If you’re wondering if the Paypal Prepaid Debit Mastercard is right for you, then here are some facts to help you make your decision. We’ll start off with some basics and then list the pros and cons of the card one by one.
First, you should be aware that this card offers one convenience that no other prepaid card can offer. It can be used as an extension of your regular Paypal account. You can transfer funds directly from your Paypal balance to the Paypal Prepaid Card.
This way you can also load it up with money from the things you’ve sold on eBay. No other card out there can do that. But there are some other things to consider before you sign up. Especially the fees.
Paypal Prepaid Card Fees
- Plan Fee: $4.95 a month.
- ATM Fee (domestic): $1.95 per withdrawal plus ATM owner’s surcharge.
- Over the Counter Cash Withdrawal Fee: $2.50 per withdrawal plus the institution’s fees.
- Netspend Cash Loading Fee: $0 to $3.95.
- Instant Bank Transfer Fee: $1.95 per transaction.
- Statement Mailing Fee: $5.95
- Preauthorized Payment Decline Fee: $1.00
That’s a lot of fees. For the full fee disclosures including the international usage fees, have a look at the official Paypal Prepaid Card Agreement (pdf file). You will find them buried on page 21 and 22.
There are some basic pros that all prepaid debit cards have over credit cards. Such as the fact that you won’t have to pass a credit check. There are no bills to pay, no late fees, and no over limit fees. You also don’t have to pay interest on the account. Plus, you can use the card for online bill pay including scheduled payments. Here are some pros that are specific to the Paypal Prepaid Card.
- Can be funded from your Paypal balance.
- There are 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations where you can add funds.
- The $4.95 per month plan fee is actually very competitive.
- It has an option to deposit money into a 5% APY savings account.
- Excellent fraud protection.
And of course that are some cons that are common with all prepaid debit cards. You will have to pay the card’s and the institution’s ATM fees and you’ll have to pay fees for reloading your card at a reloading location if you use one. Here are some cons that are specific to the Paypal Prepaid Card.
- Customer service is based offshore.
- $5.95 paper statement fee.
- $1.95 per domestic ATM withdrawal fee on top of the ATM owner’s fee. Many other cards don’t have an “in network” fee.
If you’re considering getting the card because you can load money from your Paypal balance, you should be aware that are other alternatives. Paypal also offers a standard debit card (not prepaid) that links directly to your Paypal account just as if it were a checking account. It doesn’t have any fees. In fact, it actually has a cash back bonus program that makes it the far better choice for someone who needs to be able to access their Paypal balance through a debit card.
As a stand alone card, this isn’t a bad deal for someone who needs an alternative to a bank account or a credit card. It’s great for online transactions like paying bills and ordering goods from a website. There are no fees for doing that. And you can avoid the funding fees with direct deposit. The fees for cash transactions can quickly add up though, so if you’re in need of a card for that purpose you might want to look elsewhere.
If you’d like to do a further comparison on how the Paypal Prepaid Card stacks up to the competition, you should have a look at this article on from toptenreviews.com which documents the fees from the top 10 other debit cards on the market. The paypal card is pretty competitive, but you can decide for yourself based on your specific needs.
If you think the card is right for you then you can get the Paypal Prepaid Card here.