PayPal Prepaid Mastercard review
- 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.
Signature transaction fee
PIN transaction fee
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Dallas Morning News, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. 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.
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.
How does the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard work?
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 is best for:
- Those looking to access paychecks 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.
- Those who 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 PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, you’ll want to watch out for the following fees:
|Card purchase fee||$0|
|Plan fee||$4.95 a month|
|Signature purchase transaction fee||Included in plan|
|PIN purchase transaction fee||Included 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.
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard benefits
This prepaid card is free to open, has no inactivity fee and features unique perks, such as:
- 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.
- PayPal Prepaid mobile app. Check your account balance, find reload locations and more from your smartphone.
- Open a savings account. As a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard holder, you get access to PayPal’s high yield savings account that earns 5% APY on balances of up to $1,000.
- Rewards. Earn cash back rewards at some merchants for using your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. Plus, receive $5 each time you refer a friend and they add at least $10 in funds to their account.
What to watch out for
The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard has a few potential drawbacks to watch out for:
- Must have PayPal account. You’ll need to have an active PayPal account to use this card’s online features.
- No ATM network. PayPal doesn’t have in-network ATMs, so you’ll pay $1.95 plus operator fees each time you need to withdraw cash.
- Monthly fee. To use the card, you’ll pay a Plan Fee of $4.95 a month.
- Not a credit card. This Mastercard is a prepaid card. You’ll need to load money to the card before using it.
If you want a prepaid card with zero to minimal fees, 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. Or, compare your options to find another prepaid card with minimal fees.
Compare with other prepaid cards
How do I apply for the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard?
Apply for this card in minutes by following these steps:
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.
If you live in Vermont, you’re ineligible for the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. But all other US citizens and residents who are at least 18 years old are eligible.
You’ll need this information when you apply for the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard:
- Full name and contact information
- Home address
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?
Now that you have your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, make the most of it by:
- Activating your card. Call 866-753-6440 or visit paypal.com/prepaid to activate your card.
- Avoiding fees. Check this card’s fee table to understand fees you might encounter using it.
- Contacting customer service. If you have questions, contact customer support at 866-753-6440.