Visa Gift Cards in Canada

Background on Prepaid Visa/Mastercards in Canada

I've already written a very popular article on prepaid cards in Canada, and I do recommend reading it, as it is full of useful of information on this topic. When purchasing a card like this, it is very important to shop around and look at all of the available options. 

Recommended Prepaid Visa Gift Card

I would recommend the RBC Prepaid Visa Gift Card

They're from a respectable bank rather than a sketchy cheque-cashing office. Their prices are good, just $3.95 for any value between $25 and $500 and you can buy them at any RBC branch. You will need to show ID to purchase them, but they are "gift cards", so it is okay to give them away to someone else. They do charge a monthly account fee of $1.50/month if one takes longer than 6 months to use up the balance of the card. If the card expires, you lose the rest of the balance, but for a fee, one can roll it over to another card. See more information on the RBC Prepaid Visa here. 

These cards are not reloadable or refundable, so watch out for that, but if you do lose it, you actually can go through RBC and possibly get a replacement card (for a fee of course). These cards do have most of the protections that a regular credit card has in terms of chargebacks. 

I'd definitely recommend these cards when you want to mail someone a monetary gift, but don't feel comfortable sending cash or having to deal with the inconvenience of cheques or money orders. 

BMO Prepaid MasterCard - not for kids

My son turns 17 next week and I wanted to get him a prepaid credit card as he's travelling the week after. Apparently the rules in Alberta state the owner of the card must be 18 years of age. So much for that idea. I thought it would also be a great way to teach him some finance skills. Too bad; I'd far sooner have him carry a card than cash or even traveller's cheques as TCs aren't accepted everywhere and can create problems.

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