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PayPal Users Should Think Twice About Extras Mastercard

June 11, 2019
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
PayPal Extras
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PayPal had 210 million active accounts as of August 2017, and like most large businesses, it wants to keep its customers coming back. That’s why it lets users earn rewards with credit cards like the PayPal Extras Mastercard®, issued by Synchrony Bank.

But even PayPal diehards might earn more cash back or better travel rewards with other credit cards — including another option offered by PayPal.

The basics

With the PayPal Extras Mastercard®, you earn 3 points per dollar spent at gas stations and restaurants, 2 points per dollar for purchases made on PayPal or eBay, and 1 point per dollar for all other spending. Cardholders can earn up to 50,000 points per year.

You must earn $50 to make a cash redemption, which is deposited into your PayPal account. But you need 6,000 points to earn $50, which works out to a reward rate of 0.83 cents per point. The standard cash-back return for most cards is 1 cent per point. You can also redeem points for travel, merchandise or gift certificates, although there are minimum redemption thresholds for those categories, as well.

The annual fee is $0. The ongoing APR is 22.24% - 29.24% Variable. You may add an authorized user to your card.

Other redemption options and benefits

You’ll have to plan far ahead to use points for travel. You must book flights through the PayPal Extras Mastercard® portal at least 21 days in advance and you might have to spend Saturday night at your destination to use points. Stopovers can’t exceed four hours, and you must complete travel within 30 days of the original departure date. Also, you can redeem only for coach seats.

Hotel stay and car rental redemptions have similar restrictions: 21-day advance booking is required and blackout dates apply. You need a minimum of 15,000 points to redeem all travel rewards.

Merchandise redemptions require at least 3,000 points, and gift cards for restaurants, gas stations and retail stores require 2,200 points. The PayPal shopping portal offers discounts at many online stores and travel sites such as

Unlike many credit card reward programs, reward points earned with the PayPal Extras Mastercard® expire. You must use them within 24 months of earning them or you lose them.

Because the card is a Mastercard, you get all company’s typical purchase and protection benefits. These include zero liability for unauthorized transactions, ID theft alerts and ID theft resolution help, extended manufacturer warranties, and price protection within 60 days of a purchase.

Alternative cards

High minimum redemption levels are the PayPal Extras Mastercard®’s greatest drawback. If you’re a PayPal member and are seeking cash back, you might consider the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, which was introduced in August 2017. It pays a flat 2% cash-back rate on all purchases, doesn’t limit the amount you can earn and doesn’t require a minimum redemption amount. You can redeem cash directly to your PayPal account, and it doesn’t charge an annual fee.

If you want a higher rewards rate, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms Apply. This card has a $95 annual fee. And it offers a welcome bonus: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

And if you’re looking for more flexible travel rewards, consider the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You get a bonus after signing up: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel — and pile up an unlimited 2 miles for every dollar spent on anything. You can travel on any airline or stay at any hotel anytime without restrictions. Redemption is simple: You apply your miles to any travel-related expense and it’s taken off your statement. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

Should you get PayPal Extras Mastercard®?

If you use PayPal a lot, having the PayPal Extras Mastercard® and linking it to your account might make your bookkeeping a bit easier. But even if you’re a diehard PayPal user or eBay shopper, the PayPal Extras Mastercard®’s rewards aren’t easy to earn and redeem. You’re better off with one of NerdWallet’s best rewards cards.

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