How to cash in your PayPal My Cash cards when PayPal freezes your account

Image this scenario:  Suppose a blogger you know had been buying PayPal My Cash cards at a certain three letter drug store and paying with a card that offers 5% cash back at drug stores, and through a series of events he ended up with loads of My Cash cards and no way to load them…

PayPal My Cash

Account warnings

In this imaginary scenario, this blogger may have received a warning from PayPal saying not to deposit MyCash cards and then withdraw the cash (details here).  Specifically, PayPal may have warned: “If we continue to see this activity of using the MyCash with your PayPal account for cash withdrawals, we may have to limit or close your PayPal account.”

So, hypothetically, imagine that this blogger continued to load PayPal My Cash cards, but stopped withdrawing the cash to his bank account as he had been doing before.  Instead, he loaded the My Cash cards to two different accounts, transferred the money to his account, then used his PayPal debit card to pay bills.

Account frozen

Now, imagine that this blogger then received an email from PayPal with the subject line “Your account has been limited.”  And, in the body of the email it said (among other things that made less sense): “…your account has been permanently limited…. You’ll be able to withdraw money from your account within 180 days.”

Imagine too that this blogger received the same email on the same day for each of the three PayPal accounts he was managing.  And imagine that many phone calls to PayPal and email pleas led nowhere.

Finally, consider the possibility that this hypothetical blogger still had $2,500 worth of My Cash cards in-hand.  What should he do?  Here’s the answer…

How to cash out My Cash cards

If you’re stuck with My Cash cards and no viable way to load them to PayPal, then here’s an option:

1. Log into PayPal.com/cash

Even if your PayPal account is frozen, you should still be able to log in with that account.

2. Go to the FAQ/Contact US page

Find and click on “Why couldnt PayPal verify my personal information?

If you haven’t logged in yet, you should see this:

PayPal My Cash

If you have logged in, you’ll see this:

PayPal My Cash

Note that there is now a link that says “Click here to request a refund”.  Click it.

3. Request a refund

You should now see a screen like this:

PayPal My Cash

After entering in your card’s PIN and the CAPTCHA characters, you’ll be brought to a screen asking for your name and address.  On this page they’ll promise a check in up to 14 days:

PayPal My Cash

Warning: do not do this to manufacture spend

It may be tempting to buy My Cash cards and ask for a refund over and over, but I promise it won’t be long before they cut you off.  This technique should be used only if you’re really stuck with no reasonable way to load these cards.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. I absolutely HATE PayPal. And hate is not a word I use lightly.

    About 9 years ago, I sold something valuable on eBay, and the buyer paid through PayPal. When I notified the buyer that I had shipped the item, he cancelled the payment, but still got the item.

    PayPal and eBay were of absolutely no help, and I refuse to do business with them to this day, because they screwed me out of over $1,000.

    Use PayPal at your own risk!

    • I totally agree with you regarding PayPal and Ebay. I sold an almost new iPhone on Ebay and the crook buyer said that he never received it. I showed all the evidence that it was shipped and received but to no avail. I will never sell anything on Ebay again. All the buyer needs to say is that they never received it and the seller will be out for the count!

      • With a TRACKING NUMBER & Proof receipt from the post office they should have resolved it. FIRST TRACKING IS PROOF IT WAS SHIPPED AND THE POST OFFICE WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE IF THE PACKAGE WAS LOST. IF THE PACKAGE WAS STOLEN IT IS NOT THE SELLERS FAULT OR RESPONSIBILITY. I ve been shopping on eBay over 4 years every single month, it’s my #1 place to shop NEVER any problems that couldn’t be resolved in a very PROFESSIONAL WAY!

    • I was in a similar situation my amount was for around $2000. Sold a authentic brand name watch that I had purchased in a jewelry store. Buyer received the item, claimed it was fake even though I provided all authentic documents from the jeweler. Buyer then quickly files a not as described even though everything was mentioned in the listing. Paypal refuses to acknowledge it, they refund the buyer, buyer ships back item but it is a cheap knockoff watch.

      Had to get authorities involved with that matter. They closed my account because off that dispute. I hate PayPal, but several of my customers demand to pay with PayPal that it is not even funny.

      Since my account was closed, I had to hire Auction Essistance to help me create a business PayPal account to avoid being linked with my previous frozen account.

