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Paypal – how to set preferred payment method?

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  shin_k 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #4412

    Alex Schenker

    Within Paypal, browse to Profile > My money (left-hand side menu) > and under “My preapproved payments” click on “Update.” On this page, you’ll see a listing of your active Paypal subscriptions. Click on “Set Available Funding Sources” and uncheck the payment methods (ie. bank account) you don’t want to use. If you only leave your credit card check, it will default to that.

    Note that Paypal will always drain your Paypal balance before resorting to an alternate payment method (such as your bank account or credit card), regardless of the setting you specify here.

  • #14468


    If someone still needs help with this, let me know.

  • #4425


    Step 1:
    Login into PayPal, click “My Account” and browse to Profile > My money (left-hand side menu) > and under “My pre-approved payments” click on “Update.” On this page, you’ll see a listing of your active PayPal subscriptions. Click on “Set Available Funding Sources” and uncheck the payment methods (i.e. bank account) you don’t want to use. If you only leave your credit card check, it will default to that. Note that PayPal will always drain your PayPal balance before resorting to an alternate payment method (such as your bank account or credit card), regardless of the setting you specify here.

    Step 2:
    After step 1, click “My Account” and click on “My Bill Me Later Summary” on the welcome page.  The link is small to the right of and above your BML balance (find great deals link is usually besides it but not always). On the next page on the right there is a box. It’ll either say “BML is my preferred way to pay. Change” or the opposite.  You should have it from there. Remember to save.

  • #4413


    Making changes in a PayPal account can be an interesting and time consuming experience. It seems that many times, it can be a little difficult to find any reliable information about how to make a desired change. One of these changes involves the primary or preferred payment method. The default is set to use your PayPal balance as the first funding source for any payments you wish to make.

    For most people (myself included), it is probably good enough to make all payments out of my balance before reaching into my bank account or a credit card. However, I also recognize that there are others who maybe would prefer to pay with a credit card. I also suppose that it could be quite a hassle to actually physically change this each and every time the make a transaction.

    Despite a lot of information to the contrary, it is quite possible to make such a change on PayPal. You simply need to click on your profile, then on credit card under the financial information section. Now, you will edit this to chose the credit card you want and then click the box at the top that says to make it your primary payment method. Do not ofrget to add the 3 digit security code and save everything. This should solve the entire problem. Now, you will automatically be choosing to pay from the card first and the balance second.

  • #4414

    I can certainly sympathize with the author of this post. Being careful to avoid credit card fraud is a desirable goal. However, PayPal is one of the most secure payment processors online. In fact, by acting as as go between with the customer and a number of other online merchants, it actually makes things even more secure.

    By the same token, everyone is free to determine how they want to set up their PayPal account. By default, each time you are sending out a payment, it will pull the funds first from your normal balance. I also keep a fair amount of money in this account so for me I like keeping the default arrangement exactly as it is. If you wish to change this you simply need to go into your profile section and then change your desired options. Look at your financial information column. Somewhere in there it should give you a pay list link option. This is what you want. Click on the biller in the merchant box and then the change link. This should give you options now to change your back up funding source and you can pick whatever credit card you like.

    If you make this change each time you want to pay someone directly from your balance, it will mean that you will need to manually choose where to take the money. I guess it all depends on exactly how you use the site.

  • #4415


    Yeah, Paypal sucks!  Those crooks make it so hard to find the option, and what a waste of time!!!  Cost me a whole day figuring out this crap!  And then after you go through their maze, they won’t link the card because it’s “used in another account”. No wonder many have left this crap service!

  • #4416


    Sorry Walter, I tried your method just to be sure nothing had changed since I last researched this issue, and unfortunately one still cannot set a credit card as the “Preferred Payment Method” for one-time payments. Another commenter posted instructions for changing the Preferred Payment Method for subscriptions and other recurring payments to a credit card, but the method Walter listed only serves to choose which credit cards (in the case of multiple credit cards on one Paypal account) to use first. Furthermore, with the exception of Paypal Credit Products (Paypal credit card, and I believe they have some sort of e-check option as well), Paypal allows no other source of funding to be used BEFORE draining any balance in the Paypal account. Thanks for the effort, Walter, but at this point Paypal still requires a few extra steps to use a credit card for making a one-time payment, 

  • #4417


    The best thing to do to make PP stop using your bank accounts as the preferred payment method is to just delete them all from your PP account then by default PP will use your credit cards for the Preferred Payment Method. I think that you can reorder the list to pick which one to use first.

