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PayPal Cashback Mastercard®: Should You Apply?

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®: Should You Apply?

While PayPal tends to receive a lot of complaints as a company, this is among the best cash back credit cards from a pure value perspective.
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5.0
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Editor's Rating

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4.5/5.0

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® is a great credit card for everyday use. We don't see too many cards that give you 2% cash back on all your purchases, so this is a welcome addition to the credit card market. If you tend to spend more in one or two specific categories, you may want to consider other options.

Review: Our Thoughts On the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® is a fantastic credit card that rivals some of the best cash back cards out there. The fixed 2% rate beats some of the current top cards, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. The card's biggest downside is the absence of a signing bonus. Because it lacks that initial boost in value, the card won't actually come out ahead of its competitors until you spend over $30,000 on it.

Good For…Bad For…
Earning rewards on everyday spendingOptimizers
People who want a simple credit card with no categories to keep track ofThose looking for a card with a strong welcome bonus

As a company, PayPal receives a tremendous number of user complaints — more so than we've seen with other card issuers. This is important to mention, especially if you're someone who has not done much business with PayPal before. Keep in mind that this is very much a "your mileage will vary" type of complaint. Plenty of people have transacted with PayPal and experienced no issues whatsoever.

The best thing about having a fixed-rate credit card, like the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, is the fact that you don't have to ever worry about different shopping categories. You can simply use the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® anywhere you go, and you'll be getting above-average rewards. While it is true that some other cash back credit cards can give you better returns, those will typically require you to to invest some of your time into managing and optimizing them.

Bottom Line: The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® is a great credit card for consumers to consider. The 2% rewards rate on all purchases beats most competitors when it comes to everyday spending.

PayPal Cashback Mastercard® Benefits & Features

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® awards a 2% cash back anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The one caveat is that all rewards are deposited to your PayPal account. The rewards are posted to your account, but you are still required to redeem them for them to be added to your PayPal balance. To transfer Cash Rewards to your PayPal balance, log on to your PayPal Account, view your Cash Rewards in the Rewards Summary Page and transfer the amount you choose to your PayPal balance. All the cash back you earn can be withdrawn at any time by either:

  • Requesting a direct deposit — takes 3 to 4 business days
  • Requesting a personal check from PayPal — can take 1-2 weeks
  • Withdrawing funds immediately using a PayPal debit card
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
  • No annual fee
  • No restrictions on the type of purchases you can make to earn cash back
  • No rotating categories to keep track of, just 2% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Redeem your Cash Rewards directly into your PayPal balance
  • Requires PayPal account
  • No redemption threshold
  • No annual fee
  • No restrictions on the type of purchases you can make to earn cash back
  • No rotating categories to keep track of, just 2% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Redeem your Cash Rewards directly into your PayPal balance
  • Requires PayPal account
  • No redemption threshold
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
16.99%, 24.99% or 27.99% Variable
Credit Needed
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Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

While the cash back rewards don't expire, it is possible for you to lose them. If your PayPal account is closed for any reason, any cash back rewards that were not redeemed will be forfeited. If your account becomes suspended, you will also not have access to it, which means you won't be able to redeem your rewards or request for your funds to be withdrawn.

This being a Mastercard, PayPal Cashback Mastercard® cardholders get access to some of the perks that come with this network. Mastercard benefits include:

  • Price protection: If you buy an item with your card and the price drops within 60 days, you may be reimbursed for the difference
  • Extended Warranties: Increase the duration of the original manufacturer's or store brand warranty for up to one year when you purchase using a PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
  • Identity theft resolution: You'll get ID theft alerts, credit card replacement and ID Theft Affidavit assistance if you're the victim of identity theft

How Does The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® Compare to Other Credit Cards?

The best way to get the measure of a card's value is to compare it against other options. We took a look how the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® stacks up against other leading cash back credit cards so that you may come to a better informed decision.

PayPal Cashback Mastercard® vs Citi® Double Cash Card

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® will naturally be most often compared to the Citi® Double Cash Card — a credit card with a very similar reward structure. The Citi® Double Cash Card provides 1% cash back at the time of a purchase and then another 1% back when that purchase is paid off. That effectively works out to a rewards rate similar to the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®. Both cards have no sign-up bonus, no annual fee and both are on the Mastercard network.

We give the slight edge to the Citi® Double Cash Card because the way the rewards are applied makes it slightly easier for the consumer. The cash back is applied to you in the form of statement credit — meaning it wipes away part of your monthly bill. With the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® you're required to redeem the rewards and move them to your PayPal balance. If you want to actually get those translated to cash, there is another step you need to take.

PayPal Cashback Mastercard® vs PayPal Extras Mastercard

PayPal Extras Mastercard
PayPal Extras Mastercard

The PayPal Extras Mastercard will be better for whom usually use their credit card to pay for gas and restaurant purchases. This card has a 2.4% rewards rate in those categories, edging out the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®. However, when it comes to virtually all other purchases, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® reigns supreme. If you aren't quite sure how the math shakes out, we recommend using our tool below. It lets you input how much you spend each month and then shows you the estimated rewards.

If you do decide to go with the PayPal Extras Mastercard take care how you redeem your rewards, since some options will give you subpar value. The card provides rewards in the form of points that can be used towards gift cards, cash back, travel vouchers and merchandise. However, anything other than the cash back and gift card redemptions will give you less value per point.

Compare the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® Based On Your Budget

As mentioned above, we built a calculator that allows users to get an estimate for the value of a card — accounting for bonuses and annual fees. Enter your estimated monthly spend into the tool, and you'll see how the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® compares to other credit cards based on how you tend to spend. The comparison includes the cards discussed above along with a handful of other top-notch cash back cards.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).