Are you looking for a CIBC AC Conversion Card review from someone who’s actually had the card in hand? To simply put it, this card is one of the most convenient ways to manage your money abroad since you can load 10 different currencies onto it. Not only will this make your wallet lighter, but it’ll also reduce the fees you’ll pay. Plus, when you use my exclusive referral link, you’ll get $20 for free.
With more Canadians getting vaccinated and restrictions starting to lift around the world, many people are starting to plan their travels. While dreaming about future trips is exciting, you also need to consider how you’re going to pay for things when you’re abroad. Read my CIBC AC Conversion Card review now and find out how this card could work for you.
CIBC AC Conversion Card benefits
- No annual fee
- No load or conversion fees
- Load up to 10 currencies
- 1% cash back on all eligible purchases
- $20 for free when using my exclusive referral link
- Reloadable prepaid card
In case you didn’t know, unless you have a credit card without foreign transaction fees, you’re going to be charged a fee of 2.5% whenever you make a purchase that’s not in Canadian dollars. With the CIBC AC Conversion Card, the only fee you pay is the exchange rate when you load your funds. There are no annual or load fees, so it’s easy to see why this card is appealing to travellers.
As a frequent traveller, I can tell you that managing my money abroad is a pain point. For example, one year I went to Europe and visited Istanbul, Amsterdam, and London. That’s three different currencies I had to deal with. Even though I had a blast, I was stressed out because I was constantly worried about having too little or too much of the local currency. The CIBC AC Conversion Card would have solved that problem since I could have loaded the following 10 currencies to the card.
- Canadian Dollars – CAD
- United States Dollars – USD
- Euros – EUR
- Great British Pounds – GBP
- Mexican Peso – MXN
- Hong Kong Dollars – HKD
- Australian Dollars – AUD
- Japanese Yen – JPY
- Turkish Lira – TRY
- Swiss Franc – CHF
Those 10 currencies will cover you in 45 countries, so anyone using the CIBC AC Conversion card can easily manage their funds. If you’re in a country that doesn’t use one of the listed currencies, you’d pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.
It’s important to note that the CIBC AC Conversion Card is not a credit card; it’s a prepaid Visa. What that means is that you load funds in advance, which you can then spend later. This can work in your favour since you’ll know the exact exchange rate when you load your card. Since the CIBC AC Conversion Card is a digital solution and doesn’t require a bricks and mortar store to operate. As a result, the exchange rates are usually better than what’s offered at financial institutions.
Many people reading my CIBC AC Conversion Card review may be surprised to learn that this card gives you 1% cash back on all purchases made. That’s unheard of for a multi-currency prepaid card. In addition, if you sign up for the prepaid card with my exclusive referral link, you get $20 for free. Note that once you have the card, you can refer friends, and you’ll each get $10.
Another added benefit of the CIBC AC Conversion Card is the ability to withdraw cash from local ATMs. There are no fees for ATM withdrawals within Canada. However, you only get one free foreign ATM withdrawal each month. After that, you’ll pay about $3.50 – $5 each time. Note that this fee is just to use the ATM, and there’s no additional fee to withdraw funds from a compatible currency. For reference, if you used your regular debit card, you’d likely have to pay a withdrawal fee AND a foreign transaction fee.
The card does not come with CDIC Insurance, but you get emergency card replacement, emergency cash, and protection from unauthorized use of your card. If you lose your card, there is a $25 replacement fee.
How to load funds, use your card, and check your balance
Loading funds is easy since you can do it via the mobile app and your account at acconversion.cibc.com. The exchange rates are clearly displayed, so you’ll know exactly what you’re paying when loading funds. There are a few transaction limits that you need to be aware of.
- No minimum load amount
- Maximum load amount (single transaction): $2,999.99 CAD equivalent
- Maximum balance: $20,000 CAD equivalent
- Daily (24-hour) maximum point of sale purchase limit: $2,999.99 CAD equivalent
- Daily (24-hour) maximum ATM withdrawal limit: $2,000 CAD equivalent
Using your card for purchases is no different from any other credit card. Since the CIBC AC Conversion Card is a Visa card, you can use it wherever Visa is accepted. For purchases under $250, you can tap your card. Alternatively, since your card has a chip, you can insert your card into the terminal and enter your PIN to complete the transaction.
This multi-currency prepaid card will automatically know to use the local supported currency, so there’s nothing for you to do. That said, if you’re given a choice between paying in the local currency or Canadian dollars, always choose the local currency. This is known as dynamic currency conversion, and the credit card processor (not CIBC) will charge you a transaction fee if you choose Canadian dollars.
If you’re wondering what your balance is, you can refer to the mobile app or your account at acconversion.cibc.com.
CIBC AC Conversion Card pros and cons
The CIBC AC Conversion Card is one of the best currency exchange options for travellers, but that doesn’t mean you should apply right away. It’s always a good idea to look at the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
- Multi-currency prepaid card – Hold up to 10 currencies that can be used in 45 countries.
- Earn cash back – You’ll get 1% cash back on all your purchases.
- No fees – There are no annual, load, or conversion fees.
- Referral bonus – Get $20 when you sign up with my exclusive referral link.
- May not be the cheapest option – Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees could have lower exchange rates.
- Lack of free ATM withdrawals – You only get one free ATM withdrawal outside of Canada a month
- Limited benefits – There are no additional perks or benefits beyond the 1% cash back.
- Does not build credit – As a prepaid credit card, you do not build your credit score.
How the CIBC AC Conversion Card compares to others
When comparing the CIBC AC Conversion Card to others on the market, you need to think about your goals. If you’re looking for a multi-currency prepaid card, then the CIBC AC Conversion Card is the best since it holds 10 currencies and gives you cash back. The closest comparison would be the Canada Post Cash Passport Card, but it only has 7 currencies, and it has quite a few fees, including load fees.
For those looking for the lowest fees possible, the CIBC AC Conversion Card has reasonable rates, but one of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards might be better. The “catch” is, when you make a purchase with a credit card without foreign transaction fees, you’re paying the exchange rate at the time of the transaction. With the CIBC AC Conversion Card, your rate is locked in whenever you load the card, so you know what you’re paying in advance.
Overall, I’d recommend the CIBC AC Conversion Card if you want something that can hold multiple currencies. If ATM withdrawals are important to you, then the STACK Mastercard is likely a better choice. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card could be a good choice for those who want an all-in-one travel credit card since it comes with lounge access, no foreign transaction fees, and good travel insurance.
Anyone that wants a multi-currency prepaid card will find my CIBC AC Conversion Card review positive. Loading currencies is easy, and you can use your card in 45 countries. Plus, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all purchases. This is definitely an excellent card to have when you travel, but if you prefer something with more benefits, there are better options. If you’re ready to sign up for the CIBC AC Conversion Card, use my exclusive referral link and get $20 for free.