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PayPal Credit Cards: Should You Get One?

7 min read
Ellen Sirull By Ellen Sirull Oct 22, 2019 | Updated Nov 18, 2019

PayPal is best known for being one of the first platforms for sending and receiving money via its own app. However, in addition to enabling payments, it also has two credit cards and several debit cards for consumers to use.

You must have a PayPal account in order to apply for a PayPal card. When you click “Apply Now” below, you’ll be prompted to log in to PayPal or create an account before applying.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the different PayPal credit cards, followed by the available debit cards.

PayPal Credit Cards

PayPal Cashback Mastercard® PayPal Extras Mastercard®
What You Get 
  • 2% cash back on every purchase
  • 3X points per $1 at Gas stations and Restaurants
  • 2X points per $1 on PayPal and eBay purchases
  • 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
Redemption Details Redeem cash rewards directly to your PayPal account or bank account Redeem points for gift cards, travel vouchers, and cash back to your PayPal account or bank account
Annual Fee $0 $0
Foreign Transaction Fee None 3%
Issuer Synchrony Bank Synchrony Bank
Who’s It For? PayPal users who want straightforward rewards PayPal users who are looking to get extra points on gas and restaurants

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR22.24%, 26.24% or 29.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Pros

  • PayPal’s cash back card provides a simple rewards structure with 2% cash back rewards on every purchase.
  • There’s no annual fee.
  • You can redeem cash back directly to your PayPal balance or bank account.
  • You can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Cons

  • There’s no welcome bonus, like you can get with many other rewards credit cards.
  • Issued by Synchrony Bank, which is notorious for cardholder complaints
2% cash back on all purchases is a rare find, and about as good as it gets for non-category purchases. You’ll find a similar offer from the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review), which provides 2% back as well (1% when you make purchases, and 1% when you pay for purchases).

Bottom Line

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a good card for general spending. The simple structure is easy to follow and it offers consistent rewards, ideal for anyone who wants an uncomplicated credit card without bonus categories to worry about.

The PayPal Extras Mastercard

PayPal Extras Mastercard®

PayPal Extras Mastercard®

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR22.24%, 26.24%, or 29.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Pros

  • Restaurant and gas purchases earn 3X points per dollar.
  • If you spend regularly on PayPal and eBay, getting 2X points per dollar is a nice value you won’t get with many cards
  • Points can be easily redeemed into a PayPal or bank account, with other redemption options as well.
  • There’s no annual fee.
  • Use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Cons

  • No welcome bonus
  • Issued by Synchrony Bank, which is notorious for cardholder complaints
Want to earn a whole lot of rewards fast? To get a great welcome bonus, check out our list of the best credit card signup bonus offers.

Bottom Line

If you regularly spend a lot at restaurants and gas stations, this rewards card may earn you some good rewards. However, you can likely get more overall value from another card that offers introductory bonus points or cash back in addition to spending rewards.

PayPal Debit Cards

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® PayPal Cash Card
What You Get  Free direct deposit transfers to access funds more quickly, plus 130,000 locations to add funds across the U.S. A Mastercard debit card that’s linked to your Cash Plus account, with access to your money at 33,000 MoneyPass ATM locations at no cost.
Additional Benefits
  • Sign up for the Payback Rewards program to get special offers
  • Refer-a-Friend program
  • Card balances are eligible for FDIC coverage
Monthly Fee
Foreign Transaction Fee None 2.5%
Issuer Bancorp Bank Bancorp Bank
Who’s It For? PayPal users with poor or no credit history, who may need a payment option outside credit cards PayPal Cash Plus users who want a debit card to use where Mastercard is accepted.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

Our rating
Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$4.95 monthly
Regular APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Pros

  • No credit check needed for approval. If you have no credit or are rebuilding your credit, you can get this card to use anywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.
  • You can earn rewards by referring friends.
  • This card makes you eligible for a tiered savings account, so you can work on stashing away money for an emergency fund.

Cons

  • $4.95 monthly fee
  • ATM withdrawal fees of up to $1.95, and OTC withdrawal fees of up to $4.00
  • Like other debit cards, prepaid cards don’t help you build credit history. Read more about how to build credit with credit cards.
  • Because it’s a debit card, you’ll likely incur fees or have a hold placed when using it for car rentals or at some hotels.

Bottom Line

If you’re worried that your creditworthiness will lead to credit card denials, you can use this prepaid card to buy things wherever Mastercard debit cards are accepted. However, you may want to consider a secured card or another starter credit card to build up a credit history.

If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or freelancer, you can also check out the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard.

The PayPal Cash Card

PayPal Cash Card

PayPal Cash Card

Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Pros

  • Access funds in your PayPal Cash Plus account immediately at eligible locations.
  • No annual or monthly fees
  • No withdrawal fees at MoneyPass ATMs
  • No credit check needed for approval

Cons

  • Requires a Cash Plus account
  • Withdrawals at non-MoneyPass ATMs have a $2.50 fee, and OTC withdrawals cost $3.00.
  • It won’t help you build credit history because it’s a debit card.
  • Like the Prepaid Mastercard, you’ll likely incur fees or have a hold placed when using it for car rentals or at some hotels.

