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Boosting your Amex spend by using Paypal for online shopping

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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 accept PayPal as a method of payment. And PayPal DOES let you use Amex.

Boost American Express spend by using Paypal for online shopping

You do not even need a PayPal account to pay with PayPal – you can click on the ‘Pay with PayPal’ link and enter your card details directly.  That said, it makes sense to open an account and link your Amex card as you do not need to remember your card details when paying.

Next time you pay a retailer who do not accept Amex but do take PayPal, click through to PayPal instead.

If you have a PayPal account, remember that PayPal will, by default, take payment from your bank current account if it is linked.  You need to click the link during the payment process to switch to your Amex card.

There are usually no extra fees for using PayPal with retailers.  Some retailers manage to block PayPal from showing the American Express option if they do not accept Amex themselves, so this is not always a solution.  In the majority of cases it will work just fine.

A list of retailers who accept PayPal can be found here.

The only thing worth noting is that you may lose some of your protection if the retailer goes bust if you pay with PayPal.  PayPal does have its own reimbursement scheme called PayPal Buyer Protection which may cover you but it is not legally enshrined.  That said, if you use an Amex charge card, that is not covered by the compensation legislation either albeit that Amex does voluntarily make good any losses.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (35)

  • djb61 says:

    I have found recently when making some online transactions in the UK that a number of sites offer “Amazon Payments” as an option. This processes the payment via your Amazon account allowing you to select any payment method you have setup on Amazon which includes Amex. Not sure how widespread this is or if it is growing but two recent purchases of computer parts from UK e-tailers both offered this an option.