Is the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard worth it? | February 2018

Review: PayPal Prepaid MasterCard® – February 2018

  • 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.
Product NamePayPal Prepaid MasterCard®
Card TypeMastercard
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
2.5% of transaction value
Minimum Age18 years of age

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.

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 Get Your Card.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard step 1

2. Complete the application with information like your name, address and contact information. Then click Get Your Card to submit your application.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard step 2

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.

Bottom line

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard may be a good choice if you want direct deposit options or are looking to reload your card at NetSpend locations.

Given its $4.95 monthly fee, however, you may be better off with a debit card.

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