Adding Money Should Be Easy Right? Adding it from my PayPal account is even better. This is why I purchased one of the PayPal cards and that’s what it says in the PayPal-prepaid website.But it’s not easy – or instant.
The PayPal Prepaid website (not PayPal.com) says I can transfer money instantly from my PayPal Account to the PayPal Prepaid Card! As I describe in Part 1, this is exactly what I need. But notice the superscript 2 note on the Transfer Money image above? Here’s what Note 2 says:
Money transfers may only be made in the name of a valid PayPal Prepaid Cardholder and your PayPal Prepaid Card must be activated and linked with your PayPal Account at paypal.com. [check and check] Only one (1) PayPal Prepaid MasterCard may be linked to one (1) PayPal Account. [check] If a member of your household has another PayPal Prepaid MasterCard, another PayPal Account in that person’s name is needed. Transfers from the PayPal Account to the PayPal Prepaid Card are limited to the amount of funds available in your PayPal Account and may not exceed $300 a day/$2,000 per rolling 30 days. Overdrafts are not available. Money cannot be moved directly from individual funding sources like credit or debit cards, bank accounts, etc., attached to the PayPal Account to the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard Account. Money transfers from the PayPal Account to your PayPal Prepaid MasterCard cannot be reversed or cancelled. The PayPal Prepaid MasterCard is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license by MasterCard International Incorporated and may be used everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted. The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Please review the Cardholder Agreement for more details about the costs, terms, and conditions associated with use of the Card.
Wait…What? So what is it trying to tell me? I can’t move money from any money source attached to PayPal account. How do I transfer money?
I’m guessing it’s saying that I need to put cash money into my account somehow. Let me log in and look that up.
I log into my PayPal account and hit the link for “Add Money” and it asks me for my SS# to verify who I am. They already have my SS# since I linked my Bank Account information. Well, they want it again. I give it up. The next page (see image below) showed that I can add money from my linked bank account in 3-5 days (arrrgh.!&@X!!) or, instantly if I have a Green Dot® MoneyPak® which I can buy at the same CVS Pharmacy (for another $4.95 fee. Hmmmm… do you see a pattern here?)
Well, I don’t have a MoneyPak card. So much for instant money transfer. I only want to add money to my prepaid card, not my PayPal account but I have to add it to the account before I can transfer to the prepaid card. I either have to wait 3-5 days or go to the store again. Remember, in part 1 I said I needed to have this ready in a couple of days? Importantly, this instruction is to add money to my PayPal account – not the Prepaid Debit card. Something is not right here and I’m definitely not impressed with the whole PayPal experience.
I wait for PayPal to deposit a verification transfer amount. I check by logging on to the prepaid site over the next 2 days. Sunday, nothing but Monday morning, my account is blocked. I call them and they blocked it because I received 2 deposits from PayPal. Wait – what?
PayPal deposits money into one of their customer’s PayPal prepaid card accounts and they block the account? The first customer rep from the Prepaid card (NetSpend) asks 3 identifying questions plus the 16 digit card number (which I already entered when the 800 number answered). She tells me that it is blocked. That’s why I called I explain. She says she has to transfer me to someone who can unblock it. I wait another minute or two and the next rep asks me for the card #, name, SS#, street address, then proceeds to ask me three multiple choice questions. I get the answers right, because they are from my past, so they figure it really is me. Apparently, my credit history is all over the place now. It feels like a security risk or a risk to my credit rating if something goes wrong – but it’s PayPal…what could go wrong?
The transfer test deposits from PayPal are a few cents each. The PayPal verify bank account screen has expired after two days so I need to log in again. I look for how to verify the card, and I decide to edit the card information. I get an error saying they can’t verify the card. I go to Update Bank Accounts and see that the new card’s bank is unconfirmed. I hit “confirm”. It asks what the two deposit amounts were and I tell them. The next screen says I can now transfer funds from my bank account instantly. However, the screen where it says to add money to the card says it takes 3-5 days.
The screen shot above is unchanged after confirming my account reinforcing the 3-5 day wait. So I’m guessing that I can transfer money from that card’s bank account instantly only to purchase something, but I can’t transfer money to that card instantly. I call PayPal – the regular account, not the prepaid card account. They tell me that I need to add funds with the prepaid card account directly.
Don’t use it if you want to link to your PayPal account for the purposes of refilling it. I chose the PayPal Prepaid debit card precisely for this reason, and also because the description said I could add money instantly using my PayPal account. It may be true at some point, ,but not now. It is way too complicated and fees apparently pop up on their own.
If you want to carry a PayPal Prepaid Debit Card, be prepared to pay fees every time you want to add money. Don’t expect to add money instantly from your PayPal account. At the very least, it appears that you’ll have to go to a store before visiting the prepaid website and pay $4.95 for the privilege of adding money. That doesn’t sound like instant to me.
Alternatively, you can find a Reload Center – typically the same place as you bought the card, and add money for only $3.95. The website says to bring your cash and your card to the reload center, so it’s not as if you can use a credit card to do reload. Cash Only! But going to a reload center and doing it there seems reasonably instant and less expensive than buying a MoneyPak® card. You just have to go get cash first. Hmmm…maybe an Amazon Gift Card is a better choice to use when buying things online. You get to use all the money and there are no fees!
If you want to use a PayPal Prepaid Debit card, you should buy it with the full amount you need to use. Spend it all and then cut the card up and close the account if you don;t have any further use for it. Don’t bother to wait for the permanent card. There is mention of another fee if the account is dormant for a month, but the PayPal-prepaid website has a link which allows you to close an account, so I will update this post when I actually cancel the entire account. I can’t wait.
I was so happy with PayPal before this. Now I’m not so happy. See how it works out in Part 3 >>.