blackberry Torches and running off with them.

Is bmo travel mosaik prepaid mastercard good for car rental.

I would like to know? Is bmo travel mosaik prepaid mastercard could be use to rent a car, if I travel in the U.S or online. And can this card could be used for hotel reservation abroad on line!


So far i have used my BMO prepaid credit card for two different car rentals in Florida. Thriftys and Ace . I have booked plane tickets, hotels and it has never been turned down for anything !!!

YES!! I travelled to Hawaii

YES!! I travelled to Hawaii and used it for a one day car rental. Just make sure you load up enough funds to cover it and the deposit. If you read the fine print, it also includes car rental insurance as well!! Hope this helps!



Liking it so far...

Got one of these several days ago after reading about it on your site. I was a little apprehensive about whether or not it would work for everything I needed it to, but figured in the worst case scenario I could use it locally since there's no per use fee.

My experiences with the card thus far:
- Bought it at a local RBC branch. The clerk knew right away what I was talking about and was knowledgeable about it. He did ask me if I had a RBC account and I said yes, after which he wanted my client card to process the sale. Next time I'll just say I don't have an account (I did pay by cash vs having it taken straight out of my account). The transaction only took about 10 minutes and then I was on my way.
- There's a feature online to add your information for online purchase use. It's somewhat hidden since you have to choose it from a dropdown box for account activities that isn't readily obvious.
- From there you can enter a name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. DO THIS CAREFULLY - although there is an edit feature it turns out the edit only lets you change the email address. Since the address and name is what will be used as a credit card billing address for online purchases this will have to match whatever address you're doing the purchase under. If you need to have two different addresses you may need to get two cards so you can enter different addresses for each (you can ask a teller, but I didn't see any way to edit the address after it's been entered).
- I used the card later that day to make online purchases from a company in the States (in US funds converted from Canadian), and also one in Germany (in Euros converted from Canadian) with no issues. The amounts were posted the same day, and cleared within two business days. Both purchases were for online services and I was given access to both before the transactions were marked finalized (but had been posted), so it is like having a normal credit card as far as that goes.
- The online portal allows you to easily see your existing balance and all pending (posted but not cleared transactions) and finalized transactions.

So far I've really liked having it. PayPal isn't accepted everywhere and this allowed quick and painless purchases with minimal fees. I intend to use it to put some money in PayPal later and will report back about how that went.

I also wanted to say thanks for the information on this site. I wasn't aware of this particular card before I found this information and it helped me get some things done that otherwise would've been a chore.

agree with you

You are absolutely correct - their website design is not exactly great.

can I use this RBC gift visa

can I use this RBC gift visa card for online casinos??

You can give it a try. The

You can give it a try. The card only costs $3.95. If it doesn't work you can still use the card to buy groceries or gas or whatever. Please post the results if you try.


thanks it is a useful information

RBC Prepaid Gift Card for Phone Apps

Has anyone had any issues purchasing phone apps using a gift card? Insights / Comments appreciated. (eg. Android Marketplace)

Probably OK

Hi, I have used the card over and over for online transactions. Mostly on US websites but also a few on Canadian websites. No transaction has been declined so far, so there is a good chance that it will work.

RBC give cards - bad idea

I would NOT recommend these cards to anyone. We have had nothing but trouble with them. We have been double charged several times yet only signed receipts once. Forget about trying to phone the help number on the back. We tried and got the invalid number message. Someone should investigate this bank. Sounds like they are running some kind of scam.

Fake Review ?

Hi, your experience is very different from mine as I have had no transaction problem whatsoever so far.

Double charging usually indicates a problem with the MERCHANT, not with the credit card company. In can happen with ANY card if there is a fault with the merchant's or card processor's billing system. These kind of issues are always temporary in nature - they will not repeatedly occur day after day.

The customer support toll-free phone number written on card is 866-466-8079 and it DOES work. But you need to dail a "1" before the number. As with any long distance or toll-free number.

What other problems have you been having exactly? You just say "etc".

This card is anything but a scam and you should be more accurate with your "review". It seems like you are a disgruntled ex-RBC employee rather than a genuine card user.

This card i have in front of

This card i have in front of me has a different number 1 855 228 8885 and when i call it tells me the phone number can't connect in my area. the website will not let me enter the card for online purchases or to have insurance. it tells me i have entered the wrong information. I checked 5 times. i did not enter the wrong info, and now I have no phone number to reach anyone about it. im going to call the one you posted. but you shouldnt be so rash, because in fact the card sitting in front of me looks to be flawed. how can it have a phone number on it that is not active!

ok so i phoned the number you

ok so i phoned the number you have posted, i entered my card number on the visa and it told me the number is invalid. i re entered it 3 times. nope!! not working. and I couldnt even TALK to someone. when i pressed 0 assuming i would get a person, it told me that was invalid and hung up on me! WTF this is a joke a have a sh*ty piece of 200$ INVALID plastic sitting in front of me with no number to reach anyone about it. WOWW RBC im not really surprised!!



We will not be using this

We will not be using this card again. We have had nothing but trouble (double charges etc.) and when you try to phone the number on the back of the card it says that the phone number is no longer valid. Begins to feel like it is a scam.

It is a scam

Bought these as bonuses for employees and will warn everyone not to buy them. Unless you want your funds drained and taken away at six month point....

••• RBC Prepaid Visa 2010 Recap •••

For those seeking information on this card I can tell you about my personal experience using it for the past 6 months or so. Feel free to ask me questions.

