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PayPal Prepaid MasterCard review

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  • Get this card if… you want quick access to your paycheck or want to reload your card through NetSpend Reload locations.
  • Pick something else if…you don’t want to pay a monthly fee.


Monthly fee


Monthly fee with a direct deposit


Signature transaction fee


PIN transaction fee


Card typeCredit
Card networkMastercard
Monthly fee$4.95
Monthly fee with a direct deposit$0
Signature transaction fee$0
PIN transaction fee$0

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by

Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard may be a good choice if you want direct deposit options. The card offers ways to bolster your rewards through PayPal and reload your card at NetSpend locations.

But if you’re not crazy about shelling out the $4.95 monthly fee, you may be better off with a debit card.

The basics

If you use PayPal, you can swipe this prepaid card to eat, drink or shop anywhere Mastercard is accepted. It costs $4.95 to buy the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, but you can avoid this fee by buying the card online.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard can be most useful if:

  • You’re looking to access your paycheck or government benefits faster.
    Direct deposits through a bank can take up to two days. Speed up direct deposits directly to your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard.
  • You want easy reloading.
    Load funds online from your PayPal account or at more than 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations in the United States.

To use the card, you’ll pay a Plan Fee of $4.95 a month.

If you’re looking for a fee-free card, consider the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard that draws from your PayPal balance. You can apply for it if you have a PayPal Business account or received at least $500 in your personal PayPal account in the last 12 months.

Another way to avoid the $5 fee

To access your paycheck faster, consider the free Earnin app (formerly called Activehours). Earnin lets you upload your timesheet and receive up to $100 in your bank account quickly — with few catches.


Card purchase fee$4.95 in stores; $0 if purchased online
Plan fee$4.95 a month
Signature purchase transaction feeIncluded in plan
PIN purchase transaction feeIncluded in plan
Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee (financial institution)$2.50
Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee (NetSpend Reload Network)Varies by location
ATM cash withdrawal fee (domestic and international)$1.95
ATM transaction decline fee (domestic and international)$1

View a full list of fees in the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard’s terms and conditions.

The perks

  • Faster access to deposits.
    When you deposit your paycheck or government benefits directly to your card, you can access the funds up to two days faster than direct deposit to a bank account.
  • No purchase fee if you order the card online.
    You’ll pay $4.95 to buy this card in person or over the phone.

You’ll also like …

  • PayPal Prepaid mobile app.
    Check your account balance, find reload locations and more from your smartphone.
  • Open a savings account.
    Open a savings account through the Bancorp Bank, and earn up to 5% APY on balances of up to $1,000.
  • Refer a friend.
    If you refer a new user who funds their card with at least $10, you and that person each receive $5.
  • Cash back.
    Earn cash back rewards at some merchants for using your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard.

What to watch out for

  • Not a credit card.
    This Mastercard is a prepaid card. You’ll need to load money to the card before using it.
  • Monthly fee.
    To use the card, you’ll pay a Plan Fee of $4.95 a month.

If you want a prepaid card with zero to minimal fees, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for a prepaid card.

Compare with other prepaid cards

Name Product Signature transaction fee PIN transaction fee Monthly fee
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
Use the no-cost direct deposit service and have access your funds up to two days faster than what traditional banks offer.
Pink Netspend Visa Prepaid Card (FeeAdvantage Plan)
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
Trusted by more than 7 million people.
Netspend Visa Prepaid Card (Pay-As-You-Go Plan)
With Netspend, you get a convenient way to manage your money on a prepaid card that is packed with features. Visa Prepaid Card
$9.95 per month (or $0 with a $1,000+ direct deposit)
Customize your Visa prepaid card to fit you, and pick from two plans to fit your budget.
ACE Flare Account
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
Withdraw up to $400 in cash per day without a fee at participating ACE locations when you have qualifying Direct Deposit activity.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

If you live in Vermont, you’re ineligible for the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard.
Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a prepaid card.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Home address

How to apply for the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard

1. Visit the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard website and click Order Your Card.
2. Complete the application with information like your name, address and contact information. Then click Get My Card to submit your application.

How long will it take to be approved?

You’ll typically receive a decision on your application right away. If approved, you’re mailed the card within 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Avoid fees. Check this card’s fee table to understand fees you might encounter using it.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, contact customer support at 866-753-6440.

Frequently asked questions

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  1. Default Gravatar
    February 14, 2019

    What time do direct deposits post to your account. My tax return was sent to my acct yesterday and I still haven’t received it , but I was wondering if it will post by midnight or could it post at anytime during the day, basically is there a specific time on when the deposit will post?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      February 19, 2019

      Hi Erin,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Please note that direct deposits through a bank can take up to two working days. You may visit PayPal’s help page to learn more on receiving your tax refund with PayPal.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    December 21, 2018

    I signed up for direct deposit, this will be my 1st deposit. Why haven’t I received it early? It’s 12 am and I have not yet received anything. How does it work?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      December 21, 2018

      Hi Neisha,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      If you have just set up direct deposit with Paypal, the first direct deposit usually takes 1-2 pay periods for the deposit to be effective but can also vary across employers. You may want to check with your employer for specific timing.

      I hope this helps.


  3. Default Gravatar
    April 8, 2018

    Can you get cash advance from this card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      April 8, 2018

      Hello Chiquita,

      Good day! Appreciate you contacting finder regarding your inquiry today.

      Please note that cash advance is not available for this card. This Mastercard is a prepaid card. You’ll need to load money to the card before using it.

      Hope this helps!

      All the best,

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