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Frequently Asked Questions

About PayPal

PayPal allows you to make payments using a variety of methods including: PayPal balance, bank account, PayPal branded debit and credit cards, PayPal Credit, debit card, and credit card. Because your protection against undelivered or defective goods will vary with each method, you should review this page to understand how you can select a payment method and how protection differs depending on your payment method.

Selecting a preferred payment method
You can choose any of the payment methods in your PayPal account as your preferred payment method. You can select a preferred payment method in your account preferences on www.paypal.com or in the PayPal app.

You can set separate preferred payment methods for online transactions and in-store transactions.

If you have chosen an online preferred payment method, it will be shown as the primary method of payment when making a purchase or sending money via goods and services.

If you have chosen an in-store preferred payment method and do not have any money in your PayPal balance, your preferred payment method will be used for your purchase. If you do have a PayPal balance, your PayPal balance will be used first and your preferred payment method will be used for any remaining amount due.

There may be times when your preferred payment method cannot be used, for example, if you select a credit card that has expired. Also, the availability of certain payment methods may be limited based on that particular seller or the third party website you are using to complete the transaction.

If no preferred payment method, it’s still your choice
If you have not selected a preferred payment method, or your preferred payment method is unavailable, we will show you multiple available payment methods, including the payment method you used most often or most recently, at the time of transaction. You can also click on the “Manage” link to see all of your available payment methods, or add a new one, and select the one of your choosing during the transaction.

Pre-approved payments
Some sellers allow you to store PayPal as the payment method to use whenever making purchases on their site, so you can check out faster. Often, this entails creating an agreement with the seller, where you give the seller permission to pay using your PayPal account every time you make a purchase.

When you first set up an agreement, your preferred payment method (if you have one selected) will be shown first. We will also show you other payment methods you have available in your PayPal account that you can instruct the seller to use. For example, you can instruct your monthly movie subscription service to always charge your credit card for the monthly cost. The payment method you select will be used for every future transaction with that seller, unless you decide to change it in your account settings on www.paypal.com or it is unavailable (i.e. credit card expired).

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