Visa Debit Card Poker Deposits
Visa is the most popular way to pay for online poker using a debit card. Visa has several ways to fund poker accounts, including Visa Electron and Visa Debit. These various programs are available in different countries, depending on Visa’s marketing campaigns and banking connections in those countries. For instance, Visa Electron is available everywhere except the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Australia.
Visa Debit is Visa Electron’s counterpart in the United States, Canada, and Ireland. Visa Debit is available in Germany, Greece (Piraeus, Alpha Card), Italy (Fineco), and the United Kingdom (Barclays). In the UK, Visa Debit replaced Visa Delta. In Israel, Visa Debit, which replaced Visa Electron, is issued by Bank Leumi. In the Philippines, Visa Debit is issued by BDO, Eastwest, Landbank, RCBC, and Unionbank.
MasterCard Debit Card Poker Sites
MasterCard’s Maestro debit cards are another popular method of payment at online cardrooms. Most poker rooms which accept MasterCard Credit are going to accept Maestro Debit. Once again, Maestro is sometimes available for withdrawals in certain regions. Since MasterCard itself is not used as much for payouts (as Visa), you’ll find that Maestro cashouts are not as common as Visa Electron withdrawals.
Maestro is the successor to MasterCard Switch. The Switch line of debit cards was launched in 1988 and discontinued in 2002, when it was replaced by Maestro. The Solo debit cards, which were issued by financial institutions associated with MasterCard (HSBC, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland), were discontinued in 2011. Poker players might find references to Solo or Switch on card sites that haven’t updated their FAQ and T&C pages in years, but they should assume such references now refer to MasterCard’s Maestro debit cards.
American Express Serve Poker Sites
American Express Serve is a line of reloadable prepaid debit cards issued by Amex-linked financial institutions. American Express Serve allows free direct deposits, free online bill pay, free cash withdrawals at 24,000 MoneyPass ATMs worldwide ($2.50 fee for non-MoneyPass ATMs), and the ability to add cash at 45,000 locations worldwide. Amex Serve cards have no credit check, no minimum balance, and no hidden fees. That doesn’t mean non-hidden fees might not apply, since the American Express Serve card, American Express Serve Free Reloads card, and American Express Serve Cash Back all have small monthly fees. Still, if you want a reloadable prepaid card which offers 1% cashback, you should consider the Amex Serve Cash Back card.
You’ll find American Express prepaid debit cards less useful for online poker deposits than Visa Electron, Visa Debit, or MasterCard Maestro. Visa and MasterCard are payment methods at more online gambling sites. Take that into account before applying for a Serve prepaid card.
JCB Debit Card Poker Sites
JCB is available for debit card poker deposits at many Australian, Oceanian, and Asian card sites. JCB is the Japanese Credit Bureau, the largest issuer of credit cards and debit cards in Japan. While many poker sites won’t say explicitly that JCB Debit works on their site, the JCB official website says, “JCB Debit Cards…can be used at JCB merchants all over the world.” That should apply to any JCB-friendly poker sites.
China UnionPay Debit Card Poker Payments
China UnionPay issues a debit card which allows cardholders to access cash through ATMs in over 160 countries worldwide. China UnionPay Debit supports instant online payments and offline payments anywhere the UnionPay Credit is accepted. Unfortunately, as of April 2018, the Chinese Culture Ministry is trying to ban online poker apps in Hong Kong and China. All online poker references are supposed to be eliminated from Chinese social media sites like WeChat, along with other top Chinese online sites like TenCent and Boyaa Interactive. While you’ll find offshore online poker sites which accept UnionPay, the plan is to make poker unpopular through removing all references to the game on the Chinese Internet. Eventually, that might make UnionPay debit card deposits less popular over time — and therefore less likely to be supported.
Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards
Players might wonder what the advantages and disadvantages of debit cards versus credit cards are when making poker deposits. Even when debit cards or reloadable prepaid cards have rewards and incentives, credit cards tend to have better rewards programs. If you view credit card cashback programs as an indirect way to inflate your poker bonus, then making a poker deposit with a credit card is the better option.
Debit cards limit the potential damage from identity theft and charge card fraud. Someone who steals your financial information can only steal a certain amount from a debit card, because it works on a prepaid basis. Thus, if you check your charge cards often, a debit card is safer from the amount of losses you might incur. At the same time, credit card companies tend to police credit transactions closer and have better fraud insurance in many cases. Using a credit card for poker sites puts up more of a firewall against identity thieves, while using a debit card leaves less to be plundered behind that firewall.
When it comes to non-reloadable prepaid cards and gift cards, the anonymity of such debit-based deposit options is a strong argument in their favor. If you want privacy and anonymity, buying a prepaid card or gift card at Walmart, Target, CVS, or Walgreens might be your best debit option. Of course, Bitcoin deposits at poker sites provide high security, speed, transparency of payments, and privacy that might outweigh the advantages of debit-based privacy. We’ll discuss that in our Bitcoin poker sites article.