Solo is a debit card alternative to the Maestro card (previously called Switch card) provided by Mastercard. Solo was launched in 1997 as a UK exclusive, to offer banking services to customers who could not qualify for a Maestro card. However, the Solo card was discontinued in 2011, viewed as a lesser product compared to the Maestro card.
Top Solo Casinos
Solo became a cult product amongst UK gamblers, and was a popular alternative to use at online casinos during the height of its popularity. With the UK being one of the most relaxed territories regarding gambling laws, with no taxes on winnings or hidden fees, Solo’s appeal lay in its wide qualification parameters and capped spend as a prepaid card. It was easy to keep separate from regular banking activity.
Critics and financial experts also saw it as potentially dangerous due to being available to under-18s on a technicality. Despite criticisms, the Solo card also received praise for its simplicity, sensible restrictions and enabling those with poor banking history to build up their finances in a measured manner.
Creating an Account
The Solo card is a discontinued product, so no new accounts can be made. However, pre-existing customers can still use their Solo card to the same capacity. Gamblers looking for a similar product should consider Visa Debit and Maestro alternatives that replaced the Solo card.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Provided that your casino of choice accepts Solo as a payment method, you can easily set up your Solo card to make deposits and withdrawals. Gamblers can link their Solo card to their account in the same way all debit and credit cards are linked. Once your card details are verified, you can make deposits into your casino account with funds updating immediately, as long as you have sufficient funds in your Solo account.
Withdrawals are equally simple, although gamblers may experience a delay of three to five working days in receiving withdrawal funds in their Solo account.
- Fast deposits: Your gambling account should update its funds as soon as your deposit is made. This enables you to carry on gambling without delay.
- Account limits: As a prepaid debit card, Solo customers can only access the exact balance of the card. This is especially useful in capping spend, and preventing gamblers from chasing losses.
- No fees: Solo cards are treated exactly the same as major debit card providers. You should not be charged any fees to use the method.
- Discontinued product: After its discontinuation in 2011, no new customers could sign up for a Solo card. Its benefits are only available to existing customers who still use the card.
- Territory limits: As a UK-only product, the Solo card tends to only be accepted by UK casino providers, with a few exceptions.
- No overdraft: The Solo card lacks the flexibility that an overdraft can give on a regular debit card. While the lack of an overdraft can be a benefit of the product, for experienced gamblers with a healthy credit score, a Solo card is not a suitable product for them.
- Available to under-18s: Many casino providers placed a blanket ban on accepting Solo cards due to their availability to under-18s. The inability to complete safe and secure age verification on the account holder meant that many casinos chose to avoid potential legal complications altogether. This limits the casino options that Solo cardholders have.
- Slow withdrawals: While speed limits will vary by casino provider, most Solo cardholders have found they have to wait three to five working days for their withdrawal requests to process. Compared to other payment methods, this is one of the slowest.
A verified part of the Mastercard family, Solo benefits from the same protections and security protocols. This makes Solo cards safe and secure to use.
This method was only available in the UK for a limited period of time, between 1997 to 2011. Gamblers who already have a Solo card are still able to use it as a payment method in qualifying casinos, with the same restrictions applied as for Visa and Mastercard debit cards.
Solo cardholders should have access to the same support team as Maestro cardholders. Mastercard still handle enquiries and issues regarding Solo cards as they are still an actively used product.
The Solo debit card was devised by Mastercard as a competitor to the Visa Electron, to fill the gap left by the Switch card that could offer a deposit service to teenagers and customers with poor credit history.
It was officially launched in the UK in July 1997 by NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HSBC. In March 2011, the Solo card was decommissioned. Current customers had the option to continue using the Solo card, while new customers were redirected to Visa alternatives or the rebranded Switch card, now called the Maestro card.
Can Solo card users claim bonuses and prizes offered by casinos?
If Solo cards are an accepted payment method with your preferred casino, you should have access to all the same bonuses and prizes offered.
Why should I use my Solo card over other payment methods?
You should use the payment method you are most comfortable with when gambling. Many customers still prefer to use their Solo card due to its controlled nature, fast deposits and easy set-up.
Which online casinos accept the Solo card?
It is best to research casinos that accept the Solo card, as it is often on a case-by-case basis. We tend to find older, more established online casinos in the UK will accept Solo cards.
What is today's alternative to a Solo card?
There is a growing number of alternatives to traditional debit cards available on the market, including challenger banks like Monzo and Starling Bank. The most similar offering is the Solo’s sister card, Maestro.