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Does PayPal accept American Express?

You can use American Express cards — but watch out for fees.

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PayPal accepts a few different payment methods, including debit cards, credit cards, your PayPal balance and linking your bank account directly to your PayPal account.

You can use credit cards from all major providers including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, but you may pay a fee depending on the type of transaction you’re doing.

Major credit cards issuers accepted at PayPal

Credit card typeAccepted at PayPal
American Express
Visa
Mastercard

Compare credit cards for PayPal

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
American Express Cobalt Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, 2 points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 45,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, earn 2,500 points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 on your card (for a total of 30,000 points in a year). Plus, earn 15,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months. Apply by May 5, 2021.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
19.99%
21.99%
$99
N/A
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
Earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 in cash back) for the first four months of Cardmembership.
American Express Aeroplan Card
30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full each month
N/A
$120
N/A
Earn 2x the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada vacations, 1.5x the points on eligible dining and food delivery purchases and 1x the points on everything else.
Earn up to 15,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass as a new cardmember.
Choice Card from American Express
19.99%
23.99%
$0
N/A
Earn 1 American Express Membership Point for every $1 you spend on purchases.
Earn 12,500 Bonus Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,250 in purchases to your card within the first 3 months as a new Cardmember. Apply by May 5, 2021.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
19.99%
21.99%
$599
N/A
Earn 3x the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 2x the points on eligible dining and food delivery purchases in Canada, and 1x the points on everything else.
Earn up to 65,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points and a $100 Statement Credit as a new cardmember.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
20.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent on eligible food, drink, gas and transit purchases (up to an annual spend of $30,000), and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on all other eligible purchases (and after the $30,000 annual spend)
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 3,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
American Express Business Edge Card
19.99%
21.99%
$99
N/A
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible business essentials including office supplies, electronics, rides, gas, eats and drinks (up to an annual earn of 75,000 Membership Rewards), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn a Welcome Bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, and earn 1,000 Membership Rewards points each month (a total of 12,000 annually) when you spend a minimum of $3,000 on eligible purchases
American Express Gold Rewards Card
30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full each month
N/A
$150
N/A
Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible gas station, grocery store, drug store and travel purchases and on eligible hotel and car rental bookings made with American Express Travel, and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $1,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months
SimplyCash Card from American Express
19.99%
21.99%
$0
N/A
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap
Earn 2.5% cash back on all eligible purchases in your first three months (up to a maximum spend of $6,000, or $150 in cash back).
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
16.99%
21.99%
$599
N/A
Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible hotels and car rentals, and 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 65,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points and a $100 Statement Credit as a new cardmember.
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Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite
20.99%
23.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$60,000
Earn x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, gas and transit.
Get up to 40,000 points and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year. Earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and get 15,000 points on your first anniversary.
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege
20.99%
23.99%
$499
$150,000
Earn 5x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, drugstore purchases, gas and travel.
Get up to 50,000 welcome points. Earn 35,000 points when you spend at least $5,000 in the first three months and get 15,000 points on your first anniversary.
Refresh Financial Secured Card
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
N/A
The Refresh Secured Card has no credit check, a low annual fee and guaranteed approval once you secure your card with anywhere from $200 - $10,000.
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with no credit check and guaranteed approval once you secure your card with some funds.
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
$12,000
Get 1% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and get 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Get a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all eligible purchases for the first 6 months. Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
20.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$60,000
Earn 4% cash back for every $1 spent on eligible grocery purchases & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on eligible gas purchases & public transit, and 1% per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases) and pay no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards (A welcome offer value of $350). Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
Earn 5 SCENE points per $1 spent at participating Cineplex theatres or cineplex.com, and earn 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.
Earn 2,500 bonus SCENE points when you spend a minimum of $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months as a new SCENE Visa cardholder. Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
12.99%
12.99%
$29
$12,000
Save on interest for 6 months by consolidating your higher-rate balances with the balance transfer offer, and get an on-going 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotiabank GM Visa Card
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
Earn 5% in GM Earnings on all eligible purchases on the first $5,000 annual spend, and 2% in GM Earnings on all eligible purchases thereafter.
Earn 5% in GM Earnings on all eligible purchases on the first $5,000 annual spend, and 2% in GM Earnings on all eligible purchases thereafter. For every $1 in GM Earnings, you’ll get $1 off the purchase price or lease of a new GM, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac.
Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
$60,000
Earn 5% in GM Earnings on the first $10,000 annual spend, and earn 2% in GM Earnings thereafter.
Get the annual fee waived in the first year on the primary card as well as any supplementary cards. Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points (up to a $300 travel value) in your first year. Apply by February 28, 2021.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
BMO World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
Get up to $575 in value in your first year. Get a bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points ($285 travel value booked on bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$12,000
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
12.99%
$20
$15,000
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
Get 3x the AIR MILES for every $25 spent at eligible AIR MILES partners, and get 1 AIR MILE for every $25 spent elsewhere.
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
11.9%
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
N/A
Earn 2x the rewards on eligible dining and entertainment.
Earn 30,000 Points ($150 travel value), plus get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
Shell AIR MILES World Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$99
$60,000
Earn 1 Mile per $15 spent on all eligible purchases.
Earn 1 Mile per $15 spent on all eligible purchases.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
19.9%
22.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value), plus a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value). Apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
Tangerine World Mastercard
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$60,000
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
Shell CashBack Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
Get 1.5% cash back at participating Shell locations in Canada (up to a maximum spend of $2,500 in any monthly billing period), and get 0.5% cash back everywhere else.
Get $50 in cash back bonuses once you charge your first eligible purchase to your card. Plus, earn 1% cash back for the first 6 months on all eligible purchases.
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Should I use my Amex credit card for PayPal?

