PayPal: Please add a credit card to complete your purchase

Author: Zeeshan Arshad     9864     08/05/2016

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 42 seconds

Zeeshan Arshad - Lifestyle Blog

If you are reading this post it means you are trying to buy an item by using PayPal and the system forces you

Please add a credit card to complete your purchase

No matter, if your profile is even 60% completed. I tried to find out its proper solution and I found some hints, reasons and possible scenarios which I'm going to share with you so I hope it might be helpful.


Example 1: (Steam)

If a game x is 1$ on sale, original price is $10, and your PayPal account has $1. The steam store will not let you buy it without a credit card linked.

Possible Scenario: So, If you have the original amount ($10), then you can buy it at $1 or else not.

Example 2: (Blizzard)

When I try to do a payment  for a Blizzard game using PayPal, I have enough money in my account but it asks for a debit card to complete the purchase Blizzard game.

Reason: For virtual transactions (that are often subject to chargebacks etc) paypal like you to have a back up card linked to your paypal account as well before you can use the funds in your paypal balance.

Example 3: (One Time Purchase)

If I'm doing a one time purchase, not even a subscription.

Reason: If that's for an item that will not be shipped, so you have a high risk of loss.  PayPal needs the backup card avaialble.

Example 4: (Working Before, But, No More?)

You've been successful doing payments directly from fund available in your PayPal and now it's not allowing anymore.

Reason: They let you do a few payments then you have to add a card.

What People Say on Various Places (useful hints):

  • I have already bought games with the money I have in my PayPal account. this money I got from PTCs sites and I never needed a credit card in my account, but I have just tried to buy a game with my PayPal account and it asked to link a card to my account in order to buy.
  • I use PayPal often for selling on eBay and after so many transactions PayPal requires that you attach a credit or bank account to your PayPal account. It has nothing to do with Steam.
  • So long as you have sufficient funds in your account, the credit card shouldn't be charged. Just check your balance before removing funds.
  • Each merchant has the ability to limit how they receive payments via PayPal. Most likely, the site you were purchasing from set credit cards as the only payment method via PayPal.
  • When you click on "Settings" then "Payment settings" you will see the following sentence: "If you have a PayPal balance, we'll use it first.". But, unfortunately in some countries it's not allowed to pay with your Paypal balance although it's written on your account that you're free to decide. This usually happens in countries that allow withdrawals to credit cards only.

Solutions (Worked For People):

  • After calling Paypal today, it appears that the problem is associated to their risk algorithm. Becuase the direct debit mandate takes some time to process, Paypal calculates a certain risk factor per customer to ensure due payment. When you cross your risk threshhold in outstanding payments, Paypal introduces this credit card option until your bank has made the transfer to Paypal. I managed to circumvent the problem by directly adding funds to my Paypal account from my Bank. 

Answers from PayPal (Official)

  • Some merchants (especially ones with monthly charges) need a funding source for immediate payment.  With only a bank account they would only have the option of an eCheck which can take  3-5 business days which could cause an interruption in your service.  So that's why they need some sort of card, debit or credit.

My Thinking (Just Opinion):

  • It could be the reason due to your country or hidden restriction applied by PayPal so it does enforce you to link bank account or credit/debit card.
  • It could be if your PayPal actual balance (no possible chargeback, no pending money) is currently less than the amount you want to pay or buy an item.

If your problem was solved out, or you have any possible hint about this PayPal issue. Share in comment box.

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