Although there are always new competitors popping up, Obopay being the most recent and e-gold being the best known, PayPal is still the definitive online money transfer service. Although we always recommend everyone read and understand the Terms of Service before agreeing to use any service, especially financial services, there are several things that can slip through the cracks at PayPal. So here are five tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of PayPal.
- Join The Money Market Fund – Simply by opting in and providing your social security number, you’ll be enrolled in the PayPal Money Market fund. This will essentially turn your PayPal account into interest bearing savings. There is no minimum balance required, so no truly compelling reason to reject this “free” money. Although the actual return on investment varies, it tends to hover around 5%. That’s better than most $10,000 5 year CDs!
- Don’t Withdraw After 5pm PST/PDT – Withdrawing funds from PayPal to your checking account can take anywhere from 24 hours to 7 full days depending on your bank and when you initiate the transfer. During the time the money is “in transit” you receive interest from neither the PayPal Money Market, nor your personal bank account. That’s essentially “lost” money. By leaving the funds in your PayPal account overnight you gain another night’s Money Market revenue and the funds will land in your bank account at essentially the same time.
- Open TWO Accounts – PayPal permits every user to have up to two PayPal accounts: a personal and a premier/business account. You’ll want to take advantage of this as each has different benefits. The primary benefit of a personal account is that there are zero fees. If you’re using no-minimum Paid To Read or Paid To Click programs this is absolutely essential. Your personal account should be the one you use to receive all payments from your online earning opportunities. You’ll need the premiere/business account in order to receive credit card payments. This is essential if you intend to sell products via a website or do any amount of business on eBay. In order to have a second account you will need an extra bank account and email address as well. Luckily finding free email accounts and free bank accounts is pretty simple these days.
- Don’t Link Your Primary Checking Account – Sometimes things can go terribly wrong. It’s rare with PayPal, but it does happen and you should protect yourself. The easiest way to do so is to avoid ever linking your primary checking account to your PayPal account. Should something go bad and someone you’ve sent money to files a chargeback, you don’t want PayPal to have access to the account holding your rent, mortgage or bill paying funds.
- NEVER Click A PayPal Link In an Email – If you’re not aware of phishing, do a Google search for it right now. Essentially, scammers make fake emails that appear to come from a legitimate source, but actually direct you to dummy site. When you enter your PayPal password it goes into their database enabling them to go into your account to shop the net on your dime. The safest way to avoid ever accidentally falling prey to such emails is to never click through to PayPal. Always follow a bookmark in your browser or type the URL directly into the address bar.