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I want to set my credit card as default and I do NOT want paypal to use my balance first if I have a balance. This is the only option. WHY?
Obvious question but got to ask, did you successfully confirm your card with the 4-digit PayPal code when you added the card?
Try selecting your preferred payment method through:
Go to Account Settings (wheel icon) > Payments > Online purchases
thanks @sharpiemarker . I did confirm my card when I added it. The image on my post showed the options it gave me when I tried to change my preferred pay method, I could only choose paypal balance. Couldn't choose my bank account or either card on my account, one of which has been there for years.
What ended up working was that I checked out using PayPal on a website the other day, and during that checkout PayPal let me select "use this as my preferred method". But I don't know why they don't let you select that option while logged into their own site and looking at your profile. Had to do it during a checkout.