Can I Use a Credit Card on PayPal?

Dayton Uttinger  | 

You might remember an era when people frequently exchanged cash, checks, or money orders. For better or worse, we’ve long since moved past those days.  Electronic money transfer systems are becoming the norm more and more, with PayPal being one of the most widespread. PayPal supports debit and credit cards these days, but the nuances can be difficult to understand.

It might be strange to think about a private business, rather than a bank, supervising your money moving in and out of your account, but PayPal has a great reputation, usually doesn’t carry a fee, and is almost unavoidable in today’s world.

Can You Pay PayPal With a Credit Card?

You can absolutely use a credit card with a PayPal account. However, it’s more complicated than it seems.

Paying PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit is like a separate line of credit that works with all PayPal payments. So if you’d like to buy something using PayPal and put it on credit, you can sort of skip a step by just having a PayPal line of credit under Comenity Capital Bank. For purchases of $99 or more, you could have six months with no interest.

Additionally, you can even use PayPal credit to buy items in store or anywhere online that accepts PayPal. Although you won’t receive a physical card, you can pay digitally even in stores.

However, you do have to apply for PayPal credit, same as any other credit card. There will be a hard inquiry on your credit, which could lower your score temporarily. There is no annual fee for PayPal credit, although the APR is around 20 percent.  If you have an exceptional credit score, you can probably get a better rate through another lender.  On the other hand, PayPal is especially convenient if you do a lot of online shopping.

Putting Money in Your PayPal Account

Alternatively, you can put money into your PayPal account, much like a debit card. A debit card draws money from your bank account.  You can put money in your PayPal account and then make purchases withdrawing from that balance.

You cannot load up your PayPal account with your credit card, though. You can only do that after connecting your bank account or your debit card.

What Credit Cards Can I Use With PayPal?

You can use all four of the major credit cards to make payments with PayPal. These are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

If you connect your credit card to PayPal, you don’t always have to use it to pay your bill, provided that you also give your bank account information. You can choose to pay directly from your account or with your credit card.  Check with your lender to see if there’s any specific cards that offer PayPal rewards that suit your needs.

PayPal is the most popular electronic money transferring system right now.  There is a lot of convenience attached to PayPal credit or PayPal accounts, but ultimately you get to make the choice for yourself if they suit your needs. You certainly can use a credit card with PayPal, but that doesn’t mean that you have to.

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Dayton is a chronic Wikipedia addict, which is detrimental to her social life but stellar for her writing. She resides in Boise, ID, surrounded by her own frantic outlines, highlighted encyclopedias, and potatoes. The latter was not by choice.