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PayPal Cashback Mastercard® Review: A great fit for PayPal users

The card could have great long-term value, but only if you take advantage of its PayPal bonus category

 /  14 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.



Bankrate rating
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This card has limited features, but its high flat-rate and bonus rewards could make it a winner for PayPal users.

Image of PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Rewards rate

2% - 3%

Annual fee

Intro offer


PayPal Cashback Mastercard overview

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® could be a hit for people who use PayPal and has the potential to be a great no-annual-fee rewards card for everyone else.

This card offers unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases — a great flat rewards rate — and 3 percent back when you shop with PayPal. Few flat-rate cards go the extra mile by offering bonus categories and a flat rate higher than the typical 1 percent cash back found with most cash back cards.

Unfortunately, you may not easily figure out which purchases earn 3 percent cash back. It’s unclear how many stores let you make purchases through your PayPal account; some may only allow direct debit card or credit card payments.

The card also lacks a sign-up bonus, intro APR offers and other benefits that help give rewards cards long-term value. Here’s what you need to know about the  PayPal Mastercard and how it stacks up against the best cash back cards.

  • Credit Card Cash Back


    • 3 percent cash back on purchases made through your PayPal account or when you send money to other PayPal users
    • 2 percent cash back on all other purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • This card doesn’t have a welcome offer

    Expert Appraisal: Weak
    See our expert analysis

  • Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: None
    • APR: 19.99 percent to 31.99 percent variable
    • Cash advance fee: Either $10 or 5 percent of the amount of each cash advance
    • Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent of each transaction
    • Late payment fee: Up to $40
    • Returned payment fee: $29

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Zero Liability Protection
    • Lost and stolen card reporting
    • Emergency card replacement

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

PayPal Cashback Mastercard pros and cons


  • Checkmark

    Offers a unique combo of 2 percent cash back on all purchases with the chance to earn 3 percent cash back at merchants that accept Paypal.

  • Checkmark

    The card charges no annual fee, making it affordable to pair with other rewards cards.

  • Checkmark

    PayPal integration makes this a great card for people who use PayPal and want to manage their card, payments and cashback rewards all in one place.


  • The card has no sign-up or intro offers, limiting the card’s initial value compared to other cash back cards.

  • Your favorite stores may not be eligible to earn 3 percent cash back, and authorized users can only earn up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases.

  • This card’s APR can be higher than other cash back credit cards.

Why you might want the PayPal Cashback Mastercard

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard will be great for earning extra cash back without an annual fee if you use PayPal. You earn boosted cash back rewards for purchases using PayPal, solid flat-rate cash back rewards for all purchases and the card integrates seamlessly with the PayPal app.

Rewards: Boosted cash back for PayPal purchases

On top of its impressive 2 percent flat cash back rate on all purchases, the PayPal Mastercard offers a bonus rate of 3 percent cash back on PayPal purchases, including at stores that let you pay using the PayPal app. A powerful combination of rewards like this can set PayPal users up wells fargoto earn outstanding rewards on nearly every purchase they make, whether using PayPal or not.

Most flat-rate cash back rewards cards — like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card — only offer a flat rate on general purchases, with no additional bonus categories. Flat-rate rewards programs like these can keep things simple and hassle-free, but you may miss out on a higher rate in your biggest spending categories.

By pairing a flat 2 percent rewards rate on general purchases with 3 percent cash back on PayPal purchases, the PayPal Mastercard combines the best features of flat-rate and bonus-category cash back cards. However, to earn 3 percent cash back, you must be the primary cardholder. You also have to make purchases through your PayPal account, which you can do online or in-store as long as the merchant accepts PayPal as a form of payment. If the store doesn’t accept PayPal, you’ll earn 2 percent cash back.

