PayPal launches a best-in-class cash-back credit card


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If simplicity is one of the qualities you look for in a cash-back credit card, a new best-in-class card from PayPal might be for you.

The payments company this week unveiled its PayPal Cashback Mastercard, which offers an impressive 2 percent cash back on all spending. The Synchrony Bank-issued card charges no annual fee.

The flat-rate unlimited rewards program pays more than most cash-back cards that don’t have category restrictions. It’s a direct competitor to the Citi Double Cash Card, which pays 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent as you pay for that purchase.

PayPal cardholders won’t be subject to a minimum redemption amount or annual cash back limit, so users can spend as much or as little as they’d like and still earn money.

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard also offers double the protection. Eligible transactions are covered by PayPal Purchase Protection at no extra charge, while Mastercard offers warranty coverage, purchase protection and identity theft resolution assistance.

Is this card right for you?

To be eligible for this card, you must have a PayPal account and link the PayPal Cashback Mastercard to your account to collect the rewards. Luckily, it’s easy to get a PayPal account; all you need is an email address and a debit or credit card.

For those who use PayPal frequently, this is definitely a card worth considering. Your rewards are automatically applied to your PayPal balance, so you don’t have to hassle with transferring rewards or logging into a separate account – everything is in one place.

Collecting your rewards

Even if you’re just a casual PayPal user, this is a solid card if you like flexible options with a stress-free rewards system.

Cash back is the simplest form of rewards, so you’re not limited to airline tickets or hotel stays. And there are no maximum spending limits, rotating categories or annual fees to contend with. You simply buy stuff and get your 2 percent cash back.

Your cash-back rewards will be issued directly to your PayPal account. You can use them to make purchases or transfer them to your bank account.

It’s worth noting that your rewards can be forfeited if you close your PayPal account or remove your card from the account before your rewards are claimed. So double check that you have claimed all of your cash before deactivating your account.

No sign-up bonus

Like the Citi® Double Cash Card, the new PayPal card offers no sign-up bonus. This may be a deal-killer for some consumers who have come to expect bonuses even on cards that don’t charge an annual fee.

On the other hand, you’ll avoid the pressure of those sign-up bonus minimum spending requirements with this card. Some requirements are manageable, $500 within three months, but others are much stricter, requiring cardholders to spend thousands of dollars within a few months.

Pay your bill monthly

If you even occasionally carry a balance, this card isn’t for you. The annual percentage rate on the PayPal card is higher than what the typical credit card charges, much higher in some cases. The variable purchase APR is 16.99, 24.99 or 27.99 percent based on creditworthiness.

If you don’t pay your balance in full each month, not only will you face potentially big interest payments, you’ll also cancel out any rewards you’ve earned.