What is PayPal Pay in 4?

Adam Rozsa

If you shop online frequently, and pay using PayPal, you may have seen offers of PayPal Pay in 4¹.

This buy now, pay later service lets you spread the costs of your purchase over time, with 4 interest free payments spread over a few weeks.

Not sure if PayPal Pay in 4 is right for you? Use this review to learn more.

PayPal international purchases can come with steep currency conversion fees, which can push up costs overall. Beat these by opening a Wise Account for free - more on that later.


PayPal Pay in 4 pros & cons

  • No fees if you make all your repayments on time
  • Instant decision on eligibility
  • Pay in 4 purchases come with purchase protection
  • Currency conversion fees apply if you’re spending overseas
  • Not available on all PayPal purchases
  • You can’t use PayPal Pay in 4 stores

What is PayPal Pay in 4?

PayPal Pay in 4 lets you split the costs of an eligible purchase between 4 payments. You’ll pay a down payment at the point of purchase, and then 3 further payments 15 days apart, spreading the costs out over 6 weeks².

There are no fees for the PayPal Pay in 4 service as long as you make your payments on time. However, you’ll need to read all the terms and conditions before you sign up as, although PayPal does not charge a late fee, you can expect them to be in touch to resolve the situation promptly if you miss a repayment.

How does PayPal Pay in 4 work?

PayPal Pay in 4 allows customers to split their purchase into four equal payments, interest-free, over a six-week period.

Eligible purchases can be made by selecting PayPal Pay in 4 at checkout and completing a quick credit check.

After approval, the first payment (25% of the total) is due at checkout, with subsequent payments due every two weeks.

To use PayPal Pay in 4 you’ll split the costs of your purchase in 4, paying one portion instantly, with 3 further payments coming due every 15 days.

That means that the full price of your purchase is covered in 6 weeks.

How to use PayPal Pay in 4?

If you're looking to use PayPal Pay in 4 for your next purchase, don't worry - it's a piece of cake! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Find a retailer which offers PayPal Pay in 4 as a payment option.
  2. Add the items you want to your cart, and head to the checkout page.
  3. Select PayPal Pay in 4 as your payment.
  4. If you don't have a PayPal account, you'll need to create one and link your credit or debit card – if you already have an account, just log in.
  5. Enter your shipping and billing information.
  6. Make the first payment right away, as it's due at the time of purchase.

And that’s it! The next three payments will be due on a bi-weekly schedule for the next six weeks until the balance is paid off. To avoid any late fees or penalties, be sure to have enough funds available in your account or linked card.

Who is eligible for PayPal Pay in 4?

Interested in using PayPal Pay in 4? The first thing to do is check if you’re eligible:

  • The Pay in 4 PayPal payment plan is available to US residents - excluding residents of Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wisconsin or any US territories
  • You must be 18 or of legal age in the state in which you live
  • You must have a PayPal account which is in good standing, or open a PayPal account to make Pay in 4 PayPal installment payments

If you fit the criteria for the Pay in 4 payment plan, you’ll be able to apply and get an instant decision, online, when you make an eligible purchase.

What purchases are eligible for PayPal Pay in 4?

The next obvious question: who accepts PayPal Pay in 4? PayPal Pay in 4 can be used when you make an online purchase in any of millions of online stores which support the PayPal buy now pay later payment method.

In general terms, PayPal Pay in 4 is available on purchases valued at between 30 USD and 1,500 USD.

However, not all stores which accept PayPal payments will offer a payment plan - and not all goods being sold are eligible for the Pay in 4 PayPal service.

When you’re making a purchase online, you’ll be offered Pay in 4 if the goods are eligible, and the merchant supports this payment method.

Are there any fees for PayPal Pay in 4?

There are no specific PayPal Pay in 4 fees, which means that if you’re making a purchase in USD, and make all your repayments on time, you can spread your costs with no premium to pay.

There are however a couple of things to watch out for.

Firstly, if you miss a repayment, you can expect PayPal to be pretty quick to follow up to seek a resolution. You may also end up facing extra costs if you don’t repay everything promptly - check the terms and conditions of the loan before you sign up.

Secondly, another high cost could creep in if you're using PayPal to buy something from an international retailer, where the currency isn’t USD. In this case, a PayPal currency conversion charge - usually 3% or 4% depending on the transaction - will be added to the costs when PayPal switches the foreign currency price to dollars.

How to beat PayPal’s fees?

Beat high PayPal currency conversion fees by shopping online with the Wise Account and card instead.

Open a Wise Account online for free, to hold 50+ currencies, and switch between them using the mid-market rate with no markup and no hidden fees.

That can make Wise cheaper than PayPal. As an extra bonus, there are no limits to where you can use the Wise physical or virtual debit card. It works when you’re shopping online or in person, or withdrawing cash at an ATM anywhere around the world.

Features include:

  • Low-cost money transfers, using the mid-market rate plus a small fee³
  • Manage 50+ currencies on your account
  • Local bank details to get paid in 10 different currencies
  • Multi-currency direct debits
  • For a fee, order the Wise card, for low-cost spending in 174 countries.

See how much you can save with Wise:

The true cost of sending USD to GBP

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

PayPal Pay in 4 alternatives

PayPal Pay in 4 isn’t the only popular buy now, pay later service. Other options may suit you better, depending on the type of transaction you’re looking at. Here are a few PayPal Pay in 4 alternatives to consider:

  • Klarna: Offers "Pay in 4" and "Pay in 30" options that allow customers to split their payments into four or thirty-day installments, respectively.
  • Afterpay: Similarly to PayPal Pay in 4, Afterpay allows customers to split their purchases into four interest-free payments over six weeks.
  • Quadpay: Quadpay also offers into four interest-free payments over six weeks.
  • Affirm: Offers payment plans that can be customized to suit the customer's budget and timeline.

Frequently asked questions

Is PayPal Pay in 4 safe?

PayPal Pay in 4 can be considered safe due to the security measures they have in place. Transactions are monitored around the clock, payment information is stored securely, and encryption is used to protect purchases.

Does PayPal Pay in 4 affect your credit score?

PayPal Pay in 4 runs a soft credit check to assess your eligibility for the payment plan. This should not affect your credit score.

Can you pay off PayPal Pay in 4 early?

Yes. You can pay off your Pay in 4 plan early with no extra fees to pay.

How can I contact PayPal Pay in 4 via phone?

To contact PayPal customer support for questions related to PayPal Pay in 4, you can call their customer service phone number at 1-888-221-1161.

  1. PayPal buy now, pay later
  2. PayPal help - what is pay in 4?
  3. Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

All sources checked on 22 March 2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

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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