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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

35 Comments

  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.

      • Maybe too late now, since I can’t find the PayPal cards at any CVS or Rite-Aid in DC anymore, but you definitely can send the funds to other people. In fact, that’s the easiest way to recover the funds. I’ve done probably over $10k in transfers to my lady-friend, with the same home address, who will then transfer it to my bank account. Only once did PayPal block the transaction and ask for clarification. Once we stated it was for rent payments, it cleared. I’ve also transferred to my father who doesn’t have the same address.

  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?

    • Definitely try to avoid bank transfers. I’ve never once transferred funds from my Paypal account to my bank – even funds that came from sources other than Paypal cash cards. Purchases via debit card are less likely to get you shut down but, again, everything in moderation. I would work in some normal spending to stay safe.

  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?

    • You mean paying your bill at the bank branch using your PayPal debit card? I would do that sparingly. I think Paypal might find it fishy if you’re using the card to unload your balance at another financial institution. At least with Walmart, it just looks like you’re shopping there.

  8. I would not recommend using paypal for MS unless you are ok with not having paypal. I pushed about 40k through before the shut down came about a year into it. Not only did they freeze my account but Ebay for me and my wife was essentially shutdown since we had no way to pay for things that require paypal. Eventually i restarted paypal via a brother in law but that still resulted in having to start new ebay accounts as well since my old accounts would always error out and show payment method problems, even when a new paypal account was linked in.

    I always tell my wife that if we arent shut down, that just means we weren’t trying hard enough at MS, but the ebay shutdown was something that really impacted my wife’s fun time on the computer. ive been shut down and told no more times than i can count doing MS but the paypal thing just wasn’t worth the hassle.

    • See that’s my point: You gotta do it sparingly and only as a back-up. I don’t think I’ve done $40k in 2-3 years combined. There are months when I don’t even load any funds at all. And I agree – don’t do it unless you’re ok with getting your account shut down and funds frozen indefinitely.

    • Could you share the reason and what you did that caused the shut-down of your PP account?

  9. I use the paypal business debit card to pay my mortgage on plastiq. Do you think that there’s risk there?

  10. Where are you buying the PPMC cards with a credit card now that CVS doesn’t sell them? Wlagreen’s requires cash.

    • I haven’t bought them in a while, but you may want to check out Riteaid. Buying reload cards with a credit card at Riteaid has been a hit/miss, in my experience.

  11. I plan to use PPBDC to pay rent on Radpad as a debit card. Will paypal shut down my card in such case?

    • I think you should be ok. PayPal usually shuts people down who transfer funds to their bank accounts. In addition to Radpad, I think you should try to work in some normal spending here and there if you can. Its not so bad, considering they pay out 1% cash back anyway.

      • Thanks very much. I am planning to do some normal spending online too. The PPBDC’s 1% cash back will compensate the activation fee for buying my PP cash (actually earn $1.05 per $500). So it’s just like paying using a regular credit card.

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