This is when it got strange. As the cashier was swiping the cards to activate them, the cash register flashed a $3.95 activation fee. While paying $4 extra was annoying to begin with, it was doubly so because, in reality, I just wanted a single $50 card. But wait, it gets worse.
I googled these cards and found a blog where the guy recommends to just give cash (I don't know why I've been brought up to think that cash is somehow not a good gift, while a gift card is OK). But the comments in the blog made me even more upset. I won't go into details of the comments, but here is the skinny on this card (and, I can only assume, the Visa version as well):
- It is not a gift card; it is a pre-paid credit card (you can top it up and continue using it)
It is apparently difficult to find out the balance (a lot of people reported various issues)
If not used, the card expires and you simply lose your money
In addition to the $3.95 activation fee, there is also a monthly service fee of $2.50 -- better use that $25 Master Card quick or it will cost you $30 in fees in 12months!
Bottom line, stay away. Far, far away. The only advantage of these cards over cash is that they can be used online. Not a good enough reason, IMO, to overlook all the other crap.
Needless to say, I'm going back to Shoppers to try and return them.