Got a sizable PayPal balance and want to spend it on Amazon? Or if not on Amazon, then on any of the other thousands of online retailers and services out there? That’s reasonable.
Sadly, not every site accepts PayPal as a valid form of payment. But there are workarounds you can use to effectively spend your PayPal balance on sites that don’t accept it. Here’s what you need to know and how to do it.
Can You Use PayPal on Amazon?
You sold a bunch of stuff on eBay, and now you want to spend that cash on something awesome. You’ve spotted something you really want on Amazon, so you click “Add to cart”, select a payment option, and… hold on. Can you spend PayPal cash on Amazon?
Actually, yes you can! But the process isn’t straightforward.
It’s frustrating to have a load of money in PayPal and not be able to spend it. Sure, it’s not as bad as being physically unable to spend it (e.g. when restrictions are placed on your account), but having the cash to buy something only to find that your money isn’t good enough… That’s pretty much what is going on here with Amazon and PayPal.
First of all, do you really need to be using Amazon? There’s a strong chance that the item you wish to buy is also available elsewhere, like on eBay. These days, eBay isn’t just a place for auctions and bids—it has become a wide-ranging marketplace, much like Amazon, that supports online retailers of all kinds and niches.
So, before you try any of the following workarounds, just check eBay. You can even take advantage of their price match feature!
What Other Online Stores Accept PayPal?
If you have a PayPal balance you want to spend, and want to do so online, your options are considerable. Thousands of online stores, large and small, accept payment via PayPal. The list is too large to replicate here, but if you’re looking for a definitive list of major retailers that accept PayPal, head to the PayPal Shopping page. Here, you’ll find links directly to retailers such as Disney, Newegg, Samsung, Expedia, Walmart, and more.
Meanwhile, online marketplaces that let creatives sell unique or unusual handmade and vintage items—such as Etsy or Redbubble—often rely on PayPal for processing payments.
One thing that these online stores have in common is that while they accept PayPal, they don’t solely rely on it, typically offering at least the default alternatives of Visa and MasterCard credit cards. This is important if you’re using a PayPal Access Card.
How to Use PayPal on Amazon (And Elsewhere)
If you can’t find the item on eBay or elsewhere, it’s time to employ workarounds.
You don’t have to put up with the Amazon vs. PayPal duality, which exists largely because Amazon Pay is a direct competitor to PayPal. Instead, if you want to use PayPal on Amazon (or any other site that doesn’t accept it), try one of these two tricks.
1. Use a PayPal Access Card on Amazon
Probably the best option, a PayPal Access Card is a pre-pay credit card (the pre-pay portion being the contents of your PayPal account), backed by MasterCard. Unfortunately, it isn’t available to all PayPal account holders.
To apply, head to the PayPal Access Card page. If eligible, you’ll be given a card that you can use in bricks-and-mortar stores and online stores. For instance, as it is a MasterCard, you can use a PayPal Access Card as your payment type on Amazon.
Want to learn more? See our guide on applying for a PayPal Access Card.
2. Buy Amazon Gift Cards With PayPal
If you’re turned down, or simply don’t want to bother with the hassle of a PayPal Access Card, there is another option: voucher sites.
Any voucher site that sells gift cards—and most of them do—will let you pay for Amazon gift cards using a PayPal account. You might even find a card on a site for buying and selling gift cards. These sites are not alone, as big online retailers like Newegg and Walmart also sell Amazon gift cards. A quick browse of eBay will also reveal Amazon gift cards for sale, so naturally you can use your PayPal account there.
Once the gift card is bought, simply find the code, add it to your Amazon account (Gift Cards > Apply it to your account on the Amazon site), and use it to pay for that item you have your eye on. This is the simplest way to use PayPal on Amazon!
Do Your Favorite Restaurants Accept PayPal?
Hungry? Want to grab a takeaway, get something delivered, or spend your PayPal balance on a meal for friends (don’t forget to check the wait times first)? You can!
Increasingly, restaurants and takeaways are using PayPal as a payment method when paying online. For instance, Papa Johns and Dominos both accept PayPal. Meanwhile, restaurants that sign up to takeaway apps like Seamless, and Grubhub, all let you order food with PayPal.
Surprisingly, Pizza Hut doesn’t accept PayPal for food delivery orders, but a trip to PayPizzaPal.com will fix that. Simply order a Pizza Hut voucher, pay via PayPal, and your meal is paid for. Similarly, vouchers for popular restaurant chains are again available from big stores like Newegg and Walmart, which accept PayPal for online purchases.
Looking for a restaurant that accepts PayPal when you walk in off the street? Increasingly restaurants are offering mobile-based payment, so while this might be something that happens in future, currently PayPal isn’t accepted in most cases.
However, if you opt for the PayPal Access Card, then you can simply use that to pay for your meal!
Start Using PayPal on Amazon and Elsewhere
So, your PayPal balance can be used on Amazon, just with the help of a pre-pay credit card or Amazon gift cards. Meanwhile, you can use PayPal to pay for takeout from your favorite restaurants using the methods above.
Would it would be nice if Amazon did permit standard PayPal payments? Yes, but as long as it has its own Amazon Pay alternative, that’s just not going to happen. If any of this has put you off using PayPal, don’t worry, there are plenty of PayPal alternatives worth using.
And if you use the service on your Android device, read up on how malware can empty your PayPal account so you can take action.