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Travel Smarter with the CIBC Air Canada Conversion Visa Prepaid Card

While my travels outside North America have been far less than in previous years, I’ve had countless business travel south of the border for work projects this year. As you can probably imagine, I’ve had my fair share of nightmares on the road during business trips. Like having my credit card and/or debit card compromised while abroad, resulting in my financial institution having to shut them down for security reasons. Trust me, it is THE worst! And my struggles don’t end there unfortunately. Over the last year for some strange reason, my bank client card began having issues in most ATM machines outside the country. With my frequent travel to NYC for work projects, it had started to become quite an annoyance.

The last thing anyone wants to worry about while traveling is having issues accessing money. So, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips along the way helping turn me into a savvy traveler, but of course the learning never stops. I usually make sure to never leave the country without some cash in my destination’s currency but this starting to pose as an issue when the Canadian dollar continued to plummet. I mean, have you ever had leftovers of a foreign currency after a trip and tried to re-convert them to Canadian dollars? If not, DON’T!!!

cibc-air-canada-ac-conversion

Enter the new CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion VISA Card. I did some research on CIBC’s latest card offering a few weeks ago, desperate to discover anything that would help me in my future travels. I’ve dabbled with a prepaid credit card or two in the past, but this one is in it’s own league. Similar to other prepaid Visa card options, you load the card with funds and you can use it for transactions anywhere Visa is accepted. But one of the biggest things that sets the Conversion card apart from the rest is that you are able to load it with up to 10 currencies, and manage your funds through a dedicated app. Yes, that is not a typo – 10 different currencies, so naturally it is an appealing option when traveling or booking ahead and can also be used at restaurants, stores, for online purchases and even for withdrawing local currency from ATMs.

So what does this mean? 1) No more line-ups at banks and currency exchange centres, 2) No more fear that your bank card will not work in ATMs abroad (FINALLY) and 3) Allows you to avoid those crazy credit card fees, making this card one hell of a travel companion. And if that’s not enough, if you order your card before December 31st , you can receive 15% off select Air Canada flights.

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card

I took the card out for its first test drive a couple weeks ago on my last trip to New York and was able to check my card balance, view current exchange rates, move funds between different currencies, reload more money to my card and view all of my NYC transactions right through the mobile app on my phone. All sounds great right? It did to me but that didn’t stop me from delving a bit deeper into things such as CIBC’s Air Canada’s Conversion card’s supported currencies, expiry policy, transaction limits and associated fees, so here’s the skinny:

Support Currencies:

  1. Canadian Dollars – CAD
  2. United States Dollars – USD
  3. Euros – EUR
  4. Great British Pounds (UK) – GBP
  5. Mexican Peso – MXN
  6. Hong Kong Dollars– HKD
  7. Australian Dollars – AUD
  8. Japanese Yen – JPY
  9. Turkish Lira – TRY
  10. Swiss Franc (Switzerland)– CHF

Expiry Policy:

Luckily, the funds on this card will never expire. However the card itself will expire on the last day of the month printed on the card. There’s no need to worry if the card expires with a balance on it though, all you need to do is call the number on the back of the card to get a replacement. *A replacement card will not be sent out automatically after it’s expired – it must be requested.

Transaction Limits:

Minimum load amount (single Transaction) $100 CAD equivalent
Maximum load amount (single Transaction) $3,000 CAD equivalent
Maximum balance $20,000 CAD equivalent
Daily (24-hour) maximum point of sale purchase limit $3,000 CAD equivalent
Daily (24-hour) maximum ATM withdrawal limit $2,000 CAD Equivalent

 Fees:

Are there upfront fees? No, it is free to activate your card and should you choose to ship it to your home via courier, you’re looking at about $15. While all ATM withdrawals are free within Canada – there will be fees charged by CIBC in other countries with a chance that non-CIBC ATM providers may charge additional fees. That being said, it’s in your best interest to stay away from ATM withdrawals abroad unless absolutely necessary.

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Photography by JessBaumung.com

Are you ready to start traveling smarter? Click here to learn more about the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card.

My Winter Weekend With Mogo

Art Gallery of Ontario Suzy Lake Exhibit

It’s January so essentially this means two things; 1) we are in the midst of a deep freeze here in Toronto and 2) it’s the start of a new year and time to set new goals for 2015. I don’t necessarily believe in New Year’s resolutions, which simply means I never wait for January 1st to put my plans into action. This year I want to be more fiscally responsible and make better decisions because debt is really not cute. With the winter elements in full effect, I spent the day with Mogo.ca hitting up some of the spots I like to frequent on the weekends. My Mogo Prepaid Visa® Card made it easy to treat myself and my crew. With no monthly fees and over 40 unique card designs to choose from, Mogo’s Prepaid Visa® Card helps you control your spending (I mean, we can all do with a little help in that department, right?) and avoid the aftershock of credit card debt.

