How to Use PayPal Without a Credit Card or Debit Card

Dayton Uttinger  | 

If you don’t have a credit or debit card, you’re missing out on some serious convenience and the opportunity to build credit. However, you don’t have to miss out on using PayPal, one of the biggest electronic payment and money transfer systems around. PayPal is accepted widely online, and even if you don’t have a credit or debit card, you can still use PayPal to purchase items.

Can You Use PayPal Without a Credit Card?

Absolutely; you can make payments and receive money on PayPal without a credit or debit card. However, you will need to create a PayPal account and link your bank account to it. Then, you can transfer money from your bank account to your PayPal account and use the balance from there.

In this way, PayPal functions similar to a debit card. It withdraws money directly from your bank account to make the payment. This transaction usually takes one business day to complete.

PayPal Account Verification

When you create a PayPal account, you’ll be asked to verify it. Part of that process is linking your bank account to your PayPal account. All you’ll need for this is your bank account and routing numbers. You can find these on the bottom of your blank checks, in your monthly statements, or you can ask your bank for them.

Linking your bank account allows you to transfer funds to and from PayPal without a credit or debit card. There are other ways to send money on PayPal, even without an account, but this is the best one if you don’t want to use a credit or debit card.

PayPal Account Limits

Before you commit to using PayPal for your transactions, you should consider that there are some account limits. If you do not link your bank account, your credit card, nor your debit card, then PayPal will limit the amount that you can send or withdraw from your account.

If you want to bypass these limits, you’ll need to link at least one of those listed above. Additionally, you might have to provide your Social Security Number. However, even so, you might be limited to sending $10,000 in a single transaction, although the exact amount will depend on the currency you’re using.

Linking your bank account will be more helpful than linking a credit or debit card. By linking your bank account, you’ll be able to send and receive money through PayPal. If you only link a card, you won’t be able to access any money sent to you. You can let it collect in your PayPal account and use it there, but you won’t be able to use it outside of PayPal.

PayPal is one of the most popular ways to spend or receive money online. As our world moves more and more toward digital shopping and digital wallets, it becomes more and more tempting to have a PayPal account. However, even if you don’t want to link your credit or debit card, you can still use PayPal.


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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.

This post was updated June 21, 2018. It was originally published June 1, 2018.