If you’re not an avid eBay shopper, this card is probably not for you. Besides the fact that you need an eBay account in order to apply for the card, your rewards points can only be redeemed on the platform, and the highest earnings rates are reserved for eBay purchases. Perhaps the best fit for the card would be someone who buys and sells on eBay as a side gig or hobby.
If you’re looking for more flexibility and better earnings potential in categories like gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores, you can do better with a number of other cash back and rewards cards.
Good rewards on eBay purchases
Limited redemption options
Low point value
- Good rewards on eBay purchases: If you do a lot of shopping on eBay, the points can really add up, especially once you reach $1,000 for the year and the earnings rate bumps up from 3 points per $1 to 5 points per $1.
- Limited redemption options: You can only use your points toward future eBay purchases. Unlike some other cards, you can’t redeem for cash back or gift cards.
- Low point value: Each point you earn is only worth 0.67 cents, according to The Balance’s valuation, which is less than the 1 cent per point you get with many other rewards cards.
The sign-up bonus on the eBay Mastercard is only for a limited time. You have to open the account by March 31, 2020 and spend $150 on eBay within 30 days to earn a $30 bonus statement credit. It’s not a bad deal since many other rewards cards require a higher spend over a longer period of time to earn a sign-up bonus (albeit, higher ones), but you have to act quickly.
Earning Points and Rewards
Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on the first $1,000 spent on eBay in a calendar year. After that, your earnings increase to 5 points per dollar for the remainder of the year. You’ll also get 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores, and 1 point on all other purchases.
International purchases on eBay and purchases not made in U.S. dollars will earn 1 point per $1 spent, and will not count toward the $1,000 threshold.
You may redeem your points for purchases and any related taxes and shipping fees on eBay. You can’t redeem points until you’ve earned 1,500. After that, you can apply your points in any amount during checkout—even for as little as 1 cent.
While the eBay rewards rates seem strong, keep in mind that every 1,500 points translates to $10 off of eBay purchases. That means each point is only worth 0.67 cents.
Say you spend $2,000 on eBay purchases for the year—that will earn you 8,000 points. If you spend another $2,000 on gas, dining, and groceries (the other bonus categories), that’s another 4,000 points. All together, your $4,000 spent would earn 12,000 points, worth $80, or 2% back.
If you’re not an eBay fanatic, consider other cards that offer higher rewards on groceries, gas, or dining and may also have a redemption value of 1 cent per point or higher. Generally cards that aren’t affiliated with a brand usually have more flexible redemption options, too.
Reward points will expire in 24 months if you have have not redeemed them. Your points will also expire after 12 consecutive months of not using the card or if your eBay user account is closed.
How to Make the Most of the Card
For big eBay spenders, using this card for all transactions on the platform is the best way to earn points that can help you save on future purchases. The sooner you meet the $1,000 annual spending threshold, the sooner you will start earning 5 points per $1.
As you reach for that threshold, however, avoid carrying a balance month-to-month. The interest rates offered with this card range from just about average for all credit cards to more than 8 percentage points higher than average, according to The Balance’s ongoing analysis of credit card interest rates.
If you aren’t an eBay regular, you can almost certainly get better rewards on non-eBay spending by using a general cash back or rewards card.
eBay Mastercard’s Other Features
- Concierge for airport services
Unfortunately, Synchrony Bank, this card’s issuer, does not get high marks for customer service. In fact, in the 2019 edition of J. D. Power’s Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Synchrony ranked 10th out of 11 major banks, the same spot as the 2018 study. Still, you can expect at least some of the usual big bank offerings—24/7 customer service by phone, online account access, and customer service chat during select daytime and evening hours.
The eBay Mastercard credit card has standard security features such as zero liability for fraudulent purchases. Because it’s a Mastercard, though, cardholders get Mastercard ID Theft Protection for free, which includes identity theft alerts, credit card replacement, and ID Theft Affidavit assistance if you're a victim of identity theft.
eBay Mastercard’s Fees
The eBay Mastercard credit card has the typical fees you’d find among similar cards, including a 3% foreign transaction fee.