  2. Timely article since my four Paypal accounts just got “limited”. I didn’t have any MyCash cards unloaded just a fair amount of cash in each account. Upon receiving the warning letters, I had spoken to Paypal reps and was assured that my accounts weren’t in danger since I had never ever added funds then taken cash out. I had never even transferred money to another Paypal account. In fact, I forwarded the warning emails to spoof@paypal.com and got replies that they were Phishing attempts so after a month I started using the debit cards to make everyday purchases and resumed reloading MyCash cards and was promptly shut down. DOH!

  3. That wasnt very smart to withdraw to your bank account…your boy bowtie got the warning email for doing that over a year ago…

  4. I impressed that you are still able to buy these with credit cards. My closest three letter drug store stopped this months ago. But Paypal is not a company I would mess with. I like being able to have a paypal account and they are notorious for shutting down accounts where people MS. You got almost no recourse due to the T&Cs but also the activity looks enough like money laundering that they have no fear of anyone taking legal action against them,

    @darth chocolate – I use ebay a bit and the first thing I do, and I think everyone should do, after getting paid is withdraw the money. Yeah, they can attempt to take money from my bank account but almost all states have pretty laws and consumer protection rules about that. I have never had an issue with it but I know people who have and if they take money from your bank account without authorization you can often threaten to go to small claims court where you live and workout a deal. If they take money that is sitting in your paypal account your recourse is arbitration in California.

  5. OK does anyone have any suggestions on how to do MS with PP My Cash cards without getting shut down? Is there a system that has worked in the real world for many months? Thanks.

    • HMM at least you’ve received a warning , mine w/o out asked me to submit the docs , in which I have done so as they asked, then followed by shutting down my account….

      I typically maxed out the 4k load and liquiudate mo/seve debeit load

      bummer…here goes 180 days with my fund stucked in

  6. I found myself with $500 in PayPal from a cash card purchased at Walgreen’s — fortunately, Sears purchases made using PayPal (including gift card purchases) seem to work for shopping portal bonuses!

  7. I also did get a warning couple of months back for adding and then withdrawing to bank. I guess I am stage two listed above now where I am only adding (4K/mo) but not withdrawing. If I use the PP debit card for normal but big store purchases (2K+change each), does anyone think that will cause a freeze in relations? 🙂

  8. If you load your PP and use BP or buy MO at our favoriter superstore to liquidate you will be shut down. The “purchases” are showing as MoneyGram and PP seems to now care about them.

  9. Paypal is a slimy company. I sent my process server to serve a valid account levy (through the Santa Clara County Courts and Santa Clara County Sheriff) on a paypal account to their corporate offices in San Jose. Those dirtbags refused to comply. I had to drag Paypal into Court down in southern california to force compliance. They gave me equally bad treatment when I served a subpoena upon them for information. They sent 2 of their $1000/hour attorneys to try to quash my subpoena, and at the end of the day, they were pissed that this $400/hour attorney kicked their asses! Paypal is neither reputable nor honest. I would NEVER do business with them under any circumstances.

    • You did right. Paypal & eBay are the two ugly bodies share one evil soul. They force the PP balance to be the 1st payment choice, monarchy/communism like practice and dishonest is just a part of their evil DNAs, no surprise.
      Hope someday, we’ll see them to be destroyed.

  10. Never get involved with Paypal per these sort of things. It is not worth the risk or hassles. That company is miserable to deal with. (DISCLAIMER) I do no manufactured spend and nothing involving these cards.

  11. Paypal is convenient for receiving payments from cashback sites and in particular Kiva. Will this certain anonymous blogger be able to open a new Paypal account or is he now stuck getting checks mailed to him (kiva) or where allowed withdrawing to his bank account?

      • so my account was shortly lived after 2 months with ppmc/mo/serve debit load…now with money inside with account frozen. they asked for 180 days to release the fund…is there no way to get around that ?

        i do have another account still around, what’s best method w/o violating their sensitive risk scan ?

        • Jung don’t you think if there was a way around the shutdowns Frequentmiler would have never had his accounts closed in the first place? You’ve just been told by Paypal your money is tied up for 180 days and now you want to try again with another account? Are you really that dense?

  12. I see you requested these (5 X $500) back around mid-December. Did the check indeed come in around 2 weeks?

    I assume from reading the post you had to make five separate requests – did they put them together and send just one check?

    • I’m still waiting. I called them a week ago and found out that the refund was “on hold” without any further explanation. The CSR told me that she released the hold and I would get paid in a couple of weeks. Still waiting…

      • I have just received mine yesterday, a total of 2 weeks process.
        Looks like they’ve combined all 4 of my cash cards to a single check. Now just waiting on 170 more days of releasing my funds.

