The rush of real money poker...
You’ve played in a couple of freerolls and have gained some experience in “play money” games or perhaps you are coming into the world of online poker with a background in live play and now you feel its time to cash in on some of those skills online. Excellent, but first you will have to deposit money into your online account.

Selecting the correct method of payment can often be difficult. There are a number of different methods from which to chose, each of which has their own advantages and disadvantages. Additional fees, transfer limits, transfer duration; are just a sample of the many issues raised when selecting a payment method with which to work. As online poker players ourselves, we at Online-Poker-Index.com are well aware of the questions that you might have as regards the various payment methods available. Below, we have listed all of the most common payment options and have provided you with concise yet thorough descriptions of each, in an effort to help you make your decision as quickly and confidently as possible.

Click on the link of the payment method below to read about its advantages and disadvantages:

It is possible to make deposits using almost every available credit card. That being said, you may find that payment via American Express is not possible on certain online poker sites. In all of the poker sites reviewed by Online-Poker-Index.com, you will find that credit card purchases are fully integrated into their Cashier windows and are simple and almost instantaneously performed. Most online poker web sites offer you the option of making deposits in a number of different currencies, thus avoiding the credit card companies’ exchange service charges of up to 3%. In most cases, deposits are then automatically converted to US$, using current exchange rates, by the online poker sites as dollars are the default currency of the industry.

Advantages:

• Simple and instantaneous
• Highly Secure
• No additional charges incurred when paying with credit card
• Free loan for a specified period (usually up to 2 months)

Disadvantages:

• Cash out options can be difficult or unavailable

NETeller is the largest online payment provider in the world with over 2.5 million members in 160 different countries. NETeller has been in operation since 1999 and is traded on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority, a guarantee of absolute safety and reliability. NETeller is an E-Wallet service allowing their members to open a free account and then transfer funds from their bank account, credit card or via wire transfer. NETeller accounts are easy to open and allow you to quickly transfer funds to and from your online poker account.

Advantages:

• Opening a NETeller account is free
• Easy and immediate deposits via credit card or internet banking service
• Payments can be made via bank transfer (approx. 2-5 business days wait)
• Cash outs are possible via NETeller (approx. 2-5 business days wait)
• Security: You don't have to enter your credit card details every time you deposit online
• Excellent customer service
• Loyalty program where you earn Netpoints with each purchase which then qualify for various prizes

Disadvantages:

• Charge a processing fee of 1.5%-1.75% of the deposited amount if payment is made via credit card or Giropay
• There is also a processing fee of up to $10 when you cash out
• Cash outs can take up to 5 business days to appear in your NETeller account

Moneybookers is an E-Wallet service similar in many ways to NETeller and Click2Pay. Moneybookers has been in operation since 2001 and is a publicly traded company listed on the London Stock Exhange. Moneybookers allows their members to open a free account and then transfer funds from their bank account, credit card or via wire transfer. Moneybookers accounts are easy to open and allow you to quickly transfer funds to and from your online poker account.

Advantages:

• Are not required to disclose every financial transaction as credit cards leading to increased security
• All transactions are confirmed via email
• Cash outs are possible via Moneybookers (approx. 2-5 business days wait)
• Opening a Moneybookers account is free
• Receipt of money via Moneybookers is free of charge

Disadvantages:

• Moneybookers charges a maximum fee of 0.50%-1% of the transferred amount
• Extra fees are incurred if the transaction currency must be changed

Click2Pay is an E-Wallet service similar in many ways to NETeller and Moneybookers. Click2Pay is a secure and simple online payment solution that allows you to transfer money and make real-time payments online. Click2Pay allows their members to open a free account and then transfer funds from their bank account, credit card or via wire transfer. Click2Pay accounts are easy to open and allow you to quickly transfer funds to and from your online poker account.

Advantages:

• Affords immediate payment to your online poker account
• Cash outs from online poker accounts to Click2Pay accounts take as little as a day
• Deposits to your online poker account from your Click2Pay account are free
• Cashing out to your Click2Pay account from your online poker account is free
• Statements from Click2Pay accounts are anonymous in that they will indicate that a payment was made but not to whom the money was paid
• Good customer service with a toll-free telephone hotline

Disadvantages:

• When registering with Click2Pay, you must provide them with a valid telephone number
• If you are paying into your Click2Pay account by credit card, you will be charged a fee equal to 3% of the amount deposited

ClickandBuy was first commissioned by Firstgate Internet AG, a Cologne enterprise, in 2000 as a system of distribution and accounting of funds over the Internet. ClickandBuy is regulated and authorized by the UK Financial Services Authority to issue electronic money as an e-money institution. ClickandBuy is an E-Wallet service allowing their members to open a free account and then transfer funds from their bank account, credit card or via wire transfer. ClickandBuy accounts are easy to open and allow you to quickly transfer funds to and from your online poker account.

