Friday, 19 December 2014

Payoneer Review

Is Payoneer good for freelancers and affiliate marketers? Find out in my hands-on Payoneer debit card review.

Payoneer ReviewIn this Payoneer review I will explain how the Payoneer prepaid debit card works and give my honest feedback, based on personal experience with Payoneer over the course of one year.

We'll cover questions on how it works, what Payoneer's fees are, and other important things you should know. Then I'll let you in on why you need Payoneer in your life.

If you, like me, are an affiliate marketer or freelancer, you've got enough to do right now, so let’s get on with it.

Note: this review has been updated to reflect Payoneer info and fees for 2017.

What is the Payoneer MasterCard Debit Card?

Payoneer are ‘pioneers’ in the global payment processor sector and there is no easy comparison to be made between Payoneer and other payment services.

Online payment options such as PayPal and Skrill do well to help merchants but only Payoneer focuses on the needs of freelancers and digital marketers. If you make money online, Payoneer can help you get payments easier and faster.

To save you time figuring it out, here's what they can do for you.

Quick overview: what is Payoneer?

Payoneer is a global payment processor which offers a safe payment solution for international freelancers, affiliate marketers, and anyone who needs to receive international payments in their home country.

Your Payoneer prepaid MasterCard card account works like any other prepaid debit card that you can get at a local bank branch, but it is not only a local account. It's an international one, too. In other words, you can get paid from anywhere in the world and use your cash locally.

Following is a quick summary of how the Payoneer card works.

What do you get with the Payoneer MasterCard debit card?


  1. You get a free MasterCard prepaid debit card.

  2. And an online account linked to your Payoneer MasterCard card so you can:

    • View your balance and transaction history. 

    • Manage your settings and personal details.

How can you use it?

    Receiving card payments from clients: You can receive credit/debit card payments from anyone with Visa or MasterCard, from anywhere in the world. This service comes with a small transaction fee and the maximum amount you can receive from a single credit card payment is $1000. 

  • Receiving affiliate commissions via Direct Deposit: You can receive Direct Deposit (ACH, SEPA, or BACS) payments from US, European, and UK based companies through Payoneer’s Global Payment Service. The transaction fee for using the Global Payment Service is 1% of the total amount transferred. You’ll get paid directly to your card, rather than having to wait for an international check to arrive in the mail. 

  • Receiving freelance & affiliate earnings for direct withdrawal: You can receive online payments in US Dollars from Payoneer-approved partners (for example: Elance / oDesk AKA Upwork, Fiverr, Envato, 99designs, and many more). Receiving payments this way is free for most partner companies and takes two days to load, although you can also pay an extra $2.50 if you need the cash within 1-2 hours. 

  • Spending your earnings: You can pay for goods and services online as well as in brick-and-mortar stores. It has the convenience of a credit card for online payments, with the beauty of a prepaid debit card since you cannot spend more money than you have in your account - i.e. you can't get into debt! There is no extra charge added to your purchases when you use your Payoneer card at a point-of-sale machine in a store or online. The total daily spending limit is $5,000 ($2,500 for in-store or online purchases, plus $2,500 in ATM withdrawals). 

  • Withdrawing cash in your local currency: You can withdraw cash in your own currency from any ATM with the MasterCard logo visible on it – there are more than 1 million of these ATMs worldwide. The fee for a standard ATM cash withdrawal is around $3. This fee might sting a bit, but it helps me keep disciplined with my spending habits so I don't mind it too much.

If you don’t have an account with Payoneer yet, you should sign up for your Payoneer card directly from the Payoneer website. The yearly card fee is $29.95, which is deducted from your balance automatically so you don't have to remember to renew it.

There are no monthly maintenance fees when you sign up for your card via Payoneer's website using the link above. The yearly card fee is all you have to pay to keep your account active.

You won't need to pay the yearly fee upfront before getting your card because Payoneer only deducts the fee once a year when your balance is above $29.95.

Payoneer does provide a few other services such as Global Bank Transfers and the Global Payment Service. However, I will not be covering these in this review as I do not use the Global Bank Transfer Service and have only recently been approved for the Global Payment Service.

Once I have more experience with the Global Payment Service I may write another review detailing how I have found it.

[UPDATE: I just received my first Direct Deposit payment from Amazon Associates using Payoneer's Global Payment Service. Everything came through without a hitch and I'm smiling from ear to ear!]

My payoneer experience: one year and counting

Still reading this far? Good job. You probably want to know if Payoneer is any good, or maybe you would just like to know “how legit” they are.

To answer that, let me give you my short story of why I started using Payoneer.

