How to pay with Paypal on Amazon

Sometimes you have a Paypal balance and would rather spend it somewhere other than Ebay. You’d also rather spend it without having to bounce the money into a bank account first. Here’s how to pay with Paypal on Amazon. Or anywhere else that doesn’t directly take Paypal.

A surprising number of merchants, including brick-and-mortar shops, take Paypal. And that number is increasing. But some regard Paypal as a competitor. Some competitors, such as Google, accept Paypal anyway, either out of antitrust concerns or concern that not taking Paypal is bad for their business. Amazon did not make the same decision. So in those cases like Amazon, you have to use a trick to spend money out of your Paypal balance there without taking intermediate steps. So I’ll tell you the trick, and how to set it up.

Use a Paypal debit card to pay with Paypal on Amazon

Amazon doesn’t take Paypal directly because Amazon also has an online payment processing business. But Amazon does take credit and debit cards. Paypal happens to offer a debit card. Getting a Paypal debit card is the workaround that lets you pay with Paypal on Amazon. Ironically it takes a piece of plastic to make two e-commerce giants work together. But that’s the hardest part of figuring out how to pay with Paypal on Amazon.

You can usually find what you want on Ebay, but not always. Sometimes the prices are better somewhere else. And while I can get a lot of the same things in both places, I can buy digital music on Amazon. I can’t do that on Ebay. Your reason may be different from mine. I’m sure there’s more than one legitimate reason to want to pay with Paypal on Amazon instead of spending your money from your Paypal balance at Ebay.

Amazon doesn’t take Paypal directly. But Amazon takes credit and debit cards. Paypal happens to offer a debit card. That’s the loophole you can use to pay with Paypal on Amazon.

Getting a Paypal debit card

To apply for a Paypal debit card, visit https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/debit-card and fill out the forms. The card may take a couple of weeks to arrive, and will arrive in a discrete, plain-looking envelope. Don’t look for an envelope with Paypal branding splashed all over it. Pay close attention to the stuff that looks like junk mail for a couple of weeks.

The catch is that you have to be a high-enough roller. If you brought in $500 worth of Paypal payments last year, approval seems to be automatic. It was for me, making the process easier than getting a library card. If you didn’t, Paypal asks you some more questions.

I suppose I could use a credit card, but I’d rather not run up my credit card balance while I have money tied up in Paypal. It’s doable, but I think you’ll agree it’s less convenient.

Entering your new Paypal debit card in Amazon

how to pay with Paypal on Amazon
Once you receive your card, the hardest part is knowing where to find the place to enter the card, and which options to check or not check. After you have that set up, you know how to pay with Paypal on Amazon.

Once your card arrives, all you have to do is enter it so Amazon knows it. Log in to Amazon, then from Accounts & Lists at the top of the screen, click Your Account.

Navigate to Payment options. Scroll down to Add a new payment method, and under the option Credit or Debit Cards, click Add a Card. Enter the name on the card, the card number and expiration date. But before you click the option to add your card, you have one decision to make. If you want this to be the default payment method, check the box use this card across all of Amazon. That’s the default.If you don’t want that to be the default, don’t check that box. No, I don’t know why they can’t just say “default payment method” next to that box. It would be clearer. Whether you want Paypal to be your default method probably depends on how much money you keep in your account. If you only occasionally have a balance, you probably don’t want it to be your default.

At any rate, click Add your card when you’re finished. And that’s it. Now you can use Paypal to buy things on Amazon, and you have your choice whether it’s the default option or a backup option.

Advantages of using Paypal on Amazon

I prefer to use Paypal directly when I can, partly because it lets me buy online without keeping an account at so many retailers. Paying with Paypal on Amazon is a lot less convenient than paying with Paypal on, say, Newegg. Or even at Home Depot.

But at least there’s a way to do it, without a lot of inconvenience. You only have to set it up once, after all. One good thing about our connected world is that it brings so many things together. Including competitors, sometimes. And that’s how to pay with Paypal on Amazon.

One thought on “How to pay with Paypal on Amazon

  • June 28, 2018 at 7:24 am
    Permalink

    An additional benefit of the Business Debit card is that you get a 1% rebate on all credit card purchases (no PIN) that you make with it. The rebate gets added to your PayPal balance once a month.

    Reply

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