STACK, a prepaid card with zero fees
STACK is a prepaid Mastercard. If the cardholder spends $350 or more per month, this card is :
- no monthly fee
- no withdrawal fees at ATMs
As of February 2022, the STACK card has a 2.5% conversion fee for foreign currency transactions.
However, if you spend between $350 and $1,000 per month in foreign currency, the effective rate will be 0%: Stack will deposit 2.5% cash back into your account on these purchases.
But if you spend less than $350, you will be charged a 2.5% fee. And if you spend more than $1,000, you will also be charged a 2.5% fee on the excess amount.
Here are some offers available in my STACK account at the time of writing this review.
Beginning December 1, 2022, STACK will apply fees to certain transactions.
|TYPE OF CHARGE||FEE AMOUNT|
|STACK access fee||$ 7.99/month|
|Electronic transfer load (for each transaction)||$ 0.99/transaction|
|Outgoing E-transfer by customer service agent (administration fee)||$ 9.99/transaction *|
|Domestic ATM fees||$ 1.99/use|
|International ATM fees||$ 2.99/use|
|Cash load fee||$ 1.99/use|
* If a STACK cardholder spends at least $350 CAD net during the calendar month, these fees will be reimbursed except for E-transfer.
Open a STACK account
Getting a STACK prepaid Mastercard is easy.
First, you’ll need to download the STACK mobile app and then you’ll create an account. Because it’s a prepaid card, it does not affect your credit score (no inquiry).
However, PDF documents will need to be submitted proving your identity with your home address.
Then, before receiving your STACK prepaid card in the mail, you can immediately enjoy a virtual prepaid card:
You can even add this Virtual prepaid STACK card to your Apple Pay wallet (yes, I have a lot of American Express cards!)
This virtual prepaid card has some limitations, as long as the physical card has not been activated:
|Maximum Daily Cumulative Amount, Direct Deposit Loads||$250|
|Maximum Monthly Cumulative Amount, Direct Deposit Loads||$1,000|
|Maximum Daily Amount per Single Point of Sale Transaction||$250|
|Maximum Monthly Spend Limit||$1,000|
|Maximum Daily card-to-card Transfer||$250|
|Maximum Monthly card-to-card Transfer||$1,000|
Recharge a STACK prepaid card
There are a number of ways you can top up your STACK prepaid card:
- Interac E-Transfer
- Payroll deposit
- Cash Load (Canada Post and some businesses like Mobil, Canadian Tire)
- Add STACK as a provider for bill payment
- Add STACK for your CRA Direct Deposit
The simplest is, of course, the Interac e-transfer, which only takes a few minutes.
Limitations of STACK prepaid card
Seeking to know everything about the product, I became aware of physical card limits, available on this page, and transcribed below:
|Maximum Card Balance||$20,000|
|Maximum Number of Loads per Day||4|
|Maximum Number of Loads per Month||20|
|Maximum Amount per Single Direct Deposit Load Transaction||$8,000|
|Maximum Number of Interac e-Transfer Loads per Day||10|
|Maximum Number of Interac e-Transfer Loads per Month||60|
|Maximum Amount per Single Interac e-Transfer Load||$3,000|
|Maximum Daily Cumulative Amount, Direct Deposit Loads||$8,000|
|Maximum Daily Cumulative Amount Interac e-Transfer Loads||$4,000|
|Maximum Monthly Cumulative Amount, Loads (including Interac e-transfer Loads)||$20,000|
|Maximum Number of Point of Sale (POS) Transactions per Day||15|
|Maximum Amount per Single Point of Sale Transaction including Bill Payments||$2,500|
|Maximum Daily Cumulative Amount POS, including Bill Payments||$5,000|
|Maximum Monthly Cumulative Amount POS, including Bill Payments||$20,000|
|Maximum Number of ATM Transactions per Day||2|
|Maximum Amount per Single ATM Transaction||$500|
|Maximum Daily Cumulative Amount ATM||$1,000|
|Maximum Monthly Cumulative Amount ATM||$2,000|
|Maximum Amount per Single Card to Card Transfer Transaction||$2,500|
|Maximum Daily Cumulative Amount Card to Card Transfer||$5,000|
|Maximum Daily Combined Spend and Cash Withdrawal||$5,000|
While most of these limits seem reasonable for a prepaid card, only one of them may be a concern in some situations: the maximum monthly amount of ATM withdrawals ($2,000).
In some countries, it is virtually impossible to pay other than with cash. If you had planned to withdraw more money over a month, then that is a limit to have in mind.
My intended use of the STACK card
I have a credit card with no foreign currency conversion fees, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. So I see two scenarios where the STACK prepaid card could be useful for my international travels, if I spend $350 or more per month:
- No ATM withdrawal fees (but the ATM operator may charge a fee): this will always be a saving compared to the $2 to $7 fees charged by the most Canadian banks for withdrawals abroad
- A Rescue option in case of a malfunction or a decline of my HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
If not, you’re better off with real credit cards that don’t charge foreign currency conversion fees.
STACK referral system
STACK offers a referral system.
For each user refered, they will receive $5 in their new STACK account, and you’ll earn $5 for each referral.
The STACK prepaid Mastercard is simple to use.
Come and share your experience with STACK in our Facebook group!