Brunch at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen – 85 Hanna Avenue (Shops at King Liberty) Toronto 416-588-5695 Neighbourhood: Liberty Village

Mildred's

Mildred's Temple Kitchen PancakesMrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

We Torontonians take brunching very seriously and Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village is one of my go-to spots to indulge on a weekend in the city. MTK is the offshoot of cult fave Mildred Pierce where local foodies happily noshed brunch fare for 17 years on Sudbury Street. The sleek and airy interior is perfect for a third date or family brekkie with food items that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palettes. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday from 10-3pm. I hit up Mildred’s with my parents around 10:30 to arrive before the hungover crowd stumbled in for brunch and “hair of the dog”. What you should order… The fresh baked scones & biscuits are to die for, the Manhandler is a great option for meat lovers, their delish rosemary bacon which is cured in-house is always a treat. Everyone and I mean everyone, heads to this spot for Mrs. Biederhof’s legendary light & fluffy blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Click here to check out the full menu.

The Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas Street West Toronto 416-979-6648 Neighbourhood: Chinatown

Art Gallery of Ontario

424 Fifth Fur Vest

424 Fifth

Art Gallery of Ontario Suzy Lake ExhibitPhotography by Nathalia Allen AMillionMinds.ca (@amillionminds)

If you’ve visited Toronto or even worse, live in Toronto and have not been to the Art Gallery of Ontario, in my opinion you should be punished. If I could, I would come here daily to take in the phenomenal exhibits, dine at Frank (the gallery’s famed resto) and just people watch. There is so much goodness currently happening in side. Plus, the common spaces designed by world renown and Toronto born architect Frank Gehry makes phenomenal backdrops for photos. Type in the hashtag #ArtGalleryOfOntario on Instagram and you are bound to find tons of inspiring and artistic photos and selfies. The Michelangelo: Quest for Genius exhibit just ended on January 11th but for those interested in conceptual photography, “Introducing Suzy Lake is a photo retrospective by the artist that is not to be missed. If you happen to be a die-hard Jean-Michel Basiquat fan like myself then buckle up.  From February 7 – May 10 2015, the AGO will be the home to an exclusive showcase which will be the first thematic examination of the artist’s work; guest curated by Austrian historian and Curator Dieter Buchhart. The opening night party, which is the hottest ticket in town right now, is already sold out. Tickets for general exhibition are currently on sale for AGO members and public tickets go on sale January 23, 2015. Click here for more info on AGO current exhibitions, membership/tickets prices, location and hours.

Her Majesty’s Pleasure – 556 King Street West (inside Fashion House) Toronto 416-546-4991 Neighbourhood: King West

Her Majesty's Pleasure

I honestly couldn’t have thought up a  more brilliant idea myself. Her Majesty’s Pleasure on King St West will forever change the way you get your mani/pedi. When I heard rumours of a spot in the city late last year where one could get their nails, hair and a facial done, but also acts as a cocktail bar, cafe and retail boutique all rolled up in one, I had to see it for myself. I popped in for a few hours early in the evening after my trip to the AGO with my friend/photographer/unicorn Nathalia for manis, eats and cocktails (fresh pressed juices for me). My instagram followers are fully aware of my obsession with pretty floor tiling and the tile design at HMP didn’t disappoint. With ultra high ceilings, white walls, carrara marble topped tables/bars and eccentric furnishings, every single square foot of space in there is instagrammable. Naturally, we found ourselves lingering long after our food was finished and nails were dry. Ladies, this is the PERFECT spot for a girls night out or bridal party. Make sure to call ahead to book an appointment to avoid disappointment.

Her Majestys Pleasure

Her Majesty's Pleasure

Her Majesty's Pleasure

Her Majestys PleasureImages of Her Majesty’s Pleasure via +TongTong and Instagram (@sashaexeter)

What I’m Wearing: Fur Vest c/o 424 Fifth // Hat (vintage) // Dress  c/o Forever 21 // Shirt (vintage) // Leather Moto Jacket c/0 Aritzia // Shoes by Zara

Accepted anywhere Visa cards are accepted, I was able to use my Mogo Prepaid Visa® Card at all of these spots in Toronto. Card holders benefit from unlimited free transactions, no monthly fees, and can receive free text balance updates to a mobile device. For more information head to Mogo.ca

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