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PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

Easy Transfers
Link your account at PayPal to a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. Transferred funds available for use through your PayPal Prepaid Card Account at no-cost.
Rewards Rate
Take advantage of PayPal cash back rewards and earn on qualifying purchases from select merchants.
Companion App
Check your Card Account balance, see transaction information, and more.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Who is the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® best for?

Using a credit card is a great way to build credit history, earn rewards, and enjoy consumer protections, but it might not be the best for those who feel tempted by the buy now, pay later nature of credit to overspend.

In that case, a debit or prepaid card might be a better choice, as your spending is limited to what you either have in the bank or what you load onto the card.

With a reloadable prepaid debit card, you load funds onto the card, then use the card for purchases just like you would a debit card. If you like to budget what you’ll need to spend for the week or month, a reloadable prepaid card can be a useful tool to help you stay on track. And if you’re concerned about the risk of debit card fraud draining your checking account, a prepaid card may provide some distance between your daily transactions and your bank account.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® is designed for PayPal customers who want a card they can reload from their PayPal accounts and are willing to pay a monthly fee. However, know that not all prepaid cards charge a monthly fee, including the Bluebird by American Express, which also doesn’t require you have a PayPal account.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® overview

    • Move money from your PayPal account to fund your prepaid card account.
    • Earn cash back and personalized offers, just for using your card.
    • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
    • Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
    • Click PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® for additional features & program details, and to request a Card.
  • Credit needed:
    300 599
    Poor/Limited
  • No cost to obtain a card online
  • Use the card wherever Debit Mastercard is accepted

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

N/A

Intro BT APR

N/A

Regular BT APR

N/A

Annual Fee

Plan fee is $4.95 monthly.

Cash Advance Fee

N/A

Foreign Transaction Fee

4%

Balance Transfer Fee

N/A

Pros and cons of the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

Pros

  • Easy ways to load funds
  • Chance to earn rewards
  • Option to open a savings account
  • Manage your card via mobile app

Cons

  • Monthly fee
  • ATM withdrawal fee
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • PayPal account needed

What we like about the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

  • Easy ways to load funds

    Ways to load funds onto your card at no cost include:

    • Receive your paycheck via direct deposit
    • Transfer money from your PayPal account
    • Deposit a check with Mobile Check Load

    Additional ways to load funds will involve a fee:

    • Add funds at a NetSpend Reload Network location (up to $3.95 per load)
    • Request an expedited deposit of a government check or payroll check with pre-printed signature via Mobile Check Load (either 2% of the check amount or $5, whichever is greater)
    • Use Mobile Check Load to expedite the deposit of any other accepted check type (either 5% of the check amount or $5, whichever is greater)
  • Chance to earn rewards

    When shopping at qualifying stores, you can get special offers and Payback Rewards. Note that you must opt in to be eligible for Payback Rewards.

  • Option to open a savings account

    If you have the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® and a PayPal account, you have the option of opening a savings account that earns interest. Here’s what the card’s website has to say about interest:

    • If the Average Daily Balance is $1,000.00 or less, the interest rate paid on the entire balance will be 4.91% with an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 5.00%.
    • If the Average Daily Balance is more than $1,000.00, the interest rate paid on the portion of the Average Daily Balance which exceeds $1,000.00 will be 0.49% with an APY of 0.50%, and the interest paid on the portion of the Average Daily Balance which is $1,000.00 or less will be 4.91%. The APY for this tier will range from 5.00% to 0.54%, depending on the balance in the account.
  • Manage your card via mobile app

    You can manage your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® on your smartphone using the PayPal Prepaid mobile app. It allows cardholders to check their account balances, view recent transactions, load checks, find nearby spots to reload the card and more.

What to look out for with the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

  • Monthly fee

    The plan fee is $4.95 monthly. That adds up to almost $60 a year. While it’s not unusual for reloadable prepaid debit cards to have monthly fees, it’s still something to be aware of when deciding if this is the right tool for managing your money.

  • ATM withdrawal fee

    There’s a $2.50 fee per withdrawal when taking cash out at a domestic ATM. Note that the ATM operator may also charge a fee. Rather than get cash out at an ATM and pay a fee for it, you may prefer to get cash back at retailers such as grocery stores — you can select “debit” and enter your PIN, and there’s no fee for getting cash from your card that way. There’s no ATM withdrawal fee for taking cash out at an international ATM, but a foreign transaction fee will apply.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    When traveling abroad, be aware that this card charges a foreign transaction fee of 4%.

  • PayPal account needed

    If you don’t have a PayPal account, you won’t be able to make use of everything the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® offers. For example, you won’t be able to view your account balance and transaction history online. You also won’t be able to open the optional savings account this card makes cardholders eligible for. And since the ease with which this card integrates with PayPal is one of its main benefits, it probably doesn’t make sense to have the card if you don’t want a PayPal account.

Alternate prepaid card to the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

Compare it to the Bluebird by American Express

If you’re looking for a reloadable prepaid debit card with no monthly fee, there is the Bluebird by American Express.

It offers free in-network ATM withdrawals at more than 30,000 MoneyPass ATM locations across the United States. At non-MoneyPass ATMs, you’ll pay a $2.50 fee per withdrawal (ATM operator fees may also apply).

When traveling abroad, rest easy knowing the foreign transaction fee is $0. Finally, you can load funds onto your card for free at the register when checking out at Walmart or at the Walmart MoneyCenter.

Unless you really like having a prepaid card integrated with your PayPal account, the Bluebird by American Express might be a better choice than the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® since it has fewer fees.

Compare the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Bluebird by American Express Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card Petal<sup>®</sup> 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit Card
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Bluebird by American Express Discover it® Secured Credit Card Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card
Apply Now
on NetSpend's secure site
Review Coming Soon Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Apply Now
on Petal's secure site
Welcome Offer
N/A No bonus Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. N/A
Rewards Rate
Take advantage of PayPal cash back rewards and earn on qualifying purchases from select merchants. No rewards 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically Earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, and 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants
Annual Fee
Plan fee is $4.95 monthly. $0 $0 $0
Regular APR
N/A N/A 26.74% Variable APR Variable APR between 16.74% - 30.74%
Recommended Credit
Poor/Limited N/A Poor/Limited N/A
Card Details
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Additional card details unavailable Discover it® Secured Credit Card Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card

Is the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® right for you?

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® allows you to manage your money with a reloadable prepaid debit card and avoid the temptation to overspend on a credit card.

Once you link your PayPal account to the card, you can easily load funds at no cost. However, the monthly fee and a foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad detract from this card. If you’d prefer a prepaid card that doesn’t charge these fees, you may want to take a look at the Bluebird by American Express instead.

Consumers who are interested in establishing or improving a credit history should note that prepaid cards don’t build credit. That’s because there’s no borrowing involved.

Credit cards are a form of revolving credit, where you borrow money as you go and then repay the lender every month. Prepaid cards are a way to spend money that you’ve loaded onto your account. While activity on a credit card will be reported to the major credit bureaus, activity on a prepaid card will not.

If you want a card that will help you build an excellent credit score, which can be useful for getting better rates when applying for credit products such as auto loans and mortgages, two credit-building cards worth considering are the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and the Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card. Both cards tend to be accessible to applicants with no credit or thin credit files, and offer the opportunity to build your credit history while earning cash back.

Apply Now
on NetSpend's secure site