PayPal Cashback Mastercard: Shop Through PayPal for Extra Cash Back

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard®* offers one of the strongest cash-back rates available for a credit card with no annual fee, with an even higher rate if  you can shop through PayPal. 

It still offers a strong rate for non-PayPal transactions, but it falls flat in terms of additional card perks when compared with its flat-rate, no-annual-fee rewards credit card competitors. There’s no welcome bonus or introductory APR offer, which many of PayPal Cashback Mastercard’s top competitors feature.

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PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Intro OfferN/A

APR17.24%, 26.24%, or 29.24% Variable

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit

Reward Rates
  • Earn 3% cash back on PayPal purchases
  • Get 2% cash back* every day, every purchase, every time you use your card. No exceptions. No rotating categories to keep track of

Annual Fee$0

Foreign Transaction Fees 3%

  • Earn 3% cash back on PayPal purchases
  • Get 2% cash back* every day, every purchase, every time you use your card. No exceptions. No rotating categories to keep track of

Rewards and redemption

The PayPal card features a simple yet lucrative rewards program. Cardholders earn a strong 3% cash-back rate for purchases made using PayPal, and 2% cash back for everything else. 

There are a number of major brands that you can use PayPal to facilitate your purchases with, including Apple, Best Buy, HP, Steam, Adidas, Under Armour, Target, Ebay and Walmart, to name a few. There are even some brands with a QR code at their checkout counters that you can scan to earn 3% cash back while shopping in person.

2% is the competitive rate for cash-back credit cards with no annual fee. Some of the PayPal card’s top competitors — like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card — both offer a similar rewards program. The Active Cash earns 2% cash rewards for purchases and the Double Cash earns 2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay it off). However, only the PayPal Cashback Mastercard offers cardholders the opportunity to bump rewards to 3% cash back. So when it comes to rewards, the Paypal card beats both.

Your cash back will be added to your PayPal account approximately three days after making a qualifying purchase. From there, you can use it to fund your purchases via the payment platform.

Other card perks

Outside of its lucrative rewards, there aren’t many additional perks. You’ll get the standard identity theft Mastercard protection, plus purchase protection for your new purchases, but aside from that there are no additional perks or welcome bonuses to earn.

This is where the PayPal card falls short when compared with the competition. Competitors like the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card feature an introductory APR offer to help avoid interest charges. The Active Cash card even offers a few extra perks, and both cards offer new cardholders the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus.

Alternative cards

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a good rewards card if you make your purchases through PayPal, but it falls short in its other features. Consider these two rewards cards if you’re looking for a more well-rounded card experience.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

The Active Cash Card has a few advantages over the PayPal card, despite its rewards program being slightly overshadowed. It offers 2% cash rewards for your purchases, along with a few extra perks and a welcome bonus. Cardholders can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases with the card in the first three months of account opening.

It doesn’t have the advantage of an additional rewards category for specific purchases, but it still offers the flat 2% base rate of the PayPal card. But with the Active Cash’s  welcome bonus, introductory APR offer and other extra perks, it presents a strong alternative to the PayPal card.

You can learn more about the card in our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Most U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations won’t let you shop via PayPal, but you could still earn a strong cash-back rate for your essentials by using the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express. It earns 3% cash back (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and for select U.S. online retail purchases, and 1% for other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

So you’ll have to work within the card’s bonus categories, but it presents a good opportunity to earn rewards for necessary purchases, plus for some online shopping. It offers one of the best cash-back rates for a no annual fee card, plus adds a welcome offer (earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases with the card within the first 6 months) and an introductory 0% APR offer for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening (then 16.99% to 27.99% variable).

Get all the details in our Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.


Will my cash back expire?

No, so long as your account is in good standing, your cash back won’t expire.

Does the PayPal Cash Card have foreign transaction fees?

Yes, if you use your PayPal card outside of the country, you’ll incur a 3% fee.

Do you need a Paypal account to get the Paypal Cash Card?

Yes, you’ll need to make a PayPal account in order to apply for the card.

*All information about the PayPal Cashback Mastercard has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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