What Does “This Card Cannot Be Used for This Transaction” Mean at PayPal? (Why, Fixes + FAQs)

PayPal screens all credit and debit card purchases to help protect against fraud, but sometimes “valid cards” can be thought of as potentially fraudulent.

If you have received a message from PayPal saying something like “the card you entered cannot be used for this payment,” you are probably wondering why your card was declined and what to do? I researched these issues, and here is what I found!

What Does “This Card Cannot Be Used for This Transaction” Mean at PayPal In 2024?

If you’re having an error with your card on PayPal, it may be because you have not properly confirmed your information on PayPal, you need to update your card information, or there’s a limit on your PayPal account in 2024. Additional reasons are that your card is suspected as stolen, or your card issuer or PayPal is having service problems.

If you want to understand more about why credit and debit cards are declined, how to solve the issues, and much more, continue reading! 

Why Does PayPal Say “This Card Cannot Be Used for This Transaction”?

There are several reasons why your card may be declined by PayPal. Moreover, sometimes your card is declined by your card issuer, not PayPal.

Your card may be declined because:

  • Your card issuer is having service issues
  • Your card issuer or PayPal noticed an unusual charge and declined it
  • You’ve exceeded your card limit

Additional reasons why your payment may be declined are as follows:

  • You need to confirm your PayPal information
    • Email
    • Bank account
    • Credit or debit card
  • Do a security check
  • Update card information
    • Expiration date
    • Billing address
    • Security code
  • Resolve a limit on your account

How Do I Fix a Declined PayPal Card?

Fortunately, fixing a declined card payment is simple, most of the time. Your first step should be to directly contact your card issuer, and check if it’s having any errors.

Furthermore, if there was not an error with the system, you should ask why your card was declined, if you reached your card limit, and if you can and how to use your card again.

After that, if you’re still having card issues, you should check if your card and other information are properly confirmed on PayPal.

If not, you need to correctly confirm your card, email, phone number, and bank account.

Furthermore, you need to check if there is a limit or a security check on your PayPal account.

If there is, you will need to complete the security check and remove the limit before you can use PayPal again.

Additionally, you should check if your card information is outdated, and make sure you update the expiration date, security code, and billing address.

Last, if none of these actions solve your problem you need to try another payment method like a new card or your bank account.

Another thing you can do is check the merchant or recipient’s information.

If the merchant or recipient doesn’t have their account fully registered and confirmed, then your payment may not go through.

How Many Times Will PayPal Retry Payment?

How Many Times Will PayPal Retry Payment?

PayPal will retry a payment up to two (2) times after the initial payment is declined, which adds up to three (3) total tries. Additionally, each retried payment will happen every 5 days.

What Cards Does PayPal Not Accept?

Unfortunately, PayPal doesn’t have a list of cards it does not accept. Fortunately, there is a list of the cards PayPal will accept.

PayPal accepts all major card issuers, and cards that PayPal will accept are as follows:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Discover, and
  • American Express

Why Can’t I Link a Credit Card to PayPal?

If you’re unable to link a credit or debit card to your PayPal account, it’s because there is a mismatch with the information.

Unfortunately, if the name or address on your card doesn’t match the name or address you gave PayPal, it will not allow you to use your card. Moreover, the same goes for your bank account.

Furthermore, to solve this, you can contact your card issuer and update your name or address on your card, or update your name or address with PayPal.

Additionally, you link another card if you have another card in your name.

If you are looking to learn more, you can also read our posts on PayPal security challenge, why is PayPal money on hold, and how long do PayPal refunds take.


Unfortunately, when your credit or debit card is declined, there could be many reasons. It could be a service issue with your card provider or with PayPal, your card may be suspected stolen, or you may not have properly confirmed your card with PayPal.

Fortunately, you can solve this by checking and properly confirming your card with PayPal, or you can contact your card issuer or PayPal. Furthermore, you can also try a new payment method, if the other solutions don’t work.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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