The PayPal Cashback Mastercard & PayPal Extras Mastercard – Everything You Need to Know

PayPal Smartphone Image for PayPal Credit Card Reviews

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Digital wallets and online payment systems like PayPal can certainly make your life a lot easier when it comes to transferring money or making payments electronically.

Need to get paid back by your friends for that concert you bought tickets to? Done. Need to quickly send your league manager that fantasy football buy-in you forgot about? Easy. What about that cute gift you wanted to grab off Etsy? Just a few clicks and voila!

With paper checks and money orders falling by the wayside, these new online payment methods are rising in popularity. But what about the good old fashioned credit card? We don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

That raises the question – If PayPal’s so easy, should you be considering a branded credit card from them as well?

In this in-depth review, we discuss the PayPal Cashback Mastercard and the PayPal Extras Mastercard. We outline the main benefits, programs, fees, and drawbacks of each, so you can answer that question for yourself!

Hot Tip: These cards are often confused with PayPal’s prepaid Mastercard options (debit cards). If you are looking for PayPal’s Cash Mastercard (a very similar card name!) or PayPal’s Prepaid Mastercard, see our article here on those Paypal cards.  

PayPal Mastercards At A Glance

PayPal Mastercards for the PayPal Credit Cards review
Image courtesy of paypal.com.
PayPal Cashback MastercardPayPal Extras Mastercard
Main Benefits
  • 2% cash back on “every single purchase”
  • Redeem cash back directly to your PayPal account (no min or max to redeem)
  • Standard Mastercard Benefits
  • 3x points per $1 spent on restaurants & gas
  • 2x points per $4 spent on Paypal & eBay purchases
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, travel vouchers, or cash back to your PayPal balance
  • Standard Mastercard Benefits
Annual Fee$0$0
APR*
  • 17.24% variable (Type 1)
  • 25.24% variable (Type 2)
  • 28.24% variable (Type 3)
  • 21.24% variable (Type 1)
  • 25.24% variable (Type 2)
Late Fee Up to $38  Up to $38

*APR as of Jan 1, 2018

Both PayPal Mastercard Credit Cards are issued by Synchrony Bank pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated.  Both of these cards can be used for purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

We’re going to go ahead and assume if you’re reading this article, you have a PayPal account. If not, you’ll need one in order to reap the full benefits of these cards like redeeming cash/points directly to your PayPal account.

PayPal Credit Card Differences In Benefits (In-Depth)

As you can see from the table above, the most important differences between these cards lie in their main benefits. Let’s check them out…

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard

PayPal Cashback Mastercard for UpgradedPoints Review
Image courtesy of newsroom.mastercard.com.

2% Cashback

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard will earn you 2% cash back on every purchase through their “Cash Rewards” program.

PayPal claims there are no restrictions on the type of purchases you can earn cash back from – cardholders enjoy “2% cash back* on every purchase, every day – everywhere Mastercard is accepted”.

While all “purchases” is technically true, Synchrony bank states this excludes:

“…balance transfers, cash advances, convenience checks, disputed or unauthorized purchases/fraudulent transactions or any other transactions that Synchrony Bank may determine in its sole discretion are not eligible to earn Cash Rewards.”

However, this is true of most credit cards and their rewards earnings structure, this condition isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Bonuses?

Synchrony Bank states that Bonus Rewards may be available for certain purchases from time to time. This bonus reward would be reflected in a higher % cash back than on standard everyday rewards. They do not state the numerical value at which these percentages may be offered.

An Everyday Spend Card

It’s important to note the PayPal Cashback Mastercard is more of an everyday spend card as there are no category or quarterly bonuses.

If directly linking your cashback to your PayPal account is important to you, then this card would be pretty helpful. If you simply want an everyday spend credit card that earns you cash back on almost all of your purchases, and you don’t really care about PayPal, see our Alternative Rewards Credit Cards section below.

