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GE Consumer Finance's New PayPal Plus MasterCard

As mentioned in an American Banker story last week, GE Consumer Finance has announced a relationship with eBay Inc. and PayPal Inc. to launch the new PayPal Plus MasterCard, a credit card offering both rewards and extended purchase protection for purchases made via the PayPal Web site.

Editor's note: Almost two years ago, PayPal announced its relationship with GE for PayPal Buyer Credit. We wrote about that initiative in an opinion piece on the Glenbrook web site titled "Beware the Doves." Today, GE announced an extension of that relationship to include both the per transaction credit option of Buyer Credit along with the new PayPal Plus MasterCard that can earn PayPal/eBay rewards anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

The new Plus Card is an expansion of the relationship originally created in June 2004 for GE to offer PayPal Buyer Credit, a private label, revolving credit line available to registered PayPal customers. The PayPal Plus Credit Card is part of a new multi-year credit agreement in which GE Consumer Finance also plans to launch an eBay branded credit card.

PayPal users can apply for the PayPal Plus Credit Card at https://www.paypal.com, and successful applicants will receive for a limited time a special introductory rate of zero percent interest on purchases and balance transfers until January 2007. Cardholders will also have exclusive access to ongoing special promotional financing offers from sellers on eBay, including deferred interest and no payments for a specific period of time, by simply paying with PayPal Plus.

PayPal Plus customers will benefit from a new rewards program, earning one Reward Point for every $1 spent in purchases. And PayPal Plus Reward Points are also earned with offline, everyday purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted. For every 2,500 points earned, customers will receive a coupon for $25 towards eBay.com purchases made with PayPal. Customers will also receive several additional benefits through MasterCard, including Platinum benefits for extra protection, cash access, and the option to link PayPal Plus to the PayPal Debit Card as a backup funding source.

Under the new agreement, eBay will provide promotional support of the new PayPal Plus Credit Card through the eBay Web site.

GE Money Bank will be responsible for issuing the PayPal Plus Credit Card, and providing customer service, billing and credit management.

"The new PayPal Plus Credit Card is a natural extension of the partnership between three great worldwide companies offering rewards, security and convenience," said Margaret Keane, president and CEO of GE Consumer Finance's Retail Consumer Finance unit. "With PayPal Plus, shoppers can apply and buy with an instant online credit process. There's no waiting for a card in the mail to make your PayPal purchases. Now, shoppers can also earn rewards by using their PayPal Plus Credit Cards anywhere MasterCard is accepted."

"We believe PayPal users will enjoy the benefits of the PayPal Plus Card, including the extensive rewards program, special promotional financing, as well as the safety and security customers have come to expect from PayPal," said Chris George, senior director of financial products for PayPal. "We are very excited to extend our relationship with GE, and continue to provide the best credit offering to our customers."

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The PayPal Mastercard Plus is, hands down, the WORST credit card I’ve ever had, and I have canceled it as of today.

If you use American Express and need to question a charge or cancel a recurring charge, AMEX immediately puts the charges on hold, contacts the merchant for you, and takes care of the whole thing.

I spent almost an hour on the phone with Paypal MC attempting to get an answer about some charges that looked wrong – eventually the “customer service” person just gave me the phone numbers of the merchants and told me I’d have to work it out with them.

This on top of the sorry rewards system and the outrageously high interest rate (about 25% when last I looked) sent me over the edge and I canceled the card.

Totally not worth having.

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