mycard2go VISA and VPAY prepaid review: quite good if you don’t need it asap

After using the mycard2go for almost two weeks now, I can give you some additional information on top of what the official website tells you.

Please do not hesitate to ask any further questions that you might have in the comments section.

Purchasing and activating

Purchasing this card was harder than I thought. However, once I found a shop able to sell me this card, the process was quick and painless. When you buy the card, you can instantly top it up without extra charge up to a total of 100 EUR.


Packaging of the mycard2go (click to enlarge)

After purchasing, the card has to be activated by sending a text message to a special number. You will get an automatic reply within a couple of seconds, confirming activation and telling you the PIN. Further you will receive a password which you can use to access the web-interface.

Pricing structure

  • 9.95 EUR for card purchase (includes first year)
  • 9.95 EUR yearly (from second year)
  • 9.95 EUR for a replacement card (lost or stolen)
  • 1.00 EUR for electronic top-ups (SEPA transfer, Sofort├╝berweisung)
  • 4% (1.00 EUR min) for cash top-ups
  • 0% Foreign currency fee
  • 4.95 EUR for ATM withdrawal

For full fee structure and limits, please read the summary of fees and limits.

Appearance


Photos of the mycard2go (click to enlarge)

The card has no imprint, the card number is just printed flat on the card. For that reason, using the card with an imprinter is not possible. Since you buy the physical card (instead of ordering it), it also comes without your name, instead it says MY CARD. This can be to your advantage if you want to use the card in a context, where you don’t want the merchant to know your name.

Upgrading to Ultimate

If you want to use the card for more than the initial top-up, you will have to upgrade it, providing your personal details and completing a PostIdent verification. Upgrading the card is free. Luckily, Deutsche Post has expanded its service and now provides a video call based identification method. You have to have your Passport ready and can identify yourself via your webcam or Android/iOS device. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, your mycard2go will not be upgraded immediately. The process between Deutsche Post and mycard2go is not automatic, so someone at mycard2go has to manually handle your request. The processing, according to telephone support, is meant to take three days—but even after seven days, my account was not upgraded. It took me twelve days and a couple of support calls and emails to get my card upgraded. This left me vastly unsatisfied.

Top-up

There are many ways to get money into your account. Some are cheaper, some I would not recommend (because they are just more expensive). They are

  • Cash
    You can top up using cash at many gas stations and other location (use the store locator). At 4% (at least 1.00 EUR) this is the most expensive way to top up. However, it being instant, some customers might have good use for it.
  • SEPA transfer
    Contrary to cash, this is the slowest, but cheapest way to get your money into the card’s account. At only 1.00 EUR flat you can deposit up to 5000 EUR at a time, bringing down the cost to 0.02% in the best case. It will take up to three days for your funds to arrive.
  • Sofort├╝berweisung (SEPA transfer with instant top up)
    also known as the privacy and security horror. Sofort├╝berweisung is a third party service that requires you to enter your online banking details, scans your bank account for available balance and releases a non-revocable transfer to mycard2go. Your funds are ready to spend immediately. This–just like SEPA transfer–only costs 1.00 EUR, however since the maximum top-up is 500 EUR, costs can’t get lower than 0.2%
  • go2go transfer
    This does not really get money into mycard2go, but moves it between accounts. As fully identified user you can send up to 50.00 EUR at a price of 0.15 EUR. This might be handy if you are topping up your own card and then distributing small amounts to—let’s say—your kids.

Paying

Card present (pay in store)

This card has two applications, namely VISA debit and VPAY. This means, that whenever you are paying at a shop that supports both payment providers, you might be prompted with a dialog that asks you to select either one. Some terminals might have a default which they use or not support application selection. In this case, you will immediately be asked for the pin to authorize the transaction. I hope I will be able to provide a photo of that process soon.

Card not present (online shopping)

It works like any other VISA. Just enter the credit card number, expiration date and security code from the back of the card to buy goods and services online.

