Why Can’t I Link My Card to PayPal? How to Fix

PayPal makes online payments and money transfers much easier when you have a debit or credit card linked.

However, you may run into issues adding a card to your PayPal account.

Here are the top reasons why you can’t link your card to PayPal and how to troubleshoot them.

Understanding Card Linking in PayPal

PayPal allows you to securely store a credit, debit, or prepaid card in your account wallet. This linked card can then be used as a funding source for payments and transfers.

Linking a card to PayPal provides these benefits:

  • Faster checkouts at merchants that accept PayPal
  • Ability to send money to others from your card balance
  • Backup payment method for transactions
  • Avoid having to re-enter details constantly

However, there are a few common reasons your card may be declined when trying to link it to PayPal.

Why Your Card Won’t Link to PayPal

Here are the main reasons you may be unable to add a card to PayPal:

  • Card expiration date entered incorrectly
  • Insufficient or unavailable card balance
  • Card issuer or bank restricts PayPal transactions
  • Exceeding card limit on digital wallets
  • Card already added and can only have one instance

Depending on the specific restriction, you may be able to get your card linked by troubleshooting or opting for an alternative.

Checking Card Expiration Date

One simple mistake that prevents card linking is entering an incorrect expiration date. Double check that you entered the right MM/YY format.

If you get an error, carefully re-enter the expiration date printed on your physical card. This field must be exact.

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Confirming Sufficient Balance

Your card may be declined if there is insufficient available balance at the time of linking. Debit cards in particular require adequate funds.

Check your balance and add money if needed. Even a small temporary authorization (under $1) is required when first linking that lifts in 1-2 days.

Calling Your Card Issuer

Some banks and card issuers restrict transactions made through digital wallets or may flag them as suspicious initially. This can block adding your card to PayPal.

Contact your card issuer directly to inform them you are attempting to link the card to PayPal. They can remove any blocks or restrictions on their end.

Using an Alternative Card

If your card provider won’t allow PayPal transactions, try adding a different debit or credit card instead. Open digital wallets like Capital One and Discover may work better.

As a last resort, unlink any existing card and add the new one if you can only have one card on file at a time.

Verifying Limits

Some credit cards limit the number of digital wallets you can add them to as an anti-fraud measure. If already added to Apple Pay or Google Pay, PayPal may fail.

Check your card terms and conditions for any limits on supported mobile wallets. You may need to remove it from another to link to PayPal.


The most common roadblocks when linking a card to PayPal include incorrect details, insufficient funds, issuer restrictions, or account limits.

Verify the necessary information and contact your provider for assistance getting your card properly linked.

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  • Adekiya Joscor

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