This prepaid card does look like a real credit card except that "VALUED CARDHOLDER" is embossed on it instead of your name. It has both the VISA and RBC logos on the front as well as the VISA hologram and a CVV on the back. There is no chip. Also on the back "PREPAID CARD" is printed in very small characters (hardly noticable). There is an expiry date which for me had been 15-18 months away. Upon expiration the remaining funds would be lost. This is not a big issue as the card only lasts me 1-3 months. RBS usually has different card models to chose from, e.g. flowers, gift box, Christmas theme, etc.

- The card can be used immediately after having been purchased at an RBC branch for $3.95.
- This is a GIFT card, i.e the purchaser and end-user may be different persons.
- There is no PIN associated with the card. It cannot be used to withdraw money.
- It works everywhere including online. I have made more than 20 transactions and none has been declined.
- If you expect to use it online you must register your address & phone number on the RBC website beforehand.
- You can not use it for recurring transactions, e.g. payment of monthly utility bills.
- You should not use it for hotel or car reservations or at a gas pump.
- No transaction fee. No monthly maintenance fee if you use all the funds within 6 months of purchase.

- Purchasing this card is an EXTREMELY TEDIOUS affair! It has taken me anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes to complete this simple transaction. Wake up RBC!
- You cannot load it with more than $500 (where does this ridiculous limit come from?).
- It is unfortunately not reloadable.

I am interesting in feedback from users of these:

  • 3V Visa voucher: Is it really accepted everywhere online?
  • American Express gift card from Shoppers Drugmart: Does it work online? My guess is that it doesn't.
  • Titanium Visa from Money Mart: Is it working at all? A lot of negative comments on other websites.
  • Western Union Visa: Is it available in Canada? I see conflicting information regarding this.


Pretty good

I have been using the RBC gift card for about 6 months now for on-line purchases. I have never had a transaction declined so I am happy with that.

What I really don't like is that the process of buying this card at an RBC branch is impossibly complicated. The first time I went it took FORTY (40) MINUTES! No one at the branch had a clue on how to do this. They even tried to get rid of me by saying that this product was only available to customers with an existing RBC account -- NOT SO! Extremely unprofessional.

The 2nd and 3rd purchases were a bit faster but still in the 20-30 minutes range. Totally ridiculous...

Prepaid Card Issuers

Where can I get a list of Canadian prepaid card issuing banks and contacts to discuss prepaid cards for a new application?


There is nothing mentioned in the RBC FAQ about age limitations. Also nothing in their "RBC Royal Bank Prepaid Card Agreement".

Technically this card is just a gift card, like a Future Shop or Home Depot gift card. It is assumed that the purchaser may not be the end-user.

I have no idea about PayPal.

Can this card be used with

Can this card be used with Paypal to make online purchases?
Also, are there any age limatations?

prepaid card

Can prepaid credit cards be used as a monthy recurring payment for a service available on line only.


No. From the RBC FAQ:

20. Can recurring payments be made with an RBC Visa Gift Card?
Because RBC Visa Gift Card are non-reloadable, cards cannot be used make recurring payments. These payments will not be authorized by the merchant.

Ref: http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/visagiftcard/faq.html#q20

one thing I just leard about this card

If you use this card online and the transaction fails in transit, you will be out the funds for no less than 8 business days. Even though the 'card holder services' (number on the card) can see that the transaction faild there will be nothing they can do about it. This is really anoying when you try the same transaction 4 times and it fails 4 times. So my $24.95 failed transaction when tried 4 times put me out $99.80 for 8 days.
Just a heads up, if the online transaction fails don't try again. Call and make your order if you can.

reloadable & anomymous prepaid solution needed

i registered with a website to try a service, but I used my typical online alias, not my real name. I need to pay the site for the services they provide on a monthly basis, but my credit card doesn't my online alias. For one month I got around this using a gift card. But they want me to be setup for recurring billing (about $300/month), and changing the card every month looks suspicious to say the least. So I want a re loadable card. But the trick is my profile on this website has an address in the US, whereas I actually live in Canada, and a name that isn't real. The site only takes credit cards for payment. Any idea of a reloadable card where I can enter the name/address details myself? All the common ones from the banks put my real ID down on the card, which won't work with this site.

PS this site uses a combo of credit card # as an identifier and IP address to test to see if you enrolled with them before.


online purchases

Can I use this for online purchases? Usually the online purchase requires your name, addy & the visa number along with the cardholder name. With these cards, do they have to have the card number and a CVV or CVC number (like the 3 digit number on all credit cards)?

Online Purchases/CVV

Yes, the RBC Visa Giftcards can be used online, however you must ensure that you register your card first before making purchases. This can be done by going to the site listed on the Visa card.

Yes, every card has a CVV/CVC number on the back of the card.

Do you need a good cradit ?

always wondered with these prepaid ones . Do you need a credit check ? does it already come with money already on it ?

RBC Prepaid Mastercards & Credit Checks

The RBC Cards do not require a credit check

Are these cards allowed to

Are these cards allowed to buy games from Steam? Do you have to be a certain age to buy them?

Just wondering if anyone

Just wondering if anyone knows if you need an RBC account to purchase this card.

No RBC Account Required for Prepaid Gift Card

No, you do not need to be an RBC account holder to purchase such a card.

Thanks for all your info,

Thanks for all your info, keep up the good work !


I will be traveling to new york on august 10-19 i need a card that will be accpeted in hotels i need a place to stay. please help me out to choose the right card i dont want to go there and they dont accept certain cards. fee dont matter

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