Are prepaid cards actually credit cards?
No. A prepaid Visa or MasterCard is a card that carries funds loaded onto the card by the program sponsor (or organization paying for the card funds). Each time the recipient uses the card, the purchase amount is deducted from the available balance.
The card package you received provides important information about your prepaid card and includes the Cardholder Agreement, so please read it carefully before using the card.
Where can prepaid credit cards be used?
Unlike store-issued cards, a prepaid card can be used everywhere Visa or MasterCard is accepted, including online and overseas.
How do I know the initial balance of my prepaid Visa card or prepaid MasterCard?
Look for communications from the sponsor company that outline the initial funds loaded on the card. You have a number of ways to determine your balance.
- You can visit the website on the back of the card and enter your card number, the four digit activation number referenced in your card materials, and the card verification value (the three digit number on the back of your card located on the signature panel) to obtain your balance and a history of your transactions.
- You can speak with Cardholder Services by calling the number shown on the back of your card.
- You can also keep a manual running total of your balance by subtracting your purchases from the original loaded value.
Can I use my prepaid card at gas stations?
Yes. Just remember to present the card to the station attendant rather than paying at the pump.
Can I use my prepaid card at restaurants and hotels?
Yes. However, you should be aware that restaurants and hotels may factor in an automatic tip or other incidental expenses when authorizing your purchase transaction. If the total purchase amount, including the estimated tip, exceeds the amount available on your card, your card may be declined. If you think this will happen, inform the merchant in advance about how much to deduct from your prepaid card and which second payment method (credit card, debit card, cash or cheque) you want to use to cover the difference.
Can I use my prepaid credit card for online or phone purchases?
Yes. Your card is intended for use anywhere credit cards are accepted. You should be aware that some internet merchants use fraud protection software that may decline a prepaid card for an online or phone purchase transaction.
Does the prepaid card recipient need to sign an agreement?
Each card is distributed with a schedule of fees and a Cardholder Agreement. The card recipient accepts the terms and conditions of the Cardholder Agreement by signing the back of the card, using the card, or receiving the card by request.
Will card recipients receive a statement?
Prepaid credit card recipients can review their current balance, free of charge, by visiting the website provided on the back of the card. In addition, the recipient can call the Cardholder Services number listed on the back of the card to receive balance and transaction information.
What happens if I need to return an item?
Each merchant location has its own return policies and will handle returns in the same manner as any other credit card transaction. They may credit your Visa or MasterCard prepaid credit card, provide a cash refund, or provide a store credit.
What if the purchase is denied?
The card’s available balance is probably less than the purchase amount. You may inform the merchant of the remaining balance on the card and use another form of payment to pay the difference, subject to the policy of the merchant.
Also, be aware that some merchants – for example, restaurants – require the card to have an available balance greater than the actual purchase amount, to ensure sufficient funds for tips or incidental expenses. However, only the actual amount spent will be deducted from the card.
Can I reload my prepaid Visa or MasterCard?
If you have a reloadable card, only the program sponsor can load funds onto the card. If it is a non-reloadable card, you or your sponsor will not be able to load funds onto the card.
Does the prepaid card have an expiration date?
Yes. It expires on the date printed on the front of the card.
What happens if there are still funds available when my card expires?
We encourage you to use the entire amount of funds before the program ends. Upon expiry, the unused funds will be removed from the card at the discretion of the program sponsor.
Can the prepaid credit card be cancelled prior to the expiry date on the card?
At the discretion of the program sponsor, cards can be cancelled prior to the expiry date. Cardholders will be provided with a minimum of 60 days notice to allow cardholders to use the balance of funds on their cards.
What happens if my card is lost or stolen?
You must notify us immediately by calling the number listed on the back of your card and providing your card number and other information we request. Once you have notified us, your card may be replaced at your written request, subject to our verification of your request and a replacement fee.
Why would my prepaid credit card be declined?
- Your card may have expired. Check the expiry date printed on the front of your card.
- Your remaining card balance may be less than the value of the item you wish to purchase.
- Some internet merchants use fraud protection software that may decline Visa or MasterCard prepaid card transactions.
What fees are associated with a prepaid credit card?
All fees related to your card are provided to you in the Cardholder Agreement contained in the card package. We encourage you to read about the fees associated with the card and to establish usage patterns that minimize fees associated with card ownership.
Can the card ever have a negative balance?
No, the card will only authorize transactions when enough funds exist to cover the purchase.