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Continental OneCard vs. Cash Passport™ Prepaid MasterCard®

In Business and Currency, Continental Connection by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Thank you for your interest! OneCard is not currently available for sale. If you already own a OneCard, you may continue using your card without interruption. Please visit a branch near you to get the cash you need, today!

Multi-currency cards allow you to store funds in different currencies all on the same card. As such, they are an indispensable tool for anyone who travels or wants to exchange currencies on the go. In this post, we compare two of the best multi-currency cards currently available in Canada.

Read on for a detailed comparison of OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™ and the Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®. By the end, you should have a pretty good idea of the best multi-currency card for you!

What Are the Cash Passport Exchange Rates?

dollar $ rates

A key point to consider when signing up for a multi-currency card are the rates you’ll be able to get with it. A major perk of owning a multi-currency card is that you can lock in rates when they are favourable, and store money in that currency until you need it.

But when you’re travelling and spending money, those funds can burn up pretty quickly; and if you’re not getting better rates than you would otherwise get with your debit or credit card, why have a multi-currency card at all? Rates are always fluctuating, so it can be difficult to state for certain which card has them better. One thing we can look at though, are the foreign conversion fees.

Foreign conversion fees, also known as foreign transaction fees or foreign exchange fees, are charges made on any purchases where a foreign transaction is involved. For example, if you only have funds in Canadian on your Cash Passport, but are travelling to the US, any purchase you make with your card will require funds to be converted into US dollars. On top of whatever the rate from CAD to USD is at the time of your purchase, Mastercard will charge an additional percentage as a fee for facilitating that conversion.

So what are these fees? Let’s take a look!

Cash Passport Foreign Exchange Fee vs OneCard
CAD to USDUSD to CADBetween All Other Currencies
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®3.25%3.25%3.25%
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™1.49%1.99%2.25%

As you can see, the Cash Passport foreign conversion fee remains constant at 3.25%. OneCard’s fee on the other hand, while the rate varies, is at worst a full 1% lower than the Cash Passport. Paired with Continental Currency Exchange’s best rate guarantee and strong record of offering better rates than the banks, OneCard is definitely superior in the foreign exchange category.  

Clear Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

How Many Currency Accounts Can I Hold With the Cash Passport?

currencies symbols accounts

The Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard holds the edge in this category, with seven currency accounts (CAD, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, MXN) against OneCard’s four (CAD, USD, EUR, GBP). If you have the need to store currencies in more than just the major four that can be found on both cards, the CIBC AC Conversion™ Card may be the preferable option.

Clear Winner: Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard®

How Much Does it Cost to Send Money With the Cash Passport?

phones sending money transaction hands glasses

Storing currencies is not everything. Before making any decision, consider what you’re going to be using your multi-currency card for. If sending money overseas (or receiving it), is a strong motivation, OneCard is the way to go.

It’s true that both cards allow you to make purchases in foreign currencies on global e-commerce. But the Cash Passport allows only one card account per person and doesn’t allow for moving money between cards or other financial institutions. Continental Currency Exchange, on the other hand, has made sending money a key component of OneCard’s capabilities. Take a look at the table below for the costs involved in sending/receiving money.

Sending MoneyReceiving Money
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®Service Not AvailableService Not Available
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™Between OneCards: FREE

To other institutions: 10.00 CAD or less

FREE

Clear Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

Cash Passport Fees vs OneCard

hand card laptop fees man phone

When it comes to fees, OneCard carries a slight advantage: with a significantly lower charge for activation and lower recurring fee. True, the Cash Passport will send you a replacement card for free, but whether this perk justifies the large initial card cost is a question you’ll have to answer yourself. On top of this, OneCard is equally well-suited for use both at home and abroad, but with a 1.5% fee on all domestic transactions, the Cash Passport should be avoided for domestic use.

Activation Fee
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®15.00 CAD
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™3.00 CAD
Recurring Fees
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®2.80 CAD monthly inactivity fee
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™1.00 CAD/month
Replacement Fee
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®0.00 CAD
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™10.00 CAD
Loading Fees
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®3.00 CAD
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™0.00 CAD
Card Use Fees
Domestic Card UseInternational Card Use
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®1.50% of transaction amountFree
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™FreeFree
Cash Passport ATM Fees vs OneCard
Within CanadaOutside of Canada
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®3.00 CAD3.00 CAD

2.50 USD

1.90 EUR

1.70 GBP

275.00 JPY

3.00 AUD

32.00 MXN

OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™1.00 CADUS ATM: 1.50 USD

EU ATM: 1.50 EUR

UK ATM: 1.50 GBP

Other ATM: 1.50 CAD

Loading and ATM fees are another area where OneCard holds an edge over the Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard. OneCard doesn’t charge any fees for loading funds, but every time you top up your Cash Passport, you’ll have to pay $3.00. Couple that with lower ATM fees, and OneCard wins the fees category with little contest.

