How to Pay Paypal Invoice With Just a Credit Card (And No Account)

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Curious about how to pay a PayPal invoice with a credit card?

how to pay a paypal invoiceIn this post, you'll learn how to pay your PayPal invoice without a PayPal account. It is surprisingly simple.

Let's get started!

Can You Use PayPal Without an Account?

PayPal logoI've had a PayPal account for many years. It's how we receive money that we make with our travel blog. Many advertisers prefer paying by PayPal – it's cheaper and faster than mailing checks.

But not all businesses have a PayPal account. Especially those outside of North America.

We do a lot of client work for travel brands in South America. Mailing checks across continents isn't realistic – and wire transfers (bank drafts) can be expensive and slow (3-5 days to arrive).

So while PayPal is a good option in Canada and the US, almost no one has a PayPal account in Ecuador. So when I email an invoice, the automatic response is:

“We got the invoice, but we don't have a PayPal account. How do we make the payment?”

While this might seem like a deal breaker, it shouldn't be.

Can you use PayPal without an account? Yes. All you need is a credit card.

Here's how to do it:

How to Pay PayPal Invoice with a Credit Card

What you'll need:

  1. A PayPal invoice: this will be emailed by the vendor
  2. A credit card: you can use VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discover

Your emailed invoice will look something like this. Just click on “Pay Now.”

can you use paypal without an account

This will take you to a screen that looks like this:

use paypal without an account

At first glance, it might seem like you need a PayPal account to pay your invoice.

But notice the box: Don't have a PayPal account? Just click on this and you'll see this screen:

Pay Paypal Invoice With Credit Card

Now just enter your credit card details. This is the same as any online purchase.

As you fill out your information, you'll have the option to open a PayPal account, but this is optional.

Now you can pay with a credit card through PayPal without a PayPal account.

Accept Credit Cards and PayPal on Your Site

To accept credit cards on your site, visit PayPal and signup for PayPal Payments Standard. It's free to setup and you only pay transaction fees – no monthly costs.

How much does it cost to pay a PayPal invoice by credit card? It's free for the client – the transaction fees are paid by the vendor, not the client. U.S. transaction fees are currently 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. International fees increase to 3.9% plus a fixed fee per transaction.

Why I Like Invoicing Through PayPal

I like PayPal because it is a trusted brand – which is important when it comes to people entering their financial information.

And because it's so versatile: clients can pay PayPal invoices with most credit cards, debit cards and (of course) their PayPal balance.

That being said, there are lots of other payment solutions.

  • Square: My mechanic uses the Square Reader – a device that connects to a smart phone for swiping credit cards. This is a great option. I'm considering this for our productized service. Transaction fees ranges from 2.65% to 2.75%.
  • BrainTree: Owned by PayPal. I had a conversation with them last week, and their on-boarding process needs some work. I can't just open an account – they wanted to interview me. Their fees are the same as PayPal (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction).
  • Stripe: Looks almost identical to PayPal. I'm not sure of what makes it better / different.
  • Gumroad: We currently use Gumroad to sell our book. It is the smoothest purchase experience that I've seen. The only drawback is that it can only be used for goods (physical and digital). They don't allow services to be sold on their platform.

I really like the looks of Square – and I'm going to look at using that tool for a new product we're working on.

Can you Pay a PayPal Invoice Without an Account?

Yes – just make sure you give your client clear directions. You might want to send them a link to this post – to show them how to easily pay their invoice. They just need to know where to look. And that's how to pay a Paypal invoice with a credit card.

Are you using PayPal to invoice clients? Please share your tips and challenges below!


Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is co-founder of Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Bryan also runs two authority blogs with his wife, Dena: ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorials) and GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel).

2 comments… add one
  • Ken Jones Jun 9, 2016, 8:25 pm

    Nice idea. It was there all along, but like many, I just presumed the link took you to a place to Start Up a PayPal account, not actually circumvent it. Good show.
    Does it compute exchange rates on the fly, too? I have clients in mainland China, or would have, if I could figure out a simple way for them to pay me.
    Cheers from Seattle

    • Bryan Haines Jun 9, 2016, 8:47 pm

      Yes, it will convert your currency. I think it will bill the credit card in the currency of the invoice – and then the credit card will convert that to the currency of the card account.

      Works like a charm. Let me know how it goes for you.

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