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Cash back credit cards can be a boon for your wallet, as they reward you for everyday spending. Depending on your habits, you can rack up rewards just for hitting the pump, shopping online or booking with United Airlines, for instance. If you happen to find a good card, it can reshape the way that you spend.
PayPal, the worldwide online payments system, recently partnered with Mastercard and Visa to broaden its reach, a year after parting with eBay. Now the payment company has rolled out its branded credit card products offered through Synchrony Bank: the PayPal Extras Mastercard and PayPal Platinum Mastercard. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the former product, which offers rewards for eligible purchases.
What Is the PayPal Credit Card?
The PayPal Extras Mastercard is a PayPal-branded credit card that automatically enrolls members in its Rewards Program. It carries a variable APR of 21.49%, 25.49% or 28.49% (as of 12/18/2019) based on creditworthiness and is only available to U.S. residents. This card has no annual fee. Here’s a closer look:
PayPal Extras Mastercard
Rewards Details: Cardholders earn three points for every dollar spent on gas and dining; two points per dollar on PayPal and eBay purchases; and one point for all other purchases.
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 21.49%, 25.49% or 28.49% (as of 12/18/2019)
The Pros & Cons of a PayPal Credit Card
On the plus side, the PayPal Extras Mastercard comes fully loaded with all the perks you’d expect from a Mastercard: an extended warranty program, which doubles an original manufacturer’s or store brand warranty for up to one year when you pay with the card; price protection, meaning you may be reimbursed for the difference in an item’s price within 60 days of purchase; and purchase assurance, which covers stolen or damaged items within 90 days of purchase. The issuer’s satisfaction guarantee offers refunds of up to $250 if a store will not accept a return within 60 days of purchase.
Beyond that, PayPal Extras Mastercard offers handsome rates of return anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Members can earn three points for every dollar spent on gas and dining; two points per dollar on PayPal and eBay purchases; and one point on all other purchases. As the site points out, members can redeem 800 points to receive gifts cards for restaurants, gas and retail, while 6,000 points is equivalent to $50 cash back, credited to your PayPal account. A travel voucher for airfare, hotels or car rentals is equivalent to 15,000 points.
As with most rewards credit cards, your credit must be in decent shape to qualify. If for some reason it’s not, chances are you’ll be turned, and your credit score may suffer due to the hard inquiry. If your credit’s OK but you’re not sure if you can handle the temptations of a rewards card, it may be best to sit this one out. Swiping only to earn more rewards could send you down a spiral of debt if you’re not careful, and you don’t want to lose your hard-earned rewards to high interest. Speaking of high interest, this card’s variable APR is a whopper, at 21.49%, 25.49% or 28.49%depending on your creditworthiness when you apply. (Not sure where your finances stand? You can view two of your free credit scores on Credit.com.)
In terms of rewards, you’ll want to use them wisely: “Accrued Reward Points that are not redeemed will be forfeited 24 months (2 years) after they were first accrued or if there are no purchases for 12 consecutive months,” PayPal’s site says. Also, cardholders forfeit any rewards they’ve accrued if they miss two or more consecutive minimum payments or the account is closed for any reason other than a stolen or lost card. Finally, only the primary cardholder is allowed to redeem the rewards.
How to Apply for a PayPal Credit Card
If you’re wondering how to apply for PayPal credit, you can simply visit the company online. Fair warning: You must be a PayPal customer in order to get started, as the site will ask for a username and password. According to the company’s FAQ section, “When you apply, you’ll be asked if you’d like to set your new PayPal Extras Mastercard, PayPal Platinum Mastercard or PayPal Smart Connect account as your preferred payment method for your PayPal account.” (PayPal Smart Connect is a line of credit offered by the payment service.)
Our Pick for an Alternative to PayPal Credit Cards
If PayPal’s high interest rates aren’t quite what you’d like, there are many rewards card alternatives. Here are some of our picks.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Card Details +
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
- Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
- Amex Offers rewards you at places you like to shop, dine, travel, and more. You can add as many Offers as you’d like to your Card, then just use that Card to pay, and enjoy rewards directly on your statement.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
- No Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
Card Details +
At publishing time, the cards mentioned above may be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.