Bottom Line

The PayPal Cash Card is similar to the Prepaid Mastercard, but it has no monthly fee and requires a PayPal Cash Plus account. If you have a Cash Plus account it’s a better option than the Prepaid Mastercard, and could be helpful if you just need a way to make purchases but don’t want your credit to be a factor in getting a card.

PayPal Credit Cards vs. PayPal Credit

Aside from credit cards, PayPal offers another credit option in the form of a credit line for purchases.

PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit isn’t a card, but rather a digital credit line that provides six months of deferred-interest financing on purchases of $99 or more anywhere PayPal is accepted for payment. You must make minimum payments each month (which vary depending on the purchase amount).

Interest won’t be charged if you pay the full amount within six months. But if you fail to pay back the balance on time, interest will be charged on the full balance for the entire six months. The same goes if you miss a payment or make a late payment.

So you can use PayPal Credit to get some extra time to pay. But you’ll want to make extra sure that if you do use this credit line, you pay everything off ahead of the deadline because you’ll rack up lots of extra interest charges if you miss it.

As of the publication date, new accounts have an interest rate of 25.99% Variable APR.

A good alternative to deferred-interest financing is a 0% introductory APR card that can give you more flexibility along with a low interest rate. With credit card 0% offers like these, you don’t run the same risk of incurring interest on the full balance for the full term. If you don’t have a card with a 0% rate, your best bet is to always pay your statement balance in full each month to avoid incurring interest.

You can also use PayPal Credit for purchases of $98.99 or less to get some extra time to pay — as long as you pay the amount in full by the statement due date.

Alternatives to the PayPal Credit Cards

There are cards with similar offerings that you may want to consider instead of the PayPal options. Here are some of our favorites, including what they’re good for and why we like them.

Good For Card Why We Like It
Online Shopping Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review)
  • 5% cash back at Amazon, Whole Foods Market
  • 2% cash back at Gas stations, Restaurants, Drug stores
  • $70 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon approval
Dining and Gas Rewards Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card (Review)
  • 3X points on Dining, Gas, Travel, Streaming services
  • 30,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Flat-Rate Rewards, Welcome Bonus Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review)
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
Overall Value, Flexible Rewards Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review)
  • 3% cash back category of your choice, including Online shopping, Gas, Dining, Travel
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores, Wholesale clubs
  • 3% and 2% rewards only up to $2,500 per quarter, then 1% cash back
  • $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

Alternatives to the PayPal Debit Cards

There’s no shortage of prepaid debit cards out there, from a variety of financial institutions. Some of the best include:

Venmo Debit Card

Venmo Debit Card

Venmo Debit Card

Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR

Venmo offers a debit card that lets you pay with your Venmo balance wherever Mastercard debit cards are accepted. There’s no monthly fee, but there are withdrawal fees.

American Express Serve Prepaid Card

American Express® Serve®

American Express® Serve®

Our rating
Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$6.95 Monthly Fee ($0 with $500 Direct Deposit)
Regular APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to American Express® Serve® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The American Express® Serve® (Review) is a reloadable prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere American Express cards are accepted. It provides access to Amex Offers to earn rewards, purchase protection for up to 90 days for eligible items, and fraud protection. There’s a monthly fee ($6.95), but that’s waived if you use a qualifying direct deposit to fund the card or live in Texas, New York, or Vermont.

Read more in our Review of the Amex Serve Prepaid Card.

American Express Bluebird

American Express Bluebird Card

American Express Bluebird Card

Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Bluebird is Amex’s bank-like offering that enables you to easily send and receive money, and it’s also a debit card that’s accepted anywhere American Express can be used. A Bluebird account has virtually no fees including no monthly fee, overdraft fees, or bill pay fee.

Like the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, you can sign up for direct deposit to access your funds more quickly, too. You can also add funds with cash or debit for free at most Walmart stores.

Visa Prepaid Cards

Visa Prepaid Cards

Visa Prepaid Cards

Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual FeeSee Terms
Regular APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Visa offers various prepaid debit cards to easily pay bills and make purchases anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Visa prepaid cards usually have an initiation fee when purchased in stores, but some are available online without a fee. Like other prepaid cards, there’s no credit check involved. Visa also provides gift cards and healthcare cards for use with HSA, FSA, or HRA programs.

Remember that if you’re looking to build or rebuild credit, prepaid debit cards generally won’t impact your credit scores because they aren’t reported to the credit bureaus.

The Bottom Line on the PayPal Cards

The PayPal credit and debit cards can certainly be useful, and the reward rates for the credit cards are competitive. But with more payment methods on the market than ever, you may find some other options that give you more value than the PayPal cards (even if you don’t have great credit).

You can often get introductory interest rates (0% intro APRs for purchases or balance transfers) with credit cards. Or you may want to score a sweet signup bonus after being approved, but the PayPal cards don’t come with anything like that. Depending on what you’re looking for, perhaps you’d just rather go with a different credit card issuer.

So take the time to survey your choices, and don’t apply until you find a card that fits neatly into your spending habits and lifestyle.

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AT A GLANCE

PayPal account holders can get one of two PayPal credit cards. While they provide decent rewards and free transfers of those rewards to your PayPal account, there aren’t any signup bonuses offered. Debit cards are available as well.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to American Express® Serve® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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