Does PayPal accept American Express?

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

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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.

Our pick for an Amex card to use with PayPal

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • 0% introductory plan fee for plans set up during your first 15 months of card membership with Plan It®, a feature that lets you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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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
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.
N/A
2% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn 2% cash back on all purchases. Rates & fees
N/A
N/A
$0
Get 6 months special financing on purchases of $99+ everywhere PayPal is accepted. Rates & fees
See terms
See terms
See terms
Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.

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Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
$150 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
$150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Earn $150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
$150 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Unlimited 1.5% cash back. Rates & fees
See terms
See terms
See terms
Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.

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 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.

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

This is a great Amex product you can use with PayPal. You’ll earn a solid 1.5% cash back on your purchases.

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

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

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
  • Complimentary Gold Status in Hilton Honors
  • 125,000 Hilton Honors points after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

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.

  • 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
  • Gold Elite Status in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership

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 great choices for PayPal transactions. You can find many of them for no annual fee.

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