PayPal is a digital wallet that can be used to make deposits and receive payouts when you’re ready to cash out your winnings. It’s one of the largest payment processors on the planet with more than 160 million customers spread across 203 countries. As far as safety and convenience goes, it’s hard to make a case against PayPal.
The only potential downside is that it is only an option at sites that meet PayPal’s absurdly demanding quality control standards. That may sound like a thinly veiled compliment, but it does actually limit the number of poker sites that accept PayPal. We’ll get into more detail below, but let’s start with a list of the best PayPal poker sites.
What I was referring to above about those high standards is that PayPal is a US-based company and has no choice but to be selective in whom it works with. More specifically, PayPal refuses to do business with any poker site that accepts US players. Banking regulations in the United States are demanding and PayPal is a risk-adverse company.
For everyone else, PayPal is an option worth considering. Once you have an account, you can use it fund your poker account as often as you want without typing in your credit card number every time. It also comes in handy when it’s time to cash out. PayPal’s transaction limits are large and payments are processed almost instantly.
PayPal in a Nutshell
PayPal is the original e-wallet that dates back to 1998. It is now the world’s largest e-wallet and can be found as a payment method at millions of online merchants, poker sites and more. A free PayPal account acts as a safe place to store money online, send payments to others and receive payments from others.
Your PayPal account will likely prove useful for more than just making payments to and receiving cashouts from poker sites. You can use it to send money to family, make quick payments without revealing your credit card information and to keep track of your finances. PayPal also offers credit card services and a prepaid debit card linked to your account that you can use in the real world.
Signing Up and Getting Started
You can sign up for an account for free at www.paypal.com. After that, you can link a bank account or debit card to your account for quick money transfers to PayPal. PayPal will then send two small credits to your account as verification. You’ll need to wait a couple days, check your statement and then log back in to PayPal to type in the exact amount of both credits. This proves you are the owner of the account and unlocks the full PayPal experience.
Once your account is verified, you can use one of two methods to make deposits to poker sites:
- Upload funds to your PayPal account and then make your deposit
- Use PayPal to send money straight from your bank account to your poker site
The second option is the fastest because it doesn’t require you to first upload funds to PayPal. Any card or bank account that you have linked to PayPal is just deducted for the amount of the deposit.
PayPal is mostly free to use but you will see some fees depending on what you want to do. It’s free to sign up for an account, make payments to poker sites and receive cashouts from poker sites. There is a $1.50 (or your currency equivalent) for withdrawing money from your PayPal balance to your bank account.
You will also see a currency exchange fee if you deposit in a currency that isn’t natively supported by your poker site. The exact amount varies but is generally in line with what you would expect for any international currency conversion.
The maximum amount you can send in a single transaction with PayPal is set at $10,000 / £5,500 / €8,000. Poker sites may enact their own limits in addition to these, but most sites just go with the default PayPal limit.
New users are also subject to limits on receiving money until they verify their accounts. In the UK, for example, finance rules require PayPal to verify your identity before you receive more than £1,900 in a single year. Once you verify your account, there is no limit to how much money you can receive and withdraw.
Who Should Use PayPal?
PayPal is an effective option for almost all players. The only time I wouldn’t recommend PayPal is if you’re planning on making one deposit and never playing poker again. In that case, it wouldn’t be worth the time signing up for an account and verifying your ownership. It would be faster to just make a one-time credit card deposit directly to your poker site.
If you’re planning on making more than one deposit or withdrawal, PayPal is the way to go. You can use it to move around from site to site without revealing your banking information and receive frequent cashouts for minimal cost. It will also come in handy for making other online purchases.
I also recommend PayPal for poker players who are leery of giving their credit card information to poker sites and other merchants. Whenever you make a payment with PayPal, you are redirected to a secure PayPal page that requires you to log in to your account and verify the payment. The company or person who receives your payment never sees your private banking details.