- Zero foreign transaction fees
- Zero monthly or annual fees
- Zero ATM withdrawal fees
- Cashback at over 140 retailers
- No extra fees when traveling
- Competitive foreign exchange rate
- Automatic savings program
- Accepted worldwide
- Rewards and discounts
- Referral program with no cap
- Fast and free transfers
- Free budgeting tools
STACK is 50% app, 50% prepaid Mastercard, and 100% convenient. STACK users get a Mastercard that they can add money to with the fast and easy-to-use app.
In this STACK review, we’ll look at the features, benefits, and possible pitfalls of this innovative banking app.
The Canadian-based prepaid card allows users to send and receive transfers, take part in an automatic savings program, instantly track their spending, and more.
Mastercard is one of the most widely accepted cards globally, so STACK users benefit from paying with the app no matter which country they find themselves in.
STACK is different from other digital banks, and it makes the most of its international appeal by charging zero foreign transaction fees. Yes, you read that right. Zero! Zip!
Most debit cards charge a whopping 3.5% foreign transaction fee, and even digital-only banks tend to charge at least 1.5%.
What Is STACK?
STACK is a reloadable prepaid Mastercard service based in Canada. The fintech company runs out of Toronto, and it began operations in 2017.
The card works alongside an app that lets you quickly add money to your account, track your spending habits, and start saving.
Once you’ve uploaded money to your account, you can use the STACK Mastercard anywhere. And because Mastercard is one of the most widely accepted cards worldwide, I do mean anywhere.
Although STACK is a zero-fee card, it includes many benefits that usually only exist with premium cards, like zero foreign transaction fees, zero ATM fees, and instant reward opportunities.
What’s So Great About STACK?
STACK is easy to use, and it includes so many benefits that aren’t typically available with free accounts.
Like other challenger banks, STACK is on a mission to change how we do banking. This mission is evident not only by their policies but also by their tagline, “STACK: Stop Banking.”
STACK gives you the independence to use your money how and when you see fit, with zero transaction fees or penalties. You can also manage your money more effectively by taking advantage of the many in-built budgeting tools.
The reloadable Mastercard is also a popular choice among travelers. Not only is the card accepted in most countries, but STACK also doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees. This feature makes it a safe and convenient way to pay for vacations and business trips overseas.
Pros and Cons
It’s always good to see both sides of the issue. Before you commit to STACK, review the following pros and cons.
- Virtual reloadable card
- Zero foreign transaction fees
- Free ATM withdrawals
- Member discounts and rewards
- $5 sign-up bonus
- $15 referral bonus
- Customizable automatic savings program
- Free budgeting tools
- Up to $100,000 in CDIC protection
- No credit check needed
- Unreliable customer service
- The savings feature is limited to roundups
- Doesn’t build your credit score
- Limited rewards
- 100% free account
- Zero international exchange fees and ATM fees
Who Can Use STACK?
If you’re a Canadian resident over the age of 18, you can open a STACK account today!
The steps are clear and easy to follow, and the entire process will take you less than five minutes to complete.
Trust me; this STACK review was made possible by the company’s super easy registration process.
How Do You Sign up for an Account?
Download the STACK app, create an account, and enter in all of your personal information. You’ll also have to answer some questions to verify your identity.
Once you sign up, you’ll receive your STACK Mastercard in the mail within five business days.
Activate your card, get your initial PIN, and add funds to your account. STACK allows users to load funds via five different options:
- Interac e-Transfer
- Direct payroll deposit
- STACK-to-STACK transfers
- Bank payee
- STACK QR code
You can start using your STACK account as soon as you fund it. If you don’t want to wait for the card, you can start using the virtual card and digital wallet immediately for your online shopping.
STACK’s basic account is the only option they offer. The account offers discounts and rewards, automatic saving programs, budgeting tools, and zero transaction fees.
STACK provides users with many benefits that are only available under premium accounts in other digital bank accounts.
Adding Funds to a STACK Account
Once you’ve activated your STACK Mastercard, you can add funds via a direct payroll deposit, a “bank payee” payment, an Interac e-Transfer, or the free in-built STACK-to-STACK transfer option.
- Direct Payroll Deposit
- Stack QR Code
- Bank Payee
- Interac e-Transfer
- STACK-to-STACK transfer
Direct Payroll Deposit
To receive money from a direct payroll deposit, you have to make sure that the name on the payment matches the name on your STACK account.
After that, you tap on your profile picture to go to the settings page and tap on “Payroll Direct Load” under “Money In.” Enter your account number, transit number, and bank code.
Send your Payroll Direct Load information to your employer so that they can directly deposit your paycheck into your STACK account.
The direct payroll deposit is an excellent option for anyone who wants to use STACK as their primary card.
STACK QR Code
Present your STACK QR code at any participating Canada Post and tell them the amount you want to load. Then simply confirm the transfer on your app.
This option has a minimum deposit amount of $200.
The bank payee option lets you send money to your STACK account just like you would when you pay a bill.
Under the settings menu, tap on the “Load Money” button and then on “Bank Payee.” You’ll find your STACK account information on this screen.
Once you have the information, you can send money directly from your online bank to your STACK account. This method of adding funds takes about two to five business days.
An Interac e-Transfer is one the fastest and easiest way to add funds to your account. To get started, tap on your profile picture and select “Interac E-Transfer Load.”
Enter the amount you want to deposit into your STACK account. Select “Continue” and then confirm by tapping “Done.” Next, you’ll get an email from STACK. Open the email and tap on “Accept Request.”
