Can You Pay With a Credit Card Through PayPal?

by Jennifer Meyer

PayPal gives users the option to pay for purchases by using a credit card, in addition to enabling payments from a bank account and providing users with an online funds account. Using a credit card offers increases security for the buyer. However, PayPal also makes it somewhat difficult to pay with the credit card, as it is not offered as a primary payment option.

Registering a Credit Card

To register a credit card with your PayPal account, log in and navigate to the Financial Information section. Click on the Add a Card button and fill out the information requested. Make sure that all the information is correct and that the billing address you type in is the same one associated with the card.

Accepted Credit Cards

You can register most major credit cards with your PayPal account, including American Express, MasterCard, Discover and Visa.

Benefits of Paying Via Credit Card

Paying for a PayPal purchase with a credit card gives you an added safety net if your purchase goes awry --- you can deny the seller final payment. This is not the case with debit cards and direct bank transactions, since the money in both these cases is transferred right away. Additionally, PayPal will never display your credit card number to the seller, reducing your risk even further.

Drawbacks of Paying Via Credit Card

The downside of using your credit card with PayPal is the same downside to using a credit card in general. You have to remember to pay back the owed amount on time or the credit card company will charge escalating fees and your credit rating may take a hit. In addition, any charge you accrue to your PayPal account will be taken out of your PayPal balance first, rather than charged directly to your credit card. Unfortunately, there is no way to set PayPal to use your credit card as your primary means of payment.

Temporary Card Numbers

PayPal once offered an added security measure for MasterCard users by allowing them to create temporary, one-use-only credit card numbers to use for a single transaction. Even if the number is somehow stolen, it would be unusable to the thief. Unfortunately, despite popular demand, this feature was suspended in September of 2010.

About the Author

Jennifer Meyer received her B.A. in anthropology, specializing in archeology, in 2004 from Beloit College. She then earned her master's degree in museum studies at Indiana University in 2007 after being awarded a university fellowship. She started writing in 2005, contributing podcast scripts, procedural guides and exhibit copy to museums in the Indianapolis metro area.

Photo Credits

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