Can You Spend Money on PayPal Without a Bank Account?

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People ask me this question a lot and I decided to write this blog post so I can just redirect people. It seems there are a lot of people who haven’t linked a bank account to their PayPal yet and are eager to know if they can spend money on the platform without their bank account being linked. And I’ll be answering this question in full in this article. 

Yes, you can use an “unverified” PayPal account (this means an account that hasn’t been linked to a bank account or credit card). However, you are not going to like the experience as you’ll experience limitations on sending, receiving, and withdrawing your funds. 

There are some inconveniences associated with not having a bank account linked to your PayPal but you’ll experience some limitations as I said above. If you are ok with this, then no problem. I’ll be talking about how you can use your PayPal account without linking a bank account below. 

Can you spend/send money on PayPal without a bank account?

You can send/spend money on PayPal without linking a bank account. However, PayPal will place a restriction on the amount you can send/spend. You can also receive funds also but PayPal may hold any funds you receive for up to 21 days. PayPal can also place a review on any funds you send. 

But if you want to send money on PayPal without linking a bank account, the first hurdle you have to overcome is how to fund your account. You can use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express cards that have a registered billing address to make PayPal payments. Another method is to add money to your PayPal balance at a retail store in your location. 

You can add money to your PayPal balance by using the Paypal app. To do this, launch the PayPal app on your device and then navigate to PayPal balance after which you’ll have to click on it. Select ‘More’ and then click on the “Add at store” option. The next step is to select a retail store where you want to add your cash. You’ll be happy to find out that there are several retail stores available like 7-Eleven, CVS, Walmart, and so on where you can visit.

Select a store and then click on “Generate barcode”. The unique generated barcode will be used to identify your account and has the benefit of making sure that funds will be added to your account. There is no room for error with a barcode. I must mention that the barcode is only valid for one hour. So it’s advisable for you to generate a  barcode at the store or when you are close to the store. 

The next step is for you to take your barcode to any location of the retailer store you selected and present the cashier with the code. You’ll be asked the amount you want to add to your account. PayPal allows you to add anywhere between $20-$500.

PayPal will send you an email notification informing you that funds have been successfully added to your account after you complete the transaction at the store. Your funds should reflect in your PayPal balance at most 15 minutes after completing the transaction at your chosen store. PayPal allows you to add anywhere between $20-$500 and there’s a service charge that could be up to $3.95, although this fee may depend on the amount you add to your account.

Another way to fund your PayPal balance to have funds for transactions is to add money through a PayPal Cash card/Checks. To add money to your PayPal account through your PayPal cash card, visit a retail store and hand over your card and the amount you want to add to the clerk. The clerk will then add the money to your card. 

You can also add money to your PayPal without a bank account if you have a PayPal Cash or Cash Plus account. Another option is to add money to your PayPal account using checks if they are approved. Note that there are fees attached to these services. Note that you might incur a service fee of up to $4.95 depending on the retail store you visit. 

If you want to fund your PayPal account through a check, you’ll have to use the PayPal app.

Launch the PayPal app on your device and click on the “More” button which you will find on the bottom of the app’s home screen. Select Cash Checks and then follow the onscreen instructions. You’ll be prompted to take a photo of the check and send it to PayPal for verification. The amount on your check will be funded within 10 days after PayPal has approved the check. It’s possible for you to expedite the process by paying a small fee. 

How to withdraw money from PayPal without a bank account?

Usually, the only way for you to withdraw funds from your PayPal account without a bank account is to request a paper check. Here’s how to withdraw money from your PayPal account by check:

  • Log in to your PayPal account.
  • Click Transfer to your bank under your PayPal balance.
  • Click Request a check by mail instead.

Your check should arrive in 1-2 weeks if you are in the US. It may take up to 6 weeks for your check to arrive if you are outside the US. I must mention that a withdrawal can’t be canceled after it is requested. Also, there is a service charge of $1.50 and the minimum amount you can withdraw is $1.51. The check must be addressed to a physical street address (no PO Boxes).


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.