How to make sure you can accept credit cards through PayPal

When PayPal's "Buy as a guest" option isn't available during a contribution, this means the PayPal account receiving the money hasn't enabled credit card payments. If you're trying to contribute to a campaign but you're running into this issue, there's two things you can do:  

  • If you know the Campaign Owner, give them a link to this Help Page

  • If you don't know the Campaign Owner, click Submit a request at the top of this page to let us know (make sure you include a link to the campaign), and we'll give the Campaign Owner a link to this page.

How do I make sure my PayPal account can receive credit card payments?

For a PayPal account to receive credit cards payments through our system, it needs to be Verified, and it also needs to be a Business account.

If the "Buy as a guest" option is not available on your campaign, it's not available is because your PayPal account is either not Verified, or not a Business PayPal account, or both.

To start accepting credit card payments through your campaign without forcing your contributors to open up a PayPal account, you need to make sure of two things:

1. Make sure your PayPal account type is Business*.

Log into your PayPal account and click Profile at the top of the page. If it says "Business Profile", then you have a Business account. If it doesn't, then you don't, so you'll need to upgrade the account if you want to accept credit card payments.

If you need help upgrading your PayPal account, please contact PayPal directly. We don't have access inside their system so we can't help you upgrade your account with them. 

*Important: If you're using our system as an Organization, you'll need to have a Verified Business PayPal account registered in the name of your Organization.

If you're not using our system as an Organization and you're not a Business, but you still want to accept credit cards, PayPal has advised us to tell our customers that when they upgrade their PayPal account, they should list their own first and last name as the Business Name, and select "Services - Other" as the Business category.

2. Make sure your PayPal account is Verified.

PayPal recently changed how their account pages look, so now the only way for you to find out if your account is Verified is to call them and ask. Here's how to find their phone number:

If you need help getting your Paypal account Verified, here's a page on PayPal's website that will show you:

Most people will only need to go through those 2 steps....

....But if your PayPal account was already a Verified Business account before you created your campaign, keep reading:

Some PayPal users with Business accounts have turned off the "PayPal Account Optional" feature in their PayPal Profile (many eBay users do this).

If this is the case, you'll need to turn on the PayPal Account Optional feature, otherwise the "Buy As A Guest" option won't appear on any of your campaigns, and you'll only be able to receive donations from people who have PayPal accounts.

Here’s how you can turn on PayPal Account Optional:

  1. Go to and log in to your account
  2. Click "Profile" near the top of the page
  3. Click "My selling tools"
  4. Under Selling Online, click "Update" near "Website preferences"
  5. Select "On" under "PayPal Account Optional" near the bottom of the page
  6. Click "Save"

Once you've turned on "PayPal Account Optional", the "Buy As A Guest" option will automatically appear on all your campaigns. 

Important Note: We don't have access inside PayPal's system, so our Customer Service agents cannot provide any direct help in getting through any of these steps. - this information is for reference only, and may become outdated over time as PayPal regularly updates their user interface.

If you need help getting through any of these steps, please call PayPal directly at 1-888-221-1161 and ask one of their Customer Service agents to walk you through the process.

*Upgrading a PayPal account is free, and your fees for using our system will not change.

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