Since Black Friday in April 2011, online poker players in the United States have been struggling with not only where to play, but also with how to make deposits and withdrawals from their accounts in a way that minimizes the fees to conduct these transactions. Granted, medium-to-high-stakes players probably worry less about these fees, but for recreational, low-stakes players, fees make a difference.
I’ve written previously about the few online poker rooms that are still accepting new US-based real-money players. As a quick review, they are:
Doyles Room Poker – 100% bonus on initial deposits between $25 and $1000!
Bodog Poker – 110% bonus on initial deposits between $20 and $1000!
Cake Poker – 110% bonus on initial deposits between $25 and $545!
Poker4Ever – 100% bonus on initial deposits between $10 and $500!
I’ve just spent several hours running down as many details as I can about their deposit and withdrawal options, and their associated fees. It is frustrating to say the least. Often times, the information that they have on their sites is out of date, unclear, or is contradictory to information that they have published elsewhere.
So, as far as I can tell, only DoylesRoom offers online poker with no fees for certain deposit and withdrawal methods. Specifically, DoylesRoom offers no-fee Visa deposits ($20 minimum); in addition, they will credit to your account any fees incurred when depositing via Western Union or MoneyGram (both $200 minimum). On the withdrawal side, they offer 1 free check-by-mail per month ($20 minimum), as well as debit cards ($5 monthly fee + per-load and per-use fees).
Remember the good old days of the free (or nearly free) e-wallets like FirePay, NetTeller, eWalletXpress, EcoCard, Click2Pay, QuickTender/UseMyWallet? Me too. 🙁 The current e-wallets that are accepted by various online poker sites all have 5% or more fees by the time you perform one deposit and one withdraw. The online poker site itself does not charge any fees to use these e-wallets, but the fees to load the e-wallet and then make a withdraw are substantial.
- BoDog Poker supports MyPaylinQ, which loads via credit cards at 7% fee, or for free via Western Union (WU). But the only payout option is WU with a $20 MyPaylinQ fee + WU fees.
- Cake Poker supports MoneyLineWallet (MLW), which charges $4 per load from your linked checking account. However, Cake Poker cannot payout back to your MLW account. Even if they could, there are MLW payouts fees — via a check for <$1000 (the fee is $10) and via a Bank Wire for larger amounts (with a $55 fee (plus your bank may charge an incoming international wire fee)).
- Poker4Ever supports PICCLUB, which has the same load and payout fees as MyPaylinQ.