I like point earning methods that are as quick and efficient as possible and that allow me a quick return on my time. Paypal My Cash cards are sold at many drugstores and can be purchased with many point earning credit cards. They are great for meeting spending requirements on some of those nice miles bonus or earning drugstore bonuses. The reason I really like these is that they’re quick and efficient. Once you have the Paypal card, you just go home, spend a few minutes on the internet and you’re done. In this post, I am going to describe a method that allows us to earn points without paying any fees by pairing a Paypal account, a good point earning credit card and the Paypal Business Debit MasterCard.
The Steps to Making Money and Earning Points
- Open a Paypal account or have an already used one.
- Buy a Paypal My Cash card at a drugstore to load $500 for a fee of $3.95.
- Load into your Paypal account (the maximum is $500 a day or $4000 a month).
- Send payments to others via Square using the Paypal business debit card earning $5 for each $500 (up to $2500 a week).
Update: Many readers report having trouble with the Paypal Debit card through Square Cash right now so be the Square Cash step may not work. Regardless, many people still use a 5% cash back card at drugstores so buying a Paypal card without the Square Cash addition is still very profitable. You can still send money to others through Paypal normally, just subtract $5 per card (or $40 per month per Paypal account from the below calculations).
If you follow all these steps, each $500 card purchase will earn you $1.05 in cash plus any points you earn on the card. I prefer to use a 5% cash back card so I actually earn $26.05 for every $500 card I purchase on my credit card. If I buy $1000 in Paypal cards every time I stop by a drugstore, that’s $52 just for stopping in!
Paypal My Cash Cards
Paypal My Cash cards are sold at various drugstores and many will take credit cards for them. They can be loaded for $500 at a time for a $3.95 fee. The cards are then loaded onto your Paypal account via the Paypal My Cash portal.
The load limits are:
- $500 a day.
- $4000 a month where the month is 30 day rolling (e.g. if you load $4000 at the end of the month, you have to wait until toward the end of next month to load again. Your limit is not reset on the 1st).
Once the cash is in your Paypal account, you can do with it as you wish. You can use it for regular purchases, send money to others, withdraw to the bank. I don’t recommend just loading money and withdrawing to the bank. Besides, if you do that… you’ll miss out on the 1% cash back opportunity with the Paypal Business Debit card.
A Point Earning Credit Card
I prefer to use credit cards that earn 5 points per dollar or 5% cash back. Although my favorite Citi ThankYou card that earns 5 points per dollar at drugstores is no longer available to new members, there are a few other available cards with this feature. A few examples of cards still available include:
- Wells Fargo Cash Back Card
- Citizens Bank Cash Back Platinum MasterCard
- Old Amex Blue Cash Card
You can actually use any credit card, but the ones I mention above are what I would prefer. It makes a lot more sense to earn 5 points per dollar or 5% cash back rather than just one point at a time.
Another option is to use it to meet spending
Paypal Business Debit Card
My reader Andy told me about the Paypal business debit card and the fact that it earns 1% cash back on non-PIN transactions. You can apply for the card here. One non-PIN way to use the business debit card is to send money to others via Square.
Square Cash is a service that allows users to send money from one debit card to another. The easiest way to use it is to download the app onto your phone. You can link any debit card to it (prepaid cards don’t work, by the way, I have tried) and then send money. You enter the recipient’s email address and he receives an email saying he can accept the payment. He enters his own debit card number (this can be any debit card on his end) and the money appears in his checking account in one or two days.
The limit for sending money for free via Square is $2500 a week.
How Much Do We Earn?
Let’s now look at the math. To buy the Paypal My Cash card, you pay $3.95. When you send the $500, you then receive back $5. That’s a profit of $1.05 per card plus the points you earn. If you have one Paypal account and load all $4000 a month this way, you will earn $8.40 in profit plus the points.
Here’s our earnings with different credit cards:
- Starwood Prefered Guest Card: 1x points per dollar = 4000 points per month + $8.40.
- Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard: 2x points per dollar = 2.2% cash back = $97 a month.
- 5% Cash Back Credit Card: 5% cash back per dollar = $8.40 + .05($4031.60) = $210 a month.
Now let’s put into perspective how little work this takes. In NYC, drugstores that sell Paypal My Cash cards are everywhere. In fact, I have four on my 10 minute walk home from work. Every time I stop in to buy $1000, it takes me roughly four minutes to get the card, wait in line and pay. Once I have the card, the rest is a quick few minutes on the internet at home. In my estimate, the total time expended on a $4000 Paypal account amounts to 30-45 minutes a month. I personally go with the cash back option so my return, in that case, is $300-$400 an hour.
A few warnings
As we can see, this is quite a lucrative strategy. However, the important thing is to start slow. Don’t do things that are uncomfortable to you and don’t go spending up tens of thousands of dollars on a credit card immediately. Also, try to use your Paypal account for other things like online purchases and don’t move money around super quickly. Take it easy, go through the steps and get comfortable. And have fun!