So you’ve set up your PayPal account and you’re ready to start transferring money, paying bills, and shopping online. Well, your options are pretty limited until you add some money to your PayPal balance. Luckily it just takes a few minutes to do so, and even better, it can be completely free!
Read also: What is PayPal? How do you use it?
PayPal isn’t a replacement for a real bank account, but it is a great tool to have at your disposal. Here are the best ways to add money to your PayPal account so you can make the most of the platform.
How to add funds to PayPal
Before we get into the step-by-step for how to add money to PayPal, you first need to decide where you want that money to come from. The easiest way is to connect a bank account and transfer from there, but there are some security risks involved. It’s much safer to connect a credit card, or if you’re really security conscious you can even add cash directly in select locations.
We’ve outlined the steps for all three methods of adding money to PayPal below.
How to transfer money to PayPal from a bank account
This method has been around for the longest, and although it isn’t the safest of the three you probably won’t have any issues. If you have any reservations, you can always unlink the bank account when you’re finished.
The steps are similar whether you’re using the PayPal website or mobile app. First, navigate to My Wallet, then select the option for Link a bank account. You will be prompted to add an IBAN code, so you might need to consult your online banking portal if you’re not sure what yours is.
Once you’ve entered your IBAN, click Agree and link. After that you will be asked to confirm your bank account. Note that a bank account cannot be tied to more than one PayPal account at a time, or it will return an error message. Here are those steps again in brief:
How to connect a bank account to PayPal:
- Log into PayPal.
- Navigate to My Wallet.
- Click Link a bank account.
- Enter the IBAN code.
- Click Agree and link.
- Follow on-screen instructions to confirm your account.
Now that your bank account is ready, it’s time to transfer funds to PayPal. All you need to do is log into the website (or open the app), hit Transfer money, then Add money to your balance. After that, select your bank account, enter the amount, and click Add.
This is the easiest method, but it isn’t the fastest. It can take 3-5 days for the funds to appear in your account, so don’t expect to do any shopping later that day. We’ve listed the step-by-step instructions below for your convenience.
How to add money to PayPal with a bank account:
- Log into PayPal.
- Click Transfer Money, then Add money to your balance.
- Select your bank account and enter the amount.
- Click Add.
How to add money to PayPal using a debit or credit card
The next method we’ll cover uses a debit or credit card. The steps are the same for either type of card, but if you’re looking for added security we recommend using a credit card. With a credit card, you can dispute any fraudulent charges directly with your credit card company (in addition to PayPal). Plus, there’s no risk of someone draining your bank account.
One thing to note is that you cannot transfer funds from a credit card to your PayPal balance. Instead, any time you purchase something with PayPal or make a transfer it will automatically charge that amount to your card.
But before you can start spending, you’ll first need to link a debit or credit card to your PayPal account. This is similar to what we covered above, starting in the My Wallet section of your account. From there, click Link a debit or credit card, then enter your card information and click Add card. You may be required to verify the card once you add it.
Note that like bank accounts, each card can only be tied to one PayPal account. However, you can have up to 24 cards tied to a single PayPal account (although you absolutely should not do this). Here are those steps again in brief:
How to add a debit or credit card to PayPal:
- Log into PayPal.
- Navigate to My Wallet.
- Click Link a debit or credit card.
- Enter your card details.
- Click Add card.
- Follow on-screen instructions to verify your card.
Now you’re ready to start using your PayPal account. Credit cards might be somewhat more limited than bank accounts, but they are much safer. Plus, if you link both you can choose which one to use on the PayPal checkout screen under the Pay with another source option.
How to add cash to PayPal
While it’s not available in every country, the ultimate way to protect your privacy and security is with cash. Thanks to a number of retail partners, all you need to add cash to PayPal is the app on your phone and a friendly customer service representative.
PayPal’s retail partners in the US include big names like Walmart, Walgreens, 7-Eleven, CVS, GameStop, Dollar General, and more. It’s important to note that unlike the other methods described above, this one has a rather sizeable fee attached. The amount varies depending on the location you choose, but it can run you as much as $4.95 per transaction.
There’s also a limit to how much cash you can add in a single transaction. The most cash you can add to your PayPal account at once is $500, with a minimum of $20. There’s also a daily limit of $1,500, and a monthly limit of $5,000.
Now onto the steps for how to add cash to PayPal. The first thing you want to do is take your phone and cash to one of the physical locations supported. Typically you want to head over to the customer service desk (not the cashier) and explain what you want to do. They may or may not be familiar with the process, so please be patient.
On your side, all you need to do is open the PayPal app on your phone, tap the More icon at the bottom, and tap Add Cash. Then, select the store you’re at and tap Generate Code. This code lasts for 60 minutes. Now have the customer service representative scan the code and give them your cash.
In about 15 minutes, the amount (minus the fee) will be added to your PayPal balance and you can get to shopping online! Here are those steps again, in brief:
How to add cash to PayPal:
- Go to the customer service counter of a supported store.
- Open the PayPal app on your phone.
- Tap the More icon (three dots).
- Tap Add cash.
- Select the retailer you’re going to use.
- Tap Generate Code.
- Scan the code and hand over your cash.
- In 15 minutes, the money will appear in your account.
That’s it for our guide to how to add money to PayPal! Check out some of our other PayPal guides at the links below.