How PayPal Key Can Help You Maximize Your Q4 Chase Freedom Flex Rewards


Officially, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ 5% cash back categories for Q4 2021 are Walmart and PayPal (up to $ 1,500 in purchases, then 1% cash back thereafter, and activation is required). But what if I told you that almost all online purchases could be eligible? That’s right, thanks to PayPal Key.

How the PayPal key works

PayPal Key is a 16-digit virtual card number that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. This is primarily an online game, although technically a business in person can enter the card number. PayPal is already widely accepted – its most recent annual report boasted 29 million active merchant accounts – but PayPal Key is taking it to the next level.

I recently used PayPal Key to pay four companies that don’t accept PayPal directly:, my utility company, my wife’s cell phone provider, and our internet / cable / home phone service provider. In doing so, I earned 5% cash back on my Freedom Flex card instead of 1%.

First, I logged into my PayPal account on my computer (you can also use the app) and the PayPal key was announced in the foreground. I clicked “View Key” to display the 16 digit number, expiration date, and security code. You will want to save this information. It should also be noted that only certain PayPal customers have access to PayPal Key; it’s a feature that has been rolled out in stages over the past year.

Then I went to the “Banks and Cards” section of the PayPal website and set my Freedom Flex as my preferred source of funds. After that I entered the PayPal key number into the four websites where I was shopping. Then these purchases were billed to my Freedom Flex card using PayPal Key, earning 5% cash back even though none of those merchants directly accept PayPal.

Benefits of data security

While I have used it primarily to maximize the Q4 Freedom Flex category, the main benefit of PayPal Key is data security. This virtual card number hides your real card number. If someone were to steal your PayPal key number, it would not expose the number printed on your actual credit or debit card. This means that you wouldn’t need to get a new physical card or update all the accounts where this number was registered. You would just need to get a new PayPal key and update all the places where the compromised PayPal key number has been saved.

Some credit card issuers, such as Capital One and Citi, offer their own virtual card numbers. Apple Card has taken this concept a step further, making a virtual card number a standard feature rather than an optional add-on. However, I don’t know of any bank that offers virtual debit card numbers. You can use the PayPal key for this purpose, and you can even link a bank account itself to the PayPal key. I would say it’s even more important to protect your debit card and bank account numbers than your credit card information.

This is because if money is stolen from your bank account or from a debit card linked to your bank account, your money is missing. You should get it back, assuming you report the fraud early, but it can take weeks. When a credit card gets hacked, you don’t have real money, it’s just a line of credit. You can remove incidentals from your bill before you have to pay them. While anyone can benefit from the security benefits of PayPal Key, people paying with debit cards and directly from their bank accounts stand to gain the most in this area.

The fine print

There are a few more nuances of PayPal key that you should be aware of. It is currently only available to certain US-based consumers, and overseas transaction fees apply for cross-border and cross-currency transactions. The PayPal key does not work with Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, and it is only integrated with Google Pay online (it’s a shame, because if the PayPal key was more compatible with mobile wallets, it would be much easier to be used in person).

The bottom line

Come for the rewards and stay for the safety benefits; this is a good way for Freedom Flex cardholders to display the PayPal key. It should also be noted that the Discover it® The cash back card counted PayPal as one of its 5% cash back categories in the third quarter of 2021, so cardholders should rank these tips in case PayPal makes another appearance in 2022. (the same $ 1,500 quarterly spending limit applies to this card, cardholders still earn 1% refund after that, and activation is also required).

Using PayPal Key to increase your rewards reminds me of online shopping portals as both require an extra step, but it’s not that hard and you can earn a much higher return in the process. I may not have made $ 1,500 in “regular” PayPal purchases in Q4 2021, and I don’t tend to do a lot of shopping at Walmart, but thanks to PayPal Key, I don’t. will have no problem maximizing the 5% of Freedom Flex categories. trimester. This will give me $ 75 cash back on the $ 1,500 I would have spent anyway.

A question about credit cards? Email me at [email protected] and I would be happy to help.

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