Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid Card: a full review

Fernando Figueiredo

Interested in the Mogo credit card? Well, there’s good news and bad news for you. Bad news first: the Mogo credit card doesn’t exist. But here’s the good news: Mogo’s Visa Platinum Prepaid Card is worth a look instead.

Although it’s a prepaid card rather than a credit card, it’s got several useful and interesting features that mean you might still want to consider it. So let’s dive in. Also, you’ll read about on the Wise card - if you’re interested in saving money when spending in different currencies, you’ll probably want to know about it.

MogoCard: the basics

Mogo is a Canadian fintech company that offers several different financial products, including credit scores, loans, and mortgages. It’s unusual in that it places a big emphasis on environmental concerns: “the planet’s health” is one of the factors it lists on its website.¹

Mogo doesn’t offer a credit card, but instead a reloadable prepaid card, which it calls the MogoCard.

Like all prepaid cards, it only lets you spend money you’ve loaded onto it: you don’t borrow money from a bank and pay it back later, like you do with a credit card.

What makes the MogoCard stand out from other prepaid cards? A couple of things. Firstly, every time you spend using the card, Mogo plants a tree, enhancing its environmental credentials. Secondly, as well as planting a tree, each spend earns you rewards in the form of satoshis – a small unit of bitcoin. These are carbon offset, too.²

MogoCard fees and limits

Credit card or no, the MogoCard does have a few costs you should know about, and like with most prepaid cards you also have to be mindful of limits on how much you can load on and withdraw. Here are the details:² ³

Initial fee $0
Monthly / annual fee $0
Load card with money $0
ATM withdrawals – Canada $1.50
ATM withdrawals – international $3
Inactivity fee – after a year of no use $1.99 (unless you have $0 in the account)
Foreign currency transaction fee 2.5%
Maximum amount on the card $10,000
Maximum transfer to card per 24 hours $9,900
Minimum transfer amount $10
Maximum transfers per 24 hours 10
Maximum purchase amount per 24 hours $5,000
Maximum individual purchase amount $3,000
Maximum cash withdrawal amount $500

Do watch out for those ATM withdrawal fees, then – ideally, just don’t use the card for cash withdrawal. And don’t leave money dormant in the account for too long or you could end up paying the inactivity fee. But so long as you’re using this card for small- or mid-sized purchases, the fees and limits should be manageable.

With Wise, you save on foreign transaction fees. You only pay a low and transparent conversion cost when you spend in different currencies, because the money is converted with the mid-market rate. There’s nothing else you need to pay to maintain your card or your account.

Wise: save on international payments

MogoCard extra features

On its website, Mogo leads with its green credentials: every time you use a card, you plant a tree. That makes it appealing to those who want to get involved with climate action on the day-to-day.

Mogo also says that its card helps you “control your spending.”² According to its research, users save $201 on average through using the card. Take note: this is not because of a particular reward or offer from Mogo; it’s simply down to a change in habits when using this prepaid card. But, hey, if it works, it works.

And the spending monitor tool that comes with the app, as well as its automated top-up feature, mean that it could indeed help you develop good spending habits.

You also get free credit score updates every month with Mogo. But again take note here: using the card itself doesn’t necessarily improve your credit score. You just get the update.

Mogo notes on its website that “You can also improve your credit score by using the MogoCard”² – that’s because, if you’re using it, you’re not building up debt. The flipside is that, with a prepaid card, you’re not successfully repaying a credit card bill every month, which is the traditional effective way to build up a positive credit rating.

MogoCard bitcoin rewards

As well as planting a tree, each time you spend with your MogoCard you get rewards – in that sense, it’s like a credit card. But unlike with a credit card, these rewards are in the form of bitcoin.

Or, rather, small units of it: you get 50 satoshis per spend, which is a fifty-millionth of a bitcoin, or 0.0000005 BTC.⁴

Bitcoin is very energy intensive, so to counter its environmental impact Mogo’s bitcoin are “green” as well. The company plants trees with every bitcoin purchase – enough to absorb 500,000 lbs worth of carbon dioxide. That should be enough to make it a climate positive transaction.⁵

How much are those rewards worth in dollars? Famously, bitcoin’s value changes a lot. So you’ll need to keep a close eye on it!

What are the pros and cons of the MogoCard?

Mogo’s credit card-like prepaid card is certainly distinctive, offering a range of novel features. But do they really stack up?

The main benefit is that it is low on fees. Loading money onto the card doesn’t cost anything, and the limits shouldn’t hold you back for most reasonable purchases. ATM withdrawals are expensive, but ideally you’d use a bank card for those anyway. Plus, its tree-planting initiative is certainly a positive.

Mogo’s tools to help you monitor your spending could well come in handy as well, and may even help you save money each month. But nobody knows you better than you know yourself, so it’s down to you to say whether this would apply to you.

The cons? Well, unlike a credit card you can’t make a big positive impact to your credit rating through using the MogoCard, because you won’t have a monthly credit card bill to repay. That said, as Mogo itself notes, you won’t get into further debt through using this card, so it could still have a positive effect.

What about those bitcoin rewards? It’s an extremely low amount of bitcoin you get per purchase, but over time it’s possible that they’ll mount up, and if the value of bitcoin goes up too, there’s a chance this will turn out well. But cash back or points-based rewards, like you can get from many a standard credit card, might be a tempting alternative.

MogoCard alternatives

The MogoCard isn’t the only option if you’re looking for a prepaid card in lieu of a standard credit card.

In fact, there are several more from youthful fintech companies: the Koho and Stack cards. Both of those offer attractive, credit card-like features: Koho offers cash back on spending, and Stack has no foreign transaction fees, so might prove useful abroad.

Other Canadian prepaid cards are on offer from the likes of CIBC and BMO.

If you’re looking at prepaid cards because of credit rating issues, getting a secured credit card could also be an option: Home Trust and Refresh Financial have popular options that can allow you to build up a good credit rating once again so long as you can put down a deposit first.

And if what you really want is a card that helps the environment, there’s always the American Express Green Card, made from 99% recycled plastic.⁶ Although that’s not going to plant as many trees.

Want to spend in different currencies? Meet Wise and save your money.

If you’re planning to spend in different currencies, have a look on what Wise has to offer. The Wise card is 4x cheaper than banks for spending abroad..

Always get the mid-market exchange rate

You won’t have any hidden foreign transaction fees - your money gets converted with the real mid-market rate, no matter if you spend in-person or online in over 200 countries. The only cost you’ll have is a very low and transparent conversion fee, in case you need to convert your Canadian dollars. Unlike many other cards, there are no monthly or annual charges, nor any minimum balance requirements.

Get local account details

The Wise card is part of the Wise account, which means that you can add, hold, and convert over 50 currencies instantly. You can get your own bank details for 10 different currencies (including CAD, USD, GBP, EUR, and more) to receive money from those places.

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  1. About Mogo 2 December 2021
  2. Mogo: Reloadable Prepaid Visa Card Canada 2 December 2021
  3. How much money can I add to my MogoCard? 2 December 2021
  4. Wikipedia: Satoshi (unit) 2 December 2021
  5. Mogo: Our Bitcoin? It’s Green 2 December 2021
  6. American Express Green Card 3 December 2021

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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