Which prepaid cards work with PayPal?

Credit card: prepaid cards as an alternative to traditional credit cards

Obtaining a credit card is difficult for some customer groups. Obtaining a prepaid card is one way that on the one hand bypasses the credit check and on the other hand enables online and offline payment by card. However, many of the offers are not exactly cheap, in some places you have to expect extra fees.

Credit cards on a prepaid basis work in a similar way to what is known from the mobile phone sector. Money must be topped up in advance. As long as there is credit, you can pay or, as in the case of mobile communications, make calls. For every transaction, it is checked whether there is sufficient funds in the account; overdrafts are excluded. This brings cost control and a certain level of protection with it: the budget, for example provided by parents, cannot be exceeded and the loss is limited if the card is misused. On the other hand, it restricts flexibility, as you always have to pay attention to whether the account is full. The card account can be filled by transfer from any current account. This route is usually free of charge, but charging with payment methods such as PayPal, giropay or another credit card is often expensive. Prepaid cards only work on electronic terminals that read the magnetic strip or chip and query the credit online, not on older "Ritschratsch" devices that are most likely to be found in restaurants. Even if you want to rent a car, you cannot be sure whether the prepaid card will be accepted. The car rental company must have an electronic terminal and the credit on the card must be sufficient for the deposit. When withdrawing money from ATMs with a prepaid card, a cash fee is almost always due. And some card issuers charge an inactivity fee if you don't use the card for a set period of time. You should take a look at the respective price list, because what fees are charged for differs greatly between the various card issuers.

Credit cards are useful in many areas of life. This is how you get cash at ATMs, you can also conveniently pay for larger purchases in shops, and abroad you have the right currency at hand. On the Internet, some shops even require you to have a credit card in order to pay. But not everyone gets a credit card. There is a credit line associated with it, so the banks only enter into a business relationship if they have sufficient creditworthiness. Young bank customers under 18 only come to their own in exceptional cases. A prepaid card is then the solution. In this way, young people can be introduced to cashless payment transactions at the same time without major risks. Below you will find an overview of the current range of prepaid cards.

  1. Commerzbank prepaid card
    annual ticket price: free for young people, EUR 39.90 for adults
    Credit interest: -

  2. VIMpay prepaid Mastercard
    annual ticket price: -
    Credit interest: -

  3. Skrill prepaid Mastercard
    annual ticket price: EUR 10.00
    Credit interest: -

  4. PAYANGO Card
    annual ticket price: EUR 25.00
    Credit interest: -

  5. Postbank prepaid Visa Card
    annual ticket price: EUR 29.00 (not applicable in the first year if you apply for a Postbank Giro plus account at the same time)
    Credit interest: -

  6. Visa Card Basic from Landesbank Berlin
    annual ticket price: EUR 39.00
    Credit interest: -

Commerzbank offers a rechargeable Visa. The card is free of charge for minors, adults pay an annual ticket price of EUR 39.90. Minors aged 14 and over can apply for a card via the branches with the consent of their legal representative; online applications are only possible for adults. Minors can top up up to EUR 500.00, credit does not bear interest. Withdrawals from ATMs cost 1.95% (at least EUR 5.98, plus an international fee of 1.75% and fee from the machine operator). The card can be used to make mobile payments using both Apple Pay and Google Pay.

VIMpay is extremely connective. With VIMpay, you can top up your current account via bank transfer or direct debit, with the free Lite model the account balance may not exceed EUR 100.00. The associated prepaid Mastercard is available as a wareable (bracelet, key ring or shopping cart chip) and in a virtual version. And the card can be connected to Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay and SwatchPay. The use of Lite is possible from the age of 7. For the other account models that are offered as an upgrade, however, you must be at least 18 years old. With Lite, there is no need for identification via PostIdent or VideoIdent due to the small amount of top-up options. The balance is maintained with a partner company, a German e-money institute, which means that there is no deposit protection. Withdrawal from ATMs is not available with Lite. A fee of 2.00% is charged on sales in foreign currency.

Skrill links an electronic wallet for payments on the Internet with the "Skrill Prepaid Mastercard". The virtual card is free of charge, the physical card costs EUR 10.00 per year. Withdrawal of credit at ATMs is possible for a fee of 1.75% of the withdrawal amount (possibly plus fee from the machine operator). The foreign fee for withdrawing money / paying in foreign currency is extremely expensive at 3.99%. Skrill now operates from its location in Ireland, is an approved and regulated e-payment service provider there, credit is not protected by a deposit guarantee and does not generate any interest income. The aforementioned electronic wallet is only free of charge if you log into Skrill or make a transaction at least once every twelve months, otherwise EUR 5.00 will be deducted from your balance every month. You must be at least 18 years old to use Skrill's services. As proof of identity, according to the so-called "derived identification" under British law, a scan of the identity card must be uploaded via the contact form and as proof of address, for example, a gas, water or electricity bill made out in your own name and current address.

The "PAYANGO Card" (Visa) from PAYANGO GmbH can be applied for from the age of 12. The card-issuing bank is the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. The annual fee is EUR 25.00. The card can be designed with a motif from the picture gallery, which is partly free of charge, or your own photo, which leads to a surcharge of EUR 5.00 for the card's term of 4 years. Credit is no longer subject to interest. Withdrawals from ATMs cost 2.00%, but at least EUR 2.50 (plus an international fee of 1.50% and fee from the machine operator). The PAYANGO Card has the special feature of the international fee that the foreign currencies Swiss franc, Norwegian kroner, Swedish krona and Romanian lei are exempt. There is a top-up limit of EUR 500.00 for minors.

At Postbank, young people aged 14 and over can use the "prepaid card" with the consent of their parents. The annual fee here is EUR 29.00. The annual fee does not apply in the first year if the card is applied for at the same time as the "Giro plus" current account. There is no interest on the credit balance, withdrawals from ATMs cost 2.50% (at least EUR 5.00, plus an international fee of 1.85% and fee from the machine operator). Minors can maintain a maximum credit of EUR 500.00.

Landesbank Berlin has specialized in the nationwide distribution of credit cards. The "LBB Visa Card Basic" is now only available to people of legal age for EUR 39.00 per year. The credit on the card no longer earns interest. Cash withdrawals at ATMs are free of charge abroad (plus a foreign fee of 1.75% and fee of the machine operator if applicable); in Germany, EUR 5.00 per disposal is charged. With the Visa Cards from Landesbank Berlin, you can make mobile payments via Google Pay. If you take out the LBB Visa Card Basic via the linked Amazon campaign page, you will currently receive an Amazon.de voucher worth EUR 10.00, provided that the card has been issued with at least EUR 100.00 in the first eight weeks after it was issued.

In general, it can be said that providers are creative with fees. You should therefore take a close look at the respective price list. Very often unnecessary costs arise when topping up credit if one does not find out in advance how this can be done most cheaply. Even services that do not correspond to standard usage, such as paper invoices or return debits, are priced disproportionately high.
The Schwäbische Bank regional institute is the card issuer for three prepaid offers, the partner companies' pages do not seem quite as professional and are therefore only mentioned for the sake of completeness.