How to Activate a PayPal Cash Card and Use It to Shop

What to Know About the Upgraded PayPal Cashback Mastercard

The revamped PayPal card offers great rewards on every purchase, a welcome bonus, and several ways to redeem. To get the most from the new 3% category, you’ll need to use PayPal as your primary payment where available online and in stores. 

If you already have a PayPal card, you’ll automatically receive the ugraded cash back benefits. For new cardholders, the upgraded card will be available next week, according to PayPal, though you can sign up for the waitlist now through the PayPal app or your online PayPal account. Then, you’ll be notified via email when the card is released.

Here’s what else you need to know about this cash back card: 


PayPal debit and prepaid cards

Debit and prepaid cards may be a better way to manage your money if you find yourself tempted to overspend on a credit card. PayPal offers a consumer debit card and a business debit card, as well as one prepaid card.

PayPal Cash Card

PayPal’s debit card, the PayPal Cash Card, is linked to your PayPal account and allows you to withdraw money from your balance as needed. Since this is a debit card, there’s no credit check involved when you apply. Whether you have no credit, excellent credit or anything in between, it doesn’t matter.

How to fund your PayPal Cash Card:

  • Receive direct deposit on the card. Set up direct deposit with your employer or government benefits provider.
  • Deposit a check by smartphone. Snap a photo of your check and deposit it with the PayPal app.
  • Load cash at a retail location. At more than 100,000 CVS, 7-Eleven and Rite Aid locations nationwide, just scan a barcode on the PayPal app or swipe your card.
  • Transfer from your bank account. Transfer money from your bank account to your PayPal account.

There’s no annual or monthly fee with this card. However, there are some other fees:

PayPal Cash Card Fees
Type of fee Amount charged
ATM domestic and international withdrawal fee $2.50 (ATM owner may also charge a fee). $0 if you use one of the 33,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
Cash reload service fee Up to $4.95
Foreign transaction fee 2.5%
Over-the-counter withdrawal fee $3
PayPal Business Debit MasterCard®

If you can’t qualify for a business credit card or already have one, another option for managing day-today expenses while earning cash back is the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard®.

With the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard®, earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases, including ones paid using a linked bank account. Note that you must sign up to earn cash back and also that you’ll only receive your cash back when your monthly earnings are $1 or more. If you earn less than $1 back, it won’t be awarded and won’t carry over to the next month.

This is a debit card, so no credit check is conducted when you apply.

Fees to be aware of when using the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard® include:

PayPal Business Debit MasterCard® Fees
Type of fee Amount charged
ATM domestic withdrawal fee $1.50 (ATM owner may also charge a fee)
Teller assisted withdrawal fee $3
ATM international withdrawal fee $1.50 (ATM owner may also charge a fee)
Foreign transaction fee 1% of the purchase amount from a non-US merchant or 1% of the withdrawal amount at a non-US ATM. This fee will apply even if the transaction does not require a currency conversion.
PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

If you prefer to manage your finances with a reloadable prepaid card, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® is a decent choice. You can load funds onto it via direct deposit, by transfers from your PayPal account, and at more than 130,000 NetSpend Reload Network locations across the country.

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. And while prepaid cards don’t have the same rewards and benefits as credit cards, they may be preferable if you wish to limit spending, because you can only spend what you’ve loaded onto the card.

Listed below are some of the fees you may encounter with the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® :

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Fees
Type of fee Amount charged
Monthly fee Plan fee is $4.95 monthly.
ATM domestic withdrawal fee* $2.50 (ATM operator may also charge a fee)
ATM international withdrawal fee* $0, but the foreign transaction fee applies (ATM operator may also charge a fee)
Foreign transaction fee 4%
Over-the-counter withdrawal fee $3
Cash reload at a NetSpend Reload Network location Up to $3.95

See the website for more details.


The PayPal Cashback Mastercard®* is one of just a few cards offering 3% cash back on PayPal purchases and 2% on all other purchases with $0 annual fee. That’s a strong return with no strings attached. There are no category bonuses to keep track of, no limits on reward earnings and no minimum redemption thresholds. It doesn’t get simpler than that.

