Nearly every major retailer, hotel, and airline offers a credit card program that awards loyalty points on every purchase. The eBay MasterCard, issued by Synchrony Bank, is one of the reward credit cards that can be used to make purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted and redeem for PayPal cash, travel rewards, or gift cards. This card is probably most ideal for frequent eBay & PayPal users but offers points on other purchases too. But even faithful eBay & PayPal customers will want to read all the fine print on the eBay credit card website before signing up for this card as they might benefit from other credit cards instead.
Although a sign-up bonus shouldn’t be the primary reason anybody applies for a new credit card as annual fees & inferior reward payouts can outweigh the initial bonus, it might be the deciding factor if stuck between two or three different credit cards.
New credit card applicants will receive a $30 statement credit after making your first purchase with the new eBay credit card. Although this isn’t the highest sign-up bonus offered by a points rewards credit card, it is very easy to obtain. Certain credit cards require spending at least $700 to $2,000 to earn the sign-up bonus. These bonuses have higher monetary values, but for somebody that just wants a second credit card to increase their credit limit will be pleased that they can earn a bonus without much hassle.
The eBay website often advertises the $30 bonus as a “time-sensitive offer” that typically ends at the end of each calendar quarter. For example, the first quarter offer might expire on March 31st, 2nd quarter on June 30th, etc. If you are signing up toward the end of the bonus period, as of this review you must sign-up for the bonus offer by June 30th and your first purchase must be posted before July 15th.
Those with existing eBay credit cards & new PayPal Smart Connect accounts are ineligible for this bonus.
Another “bonus” of the eBay Mastercard is that you can start using the new credit card number with PayPal before you even receive the new card in the mail. This can be especially handy as it can take 7-10 days to receive your new credit card & might need it sooner to make a major purchase.
eBay Reward Points Accumulation
While most reward points credit cards offer the highest payouts for purchase made at the respective retailer’s stores or website (i.e. You earn two points for every United Airlines purchases but only one mile for all remaining purchases using the United MileagePlus Credit Card), the eBay credit actually offers more points for gas & restaurant purchases.
Here are the reward point payouts you can earn on every purchase using the eBay MasterCard:
- Restaurant & Gas (Pay-At-The-Pump Only) Purchase: 3 points for every $1 spent
- eBay & PayPal Purchase: 2 points for every $1 spent
- All other purchases: 1 points per $1 spent
It is somewhat unusual that eBay pays more for restaurant & gas purchases than using their own commerce platforms, but the rewards point accumulation rates are similar to other retail credit cards regarding the tiered 3,2,1x points payout depending on the spending category.
Another downside is that cardholders will only be able to earn up to 50,000 points per year. This might not be an issue for most people using this card as they will have to spend at least $16,667 (restaurant & gas purchases only) to reach the points cap. Those who carry higher credit card balance can benefit from other rewards credit cards with more lucrative redemption rates & awards.
Redeeming eBay Reward Points
Similar to nearly every rewards credit card, reward points can be redeemed for awards in addition to PayPal credit.
Reward points can be redeemed for the following award categories:
- $50 PayPal Cash (deposited in cardholder’s PayPal account)
- Air Travel*
- Hotel Awards*
- Car Rental*
- Vacation Awards*
- Gift Cards and Merchandise
*Travel awards must be redeemed at least 21 days before the reservation is scheduled.
Redeeming award points are where the decision to determine if the eBay credit card is the best option for you becomes rather difficult. This is mostly because no redemption amounts are published. Many hotels and airlines will often publish the price of a ticket or stay and how many points can be redeemed if you do not want to spend cash. If you routinely use a particular hotel or airline, it’s fairly easy to determine if the reward accumulation rates justify the redemption rates.
With the eBay credit card, it can be difficult to choose. The reward program terms & conditions simply state that the cardholder must call a toll-free 1-800 number to determine how many rewards points are required for a particular award and to redeem the points. It is understandable that award amounts often fluctuate for every credit card rewards program. Although eBay does not disclose point minimum point values required to redeem for awards, existing card users on various forums have stated that the award redemptions begin at 2,500 points for a $15 restaurant gift card, 6,000 points for the $50 PayPal credit, and 15,400 points for a $100 travel voucher. These are not the officially published rates provided by eBay and are subject to change.
With these redemption rates as a baseline, the eBay rewards program definitely isn’t the most robust as you will have to spend at least $2,000 (assuming 3% reward rate gas & restaurant purchases) to earn the 6,000 points necessary to redeem for $50 in PayPal cash so that amounts to a 2.5% redemption rate. That redemption rate decreases if you need to rely on a combination of eBay/PayPal or other MasterCard purchases to reach the redemption requirements. This is better than some cash back credit cards that only offer a 1% redemption rate, but other credit cards have better redemption rates.
The “Fine Print”
Reading the terms & conditions of the eBay Mastercard provides more pros & cons of the credit card. A definite positive is that there is no annual fee. Besides that, this is a no-frills credit card. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee and interest rates range from 20.24% to 24.24%. Those that need a cash advance will pay an interest rate of 27.24% plus a $5 or 3% fee, whichever is greater.
If you pay your balance off each month & rarely travel abroad, the interest rates & fees might be a non-issue. If that is the case, the eBay MasterCard can be a good option for eBay & PayPal aficionados that are looking for a no annual fee credit card. But, if they plan on redeeming reward points for something other than a $50 PayPal cash credit can find better rewards programs with other credit cards like the Discover It or Capital One Quicksilver credit cards.