We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.
How to shop with PayPal and earn reward points
Use rewards credit cards on your PayPal purchases.
A PayPal account gives you a secure place to store your payment details so you don’t have to enter them every time you buy something online. It also offers encryption for every transaction and reimbursement if items don’t show up or are different from the seller’s description.
How does PayPal work with credit cards?
Once you have set up a PayPal account, you can add your credit card details to your PayPal wallet. Then, when you’re shopping online, just click on PayPal as the payment option, enter your login details and choose the card you want to use.
You can use all four popular card networks with PayPal: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. But you’ll get the highest value with a reward credit card or with any of the PayPal rewards credit cards.
Compare rewards credit cards
How can I link a credit card to my PayPal account?
You can add your credit card to your account by following the steps below.
- Log in to your PayPal account.
- Click on Wallet at the top of the page.
- Select Link a card.
- Fill in your card details and follow the prompts to confirm the account.
After you have linked your account, you may see a $1 charge from PayPal on your credit card account. This is a temporary authorization charge that PayPal uses to confirm the account is valid. Once confirmed, the $1 charge is released, so it’s never actually taken from your account.
What purchases will earn points through PayPal?
With most rewards credit cards, you’ll earn points when you use PayPal to buy clothes, mobile devices, makeup, music or for any other retail purchases. Spending that usually doesn’t earn points includes gambling transactions, foreign currency purchases, gift cards and any other transactions that may be processed as cash advances.
Pros and cons of using PayPal to earn credit card reward points
What else do I need to know?
If you want to use a rewards credit card through PayPal, make sure you keep the following details in mind:
- Transaction details.
When you make a payment through PayPal, your credit card statement may show PayPal for the transaction description, rather than the store where you made a purchase. This could make it hard to figure out what every purchase is unless you check your purchase history through PayPal.
- Foreign currency charges.
If you’re buying something in a foreign currency, PayPal automatically applies its own foreign currency conversion rates. It’s also hard to figure out how to change this setting in PayPal, but you can set it to your credit card’s rate.
Both PayPal and credit cards offer security features to help keep your details safe when you shop online. But if you’re using a credit card through PayPal and have security concerns, you may need to contact both PayPal and your card provider to sort them out.
While you could just enter your credit card details every time you make a purchase online, PayPal can speed up the process while still allowing you to earn points for your spending. Just remember to regularly log in to your credit card account so that you can check your balance, make repayments and see exactly how many points you’ve earned for PayPal purchases.
If you haven’t found the right card for PayPal spending, check out some rewards credit cards and compare your options.Back to top
Ask an Expert