The only catch is that you must have a PayPal account (free to open) to apply for the card and those with good or excellent credit are more likely to qualify. Once approved, you can expect a high APR for all purchases, with no special introductory rates, which means it’s a card best for those who pay off their balances in full each 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 Cash debit card – overview

The PayPal Cash Card is a prepaid card, which means you need to top up your linked account before you can spend. Once you have loaded money onto your card, you can use it like any other credit or debit card, to spend online or in stores, or to make ATM withdrawals.

Before you decide to apply for PayPal Cash, it’s worth considering alternatives to make sure you get the best available deal. You might find the cheapest option isn’t actually a prepaid card.

For example, we mentioned earlier that the Wise borderless card is linked to the Wise borderless account. You’ll only ever be able to use your card to spend the funds you’ve added to your borderless account. This means the borderless card comes with many of the perks of a prepaid card like the PayPal Cash Card – including no overdraft or interest fees – but also has a few more smart features to help you save.

Going borderless can help you cut the costs of spending in foreign currencies – you might also be able to save when withdrawing money back to your US bank account. With PayPal withdrawing to your linked US bank account is free for standard processing, or a fee of up to $10 to get your money more quickly. ⁷ Wise on the other hand will charge a fixed fee of $1.40 to withdraw USD to your US based account.⁸

Here’s a rundown of the other key features of the PayPal Cash Card you need to know about.

Reloading money on the PayPal Cash Card

You’ll be able to reload online using a bank transfer or direct debit, have friends or family send you money, or reload with cash in selected retail locations. It’s worth noting that reloading using cash comes with a fairly high fee.

Sending and receiving money

You can send and receive money from around the world using your PayPal Cash account. It’s free to send US dollars to friends and family who are also in the US. However, there are relatively high fees for international payments. There’s lots of helpful information about PayPal’s international fees, here.

Linking to other cards and accounts

Your PayPal Cash Card is linked to a PayPal Cash Plus account. When you set up your Cash Plus account you’ll have the opportunity to link your selected bank accounts and cards, to make it easier to transfer payments from one to the other.

How safe is the card?

The PayPal Cash Card is issued by an FDIC insured institution, on the Mastercard network. ⁹

The FDIC exists to protect your funds if PayPal was to go bankrupt or face administrative problems. Your card is also protected with the Mastercard Zero Liability policy, which offers protection if your card is lost or stolen, provided you comply with the policy terms.

Contacting customer support

You’ll be able to contact customer support by logging into your account and emailing the service team, or calling once logged in. You can also use instant chat or visit the large FAQ section on the PayPal website. ¹⁰

PayPal Cash Card Overview

The PayPal Cash Card is a prepaid card, which means you need to recharge your linked account before you can spend it. After depositing money into your card, you can use it like any other credit or debit card.

You can make online purchases, in app stores, or in physical stores. You can also use it to withdraw money at an ATM. One of the best parts about the PayPal Cash Card is that its pricing is completely transparent. Like FreshBooks Payments, there are never any hidden fees.

You know exactly what you’re paying upfront, every time. This in itself is enough reason for some people to use PayPal and services like FreshBooks.

Reloading Money

You will be able to use bank transfer or direct debit to recharge online. You can also let friends or family members send you money, or recharge cash at selected retail locations. It is worth noting that using cash to reload will incur relatively high costs.

Sending and Receiving

You can use your PayPal Cash Card account to receive and transfer money from all over the world. You can send money to friends and family who are also in the United States for free. However, the cost of foreign transaction fees is relatively high. There is a lot of helpful information about PayPal’s international fees.


Your PayPal Cash Card has been linked to your PayPal Cash Plus account. When you set up your Cash Plus account, you will have the opportunity to connect the bank account and card of your choice to make it easier to transfer payments from one to the other.


PayPal payment cards are backed by FDIC insurance on the MasterCard network. The FDIC serves to protect your funds in the (unlikely) event of PayPal’s bankruptcy or management problems. Your card is also protected by the MasterCard Zero Liability Policy, which provides further protection if your card is lost or stolen.

Is The Card For You?

This card is a great fit for anyone who wants to earn cash back on every purchase without paying an annual fee or tracking bonus categories. The combination of 3% cash back on PayPal purchases and 2% on all other purchases and easy redemption makes it suitable for anyone seeking a simple to use rewards card as their main credit card. If you prefer to hold multiple cards, it can could be a great addition to your wallet for purchases that don’t normally fall into bonus categories. But the high APR means this card is best for someone who doesn’t typically carry a balance.