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Over the years a number of readers have asked me how to transfer money to and from a PayPal account. I use a PayPal account, and I always transfer funds via my online checking account. But many readers don’t have and don’t want (or can’t get) a checking account. So for these folks, today we’ll look at a relatively inexpensive solution- the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®.
As the name suggests, this card is a prepaid MasterCard. Before we get to the details of the card, it’s important to note that it is the only prepaid card you can link to a PayPal account. Why? Because that’s how PayPal wants it. Taken directly from its website: “You can’t link a gift card, prepaid card, or one-time-use card to your PayPal account.” So if you want to use a prepaid card, you’ll have to use the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®.
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PayPal Prepaid MasterCard® Costs
If you’ve read any of my other reviews of prepaid cards, you know that the most important consideration is cost. While most cards offer reasonable fees, there are some out there that are completely outrageous. So where does the PayPal debit card fall in terms of cost? While it’s not the cheapest card available, the fees are very reasonable. The primary fee is a $4.95 monthly maintenance fee. While some cards will waive this fee if you load a set amount on the card each month, PayPal will not. But with this fee, you get free unlimited signature and PIN purchase transactions. There are fees for ATM withdrawals and loading cash on the card. Direct deposit is free. Overall, I’d rate the fees of this card a B+.
As noted above, the most important feature is the ability to link the card to your PayPal account. Once linked, you can transfer funds between accounts. If this feature isn’t important to you, there is really no reason to prefer this card over other prepaid cards.
That being said, the card does offer standard features you’d expect to find in most prepaid cards:
- Instantly transfer money from your PayPal Account to your PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®
- Earn Cash back rewards from specially selected stores, restaurants and more
- Use free direct deposit and get your paychecks faster
- Get account alerts on your mobile device or download our App to check your balance and see recent transactions
- No credit check, overdraft fees or interest charges
- Safer than carrying cash – use it to pay for everyday purchases
Loading Money on the Card
There are several ways to load money onto the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®. The easiest way is through direct deposit. It’s free, and you get access to your paycheck up to two days faster.
You can also load cash onto the card at one of the more than 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations. And of course, you can transfer money to the card from your PayPal account.
The PayPal Prepaid MasterCard® is the only prepaid card you can link to a PayPal account. In this review, we look at the costs and features of the card.
Cash Back Rewards & Other Features
The PayPal Prepaid MasterCard® offers some additional features not found with many prepaid cards.
First, you can earn cash back rewards on special offers. PayPal sends these offers to you based on your spending habits.
Second, you can open a linked savings account and earn up to 5% APY on up to $1,000. That is an extremely high-interest rate.
Third, if you refer friends who get a PayPal Prepaid MasterCard®, PayPal will give both of you an extra $5.
Finally, Paypal offers an Android and iPhone app. With the app, you can manage your account in several ways:
- Check your account balance
- Review recent transactions
- Find a nearby reload location
- Receive real-time activity alerts