PayPal Debit and Credit Cards

Image shows three panels: a man paying for something at a counter; a woman paying for her bill at a cafe; a woman paying for a movie ticket. Text reads: "Paypal's prepaid, debit, and credit cards. The prepaid mastercard–PROS: no credit check, FDIC insured. CONS: can't pull funds from your paypal account; a $4.95 monthly fee. The debit mastercard– PROS: Use funds from your paypal account; cash back rewards. CONS: Primarily for business accounts. The extras mastercard– PROS: no annual fee; earn points. CONS: required credit checks."

Image by Lara Antal © The Balance 2019

PayPal has become well known as one of the first companies that provided consumers the ability to safely send and receive digital and mobile payments. The company also now offers credit, debit, and prepaid cards that you can use to access your balance for online payments and in-person purchases.

When it comes to credit cards, PayPal offers the Extras MasterCard and the Cashback MasterCard. As for not-credit options, the company offers the Prepaid MasterCard and the Cash MasterCard debit card.

PayPal also offers PayPal Credit, which is a fully digital credit line that's not linked to an actual card.

PayPal Extras MasterCard

This card allows you to borrow from PayPal via a credit account with Synchrony Bank. To get the Extras card, you’ll need to qualify, just like you would with any loan or credit card. PayPal will check your credit and ask about income and employment.

The main benefit of the Extras card is the ability to earn points as you spend. Certain purchases earn one to three points per dollar you spend, and you can redeem these points for gift cards, travel vouchers, or cash back to your PayPal account.

The card doesn't have an annual fee, but as with most credit cards, you’ll pay interest if you don’t pay the card off every month, and other fees may apply as well.

It's best to pay off your credit card balance in full every month.

PayPal Cashback MasterCard

This card is similar to the PayPal Extras MasterCard in that you must apply and be approved to open a credit account with Synchrony Bank. In addition, you must also have an account with PayPal to apply for the Cashback card.

The benefit of this card is that you earn 2% cash back with every purchase you make. You must redeem those cash rewards into your PayPal account. There are no redemption thresholds, purchase restrictions, or annual fees to worry about.

You can sign up for either the Cashback or Extras card—not both. PayPal will not allow you to have both cards.

PayPal Prepaid MasterCard

Simply put, this is a prepaid debit card. And like all prepaid debit cards, you’ll load funds onto the card before using it and then spend the money you’ve loaded. For this reason, prepaid cards are useful for managing your spending because you can only spend what you’ve loaded, and it’s impossible to rack up debt and overdraft charges.

You can use the PayPal Prepaid card's mobile app to manage your account. The card does not pull funds directly from your PayPal account balance, but you can transfer funds from that account to your prepaid card account. You can also add money from a Netspend Reload Network location, but you may be charged a fee for that.

If you choose to opt in to the cards Payback Rewards program, you may receive special offers, and you can also receive $20 credits through the card's Refer-A-Friend program.

Almost anybody can get a prepaid card, even if you’ve never built up a credit history or you have bad credit. However, PayPal will still need to verify your identity and will ask for information such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number.

If your PayPal account is frozen for any reason, online access to your prepaid card will also be shut down. Online sellers sometimes experience unexpected freezes, so think twice if there’s any risk to your account.

As with other prepaid cards, there are a number of costs and fees associated with the PayPal Prepaid MasterCard. First, you'll need to pay for the card, and the cost can vary between retailers. You must also load the card with a minimum of $10 to $20, depending on the retailer's requirements.

You’ll also pay $4.95 per month to keep the card open and make unlimited purchase transactions. PayPal will deduct the first $4.95 from your account within 36 hours of you loading it. PayPal also charges various fees for cash withdrawals, depending on location, and for checking your balance via ATM.

PayPal Cash Mastercard

This is a card that functions more like a standard bank account debit card. Instead of loading funds onto your card as with a prepaid card, you can spend the cash directly from your PayPal Cash Plus account balance.

You have to have a Cash Plus account to get the card. You must also undergo an identity verification similar to the one for the prepaid card, but you don't need to have a credit check since it isn't a credit card.

To use the card, you’ll need to have funds in your PayPal Cash Plus account from payments you’ve received or transfers you’ve made into the account. If you don’t have funds in your account before you use the card, your purchase will be rejected.

The card doesn't have any monthly fees or a balance minimum, but it does charge some fees for transferring and withdrawing money. Those include a $3.95 fee for loading cash using the PayPal app and a $2.50 fee for domestic ATM withdrawals. Some other fees apply as well.

Article Sources

  1. PayPal. "Explore Our Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Prepaid Cards and PayPal Credit." Accessed April 14, 2020.

  2. PayPal. "Buy Now, Pay Over Time With PayPal Credit." Accessed April 14, 2020.

  3. PayPal. "PayPal Extras MasterCard." Accessed April 14, 2020.

  4. PayPal. "Turn Your Everyday Purchases Into 2% Cash Back With the PayPal Cashback Mastercard." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  5. PayPal. "PayPal Cashback Mastercard and PayPal Extras Mastercard Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  6. PayPal. "Spend. Smart. PayPal. Prepaid." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  7. PayPal. "Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  8. PayPal. "Cardholder Agreement." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  9. PayPal. "Get Instant Access to Your Money With the PayPal Cash Card." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  10. PayPal. "PayPal Cash Card, Direct Deposit, and Cash Load." Accessed April 15, 2020.