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Does PayPal accept American Express?

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

Updated

Fact checked

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

Our pick for use with PayPal

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
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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
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
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Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
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Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Citi® Double Cash Card
N/A
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
$0
This one of the most valuable flat cashback cards. It comes with 2% cash back (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay) and 18 months months to pay off transfers.
TD Cash Credit Card
$150 after spending $500 in the first 90 days
3% on dining, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other eligible purchases
$0
3% on dining and 2% on groceries make this a valuable card for food purchases. Use it while traveling, too, with no foreign transaction fees. Available in: CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See terms
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Credit One Bank® Visa® with Free Credit Score Access
N/A
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
$0 to $99
Get 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
N/A
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
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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.

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

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
  • $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

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

Please note: All information about Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by Finder and this card is no longer available through this site.
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 the best choice for PayPal transactions. You can find many of them for no annual fee.

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