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.