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Earn up to 3% on purchases: PayPal launches improved cash-back card

April 05, 2022
4 min read
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There's a new and improved cash-back card on the block.

PayPal will soon relaunch the no-annual-fee PayPal Cashback Mastercard to offer one of the most impressive earning rates we've seen.

Issued by Synchrony Bank, cardholders will earn a generous 3% cash back on all purchases made through this popular electronic payment service, whether that's online, through the mobile app or to pay in-store with a PayPal QR code.

This is a gamechanger for online shoppers, as thousands of stores accept PayPal at checkout — and 3% cash back is a considerable rewards rate. For all other purchases not made through PayPal, you'll still earn 2% cash back, no matter the purchase.

Overall, this is an exciting new cash-back card that rivals some of what the bigger banks already offer. Here are more of the details.

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

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Who should apply?

You'll want to make sure you're maximizing your groceries with the right credit card. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Traditional cash-back cards often take one of two approaches.

The first is to offer elevated rewards on select purchases such as 3% on restaurants and grocery stores or the rotating 5% cash-back categories on the Chase Freedom Flex. Alternatively, some cards will offer a fixed-rate on all purchases for simplicity — and the best we've typically seen is a 2% rate on all eligible purchases.

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The PayPal Cashback Mastercard will now be a blend of both, offering a preferred 3% earning rate on any purchase made with PayPal.

But given how many merchants now accept the payment service, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard will easily be prolific for a wide variety of purchases.

As such, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard is an ideal fit for those who want to earn cash-back rewards without an annual fee and don't like keeping up with various category restrictions.

Many stores have started to accept PayPal QR codes as a payment method. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

“Our customers shopped across 34 different categories last year showcasing the diversity of their needs and interests, and we wanted to build a credit product that was flexible and better-matched rewards with their spending behaviors,” said Susan Schmidt, VP Consumer Credit, PayPal.

With this new card, PayPal has redesigned its user interface on its app and website so that cardholders can easily manage rewards, make credit card payments and more.

Your cash-back rewards will be readily available to you online, unlike other cards that make you wait until the end of your monthly billing cycle. You can then cash out your rewards to lower your statement bill, make new purchases from millions of participating stores or transfer your rewards to a bank account or debit card on file.

Finally, PayPal Cashback Mastercard will launch with a splash, offering new applicants a $100 welcome bonus after the first $500 spent.

Related: The pros and cons of cash-back credit cards

What if I already have the PayPal Cashback Mastercard?

Photo courtesy of PayPal

This new PayPal Cashback Mastercard is an improved iteration of the existing PayPal Cashback Mastercard.

If you happen to already carry this particular card, you will be automatically upgraded into this new, up-to-3% earning scheme.

Related: How to choose a cash-back card

Bottom line

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard offers simplicity and value — two key factors that may be important to consumers who don't want to overcomplicate the principle of earning rewards.

If you've been a long-time fan of this payment service for its ease of use and security features, you may want to consider applying for this new cash-back card that will help you maximize your everyday purchases. The new card will "will soon be available to select customers who can apply through the PayPal app and paypal.com and will continue to roll out in the coming weeks," but we'll keep you posted on when applications are officially live for this product.

Featured image by LightRocket via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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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 premium travel card for value
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

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more