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Forums Payment cards American Express Be careful with Paypal auto-renewals

  • FatherOfFour 286 posts

    My car insurance is due for renewal. We paid with my old free BA Amex last time around (Via Paypal), which I’m about to cancel (just topping out a small negative balance with a few smaller payments to avoid having to get in touch for a refund!)

    This year, we wanted to put on my wife’s BAPP for the extra points, plus progress towards SUB and 241. I duly logged into Paypal, added my supp card and made it the preferred method.
    Went to insurers site, selected to renew via Paypal and it has automatically gone onto my old card. Apparently this is a feature of Paypal and the only way I could have prevented this was to cancel the renewal contract via the Paypal site before making the transaction.

    I’ve emailed the insurer- they seem to understand the scenario, but say the only thing I can do is to cancel, for free, but can’t guarantee that opening a new policy would get me the same rate as the renewal. There were policies with cheaper headline prices via the comparison sites, so I’m considering my next move again. I try to stay with the same insurer for the convenience, and I’ve pointed this out to them. I’m sure their systems are very rigid in allowing refunds and taking payment again and they are an “online only” retailer so it’s all by email.

    I wanted to warn anyone who wasn’t aware of this feature within Paypal. I believe it also applies to monthly subscriptions such as Spotify / Netflix etc. so don’t assume that because you’ve added your new card as the preferred method, that your subscriptions will come off of it.

    PIL 119 posts

    Loyalty pays nothing these days, just go with the cheapest quote that includes everything you need 🙂

    SamG 1,728 posts

    You can update the card attached to each “pre-authorised retailer” (not sure the exact termonology they use!) inside PayPal – it doesn’t use your default card for new purchases – have been caught out similarly before!

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    They used to have a ‘default’ card option that would reset all existing recurring payments. But that was removed or functionality changed some time back.
    Now the ‘default’ card only works for new payments. For existing recurring payments, you have to manually change the card.

    Scott 258 posts

    Yes, the ‘recurring’ payment settings page is hidden away in Paypal, not sure why it isn’t more prominent. Was similarly caught out with AirBnB in the past.

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