With the exception of the small number of sites that offer no deposit bonuses, if you’re going to play online bingo for real money then you’re going to need to find a way of getting your dosh from your purse to the bingo site.
In the UK we’re pretty spoilt when it comes to payment methods, and there are lots of different options for you to choose from. In this article we’ll give you a quick run down of some of the best ways to deposit (and hopefully withdraw!).
Debit & Credit Cards
The most obvious option is to use your debit or credit card. It’s also the most commonly accepted form of payment and every single Virtue Fusion bingo site is going to accept plastic in one form or another, although no site will accept American Express.
The benefits of using a card to deposit is pretty clear – it offers a fast and secure way of getting money straight from your bank to the bingo site. You can also withdraw back to your cards, although this is where debit and credit cards start to differ.
Whilst debit cards can be used to withdraw as much as you like, some credit cards (usually Mastercards) will only let you withdraw an amount up to the total value of your deposits – so if you deposit £10, win and want to withdraw £50, only £10 can go back to your Mastercard. You will then have to find an alternative way of withdrawing the rest.
Credit cards have another disadvantage too – many card issuers view online gaming transactions (such as the ones to online bingo sites) as a cash advance and stick on a cash advance fee of around 3%. If your bank does this then it’s also likely that you will start paying interest on the transaction from the day the payment is made instead of after the next statement.
For these two reasons if you want to use a card we recommend using a debit card.
eWallets – PayPal, Neteller & Moneybookers
The next type of banking method we’re going to look at is the eWallet – whilst the term eWallet may be unfamiliar for you, we’re fairly certain that you’ll have heard of at least one of these before. Many of you will also have one of them already – PayPal.
PayPal, along with its eWallet cousins Neteller and Moneybookers (now called ‘Skrill’), is like a virtual wallet. As long as there are funds in it, or it has a bank account linked to it, you can use it to deposit money at bingo sites, go shopping online and even transfer money to friends and family.
Using an eWallet at a bingo website is free – this is because the fees are paid by the bingo site. Transactions from your wallet to the site are also usually instant, meaning your cash should be added to your account before the start of the next game.
You can also use your eWallet to withdraw winnings from bingo sites. Just like deposits, this is instant in theory – although the merchant has to approve the transaction before it’s credited to your account, so it primarily depends on how quick the accounts department at the bingo sites are.
Many players choose to keep a bingo bankroll in an eWallet which they use to play – meaning they keep their bingo funds and separate from their day to day expenses. This also stops the transactions from cluttering up your bank statement.
Not all bingo sites will accept each eWallet – those that take PayPal might not take Moneybookers and visa versa. To help you out we’ve compiled lists of Virtue Fusion sites that accept each of the wallets we’ve just mentioned:
- Moneybookers / Skrill
If you’re looking for inspiration on which one to use, our favourite payment method is PayPal.
Cash Vouchers – UKash & Paysafecard
This last kind of payment method is one that I’d never come across before playing online bingo – so don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of them before.
Cash vouchers, such as UKash and Paysafecard, can be used to deposit at a bingo site using regular money and without involving any banks whatsoever – in fact you don’t even need a bank account to use UKash.
You do this via an electronic voucher code that is generated by a special terminal. These terminals can be found in many corner shops, supermarkets and petrol stations – just look for places that display the yellow ‘Paypoint’ sign in their window, or check the Paypoint website for your nearest vendor.
The voucher code can then be used to deposit at a compatible online bingo site. And just like the other payment methods we’ve covered on this page, the transaction is instant.
One major disadvantage of cash vouchers is that they only permit one way transactions – so you can deposit to a bingo website using UKash, but you cannot withdraw. This means that to get your hands on your winnings you’ll need to come up with an alternative withdrawal method such as cheque or eWallet.
Cash voucher use is growing in the online bingo industry, but they are still only accepted by a select few sites. As with the eWallets we’ve created some lists of bingo sites that accept the most popular forms of cash voucher: