There are a lot of different types of payment options and depositing methods at online casinos. In this post we will explain all the different payment methods, the differences and outline the advantages and disadvantages. Hope you find this post useful!
Trusty Visa cards were behind most of the credit-fuelled cash dashes upon which the online casinos of the previous decade were built. Cheaper and more flexible forms of payment have since come along to challenge the dominance of credit cards, but they remain an easy method of depositing cash. Acceptance at online casinos is virtually guaranteed, and you can bet with money that you don’t even have yet – although whether that’s a plus or a minus will come down to how disciplined, good, or lucky you are. Banks do tend to be a little wary of gaming transactions, so you may have to phone to verify some of your orders in order to prevent a block being placed on your card. Generally, though, they’re fast and easy for deposits, even if money withdrawals take a little longer – it’s usually around 2-3 days before the amount appears back in your credit card account.
Credit cards are often subject to transaction fees. These will usually be in the region of 1.5-3%, so they’re unlikely to prove prohibitive, but that still amounts to fewer gambling chips. Do be careful of ‘cash advance fees’. These are additional payments that are often levied on gaming transactions. They tend to be fairly minor, but you do need to watch for them if you’re playing with small amounts. It’s very irritating to have to pay an additional £5 every time you deposit £10 or £20, for instance. You’ll also sometimes only be able to withdraw as much money to a credit card as you originally deposited – any extra winnings may need to be transferred through another means, such as a bank transfer.
Be aware that not all credit cards are formed equal. Mastercard places more severe restrictions on gaming and gambling transactions. Your online casino may be able to evade the magic code that leads to an instantly declined transaction. In many cases, though, it won’t, which means that a life hooked up to a Mastercard is likely to contain a lot of rejection from your favourite casino sites. Diners Club cards can also throw up some problems, and are generally less well supported by casino sites than Visa and Mastercard.
In contrast to credit cards, debit cards insist that you already have the money before you can transfer it. This makes banks more amenable to debit card transactions, and generally results in no fees. Payments are fast, and most casinos will accept your payment. Indeed, you’ll often find that cashout limits are increased. Like credit cards, debit cards tend to have good security surrounding them, and you can generally recover your money in the event of criminal activity on your card.
Visa Electron is often called Visa Debit (formerly Delta) in the UK, and is the most commonly used debit card. Mastercard Maestro/Switch (Maestro was formerly Solo) is another significant competitor. A less well-known choice is the Laser card. These originated in Ireland, and drew attention with their generous cashback offers. However, many Laser cards have since withdrawn and replaced by Visa or Mastercard alternatives. For the time being, many of the major online casinos continue to accept Laser deposits, though.
e-Wallet or e-Money Accounts
Traditional credit and debit cards are finding the ground being cut away from underneath them by the new breed of e-Wallet methods – of which Skrill/Moneybookers, Neteller and Click2Pay are the best known, with PayPal also sometimes falling within this category. You deposit money into your e-Wallet account (typically using a credit/debit card or bank transfer), and can then deposit some or all of the e-Wallet balance into a gaming site. There are usually no transaction fees, and you virtually never get over-zealous banks blocking your payments. Deposits go through immediately, and while withdrawn cash takes longer to reappear in your e-Wallet, you’re still only looking at 4-8 hours – credit/debit cards take 2-3 days. The ease with which you can move money to and from gambling sites means that you can transfer any balance remaining in the gaming site back to your e-Wallet overnight – if the casino goes under, it won’t take your money with it. The e-Wallet account acts more as a central hub for your gaming funds, making it easy to keep tabs on how much you’re winning or losing.
There are some drawbacks. You will probably have to go through a rigorous process to verify your identity, so make sure you have a currently valid form of photo ID (eg, a driving license or passport). Bookies and betting sites tend to be a little suspicious of those customers using e-Wallets – believing them likely to be more experienced and shrewder than users of credit or debit cards – and will keep close tabs on you. If you’re joining hoping to take advantage of free bet or free spin offers, these may be closed off to you if you use an e-Wallet account. Overall, though, these are a superbly convenient way of working with gaming sites.
Skrill/Moneybookers and Neteller are both offered by most major casinos. We did a post recently that covers everything you need to know about using Neteller at online casinos.Click2Pay also receives decent support, although it lacks the presence of the other two. Many e-Wallet accounts let you apply for a cash card, allowing you to spend money from your e-Wallet even at sites that don’t directly accept the e-Wallet accounts themselves. However, this solution would work more like a normal credit card, so you would usually have to pay transaction costs.
PayPal is often classed as an e-Wallet. It doesn’t have same coverage on gambling sites as Skrill and Neteller, although the company does seem to be using its significant financial clout to improve its reach. Withdrawals can sometimes take longer than with Skril and Neteller though, and PayPal is still seen primarily as a shopping tool rather than the ideal gambling e-Wallet.
Voucher payments, like uKash and PaySafe, let you use real cash to buy a voucher of the same value. The voucher has a special number, so you can use it to deposit money with casino sites. These are a fairly safe and cheap way of making deposits, although you can’t of course withdraw money to vouchers – if you want to take your money back again, you’ll generally need to have it transferred to your bank by a cheque or direct transfer. In all honesty, there seems little real benefit to using vouchers rather than e-Wallet accounts. The latter, on the other hand, make it much easier to withdraw and manage your money as well. Unless you have a particular reason for needing to use vouchers – perhaps you don’t want a credit card, for instance – we’d suggest other methods instead.
You can also use pre-paid credit cards, like Entropay. These only let you spend money that you have already placed on the card, so security checks are kept to a minimum. On the other hand, the cards remain difficult to tamper with, as card details are never passed on to the site you’re dealing with, making them very secure. You can move money to and from the card. However, you will generally be subject to transaction fees, and these can mount up, with Entropay sometimes costing you more overall than a normal credit card.