Review: eBay Mastercard Credit Card

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Credit card companies often have teams of people running ten of thousands of experiments every year trying to find the best way to discourage transactors (people who pay off their credit card every month) and encourage revolvers (people who don’t pay off their credit card every month). Often companies will have a card with limited incentives to use the card. They are trying to get the benefit of you having the card with small incentive rewards for you.

The eBay Mastercard Credit Card is such a niche card with small rewards. I am both a buyer and a seller on eBay. I tend to purchase used items from eBay users. I prefer a book which has been read before and whose pages have already been dog-eared or a toy for my granddaughter that has already seen some wear. I also like to resell items that I am finished with to find a new home for them. In addition to often being a good deal, the experience has a waste-nothing minimalist value.

The eBay Mastercard credit card offers 3% cash back on any eBay purchase. Then, after $1,000 in eBay purchases, the card offers 5% cash back on purchases that exceed the first $1,000 per year. Every January first the card is reset and begins tracking its $1,000 in eBay purchases again.

This card also offers 2% cash back for gas, restaurants or groceries and 1% on all other purchases and has no annual fee.

I have set the card as my default credit card for any eBay purchase. The 3% cash back on eBay purchases with a chance for 5% is better than any other card’s rewards for online shopping.

At first blush, you may think that the Bank of America Credit Card, which offers 3% cash back for online shopping if that is your selected category, is comparable. However, eBay is not included in their limited list of websites which count as online shopping.

For all other areas of spending outside of eBay, the eBay Mastercard Credit Card is inferior. There are better cards for restaurants, groceries, gas, and general purchases.

I made sure that all of the various marketing was turned off on this card. You have to do this periodically (every three years) in order to make sure that you avoid as much marketing as possible. I don’t think I can emphasize this enough: Products and services that they have to advertise are not the best products and services, but if you see them you might be tempted to consider them.

I also set an alert to automatically notify me if I make a purchase over $1. Having an alert every time I use my card has been the best fraud alert that I have found. Any time after using my credit card I will receive an email telling me that I made a purchase. This is quick enough that I have not forgotten about my purchase but delayed enough to remind me what my purchase costs.

I also set my entire credit card bill to automatically pay from my checking account each month. And I set the bill to come to me via postal mail in order to have a written record of my purchases and also in order to remind me that money will be flowing out of my checking account.

Although this card is an easy way to pay 3% less for an eBay purchase, I won’t be carrying it around in my wallet since that is its best feature. Having the credit card saved as my default payment on eBay is sufficient.

Background photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash. Screenshot of eBay Mastercard credit card from

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David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.