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 Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
Earn 5x points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
Get 2% cashback on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $500 in the first three months of membership. For new cardmembers only.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands.
N/A
N/A
$60
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands.
Offers 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada®** Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada®** priority check-in.
N/A
N/A
$499
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada®** Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada®** priority check-in.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 within your first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend up to $10,000 and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 per year.
N/A
N/A
$120
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend up to $10,000 and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 per year.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, 2 points on eligible travel purchases and 1 point on all other spend
N/A
N/A
$699
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, 2 points on eligible travel purchases and 1 point on all other spend.
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES® Partners* and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES® Partners* and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else.
Receive 2,400 AIR MILES® when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
1.99% balance transfer offer in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application
19.99%
22.99%
$299
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership.
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
12.99%
12.99%
$29
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on all purchases, plus 5 SCENE points for every $1 spent at Cineplex Entertainment theatres or cineplex.com.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee
16.99%
16.99%
$0
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee.
First year annual fee waived for new cardholders. Ends 31 October 2019.

Earn 4% cash back on groceries & recurring bill payments, 2% on gas & public transit and 1% on all other spend.
20.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Save with no annual fee for the first year. Ends 31 October 2019.
No available introductory offer.
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with no credit check and guaranteed approval once you secure your credit card with some funds.
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with guaranteed approval and no credit check.
No available introductory offer.
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Waived annual fee for the first year of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently.
Receive 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first 2 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 5% cash back on travel purchases via Scotia Rewards Travel Service and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on daily purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$110
Get 5% cash back on travel purchases via Scotia Rewards Travel Service and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on daily purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get up to 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months, plus a first year annual fee waiver. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 mile per $10 spend in purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Get up to 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months, plus a first year annual fee waiver. Ends 31 October 2019.
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points upon minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 November 2019.
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with a first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 November 2019.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and 1 mile for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
N/A
Earn 1.25 AIR MILES reward miles at Shell stations in Canada.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Earn 1.25x Miles on card purchases at participating Shell stations in Canada.
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1.5% cash back per $1 spent at Shell stations in Canada
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend. Ends 31 October 2019.
Offers up to 20,000 BMO Rewards welcome points upon minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 BMO Rewards point for every $1 spent.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers a 1.99% balance transfer intro rate for the first nine months to new cardmembers.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and IGA stores and 1 miles for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months.
Receive an annual fee rebate when you spend a minimum of US$1,000 in a year.
Annual fee rebate with minimum spend of US$1,000 per year.
19.99%
22.99%
$35 USD
Receive an annual fee rebate when you spend a minimum of US$1,000 in a year.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments, plus an additional 0.5% cash back on all other spend.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.

Compare up to 4 providers

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% + $0.30
Outside of Canada & USA3.9% + 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.

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.

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

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

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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

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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