A while ago I was unemployed and having no luck finding a job in my local area south of the equator. I mused about the possibility of using my skills online as a freelance writer – but my main obstacle, of course, was getting paid.

PayPal wasn’t an option because until recently there was no way to withdraw PayPal funds in my country. Nevertheless, I was sure there had to be a way, and after many weeks of hitting dead-ends, I finally found Payoneer.

Fast forward through a fruitful year of freelancing and dabbling in affiliate marketing... I’m still using my Payoneer card, and every day I am thankful for the freedom it gives me to earn money no matter where I am.

Mostly, at home in my pyjamas sipping coffee.

How Payoneer makes me feel

I use my card mainly for receiving freelance earnings on Elance / Upwork and affiliate commissions (e.g. Amazon, ShareASale, LinkShare), and I have been highly impressed with Payoneer as a company and its international debit card service.

My personal concern when signing up with Payoneer was how long the payments would take to clear, but as it turns out I was worrying for no reason. I have never had a problem with my payments coming through; they have been loaded into my account within the promised two-day waiting period each and every time.

As for paying for things with my Payoneer card, I’ve yet to come across a checkout method that prevented me from purchasing – i.e. it just works. I’ve bought goods online at both local and online retailers with no problems, and it's as easy as a credit card transaction.

My general experience of the support team over email has been a pleasant one. I can't vouch for the live chat support because I've never used it and I prefer email when dealing with official matters.

Whenever I have a question regarding the service or my account, I search the Payoneer forum and usually find that my question has already been answered, straightforwardly and in sufficient detail, by one of their community managers or support representatives.

With that said, if you’re an online freelancer, content producer, or affiliate marketer looking for a better alternative to PayPal for getting paid over the internet… This is it.

Verdict: 100% awesome and highly recommended.

Here's how to get your own Payoneer card + $25 bonus

$25 reward payoneer signup
Payoneer is running a special ‘Refer-A-Friend’ promotion, so if you sign up through an existing cardholder’s refer-a-friend link now (like this one) you get $25 added to your Payoneer account after you’ve loaded $1000+ in earnings to your card.

Earnings that qualify toward your $25 bonus include all freelance or affiliate payments, payments from any company approved for the Global Payment Service, and even loads from a client's credit card.

Applying for your card is quick, easy, and you don’t even need an existing bank account.

When you have signed up online with Payoneer, your card is shipped to you for free whether you live in Australia, Pakistan, Philippines, the United Kingdom, USA, Canada or anywhere else in the world.

Excited about earning money online? Read my new GoTranscript review to see if this type of online job is for you.


  1. Hi
    Can you tell me about the $25 sign up bonus? I actually tried to chat with Payoneer customer service and it really left me more confused than anything. How does it work? Would I sign up under you and once I receive $100 we would both receive a $25 bonus. Would this be exactly the same sign up procedure if I signed up on my own but in this case I would receive $25? Do you also know after you receive a lot of funds from say Amazon for example if you are able to withdraw those funds into your local bank account? I did see it on as a feature on their website, but in chatting with them, it seems this option isn’t available to every customer, it would really help if it did as I would not like to keep withdrawing larger amounts of money from the ATM it would end up costing too much in fees.

    1. Signing up with Payoneer without going through the bonus link will get you the exact same card and account. The only difference with the referral signup is that you get the complimentary $25 added once you've received over $100 in payments.

      Another way to sign up with Payoneer is to apply through a Payoneer program partner like Elance. In that case, there's no bonus and there might be slightly different fee rates dependent on the agreement between the partner company and Payoneer.

      I don't have any experience with the local bank transfer feature, sorry. Here are two links that may help if you haven't seen them:

      Hope you come right.

  2. Can someone clarify: I plan to get a regular US Dollar payment each month and want to receive it in another country (where I am now resident). What do I need to check in order to know whether Payoneer is suitable for me? How do I clarify if the organization paying me is signed up with Payoneer?
    All help appreciated.

    1. Hi Stuart,

      The first place you should check is Payoneer's US Partners page:

      At the bottom of that page you will find a contact form saying the following:

      "Is the network that pays you not listed here? Contact us and we will let you know if they pay through us"

      Send them a quick message with your question and see what they say.

      Also, here is the FAQ for the US Payment Service with general info:

      Another way to find out is to check the website of the organization you wish to receive payments from. They may have Payoneer listed as official payment method, in which case you're good to go. If not, then try searching Google for "Company Name + Payoneer" and see what others say.

      Finally, if you have a Paypal account it is also possible to receive money to your Paypal (from the organization you get paid) and then send those funds from your Paypal straight to Payoneer using the US Payment Service.

      This last solution is how I have managed to receive funds from companies not officially approved by Payoneer yet myself, so I can confirm it works.