Stack MasterCard – The Best Prepaid Debit Card

Travelling abroad? Get the HomeTrust Preferred Visa - the only Canadian credit card with no foreign transaction fees AND no annual fees. This can save you up to a 2.5% fee on purchases internationally!

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I wrote recently about the Home Trust Visa, which is the only credit card in Canada to offer no foreign transaction fees AND no annual fee. This brings me to the Stack MasterCard, which I think might be the best prepaid debit card in Canada. Normally, prepaid cards are riddled with fees, but Stack one of the only exceptions.

Slack MasterCard Review

Stack is a startup that recently launched their prepaid debit card in August. They are among the new companies that see the bloated fees many Canadians pay and are looking to change that. The Stack MasterCard has no monthly account fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees. The rate used should be parallel to what MasterCard uses, which is as good as it gets when it comes to exchange rates. You can also earn $20 when signing up for a new account.

Stack MasterCard

No Fees – Great for Travel

Loading the card is easy through direct deposit, Interac Online, e-Transfer, or Visa Debit. The card also offers a real-time budgeting tool and free money transfers between accounts. There are some bank cards that earn rewards for Interac Online purchases, which can be an additional bonus. These include the BMO Premium Checking Account which earns up to 1 Air Mile/$40 spent, or up to 1 Scotia Rewards point/$5 with their Scotia One Account.

This card will be great when you’re travelling and need local currency. Most purchases that you make internationally should be with a credit card such as the Home Trust Preferred Visa, or the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite to earn rewards and have better protections with insurance benefits and chargebacks. However, there will always be places that don’t accept credit cards, which will vary dramatically based on where you’re going.

The worst place to get currency are at airports exchange kiosks. In some cities, local exchanges may have better rate, but those will also vary significantly. The most consistent option is through a local ATM. You don’t have to bring money with you, and you have recourse if issues arise later. Normally, withdrawing with a bank card, will incur a foreign transaction fee, bank account withdrawal fee by your bank, and sometimes an ATM fee charged by the operator. The Stack MasterCard avoids the first two fees.

This is better than the current cheapest option, which involves prepaying your credit cards with no foreign transaction fees prior to using the ATM. With this method, there is a cash advance fee, but are not charged interest because you have a credit balance. I find this complex, and the Stack MasterCard presents a substantially better solution. As Stack MasterCard does not control the fees charged by the ATM operators, that may be a fee you incur.

There are a variety of other methods to Avoid Foreign ATM Fees, but they are limited solutions (in the case of Tangerine), or are options that require banking in the US. If you are able to access the latter, the Charles Schwab Checking account is outstanding. They reimburse you for ATM fees, and have other benefits including interest on your account balance.

Rewards

Use this signup link to earn $20 after opening your account. This is not indicated on the landing page, but Stack has been responsive to my messages. They should be good about crediting this to your account if it doesn’t automatically post. You are also able to refer folks once you have your card. Similar to other prepaid cards, this card does not earn points or cashback. The exception is that they have targeted offers on select merchants, similar to the offers from Drop Rewards. Most offers are only valid for one-time use with the cashback posting directly to your account. Current offers include Foodora, Starbucks, Uber, and Twitch. 

Stack MasterCard Rewards

From looking around online, Stack has its origin in cryptocurrency.  They released a token that had a market value of several million dollars (or more). Presumably, they raised quite a tidy sum from their initial coin offering which really, is quite amazing. Hopefully, their marketing budget will continue these benefits. At this moment, it’s unlikely they aren’t making money on this product, but will likely recoup revenues from interchange fees and monetizing your transaction data in the future.

Overall, this product is extremely impressive. This credit card will definitely be in my travel wallet, and I can’t wait to use it on my next trip. I would love to see Stack launch premium credit product and build their positive brand awareness.

Apply for the Stack MasterCard today, and earn $20 after opening an account!

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  1. […] Stack MasterCard – The Best Prepaid Debit Card? 30% Avios Transfer Bonus from American Express! October 10 Update: Fly WestJet lie flat business class for about $1,600 one way, BMO Rewards pay with points rate and more! WestJet Rewards introduces a new top elite tier – Platinum And the first long haul WestJet Boeing 787 routes are Calgary to Paris, London and Dublin WestJet Announces Boeing 787 Routes to Europe The Aftermath of the Marriott Merger Singapore Suites to Auckland Bookable on Aeroplan! […]

  2. […] There are three features that make the product less competitive with others. First, other cards offer better bonuses on categories such as Grocery and Dining. The best example of this is the new American Express Cobalt Card, which earns 5x points with no limit. Next, the American Express Platinum still charges foreign transaction fees. You can avoid this with the Hometrust Preferred Visa or the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. For ATM withdrawals, I would recommend the Stack Mastercard, which might be the best prepaid card for travellers. […]

Comments

  1. That sounds a great travel product. I just signed up thru your link (which directed me to App Store to download the app). How long should I expect the $20 to be credited in my account?

  2. A data point: I just withdrew EUR 100 from a Deutsche Bank ATM at Frankfurt Airport. Cost via Stack was $152.71 and no fees. In the past I would have obtained the cash at home from TD. I just checked their website and the cost today would be $158.24.

  3. I used your code but didn’t receive a credit.

    Customer service says I need the referrer’s name or email address along with the signup link to get the credit.

  4. Beware of this card. It works well in most locations, but occasionally gets declined (even where it was previously accepted) with the charge still being debited from your account. It happened to me on 3 occasions, ending up paying 3 times the same transaction (2 attempts, then paid in cash) and a lot of embarrassment for the merchant and I. Imagine a large amount. The card cannot be trusted.

    • Since it’s a debit card, each authorization will take money from your account. Any duplicates should drop within a few days, and any issue should be easily resolved with customer service. This is why I would suggest using a credit card instead for such purchases as you won’t run into that issue.

  5. STACK is run by a bunch of scam artists. They have no money and are forced to give out rich offers to attract users. Their CEO, CFO and CPO are idiots and crooks who should not be allowed anywhere near a startup.

  6. One note. Home Trust Visa is not the only Canadian no-annual-fee + no- foreign-transaction-fee card. Toronto-based Brim Financial Mastercard is as well.

  7. Stack is crap. They don’t honour what they promise. Card was declined multiple times, even though enough funds were in the account. Customer service very rude. Highly do not recommend.

  8. I plan to use the Stack Master card to withdraw cash from 7-11 ATM while travelling in Japan. I remember reading that 7-11 ATM in Japan does not charge any fees. So does that mean using this method will not incur any fees at all?

    Just joined Stack and I see that I have a virtual card. I guess I need the physical card in order to use the ATM in Japan?

    Thanks.

  9. Unbelievable. Stack is a scam. They got me with an offer of 1yr Amazon prime — each month billed to the card was reimbursed. They decided to change the terms after 7 months with no warning – my balance is gone because of course Amazon kept billing the card. I talked with them – they are fraudsters with no moral compass. I will never trust these guys with any funds above the $50 I first gave.

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