Advantages:

• Opening a ClickandBuy account is free
• When paying with ClickandBuy, you are only required to supply a username; no further credit card or bank details are required
• Excellent customer service

Disadvantages:

• If you are paying into your ClickandBuy account by credit card, you will be charged a fee equal to 3.9% of the amount deposited

Paysafecard is Europe’s leading prepaid card and is available in over 105,000 outlets (petrol stations, supermarkets, corner stores and designated PayPoint agents) throughout Europe as well as over the internet. Paysafecard cards are available at the following values: €10, €25, €50 and €100. Once you have purchased the card, all you have to do is scratch off the 16-digit PIN code and you are all set to make purchases. When purchasing Paysafecard services over the internet, you will not actually get a physical card but will receive an email from Paysafecard with an activated and ready to use 16-digit PIN code.

Advantages:

• Absolute anonymity, no personal account details required
• Once entering the card’s 16-digint PIN code, you can begin to play immediately
• No fees taken off the card’s value for one year after the first payment was made or two years after the card was issued
• You control exactly how much you spend
• Paysafecard has excellent customer service

Disadvantages:

• Cannot cash out with a Paysafecard account. No deposits can be made into a Paysafecard
• No additional charges can be made with Paysafecard account once the credit on the card is exhausted

Bank transfer is a method of payment accepted universally by online poker operators. Bank transfers enable you to transfer funds directly from you bank account, in your local currency, to your online poker account. Bank transfers can be made from the bank’s web site, by telephone, by mailing or faxing details of the transfer or by visiting your bank in person. It is very important to note that online poker sites will not allow cash deposits or bank transfers made by third-parties due to anti-money laundering regulations. Generally, they will charge you for all banking and administrative costs that they incur in the return of such a payment.

Advantages:

• All online poker sites accept money by bank transfer

Disadvantages:

• May take as long as 4 days before money appears in your online poker account

Western Union is the industry leader in global money transfers with well over 335,000 agent locations in over 200 countries around the world. Western Union was founded in 1851 as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company and introduced the world to money transfer in 1871. Western Union is arguably one of the most respected financial institutions in the world and they invest a great deal of money in keeping their customer details safe. Money transfers can be made with Western Union either physically from one of the countless agent locations or online with a valid Visa or Mastercard. If sending money from an agent location, you are required to show two forms of valid I.D. and they accept cash up to $1000 and a maximum of $10,000 using alternate means of payment such as credit card or check. Online transactions must be verified and the sender is supplied a telephone number with their online receipt to which they must call in order to confirm the transaction. The money is usually transferred within a couple of minutes.

Advantages:

• One of the oldest, securest and well-reputed financial institutions
• Can either pay cash at an agent location or online with a credit card
• Cash option offers payer absolute anonymity as regards their personal information
• Money is transferred within minutes
• Better control of your spending
• Good customer service
• In the event of a disputed payment, they offer independent arbitration services for mediation

Disadvantages:

• Very high transfer fees of 14%-18% of the transferred amount
• Generally sites won’t offer cash out option with Western Union

An eCheck is an electronic check which enables you to make secure and immediate electronic fund transfers from your bank account directly to your online poker site account. eChecks work in the exact same way as paper checks. When making a payment, the amount of deposit is requested from your bank in the same fashion that a paper check is once it is deposited. As with a paper check, deposits made via eCheck may take as long as 10 days to be received by your bank. Until an eCheck deposit has cleared, you will not have access to the monies in your online poker site account. It is important to note that in the event that the eCheck should bounce, the online poker site will hold your account responsible for all fees incurred.

Advantages:

• Simple method as regards personal records
• Better control of your spending
• Convenience
• No charge incurred using this method by the poker web site

Disadvantages:

• Account is not credited until the eCheck clears (approx. 10 days)

Bank draft, money order, cashier’s check (guaranteed funds) and personal checks are excellent alternatives to make deposits into your online poker site account if you are not comfortable with the idea of sending funds via the internet.

Advantages:

• Secure alternative to sending funds via the internet
• Better control of your spending

Disadvantages:

• Must wait until check arrives in the mail
• Regarding personal checks, must wait for check to both arrive and clear

A note about security...
Regardless of which payment you select, it is important that you remember that all of the online poker sites for whom we post reviews are secure and utilize 128-bit SSL encryption technology. Not one of the sites we promote has had a single case of credit card abuse that is known to us and you should have no doubts as regards either the security of your credit card or personal information.