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PayPal Cashback Mastercard® Review

Paypal Cashback Mastercard

Our rating


PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

  • 3% Cash Back: Earn unlimited 3% cash back1 on all purchases made with PayPal
  • 2% Cash Back: Earn unlimited 2% on all other purchases everywhere else Mastercard is accepted
  • Redeeming Cash Back: All cash back earned can be redeemed to your PayPal balance account2
  • Annual Fee: $03

PayPal Cashback Mastercard® is a cash back credit card that earns 3% back on eligible PayPal purchases and 2% back on all other eligible purchases. You can use it wherever Mastercard is accepted, whether the merchant takes PayPal payments or not. You can redeem cash back right to your PayPal balance, with no minimum redemption threshold.

PayPal Cashback Mastercard comes with a great lineup of Mastercard perks too, and it doesn’t charge an annual fee.

If you have a PayPal account, there isn’t much reason not to carry this card in your wallet. And if you don’t have a PayPal account, what are you waiting for anyway? Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

What Sets the PayPal Cashback Mastercard Apart?

PayPal Cashback Mastercard has a few notable benefits that set it apart from fellow no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards:

  • Up to 3% Back on Eligible Purchases. You can earn up to 3% back on eligible purchases with this card. Specifically, when you check out with PayPal and select your card as the payment method, you’ll earn at this very impressive rate. Many competing cards top out at 2% cash back.
  • 2% Back Wherever Else Mastercard Is Accepted. You can earn 2% cash back on eligible purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted, with no caps or restrictions. That’s millions of merchants worldwide.
  • Cash Back Accrues Daily and Can Be Redeemed Whenever You Want. You don’t have to wait until the end of your statement cycle to redeem your cash back. With PayPal Cashback Mastercard, cash back accrues daily and can be redeemed to your PayPal balance or linked bank account whenever you want.

Key Features of PayPal Cashback Mastercard

PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a straightforward cash-back credit card. These are its core features:

Earning Cash Back

PayPal Cashback Mastercard earns up to 3% back on eligible purchases. Its cash back program has two tiers:

  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on purchases when you check out with PayPal and select your PayPal Cashback Mastercard as the payment method. You can do this online: just scan the code and select the card as your funding source to earn 3% back on these purchases. Popular merchants that offer PayPal checkout include Target, Walmart, Apple, The Home Depot, Best Buy, and Wayfair.
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all other eligible purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted.

There’s no limit to your cash-back earnings. Cash back doesn’t expire once earned as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming Cash Back

You can redeem your accumulated cash back in any amount at any time to your PayPal balance account.

Additional Benefits

This card comes with these additional Mastercard benefits4:

  • Contactless payments, using the Tap & Go® feature to pay quickly and easily.
  • Mastercard ID theft protection, which alerts you to possible identify theft by monitoring the web and searching for compromised credentials

Important Fees

There’s no annual fee. See PayPal Cashback Mastercard’s rates and terms for other important fee information.

Credit Required

This card is not appropriate for credit-impaired applicants. On the bright side, you’ll receive a credit decision within seconds when you apply and there’s no impact to your credit score if you’re declined.

Note: An approved PayPal Cashback Mastercard application will result in a hard credit inquiry, which may impact your credit score.

Advantages of the PayPal Cashback Mastercard

Here’s why you might want to apply for PayPal Cashback Mastercard:

  • No Annual Fee. PayPal Cashback Mastercard has no annual fee, so there’s no out-of-pocket cost to keep it in your wallet, even if you don’t use it regularly.
  • Unlimited 3% Cash Back on Eligible PayPal Purchases. Check out with PayPal and select this card as your payment method to earn unlimited 3% back, with no caps or restrictions.
  • Unlimited 2% Cash Back on Purchases Everywhere Else Mastercard Is Accepted. This card earns an unlimited 2% cash back wherever else Mastercard is accepted, every day. There’s no limit to your cash-back earnings.
  • No Rotating Categories to Worry About. PayPal Cashback Mastercard’s cash back categories don’t change from month to month or quarter to quarter. You always know how much you’ll earn on eligible purchases.
  • No Redemption Minimum. There’s no minimum to redeem for cash back with PayPal Cashback Mastercard.
  • Cash Back Doesn’t Expire. Once earned, cash back doesn’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. That’s ideal for occasional users who might otherwise forfeit earned cash back.
  • Solid Mastercard Benefits. This card comes with a nice lineup of Mastercard benefits, including 24/7 Identity Theft Protection™ and Tap & Go®.

Disadvantages of the PayPal Cashback Mastercard

Consider these disadvantages before pulling the trigger on your PayPal Cashback Mastercard application:

  • No Consistently Available Sign-Up Bonus. PayPal Cashback Mastercard does not have a consistently available sign-up bonus. That’s a bummer for new applicants looking to maximize their cash back earnings right out of the gate. Some popular flat-rate and tiered cash-back competitors do offer early spend bonuses.
  • No Consistently Available Introductory APR Offer. This card doesn’t consistently offer a 0% APR introductory offer. If you’re looking to finance a major purchase or pay down an existing high-interest credit card balance over several months, look to a competing card that does offer such an interest-free period.
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. For that reason, it isn’t an ideal card to use when traveling abroad.

How the PayPal Cashback Mastercard Stacks Up

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard isn’t the only cash-back credit card in the world, of course. It’s not even the only cash-back credit card in the extended PayPal family. Before you apply, see how it stacks up against the Venmo Credit Card from PayPal’s popular cash transfer subsidiary.

 PayPal Cashback MastercardVenmo Credit Card
3% Cash BackOn all eligible PayPal purchasesOn purchases in your top spend category every month5
2% Cash BackOn all other purchases wherever Mastercard is acceptedOn purchases in your 2nd biggest spend category every month
1% Cash BackNone, all eligible purchases earn at least 2% backOn all other eligible purchases
Annual Fee$0$0

Final Word

PayPal Cashback Mastercard® is not a particularly complicated credit card. It earns unlimited 3% cash back on PayPal purchases and unlimited 2% cash back wherever else Mastercard is accepted.

If that sounds like a good deal, this card should be at or near the top of your consideration list. If you’re looking for a spending aid with more bells and whistles — such as luxe travel perks or bonus categories that earn more than 3% — you might want to pass. But this is an excellent card otherwise.

1Purchases are subject to credit approval, and the PayPal Cashback Mastercard must be used for payment. See Rewards Program Terms for details and restrictions.

2Important information on redeeming Cash Rewards: You need to have a PayPal Balance account to use your redeemed rewards in your balance. If you do not have that account, you can only transfer your Cash Rewards to your bank account or debit card linked to your account with PayPal.

3See Terms and Rates for New Accounts. 

4The benefits and services as further described in the Mastercard Guide to Benefits are provided solely by Mastercard International Incorporated. PayPal and Synchrony Bank do not endorse, recommend, warrant or take responsibility for these offered benefits.

5See Venmo Credit Card Rewards Program Terms. Use of cash back is subject to the terms of the Venmo User Agreement.

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is issued by Synchrony Bank pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard, Tap & Go and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.