Prepaid credit cards are a new concept in Canada. Until recently you could only get a prepaid credit card at Bank of Montreal (if you wanted a MasterCard) or Royal Bank (if you wanted a VIsa). Now, stores like Shoppers Drug Mart sell prepaid MasterCard Gift Cards. Vanilla MasterCard is the company that issues the prepaid MasterCards for Shoppers Drug Mart.
Why buy prepaid credit cards? Prepaid credit cards are great because you aren't charged interest as there is no balance owing. You basically use the amount on the card. They are also better than store gift cards as gift cards usually can only be used at the store where they were purchased. Since prepaid MasterCards are also credit cards, you can use them virtually anywhere credit cards are accepted electronically.
Vanilla prepaid MasterCards come in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $200. There are activation fees for the cards which you pay directly upon checkout at Shoppers Drug Mart. I did not need the $25 card but the activation fees for the other amount are: $4.95 for $50, $5.95 for $100 and $6.95 for $200 plus applicable taxes. Also, there was no credit check.
You can check the balance of your Vanilla prepaid MasterCard either online or with their toll-free customer service 24/7. This is important as if you try and spend more than what's on the card it will decline. Try and use up the balance before 6 months. If you don't there'll be a $2.50 monthly service fee billed to the card! There are also expiry dates for the cards.
These make a great option for that hard-to-buy-for person or if you need a credit card but don't have great credit.