Redeeming Your Cashback

Cash Rewards are available for redemption on a monthly basis. The cardholders rewards are available for transfer to their PayPal Account the billing period after the period in which they were earned. (i.e. you earn one month and can redeem the next)

In order to make the transfer, cardholders should do the following:

  • Log in to your PayPal account
  • Access your Rewards Summary Page
  • Transfer the amount of your choosing to your PayPal balance

Once these steps are completed, the rewards will then be ready for use.

There is no minimum amount necessary for cardholders to transfer their cash rewards over. Additionally, there is no redemption threshold.

Hot Tip: Remember, to utilize the Cash Rewards Program (to earn or transfer cash back), the cardholders credit card account, AND their PayPal account must be open, must be in good standing, and must be linked to each other. 

The PayPal Extras Mastercard

PayPal Extras Mastercard for UpgradedPoints Review
Image courtesy of paypal.syf.com.

Category Bonuses

With the PayPal Extras Mastercard, cardholders earn points in a tiered manner via category spending bonuses.

⛽ 3x points per dollar spent on gas purchases
🍽 3x points per dollar spent on restaurant purchases
💻 2x points per dollar spent on PayPal & eBay purchases
🛍 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases

In reality, the 3x points on gas and dining is a pretty nice perk. The 2x points on PayPal & eBay purchases may or may not benefit you depending on how actively you utilize these options to shop.

An upside to this is that PayPal is becoming more and more widely available as a means of payment – including many online retailers including those like Target, Best Buy, Hotwire.com, Macy’s, Under Armour, etc., and options at times within Google Pay & Samsung Pay.

Earning Your Points

Rewards points are credited to a cardholder’s account on a monthly basis, the billing period after that in which the points were accrued. (i.e. you earn points one month and they’re credited the next.)

While this is true, the points are actually calculated day-by-day with the daily total purchase amount rounded down to the whole dollar.

The points you earn through your PayPal Extras Mastercard are subject to a limit. The maximum amount of points any one cardholder can accumulate is 50,000 per year (beginning the date the card was opened).

Redeeming Your Points

A big thing to consider when redeeming points through the program associated with PayPal’s Extras Mastercard, is the point value per $1 spent.

Paypal’s advertisement for this card states that cardholders need 6,000 points to earn a $50 PayPal Cash credit. This equates to about 0.83 of a cent per point earned, which is a poor value considering the typical earnings ratio is 1:1 (at a minimum). The points of some specific credit cards’ are valued much higher if you redeem them in the optimal way. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Ultimate Rewards points that are extremely valuable when transferred to their airline and hotel partners.

That being said, here are the categories offered for points redemptions:

💰 PayPal Cash (in $50 increments placed into the cardholder’s PayPal Account)
✈ Air Travel
🏨 Hotel Awards
🚗 Car Rentals
🎁 Gift Cards & Merchandise
🏝 Vacation Awards

Restrictions on awards can be found here.

In order to redeem points, cardholders should follow these steps:

  • Log in to your PayPal account
  • Click PayPal Mastercard
    • This will transfer you to Synchrony Bank for further actions.
  • In the new window, click Rewards & Offers
  • Choose a category to search for reward redemption options
  • Make your redemption

Hot Tip: It’s important to note that the cardholder forfeits the ability to earn and redeem points if any minimum payment on their account is not paid when due. Additionally, the cardholder’s card account must be in good standing in order to utilize the program. 

An Interesting Disclaimer

Terms and conditions of this program seem to state that cardholders don’t technically need to have an active PayPal account linked to their card. Without one, cardholders won’t get to make purchases through PayPal, earn rewards on PayPal purchases (2x points), redeem their points online for the rewards mentioned above, or utilize the online account management option.

However, cardholders could still technically utilize their Mastercard and earn points outside of PayPal, as well as redeem their points for a statement credit. If a cardholder were to go this route, the statement credit will only be distributed by calling the number on the back of the card.

This being said, if you weren’t going to use the card for all it’s intended reward options, there are likely a number of other credit cards that you would be better off applying for. You can see those in our Alternative Rewards Cards section below.

