PayPal Business Debit Card: A Great Backup Tool for Manufactured Spending

You’ve probably come across Paypal My Cash Reload cards and you may even have heard of the PayPal Business Debit Card. Basically, you can load up to $4,000 worth of PayPal My Cash Reload cards to your account per month and then liquidate the balance via money order purchases made with the Paypal Business Debit Card. Back in the day, I would work this into my manufactured spending routine to diversify spending, since the prepaid cards could be purchased at CVS and I wasn’t buying anything else at those stores. 

Paypal My Cash Reload Cards

I stopped maxing out the full $4,000 monthly loading limit after hearing about some shut-downs. This tends to happen when people max out the monthly load limit and then simply transfer the balance to their bank accounts. Don’t do that, unless you’re ok with having your account shut down and funds frozen for an indefinite period of time. I was always careful and mixed in some normal spending on the Paypal Business Debit Card, but I refused to make this a primary manufactured spending tool by picking up cards for extended family members. That said, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use PayPal as a back-up for money order purchases.

Every once in a while, I’ll have a slight problem while buying money orders at Walmart. I may miscalculate the total amount due with the fee included or one of my gift cards won’t get properly activated. My only options are to hold up the line while trying to figure out what the problem is, asking the cashier to cancel the transaction and start all over again, or using my PayPal Business Debit Card to cover the amount due. None of those are ideal solutions. However, if I have my PayPal Business Debit Card on hand, I can just use the balance in my PayPal account to cover the leftover amount. Since my account balance consists largely of funds from PayPal My Cash Reload cards (from which I’ve earned points and miles), this kills two birds with one stone.

Since the PayPal card has a daily spending limit of $3,000, this also enables me to buy larger denomination money orders in a single transaction. There’s also that one Walmart store near my house that doesn’t accept Visa gift cards for money order purchases, but has no problem accepting the PayPal Business Debit Card. When I’m churning large amounts of gift cards and need funds ASAP to pay off balances but don’t have time to drive to my ms-friendly Walmart out of town, this buys me some time.

Overall, PayPal Reload and Business Debit Card are great back-up tools for manufactured spending. I wouldn’t max out the full $4,000 every month and definitely steer clear of bank transfers, but loading a couple of thousand dollars on the card and using it for some normal spending can come in handy. Plus, the card earns 1% cash back on credit transactions, so you’ll easily earn back the $3.95 fee per $500 card.

Do you use the PayPal My Cash Reload and Business Debit Cards for manufactured spending at all?

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Ariana Arghandewal


  1. It seems like this is a sure way to get banned from paypal (frequentmiler, milesperday).

  2. The idea is intriguing but not my flavor. I do like the idea of using it to cap off when necessary though. If Paypal My Cash Reloads can still be purchased with a cc at CVS then it might be worth taking this debit card out of the sock drawer.

  3. Since Adrianna didn’t mention, let me add to it:

    DO NOT EVER send the PayPal My Cash money to other people.
    This gets you shut down faster than lightning.

    Overall, it is a method that’s alive, but be warned, it has higher risk, and your stake is higher too (the current balance in your PP account is frozen whenever PP decides to act)

    • Thanks for this important reminder. I was thinking to use it to send someone/seller money/payment. Then what’s the best way using PPBDC to avoid the shutdown?

      • best way is to use it for ebay purchase or use your PPBDC as payment for your online purchases. that is one method they totally approve of when funds are coming from MCs.

  4. Kroger allows debit cards to be unloaded for a small fee. I may load the PayPal cash card as have Kroger unload the cash then just deposit with my bank and bill pay the cc.

    • Josh, your comment means you can take any debit card into Kroger (so the PPBDC in this case) and walk out with cash from it (for the fee.) Is there a limit on the transaction size or daily amount?

      • I believe the transaction limit is $2-3000 I can’t remember exactly. No daily limit listed. They also have a coupon for 50% off the card unload fee at the moment.

  5. I have applied/been approved for the PP M/c but cannot find the reloads at CVS. I am in Florida.Any other ideas in FL? I checked PP website but very few options.Thanks.

  6. Here and there, I’ve loaded $500 paypal cards from CVS into my account and transferred to my bank account…which I’ve read is a surefire way to get your account suspended if you overdo it. Is using the debit card (and then buying a WM MO) any different regarding avoiding account audits?

    I’m planning to put a monthly spend of ~6 $500 paypal cards this into my routine since almost all area walmarts no longer allow split transactions (or don’t accept VGCs at all). But I NEED to keep my PP account active. How risky is this?

  7. Arianna —

    What about using the PayPal reload cards to load to your PayPal account and then using the PayPal Debit card to pay those bank credit cards (all Citi credit cards) that accept debit card payments?

    With the demise of NW Buxx, this would seem to be an easy way to MS and it would appear not to run afoul of PayPal as you are not transferring $$ to your bank account from PayPal, nor sending it to yourself or friends.

    What say you as to this maneuver?

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