As we increasingly do our transactions online, it has become obvious that a credit/debit card is becoming more of a necessity especially since there are a lot of online shops now out there. Unfortunately, not everyone has a credit card. And that is especially so for a majority of Filipinos.
We could use our own debit cards from the bank as they are linked to our deposit accounts, but sometimes we need something more flexible to use.
For some, they don’t really need a GCash Mastercard to cash-out, but need a card to use for purchases online for merchants without GCash integrations. As a result, GCash has the American Express (AMEX) Virtual Pay card inside the app to fill this need.
What is the AMEX Virtual Pay card?
This is a prepaid (debit) virtual card linked to your GCash account. It enables us to shop at any online shop, not limited to local ones. It is also virtual, so it can only be used online. Additionally, it has a US address, in case when you need an actual address.
What’s the difference of AMEX Virtual Pay with the GCash Mastercard?
The GCash Mastercard is an actual debit card, so you can use it in real life shops. You can also withdraw money from any ATM. The AMEX Virtual Pay can only be used online.
You can have multiple GCash Mastercards linked to your account at any time. You can only have one AMEX Virtual Pay Card per GCash account.
Another difference is the GCash MC has a fixed card verification value (CVV) code while the AMEX virtual card can be changed anytime.
Linking and using GCash Mastercard requires the user to be fully verified. For AMEX users, you can use it even if you are a basic user.
Can I still use my GCash Mastercard for online payments?
Yes, but keep in mind, since the CVV code is fixed, you will need to take care that your card doesn’t get compromised, especially since you can link multiple cards to a single account.
What’s the difference between GCash AMEX Virtual Pay, Paymaya Online Payment Card and Grabpay Virtual Card?
They are similar as they can be used for online payments. However, for the AMEX card, you can change the CVV anytime. For Paymaya and Grabpay cards, you cannot change it easily. You can also lock your Grabpay Virtual Card to limit unintended usage, unlike its counterparts.
Do I need to be Fully Verified to be able to use my AMEX card?
You can use your AMEX card even if you are not fully verified yet.
How do I set up my Virtual Pay AMEX Card?
It is pretty simple. You only need to enter your email address to be able to apply for one. Once you’ve applied, you will be receiving an SMS that your registration is successful.
How do I get a CVV code for my AMEX Card?
You just click on “Get New Code” and the new CVV code will be sent via SMS to you. Take note of this as this is used for payment online.
How do I use the AMEX Virtual Pay card?
First, during payment you need to make sure you have enough funds in your GCash wallet. You can then put in the required details for debit/credit card.
What is the address in the Virtual Pay Card for?
This is an address that you can use if you are ordering from US based merchants. Basically you can have it shipped to this US address, however, you should also create an account with My Shopping Box as your US Forwarder as this address is registered with them.
The AMEX Virtual Pay Card was a tie-up with My Shopping Box before, but it has since lapsed.
What is My Shopping Box?
They are a US Forwarding service. When you sign up with them, you will be getting a US address. You can then link your PH based address to them and they will be forwarding any delivered items from the US address to yours for a fee, depending either on the weight or dimensions of the item.
Some other similar companies that offer this are Johnny Air, Shipping Cart, PO Box, My US, and SkyBOX. When using your AMEX card though, you are not limited to using My Shopping Box. You can use other forwarders if you want to.
Can I link my AMEX Virtual Pay card into my Paypal account?
Yes. Linking is easy, but you will need to have USD 1.00 (around PHP 52.00) in your account as a test transaction. It will be immediately refunded back to you. You can refer to my in-depth Paypal post for more information.
Your AMEX card will be linked and you will be receiving an email notification.
Note: Your address here doesn’t need to be the same as the US address set by GCash.
What do I do if I get an error linking my AMEX Card?
Sometimes issues like this happen when linking. This is typically a technical issue. We can wait and try again later, or use our GCash Mastercard to link instead.
Why is my AMEX card being declined?
A couple of reasons are:
- You may need to have a certain amount in your GCash wallet for the test transactions. Usually, the amount needed is around 1 USD.
- The AMEX feature in GCash is currently under maintenance. You should check your SMS inbox to see if there is an advisory regarding a downtime.
If it still persists, then it would be best to submit a ticket to GCash support.
Why am I getting auto-debited without my permission?
Have you checked whether you’ve been subscribed to any recurring service? Maybe you’ve been scammed into buying an app with a subscription or you’ve forgotten to cancel during a trial period for a certain software.
We talked about the what, why, and how’s of using the AMEX Virtual Pay card. Basically this debit card is solely for online payment usage. Take note that you need to have some amount in your GCash wallet to be able to use this. Using AMEX is also more secure because you can change the CVV code at any time.
If you are interested in similar posts, here are some more:
- GCash Mastercard
- How to Use GCash to pay for Streaming Sites
- How to Use GCash with Grab and Lalamove
- GCash and Online Groceries
- GCash and Online Drugstores
- GCash and Online Stores
If you’d like to learn more about GCash, I created a how-to on the basics of GCash.
Here is a list of links if you’re interested with the main GCash functions:
- Cash in or Cash out
- GCash Scams
- Send Money
- Bank Transfer
- Payment via QR
- GCash Mastercard
- AMEX Virtual Pay
- Pay Bills
- Request Money
- Buy Load
- GCash Forest
- Book Movies
- GCash via USSD (*143#)
- Receiving Remittances
If you are also interested in knowing what resources I used in making this blog happen, please take a look at my resources page.
How do you like the tutorial? Did I miss anything? Please add your comments and suggestions below!