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With 244 million active accounts generating $3.86 billion in revenue as of the second quarter of 2018, online payments company PayPal wants to reward its most loyal customers by offering them the PayPal Extras Mastercard®.
If you use PayPal regularly for transactions and use this card everywhere Mastercard is accepted, then you can take advantage of the points per $1 spent in popular categories. But read the fine print, because some categories have restrictions on how your points can be earned. And don’t get this card if travel and purchase perks are important to you, because it doesn’t come with any.
If you want a card that offers straight cash back without having to worry about how many points you earn in different categories, then the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® or the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may be better options. The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® offers a flat cashback reward that goes right back into your PayPal account but it doesn’t come with many perks. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers slightly fewer points per $1 spent on gas and dining, but it gives cardmembers far more perks than the PayPal cards. Neither of these cards carries an annual fee.
In this review, we take a look at all three cards and give you the information you need to decide which one is best for you.
Where the PayPal Extras Mastercard® stands out in its category
- Top rewards. 3 points per $1 spent on gas and restaurant purchases, 2 points per $1 spent on PayPal and eBay purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
- Good redemption options. You can redeem your points for PayPal cash, air travel, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, gift cards and merchandise.
Where the PayPal Extras Mastercard® falls short in its category
- No love for new cardholders. The PayPal Extras Mastercard® doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus.
- Members only. You must have a PayPal account in order to apply for this card.
- Redemption limits. PayPal cash can only be redeemed in $50 increments and must be put back into a PayPal account.
- Booking restrictions. Air travel, hotel and car rental awards must be booked at least 21 days in advance and you pay taxes and fees. Air travel may require a Saturday night stay and stopovers of more than four hours aren’t allowed. Tickets are issued as non-refundable and non-changeable in coach class. Hotel and car rental awards may have blackout dates. Standard age, driver, credit rental requirements and other restrictions imposed by car rental companies apply with any bookings.
- Points may cost you. If you redeem points for merchandise or gift certificates, you must pay any sales/use taxes, shipping and handling charges. Merchandise can only be returned if it arrives damaged or defective.
- Points are limited. You can only accumulate a maximum of 50,000 reward points during a card year.
- Lower earning. You earn the lowest points per $1 spent in the travel and grocery categories. And you’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee.
- No pay, no points. You won’t earn points if you don’t make your minimum card payment when it’s due. You also won’t be able to earn or redeem points if your account is suspended or terminated.
- No changes. Once you redeem your points for travel or gift cards, it’s final. You won’t get credit if travel is cancelled or a gift card is returned.
- Paltry perks. All you get with this card is price protection for 60 days.
Alternatives to the PayPal Extras Mastercard®
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
Like the PayPal Extras Mastercard®, this card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus to lure in new cardmembers and you must have a PayPal account to apply. Instead of rewards points, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® lets cardmembers earn 2% cash back on every purchase. There are no rotating categories that you have to remember, and redeeming that cash back is easy — it goes right back into your PayPal account, allowing you to spend it any way you wish.
But you will pay a None foreign transaction fee if you use this card outside of the U.S. In addition, there aren’t many perks with this card, which only offers an extended warranty and price protection.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Another credit card with good points per $1 spent on gas and dining is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Like both PayPal cards, this one also has a $0 annual fee. Unlike those cards, it has a welcome offer of a Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express allows cardmembers to earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. It offers slightly fewer points per $1 spent on gas and dining, but it’s much better in the supermarket category. Your cash back comes as reward dollars that you redeem as a statement credit.
It also comes with the perks you’d expect from an American Express card, including rental car loss and damage insurance, Global Assist hotline, purchase protection and access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events like Broadway shows and concert tours and family and sporting events. Terms and restrictions apply.
|PayPal Extras Mastercard®||PayPal Cashback Mastercard®||Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express|
|Regular Purchase APR||22.24%, 26.24% or 29.24% Variable||22.24%, 26.24% or 29.24% variable||13.99%-23.99% Variable|
|Rewards||3 points per $1 spent on gas and restaurant purchases, 2 points per $1 spent on PayPal and eBay purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases||2% cash back on every purchase||3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.|
|Sign-up Bonus||N/A||N/A||Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3%||None||2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.|
The bottom line
If you have a PayPal account, both cards can be a good option for you, especially if you’re not interested in having the bells and whistles offered by other cards in the rewards category.
Go for the PayPal Extras Mastercard® if you want to earn points you can spend for things like travel and gift cards. Choose the PayPal Cashback Mastercard® if you want simple cashback rewards that go right back into your PayPal account. But if you want more flexibility on how you redeem your cash back and have more travel and protection perks, choose the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
The PayPal cards target those who are loyal to the brand and use the online payments company regularly. Looking at the bigger picture, however, there are plenty of rewards and cashback cards that offer better points per $1 spent, more flexible ways to use them and more lucrative sign-up bonuses and perks, so decide what’s most important to you.