Additional Card Benefits & Features

In addition to the main benefits laid out above, these two cards also come with standard Mastercard benefits.

These include (but aren’t limited to):

🗓 Extended Warranties
💸 Price Protection
🔐 Identity Theft Resolution
💳 Microchip Technology

With this extended warranty, cardholders are guaranteed double the original manufacturer’s or store brand warranty for up to one year.

With price protection, cardholders may be reimbursed the difference if the price of the item bought drops within 60 days of purchase.

Identity theft resolution means cardholders may receive ID theft alerts, credit card replacement and ID Theft Affidavit assistance if they’re a victim of identity theft.

Microchip technology is utilized by most mainstream credit cards nowadays and ensures increased protection as chip-enabled terminals are reportedly a more secure way to pay.

Fees & Drawbacks of the PayPal Credit Cards

Each and every credit card has its own maze of fees and drawbacks to navigate. We’re aiming to make them a bit simpler in the table & summaries below.

Fees

PayPal Cashback MastercardPayPal Extras Mastercard
Annual Fee $0 $0
APRThe prime rate plus:

  • 12.74% (Account Type 1)
  • 20.74% (Account Type 2)
  • 23.74% (Account Type 3)

As of Jan 1, 2018 these were:

  • 17.24% variable (T1)
  • 25.24% variable (T2)
  • 28.24% variable (T3)
The prime rate plus:

  • 16.74% (Account Type 1)
  • 20.74% (Account Type 2)

As of Jan 1, 2018 these were:

  • 21.24% variable (Type 1)
  • 25.24% variable (Type 2)

Cash Advance APRThe prime rate plus 23.74%
(As of Jan 1, 2018: 28.24%)
The prime rate plus 23.74%
(As of Jan 1, 2018: 28.24%)
Minimum Interest Charge $1.50 $1.50
Cash Advance Fee $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater)$5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater)
Foreign Transaction FeeNONE 3% of each transaction
Late Fee Up to $38Up to $38

As you can see, there are quite a few fees and charges listed above. The best way to avoid these pesky extras is to be a responsible cardholder.

This means paying off your balance in full, each month. If you can’t pay off your balance in full, you need to pay off as much as you can.

If you’re not acting as a responsible cardholder, your balance can quickly add up. Depending on which account type you’re allocated to (this depends on your creditworthiness), this could result in hefty interest charges.  An APR of 17.24% is about average if not a tiny bit high, so anything above 20% is getting up there, and 28.24% is just absurd (especially as there are many credit cards with 0% APR for up to 18 months).

If you’re at all confused about how credit cards, credit scores, APRs, etc work, take a look at some of our articles on Credit Basics.

Additional Drawbacks

In general, most reviewers are fairly pleased with the PayPal Cashback Mastercard… there aren’t really any glaring negatives for a 2% every day, cashback card.

As we already mentioned, the obvious drawback to the PayPal Extras Mastercard is the low points value to dollar ratio. Your money won’t go as far in rewards as alternative rewards-based credit cards offering a 1:1 value (or higher).

Furthermore, points redemptions with the PayPal Extras Mastercard can be complicated.

For example, there are minimum thresholds a cardholder must meet before redeeming points and these thresholds are different for each points redemption category.

  • Gift Cards: 800 points
  • Merchandise: 3,000 points
  • Cash Back to PayPal: 6,000 points
  • Travel Rewards: 15,000 points

Another example of complicated redemptions? If redeeming for a travel reward then all air, hotel, and car rental rewards must be redeemed at least 21 days in advance.

Alternative Rewards Credit Cards

If you’re looking to keep things simple and like cash-back, then it’s quite tough to the beat the PayPal Cashback Mastercard. There is one card though, called the Citi Double Cash Card which earns 2% cash-back as well (1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay off your statement). And, it’s a little easier than the PayPal Cashback Mastercard because you don’t need to transfer the money anywhere to redeem it.

