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PayPal Buy Now, Pay Later: 2024 Review

Updated on June 14, 2024

At a glance

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Check rate with Bankrate
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

PayPal offers a “Pay in 4” buy now pay later plan that splits the cost of small purchases into four interest-free bi-weekly payments paid over six weeks. The plan is available at online merchant sites that accept PayPal. 

If you need more time to pay off a big ticket item, you can opt for the Pay Monthly option that gives you six, 12 or 24 month payoff periods. However, the monthly option works more like a regular personal loan with APRs between 9.99 percent and 35.99 percent.

Lender Details


Loan amount

$30 to $10,000


APR from


Clock Wait

Term lengths

6 weeks-24 months

PayPal is best for no fee interest-free payment plans on small purchases

If cash is tight, you can split a purchase of up to $1,500 into four payments with no interest charges. There are no sign-up fees, no late fees and autopayment is available through a debit card, credit card or bank account. 

The Pay Monthly program is also available for purchases above the $1,500 threshold up to $10,000, with longer repayment periods up to 24 months. However, the APRs depend on your credit score and may be as high as 35.99 percent. 

PayPal buy now, pay later purposes

The Pay in 4 and Pay Monthly programs can be used to buy products at millions of merchants that accept PayPal. It may not be available for recurring subscription services and can’t be used to buy products with companies that don’t accept PayPal. 

You’re also limited to a purchase price maximum of $1,500 for Pay in 4, which may not be enough if you’re buying expensive items like exercise equipment or furniture sets.

Where PayPal stands out

  • Interest and fee-free payment option: Besides the obvious benefit of zero interest, you also won’t pay sign-up or late fees of any kind with the PayPal Pay in 4 plan. 
  • Available at online sites that accept PayPal: The PayPal brand is widely accepted, giving you more options to spread out payments on a variety of different products. 
  • Easy qualifying: No hard credit check is required, and you get a decision within seconds of choosing PayPal at checkout. 
  • Personal loan option available for higher cost items: If you need to stretch out the repayment on a more expensive item, PayPal’s Monthly program gives you up to 24 months to pay off up to $10,000. 

Where PayPal falls short

  • First payment required up front: You’ll need to make your first payment at checkout if you’re approved for the Pay in 4 program, which may be tough if you’re strapped for cash.
  • Not available in all states: If you live in Missouri or Nevada, you won’t be eligible for the Pay in 4 payment plan
  • Only one no-interest payment plan available: You’re limited to a four-payment plan with PayPal, while others buy now, pay later companies offer additional choices. 
  • Pay Monthly APRs are high: You could pay up to 35.99 percent for the longer term payment plan, and the lowest APR is just under 10 percent, making it more expensive than other excellent credit personal loan options. 

PayPal customer experience

Customer support

PayPal customer support is available by phone from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, seven days a week. It also offers a chat feature, though you will need to be logged in to your account to use it. Messaging for assistance starts with a chatbot called PayPal Assistant. 

Digital experience

PayPal’s app gets a 4.8 out of 5 star rating with over 6.3 million ratings given. You’ll need the app to apply for the Pay in 4 or Pay Monthly options when you check out. If approved, you’ll make the first payment up front and the remaining payments over the next six weeks. 

What people are saying about PayPal

PayPal customer reviews on Trustpilot are overwhelmingly negative. It has a rating of 1.3 out of 5 stars with over 29,000 reviews as of June 13, 2024. Poor customer service is a consistent theme of the negative reviews, including dissatisfaction with the automated phone trees and chatbot. One customer says, in part:

Automated customer service is terrible. It cannot understand, nor respond to my simple replies of yes or no.

Trustpilot User

There also seems to be a great deal of confusion in the ratings regarding product returns and refunds, as well as resetting passwords for access to PayPal accounts.

Outlinked content may contain views and opinions that do not reflect the views and opinions of Bankrate. Please see the issuer’s website for updated terms and conditions.

How this lender compares

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
$30 to $10,000
Term Length
6 weeks-24 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
Starts at $50
Term Length
1 to 48 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
0% to 34.99%
Loan Amount
$10 to $15,000
Term Length
2 weeks-48 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed

PayPal vs. Affirm

PayPal has a larger network of merchants than Affirm, with millions of of them accepting PayPal versus the thousands that accept Affirm payment plans. PayPal also allows customers to set up plans for a lower minimum amount than Affirm with its $30 minimum — Affirm requires a $50 minimum. 

The majority of Affirm’s TrustPilot reviews are positive with a 3-star overall rating compared to PayPal’s 1.3-star rating. Affirm also offers a wider range of short term installment loan options in addition to its four-payment plan including three-, six- and 12-month choices.

PayPal vs. Sezzle

PayPal gives you access to a much broader array of merchants than Sezzle’s free plan offers. To get access to more company’s products, you’ll need to pay a subscription of almost $13 per month. 

But Sezzle offers more interest-free options, which include a two- and four-payment plan. Sezzle also earns much higher Trustpilot ratings than PayPal or Affirm.

Read a full review about Sezzle

Do you qualify for a PayPal buy now, pay later plan?

PayPal doesn’t provide much detail about what’s needed to qualify for its payment plans. A soft credit pull is standard for the Pay in 4 program, but you won’t know if you qualify until you apply for a payment plan at checkout. You’ll also need to make a down payment that’s usually equal to your first payment. 

PayPal personal loan amounts and APRs depend on your credit score and may require extra documents for approval.

How to apply for a personal loan with PayPal

  1. Set up your PayPal account: You’ll need an active PayPal account to apply for the pay-over-time options. You’ll also need an active bank account and will need to buy a product from a company that accepts PayPal. 
  2. Shop different stores and pick your item: Find an item up to PayPal’s price limits and make sure you have the cash to cover the first payment if you want to select the Pay in 4 program. If not, you may want to select the personal loan option. 
  3. Review the payment plan details: If you qualify for a PayPal payment plan, you’ll be able to choose that option when you finalize your check out. Make any down payment necessary and then keep track of when your next payment is due. You can pay off the balance early with no penalty if you want to. 

How Bankrate rates PayPal’s buy now, pay later plan

Overall Score 4.7 Explanation
Availability 4.9 One interest-free options plus additional longer term loan options available
Affordability 4.4 APRs are on the higher side for loan alternatives
Customer Experience 4.8 Highly rated app, but poor Trustpilot review ratings and no clearly defined customer service numbers or processes listed on the website.


The Bankrate team did a complete analysis of the features and services offered by the most well-known buy now, pay later apps in the industry. Then our experts developed a scoring system to rate these apps, focusing on three main areas:

  • Availability: We look at the minimum and maximum loan amounts offered by the apps, as well as the number of interest-free plans they offer. Apps offering more than one interest-free plan and the most flexible loan amounts rank higher in this category.
  • Affordability: We evaluate the APR ranges apps assess on purchases once the interest-free period ends and personal loan options, if offered. Additional fees, exclusive perks and discounts are also rated. Apps with the lowest APRs, fewer fees and more perks obtain the highest scores in this category.
  • Customer experience: Purchasing flexibility, as well as return, exchange and refund policies are vetted in this section. Mobile app rating, number of consumer complaints with the CFPB and customer support are also taken into account. Apps with more flexibility and lower complaints rate higher in this category.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.