Full Review of Paypal Extras Mastercard
Higher rewards rates in certain spending categories
Multiple rewards redemption options
Reward redemption values are poor
Many rewards redemption options have restrictions
No one-time offer
- Higher Rewards Rates in Certain Spending Categories: You will earn 3 points per dollar on gas and restaurant purchases and 2 points per dollar on PayPal and eBay purchases. These points earning rates are decent for a credit card with no annual fee, but once you take the value of each point into account they aren’t as good as they appear.
- Multiple Rewards Redemption Options: Having multiple ways to redeem your rewards is a nice feature when some cards only offer cash back. You can redeem your rewards for gift cards, merchandise, PayPal Cash, and travel vouchers for airfare, hotels, rental cars, and vacation awards.
- Reward Redemption Values Are Poor: The PayPal Extras Mastercard only shares valuations for PayPal Cash and gift cards. It takes 6,000 points to earn $50 in PayPal Cash, a value of 0.83 cents per point, and 800 points for a $5 gift card, a value of 0.625 cents per point. These redemption values are poor, especially combined with the relatively low points earning rates on this card.
- Many Rewards Redemption Options have Restrictions: The card doesn't publish redemption rates for its travel or merchandise redemption options. Redeeming points for travel can be restrictive. In general, you must book your travel at least 21 days in advance of the travel and you need at least 15,000 points for a travel voucher.
- No One-Time Offer: Many no-annual-fee credit cards offer a bonus to entice potential cardholders to apply. Unfortunately, this card is not one of them.
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
The PayPal Extras Mastercard is for diehard PayPal fans with average to excellent credit. Unfortunately, the rewards earning rates combined with the reward redemption rates result in a very poor value for the vast majority of consumers.
You can get higher earnings and redemption rates on restaurant, gas, PayPal, eBay, and all other purchases with other credit cards. This card doesn't even offer any ancillary benefits that make it worthwhile. Extreme PayPal fans would likely be better served with the PayPal Cashback Mastercard that offers 2% cash back and no annual fee.
Rewards Earning Details
The PayPal Extras Mastercard has three main rewards earning rates. You earn 3 points per dollar on gas and restaurant purchases, 2 points per dollar on PayPal and eBay purchases, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. While these reward earning rates seem reasonable for a no-annual-fee credit card, they’re actually below average when you consider the highest redemption value is 0.83 cents per point. That results in roughly a value of 2.5 cents per dollar on gas and restaurant purchases, 1.67 cents per dollar on PayPal and eBay purchases and 0.83 cents per dollar on other purchases.
Other cash back credit cards with no annual fee offer higher cash-back rates in these categories. For PayPal, eBay, and all other purchases, a simple 2% cash-back card would earn you more value per dollar spent.
To make matters worse, reward points expire 24 months after you first accrue them or if you don’t make a purchase with the card for 24 consecutive months. You’ll also lose your points if you fail to make two or more consecutive minimum payments on time or if you close your account.
Rewards Redemption Details
You can redeem rewards through the PayPal Extras Reward Redemption Servicing site by logging into your PayPal account and accessing your PayPal Extras Mastercard. Otherwise, you can call 866-300-6432 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time Monday through Saturday to make redemptions.
You can redeem points for gift cards starting at 800 points for a $5 gift card, a value of 0.625 cents per point. A better option is redeeming 6,000 points for $50 PayPal Cash which results in a 0.83 cents per point valuation. Unfortunately, it can take a while to build up a 6,000 point balance and smaller redemption amounts are not available.
Other redemption options include merchandise starting at 3,000 points and travel vouchers for airfare, hotels, car rental, and vacation awards starting at 15,000 points. The valuation depends on your specific redemption option, and estimated point values are not available unless you're a cardholder trying to redeem your points.
Redeeming rewards can be extremely restrictive. Air travel, hotel, and car rental redemptions must be made at least 21 days in advance of travel. Air travel may require having a Saturday night stay, and interim stopovers of more than four hours are not allowed. Air travel must also be completed within 30 days of departure, so extended trips aren’t possible. There are many other restrictions for air travel, including no circle trips, no open-jaw tickets, and more.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
If you choose to use this card, you can maximize your rewards by putting all of your restaurant and fuel purchases on it. All other purchases can earn better rewards value with another higher percentage flat rate cash-back credit card that pays more than 1%, such as the Citi Double Cash card which offers 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% cash back when you pay your bill.
When you accumulate 6,000 points, your best bet is likely cashing points in for $50 in PayPal Cash, at a value of 0.83 cents per point. However, check your travel voucher options, starting at 15,000 points, to see if you can receive a higher value per point before you cash out.
Synchrony Bank, which issues the Paypal Extras Mastercard, ranked second to last among 11 national issuers in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, with a score of 780 out of 1,000. The national issuer average was 806 points.
Customer service is available around the clock by calling the number on the back of your card or 866-657-5788. Live chat is available every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m EST when you're logged in to your PayPal Mastercard account.
This card offers Mastercard ID Theft Protection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at no charge if you believe you are a victim of identity theft. Coverage includes an online monitoring dashboard, monthly risk alert and newsletter, identity monitoring, resolution services, lost wallet assistance, single bureau credit monitoring from TransUnion, financial account takeover protection, and URL or domain monitoring.
You also have access to Mastercard Global Service, which provides 24-hour assistance with lost and stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement, and emergency cash advances. You can receive a temporary card as soon as the next day in the United States or two business days almost everywhere outside of the United States.
The PayPal Extras Mastercard's Fees
The fees this card charges are standard for a rewards credit card. It does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee and the variable purchase APRs offered are a bit high compared to the average for all credit cards.
Unless you absolutely must have the PayPal Extras Mastercard, you would likely be better served by a cash-back credit card like the Citi Double Cash, which offers 1% cash back on purchases and 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. The PayPal Extras Mastercard's reward earning rates combined with its reward redemption rates don’t add up to a strong value for consumers. The card doesn't provide any other outstanding benefits, either.
For restaurant and gas purchases, you can earn higher cash back or rewards rates with several other credit cards that treat those as bonus rewards categories. If you still want a PayPal credit card, you may want to consider the PayPal Cashback Mastercard, which offers 2% cash back on all purchases.