  • #4418


    Doesn’t work, did you test this?  I did and have been trying to solve this for over a year.  PayPal will not answer this question and your process does not solve the problem.

  • #4419

    Alex Schenker

    Hi GKC997,

    Sorry you’re having troubles with this. Can you list the exact steps that you took and explain in detail what’s not working? There’s so many nuances to this issue that it’s difficult to address a particular situation without details.

  • #4420


    “Note that Paypal will always drain your Paypal balance before resorting to an alternate payment method (such as your bank account or credit card), regardless of the setting you specify here.”

    Not in my case. My PayPal’s default settings are that my balance stays intact, while the money is being drained from my debit card which is linked to my bank account. I tried literally everything to set my PP to drain the balance first (including the procedure you described above) but nothing helped – I keep getting the message “You cannot remove all of your instant funding sources from Merchant Relationships. Please select at least one funding source from the list below.” Yet PayPal balance isn’t even offered in that list. Can someone please advise me what to do? Thank you in advance! 🙂

  • #4421


    thank you!

  • #4422


    thank you so much for this post. have been looking for that solution for years!

  • #4423

    Well, it looks like i spoke too soon. i followed all the instructions here and still i can’t make cc to be the default payment over my bank account. i can’t delete my bank account as i need to use it from time to time but don’t want it to be the default method. 

    any other ideas? thanks

  • #4424


    Clearly PayPal wishes to avoid paying credit card fees and is forcing customers to use bank accounts when it can. Bad customer service, but PP has a lot of market share and perhaps an over inflated sense of its own power right now. I’ll be pre-funding my PayPal account with credit card funds if possible so I can avoid this. Alternately, I’ll just not make purchases if I have to use my bank account. I already force-change it manually on every purchase I can.

  • #12146


    PayPal will not let you set your credit card payment as the default because they want to skim every last penny from your transaction, and they keep a bigger cut if you use your bank account.

    They don’t make very clear when you jump through the hoops to add your bank account that you will have to use it as your primary payment option.

    They know customers are not happy about this – it has been voiced for years on their help forums. They could easily allow you to change the settings. But they don’t – they don’t care about inconvenience to the user.

    They will become bankrupt eventually unless they change their attitude, because user experience is everything these days, and plenty of their competitors – including Square and Venmo – understand that.

    Unless you need PayPal in order to receive payments, for example from ebay, I recommend that you remove your bank account from PayPal. You can use Venmo to instantly transfer money between friends from a mobile phone. It is way simpler than PayPal and totally reputable — their payments processor is the same as Uber’s.

    Square has a “pay with Square” option that might eventually rival PayPal in ubiquity, but doesn’t yet.

    I use PayPal for the convenience of not having to enter my credit card details repeatedly. As soon as I can get that somewhere else 90% of the time (e.g. when Pay-with-Square gets bigger) I will ditch PayPal because I so resent their attitude on this point. They could have made us love them and find them a service worth paying for. Instead, I find them a necessary evil for the time being.

  • #3723


    If you have a bank a/c and CC setup in Paypal, you cannot set the default to CC. Ie. the bank a/c will always be the default. I have been trying to do this. Finally called Paypal and they told me that the only way to do this is delete the bank account.

  • #3396


    I’m trying to figure out how to set the default or preferred payment method in my Paypal account. Because I’ve run into credit card fraud twice in the past couple months, I’m being very careful about where I enter my credit card details. In this case, I’m trying to get Spotify to use my Paypal account instead of my credit card directly.

    When I click the Paypal payment link, it signs me into Paypal, which proceeds to inform me that it will be using my default payment option (which I know is my bank account). I’d like to change the preferred (default) Paypal payment method to be my credit card so I can get points! It tells me I can change this by going into my Profile’s money settings, but I don’t see the setting anywhere?

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