How to Spend Money on a Limited PayPal Account

By Jim Marous 12 Min Read

Don’t bother cussing; I do understand the annoyance that comes with seeing that message, “Your account may be limited.” The worst is if it says ‘permanently’. Many PayPal users have been there, including me. So, this article about how to spend money on a limited PayPal account is based on experience. You can rest assured that the information I’m giving you right now is your best way out.

PayPal is generally considered annoying, and limiting someone’s account caps it. Don’t be surprised if they went on an account limitation spree today, even over minor issues. When PayPal limits your account, you lose access to funds – this could be temporarily or permanently. Unfortunately, getting in touch with PayPal support is usually ‘useless’. But this does not mean you should not take this step as your first; sometimes it could be their bot madness.

Why is My PayPal Account Limited?

PayPal will limit your account for many reasons, including even the ones they should not. Primarily, however, they limit accounts to ensure account security and regulatory compliance. Here are common reasons PayPal limits accounts:

Unusual Activity on Your Account

If PayPal suspects that someone is using your account without your knowledge, PayPal will limit your account. The reason is to protect you from unauthorized transactions while it investigates. PayPal may also limit if your bank or credit card provider notifies PayPal of an unauthorized card use.

Failure to Meet Regulatory Requirements

In cases where an account is found to be non-compliant with regulatory standards, limitations may be imposed. For instance, if you receive donations, it’s essential to provide documentation proving your nonprofit status. While still gathering these documents for submission to PayPal, your account may be temporarily limited. The same applies if you violate PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy, such as selling prohibited items like prescription drugs or firearms.

Excessive Claims and Chargebacks

When there is a high number of buyer claims and chargebacks on your account, PayPal may limit and review it. This review examines various issues, including:

  1. Merchant errors
  2. True fraud
  3. Friendly fraud

There are others such as:

Something as mundane as accessing your PayPal account with different devices in different locations (IP address clashes) could trigger the PayPal security system to limit your account. Not bad, it’s actually designed to protect you. Suspicious transactions are another common reason for limitations.

Even your least suspected reasons could be why PayPal limited your account. For instance, they can limit your account due to unauthorized access. Something as mundane as accessing your PayPal account with different devices in different locations (IP address clashes) could trigger PayPal limitation. Also, if you have recently seen a surge in how much money you receive, they can limit your account. For example, you are an eBay seller and your weekly eBay payout to your PayPal account is in the region of $200 – $300. Now, maybe due to a sharp increase in sales or something else, you suddenly receive a payout of $1500 or more. PayPal will put a limitation on your account as it considers this inflow an unusual transaction.

How to Spend Money on a Limited PayPal Account

If your PayPal account has been limited, there are a few steps you can take to try to spend on your account. I have been fortunate with these methods. So, it may still work for you. That said, below are ways to spend money on a limited PayPal account:

Find Out What the Problem Is

First, you need to see if it’s something minor. Maybe you just need to answer you’re a few questions or something so you can remove the limitations on your PayPal account.

You can do this by:

  1. Go to the Resolution Center and log in or click the bell icon at the top of your ‘Dashboard’ for more info.
  2. Review the requested documents and verify your account if needed. Most times this simply entails you submitting a few documents to prove your identity legally – you’d need a government-issued ID, utility bills, etc.

If for any reason you can’t complete the requested steps to remove the limitations on your account or you completed all the steps and your account remains limited, it could mean that:

  • PayPal has already reviewed your account and sent you an email asking for more information.
  • PayPal is still reviewing the information you provided.

Reach out to customer service for help. They may be able to get more information about why your account was limited, as well as a course of action.

Try to Move Funds to Another Payment Method

Depending on the type of type of account limitation, you may be able to transfer the funds to another payment method, such as a bank account or debit card. The types of limitations may include:

a. Account access limitations

PayPal may restrict user’s access to their accounts, preventing them from logging in, withdrawing or transferring funds, or making payments.

b. Sending/receiving limitations

PayPal may limit users’ ability to send or receive funds through their accounts.

On the other hand, depending on the country you set up the PayPal account, you might be able to withdraw your funds to prepaid cards. Usually, PayPal does not accept virtual bank accounts or cards. If you even feel comfortable trying other virtual banks, don’t use a Payoneer virtual card. It seems PayPal has a special place of dislike for them.

We already spoke about checking out what you can actually do with your PayPal account while it’s limited, and how to find out what options you have. Nonetheless, we don’t mind repeating it.

  • Go to your Dashboard.
  • Click on the ‘Notifications’ icon at the top of the page.
  • Click ‘Learn how to remove this limitation’.

You will find a table on this page that explains what you can and cannot do while your account is limited.

Contact PayPal

First, contact PayPal customer service and explain the issue. You may be able to get more information about why your account was limited. Most times, this simply means submitting a few documents to prove your identity legally. You will require a government-issued ID, utility bills, etc.

Wait for 180 Days

PayPal’s policy allows you to spend money on a limited PayPal account after 180 days (6 months). It is a long time but worth the wait. After 180 days, PayPal will send you a notification that your funds can now be withdrawn.

PayPal sometimes does state that it can take up to 180 days to return whatever remaining PayPal account balance remains, it rarely takes more than 6–8 weeks at most to receive your money. The reason PayPal makes you wait for a period of 180 days to withdraw your available balance is to make sure it’s able to resolve any outstanding disputes.

How to Spend Money on a Limited PayPal Account After 180 Days

Once all transactions are complete, a paper check for any remaining balance will be mailed out to the primary account holder’s name and street address already listed on the account. Most times PayPal does not give users the option to engage in further transactions like adding a card or bank account or to even send the balance electronically to anyone else.

Your only option is a paper check to the primary name and address on record, period. So if the reason you have been permanently limited is because you recently changed the name or street address on the account to a false one, or you actually used fake information to open the account, then you can forget about your funds forever.

Can I Spend Money on a Limited PayPal Account Before 180 Days?

After 180 days, PayPal will send you an email to tell you that your fund is eligible for withdrawal and also give you the rules and regulations to withdraw your fund. But what if you don’t have the luxury of waiting 180 days to spend or withdraw your available balance, what do you do?

Most times all PayPal needs you to do is simply send in some documents to verify your identity. You may also need to answer a few questions (that’s why it’s important to set up your secret questions and answers during account creation).

However, if your PayPal account is permanently limited, you can only withdraw your money before 180 days by writing to PayPal and appealing for the release of funds. The chances of success are very low.

Can I Create a New PayPal Account if My Old One is Limited?

You can create a new PayPal account. However, if PayPal detects the account, it will be closed. Reach out to PayPal and try to remove the limit. Remember, when PayPal limits your account, that includes the bank information you had in the account.

Can I Get Back My Limited PayPal Account?

In cases where it’s a temporary limitation as a result of minor infractions then, yes. You can get your limited PayPal account back. All you need to do is to follow the steps we outlined earlier on and you’re back in your account.

If PayPal has permanently limited your account, and your funds are on hold for 180 days, you will not get it back. Just the funds.

At this point, you’ve learned how to spend money on a limited PayPal account and some of the stuff involved in getting your limited account back – if you are able to. So, I recommend you reach out to PayPal customer support.

Before you goYou want to be the First to get sweet Promotional offers?

We will send more information to your email. Don't miss out. 

Share This Article
Jim Marous is a Top 5 Retail Banking Influencer, Global Speaker, Podcast Host and Co-Publisher at The Financial Brand. I am a co-author here at Finance and Pay, writing on a lot of topics regarding payments, banking software, cards, and investing.
Leave a comment