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Out and Out reader Jack commented:
Had trouble today for the first time loading my PayPal my cash card with a credit card at CVS.
Once the lady scanned the PayPal My Cash card the computer prompted her as CASH ONLY. She refused my credit card.
Did they finally hardcode?
I wanted to follow up because I had a similar experience here in New York City.
I went to a CVS on Houston Street, handed over 2 PayPal My Cash cards, and requested $500 on each, for a total of $1,007.90 after activation fees.
The cards scanned without a problem, and the total popped up.
Like Jack, I got a similar prompt on the register. I asked if she wouldn’t mind just trying to swipe the card. It wasn’t declined. It simply didn’t process.
She said it looked like cash only – no credit cards allowed.
So I set out to try a store in southern Illinois over the Thanksgiving break.
Success! But it’s very YMMV
Same as always, I went to the register, stated my business, and it came time to pay. Always kinda nerve-wracking when they start looking at your credit card.
But the cashier was friendly, and mentioned that people load up their PayPal My Cash cards all the time at that location.
I pressed “Credit” on the payment machine, swiped my Citi Prestige (again, that moment where the bank may decline the transaction), and the receipt spit out.
So easy, in fact, that I went in after Thanksgiving to do it again.
I had no problem loading the cards online at paypal.com/cash.
I loaded up $500 each day for a few days in a row until the cards were empty.
What’s it mean?
It’s obviously not hard-coded into the CVS system. Not if some stores are still loading them up.
But it does mean you’ll need to find a CVS where it’s possible to load up. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to which stores allow credit cards and which do not.
It still definitely works. But it does seem to’ve gotten more difficult.
Is it worth it?
This is great for meeting minimum spending requirements and generating some extra points and miles.
In that regard, yes, it’s totally worth it.
But you should NOT for any reason withdraw the money to your bank account. If you do, you can very likely have your account frozen by PayPal, and it will be a long process to get the money back. And you could lose your PayPal account.
What else is left?
A friend of mine reports success in loading a Serve account with a Vanilla Visa gift card at a Dollar General store (this is also possible at some Family Dollar stores, too).
Better yet, you can buy Vanilla Visa gift cards with a credit card at Dollar General or Family Dollar – and then load them to your Serve account there, too. A one-stop shop for MS!
Take caution though, and do NOT withdraw the money from Serve to another bank account because AMEX will shut your account down, especially for higher amounts.
Serve has a robust bill pay function (you can pay anyone or anything) so you shouldn’t have any issues with spending the balance.
PayPal My Cash cards live on at CVS, but myself and a few others have hit snags at certain locations. But not at others. I had success this past week with loading up 2 cards for $500 each in 1 transaction.
No doubt it’s getting tougher, though. Best thing is to find what works for you, and rinse + repeat for as long as the gettin’ is good.
A few peeps report success buying and loading Vanilla Visa gift cards at Dollar General and Family Dollar stores, so that might be another avenue worth exploring, especially if you have access to several locations.
I’ve heard Rite Aid is 50/50 for loading Serve with gift cards, too.
So that’s the current state of PayPal My Cash cards.
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