CIBC offers a co-branded Air Canada Prepaid Card, called the AC Conversion card that you can sign up here.
Below are the highlights of the card before we get going on the review:
- Ability to load up to 10 currencies
- No fee Visa card
- No foreign exchange conversion fees
- Earn a 1% cashback on all purchases (promotion for purchases posted between May 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022)
- Receive a $10 referral bonus
- Must be a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
Types of currencies and use
Below is the list of foreign currencies that can be loaded into the card.
- Australian Dollars (AUD)
- Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- Euros (EUR)
- Great British Pounds (UK) (GBP)
- Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)
- Japanese Yen (JPY)
- Mexican Peso (MXN)
- Swiss Franc (Switzerland) (CHF)
- Turkish Lira (TRY)
- United States Dollars (USD)
Once the currencies are loaded into the card, the cardholder has the ability to use the card to make any purchases in those specific currencies (whether in person or online), as long as Visa cards are accepted. Cardholders also have the flexibility to switch amounts between the available currencies.
What is great about this card is that there are no annual/maintenance fees or load fees. Furthermore, there is no conversion fee when switching between the available currencies. Only the exchange rates will fluctuate the conversion.
However, these are some other fees to be conscience of:
|Shipment by Courier (Optional)||CAD $15.00|
|Card Replacement (loss of card)||CAD $25.00 or equivalent|
|ATM Withdrawals (Within Canada)||Free|
|ATM Withdrawals (Outside Canada)||No fee will be charged for the first ATM withdrawal in each month.|
Note that there is a 2.5% foreign conversion fee that applies when the cardholder makes transactions outside of the 10 supported currencies mentioned above.
Load and transaction limits
There is no minimum load amount, but there is a $3,000 CAD load amount within a 24-hour period. There is a maximum of $20,000 CAD total (regardless of total currencies) that a cardholder can have on their account at a time. Below is the load limits:
|Minimum load amount (single Transaction)||$100 CAD equivalent|
|Maximum load amount (single Transaction)||$3,000 CAD equivalent|
|Maximum balance||$20,000 CAD equivalent|
|Daily (24-hour) maximum point of sale purchase limit||$3,000 CAD equivalent
|Daily (24-hour) maximum ATM withdrawal limit||$2,000 CAD Equivalent|
This is a great travel card for people who do not want to travel with a lot of cash. The strategy that I would recommend is that if you know that you have an upcoming trip to one of those countries listed, watch currencies fluctuations and load the card then. This is different from travelling with a no foreign transaction fee credit card, because the charge to the card at the moment of purchase will be based on the current exchange rate.
By having this card, we can take advantage of currency fluctuations ahead of time digitally, instead of cash. The ATM withdrawal fee is steep when travelling, but this card is more about using the funds pre-loaded on the card.
If you are done with your trip and still have funds left in a certain currency, the benefit is that you can switch the remaining balance to another currency that would be more relevant to you in the near future.