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Most people know PayPal as the Silicon Valley online payments giant that serves as an electronic alternative to checks and money orders. PayPal customers can send and receive money, make online payments or set up a merchant account. But PayPal has also entered the prepaid card arena adding to the dozens of prepaid debit cards that are available to consumers.
The PayPal prepaid card is offered by Bankcorp Bank and Netspend through MasterCard, its payment network. The prepaid card can be linked to the cardholder’s existing PayPal account, and like most prepaid cards, opening the PayPal prepaid MasterCard doesn’t require a credit check.
Prepaid debit cards can be beneficial for parents looking to give their teenagers and young adult children some fiscal responsibility, while still managing their money as well as for adults who may have issues with money management. Others simply don’t like to carry cash and prefer to whip out plastic. This PayPal Prepaid MasterCard review will cover how to load money on the card, fees, features and other things to consider when deciding if this is the right prepaid card for you.
Differences between a prepaid, debit and credit card
Prepaid cards have money loaded onto them via cash, direct deposit, checks or bank accounts before they can be used to make purchases. They don’t help you to build credit. No overdraft fees or credit checks, but you may be charged fees to use ATMs.
Debit cards are directly connected to the money in your checking account. Money is withdrawn from your account when making purchases or using an ATM. Also withdrawing money from your bank’s ATM is free.
Credit cards are supplied by a bank or financial institution. The cardholder applies and is approved with a certain credit limit, which allows you to make purchases, transfers and ATM withdrawals and pay the money back within a certain time frame or the cardholder is charged interest on the remaining balance. Unlike a debit or prepaid card, a credit card does require a credit check and can affect your credit card. A credit card can also help you build credit.
How to get a PayPal MasterCard prepaid card
There are two methods to obtain a PayPal MasterCard prepaid card. You can order the card online or purchase it at a retail location. PayPal waives the $4.95 fee if you order the card online and once ordered, the card should arrive within 7 to 10 business days.
If you need to use the card immediately, you can purchase it at a retail location and load money onto the card. However, this card is only temporary, and you’ll still need to get a card from PayPal. Once you purchase the card, you must activate it. You can do this online, and you’ll be required to enter the card number and verification card. If you don’t, you won’t receive your actual card or have the ability to load additional funds to the card and use its features.
Once you receive your PayPal prepaid card in the mail you must activate it, which requires identity verification. If your card isn’t verified, you won’t be able to load more money to the card or use its features. The information you’ll need to verify your identity is as follows:
- Your full name
- Physical street address
- Date of birth
- Home phone number
- E-mail address
- Social Security number
Also, you must activate your prepaid MasterCard within 120 days or the card will become invalid.
How to load money onto your PayPal prepaid debit card
PayPal MasterCard prepaid cardholders can load money onto their debit three ways:
- Direct deposit at no cost
- Transfer from a linked PayPal or PayPal Cash Plus account
- Cashing a check using the app
- Load funds at a Netspend Reload Network Location
Netspend has over 130,000 locations nationwide, however these locations charge a fee, which is specific to each location. The minimum load amount is $10 or $20. The maximum is $500.
Transfers made from your PayPal account are limited to the amount of money available in the account connected to the prepaid card. Moreover, funds transferred from a PayPal account may not exceed $300 a day and $2,000 per rolling 30 days.
PayPal uses a third party to cash a check, so there may be fees, unless you use the Money in Days option. There is no fee for this option and funds will be available within 10 days. The minimum check amount is $5, and the maximum is $5,000. The daily limit is $5,000 per day, and the monthly limit is $15,000.
PayPal MasterCard Fees
Your prepaid card has a monthly fee of $4.95 and a cash reload fee of up to $4.95. Direct deposit setup is free but check deposit fees range from 0% to 5% of the check amount. The check deposit fee can also increase depending on how soon you want to access the money. ATM fees will run you $2.50 per withdrawal, along with an operator fee. Non-U.S. transactions incur a 4% fee. Currently, only Allpoint Network ATMs waive the surcharge.
If your card is lost or stolen it’ll cost you $5.95 to replace it. Checking your account balance at an ATM because checking at a machine will cost you $0.50 each time. ATM transactions or purchases that get declined will be out another $1.
PayPal Master Prepaid Card Features
- Free Customer Service. Most prepaid cards offer free automated customer service, but with PayPal you can talk to a human being at no cost.
- No Inactivity Or Cancellation Fees. The PayPal Prepaid MasterCard doesn’t charge if you use your card irregularly or cancel.
- $5 Refer-A-Friend Bonus. Each time you get a friend to sign up for the PayPal Prepaid Card and that friend loads at least $10 to their account, both of you will get a $5 bonus within two business days. There’s no limit to the amount you can earn through this process.
- Cash Back Rewards Opportunities. The PayPal prepaid card offers cardholders who hook their PayPal prepaid cards to their PayPal accounts the ability to take advantage of special savings opportunities for online purchases.
- Purchase Cushion. If you sign up for direct deposit, you qualify for the ability to overdraw your account by as much as $10 at the Bancorp Bank’s discretion without incurring a fee. If a purchase or withdrawal that would create such a negative balance is approved, you will have 30 days to repay the amount in question. If you fail to do so by the specified deadline, your account will be cut off until you repay the amount.
The best feature of the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard is the ability to link to your PayPal account. Linking to your PayPal account allows you to:
- View your card’s balance and transaction history online.
- Use PayPal’s online bill pay service.
- Open a linked interest-earning savings account.
The bottom line is the PayPal prepaid MasterCard is a great choice for individuals who are big users of PayPal, especially if you plan on linking your prepaid card to your PayPal account that way you will be able to take advantage of all the benefits this card has to offer.