Martin Steven Lewis OBE is an English journalist and television presenter. He is the founder of the website MoneySavingExpert.com.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has issued a warning to PayPal users about a new inactivity charge that could see users pay out £12 (Sh1694) from their account if they haven’t logged in for a 12 month period.

The payment firm changed their rules recently meaning that from 16 December you could be charged if you aren’t using your PayPal account often enough.

Lewis tweeted: “PayPal users warning. It is going to introduce a Sh1694 inactivity fee.”

The upside to all of this is that you now know about it, and can avoid getting stung for not keeping your account as active as it needs to be.

The Money Saving Expert himself has now released a guide showing users exactly how it works, and how to avoid losing money unnecessarily.

Basically, if you use your PayPal account more frequently than once per year, you’re gonna be OK.

The inactivity charge will only kick in after a full 12 months without use.

Also, let’s look at what the word ‘inactive’ actually means.

So, the charge will only be administered if you don’t log in, send, or receive any money for that full 12 month period.

By which point, if you’ve not done that, you might as well get rid of the account full stop.

If you haven’t got Sh1694 in your PayPal account, the balance will simply go down to zero, removing everything that you had in there

On the other hand, if you’ve nothing in there, or have a negative balance, you aren’t going to be charged at all.

In addition to all of this, you’ll receive fair warning before getting charged. PayPal says you’ll be warned at 60 days, 30 days, and then one week before the charge is administered.

MoneySavingExpert.com advises: “If you’re an irregular PayPal user but still want to keep your account open and hold a PayPal balance, it could be worth adding a note to your diary on a certain date every year reminding you to log in to your account.

“This will ensure you’re not charged the fee in future.”

They also suggest: “You can also keep the account open but transfer any money you have there into another account, as you won’t be charged in future if your PayPal account doesn’t have a balance. PayPal says it has no plans to close inactive accounts which don’t have balances.”

There you have it. So long as you know, you can avoid getting charged unnecessarily.

Featured image: PA

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