PayPal Prepaid Mastercard review
Great for using PayPal funds to shop in-person, but there's an unavoidable $4.95 monthly fee.
The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers a convenient way to use PayPal funds in-person and on the go. Plus, the potential to earn 2% cash back at select merchants when you opt into the optional PayPal Payback Rewards program. But the card has an unavoidable $4.95 monthly fee, which is typical for prepaid cards. There’s also no ATM network, so expect to shell out $1.95 each time you need to withdraw cash.
Monthly maintenance fee
Signature transaction fee
PIN transaction fee
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard may be a good choice if you want a convenient way to use PayPal funds in-person. The card earns 2% cash back and has convenient reload methods for cash, check and electronic deposits.
On the downside, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard doesn’t have an ATM network, so you’ll pay $1.95 for each withdrawal. Plus, there’s an unavoidable $4.95 monthly fee. That said, most prepaid cards cost at least $5 a month and some cost as much as $10 a month. If you want to avoid a monthly fee altogether, a debit card may be a better option.
How much does PayPal Prepaid Mastercard cost?
The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard costs $4.95 a month, plus a one-time purchase fee of $4.95 if you buy the card in-store. It also has these fees:
|Card purchase fee if ordered online||$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.
How do I open a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard account?
Apply for this card in minutes by following these steps:
- Click Apply now.
- From the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard website, click Order Your Card.
- 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.
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.
- PayPal Payback Rewards. Opt into this optional program and earn 2% cash back at select merchants when you use 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.
Is the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard safe?
Yes, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is safe. Funds are FDIC insured through Bankcorp Bank and you can request a new card if yours is damaged, lost or stolen.
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard reviews and complaints
PayPal has a 1.2 out of 5-star rating on TrustPilot based on nearly 16,000 customer reviews as of February 2021. Most are about PayPal in general, but there are a handful for the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. The most common complaint is that the unavoidable $4.95 monthly fee eats into your balance.
Compare with other prepaid cards
I got my PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. 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.
There are five ways to add funds to your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard:
- PayPal account
- Direct deposits
- ACH transfer
- Mobile check deposit
- Cash reload at a Netspend Reload Network location