The other day I needed to get some cash out of my Paypal account. With the Paypal debit card you can use any ATM to withdraw cash straight from your account. When I got to my bank I had my debit card in hand but I realized I had no idea what my PIN was. So instead of using the ATM I went inside to a teller and asked them to do a cash advance using my card.
Basically a cash advance is when a bank runs your debit card as a credit card (through the MasterCard network) and gives you cash for it. My bank, (and most banks) don’t charge for this service. I withdrew $400 which is the daily limit Paypal allows and I was happily on my way.
On the way home I realized I didn’t have to pay the usual ATM fee! Hrmm, did I just stumble across a new way to get cash out of my account while avoiding the ATM fee? I sure did! Not only did I avoid all ATM fees, but when I logged into my account later I realized I got money back!
Yes folks, I got paid to withdraw money from my account. Paypal has a 1% cash back feature for all purchases charged as credit. So not only did I avoid the ATM fees, but I also earned $4.00 for withdrawing it!
I tried this again with another $400 withdraw a few days later and the same thing, I avoided ATM fees and made $4.00 again.
I researched online and apparently a few people know about this already.
Now, I really have to ask myself if I’m technically making $4.00. Since every time I receive money from someone into my Paypal account I pay a fee to Paypal for it, I suppose I’m really just getting some of that money they took back. Either way, it beats ATM fees and I’ll gladly take the $4.00 discount!
Edit: Nov. 2nd, 2006 At my bank yesterday I went to withdraw $280.00 from my PayPal Account. I had $282 available funds. After 3 failed attempts to do a cash advance I called PayPal. It seems they’ve added a $3 fee now to all cash advances! Hrmm, perhaps they realized they were losing money with this loophole. Well, it was good while it lasted.