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Boost your rewards by using PayPal with your credit cards

March 24, 2020
5 min read
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Using PayPal doesn’t mean you can’t earn credit card rewards along the way. Several card issuers offer bonuses for using their cards with PayPal. And, PayPal offers its own branded cards that allow cardholders to earn cash back or points that can be redeemed for gift cards and travel vouchers. TPG takes a look on how you can maximize your credit card rewards when using PayPal.

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Do I earn rewards using my credit card on PayPal?

(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Using your credit card to earn rewards with PayPal is easy. Just link your card to your PayPal account at the website and select the card when making payments. You'll earn rewards as you would with any other purchase. Several major retailers accept PayPal payments in-store and online including, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Etsy, Brookstone, Home Depot and IKEA.

PayPal users can add multiple cards to their accounts, making it easy to rack up rewards from a number of programs at once. Any Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express card with a registered billing address can be used with PayPal.

Best credit cards to use with PayPal

Sometimes you'll be able to earn more by using your credit card in conjunction with PayPal. Issuers like Chase, Citibank and Discover have offered bonus rewards promotions on PayPal payments in the past year.

Discover made PayPal a 5% cash back category for Discover it Cash Back holders from June through September in 2019.

Related reading: Discover adds extra 5% cash back categories at PayPal, Target and Walmart

Like the Discover it Cash Back card, the Chase Freedom card (No longer open to new applicants) offers 5% cash back in select rotating quarterly bonus categories (on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate). Last year, it made PayPal one of those categories.

Typically, non-bonus categories earn 1% cash back with the Chase Freedom card.

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The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Last summer, Citi offered some cardholders a $20 statement credit for spending $120 on PayPal purchases.

Both Discover and Chase make it easy to pay with rewards when checking out with PayPal.

Related reading: Why earning 5x points while sitting on the couch is extremely easy this quarter

Branded PayPal credit cards

PayPal offers two branded credit card options: A cash back Mastercard and a rewards Mastercard. PayPal credit cards are issued by Synchrony Bank.

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

PayPal's Cashback Mastercard awards 2% cash back on all purchases and doesn't charge an annual fee. To apply for the card, you must have a PayPal account.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The PayPal Extras Mastercard awards 3 points per dollar spent at gas stations and restaurants, and 2 points per dollar on PayPal and Ebay purchases. Other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, travel vouchers and cash back.

Does PayPal or my bank charge a fee for using a credit card?

PayPal doesn’t charge a fee on credit card payments for goods and services, but it charges a 2.9% fee on money sent to friends or family members. PayPal payments aren't cash advances. They're treated like retail transactions and shouldn't incur additional bank fees.

Can I send money with my credit card?

You can use your PayPal-linked credit card to send money to family and friends. PayPal charges a 2.9% fee plus 30 cents for the service.

Is using your credit card on PayPal a cash advance?

Payments made through PayPal aren’t considered cash advances, so you shouldn't expect a fee or cash advance APR on the transaction from your bank.

Payments through PayPal could even make you money if you're using a card whose bonus is larger than the fee you'd pay to PayPal.

Is PayPal safe?

PayPal has been around since 2002 and is generally safe to use, especially if you are using PayPal to pay for goods and services. PayPal uses industry-standard security and encryption and doesn’t share your credit card or banking information with payment recipients.

PayPal offers its own purchase protection on items that don't arrive or aren't as described and the credit cards paired with the account may offer their own protections.

Bottom line

Using a credit card with your PayPal account can be an easy way to earn extra rewards on the purchases you're already making, especially if you're a Citi, Chase or Discover cardholder. If you are a Discover or Chase cardholder, PayPal makes it especially easy to spend the rewards you've earned.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023