It’s been a few months since PokerStars rolled out its StarsCard in April, a virtual and real debit card that allows U.K. players to fund and receive payouts from their PokerStars account.
Judging by the lack of complaints in various poker forums and chat rooms, it appears that the rollout has been fairly smooth.
The StarsCard is a pre-paid MasterCard credit card. Like a debit card, you can only spend how much is in your account, and you have a variety of deposit options.
There is no cost to set up your StarsCard account, but there are fees associated with the various transactions. If you are a U.K. player who is considering setting up a StarsCard account, be sure to read up on the fee schedule.
Buy dinner, earn FPPs
There are a couple of advantages for PokerStars players. You can fund your PokerStars account and receive payouts on the card, and you receive FPPs in varying levels (depending on your VIP status) for each transaction (minimum £3).
You can earn FPPs by purchasing groceries, going to see a film or going out to grab a bite. Your total spending must be at least £30 to earn FPPs on your purchases for that month, and your StarsCard bonus statement shows how many FPPS you earned that month.
Registration for the card is very easy. Just visit the PokerStars Website, fill out a form from the Cashier area, and you are ready for action. You can only register for the card from the website client, but once you have completed the registration process and entered your mobile number, you can manage the card from your mobile devices.
Initially, your StarsCard has a maximum balance of £1,800, with a single transaction limit of £1,000 and a daily transaction limit of £2,000. These can be increased to £5,000/£3,000/£3,000 by sending a certified copy of a government-issued photo ID document and an address verification document issued within the last three months. The limits are regulatory issues.
Better fees for PokerStars, more options for players
The card has benefits for both PokerStars and its players. PokerStars gets the benefit of deposits with better fees, while players get another option for both funding their account and pulling money off their account.
The card enables players to send funds to friends and family or receive funds through a variety of transactions. Players can even link their banks to the card to transfer funds off the cards, with a £5.00 fee for each transaction.
The card is a designed as a virtual card, but players can pay an extra £4.95 and get a physical version of the card that can then be used wherever MasterCard is accepted. The extra charge might be worth it if you intend to use the card frequently and can generate a lot of FPPs for your PokerStars account.
The card is administered by SafeCharge Card Services Ltd., a subsidiary of SafeCharge International Group Ltd. The SafeCharge International Group Limited is a global provider of payments services, technologies and risk management solutions for online and mobile businesses.
The StarsCard appears to be a win-win for players and PokerStars, which gives us Americans yet another reason to wait patiently for the company to return to the U.S. market, where payouts from sites seem to be getting longer every month.