How to Add Money to PayPal

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on May 17, 2022

PayPal is an electronic payment service that has been in use for over 20 years. PayPal lets you send and receive money online easily. However, before you can use the service you have to know how to add money to PayPal. Read on to learn more.

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How to Add Money to a PayPal Account Explained

PayPal is an online payments service. It allows you to send money from your PayPal balance to someone else’s PayPal account while paying a small fee. The service is also integrated with many e-commerce websites, allowing you to make payments for goods and services quickly and easily using your PayPal account. 

To add and hold money in your PayPal account, you need a PayPal Balance account. Without a Balance account, you can still make payments, but you need to have a linked payment method. When you make a payment the money is taken from your linked bank account or card. You can also receive money without a Balance account.

There are several different methods of how to add money to PayPal Balance. These methods are explained in detail in the sections below.

Option 1: Transfer Money from a Bank Account to PayPal

You can add money to your PayPal Balance account by doing an electronic funds transfer from your bank account. Follow the instructions below to do this:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Click Wallet at the top of the page
  3. Click Transfer Money
  4. Click Add Money to Your Balance
  5. Select your bank 
  6. Enter the amount of money you want to transfer 
  7. Click Add.

A bank transfer takes between 3 and 5 business days to reflect in your PayPal Balance.

Option 2: Add Money to PayPal from a Debit Card

You cannot use a debit card to add money to your PayPal Balance account. However, you can link a card to your PayPal account so that when you make a payment, the money is automatically taken from your linked debit card.

Follow the steps outlined below to link a debit card to your PayPal account:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Click the Wallet button at the top of the page
  3. Click the button labeled Link a Debit or Credit Card on the left side of the screen
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish linking your card.

Please note that your bank may require you to complete additional steps for security purposes when linking your card. To confirm that it is you doing the transaction, you will be asked to enter a code sent via a Two Factor Authentication (2FA) method. Usually, it is a message sent to your mobile phone.

Option 3: Receive Money from Friends and Family Payment

Another way to add money to your PayPal Balance account is to give cash to someone you know then ask them to transfer an equivalent amount from their PayPal account to yours.

To do this, give money to your friend or family member via whatever method is most convenient. Then, tell them the email address associated with your PayPal account.

It is important to only ever use this method with people you trust completely. It is very easy to get scammed if you give money to a stranger or someone you don’t fully trust, hoping they will send money to your PayPal account.

How to Add Money to the PayPal App 

You can use the PayPal smartphone app to add money to your PayPal Balance account. The app gives you a few extra options. 

You can cash a check, add cash at a retail store, or link a debit card to make payments directly from the card.

Instructions for each method are shown below.

Deposit a Check

You can use the PayPal app combined with the camera on your phone to cash a check directly into your PayPal account. Follow the instruction below to do so:

  1. Open the PayPal App
  2. Tap the Wallet button
  3. Select Cash a Check
  4. Take a photo of the front and back of the check then tap Next
  5. Choose how quickly you want to have the money (in 10 days or immediately).

If the transaction is successful you will have access to the money within the time you specified.

Add Cash

You can use the PayPal app to add cash to your account at participating store locations in the United States. The following retailers support this service:

  • CVS
  • Dollar General 
  • Gamestop
  • Walmart
  • Office Depot
  • Rite-Aid
  • 7-Eleven
  • Family Dollar.

The instructions below explain how to add cash to your PayPal Balance account in-store.

  1. Open the PayPal App
  2. Tap the Wallet button
  3. Tap Add Cash at Stores
  4. Choose the store you want to use from the list to generate a barcode
  5. At checkout, ask the cashier to add cash to PayPal and show them the barcode
  6. Give the cashier the money you want to add.

Once the transaction is complete the money will be available in your PayPal account in a few minutes.

Link a Debit Card

Linking a debit card lets you send money and make payments without any money in your PayPal Balance. Instead, the money is taken directly from the linked card.

  1. Open the PayPal App
  2. Tap the Wallet button
  3. Tap the + button, next to Banks and cards
  4. Tap Debit and Credit Cards
  5. Choose the option to link your card.

Please note your bank may require you to complete additional steps for security purposes when linking your card. To confirm that it is you doing the transaction, you will be asked to enter a code sent via a Two Factor Authentication (2FA) method. Usually, it is a message sent to your mobile phone.

What Are the Fees for Adding Money to PayPal?

The list below shows each of the different methods you can use to add money to PayPal and the cost of using that method:

  • Bank transfer: Free
  • Receiving PayPal payment: Free
  • Cash a check: Free (in 10 days) 
  • Linked card: $1.95 confirmation fee (card issuer may charge additional fees).

Please note that the fees outlined above are only for domestic transactions that do not involve a currency conversion. Visit the PayPal Support website here for more information on the fee structure.

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Final Thoughts 

There are multiple ways you can choose how to add money to PayPal. You can transfer money directly from a bank account, via a friend or family member, or you can use the PayPal smartphone app to cash a check or add cash at a retail store. You can also link a credit or debit card which gets used whenever you make payments or send cash.


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