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How to boost your Amex spend by using PayPal for online purchases

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If you tried to buy some British Airways First Class crockery in the sale this week (which is still running – BA has now restocked), you will have noticed that Whatabuy, the sale site, does not take American Express.

Here is the checkout page:

Use Amex with Paypal

You will that there is no American Express logo.  However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot use an Amex card.

Go back a stage on Whatabuy and you see this:

Use Amex with Paypal

Whatabuy accepts PayPal.

And PayPal DOES let you use American Express.

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 American Express card as you do not need to remember your card details when paying.

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

There are no extra fees for using PayPal with retailers.

Note that 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, as with Whatabuy, it will work just fine.

The only thing worth noting is that you lose some of your consumer protection if the retailer goes bust if you pay with PayPal. This is because you do not have a direct contract with the retailer.  PayPal does have its own reimbursement scheme called PayPal Buyer Protection which may cover you but it is not legally enshrined.

Get £10 for opening a free PayPal account

PayPal is currently offering you £10 if you open a PayPal account.

You need referring, so drop us an email at hello at  We will send you 1p by PayPal to the email address you supply.

To claim your 1p, you need to follow the link in the email you will receive to open a PayPal account.

When you make your first PayPal payment of £5 or more before the year-end, you will receive £10 in your PayPal account.  Whichever member of the HfP team ends up referring you will also get £10, although it is capped at £50 so we’re not getting rich here!  The offer ends on 31st December.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (61)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James. says:

    Have had a sour relationship with PayPal and will never use them again.

    Used it for various eBay purchases, selling, matched betting, online shopping.

    After 18 years of use and probably pumping £100,000s though the platform they closed my account. Trying to talk to someone about why they closed my account was only faced with dead end bot responses.

    • John says:

      I thought they didn’t like anything that could be construed as gambling

      I close and open a new account every few months

  • sayling says:

    A free penny from HfP, you say… 🤔


  • Jonathan says:

    Be careful buying anything from overseas on PayPal either. They enforce their own currency conversion at terrible rates (5-10% below spot) & there is no longer a way to opt out. Curve etc. won’t help either.

    I’m amazed they’re allowed to get away with this as it’s so blatantly exploitative but fits with the direction of travel over issues such as buyer “protection”. Definitely a company that needs reigning in or avoiding unless you’re exploiting one of the few loopholes left.

    • Alex W says:

      Is that new? Tried it couple of months ago and managed to opt out. It was quite difficult to find the option I recall.

    • BuildTheWall says:

      You can choose to avoid it on desktop version. The choice is not available on mobile version.

      • Lady London says:

        try clicking ‘Desktop version’ in Chrome settingaa on mobile if this happens and reload if it doesn’t automatically

    • Lady London says:

      they cant force their rate legally I believe, though they do keep hiding the right to opt out in different places.

      If you want the true ‘Manila’ experience then just let Paypal think you’ve made minor transgression. Dealing with Manila will mostly take years off your life unless you’re very lucky.

  • PM says:

    Not directly related to this offer but do not forget about the new inactivity penalty charge from paypal coming into force from 15/12/20.

    I echo the same sentiments about very poor customer support from paypal, painfully long times to resolve complaints, zero personalisation, dealing mostly with bots or random representatives assigned ad hoc to a case unaware or only vaguely aware of previous correspondence.

    The wasted time and stress of dealing with paypal is worth much more than £10 but I guess some will want to test it themselves.

    • The real John says:

      Just don’t keep a balance in paypal, they won’t put accounts into negative with the inactivity charge. Preferably close your account if you don’t foresee yourself using it in the next month – it’s easy to open again if you need to

  • Lady London says:

    I know everyone here’s going to laugh at me for asking this but is there any reason not to have a second Paypal account?

    • Bagoly says:

      In the days when one could only have one credit card on an account, I had one per relevant credit card.
      Now I just have one for GBP and one for EUR – that way I don’t need to find the exchange rate workaround when buying an item priced in EUR.

    • memesweeper says:

      I have one personal and one for my business

  • Josh Davies says:

    An interesting opportunity you may not know about is PayPal Giving Fund. If you are feeling charitable you can donate to PayPal Giving Fund and ask them to forward it to your prefered charity (e.g. Cancer Research UK). No fees using AMEX. Charity gets 100% of your donation and you can add gift aid and get a tax receipt. Tis the season of good will after all!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Thanks I’ll give that a go next time. I’m donating to my usual causes.

  • Trent says:

    PayPal does resolve Chinese order disputes for merchandise ordered online. It was about a month but I received a refund to my account with very little contact with PayPal. They’re my preferred way to purchase online for

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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