Knowing what we know about OneCard, it’s hard not to be excited. As one of the first true multi-currency cards to be introduced in Canada, and hands down the best prepaid travel credit card, it’s opening up a lot of possibilities for Canadians that could only be dreamed about before. With that sentiment in mind, we thought we’d share everything we know about OneCard and the other so called multi-currency cards on the market, so that you can get as excited as we are! After all, it’s a brave new world out there.
The True Multi-Currency Card
One of the greatest advantages to OneCard is that it allows you to load up to four currencies onto it at one time. The currencies it currently supports are CAD, USD, EUR and GBP, although there are plans to expand upon the number and type of currencies it can support in future.
In this sense, the Continental OneCard is a true multi-currency card, allowing for more than one currency to be loaded onto the same card at the same time. This gives it a competitive edge over certain other prepaid travel cards, such as the CIBC Smart Prepaid Travel Card (which limits you to one currency per card) or the BMO Travel Card (which is only capable of holding funds in CAD).
From the time OneCard was first conceived, other multi-currency cards have appeared on the market. The CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card and the Canada Post Mastercard Cash Passport are the two most significant competitors in this regard. The Mastercard Cash Passport supports seven currencies all on the same card (CAD, USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, MXN and JPY), while the CIBC AC Conversion Card supports ten (CAD, USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, MXN, JPY, CHF, HKD and TRY).
While OneCard may seem to be outmatched in terms of the currencies it can hold, this disadvantage is in many ways illusory. OneCard is currently confined to four currencies, three short of the Mastercard Cash Passport and six short of the CIBC AC Conversion Card. But OneCard still allows you to make purchases into any other currency in the world at Continental’s great rates; and using your OneCard to spend money in a foreign currency, even one unsupported on the card, will save you more money than using either the Mastercard Cash Passport or the CIBC AC Conversion Card.
Better Rates than Your Credit Card
Most people, when travelling abroad, tend to rely heavily on their credit cards for many purchases and expenditures. What many people don’t realize, however, is the significance of the conversion rates charged by their credit card. Nor for that matter, the extent of the interest charged on purchases made with their card.
Across the board, credit cards are charging you 19.99% interest on all purchases, as well 2.5% on all currency conversions. OneCard allows you to make purchases at all of the same merchants as your credit card. Unlike your credit card, OneCard charges no interest on transactions. What’s more, it offers preferable rates on currency conversion: 1.49% CAD to USD, 1.85% USD to CAD, and 2.25% on all other exchanges.
When it comes to ATM withdrawals, OneCard has credit cards, and even a lot of debit cards beat as well. You should never use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM! Banks charge 22.22% on all cash advances made to credit cards. That’s in addition to the ATM fee.
OneCard will not charge you any interest on an ATM withdrawal, and the fees involved are quite competitive:
These are a far sight better than the fees credit cards are charging (both the RBC Signature Rewards Visa and TD First Class Travel Visa charge 3.50 CAD on domestic withdrawals and 5.00 CAD on all international withdrawals, and those are some of the lowest examples).
A Plethora of Other Features
In terms of the rates on offer, as well as the ATM fees it charges, OneCard has your credit card, as well as the other multi-currency cards, beat. But the OneCard has far more to offer than just multiple currencies, great rates, and low ATM fees.
With the ability to pay your bills, transfer money to any other other OneCard holder, and family sharing, all in four currencies, OneCard offers many of the same services as a traditional bank account; at a fraction of the price! Just one dollar per month. As far as we’re concerned, the choice is clear. Pick up a OneCard today!
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