Frequently Asked Questions

Food and location questions

WatCard questions

Important Message For All UW Food Services Meal Plan Holders

Federal and Provincial tax legislation prohibits the use of tax exempt meal plan funds by individuals who are not qualified to receive these benefits.

Meals may be purchased only by the WatCard holder. WatCard holders purchasing more than one meal at a time will be charged appropriate taxes on the meal with the lower value. All applicable discounts will be applied before taxes.

Each transaction the cashier will examine the photo on the WatCard to ensure that the person making the purchase is the WatCard holder. In all cases where the cashier suspects that somebody is using a WatCard other than the cardholder, the cashier must keep the card and prevent its use. The WatCard will be forwarded to the WatCard Office within four hours where it can be picked up by the proper card-holder at that time, or the next business day.

Fraudulent use of WatCard funds to purchase food for other people may result in loss of all discount and tax exemption privileges.

The security of a WatCard remains the card-holder's responsibility. WatCards should be treated like a credit or debit card. If a WatCard is lost or stolen the card-holder is responsible for all charges made to that card until the card is reported lost or stolen. A WatCard can be reported lost or stolen at any WatCard cash register on campus, at the WatCard Office, or online at the WatCard homepage. All WatCards are the property of the University of Waterloo.

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Food and location

Which UW Food Services locations will take my WatCard?

You can use your WatCard at all UW Food Services locations. Find out where they are on campus. If you are on a meal plan, all applicable savings will be applied at all of our locations, including franchises (such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Subway etc). 

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I’ve got a dietary restriction, is there anything for me?

You bet there is! We have gluten free, vegetarian/vegan, dairy free and halal options all across campus, with a huge variety of different types of meals. Options vary by location but look out for our nutrition symbols like 'made without gluten', 'halal' and 'vegetarian'. At Mudie's, REV and the Market at CMH we have daily vegetarian, vegan, and halal options at the hot tables, plus a huge selection of build your own meals.  Don't see something you like? Ask the staff, they are super helpful! 

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Where can I use my card off-campus?

For all full list of off-campus locations, please visit the Watcard page

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I have a dietary restriction; will my meal plan provide enough options?

If you are thinking of living in traditional residence, and have a dietary restriction, please feel free to contact us at to learn what options we have available.

Our key message to students coming to Waterloo with food allergies or serious restrictions is to self-identify! If you have a food allergy please contact Food Services before you move in. We will set up a meeting with your residence Chef and our registered dietitian to review available options and make sure you feel comfortable dining at Waterloo.

If you have a serious food allergy or dietary restriction (e.g. celiac disease) , please register through the Accessible Housing process and complete the Housing Disability Verification FormFirst-year students must register by June 1 to be a part of the Residence Guarantee application. Waterloo Residences or the University College residences will use this information to find a room assignment that meets your needs.

Please be sure to check off that you are registered with AccessAbility Services when you fill out your Residence Community Ranking Form.

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What are Flex dollars?

Flex dollars are for non-Food Services purchases on campus, such as laundry, photocopying, the Bookstore and International News. Flex dollars can also be used at a variety of off-campus restaurants that we have partnered with.  You can find the full list of those here.  Flex dollars provide flexibility and freedom to use the money in various ways. If you have a meal plan and run out of meal plan dollars, flex dollars will be automatically used at Food Services locations (and all applicable savings will be applied).  You can add more flex dollars on the Watcard website, with any Food Services cashier or at the Waterloo store in the Student Life Centre.  For more information about your Watcard and Flex dollars - visit the Watcard website

What do I do if I lose my WatCard?

If you lose your WatCard, deactivate it immediately online or report it missing at any UW Food Services location, Graphics Copy Centre, or at the WatCard Office (ext. 32751). The Turnkey Desk (ext. 84434) can also deactivate your WatCard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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What if I forget my WatCard? Can I lend or borrow someone else’s WatCard?

Due to special pricing and tax status for most students, your WatCard must be presented for every purchase. We recommend always carrying your WatCard. You cannot use someone else's WatCard to purchase items even if they say it is okay.

WatCards can only be used by the person that they are issued to. If used by anyone else, for any reason, the WatCard may be taken away from the user. This policy is to ensure the personal security of each card holder.

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When I run out of money in my account, can I add to my balance?

You may add flexible dollars to your WatCard at any UW Food Services location, the Turnkey Desk, and at the WatCard Office. UW Food Services locations accept a minimum deposit of $10.00 by cash or debit, and the Turnkey Desk accepts this minimum deposit with cash only. For added convenience, the WatCard Office also accept Visa, MasterCard, and Debit Card for deposits of $5.00 or greater. Any additional money added to your account will be Flexible Dollars and will not be Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) exempt. If you would like your flexible dollars to be converted to meal plan dollars, please email Watcard

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Can I purchase alcoholic beverages or tobacco products with my WatCard?

No, the purchasing of these products is strictly prohibited at any location, both on and off campus.

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What happens if I have money left on my WatCard at the end of term?

Any money remaining on your WatCard will automatically carry forward each term for as long as you are a student at UWaterloo.

Your meal plan discount only applies during the term in which you have purchased your meal plan. However, when you purchase a meal plan during a subsequent term, any meal plan money that has carried forward from a previous term will receive your current applicable discount. Any funds that carry forward are not HST exempt.

Residence meal plan money transfers to your Transfer Meal Plan (MP) account to be spent at a UW Food Services eatery only and does not become Flexible Dollars. Any purchases you make at a UW Food Services location using Flexible Dollars or Transfer MP Dollars is not HST exempt.

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If I have any money left over in my Residence (V1, REV, CMH) Meal Plan account at the end of the term, does it become Flexible Dollars?

The balance remaining in your meal plan account at the end of a term does carry forward each term for as long as you are a student at UW. However, it transfers to the Transfer MP account to be spent at a UW Food Services eatery only and does not become Flexible Dollars.

Residence Meal Plan money transfers to your Transfer MP account to be spent at a UW Food Services location only and does not become Flexible Dollars. Any purchases you make at a UW Food Services location using Flexible Dollars or Transfer MP Dollars is not HST exempt.

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Are refunds on my WatCard account possible?

The only portion of your WatCard dollars that are refundable are your Flexible Dollars. Meal Plan dollars are neither refundable, nor can they be transferred to another account (e.g., Flexible Dollars), or to another WatCard.

To obtain a Flexible Dollar refund, go to the WatCard Office and complete the appropriate paperwork. There is a $10.00 administrative fee. Refunds are processed by UW Financial Services once per term.

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If I have more questions, who do I ask?

If you would like to know more about UW Food Services meal plans, you can call (519) 888-4567, extension 35270 or email

If you would like to know more about Flexible Dollars and the WatCard, call (519) 888-4567, extension 32751, email, or visit the WatCard website.

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