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How to boost your Amex spend by using Paypal for online shopping

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An email from Gerry, to whom I am grateful for the examples below, highlighted this interesting titbit which may be useful to some of you.

Given that the miles and points earned on Amex cards are generally far higher than those earned on MasterCard and Visa transactions, it is always frustrating to visit an online retailer to find that American Express is not accepted.

In many cases, though, the same retailers will now accept PayPal as a method of payment. And PayPal DOES let you use Amex.

All you need to do is open a PayPal account and link your American Express card to it. (Opening PayPal accounts can be a bit of a faff, because they need to comply with money laundering regulations, but stick with it.)

Next time you pay a retailer such as ebay, Wilkinson, Lily O’Brien, Superdrug, Domino’s Pizza etc who do not accept Amex but do take PayPal, you can now click through to PayPal instead. You don’t even need to have your Amex card to hand, all you need is your PayPal log-in name and password.

There are usually no extra fees for using PayPal either.

Comments (22)

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  • jason says:

    Looks like i have been missing out for sometime….grrrrr. Great work raffles

  • Dev says:

    Be careful with large ticket items especially if you want Section 75 protection for purchases over £100 as I do not believe that paying via PayPal will protect you. Amex may well consider their obligations ended at the time they funded the PayPal account, which is what was used to actually purchase the product. Although, it seems highly unlikely that you will find an online retailer with which you will make large purchases that does not accept Amex directly.

  • Postiepaula says:

    Clarks shoes is another good one….. Especially when they don’t fit, they go back to the store for a refund on a debit card…
    It does make me cross when so called premium shops don’t take Amex , they expect us to pay their inflated prices, and they refuse to pay for Amex … Rant over 🙂

  • Oliver says:

    You don’t even need a PayPal account! Click through to PayPal from the checkout page of your chosen retailer and on the login page there is usually a box that says ‘I don’t have a PayPal account’ and you can enter card details with PayPal and Amex is accepted. The retailer sees it as a normal PayPal transaction as your money has gone through them.

  • Richard says:

    I wish it was possible to set AMEX as the default payment method over bank account; I wouldn’t have to remember’ to change it on every transaction then. I doubt PayPal would introduce this though, there would be no incentive for them to – as all it would do is decrease their margin. Still, I get a kick every time I do it, PayPal are a bit greedy with their charges IMO, good to be able to nibble something back 🙂

  • Steve says:

    Amex and e-wallets and bookmakers…
    Does anyone know of online bookmakers that accept amex? I to date haven’t found one. Some do take Paypal, but the amex option of loading money is not available directly when depositing via the paypal / bookmaker website.
    Other avenues could be via moneybookers (skrill), but alas I haven’t found any.
    Furthermore, if one does exist would it be converted as a cash advance?
    Looking to find a suitable site in time for the Cheltenham Festival!

    • Rob says:

      No casino or betting site I know that treats payments as anything except a cash advance

  • Joe says:

    I used this trick to buy a garden room from a company that took paypal. The trick is to pay in small installments 1-2k as more than that they tend to reject it. I used it for 8k onto my BA Prem Amex! An easy way to get to your spending limit for the 2-4-1

  • ironmouse says:

    If I make a paypal transfer to a friends bank account and fund it with my BA Amex will I get avios from this.


    • Rob says:

      Yes. But beyond a certain point Paypal will start worrying about money laundering and/or card theft and block the money. Where that point is, no-one knows – depends on the individual.

      There is c 3% fee as well.

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