Finally, log in to your online bank, follow your bank’s prompts, and accept the request. Once you’ve confirmed the request, you’ll have instant access to your funds on STACK.
Instantly receive money from another STACK account by tapping the “$” button. Click receive and enter the amount.
After that, enter the name and email of the STACK member you want to receive money from. Tap confirm and slide the “$” button on the bottom of the screen to start the transfer.
The STACK App
STACK is part prepaid Mastercard and part app. The app lets you track your spending, quickly transfer money, load money to your card, and set up an automatic savings program.
The STACK app lets you analyze your spending, so you can see how much you’re spending where. This tool is great because it helps you find ways you can save money.
The app will also send you a notification every time you make a payment.
The notification feature offers extra protection against fraud. Plus, it helps you quickly find payment information. No more digging through old emails!
Saving with STACK
STACK offers an easy-to-use automatic savings program that allows you to round up your purchases by $1 to $10.
Let’s say you choose the $2 automatic savings program, and you buy lunch for $15.75. STACK will charge you $17.75, and the extra $2 will go straight to your savings account.
There is no minimum balance requirement for STACK savings accounts, and you can cash out your savings at any time.
The roundup option is the only savings option on STACK. It can be a great system, but some people prefer a more traditional savings account.
Building Your Credit
The STACK Mastercard is not a credit card. On the one hand, that means you don’t need to have good credit to get a STACK card. On the other hand, having a STACK card won’t improve your credit score.
Traveling with STACK
STACK is an appealing option to anyone who travels internationally or buys items from outside of Canada often.
Can Teens Use STACK?
STACK is only available to Canadian residents who are 18 years or older. There are currently no teen account options.
A prepaid card is a fantastic way to manage your budget, but STACK offers additional tools that make budgeting even more effortless.
First, you can easily check your balance, look at past purchases, and analyze your spending habits. By using the app, you can see where you might want to cut back on spending.
This tool is super helpful for me because I love to go out for coffee.
Heading to my local cafe for a caramel latte became a little bit of an obsession, at least until I realized how much of my monthly budget I was spending on the sweet, delicious bean juice.
Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’re spending on little things until we see them laid out in front of us. STACK makes that process even simpler.
My STACK review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the rewards program. The company doesn’t have a typical cashback program.
Instead of giving users points or cashback for purchases, they offer rewards and discounts on select items.
The main pull factor for STACK users is that the company offers free membership to Amazon Prime. Their other rewards include discounts on groceries and gas.
STACK has different account limits for both their digital card and physical card.
The virtual card deposit limits are $250 per day and $1,000 per month. The maximum spend limit on a single transaction with the virtual card is $250, and the maximum monthly spend limit is $1,000.
If you have the STACK Mastercard, you can have a maximum balance of $20,000.
The maximum amount for a single ATM transaction with the physical card is $500 a day, but your daily POS spending limit is $5,000.
How Safe Is STACK?
STACK offers an impressive array of security features, including zero liability protection. STACK Mastercard Zero Liability Protection is applied to every user’s account
This protection makes using STACK extra safe because it guarantees that you won’t be held accountable for any unauthorized transactions.
STACK is also one of the few digital bank cards with CDIC Protection of up to $100,000, making it a reliable card to use as your primary payment option.
The STACK app goes one step further by sending you a notification whenever you make a purchase with the card.
If you get a notification about a payment you didn’t authorize, you can freeze your account on the app and contact customer support.
Peoples Trust Company (PTC) is the official issuer of the STACK Mastercard. STACK can offer its users up to $100,000 in Canada Deposit Insurance Company (CDIC) protection because PTC is a CDIC member.
Having an official issuer behind STACK Mastercard is one of the things that makes STACK users feel secure in using the app.
The fintech company STACK emerged from Toronto in 2017 and has built a reputation among people who travel internationally.
STACK is owned and operated by its CEO, fintech innovator Miro Pavletic.
The main sticking point in my STACK review is their customer service.
When it comes to digital banking, you want to know that help will be there when you need it. Unfortunately, STACK has had some issues with customer service in the past.
Although they have always resolved past issues successfully, STACK is often slow to act on a reported problem.
Hopefully, they will continue to hire and train quality customer service agents as they continue to grow.
STACK isn’t the only digital bank available. Check out some of the competing options below.
Tangerine was known as ING Direct until 2012, when Scotiabank bought the company and rebranded it. The fintech company offers different kinds of savings accounts, checking accounts, and investment opportunities.
Koho is STACK’s biggest competitor. Like STACK, the Canadian fintech company is a Peoples Trust Company partner, but Power Group and Portag3 also back it.
Unlike STACK, KOHO offers a variety of free and premium accounts, giving users more choice in the type of account they can use.
Founded in 2016, EQ Bank provides completely digital banking solutions. Their services include international money transfers, a variety of savings accounts, and checking accounts.
EQ Bank has no minimum balance requirements and no sneaky fees.
One Last Word on STACK
I hope this STACK review has given you an insight into the features and benefits that this innovative banking app has to offer.
One of its most appealing features is its generous policy on transaction fees. Unlike other mobile banks, STACK has zero international exchange fees.
Unfortunately, STACK falls short in some categories with its limited rewards program and savings options.
STACK has also struggled to offer high-quality customer service in the past, but hopefully, they will work on this as they continue to grow.
Still, I believe STACK is an excellent choice for anyone interested in starting to budget or save. The automatic saving program is easy to use and effective, and the budgeting tools help you analyze your spending habits.
If you’re looking for a prepaid card with excellent security and zero fees, then I would recommend STACK. Try it out on your next international trip to enjoy the full benefits of the card.