Deposit Options at Online Poker Sites Explained

One of the least-considered factors when choosing between online poker sites is the options for making a deposit. These days it is pretty much taken for granted that credit cards and debits cards are universally accepted on the Internet. Furthermore, if you want to want to keep your poker bankroll separate from your “domestic money”, there are a host of e-Wallets available

There are advantages and disadvantages to using a certain payment method when depositing into an online poker account. For example, some online payment processors charge lower fees than others for funding an e-Wallet. Some will sting you with excessive currency exchange rates, while others will not allow you to withdraw to the payment method you used to make a deposit.

Some charges and fees are so high that a winning session could be turned into a losing one by the time you get your money back. Consequently we have compiled a selection of the best options for making a deposit at an online poker site, and included links to other pages on which you can find more detailed information about each.

Credit Cards and Debit Cards

Credit cards and debit cards have been marketed in the past as your “flexible friend”, and they are certainly a handy option for making a deposit at an online poker site. Visa and MasterCard credit cards and their popular debit cards – Electron, Maestro and Delta – are widely accepted at online poker sites, as is Diners Club International.

However, what you might save in convenience, you could lose in charges. Some credit and debit card issuers charge 1.5% for depositing at an online poker site because they regard the deposit as a cash advance. Depending on the financial institution that has issued your credit or debit card, you may also find that your deposit is declined because of the nature of the transaction.

E-Wallets and Virtual Credit Cards

E-Wallets and virtual credit cards work in a similar way to each other. You basically send money to the e-Wallet or virtual credit card of your choice, and then use those funds to make a deposit at an online poker site. Transfers back and forth between online poker sites and online payment providers such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Kalixa and Entropay are usually immediate and free of charge.

The disadvantages of e-Wallets and virtual credit cards revolve around the cost of initially funding your account and currency exchange charges. Some e-Wallets will deduct as much as 7% as a transaction charge when you first fund your e-Wallet account, and expect to receive up to 4% less than your withdrawal amount if you are transferring your winnings into an e-Wallet account not maintained in the same currency as your online poker account.

Prepaid Vouchers

Before we get into the advantages and disadvantages of prepaid vouchers, we should advise readers that Skrill – the owners of PaySafeCard – purchased UKash in April 2015 and stopped the sale of UKash vouchers on 31st August 2015. UKash vouchers could still be used until 31st October 2015, but some online poker sites have been slow to remove this payment option from their websites.

The primary advantage of PaySafeCard (the only prepaid voucher now generally accepted by online poker sites) is that you can buy a voucher for as little as $10.00 and use it with no fees attached to deposit at an online poker site. The biggest disadvantage is that it is impossible to withdraw funds to a prepaid voucher – although UKash did experiment with withdrawals prior to its closure, and it may be something that Skrill introduces in the future for PaySafeCard.

Bank Transfers & Instant Banking Services

Bank transfers and instant banking services such as iDEAL and Giropay are exceptionally secure options for making a deposit at an online poker site. Because of higher minimum and maximum deposit limits, they are most suitable for players who wish to transfer large sums of money into their accounts to play in poker tournaments with substantial buy-ins or to pursue valuable poker bonuses.

The issues with bank transfers and instant banking is that there are a lot of processes to go through to set up a transfer facility. However, once the facility is set up, it is possible to transfer funds immediately between your bank account and your online poker account. Similar to e-Wallets, expect to be charged for a currency conversion if your bank account is not maintained in the same currency as your online poker account.

What about Other Deposit Options?

Unfortunately, none of the online poker sites featured on accept Bitcoin as a deposit option at the present. You can use Bitcoin to fund some of the e-Wallet deposit options – which means you will no longer be at the mercy of volatile currency fluctuations – but you are likely to pay a transaction charge of up to 5% for funding your e-Wallet with Bitcoin.

Some online poker sites will accept a personal cheque as a deposit option – although you may have to wait for the cheque to clear before you can use the funds deposited in an online poker account – and some sites still accept P2P transfers such as Western Union. Please make sure that your chosen poker website allows withdrawals by Western Union if you choose this deposit option, or else you may have to wait for a cheque in the post!

The best options for making a deposit at an online poker site will depend on an individual´s personal circumstances and their location. If you already have an e-Wallet maintained in Euros or £ sterling (or multiple currencies), it would make sense to use this facility to fund you online poker action. If not, it may be worth your while to consider the alternatives in terms of convenience, cost, and the deposit/withdrawal limits typically associated with each one.