Stack Mastercard Review 2021
Canadians dedicated to bettering their personal finance products have weighed the options of debit cards and credit cards as their main method of payment.
Debit cards are convenient, safe, and deduct funds immediately from your account. The downsides are bank fees, transaction limits, and no rewards.
Credit cards are great since they offer a grace period to pay bills, cash back, rewards, and many other additional perks. The disadvantage of credit cards is high-interest rates, annual fees, and late fees. Credit cards aren’t always the most practical choice.
However, as fintech evolves, new banking products become more available each day.
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Enter the Stack Mastercard, one of the few prepaid, reloadable cards available in Canada. It combines the rewards of a credit card with the safety of a debit card so that you can spend, save, and share your money with zero fees, anywhere in the world.
In this review of the Stack Mastercard, Wealth Rocket looks at the hybrid debit card and credit card.
Stack Mastercard: Overview
Wealthsimple is a multi-platform banking and investing service operating out of Toronto, Canada since 2014. In 2017, Wealthsimple expanded services south of the border to the United States of America and across the pond to the United Kingdom.
Today, Wealthsimple manages $5 billion in savings and investments for approximately 175,000 customers.
The wealth management platform initially provided a robo-advisor service but has since grown into a full investing and banking service, offering an online brokerage, hybrid bank account, crypto trading, and a tax-filing service. Wealthsimple customers can access these tools through a sleek mobile app, available on iOS and Android or through their online interface.
How does Stack Mastercard Work?
Customers can sign-up through the Stack Mastercard website or the Stack Mastercard mobile app, available for Apple IOS and Android. New customers can expect to receive a physical card in the mail.
When signing up, the app will ask the user a few questions to verify their identity. There are three options to loading the Stack prepaid Mastercard with funds: via direct deposit from your employer, through Interac e-transfer, or by adding Stack as a payee through your bank.
If you want to load your Stack card with physical cash, you will need to visit a participating Canada Post or verified retailer, including Mobil Gas Stations, Hasty Market, and more. To do this, customers will receive a Stack QR code that identifies the amount they’d like to add to their card.
New customers can use the Stack Mastercard to pay for anything in the same way that you would use a regular debit or credit card anywhere around the world where Mastercard is accepted.
Stack MC Features
By now, anyone familiar with the Stack Mastercard knows that it offers heaps of attractive features. These features include:
- No sign-up fees
- No monthly fees or annual fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No domestic or international ATM withdrawal fees from Stack
- Unlimited transactions
- Free card replacement
- Real-time updates and spending analysiss
- Automated round-up savings program
- Free money transfers between Stack customers
- Instant notifications
- Zero liability protection
- Referral Program
Stack Mastercard: Rewards
Stack Mastercard offers customers rewards with each purchase and exclusive discounts and savings at over 140 retailers and businesses.
Purchases at these retailers offer cash back rewards on everyday purchases, but only at participating retailers.
Participating retailers include Foot Locker, David’s Tea, DoorDash, Netflix, and more.
When you plan your trip using Stack Travel, you can earn 20% cash back at select hotels that have partnered with Stack.
Stack Mastercard Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
No fees: This means zero monthly or annual fees, no foreign exchange rate fees, no ATM withdrawal fees, or overdraft fees. It also means no interest charges or late penalties.
Great for travel: No international ATM withdrawal fees, which means you can withdraw cash from foreign ATMs without getting hit with a fee (on Stacks end). This system is much more convenient, easier, and cheaper than having to search for currency exchange.
Budgeting Features and Financial IQ: This is a Stack feature that will categorize and tally your weekly and monthly spending- to help you visually see where your money is going
Automated savings program: Another Stack feature you can customize in the app lets you automatically round up your purchases by set amounts of $1, $2, $5, or $10 to contribute to a specific savings goal.
No line of credit or borrowing: Since you set how much money is in your account, only you can reload your card with your funds. It's a great way to make sure that your spending habits are within your means.
No credit checks or application: You don't need a good credit score to sign up, and it won't affect your credit in any way. And, unlike credit cards, there are no sign-up requirements
Zero Liability Protection: Protects you and your money from unauthorized or fraudulent card charges.
Rewards Program: There is a generous rewards program with participating retailers.
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Won't build up or improve your credit score: Since Stack doesn't lend money to its customers, customers cannot build their score.
Minimum and maximum cash reload limits: When reloading the Stack Mastercard with cash, customers must load at least $200 at a time. The maximum varies by retailer. Most will only load a maximum of $500, except for Canada Post, where you can load up to $3,000.
No line of credit: If you're in an emergency and don't have any funds, you will be out of luck until you have money in your bank account to reload it. There is no "buy now, pay later" approach to the Stack card.
Limited reward options:Only with specific retailers does the Stack Mastercard offer cash back.
ATM limits: The Stack Mastercard only allows you to withdraw from an ATM twice per day with a maximum limit of $500 per ATM transaction. There is also a maximum monthly cumulative amount of $2,000, which you can withdraw from an ATM.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! The Stack Mastercard is legitimate and safe to use. The Stack Mastercard uses the same security features as a credit card and offers zero liability protection on all purchases and ATM transactions. Customers won't be liable for unauthorized, fraudulent transactions.
Should you lose or misplace your Stack Mastercard, you can freeze your account at any time, anywhere in the world using the app.
Stack was founded in 2016 by a Canadian finance technology (fintech) company based in Toronto and co-founded by COO Nicholas Dinh and CEO Miro Pavletic.
Since its founding, Stack has partnered with Mastercard to create the Stack Mastercard and Peoples Trust, a federally regulated and CDIC insured bank.
In the summer of 2020, Stack announced that Credit Sesame, a United States based credit and loan company, had acquired the company.
The Stack Mastercard is a great option for students. It offers the security of a debit card. Additionally, a student cannot extend a line of credit, helping them stay within budget. The card is also flexible and offers some rewards perks of a credit card, accepted everywhere Mastercard is. Stack is ideal for students who want to avoid overspending or going into debt.
The biggest selling point of the Stack Mastercard is that there are none of the standard fees incurred by banks or by ATM withdrawals usually associated with using a debit or credit card.
Couple a no-fee free rewards account with in-app budgeting tools, and you'll get a great option for students or anyone who wants to get more bang for their buck while avoiding credit card debt in the process.