Though Amex credit cards are valid for PayPal transactions, watch out for fees. If you’re buying a product or service in Canada through PayPal with your Amex credit card, you won’t pay any fee. Here are the fees you might incur:

  • You’ll pay a fee if the goods or services you’re paying for are located outside of Canada.
  • You’ll pay a fee when you send money to friends or family within Canada or overseas.
  • You’ll pay a fee if you receive payment for goods or services.
LocationPrice
In Canada2.9% + $0.30
To the USA3.7% + $0.30USD
Outside of Canada & USA3.9% + small fixed fee depending on currency

Will my PayPal transaction trigger a cash advance?

Typically PayPal payments for goods and services aren’t classified as cash advance transactions. However, your card provider may charge a fee if you use PayPal for a transaction typically associated with cash advances — such as buying chips at an online casino or purchasing gift cards.

Sending money to family and friends and paying for general goods or services should not trigger a cash advance transaction. If you’re worried about cash advance fees or APRs, contact your credit card provider.

What you need to know about cash advance interest rates

Top* American Express credit cards for PayPal

With an American Express card, you’re unlikely to earn significant accelerated rewards through PayPal spending. Still, a few cards can help you earn decent cash back or travel rewards.

*How we chose the top American Express cards for PayPal

We’ve chosen the cards on this page based on the American Express cards available through Finder. When comparing which Amex cards work well with PayPal, we looked at a few factors, including cash back or rewards value per dollar spent, annual fees, signup bonuses and APRs. The American Express cards below offered the most overall value for purchases made through PayPal compared to other Amex cards.

No single American Express credit card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking your new card.

Best for earning cash back: SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

19.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$99
Annual Fee
700+
Min. Recommended Credit Score
Earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 in cash back) for the first four months of Cardmembership. The card also offers a suite of travel insurance benefits and exclusive offers on dining and entertainment. Just watch out for the annual fee of $99.
Annual Fee $99
Additional Cardholder Fee $0
Min. Credit Score 700+
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Cash Advance Rate 21.99%
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible card purchases.
  • Earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 in cash back) for the first four months of Cardmembership.
  • Get up to $100,000 travel insurance coverage for delayed flights, lost or stolen baggage, car rentals and accidents. Plus, enjoy up to up to $5,000,000 Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance in emergency medical coverage.
What to watch out for
  • This card has an annual fee of $99.
  • When you spend overseas, you'll face a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.

Best for earning overall rewards: American Express Cobalt Card

19.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$120
Annual Fee
700+
Min. Recommended Credit Score
The American Express Cobalt Card boasts a wide suite of benefits and a powerful rewards program that lets you redeem points for travel, merchandise, Amazon.ca purchases, gift cards and statement credit. Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, 2 points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
Annual Fee $120
Additional Cardholder Fee $0
Min. Credit Score 700+
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Cash Advance Rate 21.99%
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, 2 points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Earn up to 45,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, earn 2,500 points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 on your card (for a total of 30,000 points in a year). Plus, earn 15,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months. Apply by May 5, 2021.
  • Add up to 9 additional cardholders to the account, and enjoy a $0 annual fee per additional card.
  • Get up to $5,000,000 in emergency medical coverage plus coverage for travel accidents, lost or stolen baggage, car rental theft and damage, flight delays and hotel/motel burglary.
  • Get complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance (MSRP of up to $85,000). Terms apply.
  • Purchase Protection and Buyer's Assurance Protection.
  • Hotel perks and special access to event tickets.
What to watch out for
  • You'll pay a monthly fee of $10 for this card, which is $120 annually.
  • You'll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on all overseas purchases.

Best for no annual fee: SimplyCash Card from American Express

19.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$0
Annual Fee
700+
Min. Recommended Credit Score
The SimplyCash Card from American Express is a basic credit card offering cash back rewards and standard American Express perks including access to reserved tickets for in-demand events, the opportunity to skip the line in certain venues and special deals on trips, movies and shopping. Earn 1.25% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Additional Cardholder Fee $0
Min. Credit Score 700+
Purchase Interest Rate 19.99%
Cash Advance Rate 21.99%
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • This card has an annual fee of $0.
  • Earn 2.5% cash back on all eligible purchases in your first three months (up to a maximum spend of $6,000, or $150 in cash back).
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all eligible purchases.
What to watch out for
  • You'll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on all overseas purchases.

Payment options for PayPal

  • PayPal balance
  • Bank account linked to your PayPal account
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards

Bottom line

You can use your American Express credit cards with PayPal, as well as Visa and Mastercard branded credit and debit cards. Consider only using your credit cards on PayPal when paying for products or services, to avoid paying a transaction fee.

If you’re selling goods or services or sending money, you’ll pay a transaction fee of at least 2.9% + $0.30 cents, however the cost will rise if you’re selling or sending money outside of Canada. In addition, watch out for potential cash advance fees and interest rates when using your credit card. Flat rate cash back cards are typically great choices for PayPal transactions and you can often find these types of cards with no annual fees.

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