Making poker deposits with MasterCard or Maestro (the MasterCard-backed debit card) is a very quick and convenient way to fund your online poker experience, but these two options for making a deposit at an online poker site do have their drawbacks inasmuch as only players in certain countries will be allowed to withdraw your winnings back to your card (currently United Kingdom, Ireland and Romania).
This is not a rule instigated by any of the online poker sites, but MasterCard itself. Consequently players in other countries who enjoy a profitable session or two at the tables will have to use an alternate form of withdrawal provided by the site – often bank transfer or cheque – which often comes with high minimum withdrawal limits and possibly charges as well.
Top MasterCard Poker Sites
If – knowing this – you choose to make a poker deposit with a MasterCard, practically every online poker site will be happy to accept your card details. This is because the cost of payment processing is cheap and MasterCard deposits have a very high acceptance rate.
Most sites have a comparatively low first deposit limit for depositing with a MasterCard (typically $10/€10/£10) and high upper limits. What you need to remember is that it is only your first deposit that counts towards your poker bonus. So, if you deposit $50 into your account, and then top it up with a further $250 deposit, only the first $50 will qualify for a poker bonus.
Advantages of Using MasterCard to Fund an Online Poker Account
As mentioned above, MasterCard and Maestro are two very quick and convenient ways to fund an online poker account. Making a deposit is as simple as buying something online. You just enter your name, card details, CVV and expiry date, and the amount you want to deposit, and your funds are credited within a minute or two (in some countries you will also have to enter your MasterCard Secure Code).
Depositing by MasterCard and Maestro becomes even quicker and more convenient when you set up a “Quick Deposit Facility”. This facility allows players to reload their accounts at the click of a button without having to re-enter you card details again (although you may still have to enter the MasterCard Secure Code). It is usually necessary for you to have verified your ID before being allowed this facility, but verifying your account is always a good idea to enhance your online security.
Talking about online security, transactions conducted with a MasterCard or Maestro are also very secure. Every transaction is processed using a 128-bit encryption, and the card details you provide to the poker site are maintained in encrypted format so that they are practically useless to anybody who intercepts. In the unlikely event that anybody gets their hands on your credit or debit card details, your card issuer will have systems in place to prevent the fraudulent use of your card.
Disadvantages of Using MasterCard to Fund an Online Poker Account
As well as not being a withdrawal option for all online poker players, there are a few disadvantages of using a MasterCard-backed credit or debit card to fund an online poker account. One of the most significant disadvantages is identical to one of the most significant advantages – the speed and convenience of the MasterCard facility, and specifically the Quick Deposit Facility.
We believe that it is a good idea for poker players to keep their poker bankroll separate from their general fund, as this makes it easier to track how much is won or lost playing online poker. The Quick Deposit Facility makes it very easy for a player having a bad session to dip into their general fund to top up their account; and not only might players lose all of their bankroll in a bad session, but they could lose money that is set aside for items such as rent, household bills and food.
It was mentioned above that the cheap payment processing and the high acceptance rates of MasterCard deposits make them one of the most popular options for making a deposit at an online poker site. However, not all MasterCard or Maestro deposits are accepted, and it may be the case that your card-issuer has a problem with online gambling transactions. If a deposit request is declined, you may have to look for an alternate source of funding for your online poker account.
MasterCard Deposits Q&A
What fees are there for depositing on a poker site with a MasterCard?
There should be no fees attached by the poker site to either funding a poker account or withdrawing from a poker account (where allowed) with a MasterCard or Maestro card. Your card issuer may charge you if your deposit is considered to be a “cash advance”. If this occurs, you should consider other poker deposit options as the fees will negatively affect your profitability.
What are the minimum and maximum amounts I can deposit with a MasterCard?
Most sites will allow you to deposit as little as $10/€10/£10 as mentioned above, but please heed our warning about choosing the amount of your initial deposit with care. Players with a MasterCard credit card can usually deposit up to $5,000/€5,000/£5,000 on their first deposit (provided the account is verified). The maximum for Maestro cardholders is typically a little lower.
Do I call my bank if poker deposits with MasterCard get declined?
Most bank customer service representatives have little experience of making poker deposits with MasterCard, so it probably in your best interests to call the poker site´s customer service department. They will have more experience in the processing of deposits and, in the dealings we have had with poker site customer service departments, they generally tend to be more helpful than your local bank.