PayPal Prepaid Mastercard Review

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard provides some great features for PayPal users, like free transfers between your PayPal account and the card. And the cost is reasonable. But, if you’re not a PayPal account user, you might look at other options.

PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®

PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®
9.1

Features

9.0 /10

Fees

8.2 /10

Card Limits

10.0 /10

Pros

  • Instants transfers from PayPal account to the card
  • High-interest savings account
  • Cash back and refer-a-friend bonuses

Cons

  • Most benefits limited to PayPal account users
  • ATM fees

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, issued by the Bancorp Bank and managed by Netspend, allows for free instant cash transfers from PayPal to the prepaid card. It also offers a number of useful features like a high-interest savings account, cash back bonuses, and mobile check deposit. But many of the features are available only to PayPal users.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard Overview

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is available on the Mastercard network and is widely accepted anywhere Mastercard or debit cards are accepted. It offers instant transfers to and from a PayPal account, particularly important for PayPal users who don’t have an checking account.

In addition, the PayPal prepaid card, similar to other prepaid cards managed by NetSpend, offers a high-interest savings account with a promotional rate of 5.00% APY on deposits up to $1,000.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard has a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee. That’s about the average for prepaid cards. However, with some prepaid cards cards, there are ways to waive this fee. But it is not possible with the PayPal prepaid card.

You can load your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard for free via direct deposit or PayPal transfer. The card also offers free mobile check deposit, but processing takes 10-days. For check deposits to be instantly available, the fee is 1% for government checks and 4% for all others.

You can get cash from your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard at any ATM, but ATM withdrawals come with a fee of $1.95.

Features

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard includes the main features of most prepaid cards, such as free direct deposit and bill pay, but it also offers some unique features such as its connection to PayPal and Refer-A-Friend program.

Connect to PayPal Account: The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard can connect to a PayPal account for instant money transfers to and from PayPal. It is important to note that having a PayPal account is crucial to getting the full use of this card. Users who don’t connect their card to an PayPal account can’t access the online portal or mobile app to check their balance or transactions and aren’t eligible to earn cash back rewards.

Savings Account: The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers a high interest-bearing savings account. Users can transfer money into their savings account to earn up to a 5.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on deposits up to $1,000, with a 0.50% APY on balances over $1,000.

Cash Back: If users have connected their PayPal Prepaid Mastercard to their PayPal account, they will receive periodic offers to earn cash back rewards. Users need to opt-in to these offers.

Purchase Cushion: The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard doesn’t offer an overdraft program so it doesn’t have overdraft fees. However, direct deposit users may be eligible for a “purchase cushion” of up to $10. This allows a PIN or signature transaction to put your account at up to a $10 negative balance to cover an overage. Note that not covering the negative balance within two months can result in your card being cancelled.

Referral Bonus: For every friend you get to sign up for a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, you and the friend each get $5. Note that all referrals need to activate their card and load at least $10.

Bill Pay: The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers free bill pay through an e-check system. However, this takes a several days. If you need to pay a bill instantly, you will need to use the MoneyGram service available through your PayPal card account, which charges a fee.

Text Alerts: As the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is managed by NetSpend, the card offers Anytime Alerts that users can customize to their needs. Alerts can be sent daily, weekly or with each transaction and include individual transaction details, received deposits, budget notifications, and declined transactions. Users that have opted into alerts can also get on-demand information by texting the Netspend SMS number any time.

If you want to get… Text this command to 22622
Your account balance BAL
Closest Reload Network location RELOAD (or any five-digit ZIP code)
Info about your most recent transaction LAST
Info about your 7 most recent deposits made within the past 30 days DEP
Get your routing and Card Account numbers to sign up for Direct Deposit DIRECT
Unsubscribe from Anytime Alerts UNSUBSCRIBE
How to use Anytime Alerts HELP

Limits

You can have up to a $15,000 balance on the Paypal Prepaid Mastercard – higher than most prepaid cards. The maximum daily spending limit for the card is $5,000, again higher than most prepaid cards. The ATM limit is $940 a day, more than double the average for prepaid cards.

Fees

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard doesn’t have an activation fee, if you buy online, or any transaction fees. But it does charge a $4.95 monthly fee. Unlike some cards, there is no way to waive this fee by loading a minimum amount or by using direct deposit.

The card doesn’t charge for direct deposits, PayPal transfers, or inactivity fees.

There is a $1.95 ATM fee and a $2.50 over-the-counter bank withdrawal fee, so the only way to get cash from the card for free is by getting cash back at the register when making a debit purchase using your PIN.

There’s also a $0.50 fee to check your balance at an ATM, and a $1.00 fee for declined ATM transactions. The mobile app makes these easy enough to avoid since you can check your balance free through the app.

If you cancel your card, you can request a refund check for the balance. This check is sent by mail and usually takes three to four weeks to receive, with a fee of $5.95 deducted from the balance.

How to Load Money on the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard

There are several ways to load the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard.

Direct Deposit: Paychecks and government benefits checks can be loaded on the card via direct deposit without a fee.

Mobile Check Deposit: Users can deposit checks to their PayPal Prepaid Mastercard via the card’s mobile app if their card is connected to a PayPal account. Mobile check deposits are free but take 10 days to clear. If you want same-day processing, you have to pay a 1% to 4% fee.

Online Bank or PayPal Transfer: If you have a bank or PayPal account, you can transfer funds to the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard online for free.

Cash Reload: The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard uses the NetSpend reload network for cash reloads. There are 130,000 partner locations where you can load cash onto PayPal card. While the PayPal prepaid card does not charge a fee for this service, the partner locations do. Cash reload fees at partner locations range from $2.00 to $3.95 .

Using the Card

The Paypal Prepaid Mastercard works like a credit or debit card. It can be used anywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted. Basically, just about any online or brick and mortar retailer.

Getting Cash

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers 3 ways to get cash:

ATMs: You can use the card like a bank debit card to withdraw money from any ATM. The Netspend fee is $1.95 per transaction, plus the fee charged by the ATM owner.

Over The Counter Bank Withdrawals: You can withdraw cash in person at a bank using your PIN number. However, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard charges a $2.50 fee for this service.

Cash Back at Retailers: You can get cash back at the register when making purchases using your PIN number.

Getting the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard

Getting a PayPal prepaid card is easy. There is no credit check, no ChexSystems inquiry, and no income requirements. As with all prepaid debit cards, you do need a valid social security number to verify your identity.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard can be ordered online for free. It can also be purchased at certain retailers such as Walmart or CVS, but buying at a retailer usually includes a purchase fee–up to $4.95.

Summary

For regular users of PayPal that need to turn a balance into usable funds, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers a great service. A number of added features, such as high-interest savings, rewards, and mobile check deposit add value.

But there’s no getting around the monthly fee. And if you don’t have a PayPal account, many of features won’t be available to you.

Best For: Prepaid card users that regularly use PayPal and don’t frequently load cash other than direct deposit or account transfers.

Not So Good For: Prepaid card users who don’t have a PayPal account or direct deposit.

Features

Direct Deposit
Bill Pay
Mobile App
Savings Account
Text Alerts
Purchase Cushion
Referral Bonus

Limits

Card Limit:
$15,000
Daily Spending Limit:
$5,000
Daily ATM Limit:
$940
Daily Cash Load:
$2,500

Fees

Activation Fee:
$0.00
Monthly Fee:
$4.95
ATM Fee (in network):
$1.95
ATM Fee (out of network):
$1.95
Signature Purchase Fee:
$0.00
PIN Purchase Fee:
$0.00
Direct Deposit Fee:
$0.00
Cash Reload Fee:
$0.00