Rates and fees: No annual fee for unlimited boosted cash back

Rewards cards with boosted cash back rates sometimes have annual fees that eat into your yearly rewards balance. There are exceptions to this rule, like the Blue Cash Everyday® card from American Express and the Citi Custom Cash® Card, but spending caps hamper these cards’ long-term value. The PayPal Cashback Mastercard joins these top cash back credit cards as one of the most generous rewards cards that cost nothing to hold, but leads the pack as a competitor that doesn’t place a rewards cap on its highest rewards category.

The PayPal Mastercard’s lower barrier of entry and long-term savings potential make it a worthy addition to anyone’s wallet who regularly uses the PayPal app to make in-store or online purchases. Although this card may lack value for people who don’t use PayPal, it’s a solid alternative to other flat-rate cash back cards if you want to start using PayPal.


Bankrate Insight

Several popular brands accept PayPal, which means you’ll have enough flexibility to maximize this card’s boosted rate just about anywhere. PayPal lists the merchants that accept PayPal as a payment method on its website. It includes a comprehensive list of popular fashion, travel, entertainment, electronics, and athletic brands. 

PayPal integration: Simple and secure account management

This card provides added convenience and functionality by integrating with the PayPal app. You can manage your card, PayPal account, cash back, rewards redemptions and mobile wallet from within the app. Although tracking card activity in issuer-specific applications is not always complicated, the PayPal app gives you a one-stop location for managing your money.

Not only can seamless in-app integration protect you from credit card fraud with PayPal’s security features, like encryption and fraud detection, but you can use the PayPal app to view your card account details and PayPal activity in one place. Plus, you can use the PayPal app to make purchases using your PayPal Cashback Mastercard, meaning you won’t need to enter card details every time you make an online purchase. If you’re wary about online purchases using your credit card, the PayPal app can be a barrier between your card information and the merchants you’re shopping with. Although exceptions to this process exist, merchants typically receive payments from PayPal, and your information remains private.

PayPal also displays your cash back balance in the PayPal app. To redeem your rewards, you just need to select your cash back balance and choose a redemption method. You can redeem cash back rewards for PayPal purchases, a direct deposit to your bank account or as a statement credit. Redemptions for PayPal purchases can be more convenient than standard credit card rewards, especially if you’re a frequent PayPal user. Redemptions for PayPal purchases appear during checkout, where you can apply your rewards balance as a payment method to cover part or all of your purchase.

Why you might want a different cashback card

If you don’t use PayPal, this card will be tough to maximize, and you should consider other options. However, even if you are a PayPal user, the convenience that this card brings to your wallet comes at a cost. This card lacks some outstanding features like a welcome offer, an intro APR period and the many perks and benefits that several other cards offer.

No welcome offer: Low first-year value compared to other cards

If you were hoping to get a headstart building a cash back balance with your next credit card, you might be disappointed to learn that the PayPal Cashback Mastercard doesn’t have a welcome offer. Cash back cards, even those with no annual fees, frequently carry welcome offers with which cardholders can earn anywhere from $50 to $250 worth of cash back for meeting a minimum spending requirement. Although spending requirements can inspire overspending, the extra cash back is often worth it.

Welcome offers bring a lot of value for new cardholders, but usually signal where that card stands in the competition. You’ll see a lot of no-annual-fee cash back cards from several issuers with welcome offers that hover around $200 in value. This amount is usually the most competitive. The amount of a card’s welcome offer and its spending requirement can be the deciding factors for your next card application. However, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard doesn’t compete with the welcome offers from other issuers. It might even be a fair trade-off as a rewards credit card with outstanding ongoing value for PayPal users. If you use PayPal regularly, this card can bring long-term value with boosted cash back, as opposed to the short-term value welcome offers have.

Consider another rewards or cash back card if you want a welcome offer. Finding a card’s sign-up bonus that’s competitive with other cards’ offers will be a good start. However, you’ll want to consider the rewards rates on each card before deciding. If PayPal makes up a majority of your purchasing budget, you might be better off earning a regular 3 percent back on PayPal purchases than you are a one-time $200 cash back bonus.

