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The Ultimate Guide to Using PayPal Pay with Rewards

Rewards programs with major credit card issuers are great, but sometimes it can be difficult to put those points to use. One way to maximize the flexibility of rewards is by linking an eligible credit card to PayPal through its Pay with Rewards program. What is PayPal’s Pay with Rewards and how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know in our Ultimate Guide to Pay with Rewards from PayPal. 

What Is PayPal Pay with Rewards?

Pay with Rewards is a flexible rewards platform that allows select credit cardholders to use their rewards points to make purchases anywhere in the world that PayPal is accepted. The payment platform, which partners with major issuers like Chase, Citi, Amex, Discover, and more, allows cardholders the ability to pay for purchases entirely with their points or partially with their rewards.

When eligible cardholders link their rewards card as the payment method with PayPal, not only do they increase the flexibility of their payment options; but they also provide the cardholder with a “budget extension,” since they can use both points and cash to make purchases. This, in turn, can allow them to access more expensive items than they previously could.

Perks of Linking a Credit Card to PayPal

PayPal offers benefits for customers beyond the standard protections of their card issuer. These benefits include:

  • Free return shipping on online purchases
  • Purchase protection if items arrive damaged, incomplete, or other than advertised
  • One Touch™ checkout

The biggest of these perks is the “Return Shipping on Us” feature. This benefit gives customers the peace of mind that they won’t be responsible for the shipping cost if an item doesn’t fit, is damaged, or isn’t what they were looking for.

Which Card Issuers Partner with Pay with Rewards?

So, which credit card issuers and programs partner with PayPal? Currently, five issuers (two of which are also payment networks) are part of the Pay with Rewards network, but that is expected to grow soon.

Chase

JPMorgan Chase is one such Pay with Rewards partner. Chase card members can add an eligible Chase credit card to their PayPal account to pay with rewards.

Only Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points are eligible for linking with the Pay with Rewards program. Currently, the only personal credit cards from Chase that earn Ultimate Rewards are:

Note: Chase Freedom no longer available for new applicants

How to Link Your Chase Credit Card

Adding an eligible Chase credit card to PayPal is a straightforward process:

  • Register a new PayPal account (if not already an account holder)
  • Link Chase Pay to the PayPal account
  • Choose the eligible Chase card as the payment option when shopping online with PayPal
  • Check the “Use Ultimate Rewards Points” option when checking out
  • Receive a statement credit for your purchase

Chase notes that redeeming Ultimate Rewards points through PayPal gives a point valuation of $0.008/ point – far lower than the value of rewards points for travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal, or even cash back.

Citi

Citibank is another PayPal partner. As with Chase, Citi credit cardholders can link eligible Citi cards with PayPal’s Pay with Rewards. In this case, they would be using Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Again, only credit cards that earn Citi ThankYou Points are eligible for the Pay with Rewards program. Current personal cards suitable for this purpose include:

How to Link Your Citi Credit Card

Adding an eligible Citi card to PayPal requires the following steps:

  • Register a new PayPal account (if not already an account holder)
  • Add the eligible Citi card to the payment methods
  • Check the “Link Your ThankYou Rewards Points” option under the eligible Citi card
  • Click “Get Started” and agree to the terms and conditions
  • Pay with the Citi card and use eligible ThankYou Rewards points

Citi states that using ThankYou points for PayPal offers a value of one cent per point – the same value when using points for statement credits.

Capital One

Capital One is the latest issuer to join the PayPal Pay with Rewards program. Like Chase and Citi, Capital One customers who have an eligible credit card can link that card as a payment method within PayPal and use their rewards points to make purchases.

Eligible Capital One rewards credit cards include:

  • How to Link an Eligible Capital One Credit Card
  • Register a new PayPal account (if not already an account holder)
  • Download the latest version of the Capital One Mobile app 
  • Text “PAYPAL” to 80101
  • Set the eligible card as the preferred payment method
  • Pay with the eligible Capital One Rewards card when checking out via PayPal

Discover

Unlike other issuers, all Discover credit cards are eligible for the PayPal Pay with Rewards program. This simplicity is one of Discover’s hallmarks – and one of the reasons customers consistently praise this issuer.

Current Discover credit cards:

How to Link Your Discover Card

  • Register a new PayPal account (if not already an account holder)
  • Link your Discover card with PayPal as a saved payment method
  • When shopping online, use PayPal to make the purchase and select the saved Discover credit card as the payment method
  • Select the desired amount of Cashback Bonus to apply to the purchase

Discover, like Citi, states that using Cashback Bonus points towards PayPal purchases provides a value of one cent per point ($0.01/pt.) – the same value cardholders get for statement credits as cash back.

American Express

The last issuer that currently partners with PayPal for the Pay with Rewards program is American Express. Once again, only cards that earn Membership Rewards points are eligible for the Pay with Rewards program. Current Amex cards that apply include:

How to Link an Eligible Amex Card

  • Register a new PayPal account (if not already an account holder)
  • Log in to your PayPal account and go to “Wallet.”
  • Click “Link Your Membership Rewards” under the eligible American Express card used for enrolling
  • Click “Get Started,” then “Agree and Link.”

Once linked, Amex cardholders can use their Membership Rewards points as a payment option when shopping online or at other eligible locations. Members can also see their available points balance within the PayPal interface.

Future Pay with Rewards Partners

While Citi, Chase, Capital One, Discover, and American Express currently partner with PayPal, the popular payment method has big plans for its Pay with Rewards program. 

PayPal is already listing Scorecard as a future partner, which is excellent news for many credit union customers across the United States. Scorecard Rewards is a leading rewards and loyalty program for hundreds of credit unions across the U.S. and their rewards credit cardholders.

Featured photo by mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident rewards expert, covering all facets of the points game – especially travel, hotels, and airlines. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.