The PayPal Cash Card lets users access their digital PayPal funds out in the real world. It has minimal fees and a large, free ATM network in the US. If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional debit card or an easier way to link your bank account to a Canadian PayPal account, you might be wondering if you can get a Cash Card too.
Can you get a PayPal Cash Card in Canada?
Unfortunately, no. Right now, the PayPal Cash Card is only available to American PayPal users. The Cash Card is linked to users’ PayPal Cash Plus Accounts, and you need a US residential address to get this account. Additionally, you need a Social Security number and a US bank account to register for the card, both of which generally require that you live, study and/or work in the States. There isn’t a loophole or exception that will allow Canadians to get a card of their own.
However, PayPal could choose to offer the card in Canada in the future. Keep reading if you’re planning on residing in the US or are simply curious about what the PayPal Cash Card has to offer.
In addition to providing a flexible way to tap into users’ digital balances, the PayPay Cash Card comes with:
No credit check. Because the PayPal Cash Card is a debit card, registration doesn’t require a credit check.
Minimal fees. There are no monthly, statement or minimum balance charges and no initial balance requirements.
Easy reloads. Cards can be reloaded at more than 100,000 retailers in the States through a linked bank account or from cardholders’ PayPal accounts.
Security. Funds are protected against unauthorized charges through Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection, and many online purchases are covered by PayPal Purchase Protection.
Free ATM network. Accounts can be accessed at more than 33,000 MoneyPass ATMs in the US free of charge.
Quick money transfers. Send money anywhere from a computer or phone with only the recipient’s email address.
Despite providing flexible access to funds and little fees, the PayPal Cash Card has potential drawbacks that include:
No bank protections. Because PayPal isn’t a bank, card balances aren’t eligible for overdraft protection, government insurance or the standard features that many banks offer.
Reload fees. It costs up to $4.95 USD every time cash is loaded onto the card.
Withdrawal fees. It costs $2.50 USD to withdrawal money from an ATM outside the MoneyPass network in the US (plus any fees charged by the bank that owns that ATM). It also costs $3 USD to withdraw cash from a teller if a signature is required.
Withdrawal and purchase limits. Cardholders are limited to $400 USD in withdrawals and $3,000 USD in debit purchases daily.
Reload limits. Cardholders can only load up to $1,500 USD and $5,000 USD a month at participating retailers.
Foreign transaction fees. Users must pay a fee equal to 2.5% of their transactions at retailers and ATMs outside the US, even if the transaction doesn’t require a currency conversion. And that’s on top of PayPal’s $2.50 international ATM withdrawal fee.
Because the PayPal Cash Card is a fairly new product, you won’t find many customer reviews online.
PayPal has been in business over 20 years. It’s accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. However, it earns an average 1 out of 5 stars based on 710 customer reviews at the time of writing, though the site includes over 9,000 complaints.
Many customers complain about unexpected overdraft fees and other problems related to withdrawing money from their PayPal account to a bank account. They also say that disputes went unresolved or were unfairly resolved.
How to apply for the PayPal Cash Card if you live in the US
As mentioned, users from Canada can’t get a PayPal Cash Card. However, you can if you’re living in the US and have a US bank account. First, you’ll have to create a PayPal Cash Plus account, then you can easily apply for the card online through your US PayPal account. If you don’t yet have a PayPal account, you can create one for free from the homepage.
Sign in to your US PayPal account and click Personal in the top navigation. Click PayPal Credit & Cards from the menu.
Scroll to Debit & Prepaid Cards, find PayPal Cash Mastercard and click Get the Card.
Click Request Your Card.
Confirm your name and billing address, then click Confirm and Continue.
You’re eligible for the PayPal Cash Card if you meet these requirements:
US citizen or permanent resident
US residential address
Valid Social Security number
At least 18 years old
PayPal will ask you for the following information when you open your account:
US residential address
Date of birth
Social Security number
US government-issued ID number
There are a few ways to fund a new card:
Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer from another bank
Transfer from a linked debit card
Transfer from your US PayPal account
Cash deposits at any participating retailer in the States
How long does it take to get a card?
Cardholders can receive their cards by US mail within 7-10 business days.
What to do after getting a card
By fully setting up their cards, users can enjoy a load of other benefits:
Load money. Money can be added to the card at more than 100,000 participating retailers across the US, including Walmart, 7-Eleven and CVS.
Link other cards or accounts. Credit or debit cards can be added to the card, so users can spend directly from those cards via their PayPal accounts. Additionally, users can link their bank accounts to transfer money to or from their PayPal balances.
Send and receive money. All it takes to transfer money between PayPal accounts is an email address and a smartphone. Funds go right into cardholders’ PayPal Cash Plus balances, which can be withdrawn to their bank accounts.
Set up direct deposit. PayPal Cash Plus account and routing numbers can be given to employers or other agencies to have cheques deposited directly into cardholders’ accounts.
Get help. PayPal can be contacted at 1-888-221-1161 or online through users’ account.
The PayPal Cash Card is not available in Canada. Right now, only US PayPal account holders with US bank accounts and Social Security numbers can get a card. This doesn’t mean that PayPal won’t ever offer the card in Canada in the future, though.
US residents can enjoy the perks of having an easy way to pay for in-person purchases with electronic cash. And, because the PayPal Cash Card is a debit card, no credit checks are required, and the fees are minimal compared to similar cards. However, loading cash onto the card can get expensive quickly and funds in cardholders’ accounts aren’t government-insured.
No. Currently, you need a US bank account, a Social Security number and a US residential address to get a PayPal Cash Card.
No. It’s a debit card that links to cardholders’ PayPal Cash Plus account, allowing them to make offline purchases and withdrawals from their balances.
No. Cardholders can’t get points, miles or free items by using their PayPal Cash Card.
No. But users will need a bank account if they want to add or withdraw funds from their PayPal Cash Plus balances using their bank funds. Funds can also be added to cards by visiting select US retailers, signing up for direct deposit, or transferring to or from friends and loved ones.
Yes (for US users only). PayPal’s mobile app can be downloaded to manage PayPal Cash Plus, send and receive money, make purchases and more. The app is available on both the Apple app store and Google Play.
Yes. You can sign up for a PayPal account no matter where you live, but you can’t apply for the PayPal Cash Card without a valid US address.
Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.
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