If rewards are more important to you, then you can definitely do better than the PayPal Extras Credit Card. The value of those points are only 0.83 of a cent, whereas you can quite easily achieve 1.25-1.5 cents for each point which is 50-80% more.

Applying for a PayPal Credit Card

You can apply for either PayPal card online. You can “Apply Now” for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard here, and the PayPal Extras Mastercard here.

Recommended Credit Score

PayPal Cashback Credit Card: With three separate APR tiers being offered, the impression is that applicants are being approved with a range of credit scores.

PayPal Extras Credit Card: Some credit card review sites report a “very good” to “excellent” credit score is needed for approval. However, others state an “above average” to “good” score.  Since there are two APR tiers offered, that gives the impression that applicants are being approved with a range of fairly solid credit scores.

PayPal Log-in & Online Account Management

To make payments online, cardholders can log into their PayPal account by going to paypal.com and clicking “Log In” in the upper right-hand corner.

PayPal Homepage Log In
Image courtesy of paypal.com.

From there, select your PayPal Mastercard from Your Wallet.

PayPal Online Payments
Image courtesy of paypal.com.

Then find your PayPal Mastercard on the left-hand side. If you have not already done so, you will need to link your credit card to your account.

PayPal Link A Card for Online Management
Image courtesy of paypal.com.

Once you click on your PayPal Mastercard, you’ll be transferred to a Synchrony Bank portal where you can check-in on your account, make online payments, and more.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an active PayPal user, chances are you’ve considered getting the PayPal Cashback Mastercard or the PayPal Extras Mastercard. So is either one the best card for your wallet? That depends.

If you use PayPal a lot and you need a good card for rewards on everyday spending, the 2% cashback on all purchases with the PayPal Cashback Credit Card is a pretty good deal. Remember, once earned, cardholders have to actively transfer their cash rewards over to their PayPal account in order to utilize them. Also good to note – the cash rewards you earn in any one “reward period” won’t appear in your Rewards summary until the billing period after the reward period.

Alternatively, while the PayPal Extras Credit Card may look good on paper due to its tiered points earning strategy, the redemptions are quite complicated. Plus a big consideration is the value of points for your spend. If you base the value on the advertised cash-back PayPal credit (6,000 points for $50), 1 point is only worth 0.83 of a cent.

Lastly, if you’re a points and miles earner (or you’re looking to start) this isn’t the best rewards card for you.

Featured Image Editorial credit: I AM NIKOM / Shutterstock.com

FAQ

Is the PayPal Credit Card good?

That depends on a couple factors including which of the two credit cards you are talking about, and what type of rewards you wish to earn.

In short, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard is generally a pretty good everyday spend card if you use a PayPal account to access money. You'll receive 2% cash back on all purchases, available as a credit to your PayPal account.

The PayPal Extras Mastercard earns points in a tiered method (3x on gas and dining, 2x on PayPal and eBay purchases, and 1x on all other purchases). While this seems like a great scheme, in reality, the points can be complicated to redeem and are worth far less (about 0.83 of a cent per point) than the industry standard.

Is the PayPal Credit Card free?

Neither PayPal Mastercard has an annual fee.

Can the PayPal credit card be used anywhere?

Both PayPal Mastercards can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted (which PayPal advertises as 24 million locations and counting).

Is the PayPal Mastercard a credit card?

This depends on which card you are referring to. With card names that are so similar, it's easy to get confused.

These two are credit cards: The PayPal Cashback Mastercard & The PayPal Extras Mastercard
These two are debit cards: The PayPal Cash Mastercard & The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard

What is the PayPal Extras Mastercard?

The PayPal Extras Mastercard is a credit card issued by Synchrony bank, that allows cardholders to earn points based on purchases.

These points are earned in a tiered method by spending in certain categories. (see the review above for more in-depth information)

What is the PayPal Cashback Mastercard?

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a credit card issued by Synchrony bank that allows cardholders to earn 2% cashback on all their purchases. (see the review above for more in-depth information)

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