PayPal Cashback Mastercard Review
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- Date Established
- Draper, Utah
Are you looking for a simple, straightforward cash back credit card? One with no limits on the cash back you can earn and no rotating categories to track? PayPal’s Cashback Mastercard® may be the credit card for you.
Co-branded by PayPal and Synchrony Bank, this card offers an unlimited 2% back on all purchases, making it a very competitive entry in the world of cash back cards. However, if you’re looking for extra benefits, you might want to look elsewhere. The PayPal Cashback Mastercard offsets its impressive base rewards rate with a lack of other features, such as introductory APRs or welcome offers. Additionally, the card’s ongoing APR is relatively high.
Business owners should also note that this card is marketed as a personal card. That means you won’t be able to take advantage of typical business credit card bonuses, such as free employee cards, and it may not help improve your business’s credit history directly. With that in mind, using a personal card for business still comes with some benefits.
Keep reading to get the low-down on the PayPal Cashback Mastercard.
PayPal Cashback Mastercard At A Glance
PayPal Cashback Mastercard
21.49% - 28.49% (variable)
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Neither PayPal nor Synchrony Bank clearly state recommended credit scores for potential applicants. Because of this, you’ll want your credit score to be in a healthy range (in the upper 600s or above 700).
If you’re unsure of your credit score, you can check it out via one of our favorite free credit score sites!
As is standard with credit cards, to get a PayPal Cashback Mastercard, you will need to be 18 years of age or older and live within the US or its territories. Additionally, to be eligible for the card’s rewards program, you must have an open PayPal account that’s in good standing.
Rewards For Spending
The PayPal Cashback Mastercard features a very straightforward rewards scheme that won’t cause headaches. This simple scheme is also rather generous compared to the competition.
Unlimited 2% Cash Back
You’ll earn a straight 2% cash back for every purchase. This generous rate has no cap, and there are no purchase restrictions.
A flat 2% cash back rate is very impressive, especially considering that this card carries no annual fee. When looking at its competitors, one of the lone 2% unlimited cash back business cards — Capital One’s Spark Cash — comes with a $95 annual fee after its first year. If you intend to use a credit card for a wide range of purchases, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard is certainly worth a look.
With this card’s simple rewards scheme comes a simple redemption scheme. Whether this works for you will depend on how actively you dip into your PayPal balance.
Rewards Added As PayPal Credit
After you redeem your rewards, they’ll make their way to your PayPal balance. Once there, you’ll be able to treat them as a regular part of your PayPal balance — eligible to be used at merchants that accept PayPal.
Note that PayPal does require you to redeem rewards manually; there is no automatic redemption option. Despite that downside, you can choose to redeem rewards at any time due to a lack of a redemption threshold. We like the fact that you don’t have to wait until you’ve earned an arbitrary minimum amount of cash back to redeem it.
This redemption setup could be convenient for those who make frequent purchases at online merchants who accept PayPal. However, it may pose problems if you don’t shop online frequently or at a location that accepts PayPal. If this is the case, you’ll need to take the extra step of transferring your PayPal balance into your bank account — or signing up for PayPal’s debit card — to take advantage of your rewards.
As far as credit card benefits go, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard features pretty slim pickings. There’s no introductory 0% APR, no welcome offer, and no fancy travel perks. What it does offer, though, are a couple of basic, bare-minimum benefits.
Identity Theft Resolution
With this card, you’ll have access to Mastercard’s ID Theft Protection coverage. This coverage provides several services, including an online monitoring dashboard, a monthly newsletter, identity monitoring, 24/7 identity theft resolution, lost wallet assistance, and TransUnion credit monitoring. This is all pretty standard fare when it comes to credit cards.
Should you encounter a problem while out and about, you can connect with Mastercard’s Global Assistance service. This 24-hour service will provide you with options for reporting a lost or stolen card, requesting an emergency card replacement, or setting up an emergency cash advance. Again, this service is nothing special — most credit cards worth their salt offer something similar.
Airport Concierge Service
Through Mastercard, you’ll be able to take advantage of a 15% savings on airport meet and greet services. You can arrange for a person to escort you through the airport on departure, arrival, or while connecting at over 700 locations throughout the world. This service is available 24/7.
Rates & Fees
While this offering from PayPal does include a relatively high APR, it lacks both an annual fee and a foreign transaction fee — two of the peskier fees that exist in the realm of credit cards.
A High APR
With an APR of 21.49% - 28.49% (variable), you’ll be looking at a number that sits towards the higher end of the industry standard. If you know you’ll be carrying a balance regularly, this means that the PayPal Cashback Mastercard may not be your best choice. Of course, if you will be able to pay off your balance every month, the APR won’t apply.
No Annual Fee
The absence of an annual fee means that this card’s 2% cash back rate will see you earning rewards without having to overcome a fee first. This is especially impressive — many 2% cash back cards on the market have some sort of annual fee attached.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Another fee that the PayPal Cashback Mastercard lacks is a foreign transaction fee — you can whip this bit of plastic out while abroad without worrying about getting dinged extra. However, the rest of this card isn’t designed for travel. As such, the Cashback Mastercard could potentially be a solid card if you only travel outside the US occasionally or are looking for a second card to take on foreign trips.
With this card, you’ll need to keep in mind the $5 or 3% fee applied to cash advances. There’s also a late payment fee that can run the standard $39.
Is PayPal Cashback Mastercard Right For You?
The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a relatively solid, no-frills credit card. If you’re in the market for a 2% cash back card with no annual fee and do not need much else, this could be the card for you. However, if you want a card that features a well-rounded benefits package or one that has more reward options beyond PayPal credit, look elsewhere.
You might want to apply if…
- You plan to use the card in a wide array of purchase categories
- You want a card with a simple rewards scheme
- You frequently buy from merchants who accept PayPal
- Your business requires occasional overseas travel
You might want to look for a different card if…
- You want a card that offers better rewards for a specific set of categories
- You plan to carry a balance and need to avoid a higher-than-average APR
- You’re looking for bonus perks, such as an introductory APR, welcome offers, or travel benefits
- You find accessing your PayPal balance to be cumbersome
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.