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 make it easier to transfer money or make electronic payments.

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

Online payment methods including are rising in popularity. But credit cards aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Do PayPal credit cards offer the best of both worlds?

In this in-depth review, you’ll learn about the PayPal Cashback Mastercard and the PayPal Extras Mastercard. We outline the main benefits, programs, fees, and drawbacks of each so that 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 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 all purchases
  • Redeem cash-back directly to your PayPal account (no min or max to redeem)
  • Standard Mastercard benefits
  • 3x points per $1 spent on restaurants and gas
  • 2x points per $1 spent on Paypal and 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 under a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Both of these cards can be used for purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll need one to reap the full benefits of these cards, including redeeming cash and points directly to your PayPal account.

PayPal Credit Card Differences In Benefits (In-Depth)

As you can see from the table above, the most significant differences between these cards are in their rewards and benefits. Let’s check them out.

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard

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

2% Cash-back

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

There are no restrictions on the type of purchases that earn cash-back. Cardholders enjoy 2% cash-back* on all purchases. Qualifying purchases do not include balance transfers, cash advances, convenience checks, disputed or unauthorized purchases, fraudulent transactions, or any other transactions that aren’t eligible to earn rewards.

Bonuses

Bonus rewards may be available for certain purchases from time to time, offering a higher percent cash-back than the standard 2%.

An Everyday Spend Card

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is an everyday spend card, as there are no category or quarterly bonuses.

If directly linking your cashback to your PayPal account is crucial to you, this card may be a good choice. If you want an everyday spend credit card that earns you cash-back on almost all of your purchases and you don’t care about PayPal, see the Alternative Rewards Credit Cards section below.

Redeeming Your Cashback

Cash rewards are available for redemption on a monthly basis. Rewards are available for transfer to your PayPal Account the billing period after the period after you earn them. You’ll earn one month and can redeem the next.

To make the transfer, cardholders should:

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

Once complete, rewards will be ready to use once.

There is no minimum redemption threshold to transfer cash rewards.

Hot Tip: Remember, to utilize the Cash Rewards Program (to earn or transfer cash-back), your credit card account and PayPal account must be open, in good standing, and 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 tiered points with 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 and eBay purchases
🛍 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases

The 3x points on gas and dining is a nice bonus. The 2x points on PayPal and eBay purchases may or may not benefit you depending on how actively you utilize these options to shop.

PayPal is becoming more and more widely available as a means of payment, including many online retailers including Target, Best Buy, Hotwire.com, Macy’s, and Under Armour, and sometimes within Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Earning Your Points

Rewards points are credited to your account on a monthly basis the billing period after you accrued points, so you earn points one month, and they’re credited the next. Points are 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 a cardholder can accumulate is 50,000 per account year (beginning the date you opened the account).

Redeeming Your Points

When redeeming points with the PayPal Extras Mastercard, consider the point value per dollar spent.

Paypal’s advertises 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 for most cards is 1:1 (at a minimum). The points of some specific credit cards are valued much higher if you optimally redeem them. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Ultimate Rewards points that are extremely valuable when transferred to their airline and hotel partners.

PayPal offers the following categories for points redemptions:

💰 PayPal Cash (in $50 increments placed into the cardholder’s PayPal account)
✈ Air travel
🏨 Hotel awards
🚗 Car rentals
🎁 Gift cards and merchandise
🏝 Vacation awards

Find restrictions on awards here.

Follow these steps to redeem your points:

  • Log in to your PayPal account
  • Click PayPal Mastercard
    • Clicking will transfer you to Synchrony Bank
  • 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 you forfeit the ability to earn and redeem points if you don’t make a minimum payment when due. Additionally, your account must be in good standing to utilize the program. 

PayPal Account Requirements

Cardholders don’t technically need to have an active PayPal account linked to their card. However, without one, you won’t get to make purchases through PayPal, earn rewards on PayPal purchases (2x points), redeem points online for rewards, or utilize the online account management option.

Without an active PayPal account, you can use your Mastercard and earn points outside of PayPal and redeem points for a statement credit. With this option, you can only redeem your statement credit by calling the number on the back of the card.

Although it’s possible to use the card and earn rewards without a PayPal account, other credit cards offer better rewards without PayPal. You can see those in our Alternative Rewards Cards section below.

Additional Card Benefits and Features

In addition to rewards, these cards come with standard Mastercard benefits. These include (but aren’t limited to):

🗓 Extended warranty coverage
💸 Price protection
🔐 Identity theft resolution
💳 Microchip technology

Extended warranty coverage guarantees double the original manufacturer or store brand warranty for up to 1 year.

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

Identity theft resolution means cardholders may receive ID theft alerts, credit card replacement. ID Theft Affidavit assistance is available for victims of identity theft.

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

Fees and Drawbacks of the PayPal Credit Cards

Each credit card has a maze of fees and drawbacks to navigate. The tables and summaries below explain what you can expect from PayPal’s credit cards.

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 (Type 1)
  • 25.24% variable (Type 2)
  • 28.24% variable (Type 3)
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 feeNONE3% of each transaction
Late fee Up to $38Up to $38

As you can see, there are quite a few fees listed above. Being a responsible cardholder is the best way to avoid these fees.

You should pay 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 and always at least the minimum payment.

Interest charges can quickly add up if you’re not paying off your balance in full each month. Depending on your creditworthiness, you could have a high APR. An APR of 17.24% is about average to above average. Anything above 20% is high, and 28.24% is 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, fees, and other credit details work, take a look at some of our articles on Credit Basics.

Additional Drawbacks

In general, most reviewers are reasonably pleased with the PayPal Cashback Mastercard. Positive reviews are to be expected, as there aren’t any glaring negatives for this 2% everyday cashback card.

The obvious drawback to the PayPal Extras Mastercard is the low points value-to-dollar ratio. Your money won’t go as far with PayPal’s rewards as other 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

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 (Our Recommendations)

If you want to keep things simple and like cash-back, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard can be a good choice. But the Citi® Double Cash Card (Learn More) is a strong alternative. This card earns 2% cash-back as well (1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay off your statement).

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 is only 0.83 of a cent, whereas you can quite easily achieve 1.25-1.5 cents for each point with some other credit cards. That adds up to 50-80% more.

Recommended Credit Score

PayPal Cashback Credit Card: With 3 separate APR tiers, applicants can be approved with a range of credit scores.

PayPal Extras Credit Card: Some credit card review sites report you’ll need a very good to excellent credit score for approval. However, others state an above average to good score. Since there are 2 APR tiers offered, that gives the impression that applicants can get approved with a range of reasonably solid credit scores.

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

PayPal Login and Online Account Management

You can log in to your PayPal account to make payments online. Go to paypal.com and click Log In at 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 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. Is either one the best card for your wallet? That depends.

Bottom Line: 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.

However, once earned, cardholders have to actively transfer their cash rewards over to their PayPal account to utilize them. Also good to note: the cash rewards you earn in any reward period won’t appear in your rewards summary until the billing period after the reward period.

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 significant 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 a below average 0.83 of a cent.

Lastly, if you’re a points and miles earner (or want to become one), 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 2 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 deal, 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, but they do charge interest and other fees.

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 2 are credit cards: The PayPal Cashback Mastercard and The PayPal Extras Mastercard.
These 2 are debit cards: The PayPal Cash Mastercard and 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% cash-back on all their purchases. See the review above for more in-depth information.

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