No intro APR: A poor choice for transferring or carrying a balance

Intro APR periods are sometimes a lifeline for cardholders who want a break from interest payments to whittle down their credit card debt. Or they’re a great feature for new cardholders who want to chase a welcome offer’s spending requirement. The PayPal Mastercard doesn’t have an intro offer for either new purchases or balance transfers, making it a poor choice for current cardholders who want to transfer a balance or finance a large, upcoming purchase.

Lacking intro APR offers doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad credit card, but intro offers can bring peace of mind and convenience for cardholders new to credit or recovering from debt. Without interest-free periods, you’ll be at risk of accumulating high-interest credit card debt with the PayPal Mastercard, and it can set you up for losing all of the cashback you earn to interest payments.

Not to mention, this card has a relatively high ongoing APR. On the low end, it’s a manageable 19.99 percent variable. However, this card’s APR can be as high as 31.99 percent, far above the current average credit card interest rate. An intro APR offer wouldn’t change the ongoing APR beyond its period, but it could make managing interest easier in your first year with the card.

Perks: Limited to just network benefits

Extra perks and benefits are sometimes merely icing on the cake for a credit card’s value, so you shouldn’t expect much. In fact, you shouldn’t expect a lot of extra value when it comes to any no-annual-fee credit card, but this doesn’t mean you should change your standards if you want a portfolio or perks.

The PayPal Mastercard carries the minimum network benefits for cardholders, including zero fraud liability protection for unauthorized purchases, lost and stolen card reporting and emergency card replacement. These perks can give you peace of mind and make handling emergencies easier, but other issuers offer much more for their cardholders.

For instance, some no-annual-fee cash back cards have complimentary memberships and statement credits available for cardholders. 

How the PayPal Cashback Mastercard compares to other cash back cards

Unless you start collecting interest charges, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a low-cost card with an excellent cash back rate. But considering the card’s limited features, other cash back cards might be a better fit.

Image of PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Annual fee


Intro offer


Rewards rate

2% - 3%

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Image of Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Annual fee


Intro offer


Rewards rate


Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Image of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee


Intro offer

Earn $200

Rewards rate

1% - 3%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)

Best cards to pair with the PayPal Mastercard

Since the PayPal Cashback card already offers a generous flat rate and the chance to earn boosted rewards for PayPal purchases, consider pairing it with a rotating category card that has outstanding rewards rates in other categories.

Who is the PayPal Mastercard right for?

The PayPal Mastercard isn’t right for everyone, but it could be the next best addition to your wallet if you are any of the following types of spenders.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the PayPal Cashback Mastercard worth it?

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard offers a top-notch flat rewards rate on both general purchases and online or in-store shopping through PayPal. This rare combination gives the card good long-term value — as long as you can take advantage of the PayPal bonus category. If you’re already a PayPal user and have a good idea of the stores that let you use your PayPal account, this card could be a good fit — especially if you don’t already have a card that earns 3 percent cash back or more at these locations.

For everyone else, it won’t be easy to find out where PayPal is accepted. PayPal lists some merchants, such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot, but it doesn’t offer a full list of merchants. And some merchants are selective with how they accept PayPal. For example, Target only accepts PayPal on and the Target app. If you don’t shop at stores that earn the higher rate, you may be better off with a different flat-rate card with better perks.

*If you have previously opened a Rewards Checking account or do not open one as part of this application process, you are not eligible for the Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® welcome bonus offer. 

The information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer. 

How we rated this card

cards rated
rewards programs valued
data points analyzed
Credit Card Reviews
perks evaluated

We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Written by
Brendan Dyer
Associate Editor, Credit Cards

Brendan Dyer holds a Master of Fine Arts in Journalism from Western Connecticut State University and worked previously as a content editor for Regional News Network, a hyper-local TV news station contracted by Verizon FiOS1 News. As a national service volunteer, Brendan exercised a passion for helping underserved communities and demographics through direct, community service. He constantly seeks to apply his expertise as a journalist to the field of personal finance with the goal of helping people navigate the complexities of the credit card industry.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.