Banking interface

The banking interface located at https://login.mycard2go.com/df/ features two languages, German and English. It uses a responsive design, so it looks and feels great on the desktop and on the phone.



Screenshots of the banking interface (click to enlarge)

You can:

  • Top-Up and check your balance
  • See your account history and transaction details
  • See your card details
  • Send money via go2go
  • Upgrade account to Ultimate
  • Change contact addresses and phone number
  • Change card pin and account password

Foreign Currencies

Using the mycard2go for foreign currencies is very attractive, since there is no extra charge for that. However, Wirecard is setting their own exchange rates, so this is kind of a black box right now, because unlike VISA, exchange rates are not public. I only had one foreign currency transaction of 12 USD so far which I’d like to share with you.


Screensot of a transaction in USD (click to enlarge)

When I originally made the purchase, the transaction was shown as pending with an estimated exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.0969 USD–amounting to 10.94 EUR. This rate is the same as the official VISA Europe exchange rate. It is not yet clear if that was a coincidence, or if VISA Europe conversion rates are being used for pre-authorizations.

A few days later, when the transaction cleared, the final amount changed to 10.84 EUR, which—according to the account details—is a result of the exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.11 USD. It is worth pointing out, that for this booking date, VISA Europe listed a slightly disadvantageous conversion rate of 1 EUR = 1.1022 USD.

Update 2016-07-13

According to the support contact I had, the rules for exchange rates are as follows: The exchange rate is the same exchange rate as the ECB publishes. And just like the ECB rate, it is valid until 2:15pm the next day. The significant date is the transaction date, not the booking date. This makes the card a very potent tool for your foreign currency transactions.

Customer Service

Support is available in German and English. I contacted the customer service a couple of times. As it seems, the department handling card upgrades is very busy just before vacation season. This was the reason they told me why my card upgrade took longer than three days. A definite pro is, that you can call them until 1am at night – questions that can’t be answered right away will be forwarded to the second level. They usually respond within one day via email. If you successfully completed PostIdent and your card hasn’t been upgraded within 5 days, I recommend just calling them during daytime and have them do it while you are on the phone.

Unfortunately, I am still waiting for a response on where I can see historical exchange rates, so I can get a better idea if I want to use that card for foreign currency transactions. I have asked for that on the phone and by email, but chances are that the one person, that knows the answer to that esoteric question, is currently on vacation. I guess I will just try it with smaller amounts first

Conclusion

Putting the long wait for identification aside, I think this is a pretty decent card. With an annual price of only 10 EUR, it is among the cheaper ones you can get in Germany. Paying a buck for a top-up also isn’t the end of the world, especially when you deposit in bulk. I transferred 1000 EUR to it, that’s an additional fee of 0.1%—as the mycard2go is my backup (and for when I need the extra bit of anonymity), I don’t think I will run through my balance fast. Of course you don’t want to use this card if you only plan to top it up 10 Euros at a time.

 

Technical details

BIN: 472644
Application Label 1: Visa Debit
Application Label 2: V PAY
Cardholder Name: CARD/MY
Country Code: 0276 (Germany)
Offline-transactions: No
NFC: No
Validity: 5 Years
PIN-Change: yes, online

Settlement type: prepaid
Foreign currency fee: none
Exchange rates set by: Wirecard Bank, set at 1:00pm every bank day. No public exchange rate lists.
Reimbursment of ATM fees: No
With checking account: No

VISA Debit CVM

CVM 1: Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful: Enciphered PIN verified online – If terminal supports the CVM
CVM 2: Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful: Signature (paper) – If terminal supports the CVM
CVM 3: Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful: No CVM Required – If terminal supports the CVM

VPAY CVM

CVM 1: Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful: Enciphered PIN verified online – If terminal supports the CVM
CVM 2: Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful: Plaintext PIN verification performed by ICC – If terminal supports the CVM

8 thoughts on “mycard2go VISA and VPAY prepaid review: quite good if you don’t need it asap

    1. I think that my address was also verified. I don’t know what the upgrade process looks like if you are not in Germany.

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