Does PayPal accept American Express?
You can use American Express cards — but watch out for fees.
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 type||Accepted at PayPal|
Compare credit cards for PayPal
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.
|In Canada||2.9% + $0.30|
|To the USA||3.7% + $0.30|
|Outside of Canada & USA||3.9% + fixed fee depending on currency|
Will my PayPal transaction trigger a cash advance?
Typically goods and services payments through PayPal 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.
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.
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 Amex cards below offered the most overall value for purchases made through PayPal compared to other Amex cards.
Our pick for highest cash back: SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express
With this card, you’ll get 2% cash back on every eligible purchase and 5% cash back in your first 6 months as a cardholder. This card has an annual fee of $99.
- Welcome rate. Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases within the first 6 months as a cardholder.
- Cash back on all purchases. Get 2% cash back on all eligible purchases once the welcome rate ends.
- Earn unlimited cash back. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
Our pick for no annual fee: SimplyCash™ Card from American Express
With this card, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back on all eligible purchases and 2.5% cash back in your first 3 months as a cardholder. This card has no annual fee.
- Welcome rate. Get 2.5% cash back on all eligible purchases within the first 3 months as a cardholder (up to a value of $150 in cash back).
- Cash back on all purchases. Get 1.25% cash back on all eligible purchases once the welcome rate ends.
- No annual fee. There is no annual fee for this Amex credit card.
Our pick for earning points: Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
With this card, you’ll earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy™ properties and 2 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. This card has an annual fee of $120.
- Welcome rate. Earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months.
- Points on all purchases. Get 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy™ properties and 2 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Annual free night. Get a free night each year after your card anniversary.
Payment options for PayPal
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- PayPal balance
- Bank account linked to your PayPal account
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.Back to top