PayPal Pay in 3 review: What is it and how does it work?

Split your shopping basket in three with PayPal’s buy now pay later scheme. Here’s how to apply and where to use it.


What is PayPal Pay in 3?

PayPal Pay in 3 is PayPal’s buy now, pay later service that lets you split your online shopping basket into three interest-free manageable payments.

PayPal says you can use PayPal Pay in 3 for eligible shopping cart amounts between £45 and £2,000 at most online retailers that accept PayPal.

How does PayPal Pay in 3 work?

At the checkout, just choose to pay with PayPal, log in to your PayPal account and you should then see PayPal Pay in 3 as one of the available payment methods. After selecting it, you can apply for a PayPal Pay in 3 plan, get an instant decision and finish checking out.

You’ll need to pay the first instalment at the time of purchase and then the two following payments will be on the same date in the two subsequent months.

Features of PayPal Pay in 3

  • No fees. As long as you make your payments in time, PayPal Pay in 3 is free to use. But if you’re late with a payment, you’ll be charged £12.
  • Zero interest. PayPal Pay in 3 doesn’t charge any interest on the total amount.
  • Automatic payments. The second and third instalments will be automatically taken each month from your bank account by PayPal Pay in 3.
  • Easy split. PayPal Pay in 3’s simple payment plan splits the total into three equal instalments.
  • Payment reminders. You’ll be sent an email or SMS reminder to let you know when your next payment is coming up.
  • Buyer Protection. You’ll be covered by PayPal Buyer Protection on eligible PayPal Pay in 3 purchases.
  • Multiple currencies. You can pay in all currencies that PayPal supports, not just GBP.

How much does PayPal Pay in 3 cost?

There are no fees for choosing to pay with PayPal’s buy now, pay later scheme. But if you’re late with a payment, you’ll be charged a £12 fee.

How do I sign up to buy now, pay later with PayPal?

First and foremost, your shopping cart will need to be between £45 and £2,000, and you’ll need a PayPal account to check out with.

Once you’ve logged in to PayPal, if PayPal Pay in 3 is available as a payment method, you’ll need to give your name, phone number, address, date of birth and your debit card information. You should know instantly whether you’re approved for financing.

How does PayPal Pay in 3 assess applications?

It assesses your financial position using a combination of the information in your application and information about your PayPal usage and history. If it needs more information, it may also run a credit check.

  • Can PayPal Pay in 3 affect my credit score?

    Yes. PayPal says that, as a responsible lender, it will report a customer’s performance to credit reference agencies when necessary. So make sure you can keep up with repayments or it could affect your credit score.

  • What if I’m declined?

    If you’re declined for PayPal Pay in 3, you can still use PayPal to check out with your debit or credit card. And if you want to re-apply, you’ll be able to do so 35 days after your last application.

Where can I shop with PayPal Pay in 3?

PayPal’s buy now, pay later scheme is available to use at most merchants where PayPal is accepted.

You can also pay in any currency that PayPal supports, not just pound sterling. In these cases, PayPal will automatically convert the transaction amount to GBP at checkout before giving the PayPal Pay in 3 plan. You’re likely to also be charged a currency conversion fee.

You can browse our full list of stores that accept PayPal or else check out our fave retailers below.


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PayPal Pay in 3 FAQ

Can I apply for a refund?

Yes, you can still apply for a refund when you use PayPal Pay in 3, and you’ll get a partial or full refund depending on how much of the order you’re returning. Partial refunds will lower the amount that you owe in the payments you have left. The refunded money will be paid to your PayPal account.

How do I contact customer service?

Log in to your PayPal account and send the team a direct message. Alternatively, contact the users in the PayPal online community or go to PayPal’s Resolution Centre if you have a transaction or account problem.

Where can I see how much I owe?

Log in to your PayPal account, go to PayPal Pay in 3 and click on the specific PayPal Pay in 3 plan you want to see. The amount you still owe will be under “Remaining”.

Can I make extra payments or pay the whole plan at once?

Yes. In your PayPal account, choose the PayPal Pay in 3 plan and click on “Make a Payment”. From there, you can make an unscheduled payment by clicking on either “Next Payment Due” or “Full Balance”.

Can I have multiple PayPal Pay in 3 plans at the same time?

Yes. You can track how much you owe on each plan through your PayPal account. It will also show any plans you have completed in the past 12 months.

Can I use PayPal Pay in 3 if I have PayPal Credit?

Yes, you can use both services. PayPal’s buy now, pay later scheme is a separate feature from PayPal Credit.

Can I pause or suspend my PayPal Pay in 3 payments?

No. Once you agree to the terms of your PayPal Pay in 3 plan and your payments begin, the second and third payments will be taken automatically. PayPal will charge you £12 if you miss a payment.

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