As reported by Doctor of Credit, it appears that PayPal will be replacing reload cards (MyCash cards and MoneyPaks) with a new “load at register” approach. Before this change it is/was possible to buy PayPal reload cards (either in the form of PayPal My Cash cards or Greendot MoneyPaks) at a store and then reload your PayPal account online using those cards. Sometimes it has been possible to earn credit card rewards by buying those cards with a credit or debit card.
Now, it looks like PayPal is following on the heels of GreenDot and Incomm in replacing reload cards with reloads at the register (see “Vanilla Reload cards gone by April 1. Here’s the good part…”). In PayPal’s case, there is no prepaid card to hand to the cashier so, instead, the idea is to log into your PayPal account to generate a barcode that can be scanned at the register.
My guess is that stores which currently allow credit card or debit card purchases of My Cash cards will allow credit card or debit card payments at the register as well. At this point, that’s only a guess.
Overall, I don’t see this as a big deal since I’ve stopped recommending the purchase of PayPal cards as a method for earning points and miles. PayPal has simply been too aggressive in shutting down accounts (see “How to cash in your PayPal My Cash cards when PayPal freezes your account”). On the other hand, I believe that the movement away from physical reload cards is a good thing. Many rewards opportunities have been lost in the past when stores have stopped accepting credit cards for reload cards in order to combat fraud. The new load at the register processes should be more secure and may mean fewer lost opportunities as we go forward.