I applied for the Paypal Mastercard a few days ago, but was approved for the PayPal Smart Connect line of credit instead. My credit is not that great, but I’ve been able to gradually bring my scores up with the aid of two secured cards (CapOne and BOA). I’ve been approved for an Ally Auto Loan and now this line of credit since I started rebuilding my credit about a year and a half ago.
Why I chose Paypal? I’ve been active as an occasional eBay buyer and seller for the past ten years and I use PayPal every month to pay for different services (from domain name renewals and online memberships to sometimes accepting payments associated with my occupation). I thought either the Paypal Mastercard or PayPal Smart Connect would be a great option to continue re-establishing my credit history. It would also help my credit mix as I currently do not have any retail cards and I didn’t want to get just any retail card for the sake of having one.
For those of you who haven’t heard about this card before, PayPal Smart Connect is a credit line offered originally through GE Capital Retail Bank (GECRB), now Synchrony Bank. It is not a physical credit card, but a line of credit linked to your PayPal account. However, if you have a Paypal debit card you can set this line of credit as your backup fund and pretty much use your debit card as a regular credit card. It has no annual fee and can be used anywhere PayPal is accepted. Additionally, your PayPal debit card will earn you a 1% cash back from every purchase. Not a lot, but it’s something.
PayPal Smart Connect has a pretty high APR (26.99%), but as I said before, I will use this credit line for rebuilding. I will pay my balance in full every month, so I don’t really care about the APR. Also, I’ve read comments from other people using PayPal Smart Connect saying you can request credit line increases every four statements. This is an automated request done through the phone with no hard pull, so I’m looking forward to that. I appreciate when banks let you grow and reward you for being responsible.
Now for the details:
Application Date: Late May, 2012
Account Type: Retail Card/Credit Card
Credit Report Pulled: TransUnion
My Score when Approved: 656 (Experian)
Line of Credit Approved: $500
Current Line of Credit: $4000
- June: Applied for PayPal’s Mastercard.Approved for PayPal Smart Connect instead. $500 CL.
- August: Received $300 automatic increase after using it a lot during first 2 statements. New credit limit: $800.
- December: Requested a credit line increase through their automated phone service. Received a $500 increase for a new credit limit of $1300.
- April: Requested a credit line increase through their automated phone service. Received a $200 increase for a new credit limit of $1500.
- August: Requested a credit line increase through their automated phone service. Received a $2000 increase for a new credit limit of $3500.
- April: Received a letter saying that my Paypal Smart Connect is being upgraded to the PayPal Extras Mastercard.
PROS: Got an automatic credit line increase after only two statements. After this, I’ve been approved for credit line increases every 4 statements. GE is known to be generous about giving credit line increases and apparently you can request one every 4 months/statements. This is all done through their customer service number. It’s automated, painless and they only do a soft pull.
CONS: No physical credit card given, but line of credit can be linked to your PayPal debit card which can then be used as a regular credit card.
OVERALL REVIEW: I was initially approved for a $500 credit line. This was my first unsecured credit approval in years. I’ve had this line of credit for about 4 years and my credit line is currently at $4000. Along with a couple of other credit cards, this PayPal card offered by Synchrony Bank (originally GE) has helped me rebuild and re-establish my credit. I use PayPal Smart connect often for eBay purchases and other PayPal payments. After almost four years of having this account, I received a letter saying that my Paypal Smart Connect is being upgraded to the PayPal Extras Mastercard. My APR was also lowered to 24%. Still very high, but they did lower it.
I will update this review again when or if I have something new to add. Please feel free to ask questions, add comments or share your experience with this line of credit.