The oDesk Debit MasterCard powered by Payoneer


The above picture is the oDesk Prepaid Debit MasterCard that is powered by Payoneer. As you might know already, Payoneer offered a prepaid debit card for every member of its partner company. I got mine from oDesk. Here is my personal experience for using this card and also there is some comparison with Paypal regarding the fees. 🙂

Yesterday, I finally received my oDesk Debit MasterCard. It takes approximately 3 weeks from approval into arrival. FYI, I got my card approved in 4 days after registration and it sended through regular mail. Once it is arrived, I activate the card immediately and withdraw my remaining oDesk balance into the card. I was withdrawing $50 into the card.

The fees itself is quite high. From oDesk, the withdrawal fees is $2. The funds will be loaded to the card in 2 business days or less, but there is a choice for immediate load which cost another $2.5 and it will loaded in less than 2 hours. I choose the second option, so I paid $4.5 for withdrawal, the funds is loaded in less than 10 minutes, which is pretty fast. Then, from the first load, it charged an activation fees for $9.95. Well, it is $14.45 already so the available balance I got in final is $36.55. That is the calculation, when it just loaded, the fees is hidden and it still show $48 balance ($50 minus $2 from oDesk withdrawal fee).

Next, I’m going to find an ATM to trying it out. First, I’m going to BCA ATM, which is available almost everywhere here and it support MasterCard. I insert the card, enter the PIN, and trying to take some cash out. But, unfortunately, it failed, the ATM said it is unable to process the request or so. Okay, I’m trying to find another ATM. Now, I’m in BNI ATM, and as usual I inserted the card, enter the PIN, take some cash out….and yes, it succeed! 🙂 I wonder why BCA didn’t work, since I heard some peoples have succeed with it, but well, whatever. MasterCard ATM is easy to find too.

About the ATM withdrawal, each withdraw will cost $2.15 fee and it will converted to the local currency immediately, but if it is failed, it will cost $0.9 fee.

Here is the details for withdrawing funds from oDesk to the Debit MasterCard.

First time (with immediate load)
oDesk charge                  : $2.00
Immediate load              : $2.50
Activation card               : $9.95
ATM withdrawal charge : $2.15 (each)
Total                            : $16.60 or $14.10 without immediate load

Next time (with immediate load)
oDesk charge                 : $2.00
Immediate load              : $2.50
ATM withdrawal charge : $2.15 (each)
Total                            : $6.65 or $4.15 without immediate load

This hasn’t included local ATM charge (if there is one). And since most ATM here has withdrawal limit to maximum Rp 1,500,000.00 (approximately $150) for each transaction, so if we want to withdraw more than that, we need to withdraw twice and that means, the ATM withdrawal charge will apply twice as well.

How is that compared to Paypal? For the fees, Paypal is definetely costless. The oDesk only charged $1, and withdraw funds from Paypal to local bank is only Rp 16,000.00 (approximately $1.6) for funds lower than Rp 1,500,000.00 and free for funds bigger than that. So it is $2.6 only, compared to $4.15 fees from Payoneer without immediate load. The cons is, while the oDesk to Paypal is instant, but from Paypal to the local bank isn’t, it will need 3-5 days for the funds to be available on the bank. Personally, I haven’t tried withdrawing from Paypal yet, so I can’t decide which is better for now. I will get into more depth when I tried Paypal. 🙂

Oh right, above calculation didn’t include the exchange rate and some fees that might apply to it.

Revision October 21, 2009:
– Payoneer immediate load from oDesk is $2.50 and not $3.00, the article has been corrected and recalculated.

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