Clear Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

What Are the Cash Passport Loading & Spending Limits?

family man woman children shopping bags stairs spending

Loading funds is a major component of a card’s functionality. Things to consider here are how easy it is to actually load funds to the card, how much you can load at once, and how much you can store in total.

In terms of loading funds, both cards are fairly evenly matched. Each has a mobile app and website with which you can manage your accounts. Although, the fact that you have to pay 3.00 CAD every time you top up your Cash Passport offers considerable discouragement to reloading that card.

After the physical act of loading funds, we get to the issue of how much you can load.

Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard Load Limits vs OneCard
Minimum Load (Single Transaction)Maximum Load (Single Transaction)Maximum Card Value
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®Check with purchase location8,500 CAD (or equivalent value)8,500 CAD (or equivalent value)
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™10.00 CAD (or equivalent value)10,000.00 CAD (or equivalent value)10,000.00 CAD (or equivalent value)

Here again, the OneCard wins out. Offering a higher maximum load and a higher card value than the Cash Passport.

Let’s turn now to spending limits.

Cash Passport Spending Limits vs OneCard
Maximum Daily (24hr) Purchase LimitMaximum Daily (24hr) ATM Withdrawal Limit
Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®4,000 CAD (or equivalent value)960.00 CAD (or equivalent value)
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™10,000.00 CAD (or equivalent value)1,000.00 CAD (or equivalent value)

Again, OneCard is generally far more liberal with its spending limits than the Cash Passport Prepaid Mastercard. With both higher loading and spending limits, as well as a higher card balance, OneCard wins this category without question.

Clear Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

Is the Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard® Secure?

security phone locks hands woman

Another crucial thing to consider when selecting any debit or credit card is security. Is your hard-earned money going to be safe when stored on this card? Both OneCard and the Cash Passport incorporate standard advanced chip and PIN technologies and require a verification process in the event of a lost card.

There a few things that separate OneCard and Cashport in the security category. A great feature Cash Passport offers is that if your card is stolen, while it may take a number of days to get you a replacement card, Mastercard can get some emergency cash to you (good up to the balance of your card) in a number of hours. The one caveat here is that this service is not guaranteed; availability will depend on your proximity to a money transfer location.

OneCard doesn’t offer this service, but it does have a great bonus security feature of its own. If you lose your card, you can access a page on the app or online portal and, with the click of a button, lock your card. Your card is then frozen until you either find it again or receive a new one. If you find your card, it’s another easy click of the button to unlock the card. No more need to call your bank or credit card company while on vacation!

Considering the OneCard feature is guaranteed for all clients, regardless of location, while the Cash Passport service is not, we’ve got to give this one to OneCard.

Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

What Other Features Do I Get With My Cash Passport?

coins stacks plants soil features

Before we conclude, there’s one more category worth considering: what other extra features can you get with your card? The Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard® certainly packs a solid punch with seven currency accounts. When it comes to other card features, however, OneCard comes out ahead. OneCard, apart from all the other great perks and services already mentioned, offers one other major feature that lends itself well to any person considering a multi-currency card.

Family Sharing, or the ability to link multiple cards to a single account, is a key feature of OneCard. If you’ve got a kid (or kids) going off on exchange, it will enable you to conveniently monitor their spending and send them money, when they need it, in one of four currencies. Even if you’re just taking a family vacation overseas, or staying at home, OneCard’s Family Sharing can be a great way to give your kids a bit more independence (while still keeping an eye on them). The Cash Passport, confined to use by only one person, has nothing similar to offer.

Cash Passport Features vs OneCard
OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®
Multiple Currency Accounts

Best Rates

X

Send Money for Free

X

Family Sharing

X

Card-Lock

X

PAD

X

Free Mobile App

Choose your design

X

Clear Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

Final Notes

Both OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™ and the Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard® are handy tools, representing two of the best options for multi-currency cards on the Canadian market. But aside from possessing more currency accounts than OneCard, the Cash Passport falls short in every other category.

The three additional currency accounts of the Cash Passport are certainly a nice feature, but with higher fees and conversion rates, they come at a large cost. With lower ATM and conversion fees, better rates, and more features overall, OneCard is the stronger option.

Overall Winner: OneCard by Continental Currency Exchange™

There are several different varieties of the cash passport. While most of them follow the same fees and guidelines, we’ve listed one of them below with the differences that stand out.

CXI Multi-Currency Cash Passport

cards

The CXI Multi-Currency Cash Passport is at present only available in the US, which certainly makes it a more inconvenient option for Canadian travellers. Especially considering the fact that these cards can only be reloaded in CXI branches, which are all located stateside.

On top of this, while some of the fees are lower than their Canadian Cash Passport equivalent, CXI also places a 20.00 USD charge on cashing out your card. Paired with a 5.5% conversion fee, the CXI Multi-Currency Cash Passport fares even worse against OneCard than the Canadian Cash Passport.

Looking for more detailed information? Check out the OneCard website!

Thank you for your interest! OneCard is not currently available for sale. If you already own a OneCard, you may continue using your card without interruption. Please visit a branch near you to get the cash you need, today!

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