An earlier post on PayMaya led to my getting a lot of questions about it, some of them from bloggers. Bloggers need to pay for domain registration, hosting, and other online purchases related to setting up and maintaining their blogs. For this, usually, a credit card is required. If you’re a blogger who does not have, don’t want to bother with, or is having a tough time applying for a credit card, the PayMaya Virtual Card is a solid alternative.

PayMaya, PayMaya with Beep, PayMaya GCash


Bloggers, this post is for you: it walks you through what PayMaya is, how to get one, how to use it, what to use it for, what the costs, and whether or not it’s a scam. This post will not talk about getting the physical card, nor will it discuss how it can be linked to your PayPal account, or how you can withdraw money from your PayMaya account.

PayMaya (formerly known as Smart e-Money) is a virtual credit card accessible by downloading a mobile app available on iOS and Android. 

Why I don’t use my credit card online?

Actually, I don’t like credit cards anymore. I have been using debit cards for the past couple of years. Here are my reasons:

  • I can do away with the interest rates.
  • No renewal fees.
  • No hidden charges.
  • Keeps me within my budget.
  • No disputes to credit card companies for fraudulent charges. If there’s no money inside the debit card, there’s nothing to charge. No hacker in the world can use my card if it’s got zero balance.

Where do I get PayMaya Virtual Credit Card?

Download the app, use your mobile number to register, and you get a virtual credit card like this:


Notice that it has the account number/ credit card number, expiration date, CVV (card verification value).  The edited part beside the Visa logo will have the name that you registered. Everything that a credit card needs. Load up at any PayMaya load up center: Robinson’s Department Stores, SM Business Centers, 7-eleven stores with Cliqq kiosks, BDO online and mobile banking and on Smart Padala Centers. That’s it. You can now use your PayMaya Virtual Credit Card for online purchases.

Where did I / do I use it?

I used it to renew my domain name, add credits to my email address (hosted in Google), pay for my hosting provider (Digital Ocean), among other things. Here’s a list of what I’ve used my PayMaya Virtual Card, both for and for my projects.

  • A .blogspot or .wordpress blog that you want to link it to a personalized domain name.
  • A personalized email address ending in
  • When your hosting provider only accepts credit card or PayPal payments.
  • To buy a template for your blog.
  • To purchase plug-ins for you blog.
  • To pay for social media (Facebook and Twitter) sponsored posts.
  • To load advertising credits in Google AdWords.

Why do I use it?

My bank closes at 4:00pm and 7-eleven is open 24/7. I can load up anytime I need to. Other than that crucial anytime-anywhere convenience, there’s no difference between the PayMaya virtual card and my debit card card.

What are the costs?

The app is FREE. The physical card you can get for as low as P70. There’s a 0.5% charge for Smart Money to PayMaya transactions.

PayMaya charges P15 for every P1000 load-up on any PayMaya load up center. Suppose I want to load up P15,000, then I would need to pay for P225 worth of charges. Note that it’s P15 per P1000, it’s not an incremental charge like P7.50 if you load P500. It’s per P1000: P15 (for P1 to P1,000), P30 (for P1,001 to P2,000), P45 (for P2,0001 to P3000), etc.

Is it a scam or not?

PayMaya, PayMaya with Beep, PayMaya GCash

This is a very understandable question. Given the ease of use (download app, load, and buy), people would be very cautious. PayMaya is part of Smart Communications which is one of the biggest companies in the Philippines. It is powered by Visa and is regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. This tells me they’ve done their paperwork, submitted their requirements and got approved. So yes, it’s legit.
Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook.