Are you looking for a STACK Mastercard review? While the STACK Mastercard may not be a household name, it’s easily one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. Why’s that? Because it has no foreign transaction fees on purchases and ATM withdrawals. The ability to withdraw funds from foreign ATMs is a game-changer since it’ll allow you to access cash for cheap. To simply put it, there is no cheaper way to get cash in a foreign country.
What’s also great about this card is that it’s actually a prepaid credit card. That means you can only spend what you have loaded to your card. You also have the ability to freeze your card when you’re not using it, so you can easily keep your money and information safe. Oh, you’ll also get $25 for free when you sign up with my exclusive referral link (must be clicked with a mobile device). Keep reading my STACK Mastercard review to find out why this card will appeal to people who love to travel and the general public.
STACK Mastercard benefits
- No annual fee
- $25 free when you sign up with my referral link
- No foreign transaction fees
- No ATM fees (ATM provider may charge a fee)
- 20% cash back on select hotels with STACK Travel
- Discounts at a variety of merchants
- Access to exclusive experiences
- Real-time notifications
- Spending analysis
- Automated savings plan
- CDIC insured
At first glance, the STACK Mastercard doesn’t come with a lot of benefits, but that’s because you’re probably comparing it to one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. As mentioned, the STACK card is not a credit card, it’s a prepaid option that lets you manage your money better. Keep in mind that prepaid credit cards don’t help you build your credit score. Don’t worry if you’re a resident of Quebec, STACK is available to you.
If you sign up to STACK with my referral link, you’ll get $25 when you activate your card. Note that you must click this link via your mobile device for it to work.
There’s no doubt that the top feature of STACK is the no foreign transaction fees. There aren’t many credit cards with no annual fee that offer no foreign transaction fees, so getting this card is an easy way to lower your costs whenever you make a purchase that’s not in Canadian dollars.
What’s also interesting about the STACK Mastercard is how it encourages you to save. With every purchase, you can round up to the next $1, $2, $5 or $10 and put it towards your savings goals. Within the app, you’ll see your weekly spending habits so you’ll know where your money is going. STACK basically wants you to own your weekly spending, so you won’t have any issues mastering your monthly or annual budget. Remember, there’s no annual fee, so you’re not spending any money to save money.
As for the rewards, the STACK card doesn’t use a cash back system as many other credit cards do. Instead, they offer curated rewards which are often more valuable. For example, one of the early rewards was a yearly membership to Amazon Prime which has a value of $79. I also saw a promotion with Foodora where you would get $15 off your first purchase, that could be a 20%, 30%, or even 50% return depending on what you ordered. The 20% cash back on hotels when using STACK Travel is incredible.
Since STACK is a Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation member, your deposits are insured up to $100,000. What that means is in the rare event that STACK fails, CDIC would return any money you had with them back to you directly. It’s highly unlikely that STACK is going anywhere, but at least you get peace of mind knowing that your money is safe.
How foreign transaction fees work
What many people don’t realize is that most credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%. You may have never noticed this before because the fee is rolled right into the exchange rate that you see posted to your credit card statement. While 2.5% may not sound like a lot, it certainly adds up over time. Especially when you consider that many online merchants charge in USD or add in their own fees if you want to convert to CAD. Why pay more than you have to right?
Fortunately, there are now quite a few credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. This is great since you’d be charged the spot exchange rate for any purchases you make that’s not in Canadian dollars. There’s only one problem with this, it only applies to purchases. If you need to use an ATM to get cash when you’re travelling, you’d have to either prepay your credit card and make withdrawals, or use your debit card. In both cases, a foreign transaction fee still applies and you still have to pay any ATM fees.
With the STACK Mastercard, there are no foreign transaction fees when using ATMs and they don’t charge you a one-time fee when using machines. That said, the local ATM may charge you a fee to access it. For convenience purposes, STACK is the best way to avoid fees when making purchases and withdrawing funds at ATMS.
You obviously need to make sure you have money on your card before you can make a withdrawal, but there’s really no cheaper way to get the local currency when you’re travelling. Seriously, your bank at home and foreign exchange offices will always charge more which is why I think you need to get STACK before you travel. Don’t worry if you have loaded too much money on the card, as you can always withdraw it in cash when you’re back at home.
Keep in mind, there’s a $500 limit per single ATM transaction and a daily limit of $1,000. You also need to consider the monthly cumulative ATM withdrawal amount of $2,000 if you plan on using this card for extensive travels.
STACK Mastercard pros and cons
While reading this STACK Mastercard review, you’ve likely already figured out what the benefits of the card are. However, what about the downsides? There’s no such thing as a perfect credit card, that’s why you need to look at the pros and cons of STACK before you apply.
- No annual fee: As a prepaid credit card, you don’t pay any account fees.
- No foreign transaction fees: Don’t pay any additional fees on foreign transactions or ATM withdrawals.
- CDIC insurance: STACK is the only fintech company that is a CDIC member.
- Easy account management: Check your perks, spending, and account through the STACK app.
- Limited earn rate: You only get perks with select merchants.
- Lack of additional benefits: You won’t get things like travel insurance or lounge access with a prepaid card.
How the STACK Mastercard compares to others
Most people compare STACK to KOHO. Both cards are prepaid credit cards and have no annual fees. They also both have a roundup feature where you can increase your savings. Once you look at the other benefits, it becomes easier to decide what’s best for you.
The welcome bonus when using a referral link with STACK is $25 cash. With KOHO, you get $20. When it comes to spending, KOHO gives you a straight 0.50% cash back on all purchases, but STACK has special promos with select merchants that can be worth much more than that.
STACK comes out ahead when it comes to no foreign transaction fees since they don’t charge anything for foreign purchases or ATM withdrawals. KOHO charges a 1.5% fee if you’re on the basic service, but the Premium version that costs $84 a year waives all foreign transaction fees.
There’s no denying that KOHO is better when it comes to interest on savings. They’re the only prepaid card out there that offers interest on any money deposited. If your priority is no foreign transaction fees, go with STACK. If you’re focused on the earn rate and savings, the KOHO may be a better choice. That said, both cards have no annual fee, so there’s nothing wrong with having both.
|Annual fee||None||None for basic / $84 Premium|
|Welcome bonus||$25 with referral link||$20 with referral link|
|Rewards||Perks and rewards||0.5% cash back|
|Interest on deposits||None||1.20%|
|Foreign exchange fees||None||1.50% basic / None w/ Premium|
|Additional perks||20% cash back on select hotels||Financial coaching|
My STACK Mastercard review is clearly positive. If you ever travel outside of Canada, you need to have this card. Since it’s a prepaid card, your credit score doesn’t take a hit when you apply. Even if you already have a travel or cash back credit card for your day-to-day purchases, getting STACK is still worth it to save on foreign transaction fees. Use my referral link now and get $25 when you activate your card. Note that you must click this link via your mobile device for it to work.