PayPal Pay in 3 UK guide

Zorica Lončar

If you shop or spend online using PayPal, you’re likely to have come across the option to ‘Pay in 3’.

But what exactly is PayPal Pay in 3, how does it work and is it the best option for making online payments?

We’ll answer these questions and more in this handy guide to PayPal Pay in 3. So let’s get started.

What is PayPal Pay in 3?

In a nutshell, PayPal Pay in 3 is a buy now, pay later service. It’s a way to split the payment for a purchase into three interest-free payments¹. So instead of paying the full total upfront, you can pay in chunks spread out over three months.

Think of it as an interest-free loan on whatever you’re buying, which could make it more affordable. However, it is still a form of credit, so it’s not suitable for everyone and you need to make sure you can afford the repayments.

Is PayPal Pay in 3 available in the UK?

Yes, the PayPal Pay in 3 service is available in the UK. It was rolled out to personal customers in October 2020² and is for eligible UK residents.

How does it work?³

You can choose to pay for a purchase with PayPal Pay in 3 by checking out as normal. If the transaction is eligible, Pay in 3 will appear as one of the available payment methods.

Once you’ve selected it as your preferred payment method, you can apply for a PayPal Pay in 3 plan. This only takes a moment, and you’ll get an instant decision. If accepted, you can finish checking out.

You’ll make the first of your three payments right away. The remaining two payments will come out automatically every month on the same date¹.

Online stores that accept PayPal Pay in 3 in the UK

Not every online retailer accepts PayPal Pay in 3, which is why some transactions won’t be eligible to use the service.

PayPal says you can use Pay in 3 at millions of online stores, and the list includes ASOS, M&S, Asda George, B&Q, Screwfix, French Connection, Robert Dyas, Ryman and Joules¹.

PayPal Pay in 3 UK limits

There are some limits to how much you can spend using this buy now, pay later service. You can only use Pay in 3 on purchases between £30 and £2,000¹.

Does PayPal Pay in 3 affect credit score in the UK?²

When you apply for PayPal Pay in 3 at checkout, a soft credit check may be carried out using an external credit reference agency. This shouldn’t affect your credit score in any permanent way.

But if you do use the service, PayPal will update credit agencies on whether you meet or miss your payments. This could affect your UK credit score.

Need to make international payments? Check out the Wise multi-currency account

PayPal is not the only payment solution in town, and it’s not always the cheapest for things like international payments.

If you need to pay for an overseas purchase, or send money abroad, use the Wise multi-currency account instead. It’s fantastic for transactions in other currencies, offering low fees and the mid-market exchange rate. You can send, spend, convert and receive international payments in just a few taps.

See how Wise works here.

Join Wise today


Sources used for this article:

  1. PayPal - PayPal Pay in 3
  2. Innovate Finance - PayPal launches Pay in 3
  3. PayPal - PayPal Pay in 3 faq

Sources checked on 26-04-2022.


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This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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