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Does PayPal accept American Express?

You can use Amex cards — but watch out for fees.

PayPal accepts a few payment methods, including bank accounts, debit cards and credit cards.

You can use credit cards from all major providers, but you may pay a fee depending on the transaction.

Major credit cards issuers accepted at PayPal

Credit card typeAccepted at PayPal
American Express
Visa
Mastercard
Discover

Compare credit cards for PayPal

PayPal’s cobranded credit cards can be solid financing options. With the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, you’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase. And the PayPal Extras Mastercard® offers 2x points on PayPal purchases.

As alternatives, look for cards that offer solid flat-rate rewards on every purchase.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
PayPal Extras Mastercard®
N/A
3x points on gas and dining, x points on PayPal and eBay and 1x points on all other purchases
$0
Earn 3x points on gas and dining, x points on PayPal and eBay and 1x points on all other purchases.
PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
N/A
2% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn 2% cash back on all purchases. Rates & fees
PayPal Credit
N/A
N/A
$0
Get 6 months special financing on purchases of $99+ everywhere PayPal is accepted. Rates & fees
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Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
$0
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months. This is a higher-than-average welcome offer for a card with no annual fee. Terms apply, see rates & fees
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
Up to $100 in Bitcoin rewards by earning 3.5% back in Bitcoin on all purchases in the first 90 days
3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin, then 1.5% on all purchases
$0
Earn 3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin. After that you'll earn a solid 1.5% back on all purchases.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
N/A
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$39
Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limit on how much you can earn, and no changing categories.
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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 through PayPal with your Amex credit card, you won’t pay any fee.
  • However, you’ll pay a fee when you send money to friends or family within the US at 2.9% of each transaction.
  • The fee is higher when you send money abroad. You’ll pay a fixed fee, a 2.9% transaction fee and a fee depending on the currency.

Will my PayPal transaction trigger a cash advance?

Typically goods-and-services payments through PayPal aren’t classified as cash advances.

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 a casino.

Sending money to family and friends may or may not trigger a cash advance. If you’re worried about cash advance fees or APRs, contact your card provider.

What you need to know about cash advance interest rates

Consider these American Express credit cards for PayPal

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

When comparing which Amex cards work well with Paypal, look at the cashback or rewards value per dollar spent, as well as the annual fee, welcome offer value, and associated fees when using an Amex card through Paypal. The Amex cards below show a sampling of cards that provide value for purchases made through Paypal.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card
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This is a great Amex product you can use with PayPal. You’ll earn a solid 1.5% cash back on your purchases that you’ll recieve as statement credit.

  • No annual fee (Terms apply, see rates & fees)
  • 1.5% cash back on your purchases
  • $150 back after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first three months of card membership

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Read review

Most of your PayPal purchases probably won’t fall in this card’s elevated-rewards categories. But you’ll still earn a solid 3x points on eligible purchases.

  • 12x Hilton Honors points at participating Hilton properties; 6x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations; 3x points on all other eligible purchases(Terms apply, see rates & fees).
  • Complimentary Gold Status in Hilton Honors
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first 6 months.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
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Earn a solid base rewards rate of 2x points on eligible purchases. Though the card costs $450 a year, it offers high-class travel benefits (Terms apply, see rates & fees).

  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines; 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • $300 in Marriott Bonvoy statement credit every card year
  • Free Night Award every card year
  • Elite Status in Marriott Bonvoy

Payment options for PayPal

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

Bottom line

You can use your American Express card with PayPal. Consider only using it when paying for products or services to avoid paying a transaction fee.

If you’re sending money, you’ll pay a transaction fee of at least 2.9%. Also, watch out for potential cash advance fees and interest rates.
Flat-rate cashback cards are typically the best choice for PayPal transactions. You can find many of them for no annual fee.

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