Full Review of eBay Mastercard
Generous points rewards
Limited redemption options
- Generous Points Rewards: This card's rewards structure is fairly lucrative for frequent eBay shoppers, and the more you spend, the more beneficial it gets. You'll earn 3 rewards points per dollar spent on the site, up to $1,000 annually, after which the rate rises to 5 points per dollar spent. Cardholders also earn 2 points per dollar by using the card at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Every 1,500 points accumulated on this card is worth about $10 when redeemed for purchases during checkout, making each point worth roughly 0.67 cents. That's a lower point value than some other rewards cards, whose points are worth 1 cent or more, depending on how you redeem them. However, the fact that the card offers as much as 3 or 5 points per dollar spent makes the eBay Mastercard competitive, despite a low point value. You're essentially getting 2 cents to spend on eBay for every dollar spent on the site up to $1,000 of annual spending, and 3.35 cents on spending above that level.
- Restrictions on Redemption: Points may only be redeemed for purchases and costs related to taxes and shipping on ebay.com. While it’s not uncommon for retail-branded credit cards to limit redemptions in this way, it’s important before you sign up for this card to realize that its points can't be redeemed for cash, or for merchandise that isn’t bought on eBay. In addition, you must amass at least 1,500 points before you can redeem rewards, and points expire within 24 months if they haven't been used for eligible purchases. Those are notable drawbacks compared with cards that allow you to redeem rewards in any amount at any time, and where those miles, points, or dollars never expire from your account.
- Customer Satisfaction With the Card Issuer is Below Average: Most people don't interact with their credit card issuer very often. But when you need to do so, it’s often a matter of some urgency and even stress, and you want a satisfying experience. Unfortunately, that’s less likely to be the case with Synchrony Bank, which issues this card, than with almost any other card issuer, according the J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. In its 2019 survey, Synchrony ranks 11th out of the 12 card issuers, with a score that places it among the least satisfying companies for credit-card customer service.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
True to its name, the eBay Mastercard should only be considered by customers of the online retail portal—and fairly frequent and free-spending ones at that. While the card provides respectable rewards on all eBay purchases, the rewards rate nearly doubles once you've spent a $1,000 a year at the site—a hefty $100 or so per month. If you spend significantly less than that, say $20 or less a month, and don't use the card beyond eBay, you risk having some of the points you accumulate begin to expire (at 24 months) before you reach the 1,500-point minimum threshold to redeem rewards.
eBay Mastercard Bonus
New cardholders earn a $30 bonus statement credit when they spend $150 on eBay within the first 30 days of opening an account. While that's fairly easy to earn provided you’re an eBay regular (one large purchase would get you there) it’s also one of the smallest cash bonuses for a credit card—more a 20%-off coupon on $150 in early spending than a cash windfall. It may take up to two billing cycles for the statement credit to be applied to your account.
By comparison, other no-annual-fee rewards cards typically offer a $150 or $200 bonus, albeit with a higher spending requirement of $500 or more. Those cards also typically allow for a longer period, often three months or more, to reach the spending requirement.
Rewards Earning Details
This card has a tiered structure for rewards based on how much you spend. You'll earn 3 points per dollar spent on the first $1,000 of purchases made on eBay, and 5 points per dollar on your remaining spending within the calendar year. And be aware that if your purchases for the year fall below a net total of $1,000 due to returns or adjustments, you'll go back to earning 3 points per dollar spent.
Cardholders also earn 2 points per dollar spent on all gas, grocery store, and restaurant purchases. All other purchases on the card earn 1 point.
Rewards Redemption Details
Points may be redeemed for purchases and related taxes and shipping costs solely on ebay.com. You must earn at least 1,500 reward points in order to redeem. Each point is worth 0.67 cents, since you receive $10 in credit for every 1,500 points. Points expire within 24 months if they haven't been used for eligible purchases.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To get the most out of this card, you should of course use it for all of your eBay purchases. After you reach the $1,000 spending threshold, you'll start earning 5 points per dollar on eBay buys, which is when the rewards really begin to grow.
You can also consider making the eBay Mastercard your primary card when buying gas and groceries, and when dining out, since it pays a generous 2 points per dollar of those purchases. Even with a modest point value of $0.67, that rate makes the card competitive, or close to it, with cards that earn 1.5% in cash-back—provided, of course, that eBay spending credit is as valuable to you as cash. All other spending earns 1 point.
The average eBay user spent about $500 a year in 2017, according to Forbes magazine. Assuming that figure has held fairly steady, if you spent that amount on eBay, you'd earn 1,500 points with this card—3 points per dollar on each of 500 dollars. That spending, which just meets the threshold for redemption, would earn you a mere $10 (at a value of $0.67 per point) for use on eBay.com.
However, putting an additional $10,000 on this card for gas, dining out, and groceries (close to what the average American family spends annually on those items, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), would earn you an additional 20,000 points, worth another $134 in rewards.
At the end of the calendar year, you'd have 21,500 points worth $144 when redeemed for eBay purchases. That doesn't account for any other spending you’d charge to the card at the rate of 1 point per dollar.
Let's say you're a true eBay aficionado who spends triple the amount of what the average site user spends: that is, $1,500 a year, or more than $100 a month. You’d make 3,000 points on the first $1,000 in spending (when the rate of 3 points per dollar spent applies) and a further 2,500 points on the remaining $500 (since the rate jumps to 5 points per dollar spent above the $1,000 mark). You'd earn 5,500 points with this card, worth about $37 in rewards.
We'll further assume that, like our average family, you'd spend an additional $10,000 on this card for gas, dining out, and groceries. That spending would earn you an additional 20,000 points, at the 2 points per dollar spent rate for those categories. Those points would add another $134 in rewards.
Overall, at the end of the calendar year, you'd have 25,500 points worth $171 when redeemed for eBay purchases. Again, that's without considering miscellaneous spending that would earn 1 point per dollar.
- Identity theft monitoring
- Zero-liability protection for unauthorized purchases
- Access to experiences and events worldwide
Synchrony Bank, which issues the eBay Mastercard, received a rating of 780 in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. That's below the national average of 806. Comparatively, top-ranked Discover received a rating of 842.
Customer service is available 24/7 for the eBay Mastercard by calling 844-435-0237. Cardholders can also contact customer service via live chat seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST by logging into their account at ebaymastercard.syf.com.
This card comes with standard security features common to all Mastercard products, including identity theft monitoring, fraud protection, lost wallet assistance, credit report monitoring, and domain monitoring.
It also comes with EMV chip technology.
This is obviously a card for eBay shoppers alone, since its high points rates are offered only on eBay purchases and all rewards must be redeemed on the site. That said, few if any cards will reward eBay shopping like the eBay Mastercard, especially for those who spend a lot (as in more than about $100 a month) on the site.
But with virtually no perks and low-rated customer service by its issuer, this card has little else to recommend it. Its rewards on gas, groceries, and dining out essentially amount to about 1.4%. Numerous flat-rate and tiered cash-back cards offer rates higher than that, and allow you to redeem rewards in a range of ways to boot.
For example, the no-annual fee Discover It card offers 5% cash back up to $1,500 in spending each quarter on quarterly rotating categories (like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Amazon) and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The Citi Double Cash card offers an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. Both of those cards offer highly flexible options when it comes to how rewards can be redeemed.