        • I was able to get my 460.00 out of PayPal early and to do it I had to tell a little lie and I had to link a bank through a representative on the phone . I have a 500.dollar PayPal my cash now that I can’t get to load for some reason and I don’t have the card no more to get the serial number off it .Anybody who needs my assistance in getting there money unstuck . 4 months early I will help if you can help me redeem this 500 I have on the automated system it tells you that 500 is on it and has not been added to account and they told me if it does that that there is no problem with it but I’m unable to get it loaded .
          So help me help you .

        • Yes, I finally got the refund. They called and left a message for me to call back. That was a huge fiasco in itself, but I eventually talked to the person who called. She had to ask questions about why I needed a refund and she made a point of lecturing me that I would not be eligible for refunds in the future. About a week or so after the call the check arrived.

        • hmm any reason why you aren’t elgible for refund in the future then ? I got all 5 ppmc back , but realized 2 more was in my wife’s purse..will that be a problem if i submit it again after the account closure?

        • I submitted 5 requests between 2/7-2/10, and still haven’t received a check. I received a call from a “supervisor” on 3/27, but am surprised that this did not do the trick. Any thoughts as to who I complain to about this, PayPal or Incomm? Thanks.

        • Thanks for this write up. How long after applying for the refund did it take for them to contact you? I submitted my refund request 10 days ago. I had assumed they’d just send the check but from what people are saying here…I see that’s not very likely.

        • For me, the whole process took ~2 months to get a check for 5 cards. I called almost daily after 2 weeks…it needs to get kicked up to a supervisor who then calls you. It is very difficult to call a supervisor yourself.

        • Maybe it’s just because I only had one 500 dollar card to be refunded, but I received my check exactly 10 business days after the refund request.

          Just figured i’d update for anyone reading this in the future. Thanks again for your original post.

        • Can you request a refund by calling and giving them the card #? Tried following steps in the article, but get an odd error upon login (most likely due to PayPal limitation). Only have one unused card, but concerned that they won’t ever mail the check, being it wasn’t purchased around where I live.

  13. Hello, I just got a second email warning, but have 5 PPMCCs to load. Is it an issue to request a refund for all of these…or should I do 2/week? Thanks,

  14. I did a refund request on Apri 21st and am still getting the run around it was 6x$500 they keep saying they have sent emails to the refund dept i need to wait on a response from them and this comes from a supervisor that i wait on hold for an hour each time i call any suggestions

    • Hi, How did you request a refund…. is your paypal acct limited? when you login using paypal acct does it not give you JSOn_obj error

      Thanks for your help

  15. When it says login as my cash which login is it. I try to login as my paypal account and get jSOn error. How do I request a refund?

      • Thanks, Yes I tired IE, chrome Safari.. basically my paypal acct is limited, and when I login from paypal.com/cash with PIN number which I want to get refund, it says login using paypal account and when I use my paypal account it says JSON_Obj not found. Can you please help me if there is a work around..

  16. Just a warning from my hard learned lesson.
    Don’t use Paypal My Cash cards for your account EVER.
    I had two warnings that the CSR explained were due to moving funds from My Cash cards to PP to my bank.
    Fast-forward 6 months and I bought about 3K more to use for real purchases on eBay. All was fine until 4 months later PP permanently limited my account.
    CSR said it was for my use of the cards 8 months back.
    Appeal denied.

  17. Sad part about this is that many use Mycash cards for different reasons. Having PayPal limit your PayPal account makes it nearly impossible to cash them again if you decide to open up a new account.

  18. I wasn’t able to get to that refund page even after logging in and requesting a refund from that FAQ/Contact Us page and under that heading. It just takes me back to the http://www.paypal.com/cash website… Please help me resolve this problem…

  19. PLEASE HELP. I do not have a. PP account but I did send a PPcash card to an account holder and they cannot accesse t.hr money. I have not been able ro talk to cust service rep and can’t get where on computer since I do not have an act. The only phone no. I have is one printed on back of card. Can anyone tell me how to contact PP to request a refund? Thanks for any help. I agree with others who never use PP for anything.

  20. I had a card with 478 bucks and asked for a refund, will paypal send me a notification about the check or should I try calling them. I just want to make sure my money didnt go to waste on this

  21. Sara: Have you tried calling the number on the back? If they can’t help, maybe they can give you the number of someone else who can?

    Kenley: I don’t know if they’ll automatically send you a notification. If you don’t get the check in a few weeks, it’s definitely worth calling

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