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How to earn reward points via PayPal

You can add your rewards credit card to a PayPal account and keep earning points while shopping online through PayPal.

What you need to know

  • It's easy to use your rewards credit card within PayPal and earn the same points.
  • If you like using PayPal and take advantage of the platform's features, it's a convenient way to earn points.
  • Most retail spending will earn points through PayPal, but some transactions won't be eligible to earn credit card points.

As well as earning reward or frequent flyer points when you link your credit card, a PayPal account gives you a secure place to store your payment details. This way 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 to add your credit card to PayPal and earn credit card reward points

You can add any valid American Express, Mastercard or Visa credit card to your account by following the steps below.

  1. Set up a PayPal account and then add your credit card to your PayPal wallet.
  2. When you're shopping online, click on PayPal as the payment option, enter your login details and choose the card you want to use.
  3. You can then shop online as you normally would and earn points on your credit card when making eligible purchases.

What purchases will earn credit card reward points through PayPal?

The points you can earn depend on your credit card's reward program. Generally, you'll earn points when you use PayPal to buy clothes, mobile devices, makeup, music or any other retail purchases.

Gambling transactions, foreign currency purchases, gift cards and any other transactions that may be processed as cash advances don't usually earn points.

The terms and conditions for credit card reward schemes vary on "eligible transactions" that earn points, so check with your card provider for more information.

Why not just use my credit card to earn points without PayPal?

You can earn the same amount of points by shopping with your credit card. You won't earn extra points with PayPal.

However, using PayPal has some extra benefits:

  • A PayPal account gives you a secure place to store your payment details rather than entering your card details each time you shop.
  • PayPal offers encryption for every transaction and reimbursement if items don't arrive or are different from the seller's description.
  • You can manage multiple cards or payment methods via your PayPal account.

Are there any downsides to using PayPal with my credit card?

Some shoppers might find it easier just to stick with their credit card for several reasons:

  • Not always a payment option. While PayPal is accepted by a wide range of stores, including eBay, THE ICONIC, Woolworths, Optus and Telstra, there may still be times when you need to type in your credit card details to make a purchase.
  • Rewards may differ. PayPal's own website says that "Reward schemes may differ when using PayPal". Before you add your credit card to PayPal, check your card provider's reward scheme to see if there are any points restrictions when using PayPal.
  • Confusing 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. These might be higher than your card provider's exchange rate. You can switch to your card provider's exchange rate while using PayPal, but you have to remember to do it.
  • Points processing. While your payments will go through straight away with PayPal, it could take a day or so for the transaction and points to show up on your credit card account.
  • Security. 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.

Read more about the different security features of credit cards and PayPal.

Finder survey: Which rewards program do Australians of different ages prefer?

ResponseGen ZGen YGen XBaby Boomers
Qantas Frequent Flyer8.99%11.14%8.22%8.81%
Velocity Frequent Flyer3.37%3.26%1.64%3.69%
AMEX Membership Rewards1.12%2.17%1.32%1.7%
Star Alliance1.12%
Other bank rewards program (eg. CommBank Awards,NAB Rewards)5.16%9.54%7.95%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

Written by

Amy Bradney-George

Amy Bradney-George was the senior writer for credit cards at Finder, and editorial lead for Finder Green. She has over 16 years of editorial experience and has been featured in publications including ABC News, Money Magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald. See full profile

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    EbonyJune 14, 2016


    Can you still earn points on the money you send to “Family and Friends” using your credit card as the manner of payment through Paypal?


      MayJune 14, 2016Finder

      Hi Ebony,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Generally, credit cards will let you earn points if you use them on eligible purchases and not on cash advances. Please note that credit card companies view fund transfer as a cash advance. This means that when you send money to your family and friends using your credit card through your PayPal account, you won’t be able to earn points from it.


    Default Gravatar
    ashJune 10, 2016

    how can I get into reward program in paypal if I have no credit card and only link with bank account and how can I use that point ?

      DeeJune 10, 2016Finder

      Hi Ash,

      Thanks for your comment.

      With Paypal, you can only earn points when you link your credit card to your Paypal account. PayPal accepts a number of credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club and more. However, it is important to note that certain cards like procurement and private label credit cards
      are not compatible with PayPal Merchant Services.


    Default Gravatar
    F.July 21, 2014

    Is there an annual fee to use PayPal???

      ShirleyJuly 22, 2014Finder

      Hi F,

      Thanks for your question.

      At the time of writing there is no annual fee to use Paypal.

      However, certain transactions could incur a fee – such as when buying internationally, a currency conversion fee may apply.


    Default Gravatar
    KarenMarch 11, 2013

    Both my bank account and credit card are already linked to my Paypal account. When I use Paypal it takes the money from my bank account. I have followed your directions but can’t find a way to make Paypal take funds from my credit card rather than bank account. Both cards are listed as primary. How do I change from which source funds are taken?

      MarcMarch 11, 2013Finder

      Hello Karen,
      thanks for the question!

      Sometimes when a bank account and credit card are linked to a Paypal account, Paypal will only use the credit card as a back up. One way of fixing this is to physically change your funding option during payment for an item. After you make a purchase, you’ll receive an invoice through Paypal. On this invoice there’ll be a link that displays your payment method, so click the link that says “more funding options”. This will allow you to select your credit card to pay.

      I hope this helps,

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